Here’s your monthly briefing on Southeast Asia tech’s future. If you know a Southeast Asian founder moving on to a new chapter in their professional career, please let them know that we’re hosting the Phoenix offsite where former founders share their journey learnings and exploration of new opportunities as a tech operator, VC or repeat founder. Confidential, pro bono, 3 hours virtual. More details here at https://www.jeremyau.com/join
Most Popular Episodes
- Huiting Koh: Women Taking Back Their Power, Consumer Wants vs. Needs & Drinking Your Own Kool-Aid: Huiting reflects on being your own best cheerleader when standing up for yourself in corporate environments. She learned from Unilever what consumers want vs. need, which helps her coach founders to build stickier products.
- Graham Brown: Five Million Podcasts, Finding Your Rockstar Voice & One Way Tickets In Life: Finding your rockstar voice and speaking about what you truly stand for empowers you to create change. People once thought that 5 million websites were too many, but now there are 1.5 billion websites today. A similar evolution is in play for the podcast market.
- Herston Powers: Southeast Asia Fintech Supercycle, Launching a VC Fund & Mutual Respect: Herston believes that Southeast Asia has the world’s best emerging fintech market because of the fast-growing middle class population, growing digital economy, lack of competition and the next wave of big-return exits. He shares about what he learned from founding 1982 Ventures, an early-stage fintech VC.
- Reflections from 250 Episodes of Brave SEA Tech, Hosting Fundamentals & Podcast Growth Hacks: The BRAVE team discusses the prerequisites for hosting a podcast such as the right hardware, fast internet and active listening. We also discuss the behind-the-scenes learnings that we’ve had as a team, from creator burnout to choosing improvisation over following a tight script.
- Jed Ng: Oil & Gas to Angel School, Syndicate Conflict vs. Trust & Scaling Investing: The inefficient angel investing process and his experience as a syndicate lead drove Jed to found Angel School, a fellowship program for investors to build, run, and scale syndicates. Syndicate leads can lose their way due to incentive misalignment unless they focus on building long-term trust.
We’d like to congratulate Hsu Ken Ooi for Iterative’s second successful fund closed at $55 million, as featured on Technode Global. Check out his podcast discussing his leadership journey and accelerating Southeast Asia's startups.
Looi Qin En was featured on E27 for Saison Capital’s collaboration with Mixpanel, the leading product analytics platform, on its practitioner-led program for 2to3 product manager community. Check out his podcast about student entrepreneurship and leaders' responsibilities to de-risk when building a company.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that a Southeast Asian invented the thumb drive here! “Who really invented the thumb drive” by IEEE shows how Henn Tan, a Singaporean founder, arrived at the idea through being in the right place at the right time, simplification of an adjacent product and hustle to integrate the hardware components. This is also a cautionary tale about losing your first-mover advantage by failing to secure the patents (competitive moat), as well as the incentives for financial fraud, akin to other Southeast Asian collapses like Hyflux, Zilingo and Three Arrows Capital.
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” Eric Roth