Saturday, September 29, 2007

Where Did All The Malaysian Dotcom Success Stories Go?

Ideas, ideas ideas....

We're all full of it.

Maybe it's just me, but it suddenly dawned on me that Malaysia has recently started off with a whole new breed of young entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs that share that huge dotcom dream just like the dotcom entrepreneurs of the famed Silicon Valley.

I myself have had the privilege in meeting many of these young ambitious personalities. Like it or not, the one thing I find in common with each and every one of them is how their success is benchmarked against the success of internet titans like Google, Yahoo or the most recent... YouTube.
That's right, benchmarked against success that happens abroad, not within our borders.

With all this entrepreneurial drive in our homeland of Malaysia, why is it we don't draw inspiration from the success stories closer to home instead? Success stories in which would be far more realistic benchmarks in our local environment.

I sat down and started thinking.

Thinking of a good Malaysian success story from a young entrepreneur that I could draw inspiration from. Sure there were companies like Jobstreet or even MOL that sold out to Tan Sri Dato' Vincent Tan for RM 12 million but that was millenniums ago.
It's true. In recent years I couldn't recall many real dotcom success stories.

So the question is... if there were so few success stories of Malaysian dotcom entrepreneurs making millions or selling out... why is it that yet so many people are itching to start a dotcom of their own.

Almost as if it's the "IN" thing to do right now when many of us on the other side already know that there's nothing "IN" or "COOL" about it and unlike the Silicon Valley in California, this Silicon Valley is not crowded with office car parks full of Ferraris. And as if things weren't bad enough, where the success stories are scarce, the failure stories are filling up a warehouse so huge it could fit Subang Jaya in it.

As I write this, I had just gotten news that a fellow Dotcom entrepreneur and friend of mine is on the brink of shutting down a dotcom he started just a few months before Nuffnang launched.

I recall the first time I met him.

He was extremely passionate about entrepreneurship and his new business. His passion ran so deep that when anyone tried to play Devil's Advocate on his business model, it would never put him down.

I always imagined that people with this level of commitment and passion will succeed but I was wrong.

So why... why do people long to join the growing trend of dotcom entrepreneurs?

Why? Where is the light at the end of the tunnel?
What or how much do people think they're going to achieve when they forgo proper jobs with security? Do they think that they will make 1 million? 2 million? 10 million or 20 million in their lifetimes?

Even then it wouldn't be worth it since I happen to know of some professionals in Malaysia that have made RM40-50 million in their lifetimes, and that's without taking any risk.

So where are all the Malaysian success stories for us to draw our inspirations from?

Someone please enlighten me!


Jimmy Ngu said...

Ramli Burger

Boss Stewie said...

eh that's not a dotcom

Observer said...

LOL... maybe that's sth to think abt. RamliBurger dot com... burgers to ur door step...

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is called pushing away the responsibility or not but we really have some disadvantage such as low broadband penetration and we are a little backwards in terms of technology.

We will sooner or later someone that can make history like Sergy Brin.

HK said...

I'm no good inthis topic, but I think it's quite hard to penetrate the local dotcoms market due to a small market share, like yeepiao said, low broadband penetration, and particularly only in urban areas.

And I've got this feeling that a majority of broadband users - probably not in KL :) - just use the internet to check their email, chat, play online games.. and rarely to use such services provided by dotcom entrepreneurs.

Bernard Yap said...

It would better when we view it as a useful internet service. It is not too right to judge a dot com company success or not by money figure alone. That is not the right benchmark.

I think that consider successful judge by the user base. GSC online ticketing is useful and as well as maybank2u. Those site are so important and essentially become a part of our life.

Timy, base on the current number of Malaysia blog user who carry nuffnang ad, your service is consider successful. The factors that motivate them, blogger to join in might be the idea is new(sustainable?), profitable(wishful thinking?). To sustain it, you would need to build up the long term royalty from them, bring good revenue to them. So think hard to get more and long term advertiser, higher CTR or more targeted ads for the site content.

Boss Stewie said...

you guys gave such intelligent opinions but unfortunately, it's 3am now and i just got back from Velvet... and i am very high..

so my brain isn't really working.. all it's saying is "IT'S PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME"...

i shall respond to you guys tomorrow :P

Good night

Boss Stewie said...

ok i'm feeling better now after my long sleep.

now let me reply your comments hehe

freethinker: ok try it.. i'm sure i can find venture caps for that :P

yee piao/hk: that is true, our internet market is a lot smaller hence the potential for local entrepreneurs is smaller which is why sometimes I feel that it is even more important that we draw inspirations from local dotcom entrepreneurs that have achievements which may at least loosely mimic the kind of achievements we may really have in reality.

bernard: i wouldn't consider Nuffnang a success yet. At most, I would call it a modest success. There is still so much we have left to do to perfect the model and ensure we manage to get everything done right. For example, there are so many ways that bloggers can earn money through their blogs apart from just serving banner ads and writing advertorials... we want to build a model that gives these options to all our bloggers.

We're a long way from the finish line dude :P

Bernard Yap said...

Text ads would be your next crucial strategic move. But, the success of text ads largely depend on the amount of advertisers. So, work hard Timy :p

Evil Chica said...

dotcom's stories, a gud way to teach us who aspires of being one in the future, tat all gud tings wil eventually come to an end, though not all, as the saying, the last man standing is the fittest. but i owes treat a failure as a way for individuals to learn whats the loopholes that may have dragged us into our downfall. learn from mistakes. life is bed of roses, beautiful looks, nice scent but painful to endure. success dont come easy. entrepreneurs are all about continuous learning n never fear of failing. i know u can do it.