Right after I graduated, I contemplated a move to Silicon Valley, and I would if public transport was like Europe's; if the homeless situation was like Singapore, and houses the price of Berlins. The bay area is great for entrepreneurs but not so much for living.

But given that my life is mostly about work, there is a part of me that wished I have made a move to the US because I am pretty sure the outcome will be very much different.

Bay area

Let us talk about the startup scene in Singapore. Let us start with some context by comparing it to the two months I stayed in San Francisco.

Then, I was trying to fund-raise for Javelin Browser. In the two months, I was there, I was invited to the DLD conference with Tim Draper. Oh, did I mention I met Tim Draper, and he offered to invest. But I wanted to maximize the surface area of investors that I have touched before accepting any offer. So I sent an email to CEOs of funded startups in the bay area. 40% of them replied to me! 40%! They met me because they know how hard it was to be a budding entrepreneur, and someone in the bay area helped them out, so they paid it forward. Many coffee meetings later, I was introduced to Steven Sinofsky of Andreesen Horowitz, as well as many other great VCs and angel investors. Fuck, the community spirit, is the magic of Silicon Valley. But alas, I ended up returning to Singapore because I was persuaded and later convinced by many others that an Android Browser does not make for a good business model.


There is no startup scene in Singapore. My mom still wishes I have a "real job."

On funding, Investors here offer S$50k and expect you to give up 10-20% of your company. Do not believe me? Ask around how much Quest VC invested in Carousell (which is now a unicorn) and how much equity they took.

In Silicon Valley, VCs will always ask how else they can help after every meeting, even if they do not invest. In Singapore, an angel investor asked me to buy him a juice because of the free "advice" that he had taken his time to impart. Did I mention that the same "angel investor" canceled on me three times before this meeting?

On events, I cannot remember going for any since I graduated because no one knows what they are doing.

On regulations, if you want to do anything ground-breaking, you better be a lawyer first. Like Xfers's CEO. Which is why they are the only startup that was granted the Payment Services license. Even then, good luck explaining to the three local banks that you are dealing with anything that is not boring, like construction or consulting. Otherwise, you will have your bank accounts shut down as NuMoney's accounts were.

To the 26 year old me

You should have sucked it up and moved to San Francisco.