“Don’t start a company for the sake of starting one. “
The first Prosperians’ Talk organized by HSBC Prosperity Hall (Hall 2) this academic year has attracted more than 50 students from all across the globe gathering at Multi-functional Hall B on 6 September. The special talk, “Go Fun Yourself”, was given by Mr. Ray CHAN, CEO/co-founder of 9GAG, to share his world-leading startup journey. The venue was fully packed as the clock struck 9PM.
The guest speaker has already graduated from university for over a decade. He didn’t put on airs or spare anything; instead, he created a casual and welcoming atmosphere. Students were very eager and curious to speak up. The talk was more like a Q&A session. Students raised questions after questions. He reminded us not to leak what he said out of the hall jokingly. So let me unveil his secrets of business here.
Many startup firms were established over the years but most of them failed. Why? Ray has his own interpretation. “Don’t start a company for the sake of starting one. We should always set a goal to solve problems and create value–remember, value doesn’t always equal the dollar sign.” He advised.
How did he end up launching his tech-hub then? Like all of us, when Ray was bored, he googled for “funny pictures”. Ironically, the results were not always funny. Then an idea popped up. He wanted a change. In fact, he made a big change himself: he quit his stable job and moved out of his comfort zone to bring laughter to the world.
You may wonder if his employees would laugh all day long in such a fun working culture and environment. “Actually, not all of our team members have a sense of humour, including myself,” he confessed, “Though we are open and willing to appreciate funny stuff.”
Since 2008, 9GAG has grown into a popular social media platform with nearly 70 million viewers per month. Still, Ray’s team stays humble all the time. “The worst is yet to come, we often tell ourselves.” They keep experimenting to maintain the momentum. Failed projects are valued as precious lessons. “It is not only about the number of success we reached, but we count the magnitude of success also,” he stressed.
Thanks to enormous efforts from Residence Master, Dr. Ray CHEUNG, and his Residence Tutors, the talk was a great learning experience to all participants. “Gaining a deep insight into behind-the-scene stories of kick-starting a company in the fast-evolving innovation industry boosts my confidence on developing my own ideas.” said Leah MURPHY, a programming savvy exchange student from Hall 2.
The next upcoming sharing will be held on 5 October featuring Ms. Michelle SUN, founder and CEO of First Code Academy, and Mr. LAU Ming-Wai, Chairman and CEO of Chinese Estates Holdings Limited. Join us and learn your potential!
Writer: YEUNG Nga Yi, Yemmi
Photographer: YEUNG Nga Yi, Yemmi
Ray 離開大學已超過十年，但為人沒有架子，願意毫不保留地分享個人經驗，甚至一些囧事。他營造出輕鬆開放的氣氛，同學都十分踴躍發言。講座像是問答環節，同學的問題一個接一個。Ray 開玩笑地叫我們別把他的話流出，就讓我在這裡為大家揭秘吧！
多得舍監張澤松博士與一眾舍堂導師一番心力，講座反應熱烈。來自業昕堂的交流生Leah Murphy 是一名程序開發發燒友，她雀躍地說：「創意產業日新月異，我認識到創業背後的故事，使我更有自信，勇於構思自己的想法。」下一次分享會將於十月五日舉行，講者將為First Code Academy 創辦人Michelle SUN小姐及華人置業集團主席劉鳴煒先生。屆時記得報名，發掘自己的潛能和興趣！