‘Stay hungry, stay foolish’
Edward Chin looked up to his father from a young age and wanted to be a businessman like him. His father was a creative entrepreneur being active in the oil and gas industry and made a large sum of profit at a very young age. He turned those profits into another business opportunity by lending capital to other entrepreneurs. Being a serial entrepreneur he then started a cardboard manufacturing factory which he actually designed himself.
Edward was amazed by how much effort went into entrepreneurship and was inspired by it. Edward highlights the willingness to fail, learn from it and try again as a key factor in entrepreneurship as very few entrepreneurs are an overnight success.
The CEO of Actualize hub completed a business degree but emphasises that the real learning happens once you venture into business. Actualize hub was founded to solve the problems that Edward faced as a start-up entrepreneur. Actualize hub helps tech start-ups to build minimum viable products and help them to scale their businesses through utilising the network that Edward has already built.
I picked Edwards brain on what are the three key elements to tech start-up success in Malaysia as he has vast experience navigating through all the tech options, start-up events and funding options available:
- Idea needs to be solving a real pain point in our world. Do not create a solution where no problem exists.
- Find co-founders, people that believe in your idea as no-one has done it by themselves.
- Choose the right technology to solve the problem you that are solving, as some start-ups over spend on very expensive technologies that were not actually the right fit for the particular problem at the time.
Ongoing debates revolving around both the exciting problem solving capabilities of tech and the threat that technology poses to the job market appear in online publications and are verbalised in many other ways, generally speaking. Edward reminds us that your whole company revolves around people and to build a culture where people are mentored and coached towards actualising a future vision. Invest in their training, health and work /life balance. Happy people give better service and provide better work. Therefore do not over focus on tech and underestimate the value of your people.
The Malaysian tech scene is still growing and is relatively young therefore there are still a lot of opportunities to solve major problems through tech. He advises entrepreneurs that are new to the tech scene to only find funding after taking their product to the market to ensure that ‘product/market fit’ exists.
Edward elaborated on learning as a great tool available to entrepreneurs. He attends a lot of events and listen to a lot of speakers whom recommends books to read. In spite of time constraints Edward emphasises to make the time to read the books that aligns to your vision quite quickly so that you’re learning curve and period of adaptation is rapid. Set Visionary goals he says and strive for that goal year in and year out. Learning can change your mind-set and perceptions to your advantage.
Most entrepreneurs watch ted talks, read books etc. but do not always act on it. The CEO of Actualise hub advises to have written goals and immediately act on them after writing them down. Always learn, always meet the right people in the industry. You might not have time to read all the books recommended to you but prioritise those that are in alignment with where you want to go as an entrepreneur.
Key learnings from this interview was to always be hungry for success and learning. Always be out there meeting the right people in your industry. Adapt to what you have learnt and move forward.