Episode 10 - Aaron Ross @ Predictable Revenue

On the show this week we are lucky to have Aaron Ross, the author of what has been called the 'Sales bible of Silicon Valley', "Predictable Revenue".

Aaron joined us to discuss "Impossible to Inevitable", the sequel to "Predicable Revenue", co-authored with Jason Lemkin from SaaStr,

Show Notes:
- The importance of 'nailing your niche'
- How overnight success is a fairy tale
- The critical nature of building a customer success team early
- The 'painful truth' and the 'year of hell'

Episode 9 - John Fearon @ Sugar

On the show this week, we have serial entrepreneur and co-founder of venture builder Sugar, John Fearon.  

We discuss venture building in Asia, personal ambitions for Sugar and a focus on profit versus raw growth.

Select companies Mentioned In The Episode:

Show Notes:

  • What is venture building versus other industry players, e.g. an accelerator
  • The importance and benefits of the venture building team
  • Why sacrificing profit for growth isn't always the right thing
  • A Singapore unicorn
  • Expecting failure and learning
  • Getting lost amongst digital marketing tools

Episode 8 - Stephen Jagger @ Payroll Hero

On the show this week, we have the Co-founder of human capital management startup Payroll Hero, Stephen Jagger.  

We discuss sources of engineering talent globally, raising external funding after initial bootstrapping and how a pain point at an existing business led to the idea behind Payroll Hero.

Select companies Mentioned In The Episode:

Show Notes:

  • Venture engineering and using Whistler in Canada as a source of mobile engineering talent
  • Selling in South East Asian emerging markets via partners
  • Building a 'internet' business in 1999 focused on SMEs
  • Identifying an existing business problem and developing a new company
  • Over communicating internally and externally in the startup environment
  • Raising funding for Payroll Hero

Episode 7 - Joseph Ziegler @ Muru-D

On the show this week, we have Joseph Ziegler from muru-D Singapore where he currently operates as the Entrepreneur in Residence. Telstra backed muru-D recently announced it's first accelerator class in Singapore, with 9 founders receiving funding. 

We sat down with Joseph prior to the announcement to discuss his thoughts on the evolution of the Singapore start-up ecosystem, consumer vs enterprise start-ups, where to get the best coffee in Singapore, and much more.

If you're interested in the start-up scene, currently working at an established corporate and looking to make that leap to founder, this is an episode not to miss.

Select companies Mentioned In The Episode:

Show Notes:

  • The difference between an accelerator, incubator, VC, and ventrue builder
  • Consumer vs enterprise focus for a start-up
  • The evolution of the Singapore ecosystem
  • Start-up advantages of Singapore as regional hub for Tech and FMCG companies
  • Growing a start-up in South East Asian markets by leveraging country specific advantages
  • Details of the muru-D accelerator programme in Singapore
  • The persona of a founder - making that leap

Episode 6 - Alexis Horowitz-Burdick @ Luxola

We are excited to be talking to our first female founder Alexis Horowitz-Burdick this week. Alexis is the founder and CEO of Luxola.com, the number one online destination for beauty products in South East Asia.

Alexis discusses her transition from first successful exit, and the unique approach taken to build and launch her current venture Luxola.com. We then dive into how hiring the right people at startups evolves as the company grows, and finally strategies for organic growth through search engine marketing.

After recording this episode Luxola has recently been acquired by Sephora and parent company LVMH, which has been viewed as a very positive step in the Singapore startup ecosystem.

Companies Mentioned In The Episode:

Show Notes:

  • Why Alexis started Luxola.com?
  • What lessons from your previous venture did you take into Luxola?
  • In the context of content marketing, what is your current strategy?
  • What was your starting strategy for user acquisition?
  • How did you reach MVP, initial tracking and funding?
  • What were the next major hires after the CTO?
  • What the characteristics of these hires?
  • What's your take on startup 'culture'?
  • What are you core KPIs?
  • Are you acquiring new users organically, what is your SEO development?
  • Is your search engine marketing in-house or agency based?
  • What tools do you use to organise yourself?

Episode 5 - Steven Goh @Mig.me

This week we are joined by Steven Goh the founder and CEO of mig, a global digital media company that is probably best known for it's chat application migme. On the show we cover Steven's early career in banking, his thoughts on fund raising, Taylor Swift's online presence, and the Singapore startup environment.

Show Notes:

  • Tell us the story about how you got into entrepreneurship?
  • When did you start your first business?
  • How did you juggle coding and management?
  • At what point in the growth of mig did you decided to raise money in Silicon Valley?
  • When making the move to Singapore, what was the core product value at that time?
  • What was the company culture at the time of the move?
  • What are the personality differences between the valley and the MNC hires you made in Singapore?
  • Knowing what you know today, what is your advice for fund raising?
  • Where regionally is the best to raise money?
  • What's your day to day like?
  • What market excites you the most for mig?
  • How are you monetising mig right now?
  • Have you played around with the recent video live streaming platforms e.g. Meerkat, Periscope, etc.?

Episode 3 - Richard Pierson @Headspace

Our third episode stars Richard Pierson the co-founder of Headspace. Headspace offers what has been described as a “Gym Membership for the mind”. With millions of members Headspace teaches people about daily meditation and mindfulness. The daily ritual of meditation is regularly referenced as a common habit amongst successful people. Everyone from Tim Ferriss to Arnold Scwhartzenager says meditation is in their morning ritual.

This podcast is sponsored byThe Working Capitol (Singapore’s premier Co-Working Space for Knowledge Workers) . We produced and recorded Startup Frontiers at The Working Capitol. Every guest on the show is impressed with the space and facilities.  This is not just office space, they are building a community here.  If you are looking to start your team or relocate, put The Working Capitol on your list. www.theworkingcapitol.com   

Selected Links From The Episode

Show Notes:

  • Failure to get chilli crab in Singapore  0:20
  • 'Gym membership for the mind' 0:45
  • How did you make the decision to jump into Headspace 03:15
  • Having space to leverage your existing network 5:02
  • Unless it's hard and bit scary, you probably aren't doing it in the right way 8:03
  • Mindfulness - 'the act of being present' 9:00
  • Juxtaposition between iphone as a distraction device and Headspace 12:00
  • 'Get some, give some', the impact on mind health 16:00
  • Getting to the first million users 18:15
  • The role of a co-founder 21:15
  • Leveraging OKRs at Headspace 22:30
  • On boarding and getting lost in the digital melee 25:45

 

Credits:

Producer - Michael Walters

Big thank you to my producer Michael Walters for feedback and sound editing.

Episode 2 - Pieter Walraven @Pie

Our second episode stars Pieter Walraven of the chat for work application Pie. Pieter and I discuss his background in the casual gaming sector and his absolute focus on UX/UI for the consumer. Avid followers of Product Hunt will recognise him as an active hunter from Asia 

This podcast is sponsored byThe Working Capitol (Singapore’s premier Co-Working Space for Knowledge Workers) . We produced and recorded Startup Frontiers at The Working Capitol. Every guest on the show is impressed with the space and facilities.  This is not just office space, they are building a community here.  If you are looking to start your team or relocate, put The Working Capitol on your list. www.theworkingcapitol.com   

Selected Links From The Episode

Show Notes

  • How did Pie come to life? - 2:10
  • Experience in chat - 3:37
  • Pie vs the competition - 4:38
  • Must have experience for the user, "A-ha!" moment - 6:11
  • User on-boarding "tiny stuff that has a huge impact" - 8:25
  • Tools for measuring user interaction - 9:40
  • Targeting knowledge workers - 10:35
  • Never having an empty screen - 11:53
  • Singapore's entrepreneurial spirit - 15:25
  • Recruiting great talent in Singapore - 16:15
  • Pieter's day to day focus - 18:05
  • No meetings! (except monday) - 19:05
  • Hiring for tech passion and cultural fit - 20:55
  • Tools for marketing, CRM and sales - 21:27
  • Data versus vision for driving product development - 23:55
  • 'Feature creep' and keeping it simple for target audience - 26:25
  • Choosing investors & managing the relationship - 27:40

People and Companies Mentioned

Credits:

Producer - Michael Walters

Big thank you to my producer Michael Walters for feedback and sound editing.

Episode 1 - Darius Cheung @ 99.co

I am very excited to launch Digital Frontiers as one of the few if not only podcast focused on digital innovation in Southeast Asia. The purpose of this podcast is to share conversations that founders often have in the ecosystem that are more tactical and give deeper context to the execution of a startup or project.

There is no better guest to feature in the first episode than Darius Cheung. Darius is a veteran of the Singapore startup scene with a few exists, most notable Tencube to McAfee in 2010.  Darius and I cover a lot of topics including: recruiting, culture, sales, and the Singapore startup ecosystem.

This podcast is sponsored by: The Working Capitol (Singapore’s premier Co-Working Space for Knowledge Workers) . We produced and recorded Startup Frontiers at The Working Capitol. Every guest on the show is impressed with the space and facilities.  This is not just office space, they are building a community here.  If you are looking to start your team or relocate, put The Working Capitol on your list. www.theworkingcapitol.com   

Selected Links From The Episode

Show Notes

  • "Sales Cures All" - 2:20
  • Culture Issues? - 3:20
  • How Darius turned around Tencube (Distribution vs. Enterprise accounts)  - 5:06
  • Consistent growth and direction outweighs the lofty goal - 6:15
  • Key to survival - timing and persistence - 7:15
  • Lessons from tencube and Billpin when starting 99.co - 7:35
  • 50% of the battle for good culture is recruiting right people - 8:15
  • Other 50% to culture success - 8:45
  • Startup Ecosystem - critical networking events - 10:20
  • What does the startup ecosystem need?- 12:12
  • What stage is 99.co focusing on now for growth? - 15:50
  • User Acquisition Strategies - 17:30
  • What growth strategies work specifically in Singapore? - 18:13
  • Content strategy? - 19:17
  • The challenges of raising funds. Where would you start? - 22:00
  • Private investors - 23:50
  • Real Estate Tech Scene - 26:00
  • Methodologies and Frameworks - How to balance them -28:15
  • What keeps you up at night? - 29:00
  • Rapid Fire Questions - 31:30

People and Companies Mentioned

Credits:

Producer: Michael Walters

Big thank you to my producer Michael Walters for feedback and sound editing.