Agus Kurniawan, one of my partner in crimes - told me one day back in 2004 that he wanted to tell people in Indonesia that knowledge should be free. What a fantastic idea right? I didn't think at that time he can really make it happen. It just an idiot idea at that time (sorry cuk!). Then one day we met at my small LAB at Depok discussing about it deeper. Agus was very passionate about that and he told me that Gurus should write for others and share it for free. I thought that was not a great idea for normal people. Write for free? Come on cuk .....! He replied, if we write for publisher, they don't give good reward (piracy, no royalty etc), so why don't we make it just free ???
Amazing thing happen when crazy guy like Agus really mean what he said. That was Agus's dream and he was crazy to make it happen. Then the universe supported him (have you watched "The Secret" movie ?). Now look what we have done in a project called, OTAK (=brain). With 13 e-books now OTAK has more than 100K downloads, more than 12K members, and 44 authors. All volunteers. That was started 3 years back and he still consistently going forward to the next level of OTAK project...... here is the plan :). Its all about the latest .NET Framework (3.0 and 3.5), IT Pro and native C/C++ right?
Agus is moving faster in his journey with his army (authors). He owns an innovative distance learning business now, called PECollege (PE = People and Enterprise). And do you know what? He told me by phone, he said, he wanted to create a virtual University for Indonesia. He never stop. Again I thought he was crazy (sorry cuk!). The pattern is, crazy people can make crazy thing happen. Please define the word crazy by yourself :). I am lucky to have many crazy friends in INDC.
Yesterday we launched a program called iMULAI. I do believe that we have a lot of leaders like Agus Kurniawan living in Indonesia. If I said a lot, means that we have more than thousand. 1000 is small comparing to 250 million population (0.0004%). Those guys maybe struggle to convert their ideas into a real business. They live in Papua, Gorontalo, Ambon, Poso, Menado, Makassar, Medan, etc. No IT community, no funding, no opportunities, etc.... They have brilliant ideas, strong motivation, want to work hard, but still can not move anywhere. Some of them are not even able to escape from poverty trap. C.K. Prahalad who wrote "The Fortune at the Bottom of Pyramid" challenged us in his famous book:
- What are we doing about the poorest people around Indonesia?
- Why is that will all of our technology, managerial know-how, and investment capacity, we are unable
to make even a minor contribution to the problem of pervasive Indonesia poverty and disenfranchisement?
With iMULAI I can see a light where we can create a big contribution (not minor like Prahalad said). One of the key message that Mr. Tony Chen has mentioned in iMULAI press conference was: "we should fight poverty in Indonesia with knowledge based economy". Bill Gates said that Pralahad's book offers a blueprint to fight poverty with profitability. Lack on knowledge brings poverty. So, poverty-knowledge-profitability. Why we can't co-create a unique solution for Indonesia to fight poverty with profitability and our knowledge?
Let me back with Agus. I think what he has done is "fight poverty with profitability and knowledge" in small scope. In his PECollege portal, Agus made video tutorials for developer/student, sell it and also encourage other people to create their videos then sell thru his portal. Knowledgeable authors will get money (profit) to fight poverty. Imagine if high school teachers can create math or physic video and sell thru PECollege. Or farmers can sell their tips and tricks thru PECollege video tutorials? That is a long tail business and of course profit. Become rich is not a sin. Let me tell you how Agus did it to inspire you.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. That was coming from Einstein but I see a non-mathematic proof from Agus (sorry Norman). When we started OTAK project with him, we didn't even know how to execute. It just a crazy imagination he brought to the table, knowledge should be free. He created a detail plan, encouraged blind developers (like me) to join the project, hired Dewi Maya as project manager,... and it just happen. What I remember that time is, Agus was able to imagine in detail and visualized in his mind about "how we should execute the project". He magically came up with detail plan, table of contents, authors, etc. He showed leadership to finish his chapter first, etc. And... it works!!. I think he has a special ability to imagine "the end result" and construct back necessary steps to achieve it. He wrote his name in the history of INDC but he is not a magician.
I believe that the secret of building/creating something is : imagination. If we can visualize something clearly, then we can make it (if we really want). Don't think how we can make it at the first time. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Get an idea first, imagine the end result and visualize it clearly in mind. Repeat until you can clearly visualize it like watching a movie. Then "the how to" will come by itself. No mathematic proof for that, but with physics I can make a silly model : when we are thinking, our brain is sending electromagnetic signal to the universe. Deeper we think, resulted electromagnetic energy become stronger. As the law of energy/entropy conservation said that we can't create/destroy energy/entropy (we can only transform it), means that we are absorbing energy from others when we are thinking. With that energy, we can attract other things (like magnetism) to help us realize our imagination. Then the universe will work like what we expected (or imagined). From this silly abstraction model, lets create a mathematic form for a justification. Is that Einstein way of thinking?
If you watch "The Secret", you will understand what I am talking about. Don't judge me crazy for now. Regarding the iMULAI, I suggest don't think about "the how to". Find a good idea and imagine it first. Once you can clearly visualize the idea, you can come up with the plan. For example, if my son Raffy asks me to build a cat house for example, the first thing I will do is, imagine a cat house in detail. I don't know how to construct that because I never done. But if can visualize it, I am sure I can build it easily. I will take a paper and pencil to help me more in visualization. Then I will design its main building blocks, materials (nails, wood, etc), and tools needed. When I don't know how to use an electric wood cutter, I will read a manual. If I don't know how to use a hammer effectively, I call my friend. Or bla bla bla, bla bla bla ... and I call my friend, hey Dondy, can you make a cat house? How much ??? Whatttt ???? Oh God...!!
iMULAI for me is about idea and imagination. Not about C# or C/C++ or MASM or SDLC, SCM, MSF, CMMI, SOA, S+S, SaaS, etc. Its about how to get a good business idea with software. The good thing is when I ask how much to Dondy, iMULAI program will pay the bill. Nice huh? We just need to dream about something to make Indonesia more competitive with software. It could be about software for poverty, education, social networking, rural, knowledge, and everything as long as you can construct a detail plan and implement. I want to see the next DMR, BataviaSoft, Dycode, SekotjiLAB, born from iMULAI.
Look how I work in my small LAB (to get crazy idea) and Raffy's face when he wants something.
Have a nice weekend with iMULAI !!
Thx - RAM