From our community: Rachel Lau on censorship by big tech players, IPO vs SPAC, how to get promoted and more…

Contributor posts

How big tech players are redefining the classic freedom of speech vs. censorship debate by Rachel Lau, managing partner at RHL Ventures

“A few impactful decisions made by a handful of big tech executives have caused one man to lose his voice to billions of people.

Social media platforms have revolutionised our ability to connect and communicate across the globe. Content can now be shared and reach millions of individuals in an instant. News, information, and educational content has never been easier to access.

At the same time cyberbullying, fraud, and scam cases are growing rapidly. Social media allows for opportunities to democratise expression and diversify public discourse, but this can often lead to the spread of disinformation and hate speech.

There has been a range of views towards censorship and freedom of speech on social media. Banning bad content on bigger platforms can be socially riskier over the long term, as it could be shunted elsewhere to more hidden places.”

Why IPOs – not SPACs – will run a longer course in Asia’s future by Yan Lee, managing partner, Hive Ventures

“While Southeast Asia’s unicorns are indeed signalling a shift, it won’t necessarily mean the death-knell for IPOs. Whether a company chooses to go public through an IPO or SPAC, they must first understand their objectives to determine which is the best vehicle for them to go public.

One reason why IPOs won’t be going away in Southeast Asia anytime soon is that last year alone, there were over 100 IPOs conducted in the region – raising nearly US$50 billion in funds and contributing to a regional capitalisation of almost US$30 billion.

In a way, this ran counter to the expectations that IPO activities would have dropped due to the economic challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Labour day special

In your journey to attain great CX, how much are you prioritising a great employee experience (EX)? by Wendy Johnstone, SVP and COO APAC at Zendesk

“As a company’s ‘internal customers’, employees are just as powerful and relevant to your success. In fact, a study by KPMG shows businesses that invest in EX are four times more profitable than those that don’t. In the same way we champion great customer relationships, a new kind of EX is the way forward to help employees reach their full potential — one that is personal, relevant, and responsive.

After all, when your people are happy, they’re more likely to deliver the best interactions for your customers, creating a better experience for everyone.

The pandemic has brought about a huge shift in the meaning of ‘good’ EX. With more teams working remotely, companies must now pay closer attention to their employees, finding innovative ways to improve visibility, gather feedback, and encourage engagement.”

Want a promotion? Time to develop your interpersonal skills by Duckju Kang, CEO of ValueChampion

“Interpersonal skills–the ability to interact and get along with others–is an oft-overlooked set of skill that’s actually so important that, according to a study done by Vitalsmarts (a corporate training and leadership development firm), 92 per cent of respondents said that having poor interpersonal skills will hinder an employee’s career progression.

To help you put your best foot forward, we discuss four important interpersonal skills you should develop if you want to impress your boss and get that promotion.”

All hail entrepreneurship

Why jack-of-all-trades entrepreneurs have it better by Marta Dowejko, academic with a passion for entrepreneurship

“Perhaps it is easier to tackle the question of a stronger team then? When we think of founding teams, diversity immediately comes to mind. Stanford school of thought emphasises the importance of having cofounders with different functional backgrounds as an essential factor of startup success. But what if this diversity came from within the entrepreneur?

Our recent study published in Journal of Small Business Management sheds light on the importance of developing diverse skills within yourself as a key to entrepreneurship. Here are some findings that show us how being the jack-of-all-trades pays off in starting new business and in getting you closer to your goals.”

Unlikely mentors: What kids can teach you about entrepreneurship by Dipti Parmar, Chief Strategist at DP Consulting

“Over the past year, my agency has been working with an early education startup called Kidpillar, who conduct workshops and teach young kids about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).

While we helped them put in place a content strategy and establish thought leadership in their space, some aspects of their work with kids served as eye-openers for me personally as an entrepreneur as well as a mother of a seven-year-old.

To be more specific, I distilled some key habits and characteristics that startup and small business owners can develop in order to survive and thrive in a chaotic and competitive business world. Let’s examine this one by one …”

Things startups need to know now

How to win term sheets and influence investors: Notes from founders of NewCampus, Snapask and Flickstree by Sagar Chaudhary, marketing and PR Manager at Chinaccelerator

“Fundraising can be a daunting task for most first-time founders. Unlike running the startup, which is oftentimes based on the founders’ expertise on a subject matter or an unfair advantage they may possess, fundraising is not a skill and requires a lot of work.

Any founder who has gone through the process of fundraising can vouch for how arduous a task it is. A quick Google search can tell you all about the process of fundraising, but this article talks about actionable steps that startup founders — first-timers and seasoned — have taken to raise funds themselves.”

Road from crisis to recovery: What is fuelling the resurgence of startups post-COVID-19 by Shaun Djie, cofounder and COO Digix

“Adding support to the startup ecosystem, the Singapore government pumped S$300 million into funding deep tech projects and another S$12 million to raise blockchain innovation.

With the booming startup sector still running at full steam, what will Singapore’s tech landscape look like for the rest of the year as the progression of vaccination edges the economy to recovery? How will emerging technology and blockchain startups grow to support, shape and influence the financial sector of the future?”

Here’s why startups need to approach digital marketing as applied data science by Jeffrey Liu, founder and CEO of Jenfi

“When it comes to leveraging data for better decision making, it has always been seemingly privy to either large companies or specialised high-tech startups. In this race, startups and SMEs that are not necessarily “high-tech” in nature and lack the expertise or infrastructure to analyse high volumes of data tend to get left behind.

To address this gap, startups are starting to use applied data science to drive business decisions. This allows them to generate data from their digital marketing activities and benefit from data-led decision processes to optimise their success despite being comparatively “low-tech” in nature.”

Debunking BNPL myths: Is it going to be the primary mode of payment? by Stuart Thornton, cofounder of Hoolah

“Despite having already shed some light on the misconceptions about BNPL financial services, plenty of myths still surround the industry. As a new form of financial service in Singapore, it is only natural for people to misinterpret and make judgements based on surface-level knowledge.

But the fact is, the myths the public holds about BNPL — such as viewing BNPL as an insecure cyber platform, a service that encourages irresponsible spending behaviour, or a credit trap that profits off customer penalties — are by and large, untrue.

It is first important to note that not all BNPL services are the same. While there are businesses that label themselves as a BNPL, some are actually a lending business that allows consumers to make borrowed payments at a later date. To be more specific, BNPL actually refers to platforms such as hoolah, that allows consumers to purchase what they need now, and pay for that particular purchase later in three interest-free instalments.”

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