What does it take to start and run a company as a solo-founder? A lot of guts, determination, and an unshakable belief in your vision.
This was among the lessons we learnt speaking with Vernice Yap, who started Lovenn, a platform that helps people form more meaningful connections in the real-world – while reducing the pitfalls of the more pervasive dating apps in the market, such as being bogged down in the time (and money) consuming cycle of swipe-connect-chat, without actually getting anywhere.
As a solo-founder, Vernice heads product development, marketing, and even successfully raised seed funding under Enterprise Singapore’s Startup SG. We asked her 5 questions to shed light on how she does what she does, and what aspiring and existing entrepreneurs can learn from her.
5 Things That Are Always In Your Daily Routine
- First thing in the morning, I write the to-do list for the day
- Sync up with the team on our goals both the start and end of the day
- Have dinner while watching Channel 8’s 6.30pm news together with my mum
- Follow a YouTube workout video – to save money on gym membership!
- Cuddle with my fur-son
4 Tools/Apps You Cannot Live Without
Trello: Great tool for planning our team’s objectives and key results
Slack: We use it for team communications and co-ordination.
Zoom: For the obvious virtual work calls
Google Drive (along with Google Docs/Sheets/Slides): Being able to edit the same document at the same time even when we’re physically apart is indispensable in today’s remote-first world. It’s also so easy to work anytime anywhere on the phone with these apps.
3 Books That Had The Biggest Impact On You
Balls Inc by Val Yap. She talks about the issues she faced as a solo woman founder, the chicken-and-egg problem of raising funds and having a team, amongst many other useful entrepreneurial tips.
The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup by Noam T. Wasserman. These are downplayed in the excitement of starting up a new business venture but are some of the most important decisions entrepreneurs will face.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Published 21 years ago, the advice is still incredibly relevant now. Habit #2, Begin with the End in Mind. How do you want to be remembered? Habit #5, Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.
2 Role-Models You Look Up To – And Why
Sheryl Sandberg: She’s a Wonder Woman. As COO at Facebook since 2008, she led the social media company from a $56 million loss to $22.1 billion in profits in 2018.
Tin Pei Ling: I have a lot of respect for Ms Tin who is a mother, politician and businesswoman. Despite a rough start in 2011, she has won the hearts of citizens through her sheer amount of dedication towards helping residents.
1 Piece Of Advice For Budding Entrepreneurs
I’m still a budding entrepreneur myself of course but I strongly believe in being driven by purposes that stand for larger than yourself.Vernice Yap, Founder & CEO, Lovenn
Give Love A Chance By Giving Lovenn A Try
At the time of writing, Lovenn is running a Kickstarter campaign to reward early-adopters, as well as help build a community of like-minded users. Backers who pledge $9 can receive $59 worth of app credits and stand a chance to win $1,000 cash prize. The campaign will be live till 1 December 2020.
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