Week in Review: Sexy sells, even in a tech portal
By Karamjit Singh November 29, 2013
- Guest commentary on Ssweet Malaysian Girls blog top story
- But DNA’s Karamjit is hoping for US$200mil to be the sexy story
SEXY sells. Even on a business tech portal. And I am bemused.
Just within three hours of his contribution piece going live on our site this morning, Foong Cheng Leong’s Bread & Kaya commentary The law and the Sweet Young Malaysian Girls blog had raced ahead to become the week’s most read article!
There goes my pitch to potential advertisers that Digital News Asia’s (DNA) readers are mainly senior executives and hungry entrepreneurs aspiring to become tomorrow’s tycoons.
Perhaps I should add a caveat to that sales pitch: “But they will on occasion read news about the dangers of letting it all hang out on the Internet, just so they can warn their peer group and families.” Does that sound convincing?
As is the nature of the Internet, any news that is naughty, or even hints at it, gets shared instantly. Of course, Cheng Leong’s piece was a serious commentary on the laws that could be applied in such a case, but I am guessing that a lot of the people who read that article are first-time readers drawn in by the heavy sharing of our tweets and Facebook alerts. (We do this for all our stories, though).
But as a serious business tech journalist, I do get frustrated when important stories do not get the same electrifying effect as a sexy story. This was reinforced during a quick lunch I had this afternoon with a retired banker who was interested in working with startups.
I brought up the Angel Tax Incentive Scheme that is administered by Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, and he was totally blown away by the incentives offered. But he was also surprised that he did not know about it. He apparently did not read about it, nor had any of his friends brought it up.
That was disturbing to me. The incentive is going to be such a major catalyst in our early stage funding cycle, but it also needs to become part of the conversation among people like the retired banker I met. I guess not everyone reads the news, be it in digital and print format, all the time.
I wonder how Cradle can make this message ‘sexy’ because that will surely get it viral. I am sure its CEO Nazrin Hassan (pic) is open to your suggestions.
Speaking of Nazrin, he attended this week’s Disrupt session on No love for Asean? Addressing the regional funding gap. Perhaps he thought it was going to be a sexy discussion and carved some time out of his schedule to attend it?
But seriously, his first comment to me was, “These are the same issues we were hearing from 10 years ago [when Cradle was born]. Has the ecosystem really improved?” he posed, bemused.
A lot has improved and will keep improving. The stories that appear on DNA’s pages every day are proof of that. And even in the funding scene, while the general feeling is that venture capital-backed funding is drying, I have a feeling we are going to witness a welcome fillip to the sector come January when Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (Mavcap) announces its third Outsourced Partners Programme.
Yes, I am an optimist. In a best case scenario, we could see US$200 million (RM645 million) pour into the startup sector! That’s awfully sexy, right?
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