How I started the ‘R-C-G’ fire at Geek Terminal

10 Jul 2007 (Tue)

LAST THURSDAY, AT THE GEEK TERMINAL CAFE, I announced to all present at the BNI Crescendo meeting, “I am an Internet Coach. I am also the one who started the ‘R-C-G fire’ at Geek Terminal.”

“R” is for “Renaissance”. On June 11, I suggested to the leader of BNI Renaissance, to hold its weekly meetings at the Geek Terminal. The chapter did so the very next Wednesday.

“C” is for “Crescendo”. As a result, a few days later, Renaissance’s mentor (also a founding member of BNI Crescendo) advised Crescendo to hold their weekly meetings there too. They did so the following Thursday.

“G” is for “Global”. Shortly after, some BNI Global members apparently visited Crescendo at the Geek Terminal and decided to hold their meetings at the cafe too — on Tuesdays.

How did I know of (or rather started noticing) Geek Terminal in the first place? It was through blogs! Many bloggers in (such Ben Koe, DK, Keropokman and many others) had been writing about the Geek Terminal, how customers can surf wirelessly and connect their PCs to power points anywhere within this cafe! And so this was how the “R-C-G” fire started. All because of blogs, and partially thanks to me, three BNI chapters (and thus around 60-80 people) are now having business breakfast at the Geek Terminal every week!

Afternote: BNI, by the way, stands for Business Network International. There are over 20 chapters in Singapore alone. I joined the Renaissance chapter as a member a few weeks ago. The Global chapter, for some reason, has disappeared from the listing.

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Posted by J.K. in Marketing, Referrals, Singapore, Technology | View Comments |

  • Ethan


    Actually it was me who brought BNI Global in. Haha 1 week after the Launch of GEEK, I brought a member from, Traceson, one of BNI Global Chapter to GEEK for a meeting with Danny and Irene. :) But sad to say BNI Global closed down. Word of mouth marketing totally rocked.

  • Nicholas

    Cool, nice work there.

    BTW I was one of the co-founders of Geek Terminal and also the President of BNI Genesis who brought Genesis to Silver.

    We designed this place for BNI meetings :)

  • Nicholas

    As president and BNI member for 2 years I know how hard it is for BNI to find good places for meetings.

    Alas I have to step out of the partnership due to other commitments and heavy travelling schedule.

    But I believe Geek Terminal is greatly suited for BNI meetings since BNI was in my mind when we designed the place.

    Of course we can do more than BNI meetings :)

  • Miss Loi

    ClappingTrees, do send my regards to Kok Hwa.

    Such a small world! :)

  • J.K.

    Thanks, Ethan, for the clarification on Global. I was wondering about that — whether Global’s presence at Geek Terminal (GT) was part of the fire. Still, R-C-G fire sounds better than R-C fire, so I took a little “poetic” license.

    Hi, Nicholas. Pleased to “meet” the third (or fourth) founder of GT. What’s Silver? And wow! To think that GT was designed for BNI meetings! To complete the story, Chris (one of your co-founders) told me last week that he got the inspiration to open GT after spending an afternoon talking to business associates in a Starbucks (or some other) cafe in KL and finding that collectively, he and the people he met had spent hundreds of dollars just over meetings there. Looks like great minds think alike. And you guys have managed to market GT really well among bloggers!

    Hey, Miss Loi! Small world indeed. How did you get to know Kok Hwa? Not at one of the BNI meetings, I presume?

    By the way, BNI Renaissance meetings are held every Wednesdays, 7.30am – 9.00am at Geek Terminal, 55 Market Street (near Raffles Place MRT station). The next meeting is tomorrow! All are welcome. Just say you are Josephine Tan’s guest. ;-) And note that you’ll need to pay $10 for the breakfast.

  • Nicholas

    Hi J.K.

    There were 5 original founders. Now only left 3 :p But we’re all still good friends.

    I was the ‘geek’ in the team though.

    Silver Medallion = hit 40 consistent members over 3 months if I did not remember wrongly. It was sometime back. We were the first chapter in Singapore to hit Silver when I was still President.

    Geek Terminal was designed for a lot of things, but one of the things I put on the table was ‘breakfast business meetings’ hehe…

    Yes Chris started the idea with another of our co-founder in KL and thanks for all the support :)

  • Nicholas

    btw add me on linkedin and you can find out more about phenomenal BNI chapter growth. hehe :P You have my email.

  • DK

    I guess Geek Terminal is the best example of a business that managed to leverage on the new media. :D

  • Miss Loi

    Thanks for the inviste JK.

    I’m familiar with BNI stuff as I was formerly from one of the chapters (visitors’ host somemore) :)

    Kok Hwa and I go back way before BNI kekeke.

  • J.K.

    Ah, Nicholas, is BNI the reason why GT opens at 7am?

    DK, indeed. And to think that GT achieved this without employing new media on its website. In fact, its site is the simplest I’ve ever seen. Yet, it managed to leverage on other people’s usage of new media. 高手!

    Miss Loi, maybe I was kinda hoping to hear you say that you met Kok Hwa at school or some workplace. ;-)

  • DK

    Or actually, it’s just accidental leverage. They didn’t do it on purpose. The new media just go to them. :D

  • Nicholas

    DK you are right in the execution. But new media, including events like BlogOut and targetting bloggers was already in the plans 6 months before GT launched.

    But the execution turned out to be an accident, coz a lot of other new media plans din get executed – like the geekterminal 2.0 website :p

  • zune

    This is a little over my head.

  • J.K.

    What do you mean, Zune?

  • Danny

    Dear Nick,

    I am surprised at your comments in tis blog…a little clarification would be good. I would rather you do not associate yourself with Geek Terminal anymore. It does injustice to steal thunder to those who sweat and finance this endeavour. All the more, we give glory to Him who pulled us through when we faced obstacles of difficulty in getitng the right people for the right job.

    Anyway, as a friend, stay factual and let the truth prevail.

  • Nicholas

    Hi Danny,

    All the facts presented are factual . Anyways all the comments are made on BNI, not so much Geek Terminal. I’m surprised at your comment too. Hmmm.. anyways will pop you a note later.


  • Nicholas

    And yes Danny, do let the truth prevail :)

  • Danny

    Hi Nic,

    have replied your mails. I hope it clarifies. It was Irene who picked up the IT pieces and did a great job in terms of executing in addition to churning realistic and practical marketing ideas for Geek Terminal from the IT aspects. More importantly she and the team who did the entire soft opening right up to the official opening. I believe in giving due credit where it is due. Your participation was valued in terms of discussions and a sounding board. But ideas remains as ideas until they can be executed. There are many ideas by many people in this world but how many actually gets executed. To those who pulled it off, they deserves all the credit. Your background in Linkedin is quite impressive. It would be good to add the duration of each post to the list.

    Last but not least, Geek Terminal owes much to those bloggers such as Kevin, DK and Uzyn and many others who enjoyed the company, the food and the friends made at Geek Terminal and to include us in their online blog.

  • Nicholas

    Dear Danny,

    Yes, and I heard Irene’s not around anymore, too. Anyways, I never made any claims on IT execution so I’m not sure about the ‘accusation’. But I do have a comprehensive IT strategy paper for reference and I did contact iCell and Microsoft your two main sponsors for Geek Terminal.

    And yes, please read my linkedin properly, there is a duration of my stint in Geek Terminal and it ends on March 2007

    We are still friends so I don’t see the need for these comments here. Unless you feel otherwise.

    I have taken this discussion to the email for discretion.


  • J.K.

    Hi, Danny and Nicholas. From our private discussions, both of you have decided almost simultaneously to stop further exchange on this post. I truly hope that you would remain as good friends.

    From a bystander’s point of view, I think both of you (and many others) have played important roles in the success of Geek Terminal. Personally, I think that while the strategy is very important, the execution is often tougher and more arduous. Still, I think Nicholas has not tried to claim more credit than is due his. His LinkedIn profile does show dates next to his posts.

    On the other hand, Danny, you’re a well-recognized face of Geek Terminal, epitomizing the impeccable service that many of us have come to expect from GT. Your comments do give the other perspective — that GT is what it is today not just because of strategy/conceptualization. And as you’ve noted, many bloggers and others have contributed significantly too.

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