That is a lie I earnestly believed right after I graduated.

The goal was to build a product business that will make me $3000 a month, and that will mean I can spend my entire life building my business. And $3000 was the magic number that I believe I needed to maintain a normal lifestyle in Singapore.

I managed to achieve that one month later with Gom VPN. I was never able to reproduce that result predictably because the key to success is luck.

I have come to realize that this game is rigged.

Without the lucky early breakthrough, I was not able to keep my head above the water and expose myself to the chance of lightning.

Here is my story:

  • Because I got lucky with making a few thousand dollars with Gom VPN, I was able to 2 hire programmers
  • Because I was able to hire two more programmers, I was able to scale Gom VPN and attempted a few more products such as NuMoney or Proxycurl
  • With NuMoney, I was lucky enough to meet Putra, and expand into Indonesia with LandX
  • With Nubela, the funds rolling in continues to sustain my experimentation on products with higher risks and higher payoffs such as Sapien Graph.
  • With increasing rates of success, hiring and fundraising get easier.

I got lucky. If I came from money, I would have been able to jump straight into a high-risk high-payoff product right from the get-go. Fail again, rinse, and repeat.

This startup game is rigged for the rich. The fastest way to get rich is to be already rich. And if you are not rich, I hope you have lady luck on your side. I feel 70% of success is luck. The rest is effort and smarts.

Good luck, I hope you have rich parents.