startup saturday in hong kong

i happened to be in hong kong for meetings, and had an extra day scheduled today. so, based on a tip from a friend, i spent the day at startup saturday, held at cyberport. here are some of my observations:

  • the people in the hong kong startup community who spoke today recognize that they need an eco-system of entrepreneurs, investors, infrastructure and other support
  • boot.hk sees the demand for something like a hackerspace. apparently, they got the financial commitment they were looking for during the event today and will be launching that sometime soon. awesome!
  • the panels were pretty interesting, with a range of speakers from an architect who does a very successful and cheeky (no pun intended – see his mooncakes) lifestyle brand business, to a couple who are active only in china really, to one who took an existing successful multinational, and turned that into a profitable local startup. unfortunately, i couldn’t find a delay no more t-shirt. i really wanted one.
  • 20 startups presented, and i have to say that they did a good job. something about just talking about your company, without the pressure of actually pitching for funding, brings out the best in speakers.
  • cyberport is a massive, beautiful building. it seems under-utilized, though.
  • one thing i was kind of missing from all of the discussions is the exit discussion. but hey, maybe it’s too early to get into that.

some thoughts about open web asia

you can also hear my thoughts at the jeromecast (please do subscribe!) but some thoughts here as well:

  • the event was malaysia-heavy, with a lot of presence from msc and mdec
  • the regional and pan-asian content was good. connecting with people from china, korea and japan was good
  • seeing the growth in the startup vibes in malaysia, thailand and vietnam was good as well. singapore is really picking up in this area, and it was really awesome to feel the energy picking up elsewhere, too.
  • i met some really interesting people there, with cool projects and great thoughts and ideas to share
  • and i liked the little bit that i saw of kuala lumpur. i can’t believe i’ve been in southeast asia for two years and hadn’t ever actually been to kl (as it’s known here)

notes on social gaming

i’m currently at echelon 2010, and they keynote by bret terrill this morning was pretty interesting. i captured a few notes that i wanted to post here, mostly for my own benefit.

  • zynga – fastest growing firm kleiner perkins has ever invested in
  • big vision – the google for games, the place you go to play games
  • zynga’s advantage is execution
  • they just hire people from the top of their class and push – these are natural achievers
  • farmville was an aggregation of farm town (from china), lil green patch (gifting) and a few other ideas, most coming from china
  • farmville was built in 5 weeks
  • raise money because you need it, because the opportunity is big and because you need to get there quickly
  • sad animals that need your friends’ help drive usage
  • biz model & most concepts came out of asia
  • opportunity – go onto other platforms & get there fast
  • take good concepts, copy & execute quickly. QUICKLY!!!
  • speed is more important than IP protection
  • per mark pincus: prioritize + focus = the keys to being a great CEO