by Gordon Lee (Singapore)
Could this be the final journal that I write for Prof Lim? After 4 battle-hardened years and 13 journal entries under my belt, I should be considered a seasoned veteran. And as I write this journal, I cant help but feel a tinge of sentiment and the nostalgia naturally follows.
What have I enjoyed most about Prof Lim’s classes? Well I could rattle on about stuff like NDAs, IPOs, avenues for funding, poison pills and golden parachutes but I feel that these things, while interesting, are merely side dishes to a larger and more important main course. Learning from others by means of teaching, consulting, researching and group activity is the fuel that runs the Technological Entrepreneurship engine.
I have enjoyed some of the knowledge dispensed and funny quips from our very competent TA, Andy. He said, ‘Prof Lim was quite upset with one particular student last semester who wrote that he was more willing to be EMPLOYED rather than reigning in the challenges of entrepreneurship.’ I find this quite riveting as most students just want to graduate, get a decent job and run the cycle of life. What this means is that Prof Lim is fighting an uphill battle.
‘Entrepreneuship can be learnt, and also can’t be learnt.’ – Prof Pamela Lim
If that statement baffled you, well you’re not alone but if you give it some thought, it actually does make sense. I believe that entrepreneurship is partly innate, but those who don’t the acumen can learn it if they are willing to learn it. From a personal stand point, I’m not as gifted in this area as some of my very ambitious classmates but I feel that by continuing to learn about entrepreneurship through the course of my life, I will eventually get to where I want to be (on an entrepreneurial level). So for now, I will contemplate employment and maybe later on ill become my own boss. I hope I haven’t caused Prof further disappointment.
Andy also shared his personal story of how his idea got stolen by someone who was purportedly legitimate. (If you need a recap please email: email@example.com, I’m sure he’d be more than thrilled to tell you again) This teaches us an important lesson – Never trust anyone and always cover your a**. There are many ways to avoid such incidents, from patents to NDAs, all you need to do is research and find out what’s available. This is applicable to all facets of entrepreneurship.
Lastly, Prof says that I am not as vocal as I used to be (Yes, Andy told me). What’s disturbing is that she is right. From the youthful exuberance of a freshman to a very tired senior, the flames of entrepreneurship seemed to have been doused by the calling from the finance machine that seems to be consuming many graduates. It made me realize that this class was more of a personal journey more than anything else. Prof Lim helped me to reopen my eyes to the greener pastures of ‘not being employed’ (different from unemployed). I am more willing now to seek interesting project opportunities and developing mere ideas into prospective businesses.
So for that, I am truly grateful. I wish you the best of luck in trying to change the mindset of the youth in Singapore.