My initial attempt suffered a premature death at around Dec 2003. KY was posted overseas but I still maintained contact with him via email. I tried to bring out the topic of continuing our business venture but he seemed totally uninterested. So I started to
desperately actively look for another business partner.
During January 2004, I was promoted to senior software engineer and team leader of a new project. Although the new role and responsibilities kept me busy, I was still thinking about having venturing out and was keeping a look out of potential business partner.
Most of my friends were engineers just like me, and were rather risk averse. I needed someone with very different skill sets. Ideally, the new business partner should be able to handle sales and marketing as my forte was only in software design & development and technological research. In that way, we could complement each other. However in my working place, our Marketing Department was filled with mainly retired Majors and Colonels from the Singapore Air Force and Navy. All these colonels-turned-marketing managers were earning huge salaries and were highly unlikely to venture out with me.
So, I turned my attention towards the Customer Support Department. The customer support engineers in my working place had some technical knowledge and were good in handling customers. And the most important thing was, they were quite lowly paid (compared to those senior marketing managers).
So came July 2004, I had a chat with my colleague K from customer support department. It was just days after we received our annual increment letter. I knew he was not happy with the increment, not because I had telepathy but because our increments were pathetic and everyone was unhappy about it.
I knew K for a few years. He was a very friendly guy and seemed to get along well with most people. He was also rather street-smart and reasonably resourceful. So during our chat, we talked about our pathetic annual increment and we started lamenting about how our careers would remain stagnant if we stayed in this company. And then we started to talk about the possibilities of creating a product and starting a company of our own. K knew very well my technical abilities as I had helped him and other colleagues solving countless technical issues and developing software add-ons. We both agreed that we would make a good business partnership, and perhaps it was time to take a risk and venture out.
And that, was the first step I wanted to achieve. To find a business partner with skill sets that can complement mine, and convince him/her to commit to venturing out.
Step two, would be to think of a viable product to create. That was the most difficult and interesting part. I will continue on that in my next post.