Friday, August 29, 2008

Taylor's Sri Hartamas Campus

Visiting the Taylor's Sri Hartamas Campus
“I made 120 decisions today… all of them are wrong”

I was sitting in a talk last Sunday and looking at that line and I couldn’t help wonder where my life had taken me since I left high school.

Let me refresh my memory.

The first thing I was thinking about right after I walked out of my last SPM paper was how I was going to spend my next few months dating my girlfriend at the time.I was thinking of all the movies we would watch, all the walks on the beaches we would take and all the other… uhmm.. innocent fun we were going to have. Those few months flew by so quickly and by the time I realized it, it was time for me to think of where to go after school, what I was going to study and where I was going to end up.

I had no clue what to do to be honest. I didn’t…
It’s true… when I was young I wanted to be all sorts of things. I wanted to be a soldier once… then a pilot another time… and at one point I even wanted to be a postman.

I told my mum that I thought it was so much fun riding around everywhere in a motorbike. My mum panicked a little bit.. you know typical traditional Chinese family. If your child doesn’t grow up wanting to be a doctor/accountant/lawyer then your son needs help.

So there I was back in present time sitting at this lecture hall listening to this talk about careers.

I was at Taylor's Sri Hartamas Campus.

that just newly opened and I decided to spend my Sunday afternoon there since they were all so nice to invite me to go pay a visit.In the audience were starry-eyed students fresh out of SPM and concerned parents trying to figure out what future would be best for their children.

I sat there alone unaccompanied by anyone with jeans and sports shoes so much that I looked like I had just finished my SPM myself… though I actually wish I had really sat through one of these talks right after I left school.

At least I might have known what I should do with my life.
After the talk ended, the nice people that man the new campus decided to take me a tour of the campus. It was quite an environment.

Allow me to illustrate.

They had nice hangout places for students to just sit and chill.Can you believe that? They actually had special spots just for you to CHILL!!!

That’s it!!!

During my days as a student (which wasn’t too long ago), we all sat on the staircases to chill which was fun for a while until your butt becomes so flat you could place a cup of coffee on it.

Not to mention, occassionally a passing lecturer would say
“OI!... So free can just lepak here ah?”

At this college now at least the students could say
“No Sir… I am just making use of college facilities Sir.”

Then there was the library.
I’m used to seeing library with old wooden chairs and wooden tables. Heck memories from my old university days but this library actually had something more than just the really cute “Alphabet” stools on the tables there.

Seriously, just a private thought to myself right… it’s not going to take long before the students start arranging the chairs to spell


“N”….. AH HAH !!!

I was going to say “FUN”.. what were you all thinking! Notty notty!

Now apart from the cute alphabet chairs, what really grinded my gears was… that they had their own “Nuffie Corner” there.

And one that was SOOO MUCH bigger than the one we have at the Nuffnang office in KL.

And check out these really really cute ‘chair’ like bean bags they had.

Dammit if I were a student there.. that’s where I would be all my student life. Sitting on that chair.

I’ll be there so often they’ll call that place “TIMMY CORNER”.

See? Don’t I just fit in there?

That’s the thing I love about bean bags. They don’t judge you if you’re fat like me. No… not like other chairs where you might be too big to sit on. Bean bags, they fit around your butt no matter how you sit on them.


Anyway, seeing how nice the library was I insisted they showed me how the classrooms looked like. And this is how they looked like (without the hot chicks sitting on them chairs).The classrooms were pretty Hi-Tech and it wasn’t only because of how each classroom had a fixed projector of its own …

But they had these things called “Dynamic Notes” where at the end of each class, you could Bluetooth to your mobile phone a recording of the entire session and take it home with you.

How stressful is that? I mean imagine if you were passing notes in class and your teacher catches you and gives you a public caning in front of everyone in the class.

Before, your shame would only be limited to the few people in the class who were there to witness it but now anyone there could take the recording to any of the computer labs they have thereand upload it on to the internet with titles like

“Timmy Tiah Gets Spanked During Biology”

After the classroom tour I had a “BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR” of the teachers’ lounge.

CHECK THIS OUTHeck … I can see why more and more people are becoming lecturers these days. I can even imagine myself there… you know… “Mr. Tiah”.

Sitting down sipping my morning coffee and reading a newspaper.

I would be one of those ‘cool’ lecturers that jokes and dances in class.

Okay soon my tour of the campus came to an end and I’m going to show you my favourite part of the campus.

While we were walking around I spotted this glass room with chairs and table in it and I asked “What is this?”
The room was apparently called… the “BRAINSTORM” room.

How cool is that!?

You actually have a glass room for you to do nothing but brainstorm in it.

Now I’ve seen this in a few corporations… really really hip ones but this is the first time I’ve seen it in a college!!!
I love these rooms.

And not too far away from these rooms.. A VENDING MACHINE!!!
For us to binge!!!

The total sum of money it took to put together a college like that with all the glass rooms, projectors, classrooms, chairs, tables and BEAN BAGS… came up to… RM6,000,000.

Ah how Taylor’s has come so far from its early days at Pantai Bahru (Yes… believe it or not Taylor’s College started there in 1969… not at Subang).The Taylor’s new Hartamas Campus is still pretty new so go check it out if you guys have the time but if you’re going to go into college soon… my advice… figure out what you wanna do first… you know go for a talk or talk to some people.

I ended up doing Economics at university because I didn’t know what else to do and ended up not liking the very very mathematical subject but I had to force myself to finish the course I started. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nuffnang Launches in the Philippines

I'm really excited today because today is the day we're officially launching Nuffnang Philippines Inc.

We've been working on this for many months now to be honest and I've actually been flying to Manila to help set up Nuffnang Philippines with our local JV partner there Outcomm Inc.

Outcomm is one of the largest outdoor advertising firm in the Philippines and our partnership all started with a call to our office, leading to an overseas conference call and finally a meeting in Singapore before I eventually flew over to Manila to get some work done.

Gosh you have no idea for how long I wanted to blog about my trip to Manila especially about meeting one of the most popular bloggers in Asia... BryanBoy who is now part of Nuffnang too.

Look how star-struck I was. Giggling away like a little boy.

But alas, I had to keep it all secret because we didn't want people to know that we were going into the Philippines yet.. although word started to leak out rather quickly.

A local blogger there happened to see one of our job ads to hire Nuffies for our new team in Manila office and word leaked out. Speaking of the Nuffnang office in Manila, it's sooo wonderful!

It's at this place called Bonifacio High Street where you have a beautiful garden with office units throughout the side.During the evenings you can actually see people walking their dogs around the area. It's like a half office half shopping high street kind of area. Really nice!

Imagine looking out your office window and seeing a view like that with a fountain in the middle.
Manila was just really really quite nice. I mean what is there to NOT like. The people are all English speaking and they are extremely polite, humble and friendly.

Heck you guys should meet our local partners there.

Meet Eric and Jay, the founders and owners of Outcomm Inc.Both extremely successful entrepreneurs who graduated from Top US Colleges (Eric went to Stanford and Jay went to UPenn Wharton) and both extremely humble people.

Then there is Geraldine on the right of the photo below who is one of the key people responsible for setting up Nuffnang PH operations.

This photo was taken in our Nuffnang office in Manila a few months back when I was up in the Philippines helping set up the operations there.

I am so excited!

Will post up more pictures of all the rest of the Nuffies in our Manila office when I go there again ok?

1 and a half years after Nuffnang first started, we are now in 3 countries with offices in all of them.

Ahh exciting and challenging times ahead!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nuffnangers Get Together

Ok I am really really extremely busy right now but I'm going to write a really really quick entry about a dinner we had with some Nuffnangers yesterday.

Well here goes.

Nuffnang has become increasingly famous for having huge fun themed parties among hundreds of bloggers to get the community together. The problem with these parties though is because of their size, they tend to take a lot of time and money to plan so we limit them to at most once every 3 months.

Yet as a Community we've always wanted to have something consistent, something where we could get together with Nuffnangers regularly in the most casual manner.. just to hang out, have dinner and get to know each other better.

Then one day we all had an idea. Why don't we have just small dinners of say 25 Nuffnangers just to meet up and chat. The downside was that we wouldn't be able to host as many Nuffnangers so we might have to rotate... but the upside... was the opportunity to get to know these few of them a lot better.

Last weekend we had our first of such dinners at Italiannies in 1-Utama at what we call a Nuffnang Sharing Session where we would all have dinner together and then get one or two bloggers to share their experiences in blogging or anything else.
The two bloggers we had that night were Cindy and Ringo, 2 of our Malaysian Dreamgirl contestants who were there to share their experiences being in a reality TV show.

The night turned out to be a lot of fun. Good food and great company.

I personally got to know a lot of Nuffnangers a lot better, many of which I met before in some of our earliest parties but couldn't remember.

Here are some pictures I managed to take on the night... before I spoilt my camera which is now sent for a 3 week warranty. *sigh* That's a whole other story.

Sorry guys in my rush to get this entry out... I didn't have the time to link up everyone that I managed to take pictures with.

It was great meeting you guys! I actually had so much fun.

If you didn't manage to get one of the limited seats for this session, we'll be having another one next month ok?

See you guys then.

Alright I'm off!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

About Me

A friend of mine just pointed out that my blog doesn't have an "About Me" page like most other blogs do.

So I'm going to do an "About Me" entry now so anyone new to my blog could learn a bit more about me.

Okay so here goes.

My name is Timothy Tiah and I am 24 this year (2008).Although I now spend most of my time in KL, I grew up in Penang getting my secondary school education in a boy school there called St. Xavier's Institution. I lived a very typical student life back then, spending most of my free time in cybercafes playing games like Half-Life, Counter-strike and Starcraft.

Whatever time I had left was spent playing table tennis, a sport that I used to be really good in representing my school, and eventually even representing my university when I studied in London.I used to be pretty fit...

but now I am fat.

I'm not sure why but it must've been all the excessive ice-cream.
After I finished college, I pursued a BSc in Economics at University College London, apparently the 25th Top University in the World according to a NewsWeek survey. Up till today I still wonder why they accepted me as a student.

The plan was that I was going to be an investment banker after I graduated with an Economics degree. Why? No reason in particular... I just didn't have a better idea and everyone tells me that investment bankers make a lot of money.

So during my summer holidays I did internships at both JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank, hoping that I would learn a thing or two about investment banking there.

In my final year of university however, I started a joke blog with a friend of mine which marked the beginning of my blogging career.

I got to know a lot of bloggers and began to feel a sense of passion for the blogging community.

It was then where I saw an opportunity for bloggers to get together in one big network and collectively sell their ad space to advertisers and so right after I graduated from university in June 2006, I turned down a job offer from an investment bank and took the biggest gamble of my life.

With with my partner Ming, we started Nuffnang.After spending months preparing the business plan, doing feasibility studies and building the website, Nuffnang officially launched on 27th of February 2007.About one and a half years later, the small team we had grew from a small office in Penang to having offices now in Penang, KL and Singapore. Our Community has also grown and as of August 2008, the Nuffnang Community had over 50,000 bloggers from Malaysia and Singapore alone.Our clients have also grown from the smaller companies that supported us when we were small today to big multinational brands like Nike, Nokia, MAS, HUGO and the likes.

Nuffnang today is pretty well-known as one of the fastest growing dotcoms in the region and we've had the fortunate blessings of being in an out of the media quite a bit. We've been covered in most major newspapers in Malaysia and Singapore, been on National TV 3 times and in 2007 both Ming and I were nominated by BusinessWeek Magazine as one of the Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs in Asia.

Young is what Nuffnang is... not just by the number of years we have been around but even by the age of the team at Nuffnang and I take pride that such young people are doing such remarkable things.

Of all of us at Nuffnang today, the oldest is 32 years of age and the average age is 24.

Today I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world and it's not only because I love what I do and the poeple I work with.

It's because I've had the good fortune of meeting the right people that believed in Nuffnang from day one who brought us to where we are today, be it the bloggers that always supported us to the clients that taught us all about the advertising industry and all we needed to know about how to run a company.

Where Nuffnang is today is something that I can't and won't take for granted.

I have learned that for any entrepreneur, life is full of its ups and downs even for some of the most successful billionaires in the world that I have read about like Richard Branson or Steve Jobs.

This blog will document my very own ups and downs.

Share with me my joys when I am up... and my tears when I am down.

Thank you for being with me on this journey.