Good Albums 2018 (so far)

Seperti dijabarkan di artikel business insider dan nytimes ini , mayoritas penikmat musik berhenti mencari hal baru untuk didengarkan di usia 30. Well, di tahun ini, usia saya tembus kepala tiga dan saya bisa mengerti sekali ketika teman teman seangkatan playlist spotifynya adalah album Appetite for Destruction atau Hybrid Theory yang diulang-ulang. Di tahun ini, secara karir (Alhamduillah) saya juga mengemban sebuah tanggung jawab baru yang membuat saya sibuk lebih dari sebelumnya (seriusan, mendengarkan musik di jam kerja pun susah).

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Beruntungnya, masih ada sebuah kenikmatan kecil yang saya rasakan ketika menemukan band atau album baru yang lagu lagunya enak untuk didengar. Ketika ada waktu senggang di antara meeting, tab New Release dan Discover di Spotify adalah pilihan untuk rehat sejenak. Menemukan musik musik baru adalah hal yang menyenangkan sekaligus mungkin sebuah usaha perlawanan untuk menjadi tua dan membosankan.

Dan untuk membagikan perasaan itu, berikut album rilis 2018 yang menurut saya nikmat sekali untuk didengar. Mayoritas album di list ini bergenre hip-hop dan metal.

Semua lagu yang saya sebutkan di artikel ini bisa didengarkan di spotify playlist berikut

Continue reading “Good Albums 2018 (so far)”

Vlog KomunIKASI

Jumat minggu kemarin, saya bertemu dan ngobrol dengan salah satu junior di kampus Sistem Informasi ITS dulu : Diaz Permana. Pertemuan ini sebenarnya random sekali diawali dengan saling mereply di grup Ikatan Alumni Sistem Informasi dan kemudian Diaz mengajak untuk ketemuan offline. Kebetulan, seminggu kemarin saya sedang di Surabaya untuk keperluan ekspansi Amartha. Kebetulan kedua, saya juga penasaran dengan Ternaknesia, startup agritech tempat Diaz bekerja sekarang. Maka ngopilah kita berdua di sebuah cafe di Manyar.

Yang menarik, Diaz mengajak untuk merekam pembicaraan dalam sebuah vlog. Diaz sedang membuat vlog tentang Ikatan Alumni Sistem Informasi. Dia ingin membuat konten untuk memudahkan mahasiswa SI berpikir dan merencanakan karir setelah kuliah nanti.

Ini adalah kali pertama saya merekam vlog, kegiatan yang sangat milenial, dan saya khawatir diskusi menjadi canggung. Namun Diaz berhasil membawakan sesi tanya jawab ini dengan luwes sehingga obrolan kita berdua tidak berbeda dengan diskusi  seperti biasa tanpa kamera. Wajar sih, Diaz semenjak kuliah sudah berpengalaman menjadi host dan moderator.

Simak obrolan kami berdua seputar alumni Sistem Informasi ITS, hal yang dilakukan pada saat kuliah dan hal hal lain di youtube link dibawah.

Berhubung diskusi ini terjadi secara spontan, ada beberapa tambahan informasi yang saya gatal ingin tulis disini. Tonton dulu videonya, lalu sila menyimak beberapa poin tambahan jawaban atas pertanyaan-pertanyaan seru yang di lontarkan Diaz di vlog. Continue reading “Vlog KomunIKASI”

Three Challenges Startup Faced in Serving Indonesia’s Unbanked Population

In Indonesia, access to basic financial service such as saving and lending is a priviledge. The country with more than 250 million people has only less than 40 million recorded bank account according to World Bank. The country stands at the top of  Asia Pacific in terms of unbanked population with three quarter of total population are still outside of conventional financial system.

At glance, these statistics looks bleak. But for entrepreneurs and startups, it means massive opportunity fintech. Indonesia is currently a fintech hotbed with more than 150 startups and record-high investment of USD 57 million in 42 deals by last year alone. Half of that deals went to lending and payment startups.

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Picture of shallot sellers in Jogja, one of the many millions unbanked population in Indonesia. Photo by Andy Al Mesura on Unsplash

I work as a product and business development guy in a peer-to-peer lending startup. Our startup focus is to provide microlending to millions of unbanked and underbanked women entrepreneurs in Indonesia. In this post, i will share three challenges that i have to deal on a daily basis. The challenges will slightly skewed to lending business model but i try to make it relevant for other fintech as well.

Lets start!. Continue reading “Three Challenges Startup Faced in Serving Indonesia’s Unbanked Population”

Guest Lecturing in Information System ITS

Ive spent the whole last week working in Surabaya. The project that im working on is on expansion mode, hence i went around several areas in East Java to monitor and support that implementation. I had spare time on Friday afternoon, so i linked up with my senior in college, mas Nisfu, which is currently department head of my almamater. After few chit chat, he invited me to guest lecture in Leadership  and Communication Class. Offered such a great honor and opportunities, i didnt wait a second to say yes.

To keep my topic relevant to the class, i decided to talk about how students can better prepare themselves for job hunting. I wrote about this couple years ago here hence i just need to make slides out of it with updated content and context.

In summary, i talked about how the rising of digital ecosystem in Indonesia made these current and upcoming years the best time to be IT students. However, there are also thousands of IT graduates which will be competing for a job hence by graduation, they need to be already “job-ready”. Then i described the concept about “job-ready” (inspired by Joel Spolsky post ) and several things students can do in college to setup themselves to be job-ready.

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The class was amazing. It was probably the most enjoyable teaching experience i had since god know when (i teach class occasionally, so its a hyperbole). All of the student are still in their 2nd semester (2017 class). I was little bit pessimistic at first because material about jobseeking preparation probably wont be exciting for freshman students. However, i was blown away by the enthusiasm and quality of questions they asked.

These are some of the questions they came up with :

  • What is the difference between working in established companies and startups ?
  • Is this rising digital trend going to last ? what happen with job prospects when the trend fades ?
  • If i want to work for Tesla, what should i prepare right now ?

This is pretty amazing coming from second year students. Couple of times i was taken a back and need couple of seconds to digest and think for the answer. These ITS Information System millenials really exhilarates me, cant wait to meet them again someday.

Also, since i went to Surabaya on a company’s dime i also did not forget to slip in some messages from my corporate startup overlord.

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were looking for cool interns!

Were looking for students from any background who wants to experience working in fintech startup and contributing to a positive social impact. Interested ? send your cv to that email address or you can just contact me by commenting in this blog. 

In the end, teaching is really fun, i should do more of these. . Thank you mas Nisfu for the opportunity to teach. Thank you Information System class of 2017 for the enthusiasm and energy, you guys rock!.

My presentation for this class is available for download here. 

Adapting Into My New Job in Amartha

Since coming back home to Indonesia, ive been working in a fintech startup called Amartha. Amartha is a peer-to-peer lending platform targeting unbankable populations in rural Indonesia. Inspired by Grameen Bank, loan was disbursed through group-lending mechanism and all of Amartha’s mitra (lender) is exclusively women.

My time here has been great so far, the company value resonate with me , i have a good team and im learning so much day by day. However the business model, the industry and startup environment is completely new to me hence i need jam lot of knowledge just to stay afloat.

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Amartha’s field officer (Anis) and operation analyst (Icha) was testing Amartha Go android apps for one of lender a.k.a mitra

Another thing that forced me to learn many things at once is my double role in Amartha. I am currently responsible for Amartha Go, initiatives to optimize our loan-collection process using combination of agency model and android apps. At first, I was responsible for business direction of this initiatives. However, the product manager resigned, hence i took those responsibilities. Hence not only i am managing a strategy team, i also need to manage team of developers as well.

In this post, i will share several resources which have been helpful so far in speeding up my adaptation process. Hopefully it will be useful for you as well. Continue reading “Adapting Into My New Job in Amartha”

Learning Blockchain

I wrote a post about being a skeptic in this particular technology called blockchain a while ago. Apparently, this bite me in the ass because just one day after writing that post, Andi Taufan (our CEO in Amartha) stated in our yearly plan townhall that he would like to start exploring how blockchain could benefit our business in the upcoming years.

Well, that leave me no choice but start diving  because as skeptic as i am into blockchain, who doesnt want the opportunity to work in something the whole fuckin world goes bonkers about. Besides its always exciting to learn something new.

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Studying in midnight. The only quite time a parent with a high energy toddler can have

So here in this post i share some of things i read or watch to help me understand the hypebeast that is blockchain. I am by all means a complete rookie so do help me by recommending better or more comprehensive source in the comments below.

Lets go! Continue reading “Learning Blockchain”

Blockchain Skeptics

In the midst of block chain hype, i read an HackerNoon article which reminds us that one (or plenty) dose of healthy skepticism regarding the technology is necessary.

Kai Stinchombe elaborates many points on why blockchain characteristics (distributed, encrypted and anonymous ledger) might not be best suited to “revolutionize” many of the hypothethical use cases of this technology.

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Image credits

Really enjoy this article. I share some of the pessimism regarding this technology. One of my team mate is really excited to research block-chain on one of our business problem, but i still havent convinced yet because i felt like that is merely a ledger problem which will be overkill to solve it using distributed ledger.

Read the full article here, do make sure to read the comment discussion as well since there are many contrarian points which adressed nicely by Kai.

Here are some of the highlights :

On payments and banking :

– For processing payments, Visa currently can handle 60k transactions per second while blockchain-enabled Bitcoin current maximum is 7

– With 0.01% performance, Bitcoin estimated to use 35 more electricity than VISA

On Anonymity and freedom from government overreach

– Government-backed banking system provide guarantee, reversibility, identity verification, audit standards and investigation system. Bitcoin on the other hand has none hence Bitcoin is akin to banking institution in the middle-age

On Smart-contracts

– Smart-contracts are self-executing contracts which can be encoded in block-chains

– Theoretically, Smart Contracts are more cost effective than “dumb contract” because they will execute the clause automatically with no ambiguous interpretation

– Dumb contract are better and safer because of their “slow” nature. it makes it possible for human intervention and leave room for debate from both-sides of contract

On blockchain as distributed storage, computing and messaging

– Blockchain as distributed storage seems make sense : break document up into “blocks”, encrypt, and put them in a distributed ledger

– However current common solution for this (Dropbox, GDrive) is better in many ways : multiple factor authorization instead of private keys, price and features

On blockchain as stock issuance (ICO)

– Primary role of government-backed stock exchange (e.g Nasdaq) is compliance and security provider. Taking these factor out of stock-issuance is a recipe for daylight robbery

On blockchain as authenticity verification

– Other usecase for blockchain is to make public, unalterable, undeletable statement published publicly

– However, in blockchain, there are no way to delete the records or override the transaction

– Adopting block chain technology makes theft or impersonation more likely rather than less

 Conclusion

– Advantage of existing existing human and software systems surrounding transactions outweigh promised benefits of blockchain as well as hidden costs, of irrevocable, automated execution

– With all the hype, nobody currently asking questions whether current user of existing system (payments, credit card holder) are seeing the benefit of blockchain