9eek 9oddess: Thx to Endoh for teaching me a few of life's lessons

There are few lessons we learn in life. Many of these lessons are those that our parents have imparted to us. Yes, we brush them aside, thinking they are old wives tales, we cluck our tongues as if they don't know any better. We think we are the "Y generation" and yes we indeed are but at times like this, I remember the words of my parents...

Just yesterday I went for an interview for a to-be job (I hope). Gruelled by 3 interviewers for 2 hours, I left the place feeling not so much satisfied and pleased with myself for the way the interview went.. ( it went well so my final round will be on Friday and this is a job I really want), but instead, I left with the feeling of a deep sense of loss and revelation.

Why has all these got to do with what has been happening the last few days in the blogosphere? Let me tell you...

I was asked a question which stumped me. I managed to handle all the questions very well, but was particularly stumped by one.

The interviewer had asked me, "If you want to have a meal with anyone in this world, which 3 people would you chose?" -- This has nothing to do with the job at hand, but it got me thinking about what was close to my heart and what deeply concerned me. It was a question to basically put my core values in a crucible and distill what mattered to me.

My response?

1) MM Lee Kwan Yew - reason? Because although he has made many tough decisions which many people might not agree with, I respect him for building our nation, for the sacrifices he has made and for the dreams he had for our country. This is one man I truly respect.

2) Jesus - reason? Many of us lack compassion already. We are thrown around by the winds of life and on the way, we forget our direction, we forget what we want and what we hold close. Although I'm not that religious, as a child, I was told stories about this Man called Jesus who walked the walk and talked the talk. He was compassionate to those who hurled stones at him and forgave those who transgressed him. He healed the sick and he loved the hurt. The world lacks compassion, truly. We trudge about our daily lives thinking ME ME ME...

I would want to have a meal with Jesus and listen to His stories, just me and him ... (and for once I would be quiet -- those of you who know me know that i can never stop talking, super kaypo and zi zha :) )

** I thought long and hard about who I would "spend" this last meal on..... and then it came to me**

3) My parents -- reason? How many people sit down with their parents and have a meal together nowadays? We are busy with workk, with our own lives that we treat things of old as if they don't exist. My parents are growing old, whether or not I admit. I've blogged about this before, but how many of us actually make it a point to sit down and have a good meal together? If you do, good on you! If you don't, it's never too late!

*** I don't know if I had answered the question properly, but as I spoke to him, tears welled in my eyes, and I apologized and awkwardly, as I wiped the tears away, and he skipped on to the next question on his list, pretending he did not notice.... (thankfully, as I was red with embarrassment) ***

Why am I blogging about something like that and how does it relate to things that have been happening in the blogosphere? Well, I feel as if by a weird twist of fate, there are many connections and its as if God is trying to tell me something.... that this is a lesson I have to learn.. be it the hard way...

1) MM Lee Kwan Yew can be paralleled (almost blasphemously) to DK, Cobalt Paladin, Claudia, Paddy and Endoh. They have fiercely given their views on the Nuffnang issue and have made their stand on how NN handled the issue, the people involved, the bloggers as well as competitors. These blogger named above, I held in high esteem, and still do, because I know that their years of experience superceed mine in the real world, in the entrepreneurial world, in the social PR scene and in the blogosphere. They have made their stands and published posts which have been tough on me and painful for me to swallow (similar to some of the laws of governence made by MM LEE), but I respect their take on the issue although maybe I might disagree. Disagreeing, I must emphasize, doesn't negate the depth of respect I have for them..

Yes, they have made statements that have hurt me, hurt Nuffnang, but why? They have done it for the "betterment" of this community at large. They have done it so that people around will know how to handle bloggers and the media better in the future. For that, I thank them. Yes I am hurt by some of their remarks, especially when some seemed personal.

I was not upset at a particular blogger's contempt at my reaction on Techcrunch but I was immensely hurt by this particular blogger trying to pull TDM into the picture.

TDM means a lot to me. I have poured out a lot of time into our projects. I have done it without pay, yes everything voluntarily. Only because I believe in TDM's cause and I know that the projects and the meetings and events we hold will educate and improve this community of entrepreneurs and friends. I love TDM and I hold it very close to me. All I ask for is mercy -- mercy that you will be able to not pull TDM into this picture because there are friends I have in TDM that I can call real friends and I hope that you will understand that my statements represent me only and not TDM. TDM is a separate entity and TDM's reputation should not be marred by my statements. And yes, this is a plea to you, that you will care for the other members of TDM and the pride that surrounds this brand.

2) Jesus - He was a compassionate man, and yes why do I hold Jesus close to me? Doesn't matter in this case if it's Jesus or any other God or Deity. Basically they are compassionate people who look past the mistakes of others. They are appreciative and are never critical of anyone, they look beyond the flaws of a person and give themselves selflessly. Even when they correct, they do so in love and not with an intent to hurt..

Because they know how to above all, LOVE...

I was particularly hurt by Endoh's statement about me. It felt like a personal attack.. I assume that maybe it is not, but from an emotional point of view when reading his post and multiple comments, it felt as if he wasn't a friend to me. I have known Endoh way before this NN incident and have chatted with him online many a times even. But his statements made me sad -- sad at the fact that a friend (yes I still think of him fondly as one) would write something like that without even asking me on my take on the issue. Not once did he talk to me about how I felt about this whole issue). I felt as if he had written without considering my feelings in mind. I would expect that from a friend, or maybe I am expecting too much. Endoh, is there anything I have done to you in the past that has hurt you? If so, I sincerely apologize...

At first part of me wanted to lash out, be angry and write a post telling the world how much he had hurt me, to expose all the things we had talked about previously, but an eye for an eye would make the whole world blind... and thankfully, Nicholas Aaron Khoo talked me out of it and told me that I should keep level headed and write back only after some thought. Nicholas had sent me Endoh's respond comment on his blog saying...

"Perhaps being a member of TDM, you guys should educate her (Estee) on proper response techniques pertaining to corporate complaints. My next post is actually intended to discuss on Estee's response in TechCrunch actually."

A true friend loves at all times, covers for their friend's mistakes and does not expose them. I felt Endoh was trying to highlight my rashness to the world, and wanted to blog all about my apparent emotional outcry on Techcrunch. (yes I admit, it was an error on my part, what more can I do after apologizing?) He also did highlight my personal relationship with Ming, which made me biased to NN.

I have 2 questions to ask everyone here. And you should answer honestly...

1) If you truly cared for someone, would you not stand up for a person, even if it meant your personal reputation at stake? Would you not defend the people you care for? Even if it was beyond logic? Would you not support the person you cared for during time of tribulation? Would you up and leave and be the first to make a beeline for the exit?

Would you have done much differently from me, would you? ---- This issue concerns my personal value that I hold close to myself and even if this whole incident were to replay itself, I would not have made a different choice in voicing my unequivocal support. I would still support Nuffnang and Ming. Only because I care for these 2 entities, and however people insult them or mudsling at them, my decision doesn't change. No amount of insult to me or things I care for will change that.

2) Yes I was rash with my comments on Techcrunch, but I still think that that post lacked the research needed. Yes, when I read it, I thought it was unreasonable and lashed out immediately. I apologize for that, but I do not appreciate someone highlighting it and blogging about it and further causing more pain. All of us, I'm sure have had times where we get emotional and not think straight... my question is then,

Have you ever made the mistake of lashing out then regretting?

Let He Who is Without Sin Cast the First Stone

But I digress.... back to point 3

3) My parents -- this reminds me fondly of the people I love and care about, the ping community and TDM... I have been with the Ping.sg community since Nexus 07 held in March.

I have grown with the community, hung out with them and chatted with them on the shoutbox.. They have become a part of me and I speak very fondly of them. The TDM community also comes into mind because I have sweat with them, cried with them and laughed with them. (Those insanely 24 hour long meetings!!! argh *smile*) My parents can thus be paralled with these people who I think of fondly...

I truly care of these 2 communities and am upset when there is a rift. I'm not saying that the ping.sg community has been torn apart due to this trivial issue, but what I'm saying is that let's not divide into 2 factions -- supporters of NN or not -- this issue is separate from ping.sg. The community should be one whether or not this NN issue arises. (maybe this is a test of our mettle and love?)

I don't wish to defend myself anymore, I don't see a need to. What I want to do however, is to express my heartfelt feelings, to come clean and be honest, as honest as possible.

Those from the ping. sg community know me and I believe those who understand my personality and character will still be a friend to me no matter where this issue leads to.

Because a friend loves at all time
-- that's what my parents said.

And time will tell...


Anonymous said...

As much as I sympathize with you and sorry for what I have written, I will still have to stand by the professional ethics that personal feelings should not be involved in corporate disputes. No matter how much a friend means to me, if his or her company fails to deliver, I will still terminate a deal between the two companies.

Perhaps, it's good to separate business and friendship/relationship no matter how supportive we are. The business world is cruel, as much as I hate the dog-bite-dog environment.

Having said so, a true friend is one who highlights or surfaces your problem or fault. Not one, who resumes to the spectator seat keeping mum about it only to pretend to be nice in your face. I will stand by this rule in friendship too.

All the best to your future career.

Anonymous said...

As a bystander, I don't think you did anything wrong. I think Endoh shouldn't have brought TDM into this, nor imply your opinion as biased because of certain relationships, especially when you've backed up your argument wih reasons. It was an immature remark. What next? Blame your parents for not teaching you how to behave in public???

The biggest loser in all this will be Nuffnang because as they continue to keep silent, the issue will snowball and tear the (small) blogging community apart.

eStee said...

Ed: You said " a true friend is one who highlights or surfaces your problem or fault"

Perhaps I am young and inexperienced, and have to learn this the hard way. Maybe part of me is still living a this social bubble that those I care for I will never want to hurt, even if it hurts me. I am growing up and maybe am childish still, but if it means that growing up, I will have to, like you said, "separate business and friendship/ relationship no matter how supportive we are. The business world is cruel, as much as I hate the dog-bite-dog environment" , then I want to remain childlike forever and not grow up. I love my friends and family and no matter what business it is, relationships come first and foremost to me. Maybe I will have to learn again the hard way in the future, but for now, I choose relationships, above all.

Thank you again for your comment. I truly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I wish you all the best too. :)

Larry Lim: Thank you for your comment. It means a lot to me. I believe Ed had good intentions at heart, and did not mean to hurt me, despite the fact that he did.

He is still a friend and I trust his future posts will be written as what he defines a true friend to be... Thanks again. What doesn't kill me will only make me stronger...

DK said...

Hi Estee

Frankly speaking, you are using too much emotions in your replies in the blogs, especially in techcrunch. And things aren’t helping when you have close relationship with nuffnang’s boss.

I know you want to help nuffnang. But not everyone is best positioned to engage the negative blogs. It is not that you aren’t good at PR. We all know you are good at that. But your current position and emotion will not do nuffnang any good. In fact, it might even backfire.

Instead of engaging the negative blogs, why not engage nuffnang instead? Read thru the suggestions given by Paddy, Cobalt Paladin and Ed. Filter the ones that nuffnang can deploy. Talk to ming and persuade him to take up these suggestions.

Personally, I take Paddy and Cobalt Paladin suggestion very seriously. These 2 guys are very successful in their field. I respect them a lot. Nuffnang is lucky to get their suggestion FOC. I need to buy them beer to hear their enlighten words.

I don’t really know Ed well, but I feel that he has given some great suggestion in his blog too.

eStee said...

DK: Thanks, agreed with you that paddy and cobalt are very respectable. And so are you, if you haven't yet noticed. :) Thank you very much for your honest and sincere comments.

nadnut said...

Erm. Why does you being in TDM and you defending Nuffnang/Ming affect anything? Isn't Estee a Nuffnanger too?

She isn't speaking on behalf of TDM, so i really do not see any error in that. Since she's speaking from her own pov, what wrong is there in "using too much emotions"?

Anonymous said...

Estee has made her stand clear and I respect the personal stand she has taken.

Do note however that her personal views does not necessarily reflect that of TDM's and I believe Ed already has that distinction in an earlier clarification.

DK said...

Nadnut: We know that Estee is speaking from her own POV and she doesn't represent Nuffnang, TDM or anything.

But then, how many people out there are as enlighten as us?

Anonymous said...

Nad: People will always make assumptions and linkages especially if they know you are related to someone or some organisation. Its human nature, we love stories, we love "scandals". Hence we must always be clear in our statements and a disclaimer does help.

Dk: I agree with you.

Estee: You have to realise when making public statements (yea posting comments is a public statement), it is best to keep a cool head and not let emotions in. A little bit is fine for a little PR effect :p
If you see how the american press works, they love to jump all over emotional outburst and make a huge hype over things (I follow the NFL and this occurs often)

Details: said...

Hi Estee, actually I didnt do much.

It was a personal blog on some suggestions that Nuffnang can do :)

Every startups will face crisis, sometimes beyond our control. I am not going all 'mentor-like' or anything, it's never the intention. But it is always a blessing to have someone giving you a hand to pull you up when you are down.

My suggestions will not help solve everything but just some thoughts that what I will do if face with similar situation. Hell, I am still trying to keep BAK2u afloat, so there's no success to talk about anyway.

If someone asks me for some advise and if I am the right guy he asked (fingers crossed, and God bless him! haha), I will help base on what I know and experienced, that's all. If no one asked, but I kaypoh about it I will just use that as a case study cos time will provide the answer anyway in the long run.

Dont take it too hard on whatever had happened. If everything is swee swee then it is not life liao. Live and let live :)

Details: said...

"If you want to have a meal with anyone in this world, which 3 people would you chose?"

1st reply: "Who's paying first?"

2nd reply: "You trying to 'sian' me huh? Pretend pretend to ask me out huh?"

3rd reply: "Thank you, I will walk myself out of the room .... ta ta"

Lighten up everyone, dont be so tense leh :)

Cobalt Paladin said...

Dear eStee,

I'm sorry that my post had caused such an uproar. I totally didn't expect it. It was never my intention and I didn't expect that my entry would inadvertently end up causing you hurt. I'm truely sorry.

I hope this song will make you feel better: Keep Holding On. I hope it works as well for you as it works for me when I'm feeling down.

nadnut said...

DK & Arzhou> It seems that the only people making those assumptions are the very same people who jolly well know eStee is not making statements on behalf of TDM.

It's damn silly lah to me. Maybe i should put disclaimers too then.

Disclaimer: All these comments are of nadnut's own thoughts and do not reflect the cowboybar or Nuffnang or her bf or her family or any one or any organisation linked to her, be it the Mcdees i patronise everyday that the staff greets me by name or the ex-company or the current company or maybe even red bull which is my favourite drink.

Hmm, shall i add more? oh wait, maybe people will start linking me to eStee and say i'm being emotional or bias since i've been seen in two outings with her.

Hmmm, oh wait, am i supposed to keep a cool head for every public statement / comment i leave? oh damn, i left joking, teasing and angry comments many a time! oh shit, someone is gonna paint me as an emotional female kicking up a big fuss soon!

a bloody mountain over a mole hill! wait, bloody has no pun intended. i'm not pmsing incase some male creatures start accusing every female who is supposedly "emo" to be pms-ing.

and arzhou, you're supposed to be studying lah!


... said...

Estee Baby

You are a respectable lady in the blog world and so your words definitely carry weight. This is the con of being a 'celebrity' so even though you would like to burst, you still have to take care of what you write because you are a part of Geek Goddess, TDM and Nuffnang.

Time to stand up strong babe . You know what to do, and you can do it. Thats the Estee I know. Now get up!

rukawa said...

am a newbie here, dont have any background of any of the TDM, ping community etc. Therefore, apology for not able to comment much.
To me, these kind a questions are the one that make a good company even great, who values who you are.
Anyhow, my pleasure to have known and read your blog, linking it too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Estee I don't know you but after reading your posts, you seem like a reasonable and sensible person to me, and I feel like I can talk to you. Sorry in advance for the damn losor rambling ahead..

I totally understand what you man about "If you truly cared for someone, would you not stand up for a person, even if it meant your personal reputation at stake? Would you not defend the people you care for?"

Yes I would, and people who know me, know I don't back down once my claws are out.

The thing is, when it comes to business, PR front and its backlash, I will restrain myself if it would mean a negative backlash for my loved one. Sometimes silence ad standing by his side will do so much to help. I am speaking now in the shoes of a woman and also in terms of business analysis.

The way I see it, you have apologized for your emotion on techcrunch and all of us can see the reason why you did what you did, and moreover courage to apologize and move on is always admirable.

As for endoh, I strongly believe he is a "strictly business" person. Dui shi bu dui ren. Yes, he is harsh but objective. I may not agree with all that he said, but I can see where he is coming from. Business IS business after all.

Just so you know, I had a run in with him a while back in a different forum due to his no nonsense "harshness" and my "stand up for friends no matter what" sentimentalism. Needless to say, we had a huge row but after some considerations, I wrote to him and apologized for some of my harsh comments. My point is, he can be harsh and he can be hurtful (unknowingly) but it is not intentional or malicious on his part. To him, it's just business. And we are still friends.

As for your comment of "
A true friend loves at all times, covers for their friend's mistakes and does not expose them" I have to disagree. I will love and defend my friend at all times but if she is wrong, I will take her aside privately and tell her so. I will not expose her mistake in public BUT I will definitely tell her so in private so that she knows. And I know my friend will do the same for me.

brian koh said...

okay wow, this is issue has escalated quite a bit..

Estee, in the short while i've known you, i always respected the candor, humour, heartfelt and emotional way of your blogging -) i don't think you're the sort that would blog for money, but blog because you like it, or it means something close to your heart, hence the way you commented on Tech Crunch

As a PR professional, my training and experience say its almost foolhardy to mix emotions when handling a crisis like this, but a more idealistic and romantic side is drawn to the belief and support you have shown your friends. PR people are humans too -)

i guess you could have handled things more professionally, and it always hurts more when you lay your emotions on the line like that, and the detractors can exploit that strike where it hurts the most

but you sound like you've learnt a lot from this, i applaud you, for being strong in your weakness, i hope nuffnang communicates with the parties they have affected, and for yourself, i think you have done the right thing for your personal reputation

eStee said...

rukawa: hey what's your blog address? Would love to visit your blog and check it out? Care to share?

Rachel: Thanks for your reply and long comment. it is heartfelt and I appreciate it. yes there are things I have done wrong and lessons I will have to learn from it. It's all part of life I guess. Yes Endoh can be harsh and whether or not he was againt me or against the matter itself, on he will know.. we did have some sort of a misunderstanding before this happened. But then again it's a chapter I want to close and move on. Basically, I would say I forgive him but he is no friend of mine for sure. I guess that is a decision I have made and I feel it is fair. i am no longer angry with him. but I feel I have the fundamental right to chose if this friendship is worth pursuing.

I agree with you that if a good friend made a mistake I would tell that person privately instead of making a big hoo haa and expose them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts once again.

best wishes!

Brian: You know I have been a HUGE fan of yours since day one and always happy to read what you have to share. I agree with you this has taught me a good and painful lesson. Life is all about learning yea? And I guess I will continue to learn.. hopefully in a gentler way :)

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