Tag Archive: Business Intelligence



Ok, I know I havent posted in almost a month but its for good reason.  Business has been exploding, Lida left for Russia and I moved out of the apartment.

im still juggling work in the States, working on Eastern Standard Time and developing the business here. I swear the security guards at my office probably think Im a vampire as I get to work around 6 or 7pm and leave before 6am. I dont know what happened but about 3 weeks ago things exploded.  Someone contacted me via our website to help them bring their business up-to-date, I have a proposal into one company to do their website and a small CRM, I met with a guy that pitched a great idea about developing VPN access clients for South East Asia (which Im keeping quite until we close the deal) and I met the Indonesian equivalents of Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They have about 5 different ventures including payment gateway (ala Paypal) for online gaming in Indonesia (soon to release for hotels and airlines), Golf course reservation system targeting the foreign market and they own their own submarine fiber optic line from Singapore which they use for their businesses as well as lease to hotels in Jakarta. Their CTO is no more than 25 and was offered a job with Yahoo Indonesia at twice the salary.  He turned them down because he was given stock at the current company. The main investor went to Loyola Marymount and speaks a minimum of 4 languages (Bahasa Indonesian, English, Mandarin and Japanese). They wanted to talk to me about the VPN concept as well as developing an ERP system for the largest palm oil plantation in the country (yes, all my activist friends would be proud of me, what? Ive got atleast one).

These guys were amazing and they helped me realize something about my own business model. Ive been trying to find Indonesian talent at a cheap price, banking on them growing and my experience to create a solid brand, but thats not going to fly.  Ive got to get my self a partner that is as technologically gifted as I am experienced and driven.  I need to pay a premium price for that individual and offer them a share in future profits. I may have that person, I will start working with him later this week on one of the projects. Hopefully it will all work out.

Lida is in the Ukraine right now at her families farm house. Apparently there is much contention in the house, not helped by me sending a text to grandmas phone that said “You should donate your body to science.  Im Science”, I thought Lida had the phone.  Apparently her uncle was nice enough to translate it for grandma.  I was talking to her the other day on the phone as she was pushing the trash cart down the road (love that mental image).  I could hear all the babushkas coming out and talking to her, apparently asking her to take their trash as well.  The stereotypical old Ukrainian woman blared through on the phone and made me miss her and being there even more.  Shes been gone 3 weeks and she wont be back for a little more than 3 weeks.  One thing is glaringly obvious now, I didnt come here for the business. It was a good disguise but the prospect of her not coming back made me think I didnt want to be here.  But luckily she will be back and their are some good leads on a job for her, including teaching art classes at an international school.

So I moved out of our apartment after Lida left. I want to get a house with some outdoor space but even though cost of living is cheap in Jakarta, in a city of 25 million, space comes at a premium.  In order to stay within an hours drive from the main business area (The Golden Triangle) and be in a house its looking like US prices ($1000 a month give or take).  To make matters worse, all landlords expect 1 year + 1 month security deposit.  You really dont realize how much you pay for rent every year until you have to pay it all at once. I found the perfect place, including my dream, a Koi fish pound.  They want $1300 a month, Im gunna try to talk them down to $1100 or $1200.  Its in an area called Kebayoran Baru.  Theres a great warung that serves Turkey shanks and a traditional butcher shop that even sells pork!  On a good day its 15 min taxi ride from The Golden Triangle, on a bad day 45 min.

So in the mean time Im staying with my friend Robert in his maid quarters. The shower is a bucket shower, which is surprisingly refreshing if not colder than a well diggers ass. Miu Miu was kind enough to pee on my mattress and blanket the first night so now the room smells like cat piss.  Yea for me.

So I think that gets everyone up to date. Just sittin at a coffee shop about to give a presentation on Business Intelligence to a group of developers at a large magazine publisher.  Its my first one since January so hopefully I can get back into the swing of things. Ill try get back into posting more often.

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Me. For some reason the “‘When I die, I want my ashes to be spread on Gili Trawangan,’ Matt says.” sees extremely dark as the opening line for a human interest piece but whatever.  They cut out the funny stuff about Ducks in Chinatown and Fireworks on Chinese New Year. This is my second brush with fame.  The first was about 11 years ago. I think Im gunna stick with IT services.

My First Google Visualization


Ok, so I promise I wont make this into a work blog but I do want to share something that Ive started working on.

I gave up application programming in 2005 in favor of focusing on Business Intelligence and Analytics implementations. I spent 7 years trying to create websites and Business Intelligence applications from scratch and found it highly unsatisfying.  Mostly because of my lack of talent.  I would spend months working on a component or website tool and upon completing a mediocre version of whatever it was that I was working on  I would typically find some free version or example of what I did that was far-and-away better than what I had created. I found using the tools that others had created to customize or enhance its usage was much more effective and satisfying.

One of the things that has worried me about selling Business Intelligence solutions in a 3rd world country has been software licensing cost. Indonesia is still an industrialized nation and many companies havent realized the value in large investments in technology.  Trying to sell the average company millions of dollars in hardware and software is a daunting task.  Those companies that are willing to invest that money are typically government-owned, which are the most corrupt sector of the market,  not to mention, require an extensive vetting process for any potential vendor.

With this I am testing out a new tool set released by Google called Google Visualization API which makes use of the Google Chart Tools. The API is based on JavaScript.  You can build great looking charts from line, bar, gauge and motion charts. Additionally, you can manually build your data in JavaScrirpt, link to Google Documents or write your own data source connections to live databases.  The API is simple to start but has the depth to be a very robust tool and Im really excited about code-diving with it.

So here is my Developing Asia Google Visualization, the data is from the International Monetary Fund, it took about 4 hours of reading and practice to create this but now that Ive got it down, as long as I have the data in the appropriate format I can turn these out in a matter of minutes. Click around and change the options, its quite amazing how interactive this tool is. Im going to continue working with this and Ill post some other examples I come up with in the future.


So the internet went down 2 days ago. Still can’t get it working. Tech has been here 2 hours and still no progress. Looks like I’m going to switch service this weekend. Besides a massive loss of productivity (that’s a joke) I’m pretty sure my fantasy hockey team is taking a nose dive at the most critical point of the season.

Described Business Intelligence to a mechanical engineer last night and he still didn’t get it. Looks like I’m going to have to write Business Intelligence for Dummys to convey basic business concepts. Only problem is I’m having no good or original ideas.

The Fear has set in and I’m starting to have anxiety attacks and asking myself the proverbial “what the hell am I doing?” questions. Even though I prepared myself and told everyone that I didn’t anticipate making any money for 6 months, the reality of it is much more difficult to handle.