November 25, 2020
By: Richard Lau
Tell us about yourself and how your journey brought you to where you are now.
Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always wanted to make businesses. It started with a failed business in primary school - selling Acorns (when sitting directly underneath the acorn tree). I enjoy the challenges, flexibility and personal growth that comes from being a founder.
How did you create your brand name, and logo?
It was done using Gimp and other free tools. There wasn't much to spend when the logo was created. It would be great to get someone in to help with our branding.
How did you go about establishing your marketing?
I come from a technical background, so there was a lot to learn. I read a lot of books, spoke with and took advice from people in the know, and ultimately learnt a lot from my own mistakes.
What is your work structure like and what does the average workday look like for you?
Given that I work with a lot of people overseas, my day can start really early and/or finish very late. Typically I start work around 9 am and work through till about Midnight. Taking breaks and spending time with family and friends of course! Usually, I am either activating a new city (which means going there in person and having a lot of face-to-face meetings) or I getting stuff done on my laptop (from home most of the time).
What philosophies do you integrate into your workflow most often and what philosophy inspires you in your work?
One of my main philosophies is trying to set clear goals and focusing on getting them done. That’s actually where the idea of ActionBuddy came from. I'm always looking for simple and reliable solutions to the challenges I am facing (be that in development or general business).
What do you think you do that drives your success?
I'm very focused on outcomes and try to avoid distractions as much as possible.
How do you engage with your clients and build your following?
I’ve met most of my clients for mindmybag in person at their place of business. This goes a long way to building a long-term relationship. For ActionBuddy I try to interact with as many users as possible (video calls/emails).
What do you wish you knew before you started? What advice would you give to someone entering your field now?
Test your ideas before you build them. I got lucky with my early ventures that there was demand after they had been launched. Nowadays, I always test the idea before I start any kind of work on it.
Is there an event or situation that you can point to that was life-changing for you that you can share with us?
The personal growth that has come from being a start-up founder has been amazing. I’ve had to get over my fears of failure (as much as possible) and just try your best.
What has been the most memorable or inspiring interaction with a client or customer?
One of my first clients was running late to our meeting. He invited me to have food with him, family, instead of cancelling the meeting and rescheduling.
What has been the hardest challenge for you in this industry?
The pandemic has made it really hard to be in tourism and launching new business ideas (in Melbourne, at times we have not been allowed to go outside for more than 1h or travel more than 5km from home).
What are the trends in the industry that you are excited about?
It's great to see all these platforms, libraries & tools making it quicker to launch reliable products.
What are you looking forward to in the next week/month/quarter or year and what are your aspirations?
Melbourne has just come out of lockdown and now I am able to go and see my family. Can't wait!
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I might be a programmer, but I’ve also won several martial art's tournaments