Brian Wong

Brian Wong

Founder and CEO of Kiip

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON October 17, 2017

Discussion

Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
Hey guys what’s up! I’m Brian, the co-founder and CEO of Kiip. Kiip (pronounced “keep”) redefines how brands connect with consumers through a rewards platform that targets “achievement moments” in mobile games and apps. This past year marks the seventh anniversary of Kiip, which was super exciting! I’ve also published a book, The Cheat Code, which offers 71 bite­sized and virtually effortless shortcuts to get a leg up on the competition, garner attention for creative thinkers and their ideas, and to accelerate success. Fun fact, it has also just been published in simplified Chinese! You can ask me anything, but some of the topics that may be most relevant to me center around youth entrepreneurship, moments advertising, millennials in the workplace and any cheats to success! I look forward to chatting, Kiip the questions coming!
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Welcome, Brian! It's wild that it's been 7 years since Kiip started. I remember following it closely back when I worked in mobile games. I'm curious what your POV is on AR and how it will influence moments advertising. Is Kiip doing anything in AR yet?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@rrhoover we actually have recently launched an AR ad unit. You can see a sneak preview here: https://youtu.be/MlY-wMmyz7A We think it’s supremely exciting to have immersive opportunities like this.
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@brian_wong I missed that! It will be particularly interesting when AR-powered glasses are ubiquitous. 😎
Zahra Siddique
Zahra Siddique@z_sidd · Business Development Associate, Appnext
@rrhoover @brian_wong wow that's so neat! Keeping kiip unique, this will go really well with the gaming demand especially.
Nick Abouzeid
Nick Abouzeid@nickabouzeid · Words at Product Hunt ✌️
Hi Brian! What surprised you the most while starting Kiip?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@nickabouzeid how volatile yet valuable your biggest asset is: people.
Nick Abouzeid
Nick Abouzeid@nickabouzeid · Words at Product Hunt ✌️
@brian_wong Interesting. Do you have any tips or strategies to minimize the amount of volatility (however you want to define that)?
Abadesi
Abadesi@abadesi · 👩🏽‍💻 Product Hunt | Hustle Crew | NTT
Hi Brian! I feel like lots of millennials are turning to entrepreneurship as a career option - what advice can you give wannabe founders before taking the plunge? 👩🏽‍💻
Jake Crump
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
What is your daily routine?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@jakecrump I wake up usually around 7, go swim, shower, then the rest of the day is NOT a routine. :)
Jacqueline von Tesmar
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@jacqvon Antarctica
Jacqueline von Tesmar
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What industries would you place your bets on in the next 10-20 years?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@jacqvon renewable energy, true AI, blockchain based businesses
Winson
Winson@winsonng12 · Bitcoin @ CoinZodiac.com
How do you facilitate a positive work environment that attracts and retains talent?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@winsonng12 subservient management + Open teaching environment. To elaborate: managers that serve their employees not the other way around, and separately, an environment where all knowledge is shared through regular learning sessions and sharing between teams + freedom to learn topics outside of your job to improve your own job or to even move teams as your interests diversify and mature.
Winson
Winson@winsonng12 · Bitcoin @ CoinZodiac.com
What do you do to recharge when you’re feeling drained?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@winsonng12 swimming, music, hot chocolate. Not at the same time.
Winson
Winson@winsonng12 · Bitcoin @ CoinZodiac.com
What is the most unpopular opinion you have on entrepreneurship?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@winsonng12 that it’s a sexy thing to do. It’s not! It’s also not just a thing you just “do”. It’s a mindset.
Winson
Winson@winsonng12 · Bitcoin @ CoinZodiac.com
What 3 books would you recommend that every entrepreneur read?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@winsonng12 No specific combo of books but I really gleaned a lot of value from: Predictably Irrational, Outliers, Meditations, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ;)
Jake Crump
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
What games are you currently playing?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@jakecrump managing my calendar. Jk though. Mostly under control, just really dislike when someone cancels on me the day before.
Cyrille Najjar
Cyrille Najjar@cyrillenajjar1
Hello Brian, thanks for being here today, we work in healthcare analytics www.sensioair.com and it's always challenging to keep customers engaged. In our case we help people predict their asthma and allergy symptoms. I was wondering should we widen our content to improve customer retention and veer off from the pure healthcare side of things or do you believe otherwise ? Thanks again!
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@cyrillenajjar be deliberate and go to places where you are most likely to find people that relate to you. This would be smaller meet ups, conferences (only a select few are useful), and highly curated dinners and cocktail hours. You can also self select by finding people on Linkedin or cold emailing them.
Cyrille Najjar
Cyrille Najjar@cyrillenajjar1
@brian_wong thanks Brian!
Matthew J Barnes
Matthew J Barnes@mattybprime · student, rutgers
Hello Brian, I first want to say how inspiring and daunting it was to find out about you and Kiip in an article I read, it was just so powerful yet easy tor relate to. As for my question for you is how did it start? I'm A student and an aspiring entrepreneur and I believe in the power of focus and determination, but I've realized lately that I need connections. How do you form these connections that go somewhere? I find that whenever I talk about what I want to make in life, it expels energy and ultimately just turns it into conversation and soundbytes. Has that ever happened to you? How do I form this connection with people who want to make something out of their words? Just luck? Or do you meet up at A bar one day and discuss it for real and meet up?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@mattybprime Intentionally find events that will have people that are like-minded and are not full of have-nots that want more from you than you want from them. These are usually invite only, curated, smaller events. Also - make your own targeted connections through adding on Linkedin + cold-emailing.
Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
Hey Brian! What advice would you give me to young founders starting out when hiring engineers? Where to look? What qualities to look for when making a decision?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@nivo0o0 where you used to work - your first full time job usually will have a great pool. Also find folks in school still... folks that are out and are in a big name job usually think they’re worth a lot more (lots of inbound recruiter messages really help with inflating self worth).
Winson
Winson@winsonng12 · Bitcoin @ CoinZodiac.com
What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship in the first place?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@winsonng12 I lost my job at Digg and realized I wanted to have the most control over my future - and that was to start my own thing.
Winson
Winson@winsonng12 · Bitcoin @ CoinZodiac.com
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@winsonng12 getting bigger brands to believe in you. Best way is to hire people who have built clout in their career to get partners to place a bet on you and to not f*** it up.
Winson
Winson@winsonng12 · Bitcoin @ CoinZodiac.com
Did you ever deal with contention from your family concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@winsonng12 my family, luckily, is the most supportive family one could ever ask for. They’re mostly just worried about my health and making sure I can overcome stress and the inevitable obstacles and downswings.
Winson
Winson@winsonng12 · Bitcoin @ CoinZodiac.com
Did you have major competitors when you started, how did you plan to compete with them, and how did that plan play out?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@winsonng12 honestly a lot of the direct “competition” have pivoted or been sold/merged. Unique mobile advertising/engagement is a tough market to be in if you’re not a super-scale property. It requires unique data + top publishers to win.
Winson
Winson@winsonng12 · Bitcoin @ CoinZodiac.com
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your’ success?
Brian Wong
Brian Wong@brian_wong · CEO, Kiip
@winsonng12 I don’t consider myself successful yet, just more having accomplished things, but there is so much more to do. I think the biggest factor is always creating and producing and never stopping.