Saturday, May 21, 2016

HubSpot officially opens Singapore office, SingSpot

The HubSpot Singapore (SingSpot) office was launched to serve as HubSpot's regional headquarters for Asia and the Pacific, and will help businesses change the way they attract, engage, and delight customers across the region.

HubSpot Singapore office launch photo

HubSpot Singapore's office's launch

HubSpot officially opens Singapore office on the 27 April 2016. However we have been operating physically in Singapore since 16 October 2015,  where we had a soft launch of our office.

While I started with six other colleagues in the office, we have growth fast to the twenty-odd people we have today. We are now projecting up to 150 staff over the next three years, which means we will progressively grow over time (since those extra roles aren't all available immediately).

It's exciting times, with new faces continuously joining us. Training is in Cambridge, Boston to start off, so expect to visit our Headquarters in the US if you do join us formally.

HubSpot Singapore soft office launch

HubSpot Singapore SingSpot team pre-official office launch

Our new HubSpot Singapore office is located on Level 10 of Mapletree, 60 Anson Road features some cool and exciting features, including:
Gaming machine
  • Snack-stocked kitchen with on-tap beer and cider (currently stocking PureBlonde and Magners cider)
  • Games room and lounge space with a PS4 gaming console
  • HelpSpot, which our onsite internal IT administrator
  • Dedicated quiet space
  • Private mother’s room
I'm looking forward to seeing the office grow and opportunities to grow with it. 
Working bench

Check out more photos of the HubSpot Singapore via Marketing-Interactive

Monday, April 4, 2016

How it felt to be deaf for four days

Being deaf is not the most delightful thing in the world. Those who are permanently deaf, experience a world that we can only imagine. As it is not often that we are faced with the same disability as they do.

How I became deaf for four days...

Recently however, I was welcomed to the life of a deaf person. Not be deliberate choice. But as
wax in my ears builds up fast, I had recently used Soluwax to resolve the issue.

Soluwax is meant to help soften & aid removal of earwar and as it says online is "formulated to easily disperse and remove excessive amount of hardened ear wax which can cause earache and poor hearing".

Usually it works for me okay, but this time round, after being prescribed it by my doctor, after using it, my ears simply became blocked....

Maybe it was the way I put it in with the dropper. Or that I didn't get it all out after dropping them in my ear and tilting them after . But my ears were blocked. So naturally, my only solution available was the ENT.

I was at 20% in left ear. 50% hearing left in the other. I was still able to work and I was still working fine. By the weekend, that changed to  2% on the left ear and 5% in the right ear.

What I could hear at that point was vibrations and muffles of sounds. To most people around me I looked normal. However I often found myself sometimes no longer understand the people around me.

How people around me interacted with me during this time

As far as people could tell there was nothing wrong with me. However, I could only read teletext or read lips. Making out the words, phrases and sentences that people were saying.

So my need to guess what people were saying grew, learnt to use more body language and to try to re-iterate what was said to me so that I can confirm my understandings further. Most people I told acknowledged that I couldn't hear them or at least couldn't hear them well, yet forgotten very easily about 10-15 minutes later.

Internet instant messaging chats and apps were helpful but nearly not enough or speedy enough.

What it means to me now

In those four days I felt the frustration, discomfort and lack of awareness that would have been typically.  It was a strange feeling yet very enlightening. I value my hearing more and the ability to pick up signals from the world around me via this vital sense.

Today, I have an even greater desire to learn sign language and lip reading. Or at least ensure I always have communication ability with the world around me, for in the social and interactive world that we live in, we all need to continue to communicate...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Subtle messages and unspoken signals globally

Erin Meyer, wrote a brilliant piece on understanding the subtle messages in International discussions, something that I'd like to share, as it's definitely worth understanding further.

Her article and book, "Getting to Si, Ja, Oui, Hai, and Da", December 2015 issue of the Harvard Review is a great overview of the complex cultures around the world.

I really like the way she tabled it. Perhaps because I'm a former Market Research analyst, but it's a fantastic way to visualise the cultures and where they fit. It makes it easier to learn about subtle messages & unspoken signals being passed around the International table by country. Though of course, this only touches the surface of our interactions here.

As I learn more about the role of trust in business relationships in Asia, the more fascinated I am by it all.

Getting to Si, Ja, Oui, Hai, and Da chart

Read more from Erin Meyer through her article, "Getting to Si, Ja, Oui, Hai, and Da

Monday, February 8, 2016

How Trust Affects Businesses in Asia

Trust globally has eroded over the past few years. Businesses from a variety of industries have sought to crawl back to regain trust from all those that matter. Especially in light of recent events and incidents relating to privacy and security.

I recently came across a nice set of Trust Rules written by KPMG and another 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer which dives into this topic of Trust. It is seen more in the corporate lens, but nonetheless, a great way to frame your thoughts on Trust in today's context especially for those eager to do live and business in Asia.

Their studies explores the concept of the role of trust not only in the traditional corporate relationships but also how it can affect innovation. So re-estabishing genuine and authentic trust will be the pathway to innovate.

It's really about bringing the human relationships back to business, which I often see through the concept of Inbound.
Wise men put their trust in ideas and not in circumstances

Western definition of trust does not have the same meaning as Asian cultural context

Within the Asian context, trust has always played an important role in relationships.

Western definition of trust does not have the same meaning as Asian cultural context. The concept of trust often implies competency, meeting expectations, goodwill and to a deeper level, necessitates a qualitative connection.

According to a 2010 University of Wollongong research paper on the subject of trust, findings state that deep trust (a word which translates into "xinren" in the Chinese language) is characterised by reciprocal help and emotional bonding. The paper suggests that trust is critical for doing business in China.

Please feel free to explore more details directly from their ongoing studies, but here's a high level overview of their frameworks for those keen to explore further.

KPMG defined the Nine Rules of Trust as follows:

KPMG's Nine Rules of Trust

  • Mark contact personal
  • Define common goals
  • Set the right example
  • Build trust with sensible rules
  • Share responsibility and trust
  • Keep calm when things go wrong
  • Rely on informed trust, not on blind trust
  • Be mild on understanding but crush abuse
  • Dare to experiment and learn from experience

Edelman's Trust Barometer measures

  • Integrity (e.g. are businesses practices ethical)
  • Engagement  (e.g. is there open communication between businesses and their customers)
  • Products and Services (e.g. is the company able to innovate new products and services)
  • Purpose (e.g. is there a tangible commitment to improve the lives of the communities within which the business operates)
  • Operations (e.g. is the company recognised and ranked in this industry in which it operates)

Trust is the glue which holds businesses and societies together. Without trust, there is no motivation and therefore no leadership. Without leadership we will not overcome challenges.
I hope this is great food for thought, and gets you thinking about how you can frame the trust relationships around you.