Restituta Ajeng Arjanti and Reney Lendy Mosal have decided to write a book about both success and failure stories from tech startup founders in the country, in the “latest wave of dot-com era,” from around 2006 and beyond. Written in Bahasa, the book was published by local company KOMPAS, which is fond of publishing content with social, cultural and political themes. As far as we can recall, this is the first tech-oriented book they have published.
Entitled Startup, Indonesia! Inspirasi dan Pelajaran dari Para Pendiri Bisnis Digital (Startup, Indonesia! Inspiration and lesson learned from Digital Business Founders), the 305 page book has been made available in major bookstores starting this September, after nine months of writing, a couple months of editing, laying out, printing, and getting the publisher’s approval. The 1st edition has been printed in 4,200 copies.
The first few chapters discussed the digital industry in Indonesia and outside the country, with a focus on the history, mileetones and trends in the technology space, and then the era during which global giants such as Google and Apple started thriving.
In the book, we will find both writers’ portrait of this decade’s web industry in the country. Besides being packed with interesting stories of many sites were founded, it also tells the stories of digital industries in Indonesia, including digital business initiatives. The book also highlights various local startup communities across the country.
The book offers some valuable insights and motivation from a number of today’s young technopreneurs, but also rouses readers’ interests because it reads like a novel.
The choice of companies and personalities to highlight seemed a bit capricious, though. The writers have chosen to include Arief Widhiyasa, co-founder of rapidly-growing game studio Agate Studio; Willy Ekasalim, co-founder of Bistip; On-demand publisher NulisBuku’s co-counder and CTO Aulia Halimatussadiah; Shinta Dhanuwardoyo of Bubu; Main Studio’s Marlin Sugama and Sanny Gaddafi; and local social networks/communities FUPEI and SixReps’ co-founder, among others.
It seems that the companies profiled in this book were randomly selected — probably based on who the authors were able to gain access to. We can perhaps debate whether the startup details discussed in the book about the entrepreneurs are really new or enlightening.
Regardless of the choice of companies, though, what we can say is that the entrepreneurs learned valuable lessons from the 2000s’ Internet bubble bursting, and have — quite unsurprisingly — been trying to set-up groundbreaking web companies over the past few years.
Reney unveils the plan for their next book that comes down the pike next year. “In our second book, we position ourselves as story teller like what we did earlier, turning the spotlight into the expert. Value creation in digital businesses — what, why and how — is the main topic we like to share about,” he continues.
Indeed, the writing is, at best, not too formal. It is great as a quick and informative read for anyone interested in Indonesia’s new tech boom. The authors’ target readers are the so-called “outer circle,” in particular, as the book is clearly written for a general readership.