Barcamp Malaysia 2008 – First Glimpses
July 27, 2008 by Bernard Leong
Reporting from the shores across our causeway, BL (our editor) has travelled to Kuala Lumpur this morning to attend Barcamp Malaysia 2008. He is not the only one, as this event has attracted many Singaporeans to turn up there: the entire team from Widgeous (Ridzuan and U-Zyn), Mohan from E27, Ben Koe, Kelvin Quee, Preetam and Wong Meng Weng (a Singaporean entrepreneur who came back from Silicon Valley). Here are some of the highlights for the event with a short review and pictures from the event.
The event was held in the city of Kuala Lumpur near the famous Petronas Tower. The location is xTrain Sdn Bhd, Megan Avenue 1, Jalan Tun Razak, KL. If you take a quick peek at the schedule, you will find that there are just so many things to do that you have to decide which to go. BL has actually decided to go for some and accidentally dropped by some, and found an old friend back in Cambridge who now resided in Malaysia, talking about Health 2.0 and his start-up in Malaysia, MyFamilyHealth.com .
Of course, the Widgeous Team started the ball rolling with their presentation of the platform. Throughout the day, the event is divided into various tracks. One of the tracks is totally focussed on the content management system, Drupal, where the developers led by Joeri Poesen started from the basics to the advanced, talking first about the platform and how to make use of Drupal to develop more interesting applications.
Another interesting discussion I have gone to is done by Wong Meng Weng (a successful Singaporean entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley). It is a discussion to use the analogy of wizards in fantasy role playing games and try to generate new ideas and insights about technology in the real world. One major lesson that I learned from this session is that the Internet has facilitated not just transactions without face to face, but also a platform to coordinate chaotic activity such that useful and organized output of information helped to create value for people and make their lives better. I thought that this type of ideas generation is sole lacking in our sessions back home, and urged Mohan to get Meng Weng for a session like this in the next E27 Unconference or related event.
The most interesting panel that I have attended is the session where the Malaysian entrepreneurs discussing going global where the issues and challenges they face are not so different from us in Singapore, and discuss about the entrepreneurs in terms of their mindset, and the execution risk as pointed by one of the panelists Vishen Lakhiani, co-founder of MindValley pointed out that the execution risk is a major issue among entrepreneurs in Malaysia. Dr V. Sivapalan, from Venture Partners Sdn Bhd, made this acute observation that there are actually enough talent to build four to five great companies in Malaysia, but the issue is that all the talent wanted to do something for themselves and hence you have 25 small start-ups where that combined strength can do 5 great start-ups. In some sense, it is also very reflective of young Singaporean entrepreneurs, where all of them do their own start-ups and not thinking of combining together to form a bigger start-up. The most interesting lesson is froom Ganesh, the CEO and President of MOL where he pointed out he has to modify the business models of his business to one that is of revenue generation. One thing that all of them agree is that ideas are cheap, and the execution is more important than idea.
For more updates on the event, please look at the Barcamp Malaysia Blog as the bloggers in Malaysia discuss and narrate what happened in the event.
Here are some pictures for the event:
Photo 1: The venue for Barcamp Malaysia
Photo 2: Daniel Cerventus and one of his teammate at the Registration Table
Photo 3: The session on Drupal by Ahmad Najib Habeb and Joeri Poesen
Photo 4: Meng Weng‘s interesting session about technology insights and ideas generation
Photo 5: Panel on “Entrepreneurs Going Global” – (From the left) Dr Sivapalan (Managing Principal of Ventura), Roslan Bakri (GM, MDEC, Technopreneurship Development Division), Ganesh Kumar Bangah (President, CEO of MOL AccessPortal Berhad) and Vishen Lakhiani (Co-founder, MindValley)
Photo 6: Preetam’s talk on interesting web 2.0 companies in Asia
Photo 7: The Singaporean speakers for Barcamp MY: Meng Weng, BL and Preetam Rai
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About The Author
Bernard Leong - Co-Founder
Dr Bernard Leong is currently in Vistaprint as a technology manager, where he manages an engineering team and builds new products for emerging markets. His former entrepreneurial stints include CTO and co-founder of Chalkboard where he has architected the platform for location based advertising across web and mobile, and also an early stage investor in Thymos Capital with Lunch Actually, Padlet and iHipo. His accolades include the Young Professional of the Year Award for the Singapore Computer Society 2010 and Outstanding Young Alumni for National University of Singapore 2007. His expertise includes technology and social media. Currently, Bernard also serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with INSEAD Business School and taught courses in entrepreneurship in NTU.Read other posts by Bernard Leong