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Sean: You mentioned act on it quickly. I want to, I want to chew on that. What does it mean? So you realize all of these things, it was kind of laid out in front of you, which not a lot of people have that skill they don’t see as you see. Well, let’s just say you saw the podcast was growing, there was an opportunity.

What do you mean by acting quickly? What were the first few things that you actually did?

Jaime: So, very much acting quickly means that, you know, either I’d very quickly in terms of research. Finding that niche that you’re going to get into, looking at your background. Where could you add value most? As a marketer, I add value to most of the podcasts advertising and I went into that.

The second thing we add very quickly was just basically going through a lot of research with people who are already either in the media or producing podcasts already. Speak to them. And actually got to prolong the time because people take some time to warm up to you and share with you information, do that very quickly.

Have a great landing page, do that. You know, we did that all in within three months of, you know, off Match Cast and just really out there start assigning LOI’s with company, we’ll use our solution and really basically just get them onto the platform, get them interested in the very early on and keep that conversation going.

In the very first three months, we already have companies like Coca-Cola, Bamboo Airways. Companies that were quite big, you know, already signed up onto the platform that gave us a really good platform to stage and then figure out where do we want to go next? The next is really the big task of building the platform. But a lot of that happened before building, we already had the conversation with the customers.

We know what their, I would say the intention of using the Match Cast platform for, and we were always able to iterate it along the way that they wanted. So I think those are very important. So when, I mean, act on quickly is, you know, figure out very quickly what the market expectations are, what they’re looking for, and then really leverage that to your advantage, and then very quickly put yourself out there.

These days you don’t need a lot to get a website up. You know, there are companies like wigs where Billy. You know, a web flow that actually helps you create a very simple page. We actually still run our main page off of WordPress because it’s very easy to maintain. But our complete backend is just a lot more sophisticated and that can be done later on when you have a tech engineer. And if you’re not a tech solution, you can always do all kinds of product types of, you know, like when we were researching in the podcast industry, we found that, you know, that’s a lot of podcasts, right?

Like yourself, like Sean, yourself. One of the thing that they hate most is actually editing. So when you have companies and we’re not going to offer that service, but when you have companies who saw that the boom in podcasting, And they said, “Hey, you know, why don’t I create a product type service, just creating of helping, you know, the podcast or edit the audio, editing a video, or provide a service where I give them free music in which they can use.

And then, you know, on a subscription basis, they can download all types of music that they want to use for their podcasts for a fee.” Those are things that we have seen just leveraging on this boom or podcasting, but not doing exactly what we’re doing but offering a subset of a business. And those can be done very easily by anyone, which I think has been tough.

Sean: That that is something that is super clear from what you said, because it depends on the business, your business. That’s what acting quickly is about. And I want to dive deeper into what you mentioned about competition as well. Competition. There are also some other smart people in the world, right?

They’re also going to be seeing that same opportunity and you know, a lot of entrepreneurs who are starting out, they’re just discouraged by competition because it can get nasty. And I just want to touch base into how you, you mentioned you differentiated. Okay, what else were you able to do to make sure that you come out on top of the competition that you have in your industry?

Jaime: Yeah, that’s a great question. So initially, when I first started match cast, I think there were two other company that were just launched. Exactly with the same, same kind of idea, same kind of pitch. One has tremendous funding based out in US. One was in Asia. 18 months down the road with all of them have gone to the US.

One, it’s actually pivoting and the other one is now completely escaped Asia and gone to the US. When I first started, you know, with that, you know, that obviously like everyone else, it affected us, you know, it affected us. It scrambled us a little bit. Well, we actually bury our head down. I think the best advice I’ve ever gotten –  and I can’t remember what I had it from was, “keep your competitors close, but don’t emulate them” because what that ended up, you’re just going, you know, copying what they’re doing and then you’re not really finding your own niche. Sometimes it’s easy to copy them very quickly because it helps give you sort of.

A good platform to run off, off, and basically set your structure. But then later on you realize that customers don’t really want what your competitors are already offering. And you end up having to sort of, you know, manipulate the way you look at your platform and decide, you know, is that the same route that you want to go with?

So with competitors, that’s what we’ve done is actually kept them close. You know, we all that our platform, we look at their offering, but we actually found that one really changes was when we actually really head down and figure out what we needed. We look at the things that we use most often for ourselves and for our brands.

We look at the tools that we are focusing on and we ended up building our own data platform. We ended up looking at Asia. We feel very strongly because my entire team is based in Asia. I’m bilingual, trilingual. I speak, not just Mandarin. I told Nelly I can actually understand all kinds of Chinese dialect, you know, and we actually look at the data and there was a lot of problem.

 They didn’t have very good Asia database. They didn’t have a good landscape of what Asia podcasting scene looked like. Even though the tribe isn’t here, but this is what we know better than anyone else. Then when we look at the landscape of the sea of, you know, podcast company based out in US, none of them really understand Asia like us, that became our big differentiator.

We could be doing the same thing, but we understand Asia a lot more. And we sort of become sort of a default voice and now brands are looking at us to say, Hey, how does podcasting scene in Indonesia look like, how does podcasting scene in Philippians look like? And that has become our advantage.

So it’s not immediate, but I would say, you know, very much focused on what your core strength is.

Sometimes it’s not the most popular choice, like in the case, sticking out in Asia, focusing on working in Asia. But that has also become an a one teacher of ours, because a lot of these company are not having a very close relationship with podcasts or in Asia, we keep a very close relationship with a podcast or an agent we know what’s happening and we know all the different companies that’s happening in Asia. That actually has become sort of our advantage.

We became the default, I would say, expert in market. And I think sometimes you kind of have to do the unpopular things in order to make that thing differentiate from every other of your competitors. So even though there are lots and lots of company that could be doing the same thing that Match Cast does, but the way we put it together.

And now, because of our expertise in market, we are actually a lot better off than some of the other companies that they are using that doesn’t really know the market as well as we do.

Sean: Fantastic. And, and I learned this from Seth Godin that you have to be the best otherwise people will, they’ll mistake you for everyone else.

Like people know the number one soft drinks brand is Coca-Cola, but the number two. Sometimes they say Sprite. They say whatever, but it’s actually Pepsi. You asked them who the number three is. They don’t know. I don’t know. Right. So it doesn’t pay it to be number two or number three, people will mistake you and confuse you with everyone else.

Then it’s not going to be worth it because you’re also spending a lot, maybe even more than the number one brand is, but you’re just not getting it. So. Completely agreed. Differentiate yourself to be something that is so unique and you can be the number one, the best. You don’t need to be a monopoly. You just need to be the best known brand.

Jaime: Absolutely.

Sean: What would be the biggest if ever there was a biggest life lesson. And usually this happens during the most difficult times in our life. What will be the biggest lesson yet, you have ever learned?

Jaime: I won’t say it’s the darkest, but the biggest lessons I’ve learned isso one of the reason I decided to go into entrepreneurship was also because my health at the last couple of years, well, the years when I was working, you know, I had a very tedious role in Red Mart.

And then eventually going to NTUC language, had to build like overhaul an entire division and the entire structure. And that actually took a toll on my body. And I think often a time to go each thing there, Hey, you know, our hot looking executive and startup and, you know, and as an entrepreneur, you know, you shouldn’t care about anything, but hustle, hustle, hustle all the time.

I actually, my health couldn’t hustle anymore. I completely fell apart. I was really ill. I was literally, you know, kind of in hospitalized and. The doctors was basically telling me, you know, if you, a few days away, you could have literally had a heart failure because I didn’t have enough blood in my body.

I was so anemic. That was a sort of like a walking zombie. And I totally did not know that. So to a large degree, I think sometimes we forget that we need time to rest. So when I actually took the decision to leave the corporate life, I wanted to have, I would say a slower pace, kind of a life. Choosing to do our own startups – not great. It’s not great because you’re supposed to hustle all the ways. It must do that, but I think I’ve built a very different type of startup. One of the things I’m very proud of is, you know, I decided to mold a startup in the way that I wanted my future life to be. So it’s a fully remote startup. We don’t go to office.

We work in our computers. We work at home, so we don’t also, you know all my team actually worked at the same hour. We have a plus minus three hours difference maximum so that we can always go onto the same phone onto the same call. But the decision to go fully remote was so bad. I could have a different type of lifestyle.

I could go in and see a doctor if I need to be, but still be able to jump on a call with my team. I didn’t have to be physically tied to a location. I think Asian culture, we always see like, “Hey, you know, I have to be in the office. When my boss to see them working, I changed that. I didn’t like that at all.

I just really disliked it, but I felt that there wasn’t something that Asian could mold itself against and decide that something. And we actually started with culture. So when I was building the startup, I started with culture. I looked for people that are, you know, independent, self motivated to come and join Match Cast.

And then they are actually becoming themselves and they become a better version of themselves. They don’t get calls from me on a weekend. I don’t, you know, I don’t randomly, when they have family occasion, they go away for an entire week. I worked still, I plan my time around that. And I think that has really led me to think that, you know, each individual, if you give them the opportunity to really maximize you don’t have to put them in the pressure cooker, like in a corporate environment.

You can actually get them to really do everything that you want to without that pressure cooker of an environment. All of us work off of office or at home or in a cafe, you know we, but we turn out more things than we would have done if we had done that in a very corporate environment. So I think that has really, I would say a downtime for me, would that change my decision of wanting to build my own startup, but it also has made me realize that I want to build a very different type of company.

As the company that I was previously from. So whether it’s a dark moment I guess in a way, you know, my pro-health has led to this sort of decision, which I hope will be for the better, for both the company, as well as for the people who are with Match Cast.

Sean: Well, it certainly was a very difficult time for you I’m sure.

God bless Match Cast. We need more companies like that who care about their people.


Jaime Ng on Social Media:
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Email: jamie@matchcasts.com
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