London Marathon, Moments of Genius

London Marathon:

Today was the big day when London shuts down for runners to challenge themselves to run 42.195 km’s. I love the event and I want to run it in the next 3 years. I watched, clapped and cheered runners pass by at the 10miles mark. One thing I realised was, compared to the previous year less Asians (especially elite runners) were running the race. It could be that they had gone for Dusseldorf or Hamburg Marathon instead of London. A friend who had his large intestines removed last year was running and I was really happy when I was able to spot him in the crowd of runners and cheer him on. He did amazingly and finished under 5 hours 🙂

Catch up:

In the afternoon had a catch up with a former uni mate who works at Moixa Technology, I was asking if they had USB Cells to send to Nepal but they aren’t any in stock. After catching up with my uni mate I headed to my 2nd Piano lesson.

Moments of Genius:

I caught up with my co-founder for around 20 minutes after dinner and we were able to get more things done in the 20 minutes compared to the whole day we were together yesterday. There are times of moments of genius and with enough of these I think businesses can survive.

Nepal Earthquake and donations

News for Today:

Earthquake in Nepal killing over 1000 people. Really sad to hear about a Natural disaster causing so many death again. My thoughts are with the people living in Nepal. Really hope the rest of the Earthquake’s are after shock and the earthquakes cease soon. I was in Tokyo during the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and prior to the major earthquake, there were a few quakes which were quite big. Initially it could have been thought those quakes were the big one and those that happened later were the aftershocks, but actually it was a lead up to the big event.

My advice to those living in Nepal would be to keep safe, surround yourself with relatives and friends, make sure to get plenty of rest, eat and drink properly. After big earthquakes people can be affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but by having people close around you to you to speak to, it can have a calming down affect. Resting, eating and drinking will help with the anxiety and the body will be less tense.

The report from my business partner in Nepal (one of my project) is that her mother is ok, but the family are going to sleep outside as the next 48 hours is critical. The house is a mess (photo of the shelf being thrown onto the floor is attached below). No news on the status of the Hotel at this present moment in time.

Please donate by looking at the below website. From my knowledge housing insurance is not very common therefore a lot of people could have nowhere to return and no funding to rebuild there homes.

How to help Earthquake Victims in Nepal.

From an article on Reuters in 2013 please note the comment “The Nepalese insurance industry currently lacks sufficient professionals to operate at peak efficiency and effectiveness.” Rebuilding of infrastructure, facilities could take a long time if insurance payouts for those covered are ineffective.

For those of you at Google, there should be gift matching available soon. Unfortunately one of the execs was caught up in the Earthquake.



Nepal Earthquake


Learning from experiences, State of Mind

Learning from Experiences:

For Today, the co-Founder and I had planned on generating and spec-ing out what we were going to create for our business. This effectively meant creating a road map and specifying the contents of the application. But earlier on in the week, we had experienced bad news causing us to lose focus. This meant today was unfortunately going to be one of those days where we faced a big wall and there was no way in getting over or through it.

Our lesson for the day was:

Realising the importance of being in the right state of mind and environment, when creating a business.

Therefore instead of trying to keep banging our heads in regards to the idea, we decided to go to Partridge’s Food Market (near Sloan Square) for lunch and take a walk around Battersea Park, discussing about our state of mind and what was bothering us privately, instead of thinking about the business.

As its an early stage to our business generation, we are going to see if helping each other privately works. Hopefully we can learn from the experience of getting bad news/ rejection and next time steam through.

Campus, Where’s Shaun? Property Tenancy exploitation

Half a day at Google Campus creating a road map of the business idea, collecting data and asking friends about how to improve the blog.

Had good feedback about adding more media on the blog and explaining about the contents.

Instead of Where’s Wally, Londoners or visitors to London can do a Where’s Shaun. Wallace and Gromit Charity have a spring event with 50 Shaun’s scattered around the City.

News for Today:

BBC Panorama Housing Benefit Scandal. This is an interesting and worrying programme about the current state of the property market for people on social benefits. Exploitation of tenants is the keyword which can be thought of in this article.

Relaxing day

After 5 days of courses and trials, I decided to take today easy.

Had a really good kick start to the day with marmalade which I bought from Bread and Pig with toast and Lady grey Tea. Nice and refreshing.

Met up with a neighbour and finally found out he’s Westie dog is called Barney. He’s 15 and really adorable.

A visit to Borough Market to pick up veggies from Paul Wheeler, where I discovered the lady serving me for the last few months used to live in the block of apartments where Im living at the moment. She told me how the area was back over 20 years ago. Really fascinating to hear about how the area has changed so much.

Cumberland Sausages from Rhug Estate (they sell really good spicy chicken wings). Mango, Oranges from Jock Stark.

Decided Coffee for this week would be Finca de Cuchi Gonzalez from Bolivia from Monmouth Coffee. Found out the big roasting machine is down at the moment and it will take time to get it back up and going. They have a 3rd smaller machine now but the roasters are roasting for longer than usual as the volume they can get through has been capped. Found out there was a Japanese girl who is working at the shop. I might be able to get advise in regards to my coffee next week.

In the evening went through with the co founder our business idea and how we should lay it out for the big ideas session on Saturday.

Overall a relaxing day of much needed rest.


Last Day of Trial in Property

Today was my last day of my trial at the local estate agent. Very quiet day with nothing for me to do. Picked up a couple of calls, 1 from an advertiser for a senior letting agent and 1 from another agent looking for a property calling the sales manager. The owner of the estate agent bought lunch for the team. As I had to leave early to join the Startup Tribe, talked to the owner on my analysis of the agency and left.

The analysis I gave the owner of my three day trial was:

  1. Make sure the team were eating healthily as they keep snacking all the time on crisps, biscuits, ice cream and this will in the long run cause health issues.
  2. Don’t release the new website as its “too wordy” and hasn’t been created to function for the prospective tenants, buyers, landlords, sellers.
  3. Make sure the team prioritises and calculates times for showings. Felt that the agents were slow compared to how quick they potentially could have been.
  4. Make sure templates for emails via Veco are setup so there is less manual labour correcting sentences before sending emails to clients.

The reply from the owner was that I wasn’t suited for a sales or letting role and I was more suited to a Business Analyst role. I have a feeling, instead of giving points of improvement, if I had told the owner that I got a massive kick from talking to clients about a property or how the portfolio of properties the agency had were awesome, I might have been more suited to a sales role. Its communication and understanding between people. The fact that I wasn’t able to do a flat viewing for potential tenants or sellers was a shame, because I would have been able to get more of the feel for how agents felt.

Overall no regrets about the experience and I think I was able to learn a lot from the team and Im truly grateful for having the chance to experience the working life of an estate agent.

Startup Tribe Farm outing and News

Farm Outing:

Tonight the Startup Tribe went for a farm outing! It was really good fun in the lovely countryside talking about our experiences in front of a bonfire in the beautiful sky with shining stars, 45minutes outside from London Bridge. Amazing food and company made a perfect night I haven’t had since travelling around South America.

Check out Bread and Pig for the early starters to the Startup Tribe.

News for today:

Project Fi, Google launching its own mobile network in the US by Tech Crunch. Lets see if there is anything coming out from Facebook in the near future especially when Facebook messenger is now taking 10% of VOIP calls.

Akira Morikawa, ex-CEO of Line’s next project is C Channel. The question of the CEO apres Line was always a question and Techinasia has been able to find the answer.

Pages Updated on Travelling & Food!

I’ve update the following travelling & food pages!

Ecuador. More information on things to do and reviews of the accommodations where I stayed have been written.

United Kingdom. Created this page on restaurants to go out to in London, sections are divided into Japanese, Chinese/Dim Sum and London Restaurants.

Peru. Information on the budget and where I stayed have been written. Will be writing things to do and reviews of the accommodation soon.

For the travellers and foodies, I hope you can enjoy that section of this website.

Property Trial Day 2

Day 2 of my trial at a local estate agent. I received emails from a three potential tenants who were interested in apartments from the emails I had sent on day 1. These emails were mixed in with emails from ex-potential tenants asking to be removed from the emailing list as they had already found a place to live or were now living in places like Yorkshire.

Computer space was not available but as I had brought in my laptop, one of the agents suggested that I look at the new site which was coming out in the near future. I listed a few of things from a clients point of view:

1.    The home page should have a quick search, a button which lists all the properties available for rent, a button which lists all the properties available for sale, a button to explain how property is managed by the firm.

2. As some of the pages like About Us and Letting Services, repeated itself told the agent to keep it simple with minimum wording, most people who are renting or buying are interested in the property rather than explanation of the company.

3. Make sure when no records are given it doesn’t go to the home page with the comments in red saying “There were no properties matching your criteria”, instead it should be going to a page with a filter showing all the records with the comment in green, so clients could look at other properties which are currently available.

After lunch I got to insert a record of a property, landlord and tenant information from a property which had been managed by a different agent until very recently. Veco responded ok today and didn’t crash, which I was happy about. One of the agents will be checking my work and I hope I will be told tomorrow if the information I had inserted was ok or not.

In the late afternoon there was a little argument between a sales staff and the manager of the office. The argument only lasted for 3 minutes but the after taste lasted for over 2 hours. Think there are more efficient ways than arguments, but then its healthy that they can speak openly to each other.

News: Small is Beautiful, Scapegoat? Atlas Mara

News for today:

Why small is the new big thing in housing by the BBC. This reminded me of the book Small is beautiful by E. F. Schumacher on sustainable development. Projects by firms like Pocket Living who have been crowd funding in the UK could be interesting in the next decade.

The other is of British Trader being arrested. His firm Nav Sarao Futures caused a flash crash in 2010 and making $40 mio whilst causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to crash by 1000 points at one point reported in City AM. As reported by Zero Hedge can 1 person really crash the whole market or is he being used as a scapegoat? There are lots of algos and HFT out there, can 1 person be held responsible? Does QE by the central banks really help the economy? These are interesting questions and we will see what kind of regulations will be coming in the future.

Lastly there has been reports of issues with Atlas Mara failing to disclose information by Afkinsider. Investment into Africa is a hot topic and regulations on tax havens like British Virgin Islands could become more interesting in the near future.