The Power of Public Speaking: From Thought Leadership to Business Opportunities

In the bustling landscape of startups, public speaking is often perceived as just another marketing strategy. However, my journey with my startup, Favoriot, taught me that it’s much more than that. Here’s how public speaking not only established me as a thought leader in IoT, Smart Cities, and IR 4.0 but also subtly paved the way for business opportunities.

The Early Days: Building a Personal Brand

When I started out, I was often invited to share my knowledge on various tech topics. And I did, wholeheartedly. These engagements were purely knowledge-based, leaving out any mention of Favoriot. This approach was intentional, aiming to build trust and credibility without appearing overly promotional. Over time, these efforts earned me a reputation as an IoT thought leader. But while this title brought recognition and esteem, it failed to translate into tangible business leads for Favoriot.

The Pivot: Injecting Favoriot into the Narrative

I soon realized that while being recognized as an expert is rewarding, it wasn’t fulfilling my ultimate goal – to get Favoriot known in the industry. I needed a new strategy.

Instead of keeping my talks strictly academic, I began to subtly incorporate elements of Favoriot’s products and services. I showcased real-world examples of how IoT platforms, especially like ours, can build effective IoT solutions. A couple of slides bearing the Favoriot product logo turned out to be enough to sow the seeds of brand awareness.

The Impact: From Awareness to Business

Gradually, the narrative began to shift. The moment of epiphany would often come during networking sessions or casual interactions when someone would say, “Oh, you’re from Favoriot? We’ve heard of you.” That statement epitomized the change.

While turning awareness into paying customers wasn’t instantaneous, it certainly laid the groundwork. Over time, some of those who had a mere awareness of Favoriot became interested parties, and eventually, paying customers.

Conclusion: A Strategy Worth Investing In

Public speaking is a long game, especially when it’s used as a business promotion tool. However, its effects can be long-lasting and profound. By transitioning from pure knowledge-sharing to subtle brand promotion, I found a sweet spot that not only solidified my position as a thought leader but also carved out a niche for Favoriot in a crowded market.

So, to all startup enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, remember: Public speaking is not just about sharing what you know; it’s also about weaving in who you are and what you offer. That blend can be a game-changer.

The Myth of Overnight Success: The Inspirational Story of Colonel Sanders and KFC

In our society, there’s a pervasive belief that if you haven’t achieved your dreams by a certain age, you’ve missed your chance. We often hear tales of prodigies and young entrepreneurs, creating a skewed perception of success. However, the story of Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of KFC, busts this myth wide open. At 62, an age when most people think of retiring, Sanders started what would become a global fast-food empire. But is the story as straightforward as it seems?

Colonel Sanders: Behind The Age Number

It’s tempting to see Sanders’ journey as an overnight success story that happened late in life. Yet, to fully appreciate it, one must delve into the details. From a young age, Sanders took on various jobs and faced his share of challenges. By 40, he ran a restaurant, which means he had two decades of experience in the food business before KFC became a household name. This was not a sudden leap into the unknown but a culmination of life-long learning, grit, and passion.

The Secret Recipe and Building from Scratch

Sanders’ secret chicken recipe was renowned among locals and travelers long before the brand KFC existed. This gave him a unique advantage. In contrast, many entrepreneurs, like myself with Favoriot, have to start with a blank slate, forging a brand identity and customer base from scratch.

Yet, this difference is precisely what makes the entrepreneurial journey so fascinating. Each story is unique. Every path is its own, filled with its own set of challenges, risks, and rewards. Some entrepreneurs may find smooth sailing, while others brave tumultuous storms. Some have a well-laid roadmap, while others venture through uncharted territory.

Entrepreneurship: A Journey of Resilience

The tale of Colonel Sanders is not one of immediate success but of persistence. He faced numerous rejections before his recipe was accepted. The narrative underscores that it’s not about when you start but how you persevere.

For those of us in the entrepreneurial world, these stories resonate deeply. Our journeys may differ in detail, but the underlying themes remain consistent. Determination, resilience, and adaptability are paramount.

In Conclusion

Colonel Sanders’ story with KFC is not just about age but about resilience, experience, and the value of never giving up. For budding entrepreneurs, his journey is a beacon of hope and a testament to the fact that it’s never too late to chase your dreams. Every journey is unique, and while not all paths will lead to global success, they all provide lessons that shape and enrich us.

Remember, entrepreneurship is less about the destination and more about the journey, the lessons learned, and the passion that drives you.

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.

From Spiritual GPS to Emotional Outlet: How Blogging Became My Second Sanctuary

Life’s a whirlwind, right? We’re all hustling between family commitments, work obligations, and for me, religious practices. Praying five times a day is my constant, my spiritual anchor. But there’s another habit that has surprisingly become just as meaningful: blogging. So let me pull back the curtain and share how this daily ritual has become more than just keystrokes and screens.

A Sanctuary for the Soul and Mind

Okay, so we all have stuff that messes with our heads, right? Worries about work, family stuff, life’s curveballs. For me, my daily prayers offer a spiritual cleanse, but blogging? It’s like my mental spa day. I jot down thoughts, make sense of my day, and get to put my emotions on the screen. And when I hit publish and someone messages me to say, “Hey, that really resonated with me,” it’s like a high-five for the soul.

It’s Not Just About Code and Business Hacks

The word ‘blog’ might conjure up images of long tech manuals or ’10 Ways to Boost Your Sales.’ Sure, I dive into tech topics — gotta put my geek cap on sometimes! But I also get real and talk about my journey in setting up a business. It’s not just about celebrating the highs; I’m equally honest about the facepalms and screw-ups. These posts become my entrepreneurial diary, and it’s kind of amazing to flip back through the ‘pages’ and see my own evolution.

Sharing is Soul-Warming

Remember when we were kids and we were taught that sharing is caring? Well, that lesson is alive and well in the blogging world. Each time I share, whether it’s a valuable life lesson from a business blunder or a moment of joy, I feel like I’m sitting down for coffee with friends — a virtual community that’s as real to me as my next-door neighbors.

A Blog: More Than Just a Diary, It’s My Stage

Think of my blog as a Swiss Army knife: It’s a diary, a confessional, and also a stage where I get to spotlight the issues and topics that I’m passionate about. I can talk about the importance of faith in my life, share a crazy new business idea, or discuss how to balance spirituality and ambition. It gives me the freedom to be me and to broadcast that to the world.

Emotional Fitness Check-In

Blogging has become more than a daily to-do; it’s like my emotional gym session. The same way you’d work out your muscles, each blog post helps me work through emotions, find clarity, and leave with a sense of mental refreshment. It’s like an exercise routine for my emotional well-being.

What’s the Big Deal?

If you’re bogged down by the daily grind and looking for something to enrich your life, consider the small but mighty power of daily habits. Blogging became an unexpected yet crucial part of my everyday life. It’s not only made my days better but has also brightened someone else’s screen (and maybe even their day). So whether you’re looking to connect with your spiritual side, share your entrepreneurial escapades, or just yearn for a space to be heard, give blogging a shot. Take it from me: It’s way more than just words on a screen.

Don’t Ignore Strangers: The Untold Secret of Our Startup’s Early Customer Base

In the embryonic stages of a startup, every founder’s vision is filled with the friends and family they imagine using their products. The mindset is that those who already know and trust us will likely be our first customers. But what if I told you that’s not always the case? For us, our earliest and most loyal customers were not people we knew. They were not the ones showering us with praises or feedback. Strangely enough, they were complete strangers.

From Strangers to Stakeholders

When we launched our Internet of Things (IoT) offerings, our instincts told us that our first customers would come from our immediate circles. But the opposite happened. The majority were people we had never met, who learned about us from someone else or stumbled upon our social media posts. Without a single request for a product demo or a questionnaire, these individuals took a chance on us. They were willing to pay for our solutions, no questions asked.

The Value of the Unknown Customer

The phenomenon of strangers becoming early adopters is not just surprising; it’s enlightening. These are individuals who don’t have any preconceived notions about us or our capabilities. Yet, they believe in the solution we offer enough to invest in it. These early adopters give us something invaluable: proof of concept. With them on board, we have tangible evidence that our solutions have market value, a powerful tool to attract more customers.

Trust, But Verify

While we are grateful to have these strangers believe in us without solicitation, it’s also a double-edged sword. The absence of initial feedback means we have to be extra cautious, constantly iterating and improving to ensure we meet the expectations that these customers have implicitly set by trusting us.

Why Strangers Matter

The power of these unknown first customers lies in their organic discovery of your product. There is no bias, no friendship obligations, just a straightforward transaction based on perceived value. The chances are high that if a stranger finds value in your solution, so will others.

Conclusion: Don’t Ignore the Unknown

While it’s natural to expect friends and family to be your first customers, don’t overlook the potential in strangers. These are the people who can give you an unbiased evaluation of your market value. They can be your best advocates, and they bring in an added layer of credibility when pitching to future prospects. We owe a lot to the strangers who became our early customers; they gave us proof, validation, and most importantly, the momentum to move forward. So, don’t ignore strangers; they might just become your most trusted customers.

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.

Navigating R&D in Government Agencies: Lessons for the Startup World

Before diving into the fast-paced, adaptable world of startups, I spent a significant chunk of my career in a large government R&D agency. While it was a period of immense learning, it also came with its share of challenges and lessons that I’ve since carried into my entrepreneurial journey. Here’s a glimpse of my experience and how it shaped my current perspectives.

1. The Bureaucratic Maze of R&D

Government R&D is a different beast altogether. Every process felt akin to working in a factory, bound by red tape and stringent processes. The emphasis on documentation, while ensuring accountability, often stifled creativity. Each step, no matter how minute, required proper sign-offs, often slowing down the pace of innovation.

2. Frequent Monitoring, But Little Understanding

While progress reports and technical presentations were a regular part of the job, they often felt more like interrogation sessions than collaborative discussions. The barrage of questions, many of which indicated a lack of understanding of the core research, made it clear that there was a disconnect between the R&D team and the management.

3. Short-Term Vision in a Long-Term Domain

R&D, by its nature, is a long-term commitment. However, the management’s impatience for short-term results meant that we often pivoted from true research to more developmental, immediate tasks. This shift in focus had its own set of repercussions.

4. The Patents vs. Products Paradox

While our team managed to churn out numerous patents, they rarely saw the light of day in final products. Other groups, which were engrossed in product development for commercialization, often overlooked the innovations our team brought to the table.

5. The Siloed Approach

One of the most stifling restrictions was our inability to interact directly with customers. This created a void in understanding real-world needs and led to internal assumptions that rarely mirrored external realities. Products developed in such isolation, devoid of genuine customer feedback, often missed the mark when finally released.

6. The Costly Aftermath

When a product fails to resonate with its intended audience, changes are inevitable. But, given the rigidity of our processes, any modifications came at a high financial and temporal cost. Several products, despite the effort invested, never quite made their mark in the market.

From Past Lessons to Future Innovations

All these experiences, while challenging, became the foundation upon which I built my startup approach. I now understand the invaluable role of flexibility in R&D. Embracing concepts like the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and the Lean Method has allowed me to stay agile, make quick pivots when needed, and most importantly, maintain a laser-sharp focus on the customer.

In conclusion, while my time in the government R&D agency was filled with hurdles, it also offered indispensable lessons. Today, as I navigate the startup ecosystem, those lessons act as my North Star, guiding me towards more efficient, customer-centric innovations.

My Startup Journey: Navigating the Entrepreneurial Odyssey

In the heart of every entrepreneur lies a tale worth telling. A journey marked by hope and hurdles, by breakthroughs and breakdowns. This book is the chronicle of my odyssey in the challenging world of startups—a narrative of dreams dreamed, battles fought, lessons learned, and horizons expanded.

Entrepreneurship is often portrayed in shimmering hues—a kaleidoscope of innovation, wealth, and independence. Yet, as many who’ve embarked on this journey know, it is as much about the storms as it is about the rainbows. It is about the late nights questioning every choice, the tireless revisions of a business model, the relentless pursuit of the right team, and the ceaseless hunger for that breakthrough moment.

Presented to you in a tapestry of short stories, this book pulls back the curtain on the myriad stages of building a startup, from the electrifying eureka moments of ideation, through the intricate dance of product development, to the exhilarating (and often humbling) experience of commercialization.

My aim is not just to recount, but to illuminate. For every aspiring entrepreneur, seasoned business veteran, or anyone intrigued by the thrills and spills of the startup universe, I hope this narrative provides insights, sparks curiosity, and perhaps, kindles the flame of your own entrepreneurial spirit.

Let us embark on this journey together, and dive deep into the whirlwind of entrepreneurship—a journey that’s as much about the destination as it is about the myriad experiences along the way. Welcome to my world.

Here’s the collection of the short stories – My Startup Journey

Leveraging the Strengths of Giants: A Survival Blueprint for Startups

In the world of business, there’s a saying: “If you can’t beat them, join them.” But what if the narrative changed to, “Let’s grow together?” In the vast sea of corporate giants and well-established brands, many startups often feel like small fish trying to survive against the tides. However, what if startups could ride the wave by leveraging the strengths of these larger entities?

The Case for Collaboration

For emerging startups, particularly in countries like Malaysia, collaboration with Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) could be the golden ticket. These GLCs, with their vast resources, industry experience, and established brand presence, are in a unique position to serve as pillars of support for startups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Here’s how this symbiotic relationship could flourish:

1. Shared Participation in Projects and Tenders:

When bidding for projects, GLCs can include startups within their ecosystem. This not only gives the startup a foot in the door but also provides the GLC with fresh and innovative solutions that they might not have in-house.

2. Risk Sharing and Trust Building:

By taking a chance on startups with local products and solutions, GLCs are creating a sense of trust and validation. It’s a risk, yes, but one that could lead to groundbreaking innovations and local solutions that rival international competitors.

3. Building a Local Brand Powerhouse:

Once startups prove their mettle by delivering quality solutions, they earn a badge of credibility. With this credibility, they can expand their horizons, bid for larger projects, and even venture internationally.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

The beauty of this alliance is that it’s not a one-way street. Startups offer agility, niche solutions, and out-of-the-box thinking that can greatly benefit GLCs. Their nimbleness allows them to pivot quickly, adapt to changing market scenarios, and deliver tailored solutions. Meanwhile, GLCs offer the startups the backing they need in terms of resources, industry insights, and most importantly, credibility.

As aptly put, startups need not fear being trampled by giants. Instead, they should aim to stand on their shoulders, gain a broader perspective, and reach for the stars.

Favoriot: A Testament to Growth and Collaboration

Take, for instance, Favoriot. With over six years in the industry, Favoriot isn’t a fledgling startup anymore. It’s a brand ready to soar. Their strengths, coupled with the kind of support GLCs can provide, can be a potent combination. By partnering with bigger entities, startups like Favoriot can further solidify their position in the market, create more job opportunities, and contribute robustly to the future of business and technology in the region.

In Conclusion

The future of startups lies in collaboration. By leveraging the strengths of larger entities, startups can scale faster, innovate better, and contribute more significantly to their ecosystems. In this journey of growth and collaboration, both startups and giants can co-create a brighter, more inclusive future for the business world.