Connect with us

Interviews

Benjamin Yee – Interview with the CEO of EMERGE App

Published

on

We had the pleasure of interviewing Benjamin Yee, CEO and founder of EMERGE App, a cloud-based inventory management system for small and medium-sized businesses around the world.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

Thanks for having me here, too. It’s a funny thing that you asked me that because how I got here was totally unscripted and improvised. I’ve always been a bit of a restless and wanderlust type since high school. So I started a custom t-shirt printing business.

I was just itching to make money so that I could travel and have fun. Well, it turned out that sales of corporate t-shirts really took off. But I was struggling with my inventory that was stocked with every possible size, colour and material. It became clear that I had to invest in software as spreadsheets didn’t scale with my business.

Nothing in the market at that time suited my small business, so I wrote my own inventory management software. I then saw that other SMBs like me were having issues managing their stock with affordable software. So after a year or so in development, I launched my in-house software as the solution you see today.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

That would have to be the setting up of my software development office in Saigon. Vietnam is an awesome country with lots of young, talented adults that are hungry for success and lifelong learning. As with any new office, there was a lot of activity with new furniture and new faces, all while managing the software development lifecycle.

As you might expect, my days were incredibly long and fuelled by coffee. So I took to bringing a sleeping bag to the office to catch up with sleep. I don’t do it anymore but my staff joke that, as part of an initiation rite, new hires should bring a sleeping bag and spend their first week staying at the company’s office.

So what does your app do?

My app is a web-based application handles orders, purchases and inventory inside a typical small and medium-sized business. Think of it as inventory management software that goes well beyond managing your stock with spreadsheets. It has built-in smarts to automate many things that were once done manually by employees.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I’d like to think that we’ve helped a lot of SMBs around the world achieve personal and business success using our software. We’ve helped a diverse customer pool of jewellers, herbalists, chocolatiers and medical suppliers with their inventory issues so that they can truly focus on their trade and craft.

But the one story that stands out is a seed research company from South America. This is probably the most novel use of our software to date! They’re using our software as a central data repository for the importation and distribution of seeds. They also do a fair bit of work with plant genetics as well. So I’m proud to have a part in helping to advance research in the biotechnology space.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I’m fortunate to fall into the hip category of a digital nomad. My software business means that I can work anywhere in the world with just a laptop and an Internet connection. This pretty much extends to each and every one of my employees too. Only time zones divide us as all communication is done by chat and video calls.

So I mix business and travel readily. With this job I’ve been to places that I would only dream about if I had a corporate desk job. Some cities and towns are so remote that you need days to reach them by various modes of transport, including motorbike, ferries and buses. This way I work hard and play hard at the same time.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

There’s a mentor and investor that I was grateful to have in the very early days of starting my software company. She found considerable success herself by co-founding a web support platform that was subsequently sold to a larger player. She told me plainly that finding success with your business means looking for your “ah ha” moment.

This isn’t the Norwegian pop group from the 1980s. She meant finding enlightenment or a light-bulb moment that will distinguish you in the market from your competitors. Her “ah ha” moment was putting a simple prompt in the window of her chat support software: “How can we help you today?”. Customers from both sides loved it! This prompt, in one way or another, is now commonly found in all chat support windows.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each. ‘

  1. Sometimes life hands you a new opportunity on a plate when you least expect it.

I didn’t set out from the start to build a software technology company. This was far from my mind when I was battling workflow issues with my t-shirt printing company. But somehow that problem became an opportunity and I seized it.

  1. Look far and wide for talent and funding.

Don’t just limit yourself to finding investors and talent in your local market. If you’re spending too much time selling the idea of your company to uncertain investors or unsure employees, then quickly move on and find those that trly get it.

  1. Don’t hire new talent immediately.

As you know, interviews in person or online can go really well. But it’s another matter when they start working for you and interacting with the rest of their team. For me, it’s not the CV that matters but what can you contribute to the team and the company? I now put new hires through a paid probation period before hiring them officially. It makes it much easier when you have to ask people to leave.

  1. Always ask customers for a commitment upfront before you build something for them.

The customer is certainly king (or queen) but make sure that you’re not holding the short end of the stick. I built custom features for keen users in the early days. I didn’t ask for any commitment upfront but when it came to demonstrating their custom features and asking for a paid subscription in return, they simply disappeared!

  1. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.

I admit that we’ve been flying under the radar for far too long. We have over 1,000 users from 40 countries spread over 5 continents. That’s a pretty far reach for a small software company that most people haven’t heard of. I guess I was so focused on building a better product with each software release that I lost sight of PR and marketing work. So when you have a solid, proven product, don’t be afraid to show it off.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this.

There is one person that I would very much like to meet but he’s no longer with us now. I’ve always admired the late Steve Jobs. His relationship with the company that he founded had a rocky history but what he did in the last few decades of his life really inspired me in my youth.

You might remember the “Think Different” campaign that Apple launched in the late 1990s. It’s no longer used today but it featured notable names from the 20th century. The slogan is just as relevant today: our products empower you to Think Different from the rest.

I’d like to say that’s what we’re trying to do with EMERGE App. We’re empowering SMBs around the world to think differently about how they’re managing their inventory, thus not only saving money and increasing productivity but also making more time in your life for the things that truly matter.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Thank you, I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my life experiences so far with you.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can follow my LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/benjamin-yee-a0370b2a/

Anthony Delgado (born February 6, 1986) is an American software developer and internet entrepreneur widely known as a professional hacker in the developer community. Anthony Delgado has won numerous hackathons sponsored by Fortune 500 tech companies like Google, IBM, Intel, Facebook and Microsoft and hosted by organizations including Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the AT&T Developer Summit in New York City.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Interviews

Ambassador Charles Kelechi Anyanwu aka 7 Figure Boss

Published

on

I had the pleasure of interviewing Ambassador Charles Kelechi Anyanwu popularly known as 7 Figure Boss. A Nigerian serial entrepreneur, author, speaker, business coach and internet personality.

7 Figure Boss is best known for his work in business consultancy/coaching, digital marketing and social media, leading Nigerian based companies Shockwave Films, Discount Mall Naija and the 7 Figure Boss brand.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

While growing up I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur because I always come up with ideas to make money around me. Like when I started my photography business in my secondary school. Most of my mates then were probably thinking of provisions and stuffs like that but I saw life differently. I knew I wanted to be who I am today and the only way to achieve it is by constant innovation and persistence. So if I am to answer this question  literally I would say my Ambition to become a billionaire and I also care about helping people and making an impact and this career allows me to do that  and today I have trained and mentored over 3000 entrepreneurs and most of them are doing very well in their field.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

Everything! The highs and the lows have all been interesting. But I will always give it up to my first 3 years, it was really the most interesting as I watched the businesses I started with nothing grow into a big brand with thousands customer base. That’s really interesting for me!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Well, truth is that I really don’t consider any business move I make a mistake. Because what some call mistakes I call lessons. So I’d say the greatest lesson I learnt was quitting! There was a time it wasn’t just working I had to quit and one year after, I realized I had made a wrong decision by quitting. I had to pick up from where I left off and today that same business pays all my bills and funds my luxurious lifestyle. If I gave up completely I wouldn’t be here today and you probably wouldn’t have been interviewing me by now.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

In today’s world, transparency, integrity and honesty is really hard to find. And over the years, my company has offered that to our clients. They know that we can be trusted to deliver as agreed at all times no matter the volume of transaction.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Don’t quit!!! Put in your best! Be creative and never ever cheat your clients even when they might not be able to find out. Honesty keeps the biggest paying clients.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My mom! She’s such an amazing woman! Even though she wanted me to go to school and then get a job and live a comfortable life she still supported me through my days of trial and error! She bought me my first laptop which I used to start my graphics design and print business before I ventured into video editing using that same laptop. She’s really my biggest fan and my greatest motivation.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of business coaching and trainings which have helped to groom great entrepreneurs scattered all over the world. I currently have over a thousand plus young entrepreneurs that are under my mentorship and most of them are doing great in all their endeavors.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.” – Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield. This quote always has a way of bringing out the spirit of excellence in me. You can hardly find me doing half-baked jobs. I always put in my very best in whatever I do, no matter how small the project is. If I can’t do it well or better than anyone else then you can never find me doing it.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I will start “Entrepreneurship in Schools Movement” for me the education system we have right now is not doing much for us. Thousands of people graduate from universities every year but most of them don’t get to get jobs.  I feel if “entrepreneurship” is introduced to the schools the world will be a better place. Those who want to be lawyers will go ahead and study law and those who want to be entrepreneurs will study entrepreneurship instead of having someone read law for 6years and then jump to entrepreneurship. That’s 6 wasted years! So if I can lead a movement it will be for the government to include “Entrepreneurship” as one of the courses offered in our tertiary institutions.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I always prefer instagram: www.instagram.com/7figureboss (@7figureboss)

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Continue Reading

Interviews

Karan Singh AKA Loner With A Phone

Published

on

I had the pleasure of interviewing Karan Singh AKA Loner With A Phone who is a Social Media Genius, an Influencer and also now a Podcast Host called “4 Questions with Social Media Famous” which now have around 20K downloads in less than a month. 


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what you do and how you started on Social Media and became an influencer?

I did my social media-marketing course in 2013 and my ecommerce brand got a lot of success through influencer marketing so I educated myself with how it works and their best practices. I never wanted to become an Influencer neither I call myself one as its huge responsibility to Influence people in the right direction. I just try and make few people laugh or try to entertain them showing them some of my life stories it keeps me busy outside of work. Also, it’s really fun.

Can you share the best thing that happened to you since you started on social media?

Well, it made me feel a little more confident. I did things last year which I would have never done offline like around 15 solo trips with random strangers. I get to meet and hangout with the coolest people I know (also started dating one of them 😉 ) . Oh, the best thing would be I started taking fitness and nutrition seriously because mostly I use to go to gym twice a day to find interesting content and I didn’t like being so unfit on camera.

Who are your favorite Influencers and Why?

Fitness: Roshni Sanghvi(obviously), Nidhi Mohan, Dana Linn Bailey, Hypertrophy Coach. 

Because these people stories and posts keeps me on toes.

Humor: David Dobrik because he knows how to work hard and make it fun as well.

What do you think makes your podcast stand out? 

First, I am the host. So yeah, you know its going to kill it. Okay seriously its different because its not scripted. It tells the exact culture for social media influencers in India and thanks to so honest guests, they give a honest advice no matter how harsh it may sound. 


What tips will you give to a person who just started on Social Media and want to make it big?

1. Listen to the podcast. All episodes. All of them.

2. Don’t obsess over the number of followers. It’s a dark path and I have been there. It’s not pretty.
3. Do it if you actually want to create. Don’t do it because someone else did it or you think its easy or you might be able to make fame or money out of it.


How have you used your social media to bring goodness to the world? 

Okay, too much pressure. I don’t think I have done something that to mention other than making few people smile but yeah if I get a chance to give back or change something for good through my social media, I would definitely do it.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I made my started on social media” and why.

1. You can’t change your Snapchat Username.

2. In 2 years or so you will be in an actual relationship and Loner with a phone will sound awkward.

3. You jokes are not that funny as they sound in your head.

4. Everyone wants to see 2 girls kissing. Everyone.

5. Never compromise work for content.


You are a person of great influence. What advice can you give to our readers to a happy life?

Party Every Weekend. Hydrate yourself next morning. Work really really Hard. Workout everyday. Stay away from toxic people surround yourself with people who make your feel good about yourself. Don’t miss a chance to travel. Laugh On Lame Jokes. Read a book every once in a while. Black color looks amazing on you no matter who you are. Timberland Boots are the only pair of shoes you should own. 


How can our readers follow you on social media or Listen to the podcast?

Instagram : @instaakaran 

Snapchat : RandomizingK

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/lonerwithaphone

 

 

Continue Reading

Interviews

Knowledge Cee Interview

Published

on

 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Knowledge Cee. He started his website www.knowledgecee.com with the intentions of offering technology services for individuals but with the focus of working with the entertainment industry. Knowledge’s company offers services like Youtube interviews, Hardware troubleshooting, web design, graphic design, photography, album covers and much more in one place.

 

 

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I always was into technology and making videos. Since the age of 12, I began to troubleshoot computers, edit videos, pictures and breaking into things I was not supposed to online. That lead to my making of Youtube videos and going to college for Network Security with the goal of starting my own company.

 

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

 

The most interesting story that happened to me  since I began leading my company is that I got a gig with www.recoverysolutionsnj.org to record videos on people who suffered from substance abuse. It was a paid gig that lasted three days. It was a great experience to hear different people’s experiences . On September 17th, I got to meet people who seen my videos in Atlantic City at the 2018 Recovery Month Summit by Recovery Solutions. After my gigs, I would walk around Atlantic City like a tourist while I waited on my Greyhound. I explored a place I had never been and got paid to do what I love.

 

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

 

When I first started my company, I was dropshipping products from China. My seller was from Amazon and I was selling on Ebay. The toy I was dropshipping was one of the best selling  toys of 2017. I advertised the product on Ebay and made over $1700 in three days so as a normal person I made the purchases on Amazon to ship to my clients. The sellers were all a scam so I got scammed as well as all of my customers. Now I do not have an Ebay account.
I learned that you must research the company that you want to dropship from. Make sure they are reliable and have excellent communication. If not, it is not worth the risk.

 

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

My website is a good place to go to if you are ready to start a company. We provide advertisements, graphic design, website development and remote technology services. My prices are below most contractors or retail  prices and I am even willing to lower my price to match your price range. There was many times when people did not have enough to book myself but I let them slide because I remember when I did not have enough money to pay for services.

 

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

You must always know your limit. Do not overwork yourself because that is the fastest way to get lazy. Always take a day off during the week to rest fully and always get a good rest every night. Manage your task in priority order.

 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I would like to thank Mallah Divine Mallah. He is the reason I get most of my contracted jobs now and the reason I got hired by the Department of Education. Mallah came into my life and helped myself develop character by telling stories of his life.
It all started my last semester of my Associate degree. Mallah and I were acquainted with each other because we sat in the same row in a computer class. He seen that I knew my stuff with computers, cameras and other topics which we can relate too. One day we hung out after class and spoke on our values and the reasons why we do things. After that, we began to work on computer projects together, share information and then started to build our credibility together. We struggled together and now we are eating together.
Check out his website on www.mallahdivinemallah.com

 

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?  

I provide free services for people who I have faith in. If I see that you are motivated doing what you are doing in order to help the world, I would help you. All you have to do is ask.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

“It takes money to make money”. In order to build my website it took money. In order to buy a camera it took money. In order to get Sony Vegas and Adobe Creative Suite it took money. Everything took money even to get website traffic.

 

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

If you are selling a product make sure your supplier is not scamming you
I sold over $1,700 worth of goods online but my supplier scammed me so I lost good credibility and profit.
2) when creating a website try to have words that match what you do in the domain because it increases your chance of ranking higher on Google.com
Example: if your website is about cats your website and would be catsworld.com

3) Even when you are working for yourself you are working for someone. The person you are working for is your client that you want to please so they come back and refer others to you.

4)” You have to be ready for the tough times ahead and know that failure will always be the easy way out. There are no shortcuts to success and you have to work harder and put in more sweat equity than you ever could imagine to make the venture you are embarking on a success. “ – @themarshan1
5) “It is not as hard as people make it seem to be your own boss and move away from the employee title. As long as you put your best foot forward and always remember to be gracious and positive good thing with only come.
OUT OF 100 NO’S THERE WILL BE 1 YES AND ALL YOU NEED IS ONE.” – @Kha.Rin

 

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement  that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Gathering people together who lived in New York for 10+ years to sign a petition protecting from landlords who are rapidly increasing the rent, trying to evict people for less than $1000, landlords who are paying tenants to move, slumlords, and to increase the amount of affordable housing in New York.

 

How can our readers follow you on social media?

www.instagram.com/knowledgeceeallah
www.knowledgecee.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYbokqxTbD1mE4zZ94_XH3Q

 

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2018 Disrupt LLC