Recently, I was approached by a founder from Singapore. I didn’t thought the idea was brilliant in any sense, but it was interesting because I felt that an alien idea such as reviewing insurance policies could actually attracted user traction.

Shocking but that was what she said

There were smaller parts which I appreciate like simple KYC reviews but overall I still don’t dig it. Then again, I don’t appreciate their idea doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.

They call it insurance tech also known as insurTech (A subset of financial technology known as FinTech).

So naturally, I did a quick google check on the company even before replying the founder. To my surprise, it was founded by a lady who shall remain anonymous permanently and 2 other younger boys who were barely 21 years old. The lady based on her Linkedin profile was equally amazing, so I went to their website to take a quick look.

It was very obvious that the website was hacked together without much thought, the design of the site was akin to sticks holding up a roof. Something I would considered minimal viable product.

The design was okay, not particularly pretty but definitely pleasant.

After some inspection, I replied to the lady via the same channel she contact me. Advised her on existing problems of her web application and gave her appropriate solutions to fix them.

To my surprised, she wanted to meet. But due to my sinus infection, I declined. But I did gave her my number if she need it.

Needless to say, we end up chatting over the phone soon after. Apparently, the minimal viable product was built by the 2 kids she recruited and she doesn’t have any engineers working for her as we speak. I was rather impressed because as I was told the 2 boys who build the product were undergraduates.

Probably they should build another facebook or snapchat and be the next billionaire or something.

If I was at your level at their age, I would have done it

After we ended the call, I could tell 3 things about her.

  • She definitely doesn’t know how to code. (She cannot differentiate between reactJS, nodeJS, redis and Java)
  • She is definitely not savvy about technology (The first question was how many language can you code in? It’s not about the number of language, it’s always what you can build with the language you know that counts)
  • She is definitely confused with business acumen with working business experience (Instead of getting someone who could code, she got a project manager and another technical consultant but both of them can’t code)
This was the exact image on my mind when we spoke on the phone

But what she found out about me seems to have a disturbing effect to the extend she started ignoring me or my honesty pissed her off. I was trying to be nice and listen to her woes, offering her advice to the best of my ability.

I was even seriously considering to help her build a new restful API from scratch with proper fault-tolerant database and AWS infrastructure. Despite the fact that I’m not sure if her startup could last longer than I think.

The very fact that the CTOs (The 2 young boys), would rather go back to school than to continue working with you already tells me how much they believe in this idea. But of course, I felt there wasn’t a need to tell her non-constructive things at that point in time.

Not to mention going back to school

So I pondered for a while, why did she ignored me. (Which seriously pissed me off, I hate it when people ignore me)

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things

-Steve Jobs

I presume my previous business background shocked her a little bit?

Maybe she thought I was a stalker?

It could even be she felt that I might steal her idea?

Or maybe she just someone who can code in multiple programming language to build for her.

I seriously think there was a miscommunication somewhere

I have no idea to be honest, but I hope it’s not one of the above. Because it’s really very silly.

Then again, life goes on..

In any case, I do hope she succeed one day despite having odds against her. Yes, I’m still pissed because I was seriously thinking of helping her but she ignored me.

The morale of the story is if you can’t code, make sure you find someone dependable to co-found your start up. No startup that wish to leverage on internet can survive without an engineer.


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