Even if you are not a rich kid, you still can be successful.

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During the peak, we grew up to 120 artists with no external investment

Recently I have come across 2 articles. After reading them, I started reflecting my own journey.
“Entrepreneurs Aren’t A Special Breed – They’re Mostly Rich Kids”
“Entrepreneurs don’t have a special gene for risk—they come from families with money”

These are from my own experience. Hope it encourages you. Sometimes the more you have, the more you are afraid to lose. Its only when I lost almost everything. (My bank went zero a few times) Only then I have more courage to do what I am doing. When you are hungry, you will fight to survive. So not being rich is not a disadvantage. It helps you understand some valuable lessons in life.

I didn’t come from a well to do family. My dad was a taxi driver. I didn’t take a single cent from my parents or myself or investor to start my business.
“Reference: How did I first started the studio without external investment?”

Entrepreneurship has taught me some valuable lesson in life. It has taught me to stay clam during crisis. Stay focus, make fast decision and solve problems. Most importantly is the will to keep fighting until you reach your goal.
Reference: It’s the journey that matters. Not the destination.”

I am not saying all rich kids cannot make it. But I have witnessed quite a few in the following situation. When they do not understand the value of money, they tend to anyhow burn their resources. When they face crisis, they tend to give up and go back to their rich parents for more money easily. When they fail, they will just wait to inherit their family business. As they are not hungry enough to fight. When crisis come, their family business will go down with them. So not being rich might sometimes better prepare you for the journey.

In business, not everyday is Sunday. There is always a wind of change. It’s a cycle. One must remain clam. Focus. Hold on tight and fight on through this change. If not, they will be wiped out. Look at the situation now. The current Digital Disruption is changing how business has been running. Those who do not change their business model, will probably have to shut down eventually. (E.g e commerce killing shopping mall etc.)

When I first started, I only manage to borrow a room from my brother’s back office that fits 4 freelancers. In 2007, we eventually move to a 2000 square feet office. One year later, we were fortunate to be able to expand and move to a 10,000 square feet office. From 4 artists, we grew to 120 artists during the peak with no external investment. I am not saying it is easy. I am not saying we are successful. In business, we go up and down like a roller coaster. We have come a long way. But it is possible if you are persistent.

Next year will be our 10th year. The last 10 years, this is what I have learnt. Investment is not what matters most. It’s the strategy, the persistence to hold on and the core team who has the same values to fight side by side with you. (And not to forget a supportive family) Strategy is the key. This reminds me of a Chinese Chancellor (or prime minister) in the Romance of the 3 Kingdoms period known as Zhuge Liang (Kong Ming)  I have learnt a lot from his stories and applied in my business at times. His victory proves one point. Size does not matter. It’s all about strategy. This is how we have come this far.

Hope what I wrote encourages you. Even if you are not a rich kid, you still can be successful. Don’t give up your dreams.

(An abstract from the movie Red Cliff  and the part on Zhuge Liang using his intelligence to win the enemy of a much larger size)

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Getting Kickstarter Right With Crowd Funding Tips

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/13978330/masquerada-songs-and-shadows

Thanks James Phang (Tiny Island Productions – Business Development Manager) for the documentation. Kudos to UCreative and e2i for organizing it! As it is not easy to locate it on facebook group later. I have decided to archive the documentation here since quite a number of people asking it.

Fantastic Sharing Session by Ian Gregory Tan of Witching Hour Studios, which successfully crowdfunded Masquerada: Songs and Shadows to 133% of their Kickstarter target in only 14 days.

Some of the pointers to take note:

1) The most important part of your Kickstarter campaign is actually the pre-campaign. They spent close to a year on that before launching the kickstarter.

2) Get people ready to open their wallets right when the campaign starts. Aim to hit 40% of your goal within 3 days.

3) Get evangelists to promote your game for you. Aim to get major news sites cover your project. Build your fans in the right channels. (In their case, Reddit, NeoGAF and RPGWatch)

4) Look for similar projects to “cross-pollinate”: You talk about their projects, and they talk about yours in updates. Backers are more likely to fund something that falls within the same area of interest.

4) At the end of the campaign, convey your gratitude as personally and sincerely as possible, and keep the updates going. This builds continual goodwill.

5) Even if you fail, there is actually a silver lining: A comeback kid story can work well for your your next kickstarter.

6) Indiegogo is good for raising smaller amounts, and they are more active and aggressive in helping you make sure your campaign succeeds

ADDITIONAL:
Met Ian Gregory Tan of Witching Hour Studios today. A good tip he shared. Something I experience myself as well.

For Singaporeans, its better to register a UK company over US company for kickstarter. This is due to the 30% withholding tax.

When you do a service work for a US company, there is no withholding tax. But if you make money from royalty. (Like Kickstarter) you will be tax 30%. For Uk company. There is no 30% withholding tax. Believe we have some agreement with UK.

Something good to note.