Call An Entrepreneur Randomly #misi21 #day12

The first time that I’ve met Natali Ardianto was 4 years ago when I was holding an public seminar as high school student. Since then, I’ve been following Natali in all social media, reading his wisdom and stories about what he has been doing as entrepreneur. I remember when in high school, I tweeted with him and he gave me the wisdom I’ll never forget: “ambitiousness is like a knife, it is a good thing if it’s used for goodness, it is a bad thing if it’s used for bad things”. I was so young at that time, I haven’t understand the concept of ambitiousness and something I thought it is a bad thing because it makes you want to compete everybody. It is different now, since I think competition is a good thing because at the end, we can enjoy what we did better than others, what we did better than yesterday.

Tonight I had the change to catch up with Natali through phone. It’s been long since we have met 2 years ago in a public seminar (again) that I held as college student. It was a 17 minute talk and was full of insights even though it was late at night and people are supposed to be tired at around 9–10 p.m., but Natali was still energetic when explaining about his entrepreneurial life. Here are the questions that I asked for this short random-interview at phone call:

  1. Do you have another enterprise to be taken care of besides tiket.com?

Natali is the CTO of tiket.com, a ticket booking site that started as a start up in Indonesia. He has no other business and prefer to focus on this enterprise because a business always need to innovate, especially when it goes online. Just like the old company Facebook, that keeps improving UI and UX while adding new features. A ride-sharing company called GO-JEK also started as simple company of just call center for searching drivers and later becoming a more complex system with additional features in the beauty field and house cleaning. Natali said that there is always something to be imporved in an IT company, such as WeChat that controls 60% of online payment in China.

2. You have recently published a book “The Mind of Natali Ardianto”, what is the inspiration behind the making?

It mainly reviews about the mistake a company can make. There are many simple situation that we underestimate. For instance, we might often read on articles “don’t hire negative and toxic people”, but it still happens. He mentioned that “It is a very very simple book that opens one’s mind”. The book includes basic and fundamentals of starting a business and took a year to be finished.

3. Do you consider as one of the most famous person in Indonesia?

Not at all. He keeps striving to accelerate startup ecosystem in Indonesia, cause even in Jakarta there is still not enough people who share business stories. In Indonesia it is usual that sharing stories is all about success. On the other hand, when Natali attended business incubator in America, he found out that so many people there are sharing their struggling stories. Natali said that the fact is 95% of startup will fail in the first 5 years of its operation. If it’s inevitable, then startup founders should learn about the failures of other companies to avoid the similar mistakes itself. In this era, we have abundant of easiness compare to when technology was still so simple.

Natali thinks that it’s time for Indonesian to develop the current startups rather than creating new ideas. This is because Indonesia is still falling behind many countries in terms of corporation. He argued that it is better to replicated the successful business model from another countries, rather that struggling to make a very innovative one. If there is already a successful model, the startup is more likely to be successful too. For instance, business that already has IPO publish their financial report so that startup founders can take a look at how much the marketing or operational cost is. Natali said in Indonesian “don’t do LUKI (lu kira-kira) or trial and error, but take examples from others”. Indonesian have to make their own Booking.com or Agoda.com, so that money would not just flow to other countries.

[This article was written to fulfil my twelfth challenge of #misi21: calling an entrepreneur randomly]