The MaGIC Academy 2016 (MA2016) may have come to an end, but after having the privilege of hearing from globally recognised industry leaders. we still have a lot to digest and reflect on.
For those who weren’t able to make it to the sessions (and those who did), here’s our collection of 15 most impactful quotes for you to chew on from the founders and entrepreneurs who spoke at MA2016.
1. “Be fearless—even if you have to fake it ’till you make it.”
Adriana Gascoigne, CEO & Founder, Girls in Tech charmed everyone in the very first session of MA2016 and reminded attendees that sometimes you have to put on a brave front in the face of adversity.
2. “Every grey hair on my head is from cash flow.”
It’s not easy being an entrepreneur, and sometimes the most stressful part is the business side of things, as illustrated here by Rebecca Scott, CEO & Co-founder of STREAT.
3. “Don’t fall in love with your innovation, but fall in love with that your innovation does.”
Kerk Kee Assistant Professor of Chapman University said these words in the context of not holding on to a particular method or idea once it has achieved its purpose. In other words, even if an innovation has served its purpose in the past, it might not necessarily be the best choice for the future.
4. “What I do and what I sell is secondary. Who I am and what I stand for is primary. That’s exactly what brands need to focus on but increasingly, it is what brands choose not to.”
If you don’t build a proper story around your brand and keep your team aligned, your branding will be weak and forgettable, according to Danish Farhan, founder and CEO of Xische & Co.
5. “The most important thing for any startup is enabling change in your organisation. It’s all about empowering the people you have working for you and aligning them to a single goal.”
Fadzarudin Anuar, co-founder of Fashion Valet said that he still finds managing people the most challenging part of his job. It’s a challenge many will face, if they wish to run their own businesses.
6. “The best thing about growing your own company is that you realise the potential of people is unlimited.”
At the end of the day, finding a great team that shares your direction and vision is one of the most important things of running a successful startup, and it comes with its own rewards, as Fadzarudin shared.
7. “There are people who don’t want to see you succeed, they want to see you fail, and they can even be members of your own family. It’s very important to identify the people who are positive and keep them in your crew.”
Joe Flizzow, Managing Partner of Kartel Industries stressed the importance of having people who believe in you when setting out on a venture, because haters and doubters can often only distract you from your goal.
8. “You may have a lot of passion as an entrepreneur, but in business and finance, you cannot let passion get in your way of doing things properly.”
As Altimet, Chief Khadam of Altimet Holdings said, he wears different hats at different times and he doesn’t allow one to distract him from the other.
For instance, when he is writing music, he is 100% an artist and moves purely on emotion, but once the song is done, he has to see it as a product. At this stage, he is a businessman—he cannot see it as a priceless piece of art, he has to think of how to sell it.
9. “Failure is a lucky opportunity to learn.”
Brian Wong, founder of Kiip doesn’t see failure as the end of the line, and reminded everyone the importance of learning from failure and not letting it stop you on your entrepreneurship journey.
10. “Everyone of us is an influencer. No matter how big or small you may think you affect another person, it does not derive from the fact that you an influencer in your own way.”
Novita Jong, Senior Sales Lead APAC, Twitter emphasised that we should not forget our own spheres of influence in what we do and what we share.
11. “Don’t be shy to share what you want to do and your ideas to people around you, because they might have the network to find you the right co-founder or team members with the same interest as you. We don’t need to offer them any particular value because we are here to solve problems together.”
Clarence Leong, CEO of EasyParcel said these words when explaining how to find a co-founder and on the importance of networking.
12. “Rule number 1 of building a real business, use your own money. Your business is just going to remain an idea stuck in your head unless you put out your own funds from your own pocket to first start breathing life into that idea.”
These words on how to truly take ownership of your business came from Tan Ban Eu, co-founder of Offpeak.
13. “You don’t need to be in Silicon Valley to be successful. The world truly is flat.”
Katarina Szulenyiova, Asia Regional Manager of Seedstars believes that Asians can leverage the best technology and knowledge to solve global problems that the rest of the world isn’t equipped to solve mentally, technologically and experientially.
14. “When you pitch to an investor, it’s like giving fuel to the captain of a ship. The ship is now ready to set off on a big adventure but it needs a good navigator with clear direction. This is where you step in.”
Adam Lindemann, CEO & co-founder of Mind Fund Group Ltd used this to give an illustration of pitching to investors.
15. “To simplify entrepreneurship: It’s a journey, it’s a sequence, and most of you are gonna get it wrong. But that’s what it is so you decide yourself whether it’s something you want to do.”
Raiyo Nariman, Managing Director of Mercatus Ventures sums up entrepreneurship and the question any entrepreneur should always be clear on: Is this what I want to do?
Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) aims to build a Sustainable Entrepreneurship Ecosystem by catalysing creativity & innovation for long term nation impact. For its third installment, MaGIC Academy (#MA2016) has gathered serial entrepreneurs, founders, philanthropists, investors, corporate leaders and startup enthusiasts from across the globe. You can follow MaGIC on Instagram and Twitter for live feeds of the symposium: @magic_cyberjaya
Feature image compiled from rtb.my, sfcitizen.com, @danishfarhan Twitter, flikr, budiey.com & usatoday.net