Old Notes Unpublished: Start Up Spending and Gojek Phenomenon

I read this link


Yes. See how Gojek spend millions just to market their product, while their product itself are made by fifth grader.

Okay this is a very long post

Once I was interviewed for a new start up, Snapcart. I met the founder, which has a long hours of experiences, beginning from working in consumer product industry for 6+ years, then moving on to boutique consultants, which introduced him to communication industries, and then moving on to run a big online marketplace which was acquired by OLX.

They were looking for someone who can run the tech team to develop and support their products, as a level of CTO. Certainly with me having only experience in consulting industry with 3+ years experience in only the same project all over the time, doing the same job which it has become a routines, was not a perfect person to sit on CTO chair.

I was interviewed by their venture, Ardent Labs. Funnily the one who interviewed me which was actually looking for a CTO, in the end became the CTO itself, as I heard that they failed to get the person they wanted. During interview, I was shown their prototype design, their ideas, and I saw how solid their idea is. They aimed to develop a fully sophisticated product with perfect quality.

Certainly they spent a lot to hire their CTO, which was a senior employee (years of experience overseas, and he is actually a foreigner too) in Ardent labs to run their plans. They are also hiring good tech person to fill the position as a team leader in their development team. And now you can compare how the quality of their product compared with Gojek which spent a lot of cash to market their product using discount.

Although the CEO and so-called Brand Director of Gojek has also long running experiences, was from consulting industries too, I can infer that they has a flaw in their business.

First, I peeked on the CEO/Co-Founder CV on linked in, and they said that they have been working on it since 2011. And guess when they release the app? 2015. 4 years of developing and the app is still buggy? Compared to Traveloka which starts a bit later than Gojek, has a way better products than Gojek, and we can see that Traveloka has evolved to a mature ecosystem. No wonder, Traveloka was developed by a Standford graduates, although he was young and at my age.

I heard from my friend that Traveloka is actually heading towards increasing their hitcount on their website then they can sell it in a very high price. But when I was interviewed by Traveloka, which was looking for person to fill the team of Product Manager, I saw different things. They are actually really evolving their products, and of course, their goal might not merely be only sell and dump like Disdus now Groupon, DealKeren then LivingSocial now IDontKnowWhatItsName. In their office, I saw what you can call it Googleplex in Slipi. A lot of tech team involved in their company, which surely no wonder that Traveloka apps either web or the mobile apps one are very freshly baked.

Guess how long Snapcart develop the app? When I was interviewed around April 2015, they said they have been developing about around 2/3 months, and they set to release about 2 months from April. The news covered the release about August 2015. So basically they only have 6 months to bake their app, yet their app is very freshly baked.

So I don’t know what happened behind Gojek company, but certainly I assume that they took wrong way to expand their business.

This article was written a year ago, way before the Gojek scandals with Go-Pay account brought up to the public recently. I sometimes use Gojek too in case Grab application doesn’t work/no driver available. But I’d rather not use the Go-Pay service as it seems very not-secure.

The Faith on Our Journey

I visited Baduy village at Banten last weekend. It was one of the most remote village in Java, we have to walk for more than 5 hours one way (I took 7 hours), climb and descend more than 4 hills just to reach there. There’s one thing I learned from my journey there:

We have to keep strong on our way to our destination no matter how hard the obstacles are in front of us.

It was very challenging trip to Baduy. I had to walk muddy and slippery paths, climb a very cliffy hills, all under rainfall. There is no easier shortcut and every road we take always have very hard obstacles I had to face.

There is also no point of return. Once you walk, you have to continue to your destination. Unlike game which has checkpoint, when you face a hard obstacle, you can retry again from beginning, or even avoid that obstacle. But not in real life.

During my journey, I had to step on muddy path, it made my shoes full of mud. I was raged on why the path was so muddy, why the rain was not stopping. Then I realized that that was not right, because you were angry to your own condition, angry to God for what He guided you so far.

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Appreciation is one of things you can do to other people for free. It gives spirit and motivation to them which can bright their life. It is one of keys to a good workplace environment.

I have friends who are complaining on how unappreciative their peers or bosses are. This made me reflect to myself on how do I feel with my peers and bosses. I am really fortunate to have a very supportive peers and bosses, which makes myself in a very comfort zone.

How do I define a good peers and bosses?

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Your Environment is The One Who Built You Up

I was researching my target university. One thing that I did was watching the commencement event and listen to the speeches by the president and honorable alumni. It was very interesting to watch the event, and I gained lot of information about the culture in the university.

I learned interesting knowledge from one of the speech:

Your environment is the one who built you up

The speaker said that the influence of people around you is the crucial factor that determines  what you’re going to be. You tend to follow your community into certain common characteristic. For instance, if you spend your time more with slackers, you will tend to become a slacker too. In the other hand, if you are within a circle of motivated people, they will surely motivate you toward good things.

The speech continued to his experience and his decision which changed his life

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When I Need Words

Writing Statement of Purpose is the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. That’s for my case, though.

I need words! It is hard to combine those words into a strong and extraordinary essay. Well, basically what happened to me is just myself being perfectionist and my mind just wandering around without even start to type any single word. And which is why Mr. Ruli Manurung, my beloved lecturer, scold me right in my face, telling me to STOP thinking and START typing.

He said that we cannot make what is so-called a perfect essay. All we can do is just start making one, and shape it along the way to perfection. If we do not start from now, you will never start forever. Okay, that’s directly slap me. All these years I’ve been doing nothing because worrying if I am not perfect enough to start applying for university.

But then again, I have to start NOW or NEVER. Okay, let me share a little bit of my progress and what I’ve been doing so far:

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Being Away from Social Media (Day 3: The Reason)

I promised myself after my 25th birthday, I have to start reducing my activity in social media. So today is the 3rd day of my fasting, and with this post (and some future posts) will talk about how is it like doing fasting of Social Media 😛

Background Story

I did a lot activities on my Facebook page, especially when I want to express myself about recent issues. I also got news from Facebook instead of newspaper or websites. I expressed my opinion on my Facebook wall, did discussion with friends regarding certain issues in their comment box, and shout to annoying Facebook people directly. Other than Facebook, I also used Path to share some activities, especially my travelling-selfie.

I started realizing that I was too much exposed by those social media when many of my friends told me that I was always on the top of Facebook news feed. Although they were rarely “like” or comment my Facebook activities, they knew my activities, opinions, and even rant about something. In the end, I decided that I have to end this unhealthy exposure by deactivate some social media accounts that I was extensively using.

I think social media has made me too boastful. It made me care too much on my image, increase my self-esteem to unhealthy level, and too distracting. Spending more time for something more productive will bring more good to me in the future.

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Marathon Coding

I love doing what I may call marathon coding:

Code one functionality you are going to implement from start to end. If the functionality means that you have to create a very big class from start to end, then do it. DO NOT debug or try to run the program before the functionality you desired is exactly implemented. The threshold is that your program will be able to produce the output you desired by the specified input. Doing debugging in the middle of your coding can distract your focus on implementing your functionality into real code. So just omit the debugging until the threshold is met.

You may also omit some of exception handling during this phase. In Java programming, this means that you have to catch every checked-exception and re-throw it as RuntimeException. This will ensure that any error inside your library will be brought up to the surface. Structured and well-formed exception handling takes time to do, so we can do it after the implementation is completed. But in a case that an exception handling is inclusive in the program flow, you must do the exception handling in this phase. It’s all on your judgement on how you design your program flow.

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Ambiguous Result

Another quo-de for today. You can see how ambiguous this function call

protected void onPostExecute(RefreshTaskResult<ActionResult<SquadInfoShort>> result) {
	// Check result
	if(result.getResult().getResult()) {

What result?