To Keith Lam, starting your own business is something only you can learn yourself. Creating his own opportunity, Keith has recently launched Limezy.com, an online leisure learning video platform.
What’s your story?
After graduation from the United Kingdom, I went back to where I felt I belonged, Hong Kong. I had several jobs in which I gained experience in recruiting and corporate sales, but I always knew one day, I would set up my own company. Most of my friends started their own businesses. So, I started to think that I should not wait for an opportunity to come to me, I should create one for myself and start my own venture. So I gathered together my like-minded friends and started a leisure learning platform called Limezy.
What excites you most about your industry?
There have been several well established video platforms over the past decade. Well known free platforms such as youtube.com which focus on entertainment and paid platforms such as Lynda.com which focus on professional courses such as software and business skills. I am certain that currently there is a lack of well-established leisure learning video platforms. Modern video sites are certainly full of videos, however, they are disorganized. One of our main goals is to establish an organized video platform. We have chosen to start with food and beverages due to the current supply and demand in the market and we have successfully partnered with several content providers in a short period of time.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Limezy is currently based in Blueprint, a working space together with several well-known local startups and it is also one of the largest startup communities in Hong Kong. Blueprint allows us to share ideas, knowledge and experience amongst different startups. We have a good relationship with local Hong Kong coffee shop owners, wine sellers and restaurant owners who provide valuable ideas on our platform. We have also formed partnerships with video creators from Japan, Australia, India and the United States which allow users to learn about international food as well as local.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong is my favourite city in Asia for business. Although it is a very small city compared to other Asian cities with only 7 million people, Hong Kong is a multinational city where most people understand more than 3 languages (such as English, Chinese and Putonghua). Another key element is Hong Kong has a high-speed internet connection. Hong Kong has the fastest internet connection for smartphone and PC compared to other countries around the world. Hong Kong people are also well educated and more willing to accept new ideas.
Moreover, IT development in both hardware and software are not as matured as they are in the U.S and Europe, therefore there are is a lot of potential for us to grow.
Geographically, Hong Kong has a close relationship with China. This relationship allows us to source cheap resources and expand our market to other nearby countries such as Singapore and Thailand.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Don’t forget about the content,” is the best piece of advice given to me. This statement may sound very simple, but many IT startups forget this point out and focus too much on their website or app. Imagine there is a physical store on the street selling clothes. No matter how nicely you decorate your store, if you only have 10 pieces of clothes in it, you can only attract customers to a certain point and then you have sold all your clothes. In an IT startup, rather than just looking at the design, the content should be the key to success.
Who inspires you?
The co-founder of GOGO VAN. He is a well-known entrepreneur and also a close friend. I have seen his business grow from scratch. It is now a large corporate business.
He has given me a lot of advice to keep our keep our business going! The most inspiring thing he said was, “developing a start-up business is a difficult process, you may hear a lot of negative comments from friends and even family. You may get challenged by people around you. But the only thing that makes you a successful entrepreneur is to believe in yourself.”
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I read in an article titled, 10 disappearing jobs that will not exist in 10 years and learnt that even social media manager is on the list!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have started my own business whilst I was in university. School does not teach you how to start your own business. The only way to learn is by doing it yourself.
How do you unwind?
I enjoy walking around at midnight when there is no one on the streets and no lights on. Quiet places help me cool down and refresh myself, as do open areas. Sometimes when I walk around the streets, I look at the different banners and advertisements. They give me inspiration. Some of my epiphanies actually came from walking!
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
My favourite Asian destination for relaxation is Hua Hin in Thailand. Hua Hin is around 200km south-west of Bangkok. I love it’s beautiful long shore, sunshine and beaches.
Hong Kong people work in small offices all day long, especially those who work in IT startups. Having a big office in Hong Kong is almost impossible. With the long hours we work, sunshine and blue sky are a luxury.
If I could travel to Hua Hin again, I would spend a day lying on the beach sunbathing, reading books, and listening to the waves to recharge myself.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One by Peter Thiel, Co-founder of Paypal.
This book talks about the pitfalls that a startup business may face. The book is inspiring and you can easily relate to the stories. The most important message I learnt was to always self-assess the business to ensure you are on the right track.
We failed many times during our early stages in developing this business, and the mistakes we made are clearly pointed out in the book! I wish I could have read this book earlier!
This book is highly recommended to start-up businesses like us!
Shameless plug for your business:
Limezy – Discover the fun in cooking
How can people connect with you?
You can visit us on www.limezy.com
Via our corporate website (www.limezy.info) or message us at message at [email protected]
We don’t have a Twitter account but you may visit our Facebook fan page
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>