With the year coming to an end, we spoke to fellow entrepreneurs in Singapore about their biggest regrets this year. Hopefully through this we can draw some inspiration and learn from their experiences to prepare us for an even better 2015!
This article is meant to be portrayed in a positive light. We thank all these entrepreneurs for their honest sharing!
Goh Yi Ping
Yi Ping runs All Deals Asia, one of the top daily deals aggregator in Singapore. Yi Ping recently expanded All Deals Asia to Indonesia.
“I kept thinking if I have had any regrets in 2014. The truth is, I don’t have any regrets this year! Perhaps the only regret is not taking care of myself more, spending time on myself and keeping my health and fitness in top condition. I did allow work and the move to Indonesia to overwhelm me more than I should. But I’m not sure I have a choice either. Life is not always balanced and even more unbalanced for an entrepreneur.”
Vincent Lauria (Vinnie)
“My biggest regret this year is not juggling a better life/work balance!”
Joash Wee Ci Kai
Joash is the General Manager of Between App (VCNC) in Southeast Asia. Between is the most popular chat app for couples, with millions of downloads around the world.
“On a personal level – Not getting my Singapore Permanent Residency earlier. I had to spend 8 months setting up VCNC’s Singapore office and Southeast Asian operations while on a social visit pass, which for Malaysians is a 4-week in Singapore, 2-week out, cycle. The first half of 2014 literally blew past me with all the business and visa-related travels, plus getting my wedding settled.
Krystal runs Wander app, a soon-to-be-launched mobile app that connects single travellers together. Krystal was also a two-time TEDX speaker.
“My biggest regret is being a cocky little shit when I first started out and not truly listening to people who knew better. Humbled by failure I now have 100 years of experience – borrowed from amazing people kind enough to help me. I will be working even harder in 2015 and hopefully make my team and my loved ones proud.”
Kenneth is the co-founder of Love Out Loud Asia (LOLA) app, which introduces one match to users at noon everyday. LOLA was recently acquired by Lunch Actually.
“My biggest regret of 2014 is not building enough genuine relationships, expanding my network and being friends with everyone! The journey has been exciting so far but the road ahead is long. Nobody can get there alone. I’ll make up for it in 2015! Everybody should make more friends! Be awesome. Be genuine.”
Emi is the co-founder and Head of Asia for PeaTiX, a ticketing platform for event organizers. PeaTiX is used by thousands of event organizers around the world.
“My biggest regret this year is to have worked too many hours during the “golden sleeping time” between 10pm till 2am. It creates vicious cycle of lacking energy during the day and leaving more work till late hours. Working in front of bright computer did not help, as the light kept me awake, longer than necessary! In 2015, my goal is to sleep by midnight, wake up earlier than my kids, and get more work done by improving my productivity with better energy flow!”
Alvin runs MobileAds.com, a free mobile rich media ad creator. MobileAds recently signed on a lot of global clients and partnerships.
“Our biggest regret for 2014 is that we had not moved fast and decisive enough to get our solutions certified in major partners’ platforms. This resulted in the delay of ramping up our global business to clients.”
Steven runs MigMe, a social network platform which was listed onto the Australian Stock Exchange through a reverse take over. MigMe recently also acquired Singapore based couple app LoveByte, and ended the year with a strong $140 million market cap.
“My biggest regret for 2014 is not spending more time with our dog Tiger! She passed away 6 months ago. For MigMe, we had our ups and downs, but it is finally on the right track. Ultimately – no regrets. If i have any, it’s always on the personal side of things. Hopefully i’ll be able to spend more time on that in the new year.”
Lee Jun Kiat
Jun Kiat runs Tik Tok App, an app that provides you with information about restaurant queues. Tik Tok was recently acquired by Chope for an undisclosed sum.
“My biggest regret this year is that I over-ordered too much food at all the restaurants I visited. Now I have buttons popping!”
Gina runs Athena Network Singapore, a business community for female executives and entrepreneurs. She is also known for organizing the Business Rocks monthly meetups.
“My biggest regret this year was not following my gut instinct which resulted in a disastrous partnership. The lesson learned? No matter what opportunities are on the table, if the partnership is a bad cultural fit and their values are not aligned, it will never work. One good thing is I realised how loyal my customers are and how much support I have in the community, so it was all worth while in the end. I’ll definitely be more diligent in selecting partners to work with in 2015!”
Anne runs Startup Nation, a business incubator which provides seed funding for promising companies around the region.
“My biggest regrets? Not taking enough time off to be with people I care about.”
Joel runs Shopback, a cashback site which provides you cash back when you do your online shopping. Shopback is also voted as 2015’s most promising startup in our 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards.
“My biggest regret was not starting earlier! Shopback’s growth have been very encouraging and it really makes me wonder what more could have been achieved if I had taken the plunge earlier.”
Keith is the co-founder of GigOut, an app that allows you to discover news and information on concerts around in Asia. GigOut recently inked a distribution partnership with Samsung, which saw the app preinstalled in all Samsung Galaxy devices.
“I regret not having made made my move on Jessica Alba (or Jennifer Lawrence) and marrying her! However on a more serious note – Biggest regret is not spending more time with friends and all, seeing that I unfortunately lost some this year. Thus, 2015 will see me having more friend-time! Life’s too short to just keep working. And also missing Tenacious D’s show here as I was away!”
Darrell runs Intraix, an energy management solutions. Intraix also won the 2012 Canon Young Entrepreneurs Award.
“I would think that one of the biggest regrets in 2014 is trusting (a few) wrong customers. There were a couple of them who came with much promise and ended up bringing us on a wild goose chase, wasting much time and effort. It is true that you should listen to your customers when building your product, but you shouldn’t listen to all of them as some may bring you off-tangent.
Personally too, I shouldn’t have taken “startup” and “a lack of training time due to work” as excuses not to continue my triathlon and ironman journey.”
Jeremy runs Oddle, a software that allows you to easily manage your restaurant on the cloud.
“One of my regrets of 2014 is the bumpy transition from being primarily a product designer to becoming a work-stream lead that’s running multiple projects concurrently. At every stage of managing a startup, there are numerous key business decisions to be made, one of which is to delegate and distribute the workload among the talents in the team. On the other hand, it is sometimes difficult to assign the tasks to the appropriate teammates, because I would often feel that I am the best role for the job.
In my attempts to do both, I find myself micro-managing the project team, leading to duplication of efforts and wastage of resources. It was upon reflection and subsequent feedback that I realised I have been affecting the team negatively.
It is something that I am currently improving on, and strive to do better in the subsequent days ahead.”
Editor’s Note: Most of the entrepreneurs interviewed wished they spent more time for themselves. So for those of you who are making resolutions for the new year, do remember to dedicate more time for your friends and family, and most importantly, for yourself! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!