Category Archives: Interviews

TWIA Episode 30: Jeffrey Paine from Founder Institute

The second of the special episodes that line up for Echelon 2010, we have Jeffrey Paine, from Founder Institute and also a managing partner at Battle Ventures. We speak to him regarding the opening of Founder Institute and how the course has been ongoing in Singapore for the past few weeks. As Jeff is moderating the panel “Mentorship, Investment and New Funding Models” in the coming Echelon 2010, we discuss with him on the issues which he might cover and also his thoughts on the current trend where the micro venture capital model is becoming a new wave in creating start-ups with low cost and high effective return. Continue reading TWIA Episode 30: Jeffrey Paine from Founder Institute

TWIA Episode 28: Echelon 2010 & Social Wok

The first of the special episodes, as TWIA is a supporting media partner for Echelon 2010, we bring together two special guests, Mohan Belani the lead organizer and his team from E27 Singapore who brings together the top web-tech startups within Asia to Singapore, and Guang Ming Yong, CEO of Social Wok to talk about the upcoming conference, the story of Social Wok and their experience from Unconference 2009 to TechCrunch 50. They also discuss their own thoughts on the topic of cloud computing. Update: Ming Yong, who is originally intended to be the moderator for the panel, “Changing Enterprise 2.0: Implications of Cloud Computing, Social and Web Services”, will not be able to attend.
Continue reading TWIA Episode 28: Echelon 2010 & Social Wok

This Week in Asia Episode 12: From Cracking Firewalls to Nexus One

TWiA-logo The TWIA crew starts off the new year with the story of the Great Firewall of China breaking down for a few hours and talk about the new legalized video service from Baidu starting up soon there. While Google’s new phone “Nexus One” has taken the whole world by storm, the crew examines how the Asian market views this new phone and the adoption of Android operating system. Finally, the crew ends with a discussion on the seven technology incubators selected by National Research Foundation Singapore and how it will change the landscape in Southeast Asia as a whole. Continue reading This Week in Asia Episode 12: From Cracking Firewalls to Nexus One

This Week in Asia Episode 11: The Asia Web-Tech Odyssey 2010

Last week in This Week in Asia, we talked about our perdiction how 2010 will be like in the technology space.

TWiA-logo The whole crew takes the last podcast of 2009 to review the major events that rocked the web and tech landscape and also makes predictions for the new decade of 2010. This is probably our longest episode over an hour long and also a rare one which was done in the afternoon today. Continue reading This Week in Asia Episode 11: The Asia Web-Tech Odyssey 2010

A Start Up for Every Seasons-Foldees

Foldees is not your regular tech start up. We are not too sure if they are even a tech company.

For one, their so called CEO’s title is “Fluffy Vision Dude” 

Their site have a very cartoony feeling to it and they are packed with creative folks. 

The business model of Foldees.com is of such that it provides a platform for artist and designers to showcase their work in form of greeting cards. As a user you can vote for your favorite designer card or purchase these cards at the price of UD 2.

We recently caught up with Chak (Flurry Vision Guy) of Foldees to learn a bit more bout this company. 

 MYE: How did the idea of Foldees come about?

FVG : Well, if we’re honest, it started for me after Alvin (who’s now my partner) introduced me to Threadless T-shirts. after going on one particular binge, I realised that one of theT-shirts I bought had actually been designed by a Malaysian that’s when it hit me that talent is everywhere, and the best place to harness and distribute over the internet.

MYE: Why greeting cards?

FVG: Why greeting cards? Not a clue 

MYE: When you the idea struck you and kept you awake throughout the night, what was the first thing you did?

FVG :Well, first I gathered up two friends that I thought would make excellent partners and met them at chili’s to present them the idea. I actually still have a picture of that first “company dinner”. They both liked it, so after that, we agreed to meet the following week to discuss it further and see what we needed to do. This discussion followed another, but at irregular intervals, so I felt the project needed some momentum because at this rate, it wasn’t going anywhere.

MYE: It is because you all have regular jobs?

FVG: Yes. So that’s when I heard about the MDEC Pre-seed fund, and made the decision to apply..It was not so much for the money, but for the deadlines and the structure would be forced to us. It worked leading up to getting the grant, we met once or twice a week, and that’s when our idea really solidified. It suddenly became something a bit more real. At that point in time, I decided to quit a very lucrative job in selling interactive advertising to concentrate full-time on getting Foldees off the ground.

MYE: So what did you learn from getting the grant besides keeping to dateline and stuff?

FVG: That the government really does want to help entrepreneurs.  Mdec pre seed grant is a great initiative but I reckon that these government initiatives should concentrate less on KPIs and more on things that actually help, for instance – a proper mentoring system.

MYE: So were there any challenges in Marketing something like Foldees as you need to get both designers and people to buy your cards?

FVG: Actually that is our entire business plan. In terms of gettin designers, we recruit designs from designers using regular greeting card contests (A Geek Theme Card Content)and sell the designs to the public, with due credit (both monetary and recognition-wise) back to the original designer. It’s pretty similar to Threadless really except that there are some serious issues we need to get over to make it compatible with greeting cards instead of t-shirts

MYE: Was it hard to get designers?

FVG: No, not really. We publicised in places like Kakiseni, Lowyat, and KLUE and then a few blogs. It just went viral from there. We received 70 entries from our first contest alone.

MYE: And what did you learn from that?

FVG: Lots! From the big picture We’ve learnt how to run the contest alot smoother and that people usually only submit at the very last minute. We got half our entries in the one week we EXTENDED our contest. We also learnt that whenever you put a monetary incentive in place, people are going to try and cheat, which they did. Now we’re much better prepared for both those things this time around

On the bright side, we learnt that the design community really loves feedback, both giving it, and receiving it.

This is one of the main incentives for participating in In the first contest, each design got an average of 27 comments and some of the more curious designs even reached 70+ comments
MYE: That is alot of feedback. And how you managed that?

FVG: Well, all that AJAX stuff sure helped, no need for page refreshes. Just type, press enter and voila!

The easier to make things to do, the more likely people are to do it

We also set up a random ratings engine, that randomly moves from card to card, so people will actually more cards than they would otherwise have seen if they just clicked on thumbnails and voted.

 

 

Foldees is currently in the midst of their second contest which is Christmas theme which runs till 20th October 2008. 

 

note: the card above is from the winner Emila Yusof. We like how it clicked. :) 

Update: The contest is dateline has been postponed again to 25th October.

 

 

 update: Chak is the Fluffy Vision Guy