Archive for October, 2010

ADV – Get 20% more from iTalk until 31st Oct 2010

October 10th, 2010

Good news for those using iTalk card, not only if you’re on iTalkWhoa.

In conjunction with Ramadhan and Aidilfitri, starting from 1st September 2010 until 31st October 2010, enjoy 20% ADDITIONAL talktime automatically credited into your account if you activate/reload
your iTalk card from 1st September 2010 until 31st October 2010.

In short, this is what the promotion is:

Denomination of RM 50 will get additional RM 10 Free Airtime.
Denomination of RM 30 will get additional RM 6 Free Airtime.
Denomination of RM 20 will get additional RM 4 Free Airtime.

iTalk credits is also available for use other than making phone calls.

The following TM online content sites now supports use of iTalk credits to purchase or subscribe their website contents.


iPhone4 #maxis10 reviews and Malaysians

October 8th, 2010

A lot of Malaysians are rich I tell you.

Or they are insane.

Or both!

Maxis did the first Malaysian iPhone4 launch on the late night of 23rd Sep 2010. It was a midnight event till the early morning of 24th Sep 2010.

It was a major event, people have been anticipating it for like… 10 years ago?, and expectation are all-time high. It’s Maxis and iPhone4, of course you can expect it to be HUGE, right?

It was huger than you can expect for any phone launching event, and at midnight that is. MIDNIGHT! Like you were waiting for Merdeka or New Year. 🙂

Not my rant for not being there, I had an invite from friendly Maxis PR people and I had Daniel who graced the event on my behalf. Read his coverage of the launch on his blog.

Photo from LynxLee
Yeah huge crowd.

Photo from SaimatKong
Big Big crowd?

Video from FlyFM Ben

Yay! Congrats to the first official iPhone4 owners.
Even the very second day, it took 7-8 hours for Ben to get his brand new iPhone4?!

A friend of mine was wondering if he should buy the iPhone4. He said he’s probably not gonna fully utilize it to the max, most likely to show people, and FaceTime with them. Like with pretty girls la, you get the drill, right?

So is this herd mentality or what?
I think is half la, cos not everyone just gonna buy something sooooo expensive just because that it’s cool to have it, right?

Apple has proven to produce great iPhone for use (except maybe with the antenna). Existing iPhone users still prefers the iPhone4. Some who had used Nokia, iPhone, Android, still sticks with iPhone.
Such numbers certainly mean something other than being cool.

And if you’re not convinced enough, Maxis has this #Maxis10 program that looks for ten reviewers to review selected phones given by Maxis.

Check out the #Maxis10 iPhone4 reviewers, as I think they did a very good job in reviewing every top, bottom, in and out of the phone.

In no particular order:







Kel Li




If you’re interested to be one of the reviewers, you can apply through the Maxis Facebook page.

On the other hand, I’m sure it’s pretty fun and cool to have the latest iPhone 4, and I think its fairly affordable as compared to earlier iPhone packages?

Still, I only have one issue with smartphones in Malaysia.

That is they are terribly overpriced!

Americans are getting the iPhone 4 (16GB version, 2 yr contract) from $199 excluding mobile/data plan. That comes to about slightly over RM 600 and definitely less than RM 700 for the phone itself if we take it in ringgit currency after conversion.

Since people like Apple so much, we really should compare apple to apple and not USD to RM, right?
So if you pay around RM1,390 for the 16GB and 24 months contract, how much is that as compared to your monthly income?
Ok, let’s say you use your entire monthly budget RM1,390 for this cool phone. (Crazy or not?)
You think customers in US only earning $199 a month? Their phone is dirt cheap if it’s compared to Malaysia.

That’s why I’m saying Malaysians are a rich bunch, or insane, or both.

Anyway, that’s the result of having such a hype or frenzy. Or is this really herd mentality? With such demand, anyone with supply can choose to provide at any price which is ‘acceptable’.

If you think this is not the way to go, like me, you should support local products.

Just saying…. 🙂

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Sam Walton Made in America – My Story

October 6th, 2010

Finally I have finished reading the last of all three business books that I recently bought from Amazon.

The book’s title is Sam Walton, and just like its cover you can expect it as an autobiography.

Sam Walton’s autobiography however, is also synonymous to Wal-Mart, the American public corporation that runs a chain of large discount department stores and a chain of warehouse stores. In 2010 it was the world’s largest public corporation by revenue, according to the Forbes Global 2000.

This is the book of Sam Walton as well as Wal-Mart, simply because Sam founded Wal-Mart at the age of 26 and run the business until the age of 74!

Sam gave a peek into his personal life and humble beginnings, even maintaining that he is not the kind of person who flaunt his wealth even when he was named the richest man in America.

He delivered newspapers, waited tables and even a head lifeguard of the swimming pool while trying to earn some extra money.

Sam fell in love with a girl named Helen, and at the same time was called for up to the Army for active duty, been through the war, and even reached the rank of captain.

Right after leaving military is when he started in retailing at the age of 26. With the help of a $20,000 loan from his father-in-law (Helen’s father), plus $5,000 he had saved from his time in the Army, Walton purchased a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas.

The Ben Franklin store was not the first Walmart yet, but was his first (and with his brother, Bud Walton) attempts in growing a retail chain of stores, called Walton’s Five and Dime, which was also the Ben Franklin franchise.

During that time, discounting was not popular yet and many were skeptical with his way of developing Walmart. Sam was looking for land in the suburbs, or smaller cities, and then build discounting stores there instead of venturing into the cities.

Due to his smart way of getting the lowest price of products to his customers, it eventually brought even customers from cities to his stores to make their purchases.

Throughout this book, he shared a few strategies on how he managed the business with his frugality and his priority which is to save money for his customers.

I am convinced that one of the real secrets to Wal-Mart’s phenomenal success has been that very tendency. Many of our best oppurtunities were created out of necessity. The things that we were forced to learn and do, because we started out underfinanced and undercapitalized in these remote, small communities, contributed mightily to the way we’ve grown as a company. It turned out that the first big lesson we learned was that there was much, much more business out there in small-town America than anybody, including me, had ever dreamed of.

Photo: The Walmart that I frequented while I was in US.

Like any other business, hiring the correct people was one of the key to success. Sam was able to get right people in the retailing industry and was able to create a computerized warehouse which was really needed during the time of growth.

In October 1, 1970, Wal-Mart became a public company, traded over the counter. The prospectus offered 300,000 shares at a price of $15 but it was sold for $16.50. Wal-Mart stocks had made many rich since 1970.
Within slightly more than 20 years (this book was published 1992), the stock had nine two-for-one stock splits, and if one bought 100 shares back in the original IPO for $1,650 it would have became 51,200 shares amounting to a price around $3 million.

Other than investors, their employees (or associates as they called them) was able to send their children to school or have decent retirements.

In one chapter, Sam revealed that there was a time where Wal-mart had two factions, each supporting Ron Mayer and Farold Arend, both executive vice presidents. In resolving the conflict, Sam started to step back from management of Wal-Mart, decided become the chairman of the Executive Committee, Ron became the chairman and CEO and Ferold became president.

Photo: One of those Wal-Mart trucks cruising the highways.

There is also a chapter about Wal-Mart’s company culture. It seems that Sam was also one who like to do ‘crazy things’ for the fun side of work. They have a Wal-Mart cheer, and also several ideas from Korea and Japan in the 1975.

Culturally, things seem so different – like sitting on the floor eating eels and snails – but people are people, and what motivates one group generally will motivate another.

I’ve made it my personal mission to ensure that constant change is a vital part of the Wal-Mart culture itself. I’ve forced change – sometimes for change’s sake alone – at every turn in our company’s development.

The remaining few chapters of the book talks about Wal-Mart placing customer as number one, how it stand with the competition in retail business, setting up Sam’s Club,
and how it gives back to the society.

I’m from a place where shoppers do not get to be greeted when they step into a store, searching for products or even when checking-out.
It was during my trip to one of these Wal-Mart stores that I felt so good because I thought they were either being just polite or attentive, when I was greeted at the door, and checking-out my purchases.
When I took more than minute looking for something, you can be sure if it happens that a staff is around, they will be asking how they could help me.

Then I found out why:

I want you to take a pledge with me. I want you to promise that whenever you come within ten feet of a customer, you will look him in the eye, greet him, and ask him if you can help him. Now I know some of you are just naturally shy, and maybe don’t want to bother folks. But if you’ll go along with me on this, it would, I’m sure, help you become a leader.

That was a speech from Sam Walton, broadcasting via television to all stores when he came about that idea.

Having been to Wal-Mart stores definitely made reading this book an interesting one, but it should still be a good read for anyone interested to know the story of Wal-Mart success.

The life of Sam Walton might not be as glamorous as other successful and wealthy businessmen or businesswomen, but that is the only way how a discount store should value every single dollar or dime, so that the savings can be passed to its customers and eventually became the best retailer in the world.

Above was the three books I purchased from Amazon.
Read my review on the other two:
McDonald’s ain’t great, Ray Kroc is – Grinding It Out
Direct From Dell by Michael Dell

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