31st of March, 2005.

That was the last day of my employee life. I had a few farewell lunches in that month. The last day was relatively peaceful. All my jobs were handed over to my manager. I was just waiting for the HR final clearance and then I will be free to go.

I had a few chats with some colleagues. Most were very curious about my future plans. I told them I was starting up my own software company, but I didn’t reveal the details as my product was not completed yet.

I was feeling excited and raring to set sail into the unknown waters. Just like a young and curious sailor anticipating to see the world.

After the past two months of viewing, we finally got a small office inside a private office building at Chai Chee Lane on the first day of my entrepreneur life. For the next few days, we started to source and assemble some furniture to fit our first office.

For the first three months, I continued with the development of our product, MoCo SMS Suite. My business partner K handled all the administrative, logistic and markting stuffs.

I was also handling the company website development. I registered a domain and a web hosting plan with a local web hosting company, which proved to be a mistake due to my inexperience and lack of research. That local web hosting company was considerably more expensive than the ones from United States, but we thought that a local company would provide us more responsive support. However, we were wrong and their tech support really sucks.

We engaged a freelancer to design our company website. During those days, flash websites were the “in” thing and we decided to have our company website developed in flash too. That was also a mistake as we were unaware that flash websites were not suitable for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Each of us forked out S$5000 to open a corporate bank account. We had no backers, no contracts and no networks. But we had the drive, the skills and the enthusiasm. Looking back, we were really rookies and had made a lot of mistakes due to our inexperience. Back in those days, entrepreneurship wasn’t a popular career choice among the risk averse locals. We were the outliers. Everything was new to us and we had to learn as we go along.

In early June, I completed version 1.0 of MoCo SMS Suite. I continued to enhance the product with more features. On the surface, it seemed that I was still doing the same task of software development as when I was an engineer. But I had much greater say in what software to develop, how to develop it and how to manage the development process. And that, was a key difference to me.

Setting Sail (Apr 2005 – Jun 2005)

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