I’ve been quite busy lately, and that’s kind of why the blog posts have become a bit more infrequent. Yesterday I had a meeting with Nicholas Chan, which I’ll write more about later. Today, I just attended Youth Vibes 2007 today. It was a really good experience, and I’m hoping there’ll be more similar things starting in Singapore, and I wanted to share about it. So here’s a few things from the discussions today that really struck a chord with me.
Firstly, Tan Hang Chong of the Nature Society mentioned how he carries his passion around with him. He’s an avid birdwatcher, and just as most people carry their cell phones or credit cards everywhere, he carries his binoculars everywhere he goes. I think that’s a great practice. Carrying your passion with you, in a concrete form. Songwriters always suggest (to other songwriters) to carry a recorder (or at least a notebook) wherever you go. The same applies for any field, any interest. You should carry your tools everywhere you go, because opportunities are everywhere and can appear anytime.
A second thing that was mentioned was about how the difference between universities in America and those here in Singapore. Why is it that universities like MIT are the base for so many startups and new innovations, while research universities in Singapore (actually all the universities here are more or less research universities) don’t seem to be doing anything? Alvin Sim of ExoroGame talked about how research universities here do have the patents and technologies, but they aren’t releasing them, while the universities in America, for example, release the patents to the students for free. And I think that’s something that really needs to be addressed about Singapore. If even the universities are not releasing the patents and giving the students a chance, who else will? On a more personal side, I think it shows how there is great value in being open about your technology, or whatever you create. There’s no point creating something and keeping it to yourself.
Finally, one thing that was mentioned was to think out of the box. Or even “burning the box”. Don’t just take what you’re given, challenge it, further it. Whatever you do, don’t just stay in the box. That’s something most people here fail to do, and I hope events like this will help to establish a culture of thinking outside the box. It’s a really valuable thing to do.