July last year, RISE had Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia, Blake Irving of GoDaddy, Stephen Wong, Director of WeChat to name a few that graced the event. And they have one message for their keynote introduction that they blessed the 3-day ad-tech conference with. It goes: “Majority of the people underestimate the power of internet over businesses.”

Henry Chui, CEO of ZapzapMath receives the winning award for the PITCH of RISE 2017 at the HK Convention Centre.

I believe that internet is the greatest invention of the 20th century. Because of it, so many businesses were able to reach a global market. Its limitations as far as demand from a global scale is concerned, seem to have surpassed challenges because of it. Currently, even the possibility of eradicating paper money becomes aggressive because of arising cryptocurrencies.

Arising apps and technological innovations to keep up with these trends were sought after in RISE, the biggest ad-tech conference in the face of the planet! Major investors and key business people attend this. Start-up online companies and major names in the computer business gathered in one giant hub. What more can you ask for? But hey, if it’s priced at US$600+/person, you would want to know what to expect. And of course, you want to know if it’s worth it.

First and foremost, I was once like you as well, researching about what RISE is all about. I came across the very basic explanation at their website but I thought the information given was too general. Since I wanted to do something different and bold last 2017, I gave myself a chance to unfold what is the hype all about. As a journalist, I convinced my curious self to attend for the sake of research. So here are the lessons I would want to share to you from the people that spoke on stage.



“You put an effort in BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS. I didn’t build my business alone. With experience that I now own, I have seen how trends changed. So in order not to be left, you have to accept changes positively from the familiar lifestyle. Know the people who are knowledgeable with technology and to see creativity from different perspectives. Everything now is tech related. And I’m not from that era, I am old school as you can see so I find the young ones that could help me coördinate my years of experience of businesses with that of today’s innovative technology.” – ALLAN ZEMAN – “Father of Lan Kwai Fong”


From a debate between Cindy Wang of UXIN Group and Diane Yu of FreeWheel on whether you need a college degree to work in a tech company or not, it was agreed upon that a college degree isn’t necessary after all. Nowadays, leaders regard creativity, resolution and ability to cope which is not taught from the school. They expect that resilience of talent would stay todays’ employees’ source of drive, compassion and reason. With the obsolete education system we have, workers with these capabilities remain few.


The most inspirational and influential that I got to listen to was Bin Jeong of Pinkfong who owns the family of sharks singing the shark-a-doodle-doo jingle that kids go crazy about. She holds close unique ideas that she had done something for kids to relate to besides Mickey Mouse. With her story on how she took her work seriously paid off. She never wanted to copy anybody’s creation. So besides honing new ideas, she gives time in collaborating with other talented designers to make her product kept one-of-a-kind. With an aim of giving importance to the users, she pays attention to the data. Rather than assuming what her selected audience would want from her own perspective, she collects data and allows this to serve as her guide for her next production. Example of which is concentrating on going more mobile and producing shorter animations than the 20-min. long ones.


Piotr Jakubowski of Go-Jek, Indonesia’s largest start-up providing a delivery and transportation system around Indonesia, hails how you build affinity to brand. Through story-telling in an authentic way that speaks to the audience and that it speaks of their values, Piotr gives importance to how Go-Jek products benefit the consumers. He sticks to a reasonable price for his product where he connects SALES directly. Piotr aims to fulfill his biggest why of making Indonesian lives’ better and more efficient by solving the problem of having a bad transportation system. He also advices everybody not to stop reading! News, books, reviews, whatever. He said, just read.


Gianluca Vialli of Tifosy advices start-ups when it comes to recruitment to (a) sign the right  players to set up top-scorers in your team, with the same committment, values and goal. (b) Secondly, find complimenting skills in your team to create BALANCE. (c) Finally, choose someone who’s mutually hardworking.


Min-Lian Tan of Razer discusses the things they wish they knew before going global to avoid errors.

As Min-Liang Tan of Razer mentioned upon going global, the cliche: “It’s better to do one thing really well, than do 10 things badly.” is not enough anymore. While Razer is the world’s leading lifestyle gaming brand, it went through a lot of challenges before gaining such recognition. In addition to being good in just one thing, Min-Liang adds up that you should be able to sustain it. Have the ability to repeat everything too. To be recognised as always the better option to go to. He reminds everybody to treat customer satisfaction seriously. That it should always be perfect and if you can extend more of your effort, exceed consumer’s expectations because the market could be unforgiving of intolerable malfunctions and faulty products. Don’t give room for errors. Pay attention.


Gary Vaynerchuk delivered an en pointe keynote as expected. His content always talks about hustle, drive, patience and why it is important to knowing which type of media you’re effective in (videos, blogs or podcasts). But he shared something extra real at RISE 2017.

As he relies greatly to Q&A for fresher ideas, one among the audience asked how does he deals with catastrophes because he seemed unstoppable. He personally categorised 3 kinds of fears in answering this. One comes from the threat to his own health and his family’s. Also, the threat coming from business partners and co-investors going amok. And lastly, catastrophe that happens under your watch in which him or his people created a wrong move that sent a ripple effect. He humbly admitted that he is fearful of these and the only thing he can do to stop himself from getting blocked by these fears is awareness. Because once he becomes aware, he is able to plan around it.

Also, he advises everybody to invest in good health, have an exit strategy when doing business and take your time in knowing your employees.

“I admit that I am scared about these and know that at one point, I may not be enough to handle all of them, then I just have to do everything that I can to work around it. And that makes me not scared anymore.”

– Gary Vaynerchuk in answering a question from an audience at PandaConf, RISE 2017


The best speaker that I have listened to in the entire conference was Gary Hsieh, the CEO and founder of 1More as he talked about building a product from zero to making it known globally. He introduced himself giving out a disclaimer that his English was so bad and then seconded it with his inventions namely: iPOD, Kindle and Lenovo Tablets. Then he backed it up with a comment from Steve Jobs as he checked out on the first prototype of iPOD. He commented that the design was so ugly and that it needed to be refined. Knowing how Steve Jobs is always precise and meticulous with design and functionality of a product, Gary remains driven and creative. “Don’t judge the book by its cover.”

I perceive him as a walking brain. And as I researched, he invented 1300 patents on a global scale where 140 alone is US-owned. 1More is the number one earphone maker in China. In 2014, he was hailed as one of the annual economical figures in of China.

Gary Hsieh having a Q&A segment freely at RISE 2017

Realising that he was the brain behind these inventions that I have used, and am using, I learned that collaboration with equally talented and creative people in making your product are very important. So, don’t just choose the right people for your business, choose the best people who you can work with. He wrapped up his talk with a statement, “it’s not always about the money. It’s the sense of purpose that comes with what you make.”


For the entire time that I attended the conference, I truly felt that I was in the right crowd. I loved how it talked about technological advancements, how apps deliver to the changing lifestyle of mobile users. I thought it was “magic” for me. And the creator in me screams with joy, excitement and hunger in particular for learning, skills and connection. Ideas had hit me hard. And as I put together a platform now with brilliant-minded colleagues that think and feel alike, I am applying these lessons in releasing a one-of-a-kind food delivery system. And it’s giving life to I Value My Life’s mantra: CRUSH IT!

In finishing this article, here are little things that kept me curious. And in so, had helped me in so many ways. If not for RISE 2017 tapping into my curiosity, I wouldn’t have known of it.

    • Speculation predicts CHINA becoming the next Silicon Valley because of its entrepreneurial promise becoming hubs for many workshops.

Powered and encouraged by Jack Ma’s expanding Alibaba Group, the Chinese government is starting to embrace global collaboration. Knowing this maximised the potential of my 401 (k) portfolio by allowing me to take calculated risks based on tangible data. It was a good heads up.

I never would be curious about this label they use casually over business conversations. It’s embarrassing to just vaguely associate the word ‘unicorn’ with anything girlboss or gay. But honestly, I was walking like a huge question mark the first time I heard somebody encouraging an investor that his company will surely become unicorn given a starting boost.

  • The idea of PITCHING would always be just about watching Shark Tank and Planet of the Apps. In RISE 2017, there were 3 finalists that presented out of 250 that pitched their companies.

This opens up these startups to angel investors who may just be having enough funds to support your idea. Don’t underestimate any data when pitching it because it’s a huge griller on that stage y’all. You will need to convince the judges in not more than 10 minutes. But for sure, you can learn a thing or two from listening up to their presentations. Pitch your business using these 5 guidelines!

  • ChuchuTV was originally put together for personal use.

Vinoth Chandar just wanted to leave a video for his child to enjoy while he was away. He saw the joy in her. Then he thought many kids would actually be made happy. From gathering 5,000 subscribers on YouTube after making only two videos, he were sold.

an Indian Daddy turns his daughter’s favourite nursery rhymes into a million-dollar business opportunity

He calls it ChuChuTV after his daughter who he calls Chu chu. The kiddie Youtube channel is led by an iconic character of a girl with chubby cheeks that resembles her own little one.

  • To those who have kids, you may have come across them watching and laughing at Oddbods.

NETFLIX offered them and my daughter can’t help but snicker and giggle while watching Oddbods. But the characters don’t speak at all. 14-minute episodes are a compilation many 1-3 minute episodes put together. John McKenna of OneAnimation, producer of Oddbods, explained how there is a bit of oddness in everybody hence, the name Oddbods. They originally thought of making a 2-hour length of CGI animated film. But, sawdust was produced as they polished the project. One of their creators weaved it together and had uploaded it in Youtube. It became a hit to kids garnering thousands and thousands of views. They paid attention to the viewers’ whim and catered to it totally putting aside the original 2-hour project.

  • The gaming industry had become a 100 Billion Dollar Industry because of AI advancement, Augmented Reality Availiability and evolution of E-sports.

  • Video and story-telling is the most effective medium in transforming a spectator into a consumer.

  • Branding resilience means you have satisfied all these three aspects accordingly: (a) who you are (b) business relationships (c) where you are going to.

Is US$600+ for an admission fee for a 3-hour conference like this? I’d say yes. But there are ways to gain discounts. Through referral, paying as an early bird and sharing of 2-for-1 ticket. This conference is for business-minded people. There’s a huge possibility that you’ll be inspired by the concept and in micro-approaches through different talks. For each conference area, there’s an activity. You need to weigh your presences so so as not to miss anything. Walk into the ones that will help your business grow most of all but don’t forget to engage with start-up companies. Build connections, introduce your branding and learn how to listen. Because all of those that come here are more or less experts in their field.


I have a deep regard for your time. It's when I write and cook that time becomes non-existent. I love learning and while you think I am the kind of lady who has a lot of things to say, just take it that I was sharing what I had learned with full impact over a cup of Joe.

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