Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Speech at the 1st National Entrepreneurs Convention

Last weekend I was at PWTC for the Youth 08 event and the 1st National Entrepreneurs Convention where I was invited as a speaker representing one of the said Top 15 or so entrepreneurs in Malaysia under the age of 30.

Now don't be fooled.

My modest achievements there were dwarfed by the achievements the people I was put on stage had armed around their belts.

Take for example Kenny Goh (2nd row left) of Macro Kiosk Berhad, a CEO of a listed company at age 29 Or Ganesh Kumar of MOL Access (Seated in the middle) who also at 29 heads a huge listed company he founded along with Tan Sri Vincent Tan.

So if anything, I was learning from the speakers in the convention, rather than teaching as a speaker.

Soon enough it was my turn to go up and speak in front of the crowd of 500 people who paid good money to listen to me.Now I have given many speeches before... but this is the first time I had to speak in front of so many people. Naturally you can imagine how worried I was for one reason.

When I speak, I'm not exactly the kind of guy who can memorize a speech or read off powerpoints.

I'm the kind of guy who would prepare some pointers on a piece of paper even though I eventually never use it for anything more than a security blanket.

See that piece of paper in my left hand folded up?

At every speech I give, I always hold it... but never once open it up to look.
The night before, I thought of perhaps sharing some photos on the journey of Nuffnang since I was supposed to talk about Nuffnang.

I had photos of the initial team Nuffnang started off with, with the first clients we met and things like that but as luck would have it... for some reason, the computer at the convention couldn't seem to open my Powerpoint file. So.... HO HO HO.

I was thrown on stage suddenly having to speak out of the blue.

Fortunately, when I was on stage I looked down at the crowd of people in front of me and saw the many people there quietly waiting for me to say something... as if they were going to write down every word I was going to say.

I decided
"F*** IT!!! Here goes..."

And started talking away.At the end of my speech... I was pretty sure I did a bad job.

But as I ran out of time and the moderator took the mic from me, the 500 people I just spoke to started clapping away which was enough to put a smile on my face.

After the speech, all the speakers including myself were given a 'token of appreciation'.

Now in most cases, a token of appreciation would be an engraved plate or something... but the creative people at Youth Malaysia decided to make large blow-up pictures of us.

We each had one.

After we were done taking photos with huge photos of ourselves, it was time for us to go for lunch.

Before we all had a chance to... a swarm of people walked up to us and waited politely for a chance to ask us some questions. Many of which told me that they loved my speech... as much as I thought that it was a really really bad one.

I was asked all sorts of questions about entrepreneurship and I answered as honestly as I could.

Truth is... looking back... it's a little surreal. I mean... Nuffnang is only 10 and a half months old and it was only one year ago that I officially started become and entrepreneur.

Sure our growth has been unbelievable and the things we managed to achieve in such a short time... so great that I'm not sure if I could ever duplicate this success if I had to do it all over again.

Like I said at my speech... Nuffnang is what it is today because of a lot of luck... and a lot of blessings and support from the right people that believed in us from the start.But here were new or soon-to-be entrepreneurs in my very same generation that was coming up to me for advice.

I was a little flattered... and also a little cautious of the high expectations that were put on me.To the soon-to-be entrepreneurs who came up to me for advice: Keep in mind that eventhough I might be a little ahead right now... I am still very much on the learning curve like all of you.

One day... some of you might truly achieve big success.. and I will be the one paying good money to watch you speak.

As for now... good luck on your many endeavors and remember my motto in live.
"Don't be cocky... there is a lot the generation before us have to teach us".


Anonymous said...

There there Tim. I thought you speech was very good, even though I could probably recite it in my sleep by now.

TNS said...

kenny goh was my uni mate n he is so successful now

Nicole said...

u are where u are today, because of your modesty.

May Leng said...

your speech was heartwarming. =)

i really like the gigantic self portrait. creative ! and it was so funny when you guys held it up to cover your faces ! lol

vss3t said...


all of us hope to be like u one day, or better. =D

man, u are our msian blogger's hero!
plus Kennysia lah of course.

Jason Lioh said...

I am looking forward to bigger things from you, not just from Nuffnang also. :-)

Keep it up and one day, I can tell my friends that Timothy Tiah is a friend that I know personally and we had BKT together before!

Fu Zhuk BKT!!! :D

Anonymous said...

Twas a good speech because I of all people managed to stay awake 0___0 and did not even feel remotely sleepy. You are the best boss ever hahaha.

Boss Stewie said...

skyler: haha!!!

jason: yeah!! hahahaha how some people do so well

nicole: awww... i'm not sure if that's right but thanks

may leng: haha!!! thanks may leng

vss3t: aww thank u.. i hope i won't disappoint

jason: haha!! yes yes. jom we go bak kut teh now also can

michelle: aww thank u michelle

Michelle Chin said...


*watery eyes*


repul2k said...

your success is due to your determination and innovation..i'll look to your success as inspiration

therevolutionaryrebel said...

At such a young age, ur a true inspiration :) will be looking forward to bigger and better things from Nuffnang! And if they weren't so stingy on their 10 minutes only talk .. :p would be great to hear your whole speech.

Icosa096 said...

Have seen too many of Mesdaq counters and twenty sth have failed to live to the market's expectation, and their hype ..

Sincerely hope that one day Nuffnang will transpire to be a truly successful and lasting venture.

SaeWei said...

Keep it up Tim!!!!!!!!!!

Linora 'Aronil' Low said...

You know like i said, people like you inspire. so keep it up man.. and i don't think nuffnang is the kind of business that happens to get successful by chance. You and the other people at nuffnang made it happen and we're very proud you guys. You know you got my support all the way :)

XiangMei said...

the photo frames were awesome!!!
where u going to hang your picture?
Office???Home? or bathroom
(so u can look at your face everyday when u wake up and tell yourself "Wah!look at my handsome face,i look so smart!!!)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

haha u can always get some help from toastmasters keke but im pretty sure u did a great job..nxt time try without the paper!

Genova said...

good job boss...congrats

Sour-Choc said...

y all man?!!...woman!!..time to get up!!

Anonymous said...

this guy used to ex-xaverian..i still rmb him..joinin the school..forgot when least i kinda know him a bit..haha

tim,u might not know who i am..but it's n keep it up!!

KY said...

Congrats congrats!

Now please put that emo pic as your avatar!

Boss Stewie said...

Michelle: Awww thank you :P

Premjit85: aww thank you, I hope I won’t disappoint

Pinkitmey: aww I’m sure one day I’ll be able to tell you the story over coffee… and I won’t be limited to 10 minutes next time :P

Great: I hope so too dude… I have to live up with high expectations

Jacky: thanks dude

Aronil: Thanks Aronil… as much as Nuffnang may or may not be successful by chance… we’ve really had a lot of luck on our way up

Xiangmei: hahaha I don’t know… right now I’m just storing it in the office.. if I put it up in the office and anyone comes to visit.. they’ll think timothy tiah must be so full of himself haha

Joe: kenot!!! The paper is my security blanket

Genova: thanks dude :P

Sour: hahahaha!! There were a few ladies but not in my session… they were under lifestyle entrepreneurs.. I was under technopreneurs

Gary: Hey Gary.. what class were you in?

Ky: thanks dude.. hahaha! Cannot ler.. shy only put as Avatar

kimfei said...

wow boss,you are one big step is really nice to meet you during the event before i went back to melaka..

SaeWei said...

Tim!!!! You are in the newspaper as well!! you saw it yet??

le muvies said...

Hey Tim, don't worry about it. We at loved your speech.

We loved it so much so, we even uploaded it on our website for the others to watch.

check it out here:

or at our website.

We hope to see you some time in the future.


meow said...

i could see u were pretty nervous that day, cuz u kept drinking water on the stage, hehe...

but i love ur speech!!! great job! we love the way you talk, and we hope to see you in our AIESEC conference soon.


Horny Ang Moh said...

Hallo Bossy! It pay to be nice & hornest with ur client & supporter! What ever u do don't get nuffnang listed! I have see many co going down once listed! Have a nice day & happy CNY!!!

Anonymous said...

Hmm..which year do you mean??

1/3 , 2/4 , 3/5 , 4sc3 , 5sc3

I don't think you reli know who i am..i'm one of the twins..they called us "siam kia" = siamese

XiangMei said...

XiangMei said...

the photo frames were awesome!!!
where u going to hang your picture?
Office???Home? or bathroom
(so u can look at your face everyday when u wake up and tell yourself "Wah!look at my handsome face,i look so smart!!!)

Tim reply:
hahaha I don’t know… right now I’m just storing it in the office.. if I put it up in the office and anyone comes to visit.. they’ll think timothy tiah must be so full of himself haha...

XiangMei reply(25/1):
I bet they will say u very VAIN!!!

Unknown said...

Hi Tim,

Great stuff, been really interesting following your nuffnang journey. I'm especially curious about the very start, after you guys settled on your idea and everything how did you actually start? Where did you find all the people for your team, figure out how to set up all your site logistics, finance etc? That step seems to me to be the big interesting one, but most entrepreneurs don't talk about that!

Alexandra Luella said...

whoa. modestly inspiring

'Ron said...

hie tim, it's sharon from AIESEC UKM... your speech was superb and inviting you to speak in our Entrepreneurship & Youth - A Learning Network Conference 2008 is definitely our honour...

bravo,tim~! you did it great! =)