All posts by Kiki Ahmadi

Professional in Telco and Digital industry in Indonesia | Currently pursuing master's degree in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship in University of Manchester

Catatan Harianku

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. 

Catatan Harianku

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. Read More

Essay

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! Read More

Catatan Harianku

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

Nice Music

My Pick for 2017 Album

Been a while since i wrote something music related and i believe there are no better time than now. End of the year where many blog pick their best 2017 list and Spotify year-end summary is prevalent all over my friend pages in various social media.

I felt like i didnt listen to as many music as previous year. Bit of growing up (or getting old) probably. I seldom listen to music when im working now because it throw my focus out of the window. However as an effort to be, referring to Seringai’s credo, generasi menolak tua i still constantly and consciously explore new music regularly. I felt that it makes me more creative and keeps me from being boring. I dont want to be that guy in their 30s which still put Hybrid Theory on pedestal of great music and whine about kids these days.

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2017 also the year i switch from free Deezer to premium Spotify. Mainly because the change of status from poor scholarship student into a salary man again. Spotify is great however Deezer often get overlook, the free version is better than spotify in my opinion. Protip: use Deezer web player and install adblock.

So without further due, here are my pick for great albums released this year. Click the header to listen the album on spotify. Also, i compile the tracks on the album and several other tracks i really enjoy this year in below spotify playlist. Listen to it while reading this for maximum experience!.

Read More

Essay

The Formation of Emerging Tech Start-up Cluster. Study Case of Slipicon Valley, Jakarta, Indonesia

Following up my last post, in this post i will put the abridged version of my master dissertation. At first, i hesitated to put this in blog because after reading it again after submission, i realized it was total shit. However, several days ago i received my final grade from the university and it way over what i expected. I got near perfect grade for my dissertation hence i was officially graduated Master of Science with distinction.

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Msc Dissertation

Due to those result, i decided to post the dissertation on my blog. I hope that it can be useful somehow especially for someone who wants to pick Indonesia / Jakarta / Slipi start up ecosystem as a research topic. 

The whole document 21 thousand word long which i think is too overwhelming if i copy paste everything here. Hence i will post only certain chapters such as research background, context introduction, analysis, conclusion and limitation in order to be more digestable.

If youre interested in the full document, you can download it here.

If you just want to read the broad overview of my research and dont want to be bothered by this 6000 word post, check out this slide

As an acknowledgement, this dissertation was written by me, Kiki Ahmadi , and supervised by Dr Elvira Uyarra. This dissertation was submitted to The University of Manchester for completion of  MSc degree in the Faculty of Humanities in September 2017. 

Read More

Catatan Harianku

Dissertation Thank You List

It has been more than a month since i submitted my dissertation. This was my first proper academic project which i have been working since June this year. With this submission, i have completed Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship MSc program in University of Manchester. I havent got my final grade yet but hopefully it wont be too shabby.

This dissertation project has been both exciting and exhausting at the same time. I deliberately chose the topic that i most interested with . However, there were still many times during the work that i became so fed up and wanted to get it done as quickly as possible. In the end, the project made me learn a lot about how to do scientific project, building arguments, critically reviewing academic papers and executing research project.

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We did it! – picture by @okymauludany

Along the way of working this dissertation, i’ve been getting a lot of help both directly and indirectly. Hence this post serves as thank you note for everyone who has been supporting me in finishing this work.

Proposal of my research can be seen here. Ill post summary and conclusion of my dissertation in the upcoming post, hopefully. I was proud of my work before submission but after reading it again after getting good night sleep, i realised it was shit haha. 

I would like to dedicate my first thank you to my dissertation supervisor, Dr Elvira Uyarra. Reading Elvira works on innovation policy  was one of the trigger that made me chose Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship program in Manchester. I even referred her works in my scholarship application to convince Indonesian government that Manchester is the place to be to learn about innovation. As supervisor, Elvira has been helping me a lot in shaping my ideas, building theoretical framework and even fixing my grammar.

I want to also thank my Research Method professor, Frank Boons. He designed his class in order for students to make step-by-step research progress every week hence it was very useful for me which never done any proper scientific research. On top of that, he was also very responsive and thorough in giving feedback which further support me in shaping rough ideas into research proposal. I once gave him draft at 2 in the morning and before 8, Frank wrote a page full of detailed revision.

I was also get support from my other professors and faculty members in the brainstorming phase. Hence my thanks to Kieron Flanagan, Bruce Tether, Marcella Miozzo, Jonathan Pinkse for the advices.

Next on my thanks list is the founders, activist, journalist, managers, developers and enthusiast in Jakarta digital startup scene which was the topic of my dissertation. These are the good people which helped me in various ways. From agreeing to be respondent,  providing raw data, introduce me to people and support me in navigating the ins and outs of the industry.  For that, i will be forever be grateful

So lets start!, i would like to say my gratitude to : Yasaka Rani from Blibli, Oky Mauludani from Traveloka, Muhammad Ihsan from Tokopedia, Nalendra Wiryawan from Blibli & XL Axiata, Berlian Agusta from Airy Room, Christa from Womantalk, Janet Valentina from IDN Media, Leontinus Edison from Tokopedia, Rama Mamuaya from DailySocial, Aulia Halimatussadiah from Zettamedia & StartupLokal, Robi Baskoro from Duniaku, Aditya Saputra from Tripvisto & Tamasia, Yoga Nandiwardhana from Google Indonesia, Gery Azriel from Youtube Indonesia, Nadine Freischald from Techinasia and many others which gave comments or reply on my questions in Twitter or Linkedin.

I also getting lot of help from my classmates in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship MSc 2016 – 2017. For the feedbacks and chats during late night word count grinding in Alan Gilbert Learning Commons, my thanks to Kai, Camilo, Aisha, Shresta, Phing, Hilde, Farah, Andrea, Hector, Ravi, Nishant, Stoyko, Danai and Chiara.

Then, i would like to give my special kudos to Indonesian-IME group: Mira, Tera, Faiz, Jojo, Derian. A support group, a home away from home and best study group I have ever have.

My masters degree program and dissertation research project was funded by Indonesian Education Endowment Fund Scholarship (LPDP). This is a great program which enabled thousands of Indonesian to pursue Masters and PhD overseas. If youre planning to apply or have questions regarding the program, drop me an email (kiki dot ahmadi at gmail ) and i will gladly help you.

Lastly, to Sari and Ghazi. My raison d’etre. Thank you for accompanying me in this wonderful journey. The works is for you two.