Ryan Sim co-founded We The People, with a goal of bringing together creators and entrepreneurs and educate them on how to build brands in a global marketplace.
What’s your story?
I am the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Marketing and Business Development for We The People (WTP). Growing up, I wanted to be a wildlife presenter like Steve Irwin to educate people about the beauty of nature. Although my career took a different path, I still love that I can educate fellow creators and entrepreneurs on how to build brands in a global marketplace. Prior to WTP, my best friend Joel Liew and I co-created Kisetsu, a slim wallet company with five successful crowdfunded campaigns that have raised more than $250,000. At WTP, I manage and lead marketing strategies and new business development, messaging and tactics, and advise creators who want to launch crowdfunding campaigns.
What excites you most about your industry?
I’m excited at the opportunity to help creators take their crowdfunded ideas to market. There are some many things that a creator needs to deal with such as crowdfunding, marketing and manufacturing. I can tap into personal experiences with my own crowdfunding to offer expert insight to help these creators succeed.
I am also really interested to see what the future holds for the For Creator, By Creator events that we host and how we can provide the resources and networking opportunities to help creators build their businesses moving forward.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I am Singaporean and by being a Singaporean, I’ve had the pleasure of learning to speak two different languages – (English and Mandarin). It’s also really exciting as Singaporeans frequently travel internationally. For example, I was working in the United States for the last two months and finally had the opportunity to come home. While Singapore is my headquarters, I get the opportunity to visit all of our different locations around the world.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
It’s no question that my favorite city to conduct business is Singapore! While it may be a tiny country, it’s the perfect test-bed to present international concepts. You have a combination of tourist traffic and locals who have a taste for new exciting concepts. It’s great. However, it’s by no means easy. The locals are difficult to sell to, but if you are able to connect with them, you know you’ve got a product or service that will sell globally.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Literally from Yoda, “Do or do not, there is no try”
Who inspires you?
I am a big fan of Elon Musk. He’s a forward thinking machine. Elon is the clear definition of making the impossible, possible by putting everything on the line in the name of his craft.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I learned that there are people who are Flat-Earthers (organizations that promote the misconception that the Earth is flat rather than a globe)
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would remove the perfectionist in me in how I work and do business. Here’s the truth. It will NEVER be perfect. I need to remember to not harp too long and let this prevent me from moving forward. Speed is the key.
This is all in regards to putting out new ideas/initiatives/verticals/processes. I am guilty of this. When trying to push out an idea, I spend too much time trying to make the product look good, sound good and feel good.
How do you unwind?
I like to relax by drinking some cold beers while listening to “Lofi Hip Hop beats to study/relax to” on YouTube.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love beaches. I really enjoy hearing the sound of waves, the smell of barbeque and the sea breeze. In my experience, Bali is a great place to relax and unwind near the ocean. That said, I can’t stay there for long periods of time as I need to keep my mind sharp.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One by Peter Thiel. This book talks about starting a company and it really does turn traditional thinking upside down. It gives you a great macro and micro outlook into the various startup mindsets. It helps you define your own business and what is the vision for your business.
Shameless plug for your business:
We The People is all about helping creators. We may look like a store but we’re more of an institution. We will show anyone how crowdfunding can work for them. We teach it. We also have manufacturing and distribution solutions and worldwide sales channels. We’re here to help creators find sustainability in the global market.
Being strong community members is a core principle of We The People. Over the last six months we, along with Tribalvision, have hosted “For Creators, By Creators” events in New York City, St. Louis, Las Vegas, and Boston and are planning future events in other U.S. cities as a way to reach out to entrepreneurs, educate them and offer insight on best practices.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.