Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Team OASIS @ Junction Asia 2023

This past weekend, Team OASIS participated in the Junction Asia 2023 Hackathon, it was a great event, and we had a talented team, and it went something like this:

Day 1: What have we got?

Day 2: We got this!

Day 3: We got nothing.

So where did things go wrong? As an 'A' Team with a 'B' effort, we had our lunch eaten by less talented teams with better effort. We did not get our priorities straight, and that's just not good enough. Plenty of blame to go around and finger pointing, but as the CEO of the team, the bucket stops with me.


This competition was significant for me personally, as it marks my debut as an AI/ML Engineer, and I managed to complete and publish my first recommender system, and this will have an impact as Tenatch makes the transition to become an AI/ML startup.


But for Team OASIS, I wore the wrong hat, and we lost. We needed Steve Jobs, not Steve Wozniak. We talked about "working smart", and laughed at the Korean teams who stayed up all night throughout the hackathon, but our own questionable decision making, and inability to keep our own egos in check ultimately sunk the ship. The Koreans got the last laugh, and we reinforced the perception that Foreigners talk alot and but cannot deliver. And this stung me particularly hard, as it was a completely winnable competition, but we dropped the ball.

Sometimes, we can only learn by failing. And having gotten too used to winning, I slacked up, and had to learn the lessons the hard way. 


To be honest, I did not expect much from the event, but this competition turned out to be a microcosm of the Korean startup ecosystem, and I am grateful I could learn so much in a weekend. And the lessons learned will be invaluable for Tenatch, as we embark on our journey in the Land of the Morning Calm๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท

As for Team OASIS...We'll be Back! We thank the organizers and teams we completed against, and the wonderful new friends we made along the way!

Looking forward Junction Asia 2024!!๐Ÿ‘พ๐Ÿš€

Friday, August 4, 2023

The truth about not finding a suitable partner

 This is an overview of the "Consciousness Survey on Countermeasures for a Declining Birthrate" conducted by the Japanese Government. When asked about the reasons why young unmarried individuals are not getting married, the following results were obtained:

According to the survey, the top reason for both men and women not getting married is "not finding a suitable partner." Based on this result, the city of Sanda in Hyogo Prefecture was planning to support young people in meeting each other and had invited ideas from the public (the recruitment period has now ended).

However, I don't think the reason for "not finding a suitable partner" is as straightforward as it sounds. In my opinion, Japan is currently facing a crisis of impoverishment, and it seems to be approaching a point of no return. Salaries have not increased, but prices have risen due to global circumstances. The yen has also depreciated. What was once known as the "Lost 20 Years" has now turned into the "Lost 30 Years" without any effective measures being taken. Furthermore, it appears that the Japanese government has no intention or ability to take a "realistic" way and is even suggesting further tax increases.

In such a situation, some young men and women at the age of marriage are burdened with student loan repayments and other financial challenges. What I have personally thought about and discussed with friends who have also reached the marriageable age is that, in such an uncertain future, people are hesitant to marry someone on the same level as themselves. Many men and women seem to think that they don't want to marry someone with a similar salary, education, skills, or their family's economic situation. They feel anxious about marrying someone unless that person earns more, has some special skills to cope with possible economic difficulties, or comes from a wealthy family. At least, they can't marry just for the sake of getting married. This is why the answer "not finding a suitable partner" is given in the survey.

However, as a truth, humans can only meet people within their social circles, and within those circles, there will be people of similar levels. No matter what kind of meeting opportunities are organized or how many people you meet on dating apps, in principle, you can only meet people of similar levels, and mutual understanding won't be possible. Haven't we been told this since 20 years ago, "If you want a good encounter, first improve yourself"? In other words, it's not an issue of meeting opportunities; it's a more fundamental problem. The government should have taken more proactive measures earlier. I don't think the plan in Sanda City, whatever it may be, will have a significant impact and lead to a fundamental solution.

On the other hand, I don't believe providing financial assistance to married couples would be of much help either. I have heard that in France if a couple has five children, they can receive enough subsidies to not work. If Japan could do something like that, it would be a different story, but in reality, marriage and child-rearing are economic activities that last for at least 30 to 40 years.

As for the future of Japan, I think the various solutions that could have been implemented 20 years ago are now too late. I don't believe the current politicians have any real intentions to do anything about it. I think Japan will continue to decline, and that's one of the reasons why I came to Canada. Although I love Japan as my hometown, I plan to return there because I wanted to gain various experiences in a society that is becoming increasingly stagnant.

I used to think it was truly a great country, and coming to Canada has made me feel even more strongly about how sad it is to see it end up like this. 

So, would you like to get married?