Life is like a cup of coffee

Every once in a while, we all need an inspirational story and this one goes like this…

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups have been taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee. Savor the coffee, not the cups!

The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.
Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Don’t plunge into a start-up blindly

Ask some tough questions before you take the leap.

Through my entire professional career, I had only worked in start-ups or as an intraprenuer in large corporations. In most of my roles, I work like an entrepreneur, being the first employee set with a task to grow a new business either in the corporate organization or the start-up.

I often meet and interview people who want to leave the corporate world to work for a start-up. It’s like a magnet drawing and attracting them due to all the hype and glamour of being the next big thing. Heck, even will.i.am admits that technopreneurs are the new rockstars.

While I can tell you that it has been mostly a rewarding experience for me, I would not encourage it for everyone. According to a Wall Street Journal article, 3 out of 4 start-ups fail – 25% within the first year and 44% within the first three years. As much as 50%-90% ends up failing. You could be out of a job when the start-up shutters and your equity option worth zero to nothing. All the hard work and countless hours of working on the promise of the next big thing may wear you down if you are not prepared.

So before you consider the plunge, here are some of my personal advice and some tough questions I encourage you to ask the start-up you intend to join (drawing from much of my own personal experience and learning).

#1. Ask how much money is left in the bank

This is important but even more if you are joining at a senior and executive level. This will give you an idea how much runway you have with the start-up before it runs out of money.  If they are looking for you to fix a number that is preventing them from the next funding run, you need the time and runway to fix the number. It is best to do it when they just receive funding rather than a year after when they are almost out of cash in the bank from their last series. Supplement with questions like what is the actual revenue and monthly burn rate so you get a better understanding of the financial stability of the company.

#2. What are the priorities for the business?

Startup at different stages have different priorities. The founders and leadership team should be able to articulate their priorities at any given stage. While the priorities change as the start-up grows, an inability to answer this is a sign of poor strategic thinking. Ask every founder, leadership team member and staff what these priorities are separately and see if they tally.

The priorities will give you an idea what the founder think is important to support their growth. If they say the priority is revenue, then focus will be on sales, customer acquisition and pricing. If it is MQL to SQL, then it is marketing and growth. If it is customer happiness, then it is customer success and logo churn. Each priority requires a different tactics. Failure to understand this is also a sign of poor leadership.

#3. Ask to speak to ex-colleagues and existing team

Ask them tough questions. Do they think they will be here 2 years later? What keeps them up at night in their role? How many people have they seen come and go? It will also give you a gauge of the company health as a whole before you join.

With Linkedin you can search just about everyone professionally, so reach out to ex-staffs informally and ask what they think about the company and the circumstances leading to their departure. Best bet is to reach out to people who have left the company the past 3 months or so.

#4. Ask the company about their poor reviews on Glassdoor

Only ask about the poor reviews and see how the founders and leadership team react. Judge if they are being honest or simply fluffing it through. A leadership team with the humility to address negativity is a rare trait and will give you a sense of the integrity of the team you are joining.

#5. Ask how many people have been hired and how many left since their last funding? How long each person stay on average?

Research the true answers on Linkedin first and see if the founders and leadership team are being honest. Short tenures and hiring sprees are common in start-up. These are often the result of each investment round. Companies that are not thoughtful about their hiring process, burn and growth often get burnt. As the investment climate shifts and targets slowed, companies are often running out of time to show growth. That’s when pressure mounts and you need mature leadership at the top to weather the storms. *Zamato had 1,200 open positions before they laid off over 300 staffs.

#6. Observe how engaged the founders are with your hire.

This is especially important if you are joining the leadership team. You may not report directly to the CEO or founder but if they are not engaged with your hire early on, it’s a sign they will not be when you joined. Having good working “chemistry” with the founder is just as important as having the same with your direct manager. If you don’t see eye to eye on many things, it’s a good bet that you will not work long in that start-up. So ask questions like what is important to him/her personally? What start-up founders / companies do they look up to? Understand them better as a person and see if you think you can work with them.

#7. Ask to be invited to a company all hands or team function

This will give you a true sense of how open the company is. I was invited to a post event dinner with a company I was looking to join and during the post event, people drank, spoke freely and the CEO joked and teased along with the team. It was unpretentious openness I felt that led me to join the company. After joining, that same openness permeate through to the entire company culture. People were not afraid to challenge the CEO, it was not a top down culture and there was a genuine sense of kinship. Looking back, that event felt right and was one of the reason I ended up joining the company.

These question are not meant to deter you from joining a start-up, but merely help you make the most educated choice in selecting the right startup to join.

I was often asked why I would do it for less money than I could make more in a corporate environment. At the end of the day, it’s not for some lofty goals of being the next billion dollar employee. Like many of you reading this article, I am looking to make a living for my family and myself. I just happen to do it well in the startup environment and as an intrapreneur in a corporate world.

Other recommended reading:

CB Insights Anand Sanwal provides the most comprehensive data-driven analyses to help you pick which start-up to work for

Onstartup asks some similiar question and additional ones for you to consider

John Rampton gives you 10 compelling reasons to consider why you shouldn’t join a startup

Why Entrepreneurship Favours the Young

Silicon Valley is filled with stories of young entrepreneurs making it big at a young age. Mark Zuckerberg who started Facebook at 20 is worth in excess of billions at 26. Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey sold his company for US$2.3 billion to Facebook at age of 22. The rush to fund young entrepreneurs led Peter Thiel to create a fellowship which fund entrepreneurs under 20 years old to quit school and start their own companies.

The rush to support young entrepreneurs is not without merit but is based on a simple formula:

formula

Base on this formula, young entrepreneur who can spend more time creating value and spend less time on commitment outside of business is naturally more investment friendly. Experience is not included since the only experience that matters is having exited a successful prior.

But that doesn’t mean that entrepreneurship belongs solely to the young. Many over 30s and even 40s have founded successful companies. Jan Koum started Whatsapp at 35, Mark Pincus with Zynga at 41 and Robin Chase started ZipCar at 42.

But I suspect the journey is a lot harder for them than young entrepreneurs who have lots of time and very little commitment.

In order to tip the favour towards them, mature entrepreneurs may need to make more sacrifices in family time and other commitments, making the road to entrepreneurship that much harder. It’s no wonder Dana Severson wrote that entrepreneurs suck at relationships.

Mature entrepreneurs often end up minimizing their responsibilities and decisions at home to optimize their performance as a founder. It takes a lot more commitment and determination to be an entrepreneur.

The only career that is as tough as being a founder in a startup is probably being a film director. Like a founder, you are faced with a multitude of possibilities and decision making on a daily basis. Your production crew, actors and studio (whom I liken to investors) depend on you to make the film a success. The only difference, a film production may end in a year but you may not exit your startup in a year.

Is it dysfunctional?

Absolutely.

Is it worth it?

You decide.

This article first appeared on Linkedin on Jan 5, 2015.

Birthday & Thanksgiving

Every year, people around the world celebrate Thanksgiving. For most people born between November 22 to 28, you get to celebrate both Thanksgiving and your birthday approximately once every 7 years based on a calculation by Scott Forbes.

Like Scott, I am also born in late November. November 28 to be exact. So in 2002 and 2013, Thanksgiving falls exactly on my birthday. It will do so again in 2019.

So in the spirit of giving thanks and celebrating my birthday today. I wanted to give thanks to all that matters to me this past year.

To the good

Thanks for picking me up and guiding me through the down moments. For giving me hope and the strength to continue on. For lifting the burden and giving me warmth.

To the bad

Thanks for not causing permanent damage and giving me just enough room to recover. For reminding me never to be complacent and comfortable. For showing me the good through the bad.

To my love

Thanks for standing by me unconditionally and tolerating my whim and fancy. For supporting me through some crazy ideas and silly mistakes. Thanks for your unconditional love and for always being there for me.

To  our dear guardians

Thanks for looking over our family and guiding us through happy and sad times.  For being the friends and family that we are very grateful for. For not giving up as I waver. For simply giving unconditionally.

In the spirit of giving thanks, I encourage you to do the same this year and say thank you to what matters most to you.

Yes, fake accounts exist on Linkedin too

Lately, I have been receiving strange connection request on LinkedIn that range from Ayesha Gaddafi (yes, the daughter of former Libya PM Muammar al-Gaddafi), Managing Director of a large multinational company, HR Director of RedMart and Director at Merrill Lynch.

While I have a fairly active profile on LinkedIn, I also know that it’s strange these people would connect with me given we have no business dealings and also do not belong to the same Linkedin group. A review of their profile usually indicate that they have just joined LinkedIn, have no profile photo and they have loosely filled profile with little or no real job experience other than their latest role.

I am sure like most social media outlet, LinkedIn is also subject to a decent level of fake accounts. Facebook fakes stand at around 8.7% (87 million) so I am sure if we apply similar trends to LinkedIn, we would likely get the same percentage of fake LinkedIn professionals masquerading as successful businessmen or senior executives.

While LinkedIn has been a tremendous outlet for business connections and job opportunities but like almost every single social media outlet, it has to be taken with a pinch of salt how ‘real’ these connections truly are and what’s stated in their LinkedIn profile.

Fast economic growing countries like Singapore and Middle East are inundated with the fake degree problems with people looking to creatively boost their resume in order to seek a better job opportunity.

Many of these same fake degree holders will also use social media to give themselves a better edge in seeking better job opportunities in the workplace including crafting a perfect fake LinkedIn account.

This article first appeared on Linkedin on Aug 6, 2014.

Poetry of my life

Spur of the moment inspiration. A short poetry of my life…

I am not lucky but I am more blessed than you can imagine.
I am not rich but I am richer than you can measure.
I have lost and I have gained.
I have seen and I have been blinded.
But the heaven of life is never too far away.
We all make our marks in this world in our own special ways.
If I live to a day when I can tell my story, heaven would be a place not too far away.

The sharing economy and profiting from what others own

The start-up darling this week clearly has to be Airbnb with their recently announced valuation of US$10 billion. This puts them ahead of international hotel chains Hyatt (worth $8.4 billion) and Wyndham Hotel Group ($9.3 billion).

Airbnb’s founders are a growing group of entrepreneurs profiting from the concept of the sharing economy.

Simply put, they are businesses that use technology to disrupt an existing business model by leveraging or using what others have to create a profitable business in a similar fashion.

Airbnb has grown into a full-blown hospitality brand without owning any properties and most importantly, any large overhead cost that is associated with running a hotel or rental services. Their employees list include engineers, developers, designers, marketing and community leads as opposed to most hotel chains which includes chambermaids, servers, concierge, front desk staff and etc. Uber, other famous alumni of the sharing economy, runs one of the world’s largest transportation services without owning any car fleet of their own.

To build a business around the sharing economy is a dream for many entrepreneurs. It means doing more with less. In Airbnb’s scenario, it has grown to 600,000 listings in 190 countries on the backs of other people’s properties. How could any traditional hotel or real estate owners compete with that?

As an investor, Airbnb is very attractive. They have low overhead but can operate on a global scale without much investment. It escapes many rules and regulations applicable to traditional businesses. It does not have to pay hefty real estate taxes because of its business model and governments have yet to react fast enough to the concept of the sharing economy.

But creating a business out of what others own is not an easy task. You have less control over quality and customer service management. Airbnb have limited control of how the apartment will look when you arrive and if all the amenities as stated in the terms will be provided. The process may present many hiccups for the renter and rentee causing unhappy customers on both ends. Worst of all, bad PR press about trashed apartments or unwittingly renting out your apartment for a mass orgy party!

With this new round of funding, many speculate that Airbnb will use the funds to beef up the end to end process of their network, thus allowing for it to compete with some of the top hospitality brands.

This new round of valuation for Airbnb may indicate that it is being accepted as a mainstream business able to compete on par with the top hospitality brand or it may be the sharing economy fever that is spreading around the VCs in Silicon Valley. Only time will tell.

This article first appeared on Linkedin on Mar 22, 2014.

Company have poor customer service? Take a hard look at the CEO

Often we associate poor customer service with the people who actually service us. The waiters in the restaurant or the phone operator on the other end of the line. Getting upset with them for failing to do their duties or perform their service. No one ever faults the owner or CEO for poor customer service.

Well it’s time you think again.

There is in fact a deep correlation to the top. A large part of this statement comes from the numerous companies I had observed over the years and an experience which inspired this article.

Starhub is a telecommunications company in Singapore with mobile, cable TV and broadband services. When it was first launched in 1998, it had to go up against the island’s dominant telecom provider, SingTel. It’s an uphill battle as every single mobile subscribers and broadband subscriber is a SingTel customer. Then CEO Terry Clontz took an unprecedented step. He started listening to the problems that existing SingTel customers face and come up with competing products to draw them over. As a result, Starhub was the first telecom company in Singapore to offer free internet service and free unlimited incoming mobile calls. It was an unprecedented move and customers rushed to sign up.

The early subscribers of Starhub faced poor connectivity and frequent drop calls but no one felt they had a poorer service experience. Through the problems, subscribers stood by Starhub as the company listened and grew. In 2009, when Terry Clontz retired, Starhub was the fastest growing telecom company in Singapore. Neil Montefiore took over as CEO and continued to grow the company the same way Terry did.

In 2013, Neil Montefiore retired, replaced by Tan Tong Hai, former CEO of NCS (National Computer Services). I was surprised and not in a good way. I remember thinking, WHY? I say this because NCS is a terrible company with overpriced charges and poor consultancy service. It had leeched on lucrative government IT contracts for years. In a former role, I even discontinued the contract my company had with them due to their exorbitant billing and poor IT service. This is not a company known for anyform of customer service.

Truth be told, Starhub started changing under Tan Tong Hai. Customer service operation hours were cut & customer loyalty vouchers were discontinued. Front line customer service executives no longer have any liberty to wow their customers. Every irate customer is turned away with, “I am sorry, I feel your pain but there is nothing we can do”.

Today, I called Starhub because I realized that the internet plan I was subscribed to cost nearly the same as their new plan (albeit cheaper by $3) but was 8 times slower! Apparently, the plan contracted 15 months ago was scrapped. But for the past 15 months, I have been given the poorer service paying almost the same price as the new service. I called Starhub and requested for an upgrade but was denied, even though technically I will be paying $5 more per month (plus GST) to get on the new plan.

I cannot fathom the logic behind this.

If Starhub was sincere about customer service, they would have allowed me to upgrade but instead chose to deny the extra money and tell me to wait till November 2014 to sign up for the new plan when my contract expires. I was not happy and I didn’t mince my words. I think it’s ridiculous. Why would they turn down an upgrade from a customer of 13 years?

I asked the customer service operator if anything could be done about this? He told me, in an apologetic tone, “I wish I could help but there’s nothing I can do.” I asked to complain to higher management (mind you, this is Singapore, where we all complain to higher authority if anything displeases us) and he told me sadly, “Many have (complained) but nothing could be done about it”. I could tell from his tone that he is a Starhub customer like me.

Starhub seems to have forgotten that placing emphasis on customer service was how it became successful.

So Starhub has inspired me to write this article and my follow up actions. Discontinue my Cable TV, Cable Broadband Plan, Digital Voice Home plan and my entire family mobile subscriptions.

Congratulations Starhub, you have saved some bandwidth by denying my upgrade but you have lost a loyal customer and my $400 per month subscription. What a great way to run the business, Mr CEO.

Update (Mar 8, 2014)

Ever since I tweeted this story to Starhub, the customer service team reached out to us and offered us an upgrade to the new plan that is 8x faster on a new 24 month contract. While this was not the intent purpose of me writing this article, I was nevertheless happy with the end result. They made an effort to listen. Now I can only hope that they remember and take stride in making customer service a priority and not an afterthought.

For those curious, we chose to take up the offer and signed up a new 24 months contract with Starhub. A sign of faith from a loyal customer.

This article first appeared on Medium (www.medium.com) on Mar 6, 2014.

8-steps of Retail Social Media

Manage the social media noise well will create buzz and win customer loyalty for any companies.

I have been developing social media strategies for my previous 2 employers mostly in creating and retaining influencers that will impact the business bottom line and help grow revenue. Social media can help businesses expand their markets and gain shares needed to grow their online reputation. The business SEO & SEM ranking will also get a favourable boost and customer engagement gets more direct.

However, before you plug into the social media game, you need to check the following:

1. Check your identity
For big companies with legacy issues, the first thing you need to do is to consolidate all your social media identity. Ensure there is no more than 2 (1 for your business and 1 for your corporate stuffs). This ensure your customers can easily follow you without having to decipher which twitter / facebook / linkedin get them to your business. Delete everything else that do not represent your business.

2. Promote relevantly
If you have more than 1 websites, the rule applies. Point all your customer fronting sites to 1 twitter/facebook and all corporate fronting websites to the other corporate twitter/facebook. This allows your customers to find you easily. Twitter and Facebook accounts are like phone numbers, 1 is often enough. The more accounts you have, you dilute the impact social media can do to support your business.

3. Engage relevantly
There are hundreds of social media that you can get involved with but the few that matters are obvious. Identify what channels you need to make an impact. For retailers, the defaults are twitter and facebook because they matter when customers provide direct feedback. For some like GoPro, an action camera retailer, Youtube played a great role in showcasing all their customers videos online and promoting it via twitter and facebook.

4. Build relevantly
Build an internal social media team by focusing on customer loyalty. Ensuring you capture and respond to all customers feedbacks. Start from groundzero. This is especially important for companies that have not had social media at the top of their priorities. Make it the teams’ priority for 6 months to engage all social media feedback. Keep marketing/promotions to the minimum. Start from the base. Make your customer feel that they are being listen to and proactively fixing the problem they raise. The goal would be to get to all problems before they become one.

5. Respond relevantly
If you followed step 4, you would realised that the biggest social media gap all companies have is managing customer feedback online. Responding well and getting problems fixed online is an art. Your social team need to behave like human and less like robot. Good answers are appreciated, standard replies are frown upon. Learn to reach out to customers whether if the problem is directed at you or not.

Over the past months, I tweeted to 4 retailers, one which is a recognised leader in customer service. Here’s the actual time it took for them to respond to me via Twitter.

Nordstrom – 10 minutes. In fact, they replied me even though I deleted my tweet 5 minutes later
Airbnb – 2 hours
Grandst – 6 hours
CourtsSG – 1 day/24 hours – because it was after office hour.

Apart from CourtsSG, the rest saw my tweet during their office hours and tweeted a proper response to address my problems almost immediately. Nordstrom which is famous for their great customer service took their great service to the social front. Nordstrom is the best in the business and your business’s role model if you want to make social media work for you.

6. Empower relevantly
Ensure your empower your social media team to resolve problems with your internal team. This is the only way you can convert your customers. You need to prove you can solve their problems.

7. Market relevantly
Once you have established a good customer response streak for at least a year. Good news, you can now consider your social media channels your best marketing tool. Start promoting your best products and services through these social media channels and your followers will respond.

8. Sustain
Finally, they key to all these is to sustain your formula. Ensure your keep up the response rate for your customers feedback.

Follow these 8 steps to establish your own Social Media strategies and they will be incredibly rewarding for your business in the long run.

Samsung Note 2: A user POV

Beginning of 2013, I blogged about getting the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 which I think is better in terms of size and portability than an iPad mini for a mobile and quasi-road notepad. I bought my Note 2 in Feb and had been itching to blog about my experiences with it.

Bear in mind my article is based on the use of my Android 4.1.2 Jellybean Samsung Note 2 N7105 (16GB 4G/LTE). I put together this blog based on what I think the device do to make my life technically better and will focus on how the device software and hardware work to serve its purpose be it as a phone or a tablet.

Straight off the bat, Note 2 is a beautiful phone. The plastic feel did not dampen my enthusiasm. From the first power on, the colours were vibrant and vivid and comparable to that of iPad 3’s Retina Display I am so used to.

It was great not having to decide what memory size I should get. Something I had agonized for weeks when selecting my iPad 3. I knew 16GB would be what I needed on Note 2 given the fact I had the MicroSD Expansion slot. It would have been better if Android had continue to allow the App2SD feature without rooting.  But nevertheless, it was easy to manage with 16GB of space without video since my iPad’s 64GB is >50% video.

First week of use on Note 2 was rather funny, I did not know how to pick up a call for 3 days. There was no instructional manual telling me to swipe and well, the screen was rather silly showing green and red arrow both ways with a large icon on screen. I ended up defaulting to the home button and 2 soft keys to no avail. Perhaps its my lack of iPhone experience showing.

Note 2 was awkwardly huge to speak into like a regular mobile phone. I find it easier to use either the speaker mode or the headphone mode. I also had to get use to the way I hold it. My thumb would often find its way to the off switch while my middle finger to the volume button. Once I accidentally shut down my Note 2 midway through a call.

Sensitive screen is a good thing but when using the Note 2 as a phone, it is really bad. I have learnt to avoid leaning the screen to my cheek if I want to avoid my face touching buttons on the phone. I now hold the Note 2 at an awkward 45 degree angle to my face, with the speaker pointing to my ear.

Another problem I face is the soft key is so sensitive to touch that it makes playing game a nag. I almost always accidentally touch the soft key during game play. This is where Apple engineering brilliance come into play. No excessive buttons to cause such problems.

Note 2’s rotation is also too sensitive for its own good. It is fast to react but often wrongly. However there is a smart rotation option that determines screen rotation by checking the orientation of your face with the device. It will lag a few seconds or so but is good enough to give a more precise rotation of the device.

Generally, Note 2 is fairly easy to use. The widgets and apps are easy to customize. The sheer number of duplicate apps is unfortunately irritating and making it slightly schizo. I have 7 apps download manager that works like Play, 2 browsers and 3 media players and 2 Voice apps. Many of those installed by Samsung are not removable like DropBox, ChatOn and more. So what I did was to make sure they never get updated to save on my memory space.

Unlike iOS, Android phones works on a file structure which is viewable. People familiar with Windows/Blackberry phones should be accustom to this. You can scroll through the folders to see where your music, pictures and videos are stored. I found it especially useful with video apps. Through this, I can locate where the mp4 are downloaded to and move them from my phone internal storage to the microSD and play off the media player. I can’t do this in iOS.

But with the good, comes the bad too. You also get to see all the garbage that Android downloads or run in the background. With iOS, this is impossible to see/track. However, in Android, you need a few good apps to help clear your cache, clean your history and close your tasks to avoid significant speed compromise.

Emails are a breeze to use, as I had expected. Photo sharing is  surprisingly good, better than iOS. If you have an app that takes photos/pictures, you can automatically choose to share it from Watsapp/LINE to Email to Dropbox/Google Drive.

Browsing on the Chrome is easy and the 4G LTE speed really shows. Note 2 actually loads webpages faster than my iPad 3 4G LTE. I believe that’s due to its faster hardware and cellular features.

Maps and Navigation are two new tools I welcome. I miss Maps on my new iPad (given Apple’s decision to remove all things Google) but Navigation is new for me and makes my phone a default GPS on the go. I like that.

Default Keyboard on the Note 2 is a little fancier than on ios 6. It incorporates gesture input typing. However, what’s lacking is the multi-language option which I can set up easily on ios 6. In the end, I opted for the Go Keyboard which has all the best features you can find in a keyboard with the added benefit of being completely free.

Two highly promoted feature on the Note 2 that I rarely use/have enough reasons to use frequently are Multi Window and S Note. I actually like the S Note. It is a good note taking tool and I use it to write a quick note here and there. The problem I faced when using these 2 tools is how quickly the battery drains. Note 2 is a power guzzler. It drains power like a thirsty bear at a water hole.  A solution to this is necessary if you intend to go on the road with this device.

Camera on this phone is excellent. I take better picture with this than on my iPad 3. The 5-megapixel on my iPad 3 often appears grainy and less than satisfactory. Note 2 on the other hand was making my photos look stunningly professional. Since getting the Note 2, I have added a SanDisk 64GB MicroSD card to my expansion slot for the photos I know I will be taking on this. I also found a slew of nicely design but rudimentary China-Made telephoto lens, micro lens and fisheye lens to take even more professional looking shots.

I can see why the world is so enamoured with Samsung and its Android phones. Android has evolved to become a really good mobile software and a strong contender for the iOS while Samsung makes excellent hardware that complements what the Android does.

Update 6 May 2013

A few days ago I decided to reset my Note 2 and get a feel for doing so.  The original Samsung Kies did not offer too much option and I wasn’t sure it will do a good job. A search landed me to Super Backup. It backs up everything including messages, contacts and apps to files which you can move to an SD card and reload from the app when you have reset your device. This app is a must have for any Android users.