Ice House, an Indonesian software development startup for the mobile web, wanted to display the Silicon Valley ‘work hard play hard’ ethos yesterday, holding a launching event in the afternoon followed by a Halloween party in the evening. This startup was founded by Koprol’s Fajar Budiprasetyo and Daniel Armanto, who we talked about a few months ago. It’s owned by Pacific Technology Partners (PTP), a private investment firm based in Palo Alto, California.
Adriaan Ligtenberg, the CEO of Ice House, said that the company wants to nurture Indonesian talents to be among the best in the world. He believes that the best way to do this is by working first-hand on top quality projects as one of their members. The company will be accepting interns and aims to expand to 200 people within the next two years, with branch offices located in Indonesian cities like Bandung and Yogyakarta.
He believes that Ice House’s connection to Silicon Valley is the key for nurturing Indonesian talent. Ice House will be bringing in people from Silicon Valley not only to transfer their knowledge to locals, but to bring in connections to big projects from the California area.
In the short period since its founding a few months ago, Ice House has created several products, including micro-social networking app Go-Matic. The startup has also worked with several big international clients such as mapping app Lumatic, and First Bank of Rock, an intelligence network for the music industry based in London.
Behind Fajar’s Ice House Move
This is quite an interesting move made by both Fajar and Daniel, as they are well known as the founders of location-based social network Koprol. Some readers might be asking this question: “Rather than making a project for themselves, why are they now making projects for other people?”
Fajar answered by sharing the background story behind Koprol – he and Daniel had their own software house before Koprol, and the location-based social network was built only to become a portfolio for the software house. Long story short: once touted only as a side project, Koprol became a huge success and was acquired by Yahoo. And then axed by Yahoo. But in the end, Fajar shared that he equally enjoys the engineering process of building projects for other people, which explains this latest move.
Adriaan took some time to explain how important the ‘work hard play hard’ ethos is in any startup, as showcased by the Halloween party which took place after the company’s launch event. It is very important for people to have fun, to relax, he says, but they are also required to work really hard, to build a product that they will be very proud of.
Indonesia is the Next China?
During the launch, Adriaan also reiterated his belief that Indonesia is the next China. He believes that in order for the country to grow, it shouldn’t export only commodities, but also knowledge. If you export commodities, it’s gone, but when you export knowledge in the form of products, you will still keep the knowledge even if the product is sold. He said that this is what Indonesia should be doing.
But why not invest in China instead? Adriaan explained that though Indonesia still has bureaucratic and infrastructure problems here and there, Indonesia’s democracy is able to allow some protection to the businesses in the country. While in China, you cannot be sure if the government won’t intervene in your business there.