A Great Simian or just a Monkey

singapore

Singapore Hawkers added to the UNESCO Heritage list

One thing that few have not loved while living or visiting Singapore are the Hawkers. If you have not visited or know what a Hawker is, it is simply put a Food Court. Since Singapore is true multicultural, Hawkers have foodstalls from all corners Asia. Now Hawkers have been added to the UNESCO Heritage list, which is a welcomed addition to the list. Visiting a Hawker is an experience, not only for the food, but also for the mix of people, the energy and all the smells and noice.

What is a Hawker

I am not a historian or an expert in the area, so let me just cut / paste from Wikipedia, for the brief description.

A hawker centre or cooked food centre are a variety of food courts originating from Singapore. Housing many stalls that sell a variety of local and other Asian cuisines, they are typically found throughout the city-state, located near public housing estates or transport hubs (such as bus interchanges or train stations).

Hawker centres were set up by the Singapore government as a more sanitary option to street-side outdoor alfresco hawker dining places. Instead of mobile food carts, permanent stalls in open air buildings are provided for the hawkers with either commonly shared or stall dedicated tables and chairs provided for patrons. This phenomenon is also helped by hawker licensing laws, and totally eliminated street hawkers in Singapore.

Wikipedia

For us, who moved back to Sweden in 2015, Hawkers is one of the things we miss most about Singapore. …… hmmm, but when I think about it, we miss Singapore for so many other things as well.

To put the importance of hawkers into perspective: If we move back to Singapore, the proximity to a hawker will be a pre–requisite when we decide on location for housing.

Fantastic food for a few dollars

I am not exaggeration if I say I ate at a Hawker 5 out of 7 days a week while living in Singapore. Most lunches and occasionally dinner. The amount of visits I made to Tori Q (Japanese Yakitori) in Takashimaya for lunch is uncountable. The classic Hawkers are often located in housing blocks or at strategic places like close to public transport junctions. Nowadays Hawkers are also in shoppingmalls and in the more touristic areas. One of the bigger ones in Singapore is located in the dead center of the financial district (CBD) and named Lau Pa Sat, this one is famous for its weekend and evening outdoor satay stalls.

Another famous one is the slightly more touristic one at Newton Circus. It is slightly more touristic and suited for expats. We often ended up on Newton Circus since we lived quite close.

The best ones are probably a local one in a housing complex you never herd of. There are hawkers everywhere and most are great. Since it is Singapore, all are inspected by authorities so they comply with health and environment regulations.

For most meals you pay something like S$2-6 which is equivalent of 12-40SEK or 1.5-4.50USD.

Which one is the best one then? The one with a stall that has a Michelin Star maybe?

I am not the one to judge here and everyone has their own favourite.

Some hawkers stand out, like the one where you can have a S$2 Peking Duck from a stall that earned a Guide Michelin Star in 2016. Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle in Chinatown Food Complex is the place. We never tried it though, since none in the family is especially fond of Peking Duck.

The big ones are easy to find, but the small hyperlocal ones are definitely as good in most cases.

Kopi Tiam or Hawker, what is the difference?

To some extent it is pure semantics since they originate from different backgrounds, Kopi Tiam has a Malay / Hokkien background and Hawkers are a pure Singaporean phenomenon. Besides that, the difference is that Kopi Tiams is a kind of coffeshop that also serve some dishes, mainly malay food, while Hawkers is a full fledged food court with many stalls from many different asian countries.

The smell of Kaya toast in the morning

For most the Kopi Tiams are famous for its local coffee and its Kaya Toasts. The kaya smell hangs like a thick fog every morning in Singapore and the smell is very prominent and unique. It is a very very Singaporean smell.
Kaya is a sweet coconut jam.

The Kopi Tiam coffee

As a start, Kopi means coffee, so now when that is out of the way, how is the coffee?

As a coffee nerd I was a bit hesitant to the Kopi Tiam coffee in the beginning. It is a very raw way of brewing or should I maybe say filtering. Let’s start with the beans. It is in no way any high quality bean or quality roasted beans (still with tradition and proudness amongst the roasters). It is a very buttery and sweat roast, that mainly is done locally in Singapore.

The thing with the brewing is that you boil the coffee and then filter it through a fabric filter, almost like filtering it through a sock.

Most locals drink the kopi with condensed milk and a lot of sugar. I found that “drink” to be completely awful. I usually drank Kopi O Kosong which was half coffee and halv boiled water. It is the strongest version of Kopi, but it suited my need for strong coffee. I usually ordered one Kopi O Kosong as a morning coffee when going to the office.

Below video shows both kaya and kopi, it also gives a glimps of how a hawker looks and feels (even though not as crowded as it usually is).

singapore

Some things will be dearly missed

We are leaving Singapore in a couple of weeks. Naturally I already recognize things we will miss. One of the major things is what is shown in the picture. All the multi-cultural / multi-national relationships in our daily lives.

The picture shows our daughter with her best friend. A Swedish and a Japaneese girl hand in hand on Orchard Road.

Why is this important? It creates a more enlightened world. If we just take these two girls, they know so much about each other’s cultures and countries since they have seen each other every day for a long time. We will also have the honor of having this particular family for visit in Sweden this summer. Our daughter has friends from countries on all continents and most religions. She will miss it, but we are also happy to have given her the opportunity to learn, it is something she will carry with her for the rest of her life.

This is by no means applicable only to the young ones, it is one of the things I personally will miss the most as well. Learning about other cultures, countries and religion…..and lets not forget all the wonderful food from all parts of the world.

Singapore is a truly multi-cultural, multi-religion and multi-national country (goes for the food as well). Thank you Singapore for being such a great country in that way!

This is something that truly bridges gaps and creates a better world, by understanding and knowing more about our peers in this world.

Sweden vs Singapore if starting or running a company

Singapore is heaven for companies whilst the Swedish welfare system is broken, but Sweden hangs in there for other reasons and has also changed in the right direction during the last years.

After one year learning about the Singaporean regulations, taxes and general business environment for companies here, I thought it was time to share some key findings in regards to the difference between running a business in Sweden compared to Singapore.

I run companies in both countries.

Sweden is still competitive if no employees, if it is more like a holding company, and you can rely on dividend not salary. Sweden has great business ethics and a healthy yet productive work life balance. 

Singapore is run like a company and the support the government gives to companies is extensive. Singapore is build to create a great environment for companies and has truly succeeded with the task.

This post only brings up the different taxes and fees and how those compare. I have another post in the making about the startup and VC climate here in Singapore, so I will leave that part out in this post. No soft skills are brought up in this post.

1. Starting a company

I would say it is about the same. Sweden has a bit more user friendly way of doing it online, but in general I would say the cost and the administration is extremely good in both countries. Well done both Sweden and Singapore.

2. Employing people

Singapore: This topic depends a bit if you employ a Singapore Citizen / Permanent Resident or an expat.

  • Citizen or PR: You have to pay CPF (Central Provident Fund. CPF is like a pension fund that everyone has. There are other stuff included as well. Just head over to CPF (the design is beyond awful btw) to find out the details. The economics is both straight forward and complicated. Straight forward in the way it is calculated and complicated in the way that it is two parts, one part that is payed by the employer (currently you as an employer pay maximum of S$800) and a part that is payed by the employee, but this part is deposited by the employer and then deducted from the salary before payed. The most complex thing with this process is that you cannot pay CPF online from your business bank account, this since the Singaporean banks do not allow eNets (e.g VISA or MasterCard) transactions on Business Cards, but has to be done by autogiro or cheque (how is that for old-school).
  • Expats: The process of getting a Visa for an expat is pretty straight forward and easy process, all done online. The online systems are not perfect, one fun thing is that the online systems are closed outside of office hours, so when you most of the time actually have that hour over to apply for an employee, the system is closed. When in Singapore you tend to get upset with the amount of time and effort it takes to get an Employment Pass for an employee. It is a wast amount of documentation and rules that apply, also the government have recently tightened the rules a bit. Yes, it is cumbersome, but if we look at the hole picture it is actually really generous and great system. If compared to Sweden this process is like a breeze. It is fair, straight forward and honest. Singapore still lacks some competence in certain areas, many of those areas are expertise that Swedes and many other western countries have, so most of the time the process is very straight forward. Minestry Of Manpower even got a self assessment tool if you want to try if you would get an EP in Singapore. You do not pay any CPF for expats.

In summary, the maximum CPF you pay as an employer is around 16% (a S$5000 salary gives a S$800 CPF contribution), but in most cases well below 5%.

Sweden: Well, this is a beast. In Sweden there are two different taxes / fees that has heavy impact on the financials for a company, employer fee and social benefits. Those combined adds up to 38-46% extra that you have to pay on top of ordinary salary to the employees. This has a huge impact on small companies.

Conclusion: The CPF system is not perfect (inherited from Switzerland if I am not mistaken), but it is fair to both employer and employee. I cannot say the same for the Swedish system. There are some significant advantages with Sweden here also. The safety for an employee is great in Sweden, whilst in Singapore it is almost zero, on the other hand the un-employmentrate is also almost zero.

3. Income tax

Well, don’t know how to put it, but it is expensive to run your own company in Sweden if you also are employed in the company. It is actually a really shitty situation in many ways. Singapore is a really good country for this.

Sweden: Between 31-56%
Singapore: Between 7-20%

Conclusion: If you look in your wallet when you are paid your salary, you will not want to be in Sweden, you will want to be in Singapore.

4. Company tax

This is actually the subject where Sweden as well as Singapore are in pair on being globally competitive in a good way.

Sweden: 22%
Singapore: 17%

Even if it is not such a big difference there is a big difference in attitude. Singapore have tons of tax exemptions for young companies. Some you don’t even have to apply for, but are just there by default, such as the one that makes the first three years kind of good from a tax perspective since IRAS heavy subsidised tax on the first S$300.000. For the first thee years it will be an average of 5.67%.

Conclusion: You can easily get the impression that the Swedish tax system for companies are there to punish rather then help small companies. Whilst the Singaporean system more have the approach “If we make it easy for a company to survive the first 3 years, there is a higher chance of you succeeding and by that pay the government more taxes long term”. Sweden have a bit further to go before we can call it startup-friendly. The system is in many ways built for large companies like IKEA, H&M, Ericsson, SKF, Electrolux, Volvo, Atlas Copco, Boliden, Husqvarna, Saab (not the cars), since we have a few of those big ones, actually Stockholm is ranked #16 in the world when it comes to cities with amount of large companies.

5. Capital Gains Tax

Hands down a victory to Singapore. Hard to compete with the amount of 0% in tax on capital gains.

Sweden: 20-30% (the large portion would be in the range of 30%).
Singapore: 0%

Conclusion: Well, go figure.

6. It gets really interesting when putting the numbers together in an example

I will make two simple examples. The first is on an operational level och the second is on a dividend level.

Operational example: If you are two people in a company and you send an invoice to a customer for the amount of 100.000 (currency irrelevant). Lets assume you will take all of that in salary divided between the two of you.

In Singapore you would get approximately 43.000 each.
In Sweden you would get approximately 12.500 each.

Dividend example: Your profit before tax for the last year is 1M. How much will you as an owner get in your hand?

Singapore: 830.000
Sweden: ca 600.000

To summarise this topic I would say that if you run a company without employees and can pay yourself dividend every year and just a minimum salary there is not a huge difference (still big), but as soon as employees come into the picture (as employee yourself or if you hire people) the equation gets really good for Singapore and really bad for Sweden.

7. Don’t you get more in Sweden since you have the high taxes, how about the Sweden welfare?

The Swedish welfare system is a hoax, it does not exist anymore. The Swedish welfare system is build upon the notion that we have free and great healthcare, education, pension and infrastructure etc. It is not hard to find relevant arguments that the Swedish welfare system is broken, especially when we look at what we pay for it. Singapore has great healthcare, education and infrastructure. they even have a military defence that is actually up and running and can do stuff in less the 5 years if something would happen that might require a military defence.

To be clear, Sweden has healthcare, education, infrastructure etc, but most people have an additional healthcare insurance to avoid the waiting time etc (exactly as in Singapore), payed by the employer or privately. The healthcare is also ranked amongst the lowest in EU. The education has decreased tremendously in the last 20 years and is according to PISA, Sweden is at the lower end. Infrastructure….well, nowadays we have road tolls on roads and a railway that is not working properly. We do have great internet though.

Yes, I know that Singapore is unique in many ways, but still, so could Sweden be, at least when you consider what we pay in tax!

8. Conclusion

From a business perspective there is not even a competition. Singapore wins on all levels. From a personal perspective there are other angles to consider. Singapore is a survival of the fittest country and Sweden has a really great balance of living standard and work ethics etc. That is a personal question to consider.

I must add that I am no tax or law expert in anyway. All example are based on simple calculations and all the small stuff is left out to keep it simple and straight forward.

Sweden and Singapore are competitive countries

World Economic Forum today released The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015. The report is as always a joy to read for a Swede living in Singapore. Two fantastic countries when it comes to innovation and competitiveness.

About Sweden the report have the following text in their excerpt:

10. Sweden, despite a rather stable competitiveness profile across all areas, falls four places this year. Overall the country boasts important strengths across the board, with strong institutions, excellent infrastructure and healthy macroeconomic conditions. Perhaps more importantly, Sweden has managed to create the right set of conditions for innovation and scores very high in many of the dimensions that are key to creating a knowledge-based society.

About Singapore the report says the following:

2. Singapore ranks second overall for the fourth consecutive year, owing to an outstanding and stable performance across all the dimensions of the Global Competitiveness Index. Again this year, Singapore is the only economy to feature in the top three in seven of the pillars; it also appears in the top 10 of two other pillars.

World Economic Forum have two great articles with a lot of data and links for the nerd, so I thought I would just share two photos that kind of highlights how Sweden and Singapore are holding up, pretty good I would say.

sweden-global competitiveness

most big companies per city

One year in Singapore

So, one month ago I passed the one year mark living in Singapore. I wrote a few posts when we arrived here. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since.

Most of my initial impressions are still valid, the school system in the international schools are fantastic.

It is clean, maybe too clean sometimes, I also get the impression that the cleanness is dependent on how  many cleaners there are and not at all connected to the cleanness of the people in Singapore.

It is safe. Damn safe to be honest. As a father with an 8 year old daughter, I could not possible feel safer.

Is it a democracy? Well, this is one of those questions that are really hard to answer, do google or check Wikipedia for the academic answer, from a person who just moved here 13 months ago, this country is run like a machine or like a large corporation. If things are broken, they are fixed, if things are needed to grow the country in the future, let’s focus on those markets that will make it possible, in comparison with most other countries I have gained some insight into the governmental structure and the people working there, I must say that they intellectual level on the people working in many government agencies are just amazing. It is actually a very attractive career path for many.

Most things simply work.

As a Swede I am extremely impressed with the tax system. As a citizen of Singapore it is not much that differs in what you get for your tax money, but the taxes in them selves differ tremendously.

world witout strangers

A world without strangers

People in Asia need to learn about the rest of the world, yes, but probably even more important, we as non-asians need to learn about the different countries in Asia as well.

Just read an article over at Tech In Asia on how Asian founders need to gain experience from abroad markets to succeed. I would say that the key message is caught in the last part of the article:

There are plenty of startups that have founders who did not study abroad, but foreign exposure undeniably gives local startups an extra edge that their unexposed counterparts do not. Foreign-educated founders have a window into another world. They see what their country could be, they see what is behind, and what is ahead.

I think the post and the general perception in Asia is a bit to humble. Asia is where the future is. So I would really like things to be the other way around as well.

I am a Swede and in general we are well educated and travel a lot. Also since we are located pretty far up and isolated in the north we tend to seek a lot of influence from the rest of the world. So I think we are well above many other countries in terms of adopting and learning about other cultures. I write this not to put Swedes on a pedestal but rather to emphasise the fact that even though I thought I knew quite a lot about this huge Asian market, I realised that I actually did not know much at all.

Just think about it, we tend to talk about Asia as one market, cmon! India alone is like 5-7 different countries and markets. The “asia” statement is almost as stupid as when US companies talks about Europe as it was one country or at least one market. There are few similarities between Indonesia and Singapore, few similarities between Japan and Vietnam and few similarities between China and India.

Non-asians need to go to Asia to learn as well

Even during my short time living in Singapore (since Aug 2013) I have seen quite a few non asian companies shut down due to the fact that they did not understand the market and tried to enforce their way of doing it. Western companies have a tendency to look down on the maturity on the asian market and unfortunately many markets in Asia seems (as with the Tech In Asia post) to see themselves as a lesser market.

Shift in focus, Asia rules

What is expected to be the biggest tech IPO ever, Alibaba, is estimated for August, a Chinese eCommerce company not known by many outside the financial industry, a Chinese eCommerce site. Path is getting bashed for “being big in Indonesia”, but few actually know that Indonesia has the highest rate of mobile vs desktop users in the world and that they are one of the worlds most growing emerging markets as well as a massive 250M inhabitants. To be an early big player in Indonesia is probably pure gold. Markets like India, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, China etc are huge. 50% of the worlds population lives in this region of the world.

population_in_asia

We, as non-asians, also need to go to this market to understand and get to know the different cultures both on a person level and on a business level. There are so much things we need to learn to even have a chance of being successful in one or many asian countries.

Non-asians need to understand the complexity and asians need to gain self asteam and realise that the market they live in is in it self currently the most interesting on earth. Just a fun fact is that Alibaba alone has bigger transactions then the entire US eCommerce market combined.

Education in other countries

The post writes a lot about people from Asia benefits from getting an education in other, non-asian, countries. That is probably very correct, but it also goes the other way. Non-asians would benefit a lot of spending time in parts of Asia prior to starting their business, if Asian countries are included in target markets (as they should be).

One great example that I personally have stumbled upon is the NUS / KTH student exchange program. National Uniersity of Singapore and the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, have an exchange program were students spend 12 months in the other country doing internships at one or several businesses. I have personally met several of those students and all of them have impressed me with the added knowledge both from a pure understanding point of view but also as individuals. How they actually have gained personal experience in both cultures. As an example Swedes have a strength in solving problem and working in teams as well as thinking outside the box. Singaporeans are very knowledgable and hard working, very strong business focus. When you combine these two you get persons how are hard working, knowledgeable and problem solving maniacs that as an add on take their own initiatives and work great in teams. This is purely on personal experience, so no statistically proven data. I hope to be able to work with many from this program over time.

A world without strangers

This headline is actually from a T-shirt that I bought in Hong Kong a couple of years ago and I think it symbolises the world we are supposed to live in today, both as respect for other people in the world as well as from a business perspective.

Dinewhere

Great Simians is announcing a new studio company, Dinewhere

Dinewhere is a mobile app (and later webb) that will solve two things:

  1. Restaurant discovery
  2. Great prices
  3. Includes only curated better casual and fine dining restaurants

Dinewhere will be released to a limited group in September and dependent of the result from that group, to the hole world as soon as possible. Do sign up to be one of the first to try Dinewhere out.

Discover only those great restaurants

How many times have you not been in the office or at home and though “Where should we eat tonight?”….and always end up at the same restaurant as you usually do. In 30s you want to find a restaurant that suits your need and also be able to book a table at that restaurant. You have tried Yelp, Foursquare, Open Table, Tripadvisor, Google etc but the variety is to wide, too many choices. You just want the a great casual or fine dining restaurant in the area you want and then book it. Well, that is Dinewhere.

Dinewhere will offer a curated list of great restaurants for you. All curated by the team as well as by the users. Filter and sort by location, type of cousin, area, ratings etc. Simply no bad restaurants.

With just a few clicks you will have made the booking.

Fine dining at a great price

This is as straight forward as it gets. We will offer great discounts on the restaurants we have partnered with. Only the best restaurants at great prices, sounds kind of nice doesn’t it?

We will have those great prices for all restaurants that are available in Dinewhere. Also it is for the entire menu, so no fixed menus or just on some choices.

Too good to be true?

With the risk of sounding as a sleezy salesperson with that headline I still believe that above two points of value delivered will be a great product that really solve two problems. They are also totally independent of each other.

For some, the discovery feature is the greatest value. To find a great restaurant really fast and since it is curated you know it is a verified great choice.

For others, the price Dinewhere can offer compared to what you would pay if going without doing the reservation through Dinewhere is in it self a great value proposition for the app. Eat fantastic food, have a great experience and pay less.

The name Dinewhere?

Dinewhere will be a global product. The team will launch in Singapore first, this to be close to the users and the restaurants (since it is a Singapore company) and to be able to iterate when the very first beta is launched. As soon as possible Dinewhere will aim to launch in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Barcelona, London, Paris, Stockholm etc. No committed plan in terms of cities is in place yet, so stay tuned for the decided list.

With this in mind the name and especially the URL becomes kind of a fun game with words. For Singapore the URL will be: dinewhere.in/singapore and for Hong Kong it will be dinewhere.in/hongkong etc.

Dinewhere is a product that will help you find a great place to eat at a really great price. Dine where?

Zendesk IPO a success

Congratulations to a great IPO Zendesk, but also to Singapore based Zopim that got $10.9M in shares in the $30M acquisition

I do not regularly write about IPOs and companies that go public, but as a long-time customer and fan to Zendesk and as they also is a, by origin, a company from Denmark it is close at heart to write when something actually turns out as good as Zendesks listing on NYSE.

Even Instagramed my Zendesk T-shirt

Even Instagramed my Zendesk T-shirt.

As a summary Zendesk raised $100M through the IPO and climbed almost 50% the first day of trading (for stock info on Zendesks site). In the turmoil after several not as successful IPOs it is great to see an enterprise startup (even though they have been around for some years) have a successful start.

If you have not read about this yet anywhere else it is most probably for the simple reason that Zendesk is an enterprise company and not a social company without a distinct business model, rather a company that have had a clear business model for many years.

Zopim from Singapore probably also happy

According to the S-1, Zendesk acquired Zopim as well as earn-out ($5M in upfront cash and $13.9 in earn out after 2-3 years) with the structure of some upfront payment, but also with $10.9M in common shares, those shares are currently wortht $20M. If it is a good deal for Zopim is probably not yet seen, since common stock usually have a lock-in on 6 months (do not now the details in this specific case).

Zopimi is one of the bigger exits from Singapore and was also Zendesks first and only acquisition.

Great Simians at Startup Asia

If you are a startup and in Asia do come and pitch Great Simians at the Investor Speed-dating at Startup Asia on Thursday, both me and Carl will be there and we sincerely look forward in meeting a lot of startups and great fellow entrepreneurs.

For more info on the event, visit the event page for Startup Asia in Singapore 2014.

Also looking forward to listen to some interesting speakers at as well. Especially looking forward to the session from Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade & Industry as well as the talks on specific countries from entrepreneurs from those countries such as Japan and Myanmar etc.

Also the entire Wednesday afternoon that is focused on hardware will be interesting. One of the speakers is the co-founder of Razor that I anticipate will be the first really big exit and IPO from Singapore. Expected to be above 1BUSD range when listed on one of the stock exchanges in US (yes, probably US and not in Singapore, probably due to demand I guess).

There are also some sessions on Bitcoin in Asia which will be interesting I hope.

But most of all I am looking forward in meeting tons of people and see a lot of new startups. If you are a startup that are looking for funding, do look us up or come and pitch us at the Startup Investor Speed dating session. Our slot is on Wednesday 2:30PM.

Photo from Tech In Asia

singapore

2013 The Year of Change

Lived in three countries, lost 20kg, sold a company, invested in 3 and starting a new one.
To do a quick summary of 2013 is hard, probably one of the hardest years ever to look back and try to, in short words, describe.

Personal

On a personal level the main thing is that I have re-gained my control over my body. A decade of decadance (remember the Mötley Crue album?) is over. Almost 20kg lighter and now back to the way it should be, eat healthy and excercise regulary.

Main acheivements

  1. Changed the way I eat and lost 18kg (from 96kg to 78kg today)
  2. Ran Singapore Marathon (42 195m in a sauna). It was a tough one with the high humidity and all, but pushed through.
  3. Did Singapore Commando Challenge (12km with 25 really tough obstacles). Was great fun!
  4. Excercised minimum 2 days a week the entire year, no exceptions.
  5. Walked a lot instead of taking car/bus/taxi.

I also think I have become a better person this year. I have spent a lot of time with people I admire and learn from. I think I am in a stage of life were I reflect a lot and want to learn from those with greater knowledge. One of my best teachers have been my friend Okk. He has in just being him, made me realize new ways to look at life. I am honored to be able to call him my friend. I have also learnt a lot from all the different cultures and religions I have bounced into during the year. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.

I have started to get very attracted to the buddist way of looking at life. One task for 2014 will be to learn more about buddism.

I am also humbled to have met many new friends during 2013. It is not an easy task at my age with family, work and all the other things happening.

2013 have been a fantastic year for me as a person in every possible way. I am very happy with how 2013 turned out. I am also full of confidence for 2014.

Family

Without them I would be a less of a person, love them more then life and I am honored to be able to spend so much time with them, it is a fortune not everyone have and I sincerely appreciate it to the fully. We have during this year lived 4 months in Thailand, 3 months in Sweden and 5 months in Singapore. Our daughter have gone to Swedish School in Thailand, school in Sweden and International School in Singapore (ISS International School). She enjoys the school in Singapore the most of the three.

Since I was not working operational in any company from August til December I had a lot of time to support our daughter in her new school (everything is in english that she did not know), doing homework and just make sure her move to Singapore was great. Well needed for us to spend a bit more time together.

Professionally

2013 started out as a year as many others lately. Silverbakk was moving in the right direction and we showed growth and a healthy business With great clients. It was also time for change and I sold most of my share (still on the board and as an strategic advisor). I left the daily operation and left the CEO role to Magnus. Between August and December I networked a lot and also made some angel investments in companies I strongly believe in. Clean Motion, FundedByMe and Newton Circus. It was nice to wind down a bit after a lot of hard work for a couple of years, but I missed building a company, so I started to carv out the strategy for my next venture. More on that in January 2014.

I have met tons of fantastic people since moving to Singapore, some of them am I already doing business with and others I hope to work closely with soon as well. Singapore is easy in many ways, but also tough. So far I love everything with Singapore from a business perspective, but I am also new to Singapore so maybe in a year I will be able to give a more correct and experienced view.

2013 have again been the year of change. It is now time to build for the future and execute on the plans I have now set in motion. I have done a lot of mistakes and have learnt a lot during my previous ventures, so now it is time to put that knowledge to work and build a new company.

2014 will be the year of execution, it is the year when things will happen.

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