Life Inspiration

As written by my close friend, Socheata Vong

To those who lose inspiration in life: It is okay to lose inspiration in life sometimes. It will always come back to you. Inspiration can be either luxury or simplicity depending on who you are and what you want.

Get lost sometimes and you will find a way back again. Never embrace positiveness all the time because when negativeness happens to you, you will suffer from it because you don’t prepare yourself to face it. Learn to anticipate negative things and to accept them. That is how you grow as a human being. Never compare yourself to others. Never let anyone cause you troubles and never let anyone solve your own problems.

If you experience disappointments talking to people, talk to the nature instead. Nature gives you the best comfort. Embracing silence in the nature can enrich your mental state and spirituality. Don’t enjoy your success, wealth and fame too much while people around you are striving. Give a hand to them and inspire them to become better.

Life can become fragile any time even if you live in a mansion, fly high in the sky or drive in a motorcade. Don’t rely on an unaccountable government to safeguard your welfare. Look left or right before you come out of your house. Don’t let your bag get stolen or robbed just a few meters outside of your house or on a Tuk-Tuk.

Spend money in your wallet wisely. Buy a ticket for yourself and for your family members to a charity concert or an art gallery which can make your day and can help our artists survive and revive our past’s glorious culture. Give some of your money away to those who are in critical need. Join a social cause when an opportunity arises.

Reading could help you live longer. Reading books for 30 minutes everyday could make you live an average 23 months longer. Exercise yields a positive impact on your life span. An hour of running may add seven hours to your life. Traveling opens up your mind and expands your horizon. Travel to the nearest and to the farthest to understand how other people live their life. Travel into the deep nature to make an intimate connection with our beautiful Mother Earth. These things might sound very simple to you yet they are so priceless that your wealth and fame can never buy them for you.

Don’t look for an external inspiration. Look for it from your within. Your inspiration is defined by you, not by others. Learn to appreciate whatever you have in life.

Notes from BarCamp Asean 2017

TechTalk 2017

One of the biggest sessions at this year BarCamp Asean (a special edition of BarCamp Phnom Penh), TechTalk 2017 offered some highlights of Cambodian tech startups to the enthusiastic audience. Key business players from big to small shared their thoughts on their tech offerings, challenges, golden opportunities, and what it’s like to build and grow a company. Read on my note from this event as I kept trying to capture some of the most important points from the speakers.

When: October 22, 2017
Where: Institute of Technology of Cambodia

Anthony Perkin, Chief Technology Officer of Smart, on cashless society

  • examples using cashes from India, China, and Canada
  • Mobile money in Cambodia is higher than in Thailand and Vietnam, although not
  • recorded by the national bank
  • Paying the electricity bill… now being replaced by SmartLuy or Wing
  • The last step is to run the transaction on the phone
  • Build the trust. trust the company behind them
  • SmartLuy

Sophorth Khuon, Founder and CEO of Morakot Technology, core-banking system for microfinance and banks

  • 70 registered micro finances, not capable to purchase software.
  • started out as a 3 people team
  • worked in the industry for about 10 years before starting the Morakot
  • first started by soliving the software price
  • support from outside and in a foreign language: time consuming
  • 1) affordable 2) cloud base 3) quick implementation 4) automate config
    expansion: Myanmar,The Philippines, and Laos
  • Sustainability: Started with our own money
  • careful to spend and cashflow: no salary
  • reserve money for 3 years
  • funding: careful with fixed cost, payroll
  • start small
  • pricing: monthly or yearly subscription, maitanenance fee
  • To start a tech startup, focus on a particular software (banking)
  • cashflow is very important. revenue from software or funding. the best funding source is from revenue. banks don’t like startup (risky).
  • investment from the co-founders and their relatives
  • The more operations , the spending rises
  • no pricing structure can be problematic later on

Leakhena Long, Joonaak Delivery

  • 2 years and 7 months in operation
  • Be honest with yourself
  • The initital idea is not great yet.
    The startup journey is very struggling
    4 people. one day, we were in a cafe and talking about starting a cafe. A missing piece, no delivery service. Only meal temple.
  • Our life would be very convenient if there is a delivery service. Regularly met up to continue with the idea
  • I don’t like when things didn’t move
  • We should go to Startup Weekend
    Joonaak Delivery was shaped during the Startup Weekend. Parcel delivery. 2nd place in the startup weekend
    Disappointed by not being in the first place but learned why.
  • 2 deliverymen. now 20 deliveryman
  • Her friend run a shop, need the service because to deliver the product to the customer, he needed to close the shop.
  • From the beginning, it was all manual. From paper to Excel, to application. to track.
  • In the future, to have a mobile to power the merchants and the customer to see the delivery tracking
  • Keep yourself learning, in the market
  • Everyday, there are many new delivery services. We need to continue to develop, warehousing, packaging.
  • After 2 year sand a half, the journey is hard, but we believe in what we do
  • Talk to mentors, talk to parents,

Ly Channa, CTO of BookMeBus

  • BookMeBus started in December 2015.
  • Get to know each other. Met in a coffeeshop and started working on the idea.
  • Started with 4 people. Now more than 10 people
  • Started as a bus ticketing platform
  • Buying a bus ticket is not very convenient. People out of Cambodia cannot easily buy a bus ticket
  • Keep wokring on the product
  • In 2016, released a simple mobile app.
  • Won the ICT award. Getting known to the local market
  • BookMeBus: bus ticket, private taxi, ferry
  • What I want to share here: when you started with a business, along the way you can see other opportunities. Ferry.
  • Next year, we’re planning to expand in Myanmar
  • We learn more from the trasnportation providers to allow us to
  • As a programmer, keep learning from going to events.
  • Commitment. Work hard. work until 1AM. Technology is just one part. Committment is a driving force for success

Bora Kem, Investment Manager of Mekong Strategic Partners

  • What we see in the market today
  • What an investor looks for?
  • Team. A business that is scalable. Large growing market. Traction. Testing the work.
  • Add value to the startup team
  • one hundred early startup stage.
  • Super focus on being local. How customers react, buy thing, work with financial institution
  • There are a lot of of web development agency
  • Marketplace. Listing space. No clear winner.
  • Regionalization. Region as the next market.
  • What does the future look like? I don’t know. A few guesses: ask yourself 3 things: is the future already here? Last time, after landing in San Franscisco airport, I took an Uber taxi, stayed in an Airbnb place, shop on Amazon
  • Young people are the driving force in buying
  • The third. What if. There are so man things impossible. What if the challenge you face won’t exist in the future? What does it mean to your customers? What if technology can give you the info you don’t have before
  • If you’re thinking about starting a startup, now is the golden age. Old people cannot tell you how to build app. But you can tell them

Makara Khov, Underscretary of State, Ministry of Post and Telecommunication

  • Industrial 4.0. Physical and cyber world
  • Innovative environment: government, industry, academe
  • Infrastructure & platform of innovation. Knowledge technology transfer. Policy & relegation. Human resource for innovation. Public private partnership
  • Agile innovation
  • Mobile penetration: ~130%
  • Broadband Internet: ~75%
  • T/ICT development policy 2020
  • Telecom law, subdecree of ICT licensing regime
  • will have R&D ~7M$/year
  • USO ~14M$/year
  • ICT Federation to represent the sector
  • Cambodia ICT awards. Stimulus measure
  • Do not expect quick investment from investors. Build a great product first.
  • Create NIPTIC. Improvmeent of education quality in high school
  • Open investment climate

Chy Sila, CEO of Sabay

  • Sabay started in 09, 2007. About 10 years old now. We’re the early to get into this sector.
  • A brand that focuses on vision. What we want to do. A source of inspiration for the youth of Cambodia
  • Future trend
  • Focus what’s happening in the world and next
  • Inform, inspire, entertain. Pioneer. The trend in other part of the world. Inspire.
  • Bring on awesomeness
  • The products that make people happy
  • I listen. I read.
  • In Cambdoia, our technology lags behind about 15-20 years
  • Learn from other giant startups and adapt and implement in Cambodia
  • Augument Reality
  • If we do not follow future,
  • Read more. Global trend. not copy. but it’s happening.
  • AI. VR. Do we know about them?
  • Sabay Der. Kanha. Women are 55%. In just one year, but 45% of traffic of Sabay
  • Backend payment. Sabay Wallet. Sabay Coins. Created since 2007
  • Soyo. movie content. drama. iflix. jaikontv.
  • Our vision is VOD is unique. we produce our own movie.
  • We’ll launch with Smart.
  • We cannot live far from our smartphone.
  • Focus on mobile first since 2014.

Panel discussion: opportunities and challenges of startups in Cambodia

Chanda Pen, moderator

Socheata Lim, Vice President of Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia (YEAC)

Ros Khemra, Regional Accesss to Finance of Mekong Business Initiative (MBI)

Zoe Ng, Managing director of Raintree

Sopheak Chheang
Member of Corco and Co-founder of Emerald Hub
Sokunpanha You
Head of Strategy, Smart Axiata

Chanda: One of the issues facing startups
a company needs at least 3 years of capital
What are the some the criterias that Smart looks to invest?
Smart Fund. 5 millions dollar that invest in early stage compnay. lacking of fundings is one of the challenges

To MBI: what are some of the things MBI is looking for?
we’re an ecosystem builder that supports startups. government in Vietnam, Singapore and other countries are turning their focus to support startups
Startups have a lot of potential.
Startups can grow from a small company into a big one in the region
Investors look for in a startup. Team. skills. Realistic of the product. and growth potential.

Socheat
invest in 4-5 startups. 3 gone. one is half success
a lot of young and talent people. only 16 million population
Ecosystem is important

EmeraldHub
what advice to you have to startup people
A lot of challenges and opportunities
If you start the business, you need a clear mission, vision,. strong team and commitment.

Zoe Ng
What advice do you give to entrepreneurs
Networking. The people they know, partners, are one of the driving factors…
Have fun. Relationship is not going to last if you’re not having fun.
Try different things all the time.
Don’t just go to tech tech events.

Sokunpanha:
Smart Startup
CSR: Support events like BarCamp Asean, …
invest in company
Invest in young startups
partner with iflix. Support ecosystem.

The tech ecosystem in the region:
Khemra
The whole ecosystem: corporate support, government support policy
More co-working spaces
In term of technical capacity, we’re good. Top ten in 2016-2017. BanhJi top 10.
We have a smaller community, but good.

The Giving Week: Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit to the Rabbit School

Starting December 12, The Giving Tree School will host the Giving Week with several initiatives and events to give back to children in need. My son, Tom, has been a kindergartner with the Giving Tree School for over a year.

I will be giving a set of Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit to the Rabbit School, selected by the Giving Tree School as one of the recipients of donation. If you’re interested in giving, please let me know. You can email me the items you want to donate to tharum at gmail dot com. Happy 2017! 

How to remove your personal info from your iPhone

In our digital age, much of our privacy is in our pocket. It’s in our personal gadgets.

Apple has it all: What to do before selling or giving away your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch! This is an important step to do before you decide selling your Apple idevice.

You can use these steps to remove your personal information from a device, even if you don’t have it anymore. This is very very important because there are a lot of personal content, including your Gmail and Facebook account you don’t others to have access to. This also applies to your other electronic gadgets and computers.

If you still have your iOS device
You shouldn’t manually delete your contacts, calendars, reminders, documents, photo streams, or any other iCloud information while you’re signed in to iCloud with your Apple ID. This would delete your content from the iCloud servers and any of your devices signed in to iCloud.
On your device with iOS 10, make sure that you sign out of iCloud before you erase your device.

Follow these steps:
If you paired an Apple Watch with your iPhone, unpair your Apple Watch.
Back up your iOS device.
Tap Settings > iCloud. Scroll down and tap Sign Out. In iOS 7 or earlier, tap Delete Account.
Tap Sign Out again, then tap Delete from My iPhone and enter your password.
Go back to Settings and tap General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. If you turned on Find My iPhone, you might need to enter your Apple ID and password.
If asked for your device passcode or Restrictions passcode, enter it. Then tap Erase [device].
Contact your carrier for help transferring service to a new owner. If you aren’t using a SIM card with your device, you can contact them to get help transferring service to the new owner.
When you erase your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, Find My iPhone and Activation Lock is turned off.

If you no longer have your iOS device
If the steps above weren’t completed and you no longer have your device, use these steps:
Ask the new owner to erase all content and settings using the above steps.
If you’re using iCloud and Find My iPhone on the device, sign in to iCloud.com or the Find My iPhone app on another device, select the device, and click Erase. After the device has been erased, click Remove from Account.
If you can’t follow either of the above steps, change your Apple ID password. This won’t remove personal information that’s stored on your old device, but it will prevent the new owner from deleting your information from iCloud.
If you’re switching to a non-Apple phone, deregister iMessage.
If you’re using Apple Pay, you can remove your credit or debit cards at iCloud.com. Choose Settings to see which devices are using Apple Pay, then click the device. Next to Apple Pay, click Remove.

Learn more
Make a backup of your iOS device or restore from a backup.
Get help if your iOS device is lost or stolen.
Learn about Find My iPhone Activation Lock.
*When you tap Erase All Content and Settings, it completely erases your device, including any credit or debit cards you added for Apple Pay and any photos, contacts, music, or apps. It will also turn off iCloud, iMessage, FaceTime, Game Center, and other services. Your content won’t be deleted from iCloud when you erase your device.
Last Modified: Oct 11, 2016

source: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201351

From Twitter to coffee chat with Jose B. Collazo

jose_b_collazo_starbucks
Morning coffee chat with Jose B. Collazo, a self-claimed ‘accidental expat’, about Cambodian/US politics and how foreign businesses starting out in Phnom Penh. And of course, compared note on social media/communications landscape.
From Twitter chat to coffee chat. @josebcollazo thanks again for the coffee treat! A good chance to check out Starbucks flagship store Boeung Keng Kang 1.

Starbucks BKK, the Phnom Penh’s first flagship store by the American coffeehouse chain. Wondering whether Howard Schultz ever dreamed of opening the store in the far east country like Cambodia when he first started out.

To learn more about Starbucks, you might want to check out this book by Howard Schultz the CEO.
‘Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time’

An open letter to American people

Dear Americans,

Greeting from Cambodia!

President Barack Obama will leave his legacy to historians and many generations to write and judge. On November 8 this year you will have your voice heard. You will go to your poll station to elect your 45th president.

democrafts_cambodia
Democrats in Cambodia

In 2009, you wrote a new chapter in history by having the very first African American president of the United States of America. Against all odds. The world was watching. Cambodians were also watching. I was once at Foreign Correspondent Club (FCC) in Phnom Penh; people there were watching the Democrats having a live debate on television. That was the first US election I got to know. Since then, I started to follow US politics: Democrats vs Republicans.

barack_obama_cambodia
A Democrats Abroad event at FCC in Phnom Penh

I’ve been to the US of A twice. Your country is amazing. The combined two trips lasted four weeks. I was fortunate enough to first land in Washington Dulles International Airport. So most of my first week was to get a sense of the Capitol Hill and smell the politics. I actually went to see the White House in person. San Francisco International Airport was where I departed twice. In between DC and the Silicon Valley, I visited New York City, Atlanta, and Sacramento. And I met so many nice American people. Once had dinner at their home. Even had a home stay in Los Altos.

I described these memorable trips because I believe and think the USA is a great country, full of great people. And I only hope that in November you will elect a great president, not he-who-must-not-be-named, not he who instills fear among people.

As American author Seth Godin wrote in his book, all marketers and politicians are not liars. They just want to tell you stories you want to hear. The message of fear seems to work well. The more you want to hear, the more stories you will get. I only hope you’ll be able to resist fear. People in my home country, Cambodia, have too much of that. We went through one of the darkest histories humans can ever bear. Even now we have too many stories of fear. Traumatized. Living in the past. Not moving forward.

Thank you very much indeed for the privilege to get to know your beautiful nation and citizens. My amazing trips are something I enjoy telling friends, family, and kids.

The world is watching. Cambodians are also watching. Are you listening?

A letter from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tharum Bun, a Cambodian blogger

When and how U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh marks its one million Facebook page likes

This afternoon, I got an instant message from a friend. I got a last-minute invite to the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh as it celebrates its big social media day. The embassy’s Facebook Page reaches its milestone one million Likes. Like many countries around the world, Facebook is simply a modern media machine anyone can become publishers.


As a blogger friend nicely puts it: “The legend has it that old bloggers meet every four year there for cake…”


I happened to wear my blue BarCamp Bangkok 2014 t-shirt today. 😉


This is probably a million milligram cake to celebrate a million like U.S. Embassy Cambodia’s Facebook Page.

With my helicopter bloggers (read this by then US Ambassador William Todd): An Effective Military-to-Military Partnership): Cartoonist and lecturer Sovathary and Chetra Chap who spearheads Khmer Scholar. It’s a great to catch up and have some nice conversation about next generation of digital marketing using virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

13932123_10157291942555608_726770045_o
From right to left: Chetra Chap, Kounila Keo, Sovathary Bon

Many more beautiful pictures from the US embassy:
US Embassy 1million Facebook fans celebration

Big thank to Yarat for the invite!

Kounila wrote about this celebration here: Coming back to the Kingdom when U.S. Embassy Facebook Page has 1 million fans strong

Here’s the official U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/us.embassy.phnom.penh/