Brian Ma's Blog (@zealoustiger)

Weekly insights from an Entreprenuer: To spend one year as a tiger is better than to live forever as sheep

Pride, Honor, and Justice

A couple days ago, I had a great hotpot dinner with some friends. A double-date of sorts. My girlfriend booked me one week ahead of time… so I had to give in and go. Eh, it was memorial day and it’s been a while since I’ve had hotpot. To my amazement, I learned one of the best startup lessons ever there. The story goes something like this:

  • Arrive at restaurant. Friends were already there cause we were late (apparently Jessica thought Crossroads was near Bellevue Square) :)
  • Sit down, order food. I was ecstatic when I found it with was hotpot BUFFET! Yum
  • Eat, talk, eat, talk, drink lots of water because it was AMAZINGLY spicy. I almost died.
  • Order more veggies
  • Order more meat
  • Order more fish balls
  • Ask to order more fish
  • Waitress says “OH, for every 1 pound of food you don’t eat, we charge you more.”
  • WHAT??!

The game was on. For the next 15-20 min, we did nothing except sacrifice our bodies for the good of the world. For pride. For honor. And for justice. I was beyond stuffed and eating super spicy food in large proportions? Very challenging. Each passing tofu, veggie, and piece of meat was more excruciating then the last and the girls? Well they dropped out of the race as soon as it started. No honor. But the guys – we closed the deal and triumphantly passed the finish line. It was one of the best milestones in human history.

So how does this apply to startups? There are so many times in a startup – when you pitch your idea to friends, when you see other startups doing something similar, and even when you’re just alone in the car – that you think you might be doing the wrong thing and fear failure. No. Never let anyone else tell you you can’t do something – not even yourself.

Persevere in everything you do and you can achieve anything. The bigger the challenge, the greater the triumph. And yes, it was VERY satisfying when we finished the last piece of spicy tofu. Ha. Take that restaurant, we showed you.

More fish please.


The fortune cookie says: “You will be rewarded for your efforts”. Yes!

5 responses to “Pride, Honor, and Justice

  1. tigerblog2 June 4, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Thx for stopping by Jon. Love the tiger eyes. :)

    Definitely start blogging. I’ll be your first subscriber!

  2. tigerblog2 June 4, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Sure thing. I’m hungry thinking about it already.

  3. Dad June 4, 2008 at 6:19 am

    P.S. We shall go to the hot pot buffet when I were in Seattle later this month.

  4. Dad June 4, 2008 at 6:17 am

    Good experience.
    You remembered I shared with you my rock climbing lesson. What I learnt was ” You look and think it is impossible, as soon as you do it, it is possible ”

  5. Jon Chan June 1, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Hi Brian, I remember you told me that you and Jessica had a “contest” to see who can get the most comments. Well, I finally stopped by both of your blogs, and after looking at both of them carefully, I must say…..

    Yours is the coolest! Why? The tiger eyes on your border man … the tiger eyes! ;)

    I’ll try reading your blog when I can. On another thought, maybe I should start blogging too? ;)

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