For the first Catching 22 episode of 2016, Grant and Eamon pay a visit to the Majoran coworking space to talk to an Aussie back from Silicon Valley for his Christmas holidays.
Jindou Lee CEO from HappyCo talks to our hosts about his journey with his company’s product “Happy Inspector”. As a property investor in Adelaide, Jindou experienced first hand the pain of paper based property inspections created by property management companies. A digital report produced on the first generation iPad was a logical improvement and with this product they are growing a company in Silicon Valley.
Concepts and Themes
- A time of adjustment when entering the workforce, wanting to use creativity only to have it stifled by employers or clients.
- Leaving Adelaide to be stretched, for opportunities and for legitimacy.
- Growing up and out of the games industry.
- Starting Web development and App companies.
- Identifying a pain points and needs through firsthand experience.
- Selling concept to potential customers before the product is finalised.
- Working backwards from what customers value to create the software.
- Moving to Sydney to join Statemate, as a good steppingstone to the US.
- Vital takeaway from Statemate was learning to fundraise.
- How fundraising is like dating.
- The 5 things Capital sources look for:
- The problem
- The solution
- The business model
- The market size
- How you will execute on it
- Unable to raise capital in Australia until finding success overseas.
- Earning the first money is really hard but after the first says yes more want to come onboard.
- Pitching to US vs Australia.
- How investment changes business and culture.
- How to maintain culture and comparing Australian culture to US.
- The company inherits the nature and character of the founder, or founding team.
- The Beer test, hanging out with someone to make sure they are a cultural fit.
- Adelaide knows how to get by, to make do and create something out of nothing.
- Funding pays for experienced people helping to accelerate faster.
- Wanting to give back to Australia and Adelaide.
- Strengths when smaller which becomes an impediment to being larger.
- Actual data and reporting requires you to be real with yourself and investors.
- Don’t hire lazy people.
- Order of new hires:
- And the product team grew across time.
- Raise more capital and get there quicker.
- Moving from a minimal viable product to their product today.
- Growing the Pie into other industries.
- Interactions into other’s systems and moving to API’s.
- Staying paranoid is a good thing, but don’t dwell on what your competitors are doing
- Deep dive to understand your customers’ pain points and solve these.
- If you don’t stay ahead of your team they will leave in search of someone else to lead them.
- Start mate interview: http://startmate.com.au/happy-inspector
- ANZA TECH interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62TlFvUvUSo
- Majoran – Tech & Creative Coworking Community
Books, Podcasts and Online Things
- Many titles by Tony Robbins
- Good to Great – Jim Collins