Exactly one year ago, on February 27th 2007, at around 2am in the morning, 4 eager eyed young men (Me and Tim included) sat wide awake, hunched over their computer screens waiting for a site to go live. That site, was none other than Nuffnang.com, Asia's First Blog Advertising Community. My love, my life, my precious for the past year!
It's hard to remember the feelings that I felt that Tuesday morning, but I guess it must have been a mix of RELIEF, EXCITEMENT, TREPIDATION and JOY.
Relief that 8 months of hard work was finally bearing fruit, and all those countless sessions of planning (From business planning to website architecture to marketing), was culminating in our labour of love.
Excitement because this singular event heralded my entry into the world of entrepeneurship. People today still ask me, "Why did you start Nuffnang.com?" Well a big part of that answer lay in practicality. With graduation looming, we had a choice to make. Work for an investment bank or MNC like all my friends were doing, or take a risk, go without pay (For almost 16 months we did),invest our savings with no certainty of returns. The road less taken. Yes, the one me and tim chose, and excitement filled us not knowing what was ahead. Trepidation. This is a feeling that often comes along with excitement. There is no way of looking ahead, and who does not fear failure? Not me, thats for sure. I feared that our website would not stand the test of time, I feared we would not have a network to sell, I feared that advertisers would not take to our idea, I feared that we would run out of money, I feared that we would let all the people around us down. So yes, there was fear.
Joy. If there is a defining moment in any person's life. It has got to be the birth of their child. Imagine a moment,when you hold your flesh and blood in your arms, when his/her shrill cry instead of piercing your ears, touches your heart. Nuffnang.com was our child, and even if it wasn't the best looking or the most technologically advanced at that point of time, we loved it with all our heart, and it gave us joy.
The question is what do i feel today? One year on.
4 main emotions. Pride, Confidence, Humility, and Gratitude.
Pride that today, we have not only achieved many things we set out to do, but have exceeded them.
For one, we had hoped for a modest 300 bloggers in 3 months (period), today, Nuffnang SG has close to 9,000 members, Nuffnang MY has 11,000 which makes us 20,000 strong! ZOMG! Give yourselves a round of applause fellow nuffnangers, you are all part of a big family!
Secondly, not only do we have a stable of advertisers, we have an INCREDIBLE stable of GREAT GREAT BRANDS. Brands like Nike, Nokia,Citibank, Nescafe, Disney Pictures, Honda, Motorola,Chipster, LG, Clearasil, Singapore Toursim Board, Health Promotion Board, Durex, Air Asia, TM Net, Digi, Walls, Hugo Boss, TGIF, Guiness,MPH, Tunes Hotel, M1, and more! Thank you to all the marketers who trusted us with their campaigns, and brands! We hope we have served you well, and will continue working hard for you all.
Today, we also have a vibrant community which have gone on many activities together. 3 major movie screenings in singapore alone last year, a talk/workshop, and great prizes/contests for all our members including I pods, Ds Lites, Handphones and more. Plus, the launch of our very own blog aggregator. INNIT! Our improvements to the website have also seen a community bias, and more enhancements will be coming up in that area, so stay tuned!
Our innaugural event. An exculsive screening of Rush Hour 3 for 250 bloggers!
"To blog or not to blog" Workshop/Talk.
Enchanted movie screening, 200 Bloggers!
One of our motorola Q9H winners! Randyyy! Winners of our nike "This is love" contest, the lovely holly jean.
Confidence. Our positive and astronomical growth so far only gives me confidence that we have what it takes to move forward. We've got a solid solid base and foundation from which to grow on. And, I am excited by new partnerships that will see us grow and expand at greater pace, without compromising the qualities and values we stand for so strongly now.
These are, INTERGRITY, COMMUNITY SPIRIT, and POSITIVE INFLUENCE. For all you loyal Nuffnangers, know this. The coming months will only see the Nuffnang team working harder to maintain the incredible growth that we have experienced so far.
Humility. With our share of successes, we also had our thankfully small share of shortcomings. These experiences, taught me, tim, and the team key lessons, that we will take forward with us. These experiences have kept us humble amidst a large degree of success, and we will learn from them.
"It is on our failures that we base a new and different and better success."
Gratitude. Exactly a year ago, in my "launch" post, I ended off by acknowledging those people who had been the "wing beneath my wings". Today. That list has only grown longer. Now I know why at the oscars, the band starts playing to "shoo" winners off. Because, if they allowed a winner to thank everybody they had to thank, we'd all be alseep, and the show would never end. So I end off in the same way, but dun feel sad if your photo is not in here. THANK YOU ALL for being the wind beneath our wings.
To my business partner/2nd girlfriend, Tiam. Thanks for all the great memories! Its been a ball of a time working with you, but its been a greater pleasure growing our friendship. Today, we have a mutual understanding that few of my girlfriends can surpass! This is quite gay, but its all true. We talk to each other so much on the phone, that sometimes we even call each other accidentally! Let's see this thing through, and take on the world! We dream big! Lets roll!
To my team, Nuffnang would be nowhere without you. Huiwen, for being my dependable, favourite intern! Michelle for answering all our helpdesk enquiries so well, Lee Meng, for your loyalty and support, Tim for you know what (said too many times), Firdauz, same same. EVERYBODY lah huh ...! you guys rawk! We've made mistakes together, we'll go through them together, but from them, we'll grow stronger together. You know I mean it, when I say you guys are my second family.
My family! For doing everything that a family does and more. Moral, physical, financial support! Truthfully, where would I be today, without my dad and mum? I hate to be mushy, so you know what I want to say. I'm going to make you guys proud.
Critical mass does count for something. Its all about the loong tail baby, the long tail.
I'm a great fan of American idol because it embraces the notion that from the masses you can find great great talent.
You won't find a more patriotic singaporean than me, but I'm sorry, Taufik, and Hady (Thank you for doing Singapore proud however), but you guys got a long long way to go. And I doubt we'll ever find talent like this guy right here.
I'm sitting in my room, and I've just been blown away by what a perfomance that would make me put money on this contestant.
The next American Idol is (I'm stealing Ryan's line) ....................... WITHOUT A DOUBT
This guy's perfomances through the auditions have blown me away. And tonight, in the first round, I can already see him going through all the way.
Its his youth, its his demeanour, its his charisma, and most importantly, its that heavenly voice mixed in along with it.
THE PURE TALENT, LOOK AT HIS PIANO SKILLS.
For all those punters out there, the first person who wants to bet against me can do so! I'm putting my money where my mouth is. 100 bucks on David! Comment on my blog if you're taking it up.
You'll be a hundred bucks poorer in a couple of weeks, come on!
This was his perfomance tonight.
WOOT! David, you da man dude! 17 years old!?? Fug what am I doing with my life!!!?
UPDATE: This is him as a kid. Credit to estee for finding this video.
I also like to sing when I young, how come lidat one ... ....