2006/06/27

Road to Entrepreneurship (Settlers of Catan Version)

Life is like boardgames, and boardgames can tell how a person manages his/her life...

As I was playing the game, Settlers of Catan (an award winning game), I realised how relevant the game's theme is to our road to entrepreneurship.

Indeed, life is like a game.. a boardgame at Pitstop cafe..

Finding a place, is one of the most critical decision one have to make. Balancing between maximising output while minimising input. Resource management and planning is definately integral to the initial sourcing of location.

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maciam the whole place for you to relax and choose.. maciam the whole world only you...

For us, with minimum expertise and experience, we decide to start small and not be too ambitious. People always ask,' Boat quay all pubs, not suitable lah!'

For us, we think that accessibility is priority.. that's why enclaves such as Siglap, Holland V, Bukit Timah are out of the objectives. We want to make Pitstop cafe, a real Pitstop where you can really just Pitstop en route to your destination. Who the heck makes a Pitstop at Tuas? So there you are.. located near Raffles place MRT interchange, where we can reach out to people from all parts of Singapore..

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the moment you put your settlement, its now turn for other people to put theirs. I always call this, 'everyone wanna get a piece of shit

Now, competition is inevitable. whether you call it collaboration or synergy. Business is always about the survival of the fittest. Just like a Settlers of Catan, everybody's goal is to achieve the 10 victory points. Some achieve it graciously, while others achieve it more aggressively and perhaps some achieve it unscrupulously..

For Pitstop cafe, we acknowledge our bottlenecks and limitations. We don't seek for Global Domination or Commercialism. Maintaining competitiveness to us, means to constantly know consumer's wants and make sure they get value for their buck.

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some players, go for big scale projects.. cities after cities

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they got all kinda proposal, maybe even got bank loan ready, this is what I call Largest army

To be honest, we are really freaked to jump into this potential industry with other giants who have more money, more experience, more name, more balls than us. Even more so, the demise of the previous two boardgames cafe seem to serve as a warning to us to keep out of the game.

You see, thats life.. and that's boardgame.. the bigger the pie, the more people there are who wanna share it. While those already with the pie, they wanna eat more of it...

At Pitstop cafe, we don't serve Pies.

Our famed black pepper sauce, featured Mochaccino and New Zealand Ice cream is more filling and delicious than any pies you tried in your life.

At Pitstop cafe, we will be contented with the share of pie that can make us full.. Binge eating is not good for health.

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While some try to reach out to all corners of the world, building roads after roads, small settlement after settlement..

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this is what I call small pockets of development, but add together to have large influence. Longest Road indeed

But still, doing business is just like boardgames. In the end, the weakest gets ousted out, while the strongest keeps populating.

Poeple ask, 'go and advertise lah, give flyers blah blah blah'...Here at Pitstop cafe, we don't believe in advertising. So we never advertise, the people who has reviewed us are those who truly like our place or give us face. Word of Mouth, that's it.. you will only be able to find this place thru word of mouth...

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Sometimes when other players are too strong, you find yourself trapped and unable to break free

You see, business is also about espionage, it is also about battling and it is also about stealing. More often than not, we get funny folks who tries abit of industry espionage.. Cameo as customers, tryin to find out more and in some instances, they come with the objective of putting us down and criticizing us. Whatever it is, we played along with them. We still gave them the best of our service, take pictures for them, let them draw on our wall and even passed them our namecard and asked them to 'bring back more friends'.

In a game, such things are inevitable. I admit that I have my fair share of it as well. (especially before we started) But whatever it is, do it graciously. Here at Pitstop cafe, we are sincere in our service, don't betray our trust.

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the robber just smacks right in, prevent you from production and even steals your resources

But I must admit that as much as Business is about planning and opportunities, luck definately is an essential factor. Sometimes, you just can't get the things you planned for, and sometimes things just screwed up on you. Flodding toilets, aircon breakdown, electricity shut down and what have you?

If it's not your day, it's not your day..

But at Pitstop cafe, we try to persevere despite shit that happens. We are waiting for our lucky break.. and thanks to those that gave us chances, Ministry of Information, Communication and Arts, Lime Magazine, Zao Bao, Cowboy Caleb and many other more who helped us in one way or another.

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this kinda dice roll, really very low probability..si bei sian, everytime people roll for resource, I get nothing

Business is all about timing, you might have the resource but no chance to implement it or you might have the ideas but no resource to concretised it. That's why you see, business is really so multi faceted, so many variables. Unlike the business projects I did in school or even the Geography term paper I write which is so idealistic and even overly critical. In business, one just have to be realistic and responsive to the everchanging environment.

Here at Pitstop Cafe, we try not to have grand plans or empty promises. Whatever we can do, we do our best for you. So do be gentle on us when we have anything which is inadequate. Tell us! so we can improve...

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either get the same resources everytime, and no one wann trade with me

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or too many different resources, but in low quantity, also quite hard to deploy

Lastly, on our road to entrepreurship, we had faced many conflicts and issues. Both in terms of business and personal. Jealousy, bitterness, difference in mentality, difference in working style and many many more.

This is a process where I learned not just about doing business, but also about how I treat and manage people and feelings. I also can tell who are my true friends and who are the ones who have deviated due to one reason or another.

Sometimes, I ask myself, 'why did I bother throwing myself into all these shit?' well, I guess moving out of my comfort zone has not been a smooth process. But it has nevertheless, been rewarding and enlightening. I am still walking this path, and I hope that in time to come, there will be more and more people walking this road with me...

The Pitstoppers, folks who wanna make genuine friends, strong ties.. not just folks who claimed, 'I know the boss, so can get discount' but rather folks who feels that 'I know the boss and he is my friend'.

This is Pitstop Cafe, explore, discover and settle here...

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oi, hello! still got these development cards! Don't just think of expanding leh, cards like this can be useful too!

Pitstop cafe, we don't serve pies

Kimoki

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