- 2PM Taecyeon Men’s Health
- United Arab Emirates – Then & Now
- What else can I say...
- Fallen In Love?
- [Bergambar & Video] GERAKAN Pun Malu & Jijik Dengan Politik Samseng UMNO Di Pulau Pinang
- Budaya samseng Umno: Polis pun menjadi mangsa
- Top 7 Books for Business You’ve Got to Read
- How to Ensure Your Website is Totally Gooey & Super Sticky
- Ideas You Can Use To Improve Your Website Instantly
- Design & A Whole Lot More
- Content Trumps SEO, Says This Guy
- A Man and His Sanitary Pad
- Never Been Done This Way
- Let It Snow!
- Group Deal: A Good Deal for Business Owners?
- Our 20th Workshop with Photos
- Mitsubishi Quietly Cleans Up Its Former Refinery
- Gambar Terbaru Dr Badrulamin Bersama Isteri Tiba Di JAIP Beri Keterangan
- Why Apologize to Afghanistan? We have officially lost our minds By Andrew C. McCarthy
- [WASPADA] Tragedi Menyamai Adik Nurin Jazlin Berlaku Lagi
Posted: 27 Feb 2012 10:53 AM PST
Korean pop group 2PM member Ock Taecyeon on March issue of Men's Health [Kr] magazine – with three different covers in celebration of the the magazine's (Korean edition) 6th anniversary. Some fine results from dedicated gym-work…
Posted: 27 Feb 2012 09:54 AM PST
A short historical film of the United Arab Emirates by Journeyman Pictures, which covers the economic development of the Middle East nation since the 1950s – from pearling, oil discovery, to trading, tourism, properties and luxuries etc…
Posted: 27 Feb 2012 08:48 AM PST
A-ahhh! That Amhari is actually one of PM's special officer in-charge of the new media. Young, in his early 30s, he was just delivering what was consigned on him. Let's just forgive this delivery guy.
However, the person who prepared the reports on 'social media network' for Amhari to brief the Cabinet on February 22nd (of course that made Amhari appeared like a secretary of state) has a novice mind about the topic.
Around the world, social media network is an entirely different subject than that of mainstream media. It comprises of blogs, news portal, twitter, etc.
But the Cabinet had on that particular day listened to comparison made between agencies under the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture - namely RTM, Information Dept and JASA - and Astro and the vehicles under Media Prima Group.
What did they compare? The number of followers on RTM, Astro and Media Prima Facebook (FB). And since RTM recorded the least (about 80,000) as compared to over 1 million for Astro and Media Prima, the minister in charge of RTM was deemed as not performing.
The person who prepared the report also failed to attribute blogs, news portal, twitter and FB as the main elements under social media network.
I am not sure what was the reason behind that 'school boy' report but I believe it has something to do with one's political ambition. To replace someone, you must be smart in your maneuvers. As general election is around the corner, this is the perfect time to undermine the person whom you like to replace most.
And I am equally petrified with the fact that four years after the last general election, the issue of 'how the Opposition new media works', took center stage. What a farce!
I believe Barisan Nasional has the most well-equipped propaganda machinery. We have all the money and the means but we seemed to be far from well-prepared to take up the challenges of the national poll. Otherwise, we won't be wondering at how the Opposition media performs.
My fellow pro-BN bloggers would also be equally frustrated if BN loses the battle. 'Alpha-bloggers' like Rockybru, Big Dog, A Voice, Syed Akbar and a few more have thrown whatever they had to help BN (although nobody had ever asked us to).
We don't take a single sen from BN or Umno. That makes us owing nothing to the people at the top but we will continue giving the support, unless the 'bosses' tell us to stop. Then, we will delete our blogs and news portal.
Aren't we part of the social media network?
I better stop here. Thanks to the deputy minister whom I met at the PMO yesterday, and of course to a senior officer who told me straight in the face that 'we don't need too many bloggers around'.
However, I remember how Mr Prime Minister had, in a Cabinet meeting last year, told each and every minister to set up his/her own new media unit to assist the ruling party in the next general election.
Posted: 27 Feb 2012 08:32 AM PST
Once upon a time, there was a teacher and his student lying down under a big tree near a big
Then, suddenly, the student asked the teacher:
Student : Teacher, I'm confused, how can we find our soul-mate? Can you please help me?
Teacher : (Silent for few second, than he answers) Well, it's a pretty hard and easy question.
Student : (Thinking hard) Huh???
Teacher : Look on that way, there are a lot of grass there, why don't you walk there but please never walk backward, just walk straight ahead. O n your way, try to find a beautiful grass and pick it up then give it to me. But just one.
Student :Well, ok then... wait for me... (Walk straight ahead to the grass field).
A few minutes later...
Student : I'm back.
Teacher : Em, well I don't see any beautiful grass on your hand.
Student : On my journey, I found few beautiful grass, but I thought that I would find a better one, so I didn't pick it up. But I didn't realize that I'm at the end of the field, and I hadn't picked up any. Because you told me not to go back, so I didn't go back.
Teacher : That's what happened in real life.
What is the message of this story?
* Grass - is people around you
* Beautiful Grass - is people that attract you
* Grass Field - is time
* In looking for your soul mate, please don't always compare and hope that there will be a better one.
By doing that, you'll waste your lifetime. Remember "Time Never Goes Back".
It is the same when finding your ideal life partner, your suitable career or business. Therefore the morale is LOVE and grab hold of the opportunity that you have now, don't waste time!
Do you agree with the writer?
Have you ever fallen in love in such a way that you can never ever love like that again? Or can you still be happy with someone else even though you may not love her/him the same way?
But how would one know it is love? Would you say commitment is greater than love in that you may not really love that person but you are still with her/him because of your solemn wedding vows/commitment?
Do share your thoughts. I would love to hear your views/experiences.
Posted: 27 Feb 2012 10:59 AM PST
Seorang pemimpin gerakan Pulau Pinang hari ini membuat kecaman ke atas tindakan politk samseng Umno pada hari protes Anti-Lynas di Himpunan Hijau di Sudut Pidato, Padang Kota, Esplanade semalam.
Ketua Biro Undang-undang & Hak Asasi Manusia Gerakan Pulau Pinang, Baljit Singh memberi amaran kepada UMNO supaya menghentikan cara berpolitik sedemikian, lapor FreeMalaysiaToday.
Jika tidak, menurutnya Barisan Nasional perlu mengucapkan selamat tinggal kepada Putrajaya di dalam pilihanraya akan datang.
Baljit menambah aksi keganasan yang dicetuskan oleh samseng-samseng UMNO tersebut amat memalukan dan memberi impak buruk bukan saja kepada UMNO tetapi juga kepada parti-parti komponen BN yang lain.
"Rakyat Pulau Pinang benci kepada para samseng ini. Anggota komponen BN yang lain rasa bersalah bersekongkol dengan Umno selama ini. Rakyat mempersoalkan integriti dan maruah parti-parti selain UMNO di dalam BN," katanya hari ini.
Baljit berkata lebih banyak Umno melakukan perkara sedemikian, lebih teruk BN akan kehilangan undi dari rakyat Pulau Pinang dan lain-lainnya.
Beliau mengingatkan Umno bahawa BN telah kehilangan banyak sokongan pada 2008 akibat dari kebencian rakyat terhadap keangkuhan dan kesombongan Umno.
Beliau menambah parti komponen BN menerima kesan buruk begitu dasyat akibat bersekongkol dengan Umno dan berkata Umno mesti sedar bahawa mereka adalah sebahagian dari BN, dan mereka bukan ketua feudal.
"Jika UMNO tidak boleh bekerja sebagai anggota di dalam kumpulan BN, mereka patut tahu apa yang perlu mereka lakukan," kata Baljit.
'Kenapa Di tempat dan masa yang sama?'
Ketua Pemuda UMNO Pulau Pinang Shaik Hussein Mydin telah mengakui bahawa samseng yang terlibat adalah ahli mereka dari UMNO bahagian Tanjung.
Bagaimanapun, beliau cuba mendakwa penyokong anti-Lynas yang memprovokasi ahli pemuda UMNO berkenaan.
Namun bagu Baljit, yang ada memerhati demonstrasi berkenaan, mempersoalkan tujuan Pemuda UMNO tersebut menganjurkan demonstrasi pro-Lynas pada tempat dan masa yang sama.
"Mengapa mereka tidak boleh mengadakan demonstrasi itu di hujung minggu ini? Kenapa mereka perlu lakukan pada hari yang sama? Tidakkah Umno boleh menghormati demokrasi?" soalnya.
Semasa Himpunan Hijau di Sudut Pidato, Padang Kota semalam, ia dicemari apabila kira-kira 50 orang, termasuk pemimpin tempatan dari Pemuda Umno dan kumpulan pendesak Melayu, PERKASA mengganggu acara yang dijalankan itu.
Ketika acara itu dimulakan pada jam 6 petang, kumpulan itu mula menjerit kepada orang ramai yang berhimpun secara aman itu
Kumpulan berkenaan terus mencaci Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng dan melemparkan kata-kata kesat ke atas setiausaha agung DAP itu. Para hadirin kemudian bertindak dengan mem-boo mereka.
Berikutan itu, Lim mula meninggalkan pentas dan menyertai orang ramai tetapi kumpulan itu mula mengasak para hadirin sehingga mengakibatkan berlakunya pertengkaran.
Menurut orang saksi, seorang wartawan dan seorang jurugambar sebuah akhbar berbahasa Cina cedera didakwa dipukul dengan topi keledar.
Mereka dikenal-pasti sebagai wartawan dan jurugambar akhbar Kwong Wah Jit Poh iaitu Andrew Chew, 29, dan Lee Hong Chun, 25, masing-masing cedera di bahagian badan dan kepala.
NUJ bidas serangan, mahu polis bertindak
Posted: 27 Feb 2012 07:47 AM PST
Read the Bahasa version of 'Nurul: Dad wouldn't be the only one with a black eye' here.
According to Nurul Izzah, before the fiasco, around 10 uniformed and plainclothes police were present as organisers had informed police of the event. The ceramah was situated within the Paya Besar parliamentary constituency helmed by Umno's Abdul Manan Ismail. and police had attempted to calm the hecklers, but to no avail.
However she commended the police effort, pointing out that even they had been abused by the group and said, "When the police were negotiating with us the group shouted: 'Why you are talking to the opposition, why are you supporting the opposition'."
Nurul added that she believed the group was made up of Umno supporters, stating: "They could sing the entire Umno song from memory and they had brought Umno and BN flags."
Posted: 21 Feb 2012 12:06 AM PST
In the past 14 years of running our business, we've invested in ourselves a lot – we love reading so we usually invest in books (those who've visited our home can attest to a floor to ceiling bookshelf full of business books). While most people shop for souvenirs, we shop for books when we're abroad!
We've read hundreds of books but some books are so memorable they stick like duct tape in our minds. They contain good advice and ideas, good enough to keep referring to them over and over. If you're book-hunting, here are our top selections for what we believe are the essentials for building your business, growing yourself and changing your mindset. These are the books that we've learnt from, and keep referring to over and over.
1. Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad
This was one of the first books I read right out of university. I was then a junior copywriter, happily and gainfully employed. He wrote about knowing your assets from your liabilities. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking a house or a car is an asset. They're not unless they make you money. Every time we re-read his book, we discover newer insights.
Try playing his Cashflow 101 board game after you've read his book. It makes the ideas of money, assets and liabilities a lot more concrete. Now most people play Cashflow as a game; they play without realizing the game teaches you about managing money and yes, how to know what doodads are and how to stop spending money on them.
2. Michael Gerber's The E-Myth Mastery
We love this book because it reveals why most small business owners end up frustrated although they started with lots of passion initially. The idea behind E-Myth is that you need to work ON your business, not IN your business. There's a big difference in that and those who struggle for years are those who haven't read this book and had their big "A-ha" moment.
The key to making entrepreneurship fun and exciting is to be able to create systems which help you run the business. This makes a lot of sense because I personally see a lot of successful professionals who are so tied to their businesses that they can't even take a day off! Their success becomes their ultimate prison. Nic felt that Gerber tends to be too long-winded but this is a good book to read if you want to prevent disillusionment from settling into your business.
3. Felix Dennis' How To Get Rich
An eccentric Englishman called Felix Dennis wrote this book, a funny tongue-in-cheek read about how he became rich, his life lessons and why you should never be afraid to pay taxes. If you're paying taxes and a huge chunk of it, it means your business is making money and there is no shame in that. As a fact, Dennis pays millions of pounds in taxes and get this, even frames up a copy of his cheques to the Inland Revenue Department as a testimony that he is getting richer each year.
4. Donald Trump's Think Big and Kick Ass
Granted, the title sounds as cocky as the billionaire himself. The thing about Trump is, you either love him or hate him. There's no in-between. That said, not everyone enjoys his brashness but the fascinating thing about Trump is that this man can talk big and still make big bucks. I believe that is how he silences his critics. It is no mean feat bouncing back after a tango with near bankruptcy. He co-authors this book with a guy named Bill Zanker who described how he made his first million the moment he enlarged his thinking!
You may not want to "kick ass" but the key learning from this book is that if you're thinking, you might as well think big. Half the book is penned by Trump while the other half is penned by Zanker. Trump's anecdotes about people he likes and hates (and why) are in true Trump style – he dares to mention people who have crossed him and how he got them back in the end. If you forget all the cockiness and big talking, you will find heaps of good advice in this book, rash as its title may sound.
5. T. Harv Eker's Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
This is not a business book per se but it is a life-changing book. Before you start with Trump's book, it is best you read Eker. We've attended Eker's seminar live and no doubt he is a consummate salesman with the ability to push the right buttons so that people run to sign up for his next event. It gets old after a while (those Internet marketing 'deadlines' and 'only today' offers…sigh). You don't have to spend money going for his live seminars when you can easily and affordably get his book. We loved his book before we saw him live and I can say I prefer reading his book! The book isn't so much about business as it is about creating a new money blueprint for yourself. With this new blueprint and a new way of thinking about money, success and fortune, you can go out and get going with your business.
6. Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Red Book of Sales Answers
If you're a business owner, you must equip yourself with sales and marketing skills. But you have no time to bother with long treatises on marketing (the kind taught in school). So what do you do? I suggest grabbing a copy of this book. It's not for you to read from cover to cover but it is a handy and concise reference for anyone involved in sales to find answers to their selling! What I like best about this little book is that you can pick it up, read 1 page and still get enough good advice for you to use in your next sales encounter. Gitomer is no-nonsense in his writing and that's why the other books in this series are such hot winners too. You will never go wrong with Gitomer!
7. Jack Canfield's The Success Principles
This is one of those books which you will continue to refer to because the principles are universal and classic. This is more than just a business book – it is a personal development book. With 64 chapters to explain and illustrate each of the success principle, this book gives you a round-up of what you need to get where you want to go.
The parts I enjoyed the most were the stories of successful people as well as the exercises which one could do to deepen the understanding of a particular principle. I believe you can read a chapter on its own and still derive great benefits and inspiration. Inside this book are stories about Tim Ferriss, John Assaraf and many more. No doubt some stories are taken from his highly popular Chicken Soup For the Soul series, these stories work as a way to give meaning to the principles he outlines. As every business owner knows, you need resolve and strength to do what you need to do each day. Sometimes you meet naysayers. Sometimes you need a book like this to help you get back on track when you're out cold.
Posted: 07 Feb 2012 02:13 AM PST
This time around, I'm going to focus on Content.
Content makes a website. Quality content makes excellent websites.
So here are three quick ways to help you improve your website content and make sure they do what they're supposed to – convince your customers you can help them solve their problems!
Content is the key to the success of your website. Here are 10 tips to make sure visitors find it a pleasure to return to your website!
Here's a secret: if you don't pay attention to your content, you won't go far with your website. Based on our years of experience building websites with solid content, here are the insider's secrets to real, effective website copy. Plus you get the low-down on one free classic book you must not miss out on.
Think business websites are boring? How untrue! Inject fun and authenticity into your website with the right words.
Posted: 01 Feb 2012 12:12 AM PST
Over the past few years of blogging, we've written 463 useful blog posts about websites, website designs, website content (or how to write for your website which still stumps a lot of folks), marketing your website and lots more.
These posts are truly evergreen and as such, we've selected the best of the best so you can benefit directly (which needing to comb through our blog).
If you like these blog posts, remember that you can easily share them with friends. Under each blog post is a SHARE function – you can click to LIKE it (Facebook style) or recommend it via +1 (Google style). Whatever way you choose, help us share the goodies with your friends and colleagues.
7 Tips to Create a Better Website Immediately
Making Your Website More Profitable
Avoid Putting These On Your Website
How's Your Marketing Tool Doing?
Prevent Costly Website Mistakes With This Website Audit
Posted: 18 Jan 2012 09:08 PM PST
In case you have not noticed, we just launched our newly revamped website last week after spending almost a month on it from concept to design, from idea to content and more.
We're transitioning because we know that it is time for us to guide more people with our marketing and business expertise (which we've delivered for the past 14 years through our website design). Clients come to us for a great marketing tool and this tool is specially developed in the way we design, write and provide strategies for our clients.
Website Design Plus Marketing Expertise
We still design great-looking websites and this year onwards, we're giving you the knowledge and expertise you need to take your business to the next level.
What's the next level you say?
The next level is a far more interesting level. In the next few weeks, we'll be explaining a lot more about this concept about "building your own mountain".
The way we see it, business can be a lot more fun and exciting if we all had a proper system for the marketing process.
A lot of time, business owners are multi-taskers. You are probably doing ten million marketing things at any given moment. Sometimes you get fantastic results. Sometimes, zero results.
But how about if we told you that there's actually a system or a method to marketing for your business?
How about if we told you this method works and people have obtained incredible results using it?
Would you be keen to know more?
Of course you would! After all, we business owners are pro-active and always eager to learn in order to improve our business right?
Learn This System For Your Business
You may have heard about the Redbox X Factor which we have been promoting in the last 2 years. If you've attended any of our workshops in the last 2 years (we've done 20 of these workshops), you would be familiar with this system.
The Redbox X Factor is a system we created in 2008 to empower business owners who want to take their business to the next level. Inspired by a Chinese martial art system called Wing Chun, this system gives you the tools and steps to be the champion in your industry.
You Often Worry About These Two Things
Every business owner we've met tells us that there are really 2 major challenges they face in their business – how to get rid of the competition and how to attract and convert customers.
How you conduct business is really a reflection of how you think. That is why the only way to change the way business is done (especially if you have challenges right now in your business) is to change the way you think.
When you start viewing your world and business and customers from a fresh, new perspective, you can gain the upper hand in your marketing. We're not just satisfied with giving you the upper hand – how about a way to defuse your competition so they don't matter any more? And how about (finally) getting a premium price for your products?
That, in a nutshell, is what you can get from Redbox Studio in the coming months.
We create powerful marketing tools in the form of websites and now we're empowering you with a powerful system (tried and tested in the last 2 years) to accelerate your business!
Look out for our upcoming workshops and tools where you get all the tips, tricks and resources you need to do all that and more.
Until then, have a prosperous and fun Dragon Year!
Our studio is taking a break from 23 January until 29 January. We'll see you when we get back on 30 January!
Posted: 03 Jan 2012 06:55 PM PST
We've been saying it for years.
You gotta have great content in order to have a sustainable ranking on search engines.
I blame the SEO issue and why everyone is hung up on SEO on those SEO gurus who think SEO is the be-all and end-all of all websites.
And now, here's the guy you should listen to, even if you don't listen to anyone else.
Matt Cutts works for Google. So really, there's no better expert than a guy who works inside Google telling you what you really should be focusing your energies on.
The gist is, you can't replace good, solid, kickass content. (Go and watch his short video here and hear it from the horses' mouth.)
Oh you can have your website SEO-ed like crazy. You really can. But then it'll always be like chasing your own tail.
Now if you just focused on creating killer content, you've really won most if not half the battle.
Posted: 27 Dec 2011 07:40 PM PST
When we talk about design, it's often design in the digital world. But how about design of the everyday for the common folk?
You must be thinking, isn't everything that we have today already designed?
But haven't you also come across frustration when using certain appliances, gadgets and furniture? Even tools. Especially tools.
So here's an intriguing story.
It's about a man who decided to create a better sanitary pad.
Yup, a MAN. Who does not have a uterus and does not have menstruation and yet he figured he wanted to design a better pad.
Read Arunachalam Muruganantham's story of how his wife, mother and sisters shunned him when he told them he was designing a better pad.
It's one of the best stories I've read so far!
Posted: 21 Dec 2011 12:08 AM PST
"It's never been done this way."
"We have our Standard Operating Procedure to follow."
As small business owners, we often believe we are at the beck and call of larger companies.
We feel compelled to follow their rules and meekly do so for many reasons. After all, they are the ones with huge pots of money to dole out.
We have so many good reasons why we want a particular big company to be our exclusive client. Bragging rights, for instance.
We hope the business will be long-term (well, doesn't everyone spout that?). These days, long-term could be just 2 months given the lifespan of many companies!
We hope this big-time client will refer more business our way (wish again. If you don't ask for referrals, you won't get them.)
We hope to land that one big fish which will set our company on its path to prosperity for life (when life is probably the next 2 years before a new CEO comes and shakes things up).
We hope that this will be our big break – where we get a prestigious client and get to show him or her off to potential clients.
That is why as small business owners, we are sometimes excited yet fearful when a big company comes a-calling. We nervously want their business but we're so afraid to negotiate because we could (gasp) lose the deal if we ask too much, set too many rules or not follow THEIR rules.
Here's An Exercise For Your Mind
But what if, for instance, you (yes, you the small business owner) decided to stand up and refuse to follow stupid rules set by these companies?
What if you decided that their payment procedures sucked?
What if you decided that you are going to set some rules of your own instead of always toeing their line?
What if you brought these issues to the negotiating table?
What would happen?
What if you're not afraid to walk away from the money, regardless of the outcome of your negotiation?
What if you stood up for yourself, your beliefs and the sanity of your company?
You see, small business owners don't have to take rubbish from clients who think they can wield their power (usually in the form of money) over them.
Why do small business owners end up harried and frazzled? Because most of them let money be their master.
"We need to finish this up by this Friday," the Boss barks.
"Because the Client said so."
Or this scenario: "I need this urgently on Monday and I am willing to pay good money for it."
(The request comes in on a Friday evening and you know you have to work again like a dog over the weekend.)
Actually it's because Money said so. You want the money, you work like a dog. And still, you get the money 60 days or 90 days later!
And many small business owners accept this. Makes me so hopping mad when I hear this corporate bullying.
Granted, you can only set your own terms in any negotiation deal IF you have something no other company can offer. You have to be that unique provider which makes them feel that they will lose something utterly valuable if they refuse to see your point of view.
Why Most People Just Give In
You cannot negotiate a deal if you have nothing to offer. Nothing to distinguish your company from the next company.
And perhaps, worst of all, it's because you have no spunk. No balls. No gall.
You see, there is sometimes no difference being a business owner and being employed. When you're employed, you hate your boss because he makes you do things you don't want to do.
When you're a business owner, you should have a choice but most "business owners" do what their Clients tell them to do and most business owners gripe and complain on the side. Still they do it because the Client is always right? (Or is it because Money is always right?)
But I Can't Say No To Money! Errr…Or Can I?
Does this mean that you shouldn't even bother with Money?
I say, be very concerned about the Money. It is a fair exchange for the honest work you do for your Client. It is work which benefits your client, keeps them happy and satisfied. But there are times when you are called to make a tough decision between choosing money or choosing sanity.
Let me explain.
Let's say ABC Company says that they want your service. They're willing to pay because they want it urgently. So you give them a quote. Because they're so damn pressed for time and you're the only one who (insanely) agrees to do it for them in 7 days, they agree to your quote. (Here's the caveat – YOU must be damn sure you can produce what you promised in the next 7 days.)
Now here's the fun part.
They have Standard Operating Procedures which means they have rules to follow.
But they forgot you have rules that you've set out too. Only that they forget you have rules. Or they think any minion of a company will forego any rules in order to work with them. (That is why we hate big corporations right?)
"After all, we're such a big company. You should count yourself lucky to be able to touch our feet."
Your rules and their rules clash. So begins the negotiation process. They say they will pay you but according to their rules – within 60 days. You want a deposit (they shake their heads). You want to be paid within your number of days (they shake their heads) because let's not forget, this is a super urgent project, they need it in 7 days and you know you can fulfill it and still they won't bend over backwards to accommodate your requests?
Who makes these rules anyway?
Rules are for the common vendors and suppliers. This is an uncommon request. And anyway we've always worked this way and none of our clients have issues. Why does ABC have a problem with it?
Why Business Is Like Playing Poker
Business is very much like sitting at the poker table.
Every move is a risk. You can risk small or you can risk big. Risking big has its rewards. You can lose big too.
In any negotiation, you need to know what position you are in. Whether you are willing to risk and whether it's worth to risk it all.
In the above case, ABC had everything to lose (no project done if the deal falls through). Yet like any big company, they forgot that they were the ones with their heads on the chopping block if they did not get the project done.
We could be on the losing end too (again, if the deal falls through). That also means, how much are we willing to risk?
Could we walk away from the deal? Could we say, you take your SOP and do whatever you want with it?
Here is where Money starts to tighten its noose around you. The idea of money is tempting. It's cashflow (though delayed by 60 days if you agree to their SOP).
Do you take the deal, work like crazy through your weekend (because you do have to work like a dog) and then wait 60 days to get paid OR do you insist on your terms (50% deposit now and the remaining when the project is done)?
I'd love to hear your views.
Posted: 20 Dec 2011 01:21 AM PST
Living in Malaysia means we don't have snow, no matter how we desperately wish for it. That is why we relish temperate weather when we go abroad, right?
Especially the snow.
For this holiday season and with Christmas just around the corner, we've decided to create some "snow" for ourselves too. (Right after we saw how it was snowing at Google….we wanted some quirky fun like that too!)
So you will see snowflakes gently floating down our website as well as a couple of our clients' websites such as our longtime client, Penang Bar Committee as well some of our clients' sites (see this and this and this).
It's little things like these that our clients love!
The little surprises that surprise users who visit our clients' websites.
See? We can let it snow in the digital world even if we live in Malaysia.
Happy Holidays everyone!
Posted: 28 Nov 2011 07:49 PM PST
This time around, I'm going to address a question which my friend, Alice, asked me recently.
She had asked me for my opinion about group deals. You see, she is in the soap business. Her soaps are made with natural plant oils and are wonderful to use in the bath. I've bought a few from her before. But this is not your regular type of soap.
Price-wise, it costs a lot more than Lux or May or any of the commercial soaps in the supermarkets. At RM19.90 each bar, her specialty soaps are distributed to niche businesses such as spas, pharmacies and organic stores where the customers are willing to spend more for quality soap.
She asked if it was worth her while to offer a group deal since her business is just a few months old and she could really do with an influx of new customers. She wondered if offering her soaps at a highly discounted price would give people a chance to try her soaps. A friend of hers was using this type of group deal to promote her food products and Alice was tempted to try this method.
We had this conversation during a quiet lunch in a Thai restaurant in Pulau Tikus.
I told her, it really depends.
Can Group Deals Be Bad Business?
I've read about Jessie, a Portland coffeeshop owner's personal story with Groupon when she signed up with them and get this, the deals caused her to lose money. Now how can something this good be so bad for the business?
Maybe I can explain it by using our business. In our business, we do not give discounts. We've never done so because we focus on giving value to the clients so much so that no one has ever come to us for a discount.
If you give a discount (with the assumption that you are providing a kickass service or product), you are just setting up an abnormal precedent where the customer will always start asking for discounts!
Without a discount, they won't buy whatever you're selling (unless it is something urgent and important). If you don't give discounts, then will you lose out to your competition who does so? Yes but you are only losing the customers you really don't want and giving your competition a damn fine headache.
Perhaps it is all right if her product is something new and price isn't an issue later on (remember, this is soap that isn't sold at regular prices). Soap isn't exactly a must-have item – you can substitute with body wash or cheaper soaps.
Bargain Hunters Live For Bargains – Period.
Let's just say Alice does a group coupon deal and decides to offer her RM19.90 soap at RM12. She will get a lot of people who will just buy her soaps just because they're cheap and on offer and such a bargain.
Perhaps out of the entire bunch, a few will be truly enamoured but bargain-hunters function differently – they want everyday to be a deal day. If they can buy at a highly discounted rate, will they will buy it at the regular price?
I've polled some friends and they are of two groups. One group says they will patronize the business if the products or services are good. Group two says they won't because price was the only reason they chose to patronize the business. They would keep an eye out for more discounts since they know they won't need to pay regular prices.
The people you attract with a discount are generally people who will always ask for a discount, no matter what. I'm not the only one saying it – Redfin says it too:
"We've also learned that the customers you attract only with a discount will disregard what you love about your own business, and won't treat you with respect; both sides usually regret the transaction…As the grandmother of our VP of engineering, Sasha Aickin, once said: When you buy something cheap and bad, the best you're going to feel about it is when you buy it. When you buy something expensive and good, the worst you're going to feel about it is when you buy it."
I am keeping an eye over these group deals but personally, as a business owner, you have to play your cards right and not get burned by the deal!
But then again, are business owners just jumping on the fad or are they really out of ideas in promoting their small business?
I'd love to hear your take on group deals.
Are they worth it? Are you speaking from the perspective of a customer or a business owner? It should prove quite interesting!
Posted: 28 Nov 2011 01:52 AM PST
When we first started these free, educational workshops in August 2009, we had one aim – to gather a group of interested people each month and educate them more on what websites are, what real websites are all about and how they can use this knowledge on their own.
As anyone and everyone who has had the chance to come for our workshops, we never sell you anything. No upselling, no sneaky previews, no "buy today and save RM10,000″, none of these awful sneaky stuff which most people are subject to.
When we say it's a free workshop, it's free and it is also, contrary to those free preview seminars (where you're just waiting for them to announce some special deal and cannot wait to sneak out of the room), it's packed full of value and knowledge. You can come and ask Nic anything and he will give you an honest answer.
We give so much value that attendees keep recommending us to their friends. Case in point, last week Esther told us she came because her friend, George, told her she should not miss our workshop. Even if some people don't make it, they will also nudge their friends to attend.
Over the past 2 years, more than 100 people have come to our free website workshops. Everyone of them, minus one or two people (some are 'competitors' in disguise – we welcome them too), find our workshops extremely refreshing.
We start by announcing that we are NOT here to sell them anything. (There's an almost audible sigh of relief written on their faces when we say this before Nic starts his presentation.)
In fact, we won't sell you anything until we know what you need. A website is not for everyone, despite the digital age we are in. Most people can't handle their websites. Most people don't know how to do it and get disappointed.
We get lots of funny questions too. Funny as in 'odd' because you believe there's no free lunch in this world, right? So why is Redbox Studio spending time and effort to educate you for free?
"Why are you doing this for free?" one lady asked point blank. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we Malaysians can be intolerably rude when it suits us.
Actually we have a motive.
We got quite fed-up of all the silly myths that's floating about (no doubt thanks to sub-standard web designers). We're not sure how these myths get circulation and airplay but we were quite annoyed with answering questions that didn't make sense.
So through these workshops of ours, we get to set the record straight. We get to tell you, right from the start, what you really need to pay attention to. What you don't need to waste money on. What you should not focus on and what you absolutely must focus on.
We're rather different in that we tell you, we really don't mind how you choose to implement the tips we give you, so long you implement them and see the results. (Thanks to clients and evangelists, we've got more website projects than we can handle so it may be even if we loved your idea, we won't be able to take your project for the time-being. Plus we have a few projects on the side which are keeping us busy too.)
Plus through these workshops, we get to finger the pulse of the general public – we get to talk to people and get direct feedback on what problems they are having with their websites. From this feedback, we are able to know what solutions we can offer them.
Last Thursday was our 20th and final free workshop. We had a good crowd last week. In fact, so good that they gave us applause and didn't want to leave! They still wanted to ask more questions and jot down more tips they could use for their own websites.
We're not sure if we're doing any more free workshops but you can still be on our list – we will keep you updated. Consider it a super, super exclusive invite to be in the loop. Your email is completely safe with us.
So go on, sign up so you won't miss out when we do open up our workshops next year.
Posted: 27 Feb 2012 06:41 AM PST
Lai Kwan prepares to bathe her son, Cheah Kok Leong, who was born with severe mental disabilities. She believes that his condition is related to the radioactive exposure she received while working at the Mitsubishi Chemical's refinery in Bukit Merah.By KEITH BRADSHER (The New York Times)BUKIT MERAH, Malaysia — Hidden here in the jungles of north-central Malaysia, in a broad valley fringed with
Posted: 27 Feb 2012 07:39 AM PST
Badrulamin disiasat Jaip hampir 3 jam
KUANTAN - Anggota Majlis Pimpinan Pusat PKR, Dr Badrulamin Bahron yang kini disiasat oleh Jabatan Agama Islam Pahang (Jaip) berkata, beliau akan "berehat" dari menjalankan semua tugas dan tanggungjawab parti dan kerajaan supaya perkembangan semasa tidak memudaratkan jamaah, lapor Sinar Harian. Gambar dari mstar.
"Saya akan berehat dulu daripada semua jawatan parti dan kerajaan," kata beliau ketika ditemui di pekarangan pejabat Jaip di sini petang.
Beliau yang sekali lagi menafikan laporan media bahawa ditahan Jaip berhubung isu berkhalwat tiba di pejabat agensi agama itu kira-kira 2.40 petang dan meninggalkan premis tiga jam kemudian.
Dengan ditemani isteri dan tiga peguamnya, Badrolamin tiba di pekarangan Jaip kira-kira jam 2.40 petang tadi.
Dalam pada itu, pasangannya pula tiba jam 3.05 petang dengan ditemani dua orang.
Dalam perkembangan berkaitan, Pas tidak masuk mencampuri isu Pengarah Penerangan Selangor, Dr Badrolamin Bahron, yang ditangkap oleh Jabatan Agama Islam Pahang (Jaip) di Kuantan, kelmarin.
Naib Presidennya, Salahudin Ayub berkata, Pas menyerahkan sepenuhnya kepada PKR untuk menyelesaikan perkara itu.
"Biarlah PKR yang selesaikan. Pas tak mahu masuk campur.
"Siasatan pun masih dijalankan, lebih baik mereka (PKR) selesai sendiri," katanya kepada Sinar Harian ketika ditemui di ibu pejabat Pas Pusat hari ini.
Badrolamin, yang juga anggota Majlis Pimpinan Pusat PKR, petang ini hadir di pejabat Jaip untuk membantu siasatan.
Kerajaan Selangor pula tidak akan terlibat dalam isu khalwat yang mempunyai kaitan dengan ketua penerangannya, Datuk Dr Badrulamin Bahron.
Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim berkata, ia terpulang kepada pihak berkuasa agama di Kuantan untuk menyelesaikan perkara itu.
"Kami tidak akan terlibat dalam perkara ini dan tidak mahu sebarang penjelasan daripada Dr Badrulamin," katanya kepada pemberita pada majlis penyerahan sumbangan sebanyak RM100,000 kepada Sekolah Monfort Boys Town di sini, Isnin.
Semalam Dr Badrulamin Bahron telah dinasihat mengambil cuti selama sebulan sehingga beliau dibersihkan dari tuduhan dikatakan berkhalwat pada Sabtu lalu.
Menurut satu kenyataan yang dikeluarkan Sekretariat akhbar Pejabat Menteri Besar, kerajaan negeri telah menerima penjelasan Dr Badrulamin berhubung kejadian itu.
Khalwat: Badrulamin Dakwa Didalangi Umno
klik untuk baca
Posted: 27 Feb 2012 04:04 AM PST
In sharia societies, non-Muslim religious articles are confiscated and destroyed every single day as a matter of policy. In Saudi Arabia, where sharia is the law of the land, where Mecca and Medina are closed to non-Muslims, government guidelines prohibit Jews and Christians from bringing Bibles, crucifixes, Stars of David, and similar artifacts emblematic of their faith into the country. When that prohibition is violated, the offending items are seized and burned or otherwise destroyed.
The New York Times reports that President Obama has sent a formal letter of apology to Afghanistan's ingrate president, Hamid Karzai, for the burning of Korans at a U.S. military base. The only upside of the apology is that it appears (based on the Times account) to be couched as coming personally from our blindly Islamophilic president — "I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident. . . . I extend to you and the Afghani people my sincere apologies." It is not couched as an apology from the American people, whose frame of mind will be outrage, not contrition, as the facts become more widely known.
The facts are that the Korans were seized at a jail because jihadists imprisoned there were using them not for prayer but to communicate incendiary messages. The soldiers dispatched to burn refuse from the jail were not the officials who had seized the books, had no idea they were burning Korans, and tried desperately to retrieve the books when the situation was brought to their attention.
Of course, these facts may not become widely known, because no one is supposed to mention the main significance of what has happened here. First, as usual, Muslims — not al-Qaeda terrorists, but ordinary, mainstream Muslims — are rioting and murdering over the burning (indeed, the inadvertent burning) of a book. Yes, it's the Koran, but it's a book all the same — and one that, moderate Muslims never tire of telling us, doesn't really mean everything it says anyhow.
Muslim leaders and their leftist apologists are also forever lecturing the United States about "proportionality" in our war-fighting. Yet when it comes to Muslim proportionality, Americans are supposed to shrug meekly and accept the "you burn books, we kill people" law of the jungle. Disgustingly, the Times would inure us to this moral equivalence by rationalizing that "Afghans are fiercely protective of their Islamic faith." Well then, I guess that makes it all right, huh?
Then there's the second not-to-be-uttered truth: Defiling the Koran becomes an issue for Muslims only when it has been done by non-Muslims. Observe that the unintentional burning would not have occurred if these "fiercely protective of their Islamic faith" Afghans had not defiled the Korans in the first place. They were Muslim prisoners who annotated the "holy" pages with what a U.S. military official described as "extremist inscriptions" in covert messages sent back and forth, just as the jihadists held at Gitmo have been known to do (notwithstanding that Muslim prisoners get their Korans courtesy of the American taxpayers they construe the book to justify killing).
Do you know why you are supposed to stay mum about the intentional Muslim sacrilege but plead to be forgiven for the accidental American offense? Because you would otherwise have to observe that the Koran and other Islamic scriptures instruct Muslims that they are in a civilizational jihad against non-Muslims, and that it is therefore permissible for them to do whatever is necessary — including scrawl militant graffiti on their holy book — if it advances the cause. Abdul Sattar Khawasi — not a member of al-Qaeda but a member in good standing of the Afghan government for which our troops are inexplicably fighting and dying — put it this way: "Americans are invaders, and jihad against the Americans is an obligation."
Because exploiting America's hyper-sensitivity to things Islamic advances the jihad, the ostensible abuse of the Koran by using it for secret communiqués is to be overlooked. Actionable abuse occurs only when the book is touched by the bare hands of, or otherwise maltreated by, an infidel.
As our great Iraqi ally Ayatollah Ali Sistani teaches, touching a kafir ("one who does not believe in Allah and His Oneness") is to be avoided, because Islamic scripture categorizes infidels as equivalent to "urine, feces, semen, dead bodies, blood, dogs, pigs, alcoholic liquors," and "the sweat of an animal who persistently eats filth." That is what influential clerics — not al-Qaeda but revered scholars of Islamic law — inculcate in rank-and-file Muslims.
And they are not making it up. Sistani came upon this view after decades of dedicated scriptural study. In fact, to take just one telling example (we could list many, many others), the "holy" Koran we non-Muslims are supposed to honor proclaims (in Sura 9:28), "Truly the pagans are unclean . . . so let them not . . . approach the sacred mosque." It is because of this injunction from Allah that non-Muslims are barred — not by al-Qaeda but by the Saudi Arabian government — from entering Mecca and Medina. Kafirs are deemed unfit to set their infidel feet on the ground of these ancient cities. You don't like that? Too bad — grin and bear it . . . and, while you're at it, surge up a few thousand more American troops to improve life in Kandahar.
Posted: 27 Feb 2012 05:03 AM PST
Bapa dakwa anak cuba diculik
TIKAM BATU – Satu percubaan kes culik dilaporkan menggunakan taktik sama ala arwah Nurin Jazlin pada 2007 di Seksyen 1, Wangsa Maju yang pernah menggemparkan negara suatu ketika dahulu dikatakan berlaku semula dua minggu lalu.
Bapa mangsa, yang mahu dikenali sebagai Ahmad, 37, berkata, peristiwa yang berlaku kepada anaknya mengimbau kembali kisah tragis lima tahun lalu.
Menceritakan kejadian itu, Ahmad berkata, selepas pulang dari sekolah, anak lelaki sulungnya yang juga merupakan murid tahun dua sebuah sekolah terus tidur tanpa menceritakan kejadian kemungkinan masih trauma sehinggalah pada sebelah malam.
"Anak menceritakan kepada saya dia didatangi seorang wanita berusia 30-an mengumpan RM5 kepadanya ketika bersama kawan-kawan sedang menunggu kenderaan untuk pulang dari sekolah," katanya kepada Sinar Harian.
Ahmad berkata, pada mulanya anaknya sulung itu yang sukar menerima pelawaan mana-mana pihak enggan mengikut wanita itu yang memintanya ke van yang terletak di luar pagar sekolah bagi mengambil wang berjumlah RM5 yang dijanjikan.
"Anak saya bertegas tidak mahukan wang itu tetapi tangannya direntap dan ditarik menuju ke van yang sudah sedia menunggu bersama seorang pemandu.
"Bagaimanapun, tindakan wanita menarik anak saya sehingga hampir sampai ke van itu dilihat agak mencurigakan oleh seorang penduduk kampung yang secara kebetulan melalui laluan sama, " katanya.
Menurutnya, lelaki itu kemudian mengarahkan wanita berkenaan melepaskan genggaman tangan, tetapi dia mengakui mahu membawa 'anaknya' pulang.
"Dalam masa sama, anak saya pula meronta dan menjerit bahawa wanita itu bukanlah ibu kandung serta tidak mengenalinya," katanya.
Menceritakan kejadian selanjut, anaknya yang berjaya melepaskan genggaman semasa pertengkaran itu terus berlari ke arah rakan sekolah yang masih berada di pekarangan sementara wanita bersama pemandu van terus melarikan diri.
Ahmad berkata, pada mulanya dia tidak mengesyaki ia mungkin percubaan menculik setelah diceritakan anaknya namun sifat keibuan isterinya mula mencurigai sesuatu.
Ahmad yang bimbang dengan kejadian itu terus menyiasat perkara berkenaan dengan menemui pihak sekolah serta membuat laporan polis di balai berdekatan.
Dia bimbang sekiranya kisah culik seperti Nurin Jazlin berulang kembali dan mahukan semua pihak lebih mengetatkan undang-undang demi keselamatan kanak-kanak.
Seperti dilaporkan media, Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, 8, murid tahun dua Sekolah Kebangsaan Desa Setapak dilaporkan hilang selepas keluar ke pasar malam berdekatan rumahnya 20 Ogos 2007 selepas saksi terlihat mangsa ditarik menaiki sebuah van berwarna putih.
Bagaimanapun, kehilangannya terjawab apabila mayatnya ditemui dalam sebuah beg yang ditinggalkan di tangga premis kedai, Taman Petaling Utama 27 hari kemudian. -SH
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