Reflecting 2017

Today is Sunday 31st December 2017, the last day for the year. In the blink of an eye, another year is going to be over again. Time flies so fast and furious that we all sometimes lose track of our time. This had been a very difficult and tough year, basically it continued on from the year 2016, I thought it would be more of a stablising and foundation year, instead, things never go to plan sometimes and I was thrown off track while trying my best to get things up and running.

I started wrapping up my year 2017 on 1st December, it’s not that I am closing shop for the financial year, it’s more of clearing up as many back logged things/matters to the best of my ability during the final month. Concurrently, I also took the time to deeply reflect on my year 2017 as well as planning and strategising for year 2018.

First and foremost, I would be sharing my reflection 2017 thoughts, feelings and views in my article here today, in no random order of significance:

  • A very difficult and tough year, mentally and emotionally exhausted – Losing 6 people in the space of 1 year from 2016 to 2017 totally drained me out, high and dry. 2 of them were very close to me, my paternal grandmother and big auntie. I wrote remembrance and dedication articles for them, published inside here, my personal website/blog.
  • Things didn’t go as planned, business has been very slow in a very tough, challenging and disruptive environment – Starting a small business at the start of the year 2017 was a huge calculated risk venture, I was mentally and emotionally prepared except that the mountains to climb were so much bigger and higher than I prepared myself for, a lot of lessons learned in my first year of business, whereby most of the time was put into setup, establishing partnerships and networking.
  • Partneships established – During this year, I established working partnerships and collaborations with Hpility SG and The Epiphany Duplet (Tiffany Yong and Peps Goh). I had showcased some of my photography works and collaborations with them during the year 2017, you can find my stories and photos in my photography and travel blog.
  • Behind the scenes / product shoot with The Epiphany Duplet on Love At Second Sight short film project – I was involved with a group of friends working together on The Epiphany Duplet’s short film project, just keep a lookout for my updates in January 2018! I am eagerly awaiting for the release of the short films and I can share/broadcast them!
  • No holidays taken in year 2017 – Due to the extended family matters that took place, I didn’t have the opportunity to take even a short holiday getaway to a destination nearby. I was kind of stressed out without a proper holiday break.
  • Photo book and photo zine postponed – I was planning to produce and publish a new photo book, things never go to plan due to extended family matters and the plans were postponed again to year 2018.
  • No exercise – No excuses, I was lazy and ill-disciplined. This must change, this must stop, I must be disciplined and determined for year 2018, a healthy and active sporting lifestyle.
  • Diet changes – I started reducing my carbohydrates intake in the year 2017, it’s a start and this can still vastly improve further. Working on my diet eating plans for year 2018.
  • Need and Must read more books – I bought some books on business, entrepreneurship and travel. I need and I must read more quality books to feed my brain, mind and soul, to seek improvements, upgrading and learning new skills and knowledge.
  • Acknowledge depression (slight) – The human race is facing lots of stress and pressure in today’s society, we all might (or have faced) depression at some point in time. After a long and thorough self evaluation and deep reflection, I have slipped into a slight depression during this period from 2016 to 2017 (especially in the Q2 and Q3 of 2016)
  • ??? by ??? MayDay – This song means a lot to me, check out their YouTube video and you will understand what I went through and be enlightened.
  • PerseveranceI did a Facebook fun test “What was your most important lesson of 2017?” The result was “Perseverance”. It was totally spot on, jackpot, I didn’t know how I managed to persevere and grinded my way through year 2017 with all the things happening and throwing me off track. The most enlightening matter was I did it, I persevered and I succeeded.
  • Social media / blogging – In this segment, for the year 2017, it’s a year of mixed results for me. Some agencies that didn’t know about me previously started to engage via press releases emails, that’s a start definitely. Some were lost, some got better.
  • Gratitude, Humility, Count my Blessings, Be Thankful – Of all the things that happened during this year 2017, the good and the bad, I am still here, still around. No matter what happeend, I am grateful, I count my blessings.
  • Upgrading, learning new skills – Lifelong learning is my personal philosophy and I will continue to do it forever. There are still so many more skills and knowledge to learn and improve on myself. Personally, I feel that there is a lot more that I can do to upgrade and improve myself, in an era of technological disruptions.
  • No personal photography projects – Due to extended family matters over the past two years, my personal photography projects took a back seat. It’s time to bring it back, complete them and I can embark on new personal photography projects.
  • Disruption by technology, disruption to life and work – Disruption is huge, it will only get bigger, further and wider. Are we ready for them? Or are we too comfortable in our own comfort zone, complacent and ignorant? It’s very scary how technology disruption is going to impact and affect us, in both life and work, in both a good and bad way.
  • Issues in society / friends / family – Human beings are/can be complicated, selfish, lazy and fearful. We all need to work and strive harder, to improve ourselves, judge less, criticise less, learn more, know more and understand more.

At the end of this article, after writing down so many thougths, views and feelings, it’s like something heavy was off my shoulders, mind and soul. Overall, a very difficult and tough year 2017 and I am very happy to wrap them up, close “Year 2017 Account”, archive them and start “Year 2018 Account”.

A new chapter, a new hope, a new and fresh beginning, coming very soon, in less than 24 hours time. The start of “Year 2018 Account”.

MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017

Lifelong learning is a personal philosophy and mantra that I adopt, advocate and share whenever I am able to. Regardless of the qualifications that I have, the amount of life and professional experiences that I currently possess, I always tell and remind myself that I do not know everything in the world, there is always something to learn, a new skill/knowledge and/or upgrading my current skills/knowledge.

Most recently, I was kindly invited to a seminar, MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017 organised by Management Development and Consultancy (MDC), the corporate training arm of Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). The title of the seminar was “From the Present to the Future: Getting Ready for Digital Transformation”, the speakers were highly experienced professionals in their field of their respective specialisation expertise. One of my friends Walter was one of the speakers for the MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017 and it was great to catch up with him during the event!

The speakers and their topics were as follow:

Andrew Chow (Speaker and Facilitator)

Digital Marketing Strategy Overview for 2018

Search Marketing – How to be seen and searched at the right places

Social Media Marketing – Rediscover the Lost Art of being Social in Marketing

Walter Lim (Speaker)

Content Markting: Choosing the Right Content and Channels

Nick Tan (Speaker)

How to use Virtual Reality Solutions to create immersive marketing experiences?

Alvin Lim (Speaker)

How to use blogging as an effective marketing tool

Xi Wei (Speaker)

Gamification – Don’t be a noob: Raising your game in the digital world

After the introduction, welcome and opening address by June Lim, Assistant Director of MDC, Andrew took over, he had dual roles of both a speaker and facilitaor for the MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017. Andrew’s experience in conducting seminars can be seen when he employed an ice breaker game for participants to mingle around, meet, introduce and chat with different people.

Thereafter, the seminar started with tea and lunch breaks in between the entire Digital Marketing Day seminar. I have been hands-on inside the digital marketing / social media / blogging fields since April 2006, I have personally seen the huge changes in internet marketing, SEO, digital marketing and social media over the past decade. Although I am being “trained On-The-Job”, the topics shared by the various speakers were always a good refresher for me and there is always something new to learn because I don’t know every thing/knowledge/skills in life. It is always good to keep myself updated, upgraded and learn new knowledge and skills in life, on both personal and professional level.

Some topics such as “Rediscover the Lost Art of being Social in Marketing” by Andrew and “How to use Virtual Reality Solutions to create immersive marketing experiences?” by Nick, got me thinking ahead for the future, how I am able to make the changes, adapt and adopt new technology, as well as rediscovering myself in the commercial world of digital media marketing / social media marketing.

At the end of the MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017, it had been a fruitful and eventful learning day, networking , learning, upgrading and a refresher for me too. Do keep a look out for the various types of programmes and courses by MDC, highly suitable for working professionals to upgrade and learn new skills/knowledge.

I would like to thank MDC for the invitation to their MDC Digital Marketing Day 2017!

* Pictures courtesy of MDC *

AXON Predict by Greenwave Systems @ CommunicAsia 2017

In my own personal technology writing adventures covering and writing in the field of Internet of Things (IoT), this particular maiden journey started in 2016, I was introduced to Greenwave Systems, the global managed services and Internet of Things (IoT) software leader, thanks to my friend Wee Wu of Neo Dimension who invited me to visit Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016 in Singapore.

It was an eye opener to know more about IoT software systems and how they had already started coming into our daily life without us realising it at times.

I shared about my IoT learning experiences to Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016 in this article that I wrote in June 2016, after my visit and listening to Jim Hunter sharing and demonstration of the AXON Platform. For a recap of my sharing, please visit my article – AXON Platform by Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016.

Greenwave Systems was back for CommunicAsia 2017 and it was an honour to be invited back again to visit Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia! I had the opportunity to write and continue my sharing on Greenwave Systems since the article coverage I wrote in 2016. Arriving at Greenwave Systems seminar room, it was great to meet Jim Hunter again, he’s the Chief Scientist and Technology Evangelist of Greenwave Systems. Jim gave me a run through with a detailed and interesting presentation on the AXON Platform and AXON Predict.

AXON Platform – B2C

Listening and watching Jim’s presentation AXON Platform, it was a very good refresher for me. I saw the demonstration of how the AXON Platform works during my visit to Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2016. Therefore, I would not be writing too much in detail here because most of the references and notes were written inside my 2016 article coverage.

While I was listening to the presentation and watching the demonstration of the AXON Platform, I am also thinking about how smart and connected the various types of devices that we might have in our internet/technology connected home using the smartphone app, AXON Platform and using the common language of the AXON Platform, getting the non related techological devices to “talk, connect and work with each other”. I saw security alarms, security monitor cameras, bluetooth speakers, lighting systems, in action, using the AXON Platform to give instructions to them for it to be carried out, thus making the home smart and connected.

I was also thinking of which type of white goods (kitchen appliances) would be suitable to be connected and working with the AXON Platform whereby the home owner can give instructions to the white goods and get them ready when they reach their home. Some of the white goods could be coffee machine, electric kettle, microwave oven (if the home owner place the food inside before they leave the home).

The home of the future is moving towards a technologically smart and connected home and I feel AXON Platform can be the crucial element that brings both technology, products and consumers together in a home.

AXON Predict – B2B

Earlier, you have read on how the AXON Platform makes a difference and impact to the end consumer at home. Now, I am going to share on how AXON Platform extends into the other industries, on a Business to Business (B2B) level.

Greenwave Systems recently acquired Predixion Software, a data analytics company in February 2017. This would allow Greenwave Systems to offer real-time visual edge analytics solution called AXON Predict. This Greenwave Systems AXON Predict performs analytics “at” the edge, giving business owners a new dimension and arena to work with and on. With this level of advanced analytics, intelligence and information to the machines and sensors on every step of the network, the companies adopting the AXON Predict platform is able to take appopriate real-time action at the source of the input. Companies don’t have to wait for the information and intelligence to be pushed to the cloud for processing, saving up precious time and lowering asset management costs.

With AXON Predict working totgether within the Internet of Things (IoT), different businesses such as shipping/logistics industry, farming and windmill farms, are examples of companies using the power and technology of AXON Predict for their daily business operations. Check out the videos produced by Greenwave Systems below, on the AXON Predict and the some of the industries that are currently using their AXON Predict technology platform.

Any company or industry that utilises real time data analytics, intelligence and information gathering, is able to manage their businesses more effectively and efficiently, through cost savings, prevention, maintenance and forecasting.

“We’ve seen a real need for this in the market and our customers have affirmed our belief; smart devices often lack the ability to analyze real-time data at the source, causing latency, compliance and cost issues associated with data loss,” said Arkell. “We’re addressing this pain point head on by delivering intelligence to make devices and ordinary silicon smarter. Our analytics engine provides sharper insights and faster response times for our customers and helps them improve both their top and bottom line.”

Source: Greenwave Systems Press Release

With AXON Platfrom and AXON Predict, we can see where and how IoT is shaping, changing and impacting businesses and consumers. The world of IoT is very big and getting even bigger down the road in the next few years. How fast and how much have businesses (and also end consumers) adapt and adopt changes, innovations and disruptions through the IoT world?

IoT, Big Data, Analytics, AR, VR, MR – Which of them is/are the next revolution?

On this segment, it’s more of my personal thoughts and views of IoT after visiting Greenwave Systems at CommunicAsia 2017, recapping on AXON Platform and learning about their AXON Predict.

My maiden entry into the world of IoT began in May 2016, I wrote a short article here on my this site, it started from my visit to Canon EXPO 2016 Shanghai. That was followed by visiting Greenwave Systems in June 2016 during CommunicAsia 2016.

During this period of time from 2016 to 2017 (at the point of time when this article was written) when I was just touching the tip of the iceberg of this huge IoT world, I also saw the world of AR, VR and MR. I also attended a presentation and panel discussion on “F1 Technology and the Impact on Healthcare”.The revolution and evolution of technology is riding and coming faster to you than you can imagine.

From my May 2016 article that I wrote

Internet of Things is the next growth area, revolutionising business and their outreach towards their customers with technology, connectivity and gadgets. This growth area is estimated to be worth a potential of $14.4 trillion for companies worldwide (Source: Salesforce)

Internet of Things, connecting people, connecting technology, connecting eco-systems between people, devices and technology. Is the Internet of Things a whole new world out there or is it a world growing more connected? 

1 year later, I am continuing to learn, experience, write and share on the world of IoT. Seth Godin recently wrote an article (dated 12th June 2017) about accelerating revolutions where he spoke on IoT, revolutions are accelerating, the impacts, the pace and changes to culture and lifestyle with technology.

We’re living right now in the connection revolution, one powered by the internet, in which people connect to people, computers connect to computers and our culture changes ever faster, daily.

Source: Seth Godin

The World Economic Forum recently published an article on 14th June 2017, titled “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about empowering people, not the rise of the machines

The world of IoT is already upon us, whether we like it or not, it will help us, it will also affect us, in work, in our daily life. The growth of IoT will only grow and expand even faster.

In my humble personal opinion, views and thoughts, I see the next revolution of IoT in the areas of data – huge raw data, information and intelligence, followed by the data analytics, through our various cloud networks (storage, processing, analytics) and 5G telecommunication mobile networks.

After learning about AXON Predict during CommunicAsia 2017, my view is that they are already ahead of the current IoT trends and revolution. Although AXON Predict is currently more suitable for businesses and industries (B2B level), I am thinking whether it could reach the end consumer level? Would there be a day when the end consumer is also able to tap on the technological platform of AXON Predict?

The IoT world, the revolution, the changes, disruption, we can change, adapt and adopt, embrace and grow with IoT helping us to lead a better life and doing our work more efficiently and effectively.

Welcome to the world of IoT, if you haven’t heard of this term.

* I would like to thank Greenwave Systems and Ying Communications for the invitation to visit during CommunicAsia 2017 *

Touche – World’s 1st Biometric Loyalty & Payment Solution

Imagine one day in the very near future, you are out dining with your friends, having a great time at the restaurant, awesome food, drinks and company. At the end of dinner gathering, you called for the bill.

The staff at the restaurant asked “Would you like to pay for the bill just by the touche of your fingers?”. You replied, “Yes, sure!” The staff brings out a small tablet device, showing you the total bill to confirm that it is verified and correct before you place your fingers to process the payment. The next moment, you received an email informing you of your confirmed bill payment at the restaurant.

Is this possible? Yes, it is now possible, a fintech product made in Singapore, making her debut and official appearance recently and I had the opportunity to view it for the first time and had a short hands on experience on the process and payment, from a customer perspective.

Let me introduce Touche, the world’s full fledged biometric loyalty and payment solution platform –

“ … Touché is proud to present the world’s first biometric loyalty and payment platform, which is activated by just your fingers. In Singapore, within a span of three months, 150 restaurants, 15 local hotels and 5 private social clubs have shown interest in implementing this solution. The homegrown company aims to foray into Japan, with a market size in excess of US$200 million.

“Touché is a world first. It is not a better mousetrap, but a brand-new idea,” says Sahba Saint-Claire, CEO of Touché. “At its core, it aims to make people’s lives easier by removing the need to carry things such as credit cards, loyalty and membership cards, vouchers, coupons, etc. while ensuring they get all the benefits to which they are entitled. You register on Touché once at anywhere that offers the service and you can use it globally.” … “ 

(Via Press Release information)

I would like to share some of my personal views from both sides, an end user/customer and a business perspective

For end user/customer

This Touche biometric loyalty and payment platform is probably going towards a boom and rise in convenient, fast cashless and card-less payment system in the near future. With the proposed integration of loyalty rewards program in the near future, the customer payment and rewards experience would be enhanced in this area in the future (in my personal humble opinion).

Security and privacy are definitely concerns by the end users/customers when using the Touche platform. I had these questions at the back of my mind too when I attended their presentation. From their presentation, I am satisfied and glad to hear from them on the aspects of security and privacy procedures in place for the Touche platform.

For a business entity

I worked in the retail and hospitality industries previously, therefore, I had the experiences of the payment system commonly used, the machines for the electronic funds payment e.g. NETS, VISA, MasterCard, Diners, AMEX, JCB. I understood and knew about the costs involved in those machines.

While I do not have the costs and numbers from the business operation side of the Touche system, my personal view is that adopting the Touche platform device is definitely a worthy consideration, not just in terms of cost savings, there would be time savings (e.g. from the service staff printing out the bill, brining it to you, take your credit card, process the payment and back to you for your signature) and administrative time (change the roll of paper, change the ink cartridge)

The integration of this fintech with the entity’s own loyalty/reward system might be a good stepping stone for growing customer relationship management system, rewards and loyalty points system.

If you are in the hotel, hospitality, food and beverage industries, take a look at the Touche platform, have a chat with them.

The following information below were provided via the press release information, that explained my thoughts on Touche –

Efficient Loyalty and Payment through A Simple Device, Made in Singapore

Made in Singapore, the hardware of Touché is an elegant rectangular device that is certified and capable of multiple payment options including a magnetic stripe reader, chip reader, and 2.2-inch (diagonal measurement) biometric sensor with the highest resolution in the market to detect two fingers for efficient payments. Most customers will choose to pay with just two fingers after a simple registration, but they may also choose to pay with their physical credit cards. The device works over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.

Convenience is key

You will no longer need to carry anything around when shopping — this includes your cards, phones, vouchers or wallets! Look forward to fast transactions, as there is no need to look for your payment or loyalty cards, count dollar notes or wait for paper receipts and signatures to be processed. Imagine checking your bill on the device, placing your fingers on the Touché device and you’re out of the restaurant in just a few minutes. You will then receive an email detailing your experience. No more paper!

Security is at the core of Touché

The company’s brainchild scans any two of your fingers to extract around 40 to 45 specific points of each fingerprint. It does not store images of your fingerprints. The information is encrypted on a cloud system. It is virtually impossible to create a replica of your fingerprints with this information. The anti-spoofing and live detection technology at Touché also ensures that the fingerprints are real. Credit card information is tokenised, and the card details are not stored in the database. No information is stored on the device, and it communicates with the server using the highest encryption levels to protect our users’ privacy.

With one simple registration, users can use the system globally

The first time you visit a merchant, you can pay with your credit card and use Touché’s solution to link the card to your fingers. You then update your particulars online, and even add your profile picture! For subsequent visits to any merchant that uses Touché, there is no need for further registration, and you can even choose between multiple credit cards in your Touché wallet to make payment.

Smart shopping and increased savings with Touché

The Touché wallet offers you more than just payment methods. Wherever you go, your favourite offers, loyalty programmes, vouchers, coupons and memberships follow. Access to your shopping or dining experiences and expenditure history is readily available via the Touché journal. Touché ensures that your entitlements are applied automatically at every interaction. You will also be notified of the loyalty benefits or credit card promotional offers at one glance, making it easier for you to choose your preferred payment method for greater savings.

Supercharging businesses with a gentle touch

For businesses, this platform is time saving and efficient. It adapts to existing technology and process environments, so integration is a cinch. It can be utilised to create long-term relationships with their customers. They can tailor loyalty programmes and create unique offers for different customers. Businesses can also curate data about their customers, and the insights can be used to create moments that wow at every turn.

(Press Release Information)

Personally, in my personal humble opinion, I believe this Touche platform has a huge growth and expansion potential in the whole world. If the opportunity arises in the future, I hope that I can write and share more on both sides of the story, customer/end user and business.

I would like to thank Touche and Brand Cellar for the invitation to Touche launch event in Singapore.

* Photos and information courtesy of Touche and Brand Cellar *

Busy start to Year 2017 and a difficult year ahead

6 days have passed into Year 2017. During this time, it was a busy start for me. On 01/01/2017, I took a huge leap of faith into a new hope, something that I had been planning, strategising, seeking advice and assistance from different people from all  walks of life.

In time to come, I will share what I have entered into for year 2017, some might already had known, some would have guessed it by now, upon reading my first two paragraphs or I have shared with you privately over the various messaging platforms. There are no guarantees in life except taxes and death.

During this period especially in the month of January 2017, there are quite a number of tasks and things to do, from administration setup, content generation, spring cleaning of my room and home. I would do my best to continue sharing and writing my articles, things might be a bit slower than usual . All of them are crucial to my content delivery, publicity, awareness, branding and marketing outreach.

The year 2017 ahead is going to be more difficult and slower than previous year 2016, in my personal humble opinion. We have to be ready for slower growth like this in the immediate future, considering our geography, land size, population size and resources, competition and changing trading patterns in a ever changing and disrupting world economy.

We may have the infrastructure and hardware, we need to upgrade and change our software inside our hearts, mind and soul. We need to remove complacency and self entitlement from our current DNA, if not, we are going to become worse and lagging behind others.

I still have two remembrance posts to write, once this is completed and uploaded here, I can safely close this chapter 2016 and archive them. The chapter for year 2017 has already been opened up and a landmark moment had been embarked upon.

Time to produce many outstanding chapters and achievements, moving ahead in another (more) difficult and challenging year 2017.

Introducing MyUS for sports and fitness enthusiasts in Singapore

Sports and fitness enthusiasts in Singapore, whether you are a runner, outdoor recreation, sports, gym, body building, fitness junkie, we are always on the lookout for sports gear, accessories and supplements for our respective sports. The sports, fitness and recreation industries are getting more popular across a wide range of different sporting activities. As a runner myself, I am also on the lookout for running shoes, running apparels and supplements such as energy booster gels/bars. For my friends who are fitness junkies/body builders, I know the amount of health and fitness supplements that they need/want to have. They can be pretty expensive in Singapore, the brands available are not as many, compared to the US market.

While there are a number of sports and fitness companies in Singapore, sometimes we sports fanatics envy the much wider options of sports and fitness products in other countries such as US, that is a very well established and huge sports, fitness and recreation industry. There must be times when you search for sports and fitness products overseas on Amazon and other websites, you wanted something from there yet the international shipping costs changed your final decision to purchase and ship it over?

I would like to share with you this website, MyUS, a consolidation service for you to buy from multiple US outlets and only pay for one shipment from the MyUS warehouse to your door in Singapore.

What is MyUS.com about ? Let me share with you sports and fitness enthusiasts some quick information –

  • MyUS.com is an international shipping and package consolidation service, founded in 1997
  • It lets customers ship purchases from multiple US stores in one shipment
  • The service gives users a MyUS delivery address so they can order from brands exclusive to the US
  • MyUS does the rest, including handling customs and duty forms for you
  • Door-to-door package tracking and delivery within 2-4 days
  • The service is available for desktopAndroidand Apple users

How does MyUS compare to myself doing online purchases and direct shipping? This infographic below would provide a good comparison and analysis –

Infographic attach here

myus-cost-savings-comparison-infographic

What are some of the different outlets in US that I can visit and explore what are the different types of sports and fitness equipment, apparels and supplements that are available on their online websites?

Let me share with you some of them, a list of top stores recommended by MyUS, with the best deals and selections for health and fitness supplies –

  1. BodyBuilding.com – A MyUS preferred merchant, Bodybuilding.com has a great selection for those looking to reach their fitness goals.
  2. VitaminShoppe.com – VitaminShoppe.com offers great prices and free shipping to your MyUS address with orders of US$25+. They offer a huge selection of vitamins, nutrition and alternative health supplements for the whole family.
  3. Walgreens Drugstore– This online pharmacy offers a great selection of vitamins and much more with terrific deals and discounts that they regularly promote.
  4. Moosejaw and Sports Authority – Whether you’re looking for a trendy new GPS watch or the latest sports apparel, these outlets are the perfect place for bargain hunters looking to grab deals on popular American fitness/sports brands.
  5. Amazon– Amazon is a great place for consumers to shop for almost anything imaginable. The Amazon shopping experience also provides a wide range of products to suit any budget. For health and fitness fans, check out this link to shop for the best-selling fitness trackers on Amazon right now.

Looking through the top stores with the best deals and selections for health, sports and fitness supplies. I am quite keen and secretly excited to search through the networks of sports and fitness stores, and if I find something that I like and that I want, along with a good price, I will go for it.

To all sports and fitness enthusiasts/junkies/fanatics, visit MyUS and take a look for yourself, explore and see if their platform, network of sports and fitness stores suits what you are searching for. I went online window shopping at some of the websites recommended above, I found my outdoor products at Sports Authority, trail running shoes from Moosejaw and a few more other sports/fitness/outdoor recreation items.

If you are keen, I have a MyUS discount to share with my readers – when you sign up here at the link below, you would receive a 30-day free premium membership trial: https://www.myus.com/signup/?aid=1005194

I would like to thank MyUS and Allison+Partners for sharing the above information, details and infographic for me to share with my sports and fitness readers.

Start of Q4 2016, the Final Sprint

Today, 1st October 2016, this day marks the start of the 4th Quarter of 2016, the final quarter for the year 2016. Each and everyone of us had our own destiny and journey in life, how had the past 3 quarters for year 2016 been for each and everyone of you?

I had my huge challenges, life turning/changing events, going through a transition change along with picking up myself up and climbing up slowly from my fall to the bottom of the pit. It took a while, to some people, it might be a bit longer than usual. Personally, the time frame was probably just nice for me to turn around myself, picked up the speed from neutral gear to 2nd gear today.

In one of my former industries (financial advisory) that I worked in, we would call this period the Final Sprint. I don’t view the end of Year 2016 as the only finishing line, I view it as another transition point, a marker for me to move into another gear from 2nd to 3rd. This would give me the boost and momentum to kickstart year 2017 on a high instead of being pedal shifted down to a lower gear again due to complacency and inconsistency.

The world economy and Singapore’s economy are in for a very rough ride, we have to brace ourselves for another 1-2 years of slow and difficult growth till 2017-2018 (my personal humble opinion). There are many disruptions in our life and work today, it’s not going to slow down and it’s not going to get lesser, it will probably increase.

Last 4th quarter of year 2016, give it a go, a great sprint to the finishing line. Encourage your family, friends, colleagues, supporters and followers along in your final sprint! Get them onboard to run their own final sprint too! Just do it, with like minded people. Discard those people who look down on you, throw stones at you and those whose people whose job is to judge people.

Time to change my gear and start accelerating in my final 4th quarter of 2016. It’s my own final sprint! Run Run Run! Vroom Vroom Vroom!

Goodbye and farewell! You will be remembered!

On the morning of Friday 23rd September 2016, I woke up and saw a group message sent to my alma mater WhatsApp group belonging to the Dragon Chapter, the old boys of the Dragon Scout Group family hierarchy. I was shocked and very sad to hear the passing of a senior Scout master from Hawaii, who lost the battle to an illness.

I took a walk down my own personal memory lane when I first met you, I was just a young boy scout. If my memories serve me correctly, I was just 15 when you came down and visited Dragon Scout Group in 1992, that was the first establishment of a long and still strong, ongoing Scouting friendship and bonding between Hawaiian scout troop that you led and Dragon Scout Group in Singapore. Never did I realised how long and wonderful this friendship and bonding lasted over two decades. I am very honoured (for a young teenager during that time) to be one of the first few Dragon Scout Group Scouts to have memories of meeting you in person in the school when you first visited us.

The first exchange was in 1994 when you led and brought the Hawaiian scout troop down to Singapore for the first exchange. I can still remember the time when you all came down for camping at Sarimbun Scout Camp and I was in my first year as a Venture Scout. The Dragon Scout Group went over in 1995 for the return exchange visit that I didn’t get to be a part of.

Even though there was a bit of a time gap in between the first and next exchange visit, the friendship was never lost. I was looking through the photographs that I took when you returned in 2007 for the exchange with Dragon Scout Group, with a group of Hawaiian scouts, leaders and parents. I was there to welcome the Hawaiian scouts at the airport, it was the start of a fun and enjoyable exchange programme. These were some very beautiful memories and I was very happy to be part of this wonderful exchange.

In 2012, the boys and girls of Dragon Scout Group visited Hawaii for an exchange and I decided to follow along too. This was one of the best travels that I had, it wasn’t just about how beautiful Hawaii is or visiting Big Island. Following along for this exchange trip gave me a chance to truly learn and understand a lot more about international scouting exchange and friendship even though I wasn’t active in the Scouting movement. Upon returning back home, I would pass it on to my junior leaders in my alma mater, Dragon Scout Group whenever I am able to, serving the role as a mentor (just an old boy coming back whenever I am able to).

When you came back to Singapore for holidays, it was always great to catch up with you along with my fellow scout leaders. We will never forget your kindness and blessings, with gifts from Hawaii!

Dear Sterling, goodbye and farewell! You may not longer be with us, we will miss you! Your legacy, your friendship, kindness and advice that you gave us will forever be remembered in our hearts, mind and soul. You are not just a Scout master, you are (and still will be) a leader, a mentor, a senior and a big brother in the international scouting movement.

Thank you, Sterling, for everything, the friendship, guidance, kindness and blessings.

We will continue to Pass-It-On, upholding the Scouting fire and spirit, spreading, building friendships and bonding through the international Scouting movement.

1st September 2016

Today is 1st September 2016, this also marks the beginning of a new Chinese Lunar Calendar month, the first day of the 8th Chinese Lunar month. It has been 6 months since 1st March 2016 when I started a new journey due to the unforeseen circumstances that took place prior to that.

These 6 months had been a period of rest and recovery from my situation, it was also a period of a lot of in-depth thinking, planning and strategising. I wasn’t planning to rush into executing actions due to a very volatile and uncertain market economy along with many changes to how the market economy is moving, transforming and changing.

To some people who always judge me, I am slow and procrastinate a lot. Being truthful to myself, my heart and soul, I am just being extra careful and cautious, taking into consideration the current economic slowdown/uncertainty, the huge potential massive headwinds and downturn ahead for the remaining months of 2016, potentially a bottoming of the economy in the year 2018 (I sincerely hope that is not the case)

The traditional business model that any industry is working on might not be able to handle and sustain moving forward into a new era and millennia. It has to change, on a personal level, business level, society and government level. I am not saying that I have the perfect solution and answer for the next business model for the business that I am embarking on. I just hope that my willingness to think beyond and change the current business model would help me to establish my foundation and grow a small business.

I was reading “How to Grow as a Photographer – Reinventing Your Career” by Tony Luna. There is a sentence inside the book ~

“If it is true that it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a community to write a book.”

Like my sacred Canon 1DX Mark II moleskine book, I am writing my own stories and adventures. It had been a pretty rough ride for the past 6 months, the new ride ahead is not going to be smooth, it might be even more rough and turbulent, no thanks to the volatility and uncertainty of the world economy.

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What are the key themes, changes and ideas? Strategic partnerships and collaboration, special project themes, personal projects, constantly adapting and preparing for changes to the world, social media 2.0 to 3.0, learning new skills across and beyond your generic specialisation. Think Win-Win.

Some of you folks know what I am going through, some don’t, some don’t care, some don’t seek to listen and understand first before passing judgement.

Today is 1st September 2016, new things will take place soon.

Happy 51st Birthday Singapore

9th August, the day where Singapore celebrates her birthday. Today in 2016, she is 51 years old, crossing her 50th Golden Jubilee year with many big celebrations and events throughout the year. Celebrating 51st birthday seems to be toned down after a massive Golden Jubilee celebration year, that is totally understandable, just like a ball reaching its peak at the top, it would drop down and bounce up again.

Many things can happen in a 1 year time frame, year 2016 has been a turbulent year till date, on a personal basis and Singapore is facing some challenging economic times currently and times ahead. SG50 was an achievement and also a reflection on how much Singapore had grown, changed and transformed in the past 50 years, sometimes too fast and furious, putting a lot of strain on our many different infrastructures and society. We had also seen the good, in people coming forward to be the change and make the changes for society.

Year 2016, SG51 is like a turning point for Singapore. We are facing more challenges, domestically and internationally. The economy is slowing down, not just in Singapore, around the whole world too. This might be the time for everybody to reflect and look ahead, how we can change as an individual, as a society and as a country, to prepare, change, innovate and adapt for the future? We might have transformed from version 1.0 to 2.0 in 50 years of modern Singapore history. However, are we doing the necessary things for our future? The decisions, the actions that we must and need to do, for us to reach version 3.0 and beyond? Or have we become too complacent, comfortable and lazy, totally bo-chup?

The rise and growth of social media has allow us to read, see and learn a lot more about the good and bad of Singapore, sometimes on the extreme ends of the spectrum. Hopefully, this would allow us to move away from the ugly and working towards more of the good.

In Prime Minister Lee National Day 2016 Message, he spoke about unity, we have to unite together and meet the upcoming challenges and difficulties that Singapore face. This is a message that I resonate with deeply. We have to unite together for the future growth of the country, we need to innovate and change.

As we embark on another new chapter in our modern history, another new journey has begun since we turned 50 during our Golden Jubilee year. We are still a very young nation in the world today and it’s up to everyone of us, to help write the new chapters, the new version 3.0 of modern Singapore.

We still have a long way to go, if we make the changes, innovate and adapt for a new era ahead.

Happy 51st Birthday Singapore!