How Terry Ng made a simple t-shirt design, marketed online, in 1 month made RM2,000 profit

Terry Ng of mentioned that the design took him 30 minutes on photoshop. No too fancy stuff, just the line “There is No Charge for Awesomeness,” taken off the movie Kung Fu Panda.

Then he posted the design for sale at RedBubble.

So far, less than a month later, he’s sold 85 shirts for a profit of USD628.85.

He said you control the price and decide your level of profit. RedBubble doesn’t charge commissions but rather a base price of USD19.95 per shirt. Terry set his markup to 37% i.e. profit of USD7.41 per shirt sold.

He compared that with a local printing shop, where production costs would be lower. Still, selling via RedBubble entailed much less work. For every shirt sold, they’d send you a notification email.

RedBubble is not only for tshirts, you can also sell other art: photos, designs and illustrations in the form of framed prints, mounted prints, greeting cards or even posters.

Terry said it’s easy money, why not give it a go???

And of course he can start doing other designs, like putting “zildjian drums at Guitar Center” on his other T-shirts creations.


[originally published 14 July 2008]

What credit card companies don’t want you to know

The top advice should always be: pay off all balance on your credit cards every month. Never go beyond the interest-free 30-day grace period. Hence, you get to use the credit card’s money without paying them anything for the privilege. Do this, and you will save thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of dollars in needless interest payments.

Click here for more tips

[originally published 22 May 2008]

Probably Malaysia’s youngest internet entrepreneurs

[Originally published 25 Nov 2007, which is quite some time ago; who knows what they're up to now - living it up with ragin cajuns is a possibility] are four 12-year olds of Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Baru Darulaman (Bandar Baru Darulaman Primary School) in Jitra, Kedah, Malaysia.

They offer services like logo (RM10) and web design (RM30 per page), as well as animation (RM8) and posters (RM15).

They wrote that they want to be Malaysia’s youngest internet entrepreneurs, and even though they’re still at primary school, they will still stive for the highest levels of professionalism.

Going through their website and portfolio, not bad, but I think they have work cut out for them. The logos are not of the highest standards yet and there are many broken links in their website.


Probably the most money ever lost through an internet scam by a Malaysian student

[originally published 2 June 2007]

…or: Malaysia’s most gullible student.

The Star reported on 21st April 2007 that a 20-yr old Penang student lost a total of RM148,000, which was supposed to pay for her college fees because she believed an internet scam which told her that she had won RM3.3 million in 2 Internet lucky draws.

If it’s illiterate kampung folk or the elderly I can understand, but this is a member of the media and tech-savvy Generation Y (or is it now Z?)!

A woman called her last month from a telephone number registered in China telling her that she won RM120K in a Hong Kong Turf Club online draw. As can be expected in such scams, a deposit would be required – in this case it was RM46K as “insurance and processing” fees. Amazingly, she believed the caller and 10 days later transferred the amount being asked into an overseas bank account.

Sensing easy money, the same day, another guy from the syndicate called to tell that she had won an extra RM3.2 million in a “bonus draw.” Incredibly, she was sucked in further. She raised RM102K in about 3 weeks and deposited the amount to the same bank account on 18th April.

She only came to her senses when the scammers cut off all contact.

Incredible, now how could she ever shop for an engagement ring?

The police are understandably exasperated. They have issued several warnings through the media but such cases continue to occur.


Apa yang kita boleh belajar dari kisah 4 orang usahawan Internet Malaysia yang gagal

[originally published 10 July 2007]

Pada April 2007, blog menceritakan dengan panjang lebar kisah 4 orang usahawan tempatan yang gagal, dan apa iktibar yang kita boleh perolehi daripadanya.

Secara ringkasnya:

Usahawan 1: tidak tahu-menahu hal teknikal. Semua berharap pada orang lain. Akhirnya bermasalah besar; paling teruk: cara promosi pun tidak tahu.

Usahawan 2: kemahiran teknikal asas sahaja (tidak mencukupi). Semua berharap kpd orang lain.

Usahawan 3: pernah buat 2 ebook. Ebook pertama dikritik – beliau menghapuskan ebooknya. Ebook kedua – kesilapan orang lain yang membuatkan ebooknya beralih tangan. Mempunyai sifat cepat putus asa.

Usahawan 4: patah semangat kerana kritikan dan timbul ketidakyakinan terhadap konsep e-perniagaan.


  • Mesti ada asas kukuh komputer dan internet
  • Mesti ada mentor
  • Perlu faham konsep e-perniagaan (e-business)
  • Motivasi perlu kuat
  • Jangan buat sendiri – perlu ada partner

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A postdoctoral fellow in Singapore earns up to RM12,000 compared to RM2,500 in Malaysia

[originally published in this blog 3 August 2007]

Excerpts of Reuters report, 13th Nov:

Malaysia is counting on bright, ambitious people like Tan Chye Ling for its future, to lead it away from manufacturing and into the knowledge age. But the 32-year-old scientist, a post-graduate in molecular biology, is not counting on Malaysia to look after her future.

“I felt very suppressed in Malaysia,” said Tan, who moved to neighbouring Singapore, the region’s pace-setter for biotech investment, after a decade of study and research in Malaysia.

“I have benefited from the better research environment and salary scheme here. Things are much smoother,” she said by phone from the National University of Singapore where she is studying dust mites and allergies.

Tan estimates that 60 percent of the research teams she works with in Singapore are from Malaysia, despite her country’s efforts over several years to develop a biotech industry.

The Malaysian government unveiled plans last March to spend $553.3 million over five years to boost research, attract foreign investment and build new facilities. But its efforts are wasted unless it can retain more talented people like Tan.

Malaysia has thrived since the 1970s on cheap labour, serving as a global manufacturing base for electronics. But cheaper rivals like China, India and Vietnam are forcing it to look to higher-tech industries to secure its economic future.

The biotech campaign is not new — Malaysia has tried various schemes over the past five years with little success — but its efforts have taken on a new urgency after U.N. data showed an 11 percent fall in direct foreign investment between 2004 and 2005.

“By the time we have the research environment in place, every other country would have taken a slice of the biotech investment pie,” said Iskandar Mizal, head of the state-run Malaysian Biotech Corporation which oversees the government’s strategy.

Researcher Tan adds one more request: raise salaries. A post-doctoral fellow in Singapore earns up to $3,210 a month, nearly five times the salary paid in Malaysia, she said. “With the increasing cost of living, it is not fair to expect post-doctoral fellows to teach and do research on 2,500 ringgit ($685),” said Tan, who moved to Singapore more than a year ago.

Malaysia recently increased funds for postgraduate research schemes five-fold to $180 million under its five-year plan. But this is a tiny fraction of the $8 billion Singapore is investing in biotech R&D and biomedical firms over the next five years, including $3.4 billion in life-sciences research alone.”We need people, not infrastructure to bring in the investors,” said molecular biologist, Ruslan.

But perhaps a more pertinent question is: yes, the pay is better, but would you have a better quality of life, ie less stress and more time to droll on a jbl eon 210p portable pa system 10” 2-way reviews at guitar center?


Some tips about wills

[originally published in this blog 6 July 2007]

Read in a newspaper article last month:

(i) As a parent to grown children, you can say that you will change your will every year. It’s a way to ensure the children “toe the line.”

(ii) You can create trust within the will.

(iii) A will is not just about money, it can also spell out guardianship of children.

Average monthly income according to race in Singapore

[originally published in this blog 6 Aug 2007]

As reported by The Star on 26th Nov 2006:

Malays make up 14% of Singapore’s population (4.2 million)

8.6% of them have poly/university education, compared to 27% for Chinese and 31% for Indians.

Average income for Malays is S$3,400 (RM8,000), compared to the Chinese at S$5,600 (RM13,000) and the Indians at S$5,200 (RM11,000). Continue reading