Bridging Malaysia’s IoT Talent Gap: The Favoriot Way

In the expanding universe of the Internet of Things (IoT), Favoriot has carved its niche with a clear focus – IoT training. But why the emphasis on training? The answer lies in the challenges posed by offering an IoT platform-as-a-service.

1. The Reality Check of an Empty Platform

An IoT platform’s potential remains untapped if there are no takers. When Favoriot first ventured into offering its IoT platform service, the uptake was dishearteningly minimal. A dominant reason? The brand ‘Favoriot’ was a new kid on the block, unfamiliar to the tech-savvy crowd and students who leaned towards platforms they recognized like ThingSpeak, ThingsBoard, Blynk, or Azure.

2. Identifying the Gap in the Market

We noticed a pattern. The Malaysian market had more resellers of IoT products than genuine product creators. For a nation aspiring to transition from a consumer to a producer, this spelled stagnancy. There’s a gaping chasm between importing technology and producing it. To bridge this gap, the nation needed talents capable of pioneering their own IoT innovations.

3. The Favoriot Pivot to Training

Recognizing this void, Favoriot decided to channel its energies into IoT training. From basic tenets to advanced nuances and IoT data analytics, we designed a comprehensive training regimen. The introduction of Professional Certificates was a game-changer, amplifying the professional credibility of participants.

Today, over 15 Malaysian universities have integrated the Favoriot IoT platform into their curriculum, predominantly in final year projects. Some institutions are even contemplating introducing Favoriot’s Professional Certificates, testament to its industry relevance.

4. Expanding Beyond Training

Does Favoriot’s vision culminate with training? Emphatically, no! Our IoT platform has been embraced by diverse sectors, from manufacturing and agriculture to smart cities. The training was the catalyst, the spark that ignited IoT adoption across Malaysia.

In Conclusion

Our journey at Favoriot is characterized by adaptability. We saw a need, recalibrated our strategy, and are now playing a pivotal role in Malaysia’s IoT talent evolution. As we look ahead, our commitment remains unchanged: empowering the nation through state-of-the-art IoT solutions and training.

10 Inspirational Life Quotes of Mazlan Abbas

Based on Dr. Mazlan’s biography, here are 10 inspirational life quotes that might resonate with his journey:

  1. “Success is the intersection of preparation and opportunity; I’ve lived at that crossroad.”
  2. “From the lecture halls of academia to the dynamic world of IoT, every step was a lesson waiting to be learned.”
  3. “When you’re passionate about innovation, every disruption becomes an opportunity.”
  4. “Teaching is the best way to learn; I’ve been both a student and a guide throughout my journey.”
  5. “A true leader not only creates a vision but inspires others to embrace it.”
  6. “In the rapidly evolving world of technology, remaining a student is the key to becoming a master.”
  7. “Your qualifications open doors, but it’s your passion and persistence that build empires.”
  8. “Every title I’ve held was a chapter; together, they tell the story of a relentless pursuit of knowledge and innovation.”
  9. “Be the change in the industry you want to see, and soon you’ll find yourself leading the way.”
  10. “From a spark of curiosity to illuminating the world with ideas – such is the journey of a lifelong learner.”

These quotes reflect Dr. Mazlan’s dedication to education, leadership, innovation, and his impact on the world of IoT and telecommunications.

Building the Favoriot Brand: My Journey Through Alternative Media Channels

Starting a small startup like Favoriot comes with its own set of challenges, one of the biggest being visibility. When traditional media channels like TV and radio are often too costly or selective, it’s time to get creative. Here’s my personal account of how we used alternative mediums, primarily social media channels, to build and promote the Favoriot brand.

The Dilemma: Traditional Media vs. Budget Constraints

Getting featured on mainstream media is a dream for many startups, but the reality is harsh. Either you’re compelling enough to get picked up organically, or you pay a premium to make it happen. For a small startup, both options are challenging. This is why we turned to the more budget-friendly and engaging world of social media for our marketing needs.

Our Alternative Media Arsenal

We realized that for every traditional media channel that seemed out of reach, there was an alternative platform online that could be just as effective:

  • Podcasts Instead of Radio: We started our own podcast series, sharing industry insights, interviewing experts, and discussing our journey. It’s a fantastic way to create a more personal connection with our audience.
  • YouTube Instead of TV: We launched a YouTube channel, using it as a platform to showcase product demos, customer testimonials, and behind-the-scenes footage of life at Favoriot.
  • Digital Posters: We replaced expensive billboards with visually striking digital posters on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Blogs Instead of Newspapers: Our blog serves as a hub for sharing valuable content, from how-to guides to industry trends, keeping our audience informed and engaged.

Zeroing In: Focusing on High-Impact Channels

We started by casting a wide net across various platforms, but soon noticed that some channels yielded better results in terms of engagement and followers. After some analysis, we narrowed our focus to TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These platforms provided the right audience and the engagement metrics we were looking for.

More Than Just Sales: Building Trust and Brand Recognition

Our goal was not just to drive sales, but to create a brand that people could know and trust. We are continuously sharing updates, celebrating milestones, and telling stories that resonate with our audience. Whether they make a purchase now or later is secondary; we want Favoriot to be a brand that people remember and recommend.

Lessons Learned

  • Be Adaptable: Not all channels will work for you. Don’t hesitate to pivot when needed.
  • Content is King: Good quality content can make a significant difference in engagement.
  • Consistency is Key: Keeping a consistent posting schedule helps keep the brand fresh in the minds of the public.


Building the Favoriot brand using alternative media channels has been an enlightening journey. It has taught us that you don’t need a big budget to make a big impact. By using the resources available to us wisely and focusing on building a strong, trustworthy brand, we’ve succeeded in carving out our own space in the market. And this is just the beginning.

The Power of Direct Customer Outreach: Why Mailing Lists Trump Social Media Followers in Startups

In the early stages of a startup, it’s easy to get enamored with the idea of building a massive social media following. Don’t get me wrong; a strong social media presence is important. However, the thrill of seeing your follower count rise can distract from a more intimate and arguably more effective form of communication: the mailing list.

The Social Media Dilemma

While it’s true that social media platforms offer incredible reach, the dynamic is inherently different. The audience is far less captive; your posts are just one among hundreds or thousands that your followers scroll through each day. There’s also the taxing task of growing your follower base organically, which requires consistent posting, engagement, and time—a daunting endeavor for a startup hustling to get off the ground.

The Mailing List Advantage

Emails offer a direct line of communication to your audience. When someone opts to subscribe to your newsletter or leaves their email to download an eBook, they’re expressing an explicit interest in what you have to say. For my startup, Favoriot, this direct approach led to a more global audience. By offering free eBooks filled with tips, tutorials, and articles on IoT (Internet of Things), we not only gained an audience but also provided value upfront. This strategy led to a global following, including overseas customers who subscribed to our platform.

Value Before Selling

One key to successful mailing lists is providing genuine value before ever making a sales pitch. People are savvy; they know when they’re being sold to and can easily be put off by overt sales tactics. On my LinkedIn, for instance, my newsletter isn’t just about Favoriot. It’s about my journey in entrepreneurship and my general insights into IoT. This balanced approach helps establish trust, rapport, and credibility—all crucial for a startup looking to build a loyal customer base.

Cutting Out the Middleman

What’s more, once you’ve built a substantial mailing list, you gain independence. Unlike social media platforms, where algorithms and policies dictate your reach, your mailing list is yours to control. In my experience, I no longer need third-party mailing software to send out thousands of newsletters.

A Global Objective

My objective is clear: to gain more followers and customers, particularly from overseas markets. The key is to strike a balance, sharing valuable information without making the reader feel like they’re merely a potential sale. People want to know who you are, what you stand for, and how you can add value to their lives or businesses.

In Conclusion

While it’s tempting to pour all your efforts into building a social media following, remember that emails offer a more direct, intimate line of communication with your audience. Done right, a mailing list can be a powerful tool for customer acquisition, retention, and global reach—all while adding genuine value to your subscribers’ lives.

So if you’re in the early stages of your startup, or even if you’re more established but haven’t yet explored the power of mailing lists, now is the time to start. Trust me, your future self—and your growing customer base—will thank you.

The Unexpected Routes of Favoriot’s IoT Journey

Setting Sail with Big Dreams
Embarking on the Favoriot IoT platform journey, we had stars in our eyes. We visualized vast markets and grander customer bases, but reality often writes its own script.

A Surprising Source of Revenue
The initial days brought surprising lessons. Revenue streams and traction sources we hadn’t even considered became the lifeline that sustained us during challenging times.

The Magnetism of the Favoriot Brand
Our prowess in the IoT domain resonated far and wide. Suddenly, we found ourselves inundated with requests from curious minds and esteemed organizations, all seeking expertise in IoT.

Training: The Unforeseen Success
To address the mounting interest, we introduced our distinctive IoT training. The crux? The Favoriot IoT platform. Unlike others, our sessions sidestepped the intricacies of hardware creation, focusing instead on harnessing the IoT platform. With existing IoT kits, participants could swiftly construct IoT solutions and visualize their work on the Favoriot dashboard.

A Curriculum that Resonated
The response was overwhelming. Our training modules soon bifurcated into two core categories – Fundamental and Advanced. Both came with the promise of Professional Certificates post a rigorous examination.

Crafting the Next Generation of IoT Enthusiasts
But our ambitions weren’t just limited to short-term training. We envisioned the Favoriot platform as an educational cornerstone for university lecturers and students. The dream was for Favoriot to become the go-to for academic IoT projects, enabling students to experience real-world IoT solution crafting within their lab confines and through their project tasks.

Beyond the Classroom: Real-world Deployment
The educational phase was just the beginning. As our name spread and more adopted our platform’s capabilities, we ventured into the vast realm of real-world deployments. We began assisting IoT device manufacturers in expediting their hardware processes and even collaborated with metropolises, integrating Favoriot as the backbone of their Smart City IoT frameworks.

In reflection, the Favoriot journey stands as a testament to the unpredictable avenues of the tech world. While we started with a definite blueprint, the unfolding reality steered us down paths we hadn’t imagined, teaching us the invaluable lesson of adaptability.

From Multiplicity to Singularity: Favoriot’s Pivot Towards Precision

In the dawn of our startup journey, with excitement and fervor, we ventured into creating four distinct products. Like many startups, we believed that diversification would be our best strategy. We couldn’t have been more mistaken.

The Struggles of Juggling Multiple Products

Dilution of resources was our first hurdle. When you spread yourself thin, neither product gets the undivided attention it deserves. Our team, no matter how agile and enthusiastic, was struggling to meet the demands of maintaining and enhancing four different products.

Marketing became our next mammoth challenge. Crafting a clear and compelling message for each product was no small feat. We grappled with understanding the right customer persona and, in our endeavor to cater to everyone, ended up confusing many. Potential customers were left wondering: “What does Favoriot actually specialize in?”

Pricing was another quagmire. Four products meant four pricing strategies, each with its unique challenges and competitive pressures. A lot of energy was expended in approaching different customers, managing varied social media channels, and crafting content tailored for each product. Exhaustion set in, and with it, a realization: we were on a hamster wheel, running hard but not making the desired progress.

The Turnaround: Honing our Focus

Faced with lackluster traction and an exhausted team, we reached a pivotal crossroads. The decision was between diversifying into vertical markets or zeroing in on our core technology. Our previous attempt to cover four vertical markets hadn’t worked, so we took the brave leap towards precision.

We decided to pour all our energy into the Favoriot Platform, our IoT platform. This was the game-changer. By focusing our efforts and resources into one direction, not only did we ensure that our product was of top-notch quality, but we also simplified our marketing message.

The Rise of Favoriot Platform

As we honed in on the Favoriot Platform, the market began to sit up and take notice. Customers now had clarity on what Favoriot was all about, and our expertise in the IoT space started shining through. Our efforts were no longer spread thin, and our product, being the sole focus, received the attention and refinement it deserved.

Today, as we stand recognized as a formidable enabler for IoT in Malaysia and the region, we realize the importance of focus in a startup’s journey. By channeling our efforts towards the Favoriot Platform, we not only found our niche but also set ourselves on the path to becoming market leaders.

In the world of startups, sometimes, less truly is more. And our journey from multiplicity to singularity is a testament to that.

Favoriot’s Odyssey: Navigating the Rough Waters of Early Revenue

Starting a new business is a lot like setting sail on uncharted waters. There’s a hope, a dream, and a sense of adventure. As the founder of Favoriot, I embarked on this entrepreneurial journey with enthusiasm and high hopes. Little did I know that the waters would be so turbulent when it came to generating early revenue.

The Hopeful Beginning
Launching a product is a moment of pride for every founder. In our minds, we believe we’ve built something exceptional that the market needs. This confidence often leads us to assume that customers will be quick to recognize its value and make a purchase. But for Favoriot, like many other startups, this was far from reality.

Facing Harsh Truths
Our early days were sobering, to put it mildly. We believed our product was ripe for quick adoption. Yet, the sales figures told a different story. In the initial two years, our revenue was so low that it’s almost embarrassing to mention. Our financial earnings were so minimal that they couldn’t even cover basic monthly salaries. Such a situation would make any founder question their choices and direction.

Lost in R&D
Our primary focus during the inception phase was on Research & Development. While innovation is essential, we overlooked the need for diverse revenue streams. We were engineers at heart, passionate about perfecting our product, but we didn’t give enough thought to the business side of things.

A Market Playing Hard to Get
In those early phases, most interactions with potential customers were frustratingly non-committal. They seemed interested and often asked us to draft proposals, but they seldom proceeded to request official quotations or place orders. It felt like being on a perpetual first date, waiting for the call that never comes.

Turning the Tide
But, as they say, night is darkest just before the dawn. After several long months, the market began to shift. We noticed an uptick in genuine inquiries, more requests for quotations, and then, the golden ticket—actual purchase orders. The sight of official documents, bearing commitments to our product, was like a balm to our stressed spirits.

A Ray of Hope
With the first few projects and consistent revenue streams, our confidence began to rebuild. It signaled that we were finally on a trajectory that aligned with the market’s needs. The pain and struggles of the initial years started to make sense, as they had shaped us, refined our product, and honed our approach.

In Retrospect
This journey, fraught with challenges and financial strain, was undoubtedly painful. But in its wake, it also brought satisfaction—a kind that can only be derived when one sees their brainchild find its rightful place in the market. Today, as I reflect on our early revenue pains, I believe they were necessary. They taught us resilience, the importance of adaptability, and above all, the value of perseverance.

To every startup founder reading this, remember: the journey might be strenuous, but when your product finds its market fit, every sleepless night and every hurdle will seem worth it.

The Crucial Importance of Product-Market Fit: Lessons from My Entrepreneurship Journey

Product-Market Fit

As an entrepreneur on a 6-year-long journey, I have encountered numerous challenges and valuable lessons. One of the most critical lessons I learned during this adventure is the utmost importance of achieving product-market fit. It became evident that without it, we would be wasting precious time and resources pushing a product that would never see the light of day. In this blog, I will share my experiences and insights into the significance of product-market fit and how it transformed the trajectory of my entrepreneurial endeavors.

The Early Days: A Focus on Product Development
In the early stages, like many aspiring entrepreneurs, our focus was predominantly on product development. While building a remarkable product is essential, we neglected an equally vital aspect – understanding our target customers. We realized that just receiving positive feedback from potential customers wasn’t enough; we needed to connect with real customers who were willing to pay for our offering.

Embracing Real Customer Feedback
To achieve product-market fit, we made a crucial shift in our approach. Instead of solely relying on potential customers’ input, we sought out real customers who had a genuine need for our product. By understanding their pain points and challenges, we were able to refine our product to meet their specific needs and preferences.

Understanding Customer Persona: The Key to Effective Marketing
An additional challenge we faced was not truly comprehending our customers’ persona, resulting in ineffective marketing messages. Without a clear understanding of our target audience, our marketing efforts struggled to reach the right people. This highlighted the significance of defining our customer persona accurately and aligning our messaging accordingly.

The Cost of Time and the Value of Agility
Bringing a product to market can be a lengthy and challenging process. As we discovered, investing considerable time and resources into a product that lacks product-market fit is an avoidable mistake. Embracing agility and being open to iterate quickly based on real customer feedback allowed us to pivot when necessary and avoid unnecessary expenses.

The Power of Storytelling and Building Trust
Early on, I made the mistake of resorting to hard selling to promote our product. However, I soon realized that storytelling is the key to connecting with customers on a deeper level. Sharing relatable stories that resonated with their problems and needs cultivated a stronger bond and trust with our brand.

Crafting a Better Marketing Message with AI Tools
In today’s digital age, leveraging AI tools like ChatGPT has revolutionized our marketing efforts. By utilizing AI, we can craft more personalized and compelling marketing messages that resonate with our audience on social media channels. This has been instrumental in building brand trust and engagement.

Conclusion: The Transformative Power of Product-Market Fit
In conclusion, my 7-year entrepreneurship journey has taught me the indispensable value of product-market fit. Understanding the needs and pain points of real customers, defining the customer persona accurately, and embracing agility are pivotal in achieving this fit. By crafting compelling stories and leveraging AI tools to enhance marketing, we can effectively reach our target audience and build lasting relationships with our customers.

The journey to product-market fit is not without its challenges, but the rewards are immense. The ability to create a product that genuinely meets customer needs and wants is the cornerstone of a successful entrepreneurial venture. As I continue on my journey, I am inspired to continue seeking product-market fit, knowing that it will be the driving force behind our continued growth and success.

Read – The Ultimate Startup Cheat Sheet.

Navigating The Storm: Managing Cash Flow in a Bootstrapped Startup

The Relentless Challenge of Bootstrapping

In the vibrant world of startups, bootstrapping can feel like a never-ending challenge. It’s akin to driving a car that’s always on the verge of running out of gas or perpetually looking at a bank account that can’t hold enough money, no matter how much you deposit.

Calculating Runway Amid a Pandemic

Our startup journey took an unexpected turn with the onset of the Covid-19 lockdown. The dramatic decline in our business forced us to assess our existing resources meticulously and determine our financial runway.

Facing Tough Decisions: Salary Cuts

During these precarious times, we faced difficult decisions. One of the most challenging was to implement salary cuts. As a founder, reducing the paycheck of your committed employees is a task that comes heavy with emotional turmoil.

The Hidden Pressure of a Founder

Many employees might not fully grasp the weight that a founder carries to ensure the startup’s survival. As a founder, you’re not just a leader; you’re the captain navigating the ship through a tumultuous storm, striving to keep it afloat.

The Importance of Timing: Payment Terms and Collection

A crucial part of our survival strategy revolved around managing our payment terms and collections. Ensuring that cash comes in when needed was just as important as making sales, teaching us that cash flow is as much about timing as it is about volume.

Lessons Learned Through Financial Struggles

This journey has been a significant learning experience. It taught me the value of careful financial planning and the ability to navigate through challenging conditions. The path of a bootstrapped startup, while strenuous, can instill resilience and adaptability.

The Silver Lining: Becoming Efficient and Agile

Looking back, the financial crunch, as tough as it was, acted as a catalyst for positive change. It pushed us towards efficiency, made us more resourceful, and forced us to become agile.

Stronger Through Challenges

Despite the trials, I treasure this experience. It has provided me with a stronger belief in my vision, an appreciation for my team’s efforts, and an undeniable sense of fortitude. Navigating a bootstrapped startup during a crisis has made us stronger, braver, and more prepared for future challenges.

Not Just Survival, But Growth

Ultimately, our journey is about more than just survival. It’s about growth and resilience. Through managing cash flow in our startup, we’ve not only learned how to stay afloat, but we’ve also developed the ability to fearlessly sail through the storms that come our way.

Read – The Ultimate Startup Cheat Sheet.

The Favorioteam

Outpacing the Startup Race: Lessons Learned from Building a Citizen Engagement App

Building a startup is akin to navigating through a jungle. The thrill of adventure is coupled with the tension of the unknown. One of the most daunting beasts you might encounter in this jungle is competition, as I did when developing a citizen engagement app for smart cities.

The Start: Bridging the Gap

Our goal was to establish a direct channel of communication between citizens and local councils. We wanted to empower citizens by providing a platform to raise complaints and track their resolution. The idea was innovative, promising, and well-received by many stakeholders. Yet, translating this excitement into commercial terms proved more difficult than anticipated.

The Challenge: Racing against Shadows

What happened next was reminiscent of a marathon where the finish line kept moving farther away. As we strived to secure commercial agreements, we found ourselves outrun by competitors who replicated our idea. They had better networks, larger funding, and superior branding, which allowed them to quickly gain traction.

What stung was not just the competition, but the realization that our concept was easily reproducible. The idea that we’d been nurturing and refining was no longer exclusive.

The Revelation: Protecting the Castle

This experience was a harsh wake-up call, but an invaluable one. We learned two significant lessons:

First, we needed to ensure our product could not be easily copied. The market loves novelty, and without a unique selling proposition, our startup was just one among the crowd. Intellectual property protection became a priority to guard our innovative concepts.

Second, we learned the art of strategic disclosure. There was a delicate balance between promoting our product and oversharing critical details that could make us vulnerable to competition. In the startup race, information is power, and how it’s managed can spell the difference between triumph and defeat.

The Bigger Picture: Competing, Learning, and Growing

Ultimately, we didn’t lose to our competitors; we learned from them. The experience taught us to protect our intellectual property better, manage our information flow, and build stronger networks. But most importantly, it reminded us that in this race, the goal is not merely to outrun others but to learn, adapt, and grow along the way.

The startup journey is filled with opportunities disguised as challenges. Being outpaced by the competition was just one of these. We came out wiser, more resilient, and better equipped to navigate the terrain. Remember, competition is a testament to the worth of your idea; it’s proof that you’re in the right race. Embrace it, learn from it, and let it drive you to reach your full potential.

Read – The Ultimate Startup Cheat Sheet.