Book Review: How 25 Good Ideas Became Great Companies

How 25 Good Ideas Became Great CompaniesDo you aspire to be an entrepreneur? Throughout our career life, most of us have an idea that came across but have no idea where to start. Maybe we are comfortable with our current job, maybe we are not confident whether our ideas may work or not which stops us from starting our own business.

Recently, I borrowed a few books from Singapore National Library which is about startups and entrepreneurship. One of the book “How They Started (How 25 Good Ideas Became Great Companies)” contains case studies of great companies today such as Blackberry, Chipotle Grill, Coca-Cola, Disney, Dropbox, eBay, Electronic Arts, Etsy, Gatorade, Google, Groupon, IBM, Jamba Juice, KFC, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Pinkberry, Spanx, Trip Advisor, Twitter, Wholefoods, Zipcar, Zynga.

All the companies above started from an idea and how their founder turn them into great companies that are worth millions and billions.

There are a few pointers I learnt from the book.

  1. During initial startup, what problems did the founders of the companies run into?
  2. How did they overcome them?
  3. How they find their first customers?
  4. Ideas may not work the first time but with persistence, you will succeed.
  5. You will not get rich instantly. The starting journey is tough and most entrepreneurs take a pay cut.

An good read and I give the book an average rating 3 out of 5 stars.





SMRT Shares Surges on Hopes of Rail System Reform

SMRT Trains

SMRT shares surged to a day high of S$1.575 on Friday, 4th December 2015 after our transport minister Mr Khaw Boon Wan spoke about integrating the roles of the Land Transport Authority (LTA), which currently designs and builds the rail system, and the rail operators that maintain the system.

If you have been following up on discussions related to the rail reform framework, if the policy or deal goes through, the government will take over SMRT’s rail assets. This will turn SMRT into a pure operator which means that SMRT will no longer have to fund the rail CAPEX. Read More

Summary of November 2015 Transactions


The market slightly rallied in the first week of November and I took opportunity to sell off Nam Lee Pressed Metal at a profit of 2.3% (capital gains + dividends). The dividend yield of Nam Lee Pressed Metal is decent at roughly 5% however, as mentioned in my previous post (My Personal Analysis of Nam Lee Pressed Metal) , Nam Lee Pressed Metal is in a boring business. The stock price also lacks excitement, with low trading volume and almost stagnant at around S$0.30 over the past 1 year.

I have also reduced my stake in SMRT by selling off part of my holdings with a slight profit gain. I reinvested my capital into Parkway Life REIT (Parkway Life REIT DPU Increases for 3Q2015). My personal opinion is that Healthcare REITs are stable and prices do not drop much during crisis, neither do they rally much. Healthcare REITs pay consistent and good dividends. This is my strategy of balancing my portfolio as well.

My stock portfolio certainly looks more balanced now, with percentage of my investments decreased from 17% to 12% for SMRT.