You give Singapore (Entrepreneurship) a Bad Name

The past few days have been an unusual stretch where I’d hit my meetings and end the day without ever stepping into the office.  Along the way, you meet all sorts of cool and interesting folks, and hear all sorts of second-hand info.  Not all of it rocked my socks though.  Imho it’s totally not cool for some dudes to rain on our parade, especially with Singapore’s entrepreneur ecosystem just about starting to take off in a big way.

In one instance, a pair of entrepreneurs’ had less-than-ideal experiences when dealing with a government officer based out in the Valley.  Both chaps were frustrated at the general lack of initiative and hand-holding that they were turning to him for, especially when they were seriously considering to relocate their start-up to Singapore.  It was their first trip to Singapore.

In another instance, a local entrepreneur was reportedly all over a famous Silicon Valley guy on multiple occasions in a desperate attempt to bring some attention to his gig.  I can empathise with the local entrepreneur’s challenge of garnering attention in today’s crowded social media-scape, but hey, cut our guest some slack will ya?  It’s his first ever trip to Singapore too.

In honour of these less-than-ideal ambassadors of Singapore, I have turned to Bon Jovi for some inspiration, and dedicate the following song to everyone.  If you’re from distant shores and had a bad experience, I do hope you live and let live and most importantly, give us cool folks a second chance.  If you’re in Singapore, I trust that you’ll join me in putting on our best foot forward in welcoming our new-found friends from abroad.

The one and only Bon Jovi et. al.

You give Singapore (Entrepreneurship) a Bad Name

Shot through the heart
And you’re to blame
(Darlin’) You give Singapore a bad name

A cool product is what you sell
You promise them heaven, then put them through hell
Delusions of grandeur got a hold on you
When life is a prison, you can’t break free

You’re a loaded gun (yeah)
There’s nowhere to run
No one can save us
The damage is done

Chorus:
Shot through the heart
And you’re to blame
You give Singapore a bad name
I play my part and you play your game
(Yet) You give Singapore a bad name
(Oh) You give us a bad name

Hang your hopes on your pitch
Lines of code on your fingertips
An entrepreneur’s dream, you act too brash
Your very first words sealed the fate of your gig

(Oh) You’re a loaded gun
(Woah) There’s nowhere to run
No one can save me
The damage is done!

*repeat chorus ad infinitum or until one runs out of breath or cpu cycles/memory*


As you can see, I’m not quite cut out for a career as a songwriter.  Be my guest at suggesting alternative lyrics!

About James Chan

James Chan is an entrepreneur, investor, geek, photographer and husband/father based out of Singapore. Apart from frequent travels to Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia for work, James can also be found online via his trusty 15" Retina MacBook Pro or iPhone 6+.