Monday, May 30, 2011

Give it a name

The first thing you need in building a startup is an idea. Some people think that idea is worthless, but for me it is equally important as the execution that follows it and the team behind it. It sets your target so that you know where to focus. But don't fall in love with your idea, it can evolve and even change radically. You just need it to get started.

After having an idea, the next thing to come up with is a name. Having a name upfront is not required (you can use random name, e.g. "myproject", and change it later), but it simplifies a lot of things.

Name is important for:
  • Presence: domain name, Twitter handle, etc. We'll get into this in a moment.
  • Development artifacts: project directory, namespace (e.g., in Java, "com.myproject"), Redmine project, Basecamp account, etc.

Online presence that you need to secure

Domain name

Buy a domain from Google Apps, it's easier. You will get GMail-backed without setting up anything.

Handle in your target deployment

For example, if you use Google App Engine, you might want to secure This is optional, as it will usually be masked by your domain name (e.g. will be forwarded to, but it's always nice to have some consistency.

Facebook Page

Facebook requires that you have at least 25 fans before eligible for a username (that is, a Ask your friends to Like your page to secure it.

Twitter handle

This is obvious.

Blog (e.g.

Not necessary if you want to use your domain, e.g.

Remember that choosing name is not urgent, but the sooner the better.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet

As promised, I'm going to start blogging again. Here we go.

It's almost a year since my last post and I told you that lots of things have happened. Ironically, I don't know what to write. Maybe I'll start with how I feel these days.

I don't feel happy.

I'm working in a big multi-national company, which recently been acquired by a much bigger multi-national company. That's good. But on the other end, I just feel like a drop of water in the sea. I miss being my own architect, developing things I like, using any tool or framework I want.

That's one.

The other thing, I always want to have my own business. Not the grand thing like the next Microsoft or Google (although that would be nice). I just want to have a simple small business, like a restaurant or massage parlor (with hot chicks under my employment, yay!).

That's two.

The last thing, right now the world is having "startup fever". This trend is also happening in Indonesia. Now everyone with their uncle want build a startup, get investment, get acquired and exit with a load of money. Everything with "getting more money" is always good for me, and I hate just sitting here watching other people partying.

That's three.

Because I miss architecting and hacking stuff, and I want to have my own business, and I want to join the startup wave, today I'm announcing that I'm opening a restaurant.

Oh, wait. You know I can't be serious. I barely know how to cook.

Actually, I'm in a very early stage of building a startup. Well, two, actually. What? Why? Shouldn't I suppose to focus on one first until it's launched?

It goes like this. I was starting on an idea, a website which suppose to help me scratch my own itch (that is, solving my own problem, and hopefully others'). But then a couple of weeks later a friend of mine asked me to become his co-founder. I told him that I'm currently working on something else, but he didn't mind at all, so there comes my 2nd startup. Both are not related to each other.

Will I quit my job now, lock myself for months and start hacking? Not quite. The stuff I'll be doing are totally not related with my company's line of business (so no conflict of interest), and I don't set deadline for the projects, so it'll just to "kill time" and won't affect my day job. Of course this might change.

From now on, I'm going to blog primarily about my experience in building that two startups (one where I'm solo and another where I have a co-founder). I hope by doing this, I can keep motivating myself (and, oh, make myself happy!) and help others who want to build their own startup.

Note: Some of you might be curious about this blog title, "Isn't that supposedly "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"? According to, the more correct translation from the original Chinese would be the one I put in the title. Rather than emphasizing the first step, Lau Tzu regarded action as something that arises naturally from stillness. Another potential phrasing would be "Even the longest journey must begin where you stand." In other words, you must get your ass off your comfort zone.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'm still alive

Hi guys, just to let you know that I'm still alive. Lots of things have changed since my last post. I promise I'm going to blog more often. Stay tuned :)

Looking for my geek side?