Wicked Records

Wicked Records Signage

Wicked Records Signage

20 years ago, I founded a record store with a partner whom I met while working as a retail manager at Sim Lim Square. Had we continued on that journey, it would have been our 20th anniversary this year. But that also meant that we would have gone through the up and downs of the music industry which was not fun as there were more downs than ups. A lot was learnt from this experience from managing your own retail inventory, customers, accounting and knowledge of music including trending styles that customers were looking for. Even more was learnt on how to manage your co-founder and partner in the business which eventually lead to the shop’s closure after 2 years. The other reason being technology which came in the form of MP3 that took over the world by storm and we lost quite a bit of business to it.

Wicked Records, located at Peninsula Shopping Centre was part of the handful of record stores in Singapore at that time and times have surely changed since then. There are more than a handful of them now and thriving better than before. It is good to see them prosper in the community and bringing life to that slab of wax that we all so dearly love, spinning on the turntable and emitting delight to our ears. I still make small purchases of vinyls whenever I travel if I get the chance to, especially those that are not on streaming platforms, rare/limited edition releases or those that have nice sleeve art. Visiting record stores have become a lifestyle.

I made plenty of friends and acquaintances during that time and am glad I still keep in touch with some of them. As mentioned before in my earlier post, if resources allows, I wouldn’t mind owning a record store again just for fun.

Social Media and ME

SOCIAL MEDIA.jpg

This is an infographic of Social Media and Me. I have been asked multiple times and given that stare when I say I do not have a FB account. People think it is weird that I do not have it and feel I am disconnected from family, friends and social life but I do not care because that is not true. I personally think that having a FB account is soaking up too much of my time with the constant need to check on statuses. I tried to use it less and succeeded, then came to a point that not being active on FB was as good as not using it so I decided to terminate the account. It is better to do this than leave the account hanging there as I truly believe in reducing digital footprint. Any business requiring user registration should have regular checks to remove inactive accounts to maintain healthy active users and its communities. In my opinion, if friends and family are important, call them or drop them a message once in awhile and meet up to catch up. Thats Social!

I use Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIN and few other web sites, some of which are social for business (Founders Nation and CoFounders Lab are just some) and that should be more than enough time dedicated to them. Any more would mean sacrificing non-social media activities which is an absolute NO.

Everyone has a different fit and requirement of social media so let us leave it at that.

*Don’t forget to cancel your accounts if you are no longer using them. Will touch on digital footprints in another post.

The Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre 2019

I had a good time laughing and slapping my face onto the main character. After all, we share the same surname.

I had a good time laughing and slapping my face onto the main character. After all, we share the same surname.

An adaptation of the late Louis Cha’s trilogy (First two being Legend of the Condor Heroes and Return of the Condor Heroes) novels but I like to refer it as a quartet since Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (A 2019 version is soon to be released) has related characters and serves as history to the trilogy.

The 2019 version is well produced, featuring a cast of young and upcoming stars as well as veteran actors. Current version also focuses more on character development. My favorite is still the series produced by Zhang Jizhong. He rejuvenated the series and gave vibrant life to the characters and martial arts cheorography.

My father brought me up with these serial dramas and I enjoy them to this day. The novels being classics are often adapted to movies and dramas. The dramas are rebooted every few years with its own variation and it becomes a cycle to remember the old times. Reasons why my father insists that I watch them is because of the gallantry and chivalry depicted in the dramas. Apart from martial arts, a lot can be learnt like patience, humility, upholding justice, integrity, unconditional love, loyalty, generosity, honesty, kindness, brotherhood and to the extent of mentorship (Master and Student), strategy and problem solving. Applying these traits to anyone’s life is as good as being a hero of your own drama, however modern times are not as simple as before and calls for more.

Whatever rocks your boat, just don’t be a hero for the wrong reasons and get into trouble.

State of things

I have been working on my new business since June 2018 when I left my desk job at a bank, deciding that if not now, it will never happen. This has been a decision that I have been pondering on and sleeping on since 2015. So here I am after almost a year and still working on the funding for the new business.

From 2015, I have been doing lots of research and trying to piece together a proper business proposal but having a day job and little life after work does not seem to be the right way as I was not able to progress as fast as I would prefer. It was only when I fully grasped what I wanted to do, obtained a non-convertible loan from an angel investor, before I tendered my resignation and never looked back. My first pitch deck was ready in Sep’18 and I met up with my advisor. Based on his advise, the proposal was too huge so I continued to work on the deck and tweaked it. I then brought it to a friend in Nov’18 who had experience in this field and seek his advice. Again, basing on good advice, I modified the deck, this time round, focusing on a single product which I think was the most viable product in today’s market conditions. I started reaching out to venture capitalists (VC) in Dec’18 and quickly started building the foundation of the product.

I have to date approached 27 VC including 2 accelerator programs. Result thus far is rejection by 2 VC, currently being reviewed by 1 VC and awaiting results from the 2 accelerator program. 2 other VC are late funders so I will have to get back to them later if I managed to pull through to that stage. No response from the remaining VC.

There are lots to think about now while continuing to procure funding. How long more can I last? Who else can I approach that is suitable? What went wrong? Should I go back to the work force? I am not about to give up yet as I strongly believe in my product and that everything else like basic team setup and partners are in place other than funding. I have other ideas in mind and might execute them while waiting. Through this journey, I learnt quite a bit and it has surely conditioned me for the future. With a deep breath, I keep my calm and carry on.

ALT Networks is my company where I am building a digital ecosystem for a seamless mobile lifestyle.