Sarah Lacy on the Emerging World (a.k.a. Indonesia) -part2

The Oprah of Indonesia who empowers women with her company, Puri Ayu Martha Tilaar.

Previously on my last post, we read how Lacy compared Martha Tilaar to Oprah Winfrey. It tickles me a bit to spot this line:

[…] Heavily perfumed and air-conditioned, it’s an estrogen oasis in this hot, humid country. […] (BCC, p 191)

The word ‘estrogen’ serves pretty well to mark the transition from the manly world of erecting skyscrapers represented by Ciputra to a ladylike industry of cosmetics portrayed by Tilaar.  Lacy relates how Martha Tilaar has been taking part in female empowerment, something that goes beyond making money from natural makeups, grooming and pampering.

The proud Javanese woman entrepreneur also teaches women how proudly revealing one’s chronological age is NOT a shame as in:

[…] “I’m 74 years old,” she says proudly. “No facelift and no Botox! Can you imagine if I didn’t look good? Who would buy my products?” She exudes a confident, yet appropriately self-deprecating, charm that any finishing school student could learn from. […] (BCC, p 191)

I myself have hardly ever encountered a woman ‘voluntarily’ confessed her age in public. Tilaar is perhaps a totally different case considering how much time she’s devoted to maintaining her looks. But the grandma’s just not a pretty face. She’s reached the ultimate level of confidence as a business owner since 1960s. Tilaar has the ‘it’ factor an astounding entrepreneur should possess; i.e. idealism (which occasionally leads to a head-to-head battle with the male CEO Hartanto Santosa).

In spite of the differences, it turns out Ciputra and Martha Tilaar share the similar childhood lesson: don’t let anyone, even your parents, say you’re a failure for good! Ciputra was the last born kid in the family. He was the least expected offspring of all to excel in life. Even his dad, as long as I can remember, once said the young Ciputra was the blacksheep of the family. While Ciputra’s peers were already moving on to the higher education, Ciputra (at 12 then) still stayed in elementary school as a second grader. The young boy was wayward, difficult in any possible way.

Martha Tilaar grew as a fragile little girl, lacking health and vitality. A doctor’s verdict stated she was only going to be a not-so-brainy grownup, which she managed to prove wrong later on (Really, how can you call someone whose company’s revenue is worth US$100 million dumb?). Like Ciputra who was looked down by the father, even Tilaar’s mother wasn’t quite impressed by what Tilaar thought of as the acme of her academic achievement (she was the third from the last in class). So the desperate mom saw entrepreneurship as an ‘exit strategy’. She simply wanted Tilaar to lead a better life with entrepreneurial skills because to her the young girl seemed to lack academic skills.

Sarah Lacy on the Emerging World (a.k.a. Indonesia)

"Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky": Despite its cockiness, the book looks sort of down-to-earth. A picture of a man standing with arms akimbo on the high-rise is what I have in mind. ^_^

So I’d heard the buzz at and her own blog ( about this very book for quite a while.  Finally, “Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky: How the top 1% of entrepreneurs profit from global chaos” is on sale. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but I read Michael Arrington of TechCrunch would voluntarily throw a party for the book’s being on the best selling books list at Amazon. And Arrington is just not a type of guy who throws a party for no good reason.

For those who don’t know, the book may look as commonplace as others. But it’s different in the way that it touches on us, the chaotic yet promising market of Indonesia. “The Emerging World’s Big Secret” is one separate chapter Ms. Lacy (or Mrs. Ellis?) dedicated to Indonesian entrepreneurs.

As I skimmed the acknowledgments page, something caught me on guard. The predictably rabid journalist mentioned Dino Patti Djalal as the staff of Universitas Ciputra. I have no idea if the one mentioned was another Mr. Djalal, but as far as I’m concerned, he works as the Indonesian ambassador to the US. The following is the whole paragraph in which Lacy shows her appreciation to Indonesians she met with along the book making:

Thanks to Bo Fishback of the Kauffman Foundation , who first told me I should go to Indonesia, and for all the support from Ciputra’s organization in planning my trip, especially Agung Waluyo and Antonius Tanan. Huge thanks to Mr. Ciputra and Martha Tilaar for sharing your inspiring stories, and to Dino Patti Djalal the staff of Universitas Ciputra, and Rama Mamuaya and all of the budding Indonesian Web crew. (BCC, p xii)

Indeed, I wonder what Mr. Djalal has to say about this, if he ever reads of course.

In a nutshell, chapter 9 of the book primarily discusses 3 major facets of the Indonesian entrepreneurship gem; i.e. the dominating male Indonesian entrepreneurs, the womanly side of entrepreneurs, and the vibrant community of youths.

Ciputra, as you can readily guess, is the most suitable representative of the first facet. He’s the living legend, Indonesian perfect model for the from-rags-to-riches ‘tales’. He’s built properties for decades. What’s more macho than building luxurious, most sought-after properties across the country?  Celebrating his 80th birthday, the seasoned entrepreneur is still thirst of more and more betterment for the nation’s sake. More on him somewhere else…

And Lacy really has a message to convey here. I’ll quote the line I think most provoking to most moslem Indonesians:

[…] It’s also a nation rich with natural resources, including oil and minerals, and a climate that can grow more than 30,000 spices, coffee, rice, and other valuable commodities. Yet, as Israel proves, population and natural resources aren’t everything. […]

A slap right on the face? A wake-up call for the laid-back Indonesians lullabied by Koes Plus’ hit, “Kolam Susu”?  Get real, folks! There must be something wrong with a nation this big and a country this large, which is currently struggling to conquer the phantom of unemployment, low public welfare, and other socio-economic threats.

The second sub-chapter mostly revolves around whom Lacy always calls “the Indonesian Oprah”. Were I Martha Tilaar, I’d prefer being called “the Indonesian Anita Roddick”. But well, perhaps Roddick isn’t as rich as Winfrey. She has no TV show and lucrative media network to brag about but Tilaar has what Ms. Winfrey doesn’t but may have in common with Roddick, a wide network of spas and salons.

[to be continued…]

Breaking News: Twitter’s Changed Its Front Page

On Becoming a Polyglot

Becoming a polyglot certainly sounds like something too good to be true. So far, I have learned 3 foreign languages. And the learning process is painfully lengthy, really.
English was initially not attractive to me. Yet as I grew up, the demand was increasingly higher. I just thought it would be cool for me to master it. Though I know I am exactly not even close to natives, I am so glad I can make a living by doing what I love.
The second foreign language to learn is Korean. I learned it intensively at a language course for free, to my utter surprise. Now I still retain the hangeul mastery but almost lose all the vocabulary and frequently used expressions stored 1,5 years ago. Poor me.
The third is Japanese. Of all foreign languages I have studied, this might be the worst. I completely lost all the basic knowledge.
I have no regrets that I cannot have a full grasp of all as I tend to think of language learning as a process of quality. The profound and thorough understanding of a
language comes first. Being able to speak many languages is good but I would rather learn few with above average proficiency than many  resulting in a linguistic mess on my brain.
What do you think,folks? Which side are you on? Quality or quantity? Let us know what you think 😉
p.s. : My very first post written on Samsung Gio! Impression? Virtual keypads cannot replace physical conventional keyboard of a PC.

How Sun Hyun-Woo’s GongbuGage Inspires Me to Teach Indonesian

That GongbuGage initiator, Sun HyunWoo sparked an idea of sharing linguistic knowledge.This just in, this morning I spotted the video on Youtube. Great idea, and not exactly one to miss!

Korean people are proud to teach Korean, why can’t we be?

Quick Wrapup Post

Forget the pricey Ace or Fit, get the Gio instead!
Paul Costigan and Patrick ORiordan : Irish reps at the event. They dont speak Indonesian, sadly.

My life ‘s almost all about translating recently. I’m fed up with it. But unhappily can’t escape before everything gets done.

So many new interesting updates I want to post but well, the time isn’t enough. I get burned out, I need time to relax. Blogging is supposed to be relaxing but blogging needs eyes and my eyes are shrieking for rest.

So far I’ve got these amazing events to cover on this blog:

#StartupLokal (Sat, April/ 9/ 2011)

I went to the community’s first anniversary and ended up going home with more than a dozen of business cards (read: lots of new acquaintaces and opportunities!).

Thanks to Natali Ardianto and Nuniek Tirta. The spouse (don’t get it wrong,Natali is a guy) invited me on behalf of my legendary boss (Mr. Entrepreneurship evangelist, as I put it). And there I was, happily trapped amongst a flock of local startup founders. I’ll save the details later on..

The historical purchase of Samsung Gio (Sat, April/ 9/ 2011)

Call me mr. Show-off but let me tell you I’ve just updated my cellular experience with one of the overly-hyped Android-embedded handsets, Samsung Gio. I embrace the principle of minimalism, and if you think I waste my dear money just to keep up with my Android-addicted coworkers, you’re wrong. I made up my mind more than a thousand times for this. And at the end, after a painful lengthy consideration, I dashed to the Samsung showroom and grabbed the shiny Gio with no regrets. I can guarantee this purchase is a well-weighted one, with good reason. For the sake of productivity…

Workshop at BPPT (Wed, April/13/ 2011)

Well, it was still related to technopreneurship. But this one was a lot more conservative in some way. Again, my legendary boss couldn’t make it and another ‘right hand’ he appointed to represent appeared for him.

Receiving “#StartupLokal Kita”

Rhein Mahatma couldn’t provide me one at FX Plaza so he bothered himself riding to the office through the most notorious street in the capital where things are so screwed up in that Tuesday morning.

This month also marks my 1st anniversary of working for this extremely entrepreneurial company…

Sarah Lacys and #Startuplokals books: Back then, never did I think I'd write so extensively about entrepreneurship.

@ FX Plasa : Startup Lokal Anniversary

And here I am. At FX Plaza. It’s more like cool spring morning and it’s dim in the entire room. With literally no one I know of here. A few I know online, so I can’t say I know them very well in person. So some flocks are chatting up and I keep tweeting, and blogging 🙂 So far so magnificent….

One thing I know for sure is despite the coolness of the room, it is overflowed with tons of entrepreneurial spirit (while staring some guys exchanging business cards)

(to be continued)


Molex female connector.
Sentence connectors connect an idea with another.

Sentence connectors are used to express relationships between ideas and to combine sentences.

Type of Connector Connector(s) Examples
Subordinating conjunctions if, unless, only if, even if If you consider the financial rewards of high level positions, the stressful nature of these positions becomes less important.
Conjunctive adverb otherwise You should remember the financial rewards of high level positions; otherwise, you might find the stressful nature of these positions too demanding.
Types of sentence connectors are:
  1. Sentence Connectors: Opposition
  2. Sentence Connectors: Cause / Effect
  3. Sentence Connectors: Comparison
  4. Sentence Connectors: Contrast
  5. Sentence Connectors: Condition
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