Business, The Octopus Game

By the time I had met him, my old boss already had a superpower: he could find experienced people, usually traditional Chinese businessmen, and turn them into his mentors. He told me that when he first landed in Ho Chi Minh City in 2009, he talked his way into the Singapore business association there, and walked away with a directory of their members. Then he called the most interesting ones and took them out to dinner. I knew this to be true because I found the old directory in a stack of books in our office; he grinned when I asked him how he got it.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Love it! Another metaphor for the octopus I’ve learned from my previous startup attempts, and which often tell telling friends, is that starting a company is like lock-picking.

In lock-picking all the pins have to align for the lock to open. When starting a startup the team, product, marketing, timing, market size, competition, etc have to ALL be good for the company to be viable.