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The Iterative Podcast

The Iterative Podcast

By Hsu Ken Ooi
The Iterative podcast talks to founders, investors and operators from the startup community in Southeast Asia and occasionally Silicon Valley.

Iterative is a YC style accelerator focused exclusively on Southeast Asia. Iterative invests US$150K into startups, twice a year. After investing they work intensely with the founders to help their startups grow before culminating in a Demo Day.
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Jeff Liu and Justin Louie from Jenfi on How They Got Started and Being 2nd Time Founders

The Iterative Podcast

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#6 How to Build a Recruiting Machine, Part 1: Why Founders Underestimate the Importance of Recruiting
In Part 1 of How to Build a Recruiting Machine, Hsu Ken Ooi is joined by his Iterative Co-Founder, Brian Ma to talk about the following: 0:56 Why hiring is important 2:00 Why most founders underestimate the importance of hiring 5:07 How hiring changes as your startup grows 13:54 Accepting that you're going to hire for roles you're not familiar with 16:52 The types of qualities you want to look for in early hires 24:14 The types of roles you want to hire in early stage startups 29:24 Tips for writing effective job descriptions Let us know what you think! hsuken@iterative.vc Subscribe to The Iterative Podcast and find out more about Iterative Podcast Newsletter Blog Website Twitter Speakers Brian Ma, Founder and General Partner at Iterative Brian was previously the Co-Founder and CEO of Divvy Homes (a16z, GIC). In 2014, he and Elpizo Choi started Weave (YCS14). In 2009, he started Decide.com an early machine learning company that predicted the future price of consumer goods. It was acquired by eBay in 2013. In 2005, he was one of the first PMs at Zillow before they launched. Brian has a BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington. Hsu Ken Ooi, Founder and General Partner at Iterative Hsu Ken was previously the Chief Product Officer of Workmate, an on-demand blue collar staffing platform in Southeast Asia. In 2014, he was VP of Product at Weave (YCS14). In 2009, he started Decide.com an early machine learning company that predicted the future price of consumer goods. It was acquired by eBay in 2013. Hsu Ken has a BS in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Washington.
36:47
March 31, 2021
Yolanda Lee on Finding Her Own Path and Building a Professional Community for Women
In this episode, we have Yolanda Lee, co-founder of Uncommon. Uncommon is a private leadership network for the next generation of female leaders in Southeast Asia. Uncommon provides a strong and uplifting network, a personalized development roadmap, tailored courses and workshops, and in reaching speaker series, all-in-one membership.  We talk about her early life in Canada (1:23). At 20, Yolanda rented an abandoned industrial warehouse in her home tenants, funk, and major Lazer to play there by messaging them on MySpace (24:15). She went on to intern at the European court for human rights, graduated top of her class at Oxford, and worked for Uber and Rocket Internet in Africa (32:53). We talk about what drove her to these different paths and how those experiences shape her. She opens up about her motivation for starting Uncommon, what her personal experience has been being in male-dominated industries, why Uncommon is so important, and what men can do to help (49:36).
01:15:18
March 17, 2021
Founder Stories: Tim Grassin, Co-Founder of TendoPay
Tim Grassin is a Co-Founder of TendoPay (Iterative S20), the largest online installment provider in the Philippine. On this episode, I talk to Tim about his earlier influences, switching from finance to entrepreneurship, how he built a multi-million dollar design agency, why he gave that up to start a startup in the Philippines and how they tested their initial idea by building a fake website that sold fake products to see if people would try their fake financing product. Watch it on YouTube Listen to the podcast Topics 1:37 – How our childhood may or may not have shaped our future as entrepreneurs 9:37 – Early professional influences and business school 14:37 – Getting into startups after the financial crisis 22:50 – Quitting his job to start a presentation design company 24:57 – Getting the first few customers 29:48 – Scaling up customer growth 33:37 – The importance of learning how to learn 38:16 – Going from a multi-million dollar agency to building a tech product 43:55 – Coming to Southeast Asia and starting TendoPay 53:26 – TendoPay’s first MVP 1:01:18 – We reminiscence about growing up playing video games About Iterative Iterative is a YC style accelerator focused exclusively on Southeast Asia by the founders of Divvy (a16z, GIC), Weave (YCS14), Decide (acquired by eBay) who have collectively raised $100M+ in VC. Iterative invests US $150K into early stage startups twice a year then works with them intensely for 3 months culminating in a Demo Day. Connect with Iterative Sign up for the Iterative NEWSLETTER: https://iterative.substack.com Visit the Iterative PODCAST: https://anchor.fm/iterativevc Visit the Iterative BLOG: https://iterative.vc/blog Visit the Iterative WEBSITE: https://iterative.vc Follow Iterative on TWITTER: https://twitter.com/iterativevc
01:09:42
February 24, 2021
Vibhas Jain: Growing Up in India, Not Going to Stanford and Starting Outside Voice
Vibhas Jain is the co-founder and CEO of Outside Voice (Iterative S20), a no-code app builder for WhatsApp. On this episode, we talk about Vibhas (Vibes) childhood growing up in India, getting into and moving to Stanford but never actually attending Stanford, how he met his co-founder and came up with the idea of Outside Voice. Discussion (1:00) – Vibe's childhood growing up in India (6:30) – Vibe's first product idea and trying to convince people to build it (12:40) – What the feeling of being in SF was like (19:15) – Where did Vibe's entrepreneurship DNA come from? (22:00) – Vibe's tries to build the same music app again, years later (29:37) – Vibes's music app gets on Techcrunch and they meet Sequoia (38:34) – How Vibes met his co-founder and how Outside Voice was started (48:35) – When and why should you join an accelerator? (51:00) – Vibes favorite place to get Indian food in Singapore (54:00) – Vibes talked himself into a DJing gig by telling them he was a big DJ in India About Iterative Iterative is a YC style accelerator focused exclusively on Southeast Asia by the founders of Divvy (a16z, GIC), Weave (YCS14), Decide (acquired by eBay) who have collectively raised $100M+ in VC. Iterative invests US $150K into early stage startups twice a year then works with them intensely for 3 months culminating in a Demo Day. Connect with Iterative Sign up for the Iterative NEWSLETTER: https://iterative.substack.com Visit the Iterative PODCAST: https://anchor.fm/iterativevc Visit the Iterative BLOG: https://iterative.vc/blog Visit the Iterative WEBSITE: https://iterative.vc Follow Iterative on TWITTER: https://twitter.com/iterativevc
55:25
February 3, 2021
Jeff Liu and Justin Louie from Jenfi on How They Got Started and Being 2nd Time Founders
Jeff Liu and Justin Louie are the co-founders of Jenfi (YC W20). Jenfi lends to small businesses in Southeast Asia based on revenue. Jenfi has raised US$2.1M in funding. Before Jenfi, Jeff was the co-founder and CEO of GuavaPass, and Justin was the CTO of Guavapass. GuavaPass raised US$5M before being acquired by ClassPass in 2019. In this episode, we talk about where they are from, how they got into startups, how they met, where their ideas come from, what it's like to be a 2nd-time founder and advice for 1st-time founders, and much more.
54:22
November 26, 2020
How to Find a Good Problem For Your Startup to Work On
In our first episode, Brian and Hsu Ken answering the following questions. Why is it important to focus on problems, not solutions? Why it's important to work on a good problem? How to tell if a problem is a good problem? Do you need to have the problem to solve it? How do you look for good problems? If you're thinking about starting a startup, this is where you should start. --- Brian Ma Brian is a General Partner at Iterative. Prior to Iterative, he was the Co-Founder and CEO of Divvy Homes (a16z, GIC). In 2014, he and Elpizo Choi started Weave (YCS14). In 2009, he started Decide.com an early machine learning company that predicted the future price of consumer goods. It was acquired by eBay in 2013. In 2005, he was one of the first PMs at Zillow before they launched. Brian has a BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington. Hsu Ken Ooi Hsu Ken is a General Partner at Iterative. Prior to Iterative, he was the Chief Product Officer of Workmate, an on-demand blue-collar staffing platform in Southeast Asia. In 2014, he was VP of Product at Weave (YCS14). In 2009, he started Decide.com was an early machine learning company that predicted the future price of consumer goods. It was acquired by eBay in 2013. Hsu Ken has a BS in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Washington. Iterative Iterative is a YC style accelerator focused exclusively on Southeast Asia by the founders of Divvy (a16z, GIC), Weave (YCS14), Decide (acquired by eBay) who have collectively raised $100M+ in VC. Iterative invests US $150K into early-stage startups twice a year then works with them intensely for 3 months culminating in a Demo Day.
46:40
October 25, 2020