Life according to Pip - Written by Philip Khor

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Letter to my shareholders

Over the Chinese New Year periods and the weeks thereafter, life has been serene. Work life has been routinely rhythmic like the thrum of the washing machine spinning. Age is catching up, and the expectations of what I should be and what I actually am made me realize I need to buck up.

Trying to find a balance between happiness, contentment and stratospheric ambitions is tough. On one hand, I need to be realistic, and on the other, there’s a pull (or push) towards the need for greater things in my life. Is Malaysia my home? Is there a future in this myopic dysfunctional place? I think so, I really do.

By the grace of the most high, I have survived through turmoils, trials and tribulations. The only constant in life, is change. It is by our response to these challenges that determine our worth. In KYC terms, I’m a Senior Management Official (SMO) with 10% voting rights on matters pertaining to BMBC (my hometown church in Penang). In reality, I will find out what I am actually here for during the Committee Meeting this coming Sunday.

I love volunteerism. But I never put in the effort to find a worthy cause and follow through with helping out with something meaningful. I do it on a micro-scale. Through my interactions with the clowns around me at work and through fellowships and meeting of the minds at other times, I feel that I have made a ‘dink’ in this world. There are 7,000,000,000 of us. On the whole, when we float in outer space looking back at the earth from the moon, we realize how insignificant our worries and troubles are.

I’ll let you into a secret. Wanna dig my past history? I maintain (keep going) an old blog with writings from as old as 2004 (a decade ago) at http://philipkhor.com/blog/

For example, this Facebook lookalike was my idea back in July 2004 to create a community of bloggers who keep in touch with one another. In computing class, we know what a one-to-one relationship is. It’s the foundation of SMS where communication takes place between one person speaking to one audience. E-mail became one-to-many. Facebook and what social media aims to do is to bring together many-to-many communication giving birth to the word, collaboration.

As for pictures, many weird photos still exist at Picasaweb. I like google, it has been there, it is there, and it will be there for a long time to come.

What has fascinated me the most in technology is the ability to track stars in the night sky. With augmented reality, we can direct our phone over the skies and know the names of individual clusters of stars lighting our skies. Suddenly we are not so lonely anymore!

From which industry is the next millionaire coming from? Healthcare? Apps for smartphones? Solving problems you never knew existed in ways in which you don’t know how? Wouldn’t it be nice to be the next big innovator.

Take instagram, for example. A simple app for Android, iOS and all it does is to capture photos in a square format, display it in a timeline with basic editing functions that anyone can apply. Sold to Facebook for USD 1,000,000,000. How about Waze, a social GPS warning you of traffic cops. The maps are not made by the company, rather it aggregates the submissions from its users (crowd-sourcing). Yupp, sold to Google for USD 1,000,000,000.

Maybe I should pack my bags and migrate to Silicon Valley 2.0 (which is spread out throughout the United States, rather than focused in California). I mean, by meeting like-minded visionaries will I then succeed, no?

But the thought of leaving my 70 year old father, who probably has a few years left in him is tough. What use is all the money when you can’t use it to bring someone back to life in the future?

(turn up the bass for this one…)

Ok: Read Warren Buffett’s letter to shareholders here.

Toilet Talk v0.1

Toilet Talk is a weekly podcast by Noel Chang and Philip Khor discussing various issues we care about. Check out our pilot episode to find out more. Do give us feedback philip.khor@gmail.com or via Facebook.

Cheers!