Welcome to Team Swapit: Lukas

lukasWe’re happy Lukas has joined us at Team Swapit about 2 weeks ago! Lukas is actually studying IT and Communication Technology at the Technical University of Denmark, so he will do a 5 month internship at Swapit.

Without spoiling too much of what’s to come, Lukas is working on some pretty exciting topic that will demonstrate the kind of innovation Swapit is bringing to the world of C2C marketplaces. While traditionally, C2C marketplaces come with a bit of dry sort of classifieds experience, we at Swapit know, we can provide a much more engaging experience for everyone.

I won’t tell you more about it right now, but we will definitely have another blog post about his work here on our Swapit blog. So better make sure you’re signed up for our email updates (select “follow by email”)!

Stay tuned! More info to come soon!

Have you tried Swapit yet? Give it a try, it’s free: http://get.swapit.la/now

 

 

Ah right, we also had some fun with animated GIFs. 🙂

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Welcome to Team Swapit: Stephanie

swapit-team_mugshot_stephanieWe’re all happy that Stephanie has joined us at Swapit HQ last week and is now part of the Swapit team. Here is a quick overview over the Stephanie’s scope of work:

Stephanie loves UI and UX design and has taken charge of everything design-related at Swapit. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Science from De La Salle University Manila and has previously worked at Hewlett-Packard.

Stephanie has joined the Swapit team in July 2016 to drive our design and user experience to new highs.

We’re already working on some new designs together and they will make their way in the next releases of Swapit on Android and iPhone as well onto our website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ accounts. So stay tuned and keep an eye out for new fresh design coming your way.

Have you tried Swapit yet? Give it a try, it’s free: http://get.swapit.la/now

Welcome to Team Swapit: Jonathan

It’s almost summer time and that means to give students across town a chance to see what it’s like to be working at Swapit.

IMG_20160525_1621459-2This week, we did welcome Jonathan who is currently  studying at the University of Hong Kong. He’ll be helping out in the field of marketing, PR and media. Especially with RISE kicking off next week, we can definitely use some help. It is the biggest startup conference in Asia, Swapit has a BETA booth there, was selected for PITCH and BREAKTHROUGH competitions, we’ve got Mentor Hours, investor Office Hours, Night Crawls, workshops, seminars, and so on. It will definitely be a busy week.

Maybe two months ago, I was pitching at Cyberport for the e27 Echelon Summit 2016. While in the end, we were invited to exhibit at Echelon in Singapore, we decided to focus entirely on RISE for now. Yet, on that day at Cyberport, Jonathan came up to me and we talked for a bit. It was great to see him being excited about Swapit. Now, a short while later, he’s here with us preparing for RISE and all the other events that are coming up.

I am sure it will be a great few months and he’ll have learned some of our tricks and secret sauce to keep our traction numbers up and continue to grow rapidly.

Have you tried Swapit yet? Go to http://get.swapit.la and download it for free.

Building A Business Means Every Team Member Is Replaceable

When we are talking to investors, there is a lot of talk about “the team”. That is important, because only the right team, which is skilled, motivated and passionate, can execute a vision properly. In the end, most startups fail because the team stops working together. So it’s important to have the right team on board.

However, I truly believe: Every Team Member Must Be Replaceable

Don’t get me wrong, it is important to get key personnel on board. It is essential to have the right person for the right job. And it is very important to do your best to keep that talent in your company for as long as possible.

That being said, it is absolutely essential to build a sustainable business that functions whether you have this key personnel on board or not on board. At first, this might sound contradictory to the belief that key personnel is essential to the success of a business, but if you give it a deeper thought, it is actually in line with it.

Let me give you an example: I am German. I grew up in Germany and got my degree in Computer Science there, before leaving for China 10 years ago. In Germany the common Computer Science degree holder stays with the same company for an average of 11 years. That’s a quite recent statistic, by the way. Perhaps that’s related to the labour market in Germany or to the not so attractive opportunities in other jobs or it’s just the nature of the Germans; who knows. In Hong Kong however, the labour market is very flexible. There is a lot of competition here and we small startups compete for talent with large multi-national corporations that have deeper pockets. Furthermore, especially the younger generation is in many ways more flaky. They might leave 1 month, 1 year, 2 years after you hire them. What do you do then?

It doesn’t matter if you run a startup or an established company. You never ever want to be in the situation that the departure of some of your key personnel causes an implosion of your business. Remember? Most companies fail because their team stops functioning together.

I recently wrote a blog post about my thoughts on A Product Doesn’t Equal A Business. When you are working on building your startup into a real business, many pieces need to fit together. I believe, one of the most important pieces is: You must make sure, everyone in your business is (more or less) easily replaceable. That includes all employees, key personnel and even the founders themselves. You can not allow to end up in a situation where a key person leaves and your business suddenly can not function anymore. May that person leave due to professional or personal reasons or you have to let go of him/her or *knock-on-wood* due to health reasons. Who knows, anything can happen.

My goal for swapit is, to work with the best team for the job we need and want to do. It is also my goal, that every such team member is replaceable and swapit will continue to thrive anyway.

Wanna join the largest mobile marketplace for trading pre-loved items in Hong Kong? Check out swapit: http://www.swapit.la

Welcome to the swapit team: Kevin

IMG_20150430_152641_editThe swapit team welcomes our newest team member Kevin!

Kevin is currently graduating from Hong Kong University and has approached us at the CoCoon Pitch Final event 2 weeks ago. His immediate thought when seeing swapit was that it is perfect students. Especially for international students like himself, who move in and out of their student halls / apartments nearby campus. Such waves of student migration seem to happen twice a year around the end of the old and start of the new semester. So swapit is an obvious and very useful tool students could take advantage of when moving out their place and wanting to get rid of their stuff. At the same time, students who are just moving in, are the perfect buyers of those pre-loved items the older students want to sell off. While they all don’t know each other yet and at the same time they are mostly in very close locations (think student halls and dormitories), swapit can be the perfect discovery tool for them.

So yes, Kevin convinced me there is a valid target audience in these halls and I absolutely agree to his arguments. As a result, Kevin will reach out to all universities in Hong Kong (there are a lot actually) to offer swapit to their students, helping them to trade their pre-loved items.

Meet the swapit Team

We recently updated our website http://swapit.la with a team profile. If you have been following our blog for a while you might have noticed that the presentation we held at the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2015 was sporting a slide with the team in it.

Now, we officially added our team to our website. You can find a quick overview right here too:

swapit-team-jonas-2 swapit-team-teddy-1 swapit-team-patrick swapit-team-william swapit-team-boris

With a combined 36+ years of experience in mobile, business and media, our team is uniquely positioned to establish swapit in the Hong Kong market. If you want to find out more about each of us, please go to the Team section on our website at http://www.swapit.la/#team

Stay tuned for more news about our swapit beta 2 which will launch very soon.