There are plenty of dating apps out there, so why does the world need another one like Wowwwz?

People Still Can’t Find Their Soulmate

The answer is simple, people still can’t find their soulmate even with so many dating apps out there! The problem still hasn’t really been solved!

Dating Apps Today Are Doing It Wrong

One reason why people still can’t find their soulmates today is because dating apps today are doing it all wrong!

Tinder Is Perfect For Hookups — Not Real Relationships

Even Tinder, one of the world’s leading dating apps, is too superficial for you to truly get to know someone and meet the right life partner.

You will have to kiss a lot of frogs and be pretty lucky to be able to find someone who is truly compatible with you and can become your soulmate and life partner.

Tinder is perfect for hookups, but not so much for real relationships that lasts a life time.

The World Needs A Much Better Dating App

That’s why, the world still needs a much better dating app.

Because, the world deserves a much better dating app.

Read Also:

Why Am I Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup — Wowwwz?

One That Finds You Not Just Any Partner — But The RIGHT Life Partner

Each and every one of us deserves a dating app that not only finds you a partner, but the right life partner for you, one who has compatible values as you, loves you, cares for you, share similar interests as you whom you can truly connect and grow old together with.

A dating app that can help you find someone to share your soul with, your true soulmate.

Someone who can go through the best and worst in life with you, someone who can cry with you, tough it out with you, celebrate the joys and simple things in life with you and someone who can go on this long adventure and journey called life, together with you.

The world needs a dating app that can help us find that person.

One That Goes Much Deeper Than Just Looks & Physical Appearance

To do that, that dating app needs to go much deeper than just looks and physical appearance. While physical attraction is important in a romantic relationship, it is not everything, and there are many important factors that makes someone the right life partner for our lives.

One That Helps Facilitate Quality Conversations & Interactions

That dating app also needs to be able to facilitate quality conversations & interactions between two strangers when they were first introduced so they can truly get to know each other better.

That’s one of the main pain points of existing dating apps. You match with someone, but you don’t really know what to talk about because they are total strangers and you don’t know anything about them.

Most people don’t know how to have quality interactions and conversations with strangers. It would help a whole lot if that dating app can play the role of a mutual friend and help facilitate such conversations.

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

One That Helps Your Character & Personality Shine

There are a lot of amazing people in this world who look more and more attractive when you truly get to know them better.

In fact, that is probably most of us. If only you got to truly know them better and allow their character and personality to shine through, you’ll realise how attractive they are and would also suddenly start to look very handsome and pretty to you although that might not have struck you when you first met them.

 One That Truly Helps You Get To Know Each Other

That is why, the world needs a dating app that can truly help you get to know each other on a much deeper level so your personality and character can shine through.

Dating apps today are either too superficial or too serious.

One That Introduces People Like A Friend Would

People are most comfortable when a mutual friend introduces us to a new friend in a friendly manner that helps breaks the ice and set the tone for a conversation to get going.

It would help a lot if an app is able to do that for us and introduce us like a mutual friend would, pointing out common interests and experiences to start the conversation.

Read Also:

How Is A Dating App An Innovative Idea?

One That Helps You Build New Experiences Together

You won’t truly get to know a person until you have been through and experienced things together, be it a simple dinner, outing or an adventure.

That’s why, the world also needs a dating app that can help strangers and couples build new experiences together so they can truly get to know each other better.

One That Helps You Grow Together As A Couple

Even after couples get together, they will still face challenges, and the key for a long and successful relationship is for two people to grow together as a couple.

It would be great if a dating could also help couples iron out issues in their relationship and help them grow together as a couple and as people.

Wowwwz Could Be That Dating App You Need

That’s precisely why I am building an app called Wowwwz that can help solve all the problems above so everyone in this world can find their soulmate, grow together and live happily ever after.

We Are A Severely Underfunded 1–2 Man Team Right Now

It is extremely hard, and we are severely underfunded, but we try our best.

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections

Support Us — Support Love — Support Lasting Relationships

If you’d like to see more people finding their love of their lives, more happy marriages, more happy families and less broken hearts and families in the world, do support us.

Download the app, get your friend to download the app and help spread the word about this small little start-up that is trying to truly help everyone find their one true love and live happily ever after!


If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

It is myth that to generate supernormal profits, a start-up needs to start generating revenue early. That’s often far from the truth.

Investors And VCs Were Attracted To Start-Ups With Early Revenue

A lot of investors and VCs are attracted to start-ups with strong early revenue, which seems great, because the first step to profitability is revenue right?

Well, not necessarily.

If you really look at the companies that end up generating supernormal profits with really high margins, you will realise that a lot of them do not generate any significant revenue during the first few years of their lives.

The first few years of their lives is spent iterating and trying to solve a problem so well that they solve it thoroughly and become the best at solving it, like Facebook and Google.

Maybe It Is Because Early Revenue Makes Them Easier To Value

Perhaps, having early revenue makes it easier for investors to value a start-up so they can put a dollar sign to it, but that doesn’t mean a start-up that doesn’t generate any revenue today won’t make tons of it in a few years.

It’s like building a shopping mall, you will have to spend the first few years constructing the mall and investing tons of capital without generating any revenue before you can rent out the retail space once the mall is completed.

Some businesses work that way.

Big Mistake — Early Revenue Is NOT A SIGN of Future Profitability

If you think that early revenue is a sure sign of future profitability, that’s a big mistake.

Sometimes, those that don’t make any revenue at the start are the ones that end up making the most profit, and the ones that make the most revenue at the start are the ones that end up being huge money losers.

Just Look At WeWork And Uber

A big part of what made investors attracted to WeWork and Uber in the early days is their tremendous growth in revenue, but that doesn’t mean that they would make hugely profitable companies.

As they are right now, they are losing money on each sale, and their business models at it is right now isn’t going to be very profitable due to the low margins and the need to pay the middle man and having a heavy physical aspect.

Read Also:

Did Softbank Get It Wrong With Uber And WeWork?

They could become very profitable if self-driving cars ever become a regulated reality and if WeWork could figure out how to generate significant value from its community, but that’s a story for another day and would probably take a long time for us to get there.

Zero Early Revenue Is NOT A Bad Sign

The point I am trying to make here is that having zero early revenue is not necessarily a bad sign. It varies from business to business.

Just Look At Google — Facebook — Instagram

Plenty of companies that did not generate any revenue for the first few years of its life end up printing money and generate huge profits once everyone in the world is using them everyday, just like Google, Facebook and Instagram.

To be fair, if you are in a mature market like Silicon Valley, it is possible to make some small money once you have an MVP. Facebook did make a little money from Microsoft’s experimental budget running simple ads, but it wasn’t significant. You still had to spend a lot more to truly build out your product before you can really start making money.

Losing Money On Each Transaction Is Much WORSE Than Zero Early Revenue

If you really think about it, having to lose money on each transaction is a much worse situation to be in than having zero early revenue.

Having a tiny profit margin on each unit sold is also not a very good sign, because any small fluctuation in the costs of running the business or demand would turn a profitable business into a money losing one in an instant, that’s why conventional businesses are mostly not valued very highly.

Most Super Profitable Companies Had ZERO EARLY REVENUE

The weird thing is, most super profitable companies in the world like Google and Facebook had zero or close to zero early revenue during their early days.

It goes against conventional wisdom, but that’s the truth and is part of what makes such companies so disruptive.

They Key Is To SOLVE A GLOBAL PROBLEM + Build Something Everyone Uses Daily

The key to building super profitable companies in the long run is actually pretty simple, and that’s to solve a big enough global problem, be the best in the world at solving it and build a solution so good that everyone uses daily.

Read Also:

Are Early Stage ASEAN VCs Valuing Start-Ups Wrongly?

If you are solving a real problem and providing real value, it’s hard not to make money.

Make Sure It Is Truly Scalable + A Real Tech Company + No Heavy Physical Aspect

But of course, you also have to make sure that your solution is truly scalable, a real tech company with real innovations and does not rely on a strong physical presence, because a heavy physical aspect to your business or solution makes you more of a conventional business than a truly scalable tech company.

If your business is a hardware tech company like Apple, then you will have to make sure that you also have extremely strong Intellectual Property (IP) in your hardware and have built a cult-like ecosystem to lock your consumers in.

Invest In The Right Start-Ups — Long Term Profitability — NOT Early Revenue

The truth is, a start-up does not need to generate revenue from the start to be super profitable in the long run, many of the world’s super profitable companies had no revenue in the beginning.

Investors need to realise this.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

If you want to invest in super profitable companies in the long run, don’t be blinded by early revenue, it is often misleading.

Instead, invest in the right start-ups that are dead focused on solving a big enough global problem and are led by founders and teams who have the vision and grit needed to solve that problem thoroughly so everyone in this world would be using their solution daily.

Read Also:

Why Am I Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup — Wowwwz?


I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

Early revenue might seem attractive, but the truth is that many of the world’s most profitable companies did not have any early revenue.

Early Revenue Does Not Signal Anything — Definitely Not Future Profitability

It is a mistake if you think that early revenue is a signal for future profitability.

The truth is, early revenue often does not really signal anything. Whether a start-up or company eventually becomes profitable or not depends a lot on the fundamentals of the problem they are solving, their product and many other factors.

Early revenue does not necessarily signal future profitability.

Google Had Zero Early Revenue — Now They Are Printing Money Out Of Thin Air

Google is an example of a start-up that had zero early revenue, but are not printing money out of thin air every quarter.

10 Billion USD Profit On 38 Billion USD Revenue Every Quarter — Zero Early Revenue

They are generating 10 billion USD in profit on 38 billion USD in revenue every quarter, and this is a start-up that had zero early revenue when they first started.

WeWork & Uber Had Great Early Revenue — But So What?

On the other hand, start-ups like WeWork & Uber had great early revenue, but so what? Their businesses have a heavy physical aspect, costs a lot to scale and have relatively low margins due to the need to pay the middle man.

They are not very profitable businesses, at least for now. In fact, they are losing money on each unit of sale made.

Read Also:

Did Softbank Get It Wrong With Uber And WeWork?

Conventional Businesses Have Great Early Revenue Too — They Are Not Worth Much

If early revenue is a great indicator of future profitability, then any conventional business is a great investment and will generate great future profitability too.

Any cafe or roadside burger stall has great early revenue, but conventional businesses are not worth that much. Even if you manage to build a Starbucks, you are still not going to be as valuable and as profitable as a Facebook or Google.

Stop Getting Attracted To Early Revenue — They Mean Nothing

The reason why conventional businesses, despite having great revenue are not really worth that much is because they are businesses that are not that hard to get into, not as scalable and have relatively low margins compared to a true innovative tech company like Google or Facebook.

Many investors in this region are attracted to tech start-ups that have early revenue, but the truth is that early revenue for a truly tech start-up does not really signal profitability.

Read Also:

Super Profitable Companies Don’t Have To Generate Revenue Early — Most Don’t

The Most Successful Start-Ups Often Had Zero Early Revenue — Understand That

Investors need to understand that the most successful start-ups often had zero revenue and had to first invest in building a truly innovative and disruptive product that could solve a problem thoroughly, be the best at solving the problem than any other solution that is out there today, find product market fit before they can dominate the market and generate supernormal profits once everyone in the world is using their product.

It’s an entirely different ballgame.

Don’t Be Afraid To Invest In Innovative Start-Ups With Zero Early Revenue

That’s why, don’t be afraid of investing in truly innovative start-ups that are building disruptive products that would solve big global problems despite not having any early revenue. You will be missing out on a lot of you make early revenue a requirement.

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz


I hope you will help me so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

Many VCs in this region are afraid to invest in tech start-ups or apps that do not have any revenue for the first few years of its life.

That is understandable, because most investors and VCs here came from conventional businesses like manufacturing, banking, property and more.

Read Also:

Are Early Stage ASEAN VCs Valuing Start-Ups Wrongly?

Google Had Zero Early Revenue

However, what they need to understand is that plenty of the world’s most valuable companies today like Google or Facebook started as an app or website without generating any significant revenue for the first few years of its life.

Read Also:

Many Start-Ups That Generate Supernormal Profits Had Zero Early Revenue — VCs Need To Realise That

If they were to categorically miss out on all start-ups that don’t generate any significant revenue for the first few years of their lives, then they would most definitely have missed out on the opportunity to invest in the next Google or Facebook and make billions in the process by investing in these start-ups early.

A Shopping Mall Has Zero Early Revenue When It Is Getting Built Too

The truth is, investing in an app or website like Google and Facebook when it has zero revenue is the same as investing in a shopping mall.

If you were to build a shopping mall today, you would have to invest plenty of money into building the shopping mall and wait while not generating any revenue for the first few years before the shopping mall is completed too.

Google Had High CAPEX During Their First Few Years

Similarly for a tech start-up like Google, they had to invest plenty of money into hiring engineers and building out their algorithm and indexing the web until they have solved the problem of organising the world’s information and finish building a much better search engine that everyone in the world would eventually use before they can start generating any meaningful revenue.

In that sense, Google had high CAPEX during their first few years too when they were building out their platform.

A Shopping Mall Has High CAPEX During Its First Few Years Too

That’s just like a shopping mall, where you would have to first spend a lot of money and build that physical building that is going to become your shopping mall!

Investing In Google & Investing In A Shopping Mall Are Similar Concepts

That’s why, investing in a tech start-up like Google and investing in a physical shopping mall are actually very similar concepts.The difference is that investors here are familiar with how shopping malls work and are not familiar with how apps and websites become global behemoths like Google and Facebook.

Apps Can Fail — But Shopping Malls Can Fail Too

Some investors are afraid that apps can fail, but the truth is, many shopping malls fail too.

Build It And They Will Come — Not True For Both Apps & Shopping Malls

The notion that if you build it, they will come, is not true for both apps and shopping malls. Just look at the number of empty or struggling malls in KL and many residential neighbourhoods around the country.

Just like apps, malls can fail too.

Investors Are More Comfortable Because Malls Are Physical & Have Land

Investors are more comfortable with malls because they have a physical presence and land. At least it is something that you can feel, touch and walk into.

White Elephant Ghost Malls Are Huge Money Pits Too — Sometimes Worse

However, that is just a false sense of security.

If you have invested in a failed shopping mall that became a white elephant, they can be huge money pits too, sometimes worse. Just the cost to maintain the property, the electricity bills, taxes and other things can slowly drain more and more cash while the shopping mall sits empty and start to crumble.

If it is an app, you can just pull it off the app store and cut the servers completely.

You can’t really do that with a mall, you will still have to incur costs to maintain it even if it fails, and it isn’t really very liquid as well. No one might want to buy your failed mall and you can be stuck with a money draining property for a long time, which can be worse that just closing down an app.

When An App Or Mall Does Well — It Can Do Really Well

On the flip side, when an app or a mall does well, it can do really well.

If an app does well, it can become the next Google or Facebook and start making billions in profit every quarter each year. If a mall does well, it can become a Mid Valley.

Don’t Be Afraid Of A Zero Revenue Start-Up

Having understood that, investors should not be afraid of a zero revenue start-up.

It Is Just Like Investing In A Shopping Mall Like Mid Valley

It is just like investing in a shopping mall like Mid Valley.

They both would not make any revenue when they were still being built but can generate tons of it every quarter once they are successful.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

All Investors Need Is A Slight Shift In Mindset To Reap Significant Rewards

Investors just need to get over that mental hurdle and fear of investing in something that isn’t a physical asset like a mall to participate in the significant rewards and return on investment that can result from investing in a successful tech start-up that has zero early revenue, just like a successful shopping mall.

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz


I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

With the recent failings of WeWork & Uber, there has been much talk about how investors made the mistake of giving the founders or WeWork & Uber too much control.

Founder Control Is Not A Bad Thing

I think that that’s the wrong conclusion to come to.

Founder control is not a bad thing, many of the best start-ups and companies are successful solely because the founders had enough control to make the right decisions so the company can stay true to their mission rather than being pressured to make bad short term ones that eventually killed the company.

Facebook Would Not Be Facebook If Not For Founder Control

Facebook would probably be never be as valuable as what it is today if Mark Zuckerberg did not have control over the company.

If his investors had been able to force him to sell his company for 1 Billion USD when Yahoo offered to buy them out or to remove the newsfeed when 10% of their users were protesting the introduction of the newsfeed, Facebook may never become the default social network that everyone uses in the world today.

Ousting A Founder Destroyed Many Start-Ups — Including Apple & Friendster

Investors have made the wrong decision in ousting founders and have destroyed many start-ups — or at least for a short period — in the process.

Friendster is one example, Apple is another when Steve Jobs was famously ousted from his own company before he made a comeback to save the company.

You can read and find out more about these stories from this podcast about Friendster’s story here or these documentaries about Apple here.

A lot of start-ups failed because investors ousted the founder and forced the start-up to focus on monetisation before it was ready or simply lost its vision and allowed competitors to come in and take their pie away from them.

Know Why WeWork & Uber Failed — It Is Not Because Of Founder Control

If you ask me, Uber & WeWork did not perform up to expectations simply because they were not truly scalable tech companies and were overvalued because investors were attracted by the huge amounts of early revenue that they generated.

Of course, bad management and what they founders did caused some damage too, but that is not the main cause of why they so severely underperformed financially.

The main reason has to do with their business fundamentals and investors mistaking them for a true tech company like Google or Facebook and overvaluing them.

There Will Be Bad Founders — And Yes They Should Not Have Control

There will always be bad founders who result to unscrupulous or questionable behaviour in terms of management, lying, abuse of power or unfairly enriching themselves.

Yes, they should not have control of a company, and it is up to the investors to get to know a founder enough to know whether they are such founders or not.

It can be hard to assess that as an investor, but that is just a risk that investors have to take, because a lot of times, founders having control is crucial to the success of a start-up and whether it makes it out of its early days or not.

Read Also:

Did Softbank Get It Wrong With Uber And WeWork?

But There Are Also Good Founders — And They Need To Have Control

For every bad founder, there are also good founders, and they need to have control of their start-ups in order to truly implement their vision and steer their companies towards success and not be pressured into doing the wrong things that could derail them.

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections

Founder Control Is Crucial To Building Disruptive Companies — It Is Good

Founder control is crucial to building disruptive companies, because if a company is truly disruptive, they are probably going against conventional wisdom, building something new that no one has done before and is by default contrarian but right.

You are by default going against convention and conventional wisdom.

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

Founders of such companies would need to have the power to make bold decisions and go against what most people, including smart investors think about what should be done.

It is a good and crucial thing that founders of such start-ups have control.

Judge On A Case By Case Basis — A Necessary Risk We Have To Take

I know it can be hard to judge this based on a case by case basis, but that is what needs to be done, and is a necessary risk that investors would have to take if you want to be part of a disruptive start-up that could eventually become the next Facebook or Apple.

Founder Led Companies Are Often The Ones That Generate The Most Value

This is because founder led companies are often the ones that end up generating the most value and becoming the world’s most valuable companies.

It is common sense because they founded the company, it is their baby, and they understand their vision best. They are also not afraid to stand up to investors and make bold decisions that most people might disagree with in order to truly build disruptive products and take the risks required for them to dominate a market.

Read Also:

Why Am I Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup — Wowwwz?

These are things that a non-founder who might be too busy trying to cover their asses and be politically correct in order to keep their jobs or sacrifice a company’s long term well-being for short term performance so they can be rewarded during their tenure might not be able to do if they are not a founder of the company.

Founder control is a good thing and is necessary to build truly disruptive companies.

Perhaps this is a risk that investors would just have to take.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App


I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Why Does The World Need Another New Dating App?

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

WeWork & Uber’s dismal financial performance does not mean that VCs should stop investing in start-ups at high valuations and shy away from risk altogether.

It is important to know why WeWork & Uber failed to perform financially.

Both WeWork & Uber have a really heavy physical aspect to their businesses and do not really enjoy the scalability that true tech companies have.

They also have to pay their “suppliers” and incur a cost for each unit of product/service sold, the driver for Uber and the landlord for WeWork. That makes them more like a conventional business with limited margins than a scalable tech start-up that could eventually become a Google or Facebook.

That’s why they are overvalued.

Read Also:

Did Softbank Get It Wrong With Uber And WeWork?

However, that does not mean that a true tech start-up today that is solving a global problem and has the scalability required to potentially become the next Google or Facebook should not get funded or be able to command high valuations.

Don’t over-generalise and think that all start-ups are overvalued just because some people got it wrong with Uber & WeWork.

That’s a mistake, and you will be missing out on a lot if you think that way.

Bad management is also another factor that caused the downfall of WeWork & Uber, but that does not mean that founders having power is a bad thing.

Read Also:

Founder Control Is Still A Good Thing — Despite WeWork & Uber

Many start-ups succeed precisely because the founders had the power to hold their ground and stay true to their mission, and many failed precisely because the founders did not have power and got pressured by investors to make the wrong decisions for their companies which eventually killed their businesses.

Investors need to know exactly why Uber & WeWork failed and why they were overvalued, and not over-generalise and make the mistake of coming to false conclusions about all start-ups being overvalued and founders having power as being a bad thing.

There will still be start-ups who are truly worth a lot, and there will still be founders who truly deserve and need the power to build out their vision.

Investors just need to know how to spot them correctly.

Whoever is able to do so stand to gain a lot from their investment.

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections


I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

The truth is, if Facebook or Google were started in ASEAN, they would probably never have taken off because no one would have funded them and they would have died.

Our Start-Up Ecosystem Is Still Young

That’s understandable, because our start-up ecosystem is still young.

Naturally, investors here have never built, invested in or been part of the early days of a start-up that truly changes the world.

Read Also:

What’s Stopping ASEAN From Having A 100 Billion USD Tech Company?

Because of that, it is understandable why most of them don’t know how to value or identify start-ups that can truly become world changers.

We evolved based on what we are most comfortable with and understand best, resulting in many local and regional copycats or solutions.

That’s Fine — We All Still Have Much To Learn

That’s fine, it is part of the growth of an ecosystem. China went through the same thing.

However, it is important to acknowledge that if ASEAN is to ever become a developed ecosystem that could eventually support world changing start-ups, we all still have much to learn and improve.

Read Also:

Why I Got So Frustrated At ASEAN’s Start-Up Ecosystem After Coming Back From China

VCs & LPs Can Do Whatever They Want — It’s Their Money

Ultimately, VCs and LPs can do whatever they want with their money and invest in whoever they like, because it is their money.

It is their right to do so.

But If VCs Really Want To Make Money + Build The Future — Everyone Needs To Improve

However, in their best interests, if they really want to do their job well and make real money and own a piece of the future and the world’s most lucrative businesses, everyone needs to improve and learn from the best in the world together.

Read Also:

Are Early Stage ASEAN VCs Valuing Start-Ups Wrongly?

Don’t Think That You Know Everything — Everyone Has Loads To Learn

It becomes dangerous when VCs and leaders here think that they know everything when they actually don’t.

Even the best in the world know that there is still a lot that even they do not know that they don’t know. That’s why, it is extremely important for all of us to keep and open mind and keep learning.

Everyone has loads to learn.

Read Also:

Are ASEAN VCs Stuck With Un-EXITable Dividend Paying Start-Ups?

Learn From The Best In The World — Don’t Be Too Arrogant To Learn

For our ecosystem to truly progress, all of us need to improve and learn from the best in the world. We can’t be too arrogant to learn no matter how “successful” we are here.

Don’t Count Out Zero Early Revenue Start-Ups That Solve Global Problems

We can start by opening up our minds to zero early revenue start-ups that are trying to solve the world’s biggest problems.

Don’t count them out just because they don’t have revenue now.

Read Also:

Many Start-Ups That Generate Supernormal Profits Had Zero Early Revenue — VCs Need To Realise That

Give Truly Innovative Start-Ups That Can Become 100 Billion USD Companies A Chance

Have an open mindset, and start giving truly innovative start-ups that can become 100 billion USD companies in the future a chance.

Don’t write them off just because you think they are too ambitious.

Hear them out, you might be missing something very big by ignoring them.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

Start Taking The Right Risks — Support Innovative Start-Ups With Global Ambitions

Don’t be afraid of taking the right bets, support innovative start-ups with global ambitions, because that’s where most of your value and returns would be generated.

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz


I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

With Uber’s dismal post IPO performance and WeWork’s botched IPO, plenty of people seem to be celebrating the fall of billion dollar start-ups and are happy to see these fairytale-like unicorn stories fail and fall flat on their face.

“I told you so” — is probably what they are saying to many people right now.

Honestly, I think many of these critics are just jealous that their start-ups or whatever that they are building or are part of can’t or can never command such huge valuations.

Read Also:

Did Softbank Get It Wrong With Uber And WeWork?

Billion Dollar Start-Ups Should Still Exist

The truth is, billion dollar start-ups should still exist.

Start-ups should still be able to raise hundreds of millions at billion dollar valuations, because there are still plenty of big problems in the world that could really use a much better solution that could make life much easier for everyone.

Innovative Start-Ups Solving Hard Global Problems Still Have Great Value

As long as the start-up is truly innovative, has a truly scalable and much better product that solves a big problem much better than anything that exists right now, they would be generating great value and would be really worth billions or if not hundreds of billions.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

Google & Facebook Are Still Worth Hundreds Of Billions

People are forgetting that for every failure and overvalued start-up like WeWork and Uber, there is also a Google and Facebook that are truly worth hundreds of billions because they have really solved a global problem through innovation, are the best at it and have managed to build a truly scalable and profitable business that is raking in billions to tens of billions of dollars every quarter!

AirBnb Is A Solid & Profitable 20 Billion USD Business

At the same time, there are fairly valued unicorns that have built a solid and profitable business that have yet to go public like Airbnb too!

WeWork & Uber Are Bad Examples That Failed For Their Own Reasons — Period

WeWork and Uber are just 2 bad examples that failed for their own reasons, from a bad business model with narrow margins and a heavy physical aspect, being overvalued by investors, bad founder ethics, management practice and a variety of unique factors.

That does not mean that start-ups that generate true value and are solving big global problems in a truly innovative and scalable way won’t be truly worth hundreds of billions of dollars in the future.

They will, and there will be.

Read Also:

VCs Should Not Over-Correct Because Of WeWork & Uber’s Failure — Know Why They Failed

Skeptics Are Rejoicing Mainly Because They Are Jealous — Don’t Mind Them

The skeptics are having a field day and rejoicing today mainly because they are jealous at how companies like WeWork and Uber can raise so much money when they can’t.

Don’t mind them.

True Value Will Still Be Rewarded

In the long run, true value will be rewarded.

As long as you build a start-up that truly solves a big global problem in a scalable way and generate real value, you will be able to find a way to make a lot of money, and that will eventually be rewarded in the stock market.

Read Also:

Why Does The World Need Another New Dating App?

There Will Be More Billion Dollar Start-Ups

There will still be more billion dollar start-ups, and there should be.

It would be dangerous if investors start backing off and start not taking the risks required to fund these truly innovative start-ups that can solve big global problems and eventually become the next Google or Facebook.

That is how society progresses, how innovation happens and truly value and wealth is generated. Investors need to be brave enough to take these risks if they are to profit.

You Just Need To Know Which Start-Ups Are Generating True Value

We just need to know which start-ups are the ones that are truly have a scalable and innovative solution that would solve a big global problem and be able to become the next Apple, Google or Facebook.

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections


I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

If you don’t already know by now, I am a start-up founder who has sacrificed his life trying to build an app that would help everyone in this world find their one true love and live happily ever after.

Many have asked me why I am I doing this and what made me so confident that I can help everyone find their right life partner whom they can grow old with.

A Conference I Attended In Singapore When I Was 16

Back when I was still studying in Singapore, I attended a conference about relationships and choosing the right partner for life. I was 16 years old then.

Choosing The Right Partner For Life

The conference broke down relationships into fundamental truths and principles like the “8 Types Of Relationships That Won’t Work”, “5 Compatibility Time Bombs” and more.

At that time, I had my doubts about them, because each relationship is complicated and unique on its own, how can you categorise things in such a way right?

But over time, those relationship truths has proven to be true 100% of the time over the past 10 years and many couples of various backgrounds and age groups.

The more you understand it, you’ll find that it is actually common sense.

There’s a lot of truth in it.

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections

Armed with that knowledge, I can actually tell if a couple would be happy together and if not, exactly why they would break up, get divorced or be unhappy in their relationship if I know both of them well enough.

If You Manage To Find The Right Partner — Life Will Be Like Heaven On Earth

The premise of the conference was that if you manage to find your right life partner, life would be like heaven on earth for you. It would be amazing.

If You Found The Wrong Partner — Life Will Be Like A Living Hell

However, if you’ve found the wrong partner, life would be like a living hell.

If You Found The Wrong Partner — You Will Still Get Together — You Will Still Get Married

The thing is, if you’ve found the wrong partner, it does not mean that you won’t fall in love and get together. Many do.

Many people actually get married with the wrong partner and have kids together.

It’s Just That Life Would Be A Living Hell

It’s just that they would be stuck in a living hell together.

Some Get Divorced — Some Get Stuck In An Unhappy Marriage Forever

Some eventually get divorced, some with kids, some without.

Others end up getting stuck in an unhappy marriage that they can’t get out of for various reasons, either due to traditional values, for their kids or due to financial reasons.

It is a terrible situation to be in, being stuck in a living hell for life with someone you hate.


SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


They Don’t Teach You How To Find Love, Love Someone & Reject Love Properly In School

Our education system taught us Math, Biology, Physics and Chemistry, but they did not teach us one of the most important skills in life, which is how to find love, love someone properly, and reject someone properly.

That Caused A Chain Of Heartbreak That Is Hurting People Everyday

Because of that, I believe that there is actually a chain of heartbreak in the world that is hurting people everyday.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

Everyone Has Gotten Hurt In Some Way Or Another And Emerged A Different Person

Because no one taught us how to reject someone who likes us properly, no one taught us how to express our love to someone properly or become a good partner to our significant other, we inadvertently end up hurting someone due to our inexperience, cluelessness and carelessness.

Without a proper perspective on things, the person whom we accidentally hurt due to our carelessness and ignorance might emerge a different person from the experience, either thinking that they aren’t good enough, that you shouldn’t care and love someone unconditionally because you will get hurt, or start to think all guys or girls are the same.

In turn, they might become someone who might end up hurting someone else because of their experience with us.

Our Love Experiences Shape Us — Sometimes For The Better — Sometimes For The Worst

Everyone is the way they are for a reason.

Some people think that all guys are assholes, others think all girls are gold-diggers who only care about money and status, some think that you shouldn’t care too much about your partner because they would think you are over-protective, some have given up on love and see everything as just a transaction.

Our love experiences and scars shape us, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst because of the misconceptions and narrow perspectives we emerge out of those experiences. Without a guide, we form our own conclusions, which can sometimes be right, but sometimes be wrong and damaging to our world-view and well-being.

A Healthy Perspective When It Comes To Love Is Important

Having a healthy perspective when it comes to our love experiences and challenges is extremely important, because it will cause our world-view to change.

You might not notice it, but it affects who we become and how we love in the future.

I Stumbled Upon A Set Of Relationship Truths That’s 100% True Until Today

During the conference that I attended when I was 16, I stumbled across a set of relationship truths that has proven to be 100% true until today.

Read Also:

How Is A Dating App An Innovative Idea?

I Have A Wide Sample Size Of Friends — Old And Young — To See How Things Work Out

That’s not just one couple, but proven to be true across many couples from different age ranges, all the way from teenagers to working adults to people in their 50s and 60s.

Because I have a lot of friends from different backgrounds that span across a wide age range, I am able to see how things would work out in a relationship over time.

I Can See Into A Couple’s Future — From The Real Life Stories Of Older Couples

From the experiences of older couples, I am able to see into a couple’s future based on what happened to the relationships and marriages of older couples who went down the same road as the younger couples are just embarking on.

Read Also:

Asshole VC Terms Founders Should Beware Of In Malaysia

I Know How To Use Technology To Solve Many Of These Relationship Problems

Many of these problems can actually be solved in a scalable way using technology, everything from finding and meeting the right partner in the first place, to facilitating quality conversations and memorable experiences so you get to know each other better, build stronger relationships to relationship tools that help you remember important dates better, find better and more interesting things to do together and tools that help you resolve arguments and understand the problems you might be facing better so you know how to solve them and grow together from the experience.

I know exactly how to use technology to build tools like these and solve all these problem in a scalable way that would positively impact everyone’s love lives.

If I Don’t Do This — No One Knows How To

I have a very deep understanding of why relationship problems happen and how to solve or avoid them based on the knowledge I have and all the real life stories across so many different couples from all ages and all types of background, that’s why I am able to build such a wide and comprehensive array of tools that would solve all relationship problems.

Honestly, if I don’t do this, I don’t know who else knows how to do it.

Even If They Know How To — Will They Sacrifice Their Lives To Do This?

Even if someone does know enough about relationships and how each of them plays out to thoroughly solve these problems, would they be willing to sacrifice their lives and go through all the hurdles to build a start-up that solves it?

Read Also:

7 Famous People & Startups That Started Or Started As Dating Apps

Would they go 10 years without a salary, sacrifice the best years of your life, stay in the office and work day and night and sacrifice everything knowing that there is a 99% failure rate for truly innovative start-ups that solve big global problems like this?

Would they be willing to do it? Would you be willing to do it?

It Is An Extremely Tough Journey — Especially When You Are From Southeast Asia

It is extremely tough to build something like this from ASEAN, because our start-up ecosystem isn’t ready. VCs here generally only invest in copycats, offline to online businesses or regional solutions that generate revenue instantly.

Read Also:

How I Almost Lost Hope In Life As A Start-Up Founder

If you are trying to build something truly innovative that would change the world like Google, Facebook or Wowwwz, it’s very hard to get funded, you will have to do everything you can to grow and build something out of the little resources you have.

That’s why it is an extremely tough journey that requires extreme sacrifices.

I Know That I Will Regret It If I Do Not Try My Best

If I don’t try absolutely everything I can and exhaust all my options trying to build Wowwwz, I know I will regret it when I am older.

Especially so when you know that you are right about its impact, its potential and have everything it takes to make it happen, except privilege and an ecosystem with VCs that have a mature enough mindset to understand start-ups like Wowwwz.

Read Also:

Why I Got So Frustrated At ASEAN’s Start-Up Ecosystem After Coming Back From China

It’s so close, yet so far. If only I was a Chinese citizen in China or based in Silicon Valley, Wowwwz would already have been able to make a huge impact.

All Of Us Deserve To Find Our One True Love Whom We Can Grow Old Together With

I believe that everyone in this world, and that’s all of us, deserve to find our one true love.

We all deserve to find someone who is right for us, loves us, shares compatible values as us, someone who can go on this lifelong adventure called life together with us, grow old with us and live happily ever after with us.

We all deserve to find out soulmate.

Read Also:

Are Early Stage ASEAN VCs Valuing Start-Ups Wrongly?

The World Deserves To Have Lesser Heartbreaks, Broken Souls & Broken Families

There’s just too many broken families and broken souls because of all the heartbreak, hurt and failed relationships in the world.

Some are caused by our carelessness, some are caused by ignorance, and some are caused by people who have been hurt so much that they become the very people who end up hurting others as much as other have hurt them.

The World Deserves To Have More Happily Ever Afters

That shouldn’t be the case, the world deserves to have more happy couples, more loving families and more happily ever afters.

The world would be a much more beautiful and cheerful place only if Wowwwz can get the resources to properly get built.

I Am Giving My All & Trying My Best

I am doing everything I can.

I have sacrificed the best years of my life, my money, my sleep and am doing every single thing I can to make it happen, from coding it out myself, to hoping to start a paradigm shift in thinking among VCs in our ecosystem and starting a Youtube Channel about love and relationships so more people would know about the relationship truths that every single Wowwwz feature is built upon and how it can help you find the right partner and live happily ever after.

Read Also:

What’s Stopping ASEAN From Having A 100 Billion USD Tech Company?

If Wowwwz fails and I am just not privileged enough to build the tools for you, at least those relationship truths will be on Youtube so more people can understand why shitty things happen in love and how we all can do more to overcome them.

I am literally sacrificing my life and trying everything I can, I don’t know what else I can do. I really really hope it works and my efforts and sacrifice don’t go to waste.

I can only hope.

I Need Your Help — Will You Help Me?

That’s why, I need your help.

I need your help to share this story with as many people as you can, introduce the app to as many single people as you can, share my Youtube videos as they come out, even though the app might still be quite buggy, so that we can have enough traction to convince investors that we are building something meaningful, so that we would be able to raise the seed funding we so desperately need to build out the features that could really help people find their soulmates and build lasting romantic relationships.

I need you help to like, share and subscribe, to give us to chance, to give everybody a chance, including you and me, to find true love, and a person whom we can truly love, grow old, and live happily ever after together with.

Will you help me on my journey to help everyone find their soulmate? Pretty Please?

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz


I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

Have you ever wondered why ASEAN hasn’t produced its own world-changing start-up that’s worth more than 100 billion USD like Facebook or Google yet?

Having been in the ASEAN start-up ecosystem for close to 10 years since 2009 and having been extensively studying how 100 billion USD start-ups are built.

I think I have a pretty good idea of what’s preventing a 100 billion USD tech company from ever getting produced in ASEAN.

Investors Who Are Too Risk Adverse

Investors and VCs here in ASEAN are simply too risk adverse to invest in something that could truly change the world and become the next Facebook or Google.

VCs here are mostly trend followers, not visionaries who can see and build the future.

Stubborn Fixation On Regional Copycats & Revenue Generating Start-Ups

For some reason, VCs here seem to have a stubborn fixation on regional copycats of globally proven business models and start-ups that simply sells something online, solves a small regional B2B problem or start-ups that generate revenue from the get-go.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

Perhaps that’s because most VCs in this region come from banking or private equity backgrounds, and are only used to evaluating established late stage or listed companies with strong revenue and cash flow.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way to evaluate world-changing start-ups. Google and Facebook barely had any revenue for their first few years of their lives.

Instagram and Whatsapp too.

Read Also:

Are Early Stage ASEAN VCs Valuing Start-Ups Wrongly?

If you insist on only investing in start-ups that are copycats or generate revenue instantly, then you would have missed out on investing in Google, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp if they started in ASEAN. You would have failed terribly as a VC.

Lack Of Ex-Founder VCs

Most VCs here were also not founders themselves. Most have never started a start-up themselves or even been part of a world-changing start-up during its early days.

While you don’t have to be a founder to become a VC, the best VCs, especially early stage ones are usually VCs who were once founders themselves.

VCs who were once founders themselves would know how to identify the right founders and teams to invest in because they have been there and done that themselves.

They would also know what an early stage founding team needs and can provide all the key support and connections the start-up needs to help them grow and get where they need to get.

Read Also:

Are ASEAN VCs Stuck With Un-EXITable Dividend Paying Start-Ups?

Unfortunately, most VCs here have never started a start-up themselves. Even if they had, no one here has built a world-changing start-up worth 100 billion USD before. The most successful ones we have are only regional copycats, ad agencies, simple offline to online businesses or local versions of B2B Saas solutions that are common in develop markets.

In fact, most are from banking, private equity or management consulting. Perhaps that’s why VCs here tend to invest like banks or private equity rather than true VCs.

Perhaps that’s also why VCs here have a strong preference for copycat start-ups and start-ups that generate revenue instantly and are only solving regional problems, because that’s what they have the most experience in.

Maybe it’s time for VCs here to start learning how to properly identify true outliers and once in a lifetime business opportunities so you can invest in the next Facebook and Google and do your job of generating a handsome return for your LPs and investors?

Read Also:

Are ASEAN VCs Over-Correcting Their Investment Strategy?

Wrong Structure Of Venture Capital Funds

Apparently, word is that a good number of Venture Capital Funds here in ASEAN are structured the wrong way to begin with. They are structured as loans, with VCs being employees and are not incentivised to take risks, which totally defeats the purpose of starting a venture capital fund.

Read Also:

What Ails Venture Capital In Malaysia — By Dr.Sivapalan

As employees, VCs don’t get a stake if their investment does well, and are naturally encouraged to be more conservative so they don’t lose their job. If the VC fund is structured as a loan, that would also force them to put in unfavourable terms into their investments that might prevent a start-up from raising further rounds from good VCs.

VCs That Invest Like Banks & Private Equity

Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why many VCs here in ASEAN actually behave and invest more like banks and private equity than true VCs.

Misallocation Of Resources

This is probably a problem with gatekeepers who aren’t well versed with shortlisting truly promising start-ups. I suspect there is a narrow guideline that categorically disqualifies any start-up that doesn’t generate any revenue yet, sounds too ambitious or are not in a few narrow “accepted categories” like e-commerce, Saas and so on.

The problem is, most e-commerce or simple listing or booking app start-ups don’t really need much of the crucial resources offered by accelerator or incubator programs like AWS credits and other software development tools.

If you’re just selling stuff online, you don’t even need to build a custom app, you can just use WordPress, Oddle or Shopify.

Read Also:

How I Almost Lost Hope In Life As A Start-Up Founder

Most start-ups that get into local accelerator programs won’t even use AWS Credits in their lifetime. Most don’t even really know how to use AWS.

Truly innovative start-ups trying to solve big global problems who require custom server setups like Wowwwz, on the other hand, who truly and desperately need AWS credits because their custom server setups can costs a couple of thousand ringgit per month to support hundreds of concurrent users at the same time can’t get even AWS credits because they can’t get into those accelerators and incubators in the first place because their start-up doesn’t fit into one of those narrow categories, seem too ambitious or does not generate revenue during its early years.

This severe misallocation of resources, where resources are wasted on start-ups that don’t really need it, and those who really need it can’t get it, is one of the reasons that is preventing a 100 billion USD start-up from ever getting built in ASEAN.

It’s very sad.

Read Also:

Did Softbank Get It Wrong With Uber And WeWork?

No One Has Built A 100 Billion USD Start-Up Yet

Well, one of the more obvious reason why no one here seems to know how to identify or invest in the next 100 billion USD start-up is because no one here has done it yet.

The jarring difference between ASEAN and China VCs I see that got me so frustrated was mainly due to a huge difference in mindset between those who have seen and hence understand how 100 billion USD start-ups look like when they first started — China VCs and those who have not but stubbornly think they know it all — ASEAN VCs.

Since VCs are paid such a handsome salary to identify the next big thing and generate handsome returns for their LPs and investors, perhaps those who have not seen what it is like to invest in a 100 billion USD start-up during its early days should take the initiative to learn more about what kind of start-ups can truly generate 10000x returns for your portfolio and how to properly invest as a VC?

I don’t know. It’s just a suggestion, but it only seems right that that should happen.

Risk Taking Is Still Generally Discouraged

For some reason, risk taking is generally discouraged in ASEAN.

If you tell someone you are trying to solve a global problem everyone faces, most people will think you are arrogant, over-confident, delusional or doesn’t know their place.

Maybe it’s in our culture to prefer false humility over courage, I don’t know.

There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious and confident, that’s how great things get built and how society progresses. We need to take more risks and try to solve big problems in order for us to progress as human beings.

We shouldn’t be too quick to judge and say that something is impossible or someone is incapable just because they have big dreams.

Try understanding more about what that person is saying and what they have actually done with the extremely limited resources they have and whether their plan actually makes sense before passing judgment.

Risk-taking and ambitious goals should be encouraged, as long as the person is willing to take responsibility for their failures, keep learning, keep improving and have an actionable plan to achieving their goals.

After all, they are the one sacrificing their time, life, health, money and reputation trying to achieve ambitious goals. Who are you to judge if you have never tried anything meaningful and have sacrificed nothing?

We should learn to give people the benefit of the doubt and support people who have the courage to take risks and solve big problems, not condemn them.

Market Isn’t As Accepting Of New Ideas

ASEAN is actually a pretty pampered market.

Most of us here in ASEAN have never seen the first version of Facebook, Google, Instagram, WeChat, Alibaba or any innovative tech product, app or platform that was first invented/started in Silicon Valley or China.

Mark Zuckerberg built the first version of Facebook in Harvard in 2004, which was essentially a very bare bones college directory with hyperlinks that listed which course the students took in Harvard.

There was no news feed, no photo tagging function, no wall and the UI/UX wasn’t that great. Most of us have never seen that early version of Facebook.

When Facebook finally came to ASEAN in 2008 or 2009, Facebook was already a big and fast growing tech start-up that has raised plenty of funding and has been rapidly growing and evolving for the past 4 years.

That’s why the first taste ASEAN users have of truly innovative products are usually when they are already very polished and very well-built.

What ASEAN users need to understand is that if a Facebook or Google ever gets built in ASEAN, their first version would probably be pretty lousy, just like how Facebook was just a bare bones page with hyperlinks to students profiles, with no newsfeed, no nothing.

We need to be more accepting of new ideas and not be too picky on bugs, design and UI/UX for a new product that is trying to solve a problem.

Support new ideas, new products, give constructive feedback and don’t be too quick to write people off for their sloppy first products, because they are usually built with limited resources and you need to understand that amazing products like Google and Facebook looked like shit and had plenty of bugs when they first launched too.

We need to learn to applaud people’s mission and courage to even attempt solve such big problems and built such tools and products.

If we condemn every buggy app that launches that’s trying so hard to solve a problem for you, you are essentially killing your next Facebook or Google from ever taking off.

A Young Ecosystem That Isn’t Ready

Ecosystem takes time to build, Brian Chesky from Airbnb had Mark Zuckerberg as a mentor, Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as mentors, Steve Jobs had the founders of Hewlett Packard as mentors and so on.

A mature ecosystem like Silicon Valley took generations of risk-taking and innovative entrepreneurs who dared to go against the status quo to build.

Our ASEAN ecosystem is still young, and isn’t ready.

I know, because I have been sacrificing my life and trying to build the first truly innovative world-changing start-up from ASEAN for 10 years now.

But someone has got to be the first. We have to start somewhere.

Today, our most successful start-ups are regional copycats and regional champions. There is nothing wrong with that, they are great entrepreneurs, great people who created great value for ASEAN.

Now, maybe it’s time for us to look ahead, and start supporting truly innovative start-ups gunning for global problems too.

We can do it, we have the money and the talent. We just need a shift in mindset among VCs and key gatekeepers to allocate resources more efficiently in order for that to happen. We got to have more faith in ourselves, and give ASEAN a chance.

Lack Of Support From Pioneers & Established Companies

I was talking to the person in charge of monetising Pinterest, and wanted to know how to monetise a product, because something like Wowwwz would eventually have to do the same thing. We discussed this topic in detail and I asked plenty of questions.

I realised that established companies in Silicon Valley like Microsoft have something they call an “experimental budget” which they used to support new platforms and start-ups when it comes to things like advertising.

They would put in anywhere from 60k USD to a couple of hundred thousand USD just to test out how effective a new platform or app is in promoting their Microsoft ads.

Facebook did make a meagre sum of 2k USD pre month by showing Microsoft ads on its platform during its early days, so in a sense they did have some revenue, but that was because Microsoft has this “experimental budget” they used to try out new platforms like Facebook when it was just a college directory.

Read Also:

Why I Got So Frustrated At ASEAN’s Start-Up Ecosystem After Coming Back From China

In ASEAN, it would be though for you to even get RM500 in ad spending from an established company. Any established company or brand with a digital advertising budget would rather spend it on a digital agency or spend it on an established platform like Google or Facebook.

It would help if established companies here in ASEAN would be more willing to experiment and try out new platforms and start-ups that could turn out to be more effective than existing platforms.

Because you were the first people who gave that start-up a chance, you can bet that that start-up would go head over heels to help you achieve your targets and promote your brand. Perhaps it is time for established companies here in ASEAN to start giving chances to new platforms and start-ups.

Visionary Founders Don’t Get The Funding & Support They Need

Because of all the factors above, visionary founders who have what it takes to build the first world-changing 100 billion USD start-up from ASEAN are not getting the funding and support they need. They are judged an written off by the things they built with a severely limited resources and support from the ecosystem.

Yet, they still persevere and are sacrificing their lives trying all they can.
Vision & Confidence Is Often Mistaken As Arrogance

Worse still, a founder’s vision and confidence is often mistaken as arrogance or greed.

That is just so unfair.

Read Also:

Asshole VC Terms Founders Should Beware Of In Malaysia

Stagnant Mindset Of Key Gatekeepers

Many key gatekeepers of resources and funds in our ASEAN ecosystem actually don’t have the right mindset or know-how to fairly and efficiently allocate resources to the start-ups who really need it.

If this continues, ASEAN would never see a Facebook or Google emerging from our ecosystem. There needs to be a change in mindset among the key gatekeepers of resources and access to capital in our ecosystem in order for the first 100 billion USD from ASEAN who solves a global problem and builds a product that everyone in the world uses to ever get funded and properly get off the ground.

They need to open up their minds, learn from the best, and acknowledge that there is still plenty that they don’t even know they don’t know.

Let’s hope that happens.

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz


I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

I feel very sad whenever a user tells me about a bug they found on Wowwwz.

Most of the time, we are well aware of the bug, and also many other things that could be improved and could be much much better.

For some of them, we know exactly how to solve them, but we just don’t have enough time and resources to get it done because it can take days to weeks to solve and there are more urgent and crucial bugs to fix and features to build

So, we are left with no choice but to prioritise and live with those bugs for now if they are not critical bugs that prevents the app from performing its basic functions.

Read Also:

What’s Stopping ASEAN From Having A 100 Billion USD Tech Company?

Others are caused by limitations with React Native, a programming framework we use which saves us previous development time so we don’t have to build everything twice for both iOS and Android, which would take a long time to hack out a solution for or would need a total rebuild of the feature using native code.

Wowwwz Is Just A 1–2 Man Team — Mostly 1 Now

My co-founder quit his comfortable high paying five figure monthly salary job as a senior software engineer at a US company to join me full time with a huge pay cut — only a fresh grad’s salary — and stayed with me at our office to code day and night for a year.

After a year, we decided that it was best to extend our runway for as long as possible and build out our app slowly rather than hiring out a team and growing as fast as possible just to die because we run out of money and can’t raise the next round — because our ASEAN ecosystem isn’t ready to fund something world-changing like Wowwwz — by not taking a salary at all and for him to go back to his high paying five figure software engineering job so he can save up more money for his future.

Not everyone can sacrifice everything and go without a salary like me.

That’s why now, Wowwwz is mostly a 1 man team, just me doing everything from coding, fixing bugs, building new features, maintaining dependencies, biz dev, pitching, creating content, organising speed dating events and everything needed to grow Wowwwz, with my co-founder and CTO helping out at night and on weekends.

We Are SEVERELY Under-Funded

We are fortunate to have raised a very small pre-seed round from some angel investors — it’s an amount you can win at a hackathon in Silicon Valley or Singapore — that’s enough for us to pay for servers, basic tools and tech services needed for software development and build the app out slowly.

Read Also:

Why Start-Ups Today Need To Raise More & More Money Just To Get Started?

Despite that, the truth is that we are still severely under-funded to even get started properly by building a proper team to build out the app properly.

Wowwwz Is Not A Simple E-Commerce Or Listing/Booking App

If we were building a simple e-commerce or listing/booking app, then whatever we have raised would be enough for us to get started. In fact, I could hack out an MVP for that in 2 weeks and get things started, no problem.

However, Wowwwz requires custom data and server setups, algorithms and entirely new features that have never been built before. Helping users find potential partners who are right for them and share compatible values and interests as them and getting them to start meaningful conversations and build memorable experiences with each other requires a whole set of tools and features to accomplish.

Read Also:

How Is A Dating App An Innovative Idea?

It is not as simple as just showing a carousel of people in the same area like Tinder. To truly help you find your soulmate and live happily ever after requires a much more comprehensive solution and set of tools.

That’s why Wowwwz is actually quite hard to build.

We Used React Native — Fast To Deploy The First Time — A PAIN To Maintain

We decided to use React Native because when we started, we heard a lot of good things and good reviews about React Native. It’s developed and maintained by Facebook and is used by big start-ups like Airbnb as well.

Both me and my co-founder were primarily web and back-end software engineers and had limited experience with developing natively on iOS and Android using Objective C/Swift or Java/Kotlin.

Hence, instead of spending months learning 2 new programming languages and how to build on 2 new platforms, we decided to go with React Native where you can learn and build once for both iOS and Android.

It Is Also A Freaking Nightmare To Maintain — For Small Teams

React Native was fast to build and deploy the first them when everything was up-to-date, but it is a huge PAIN in the ass to maintain as changes and updates are introduced to the ecosystem, especially if you are just a 1–2 man team.

For example, iOS and Android had many breaking changes this year — in 2019, and we had to upgrade all our dependencies and rebuild many portions of the app just to maintain functionality of existing features.

Read Also:

The Problem Of CS (Computer Science) Graduates Who Can’t Code

Another well-funded US start-up who was also using React Native had a team of 60 highly paid software engineers who spent 2 months to upgrade their app so their app could continue to function.

I have to do most of the things myself, just 1 person, with the help of my co-founder at night and on weekends. Of course things are going to be much much slower.

React Native Has A Memory Leak Problem

For a time, the average time a user spends on our app per session on iOS was close to 20mins, which was pretty good. But on Android, it was just 2 minutes.

Do you know why?

The reason was because our app crashed on Android at the 2 minute mark. This was because React Native has a memory leak problem on Android. That means that RAM usage will keep building up as you scroll through profiles of people on the app until the app finally crashes, and this was not our fault and had nothing to do with the quality of our code. It is a problem with React Native that everyone faces.

React Native works fine for most apps that are not picture heavy. However, if your app is a picture heavy one like Airbnb where you show pictures of accommodation, you will face the memory problem. Unfortunately, Wowwwz is basically a carousel of people, and is extremely picture heavy.

Many Big Start-Ups Lost Millions And Abandoned React Native

We asked for help and got plenty of native developers to look at our code to see if we were doing anything wrongly, but they all couldn’t find anything wrong with our code.

We soon realised that the problem was not us, but React Native itself, when we found out that even big and well funded start-ups in the region lost millions in salary and lost development time and resources to apps they’ve built with React Native and had to scrap and rebuild completely with native code because of the memory leak problem.

Airbnb, who were once raving about React Native, eventually wrote a tech blog post about their frustrations with React Native and how they had to scrap React Native and migrate back to native code too.

Wowwwz Is Poor — We Have No Choice But To Stick With It For Now

These start-ups who have raised tens of millions of US dollars or giants like Airbnb can afford to do that, but we can’t.

Read Also:

How I Almost Lost Hope In Life As A Start-Up Founder

We Can’t Afford To Learn 2 Programming Languages + Build Everything Twice — Yet

We are poor, severely underfunded, a mostly 1 man team trying to solve a global problem in an ecosystem that isn’t ready to fund truly innovative start-up like ours.

With limited resources, we can’t afford to learn 2 programming languages and built everything twice. That would just take too much time before we can launch anything.

We Know Exactly What Can Be Improved — What Bugs Needs To Be Fixed

What’s saddening is that we actually know all the things that can be improved, can be fixed and how to improve and fix them, but we just don’t have enough time and resources to do so because we are so poor and severely underfunded.

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

Our User Interface And Features Can Already Be SOO MUCH Better — But No Time!

With the data and users that we already have, so much could be done and built to make the user experience so much better. Our user profile page design is already outdated, we can add so much more information and make the quality of our introductions and interactions so much better, we just don’t have enough time to build it!

I Am Already Not Sleeping Much And Staying At My Office (No Life AT ALL)

There is only so much I can do and sacrifice as a person. I only have 24 hours in a day. I am already not sleeping much and am literally staying at my office and have no life whatsoever other than building Wowwwz.

I Still Have To Pitch — Handle Accounts — Marketing — Content — Wash Toilet Etc

Besides coding, building new features, fixing bugs and maintaining the code base, I still have to pitch to investors, organise events, pitch to clients and partners, handle accounting, marketing, content and even clean the office myself to save money.

We Have SOO MANY Amazing Features In Our Pipeline!

There are so many amazing tools and features we can build that are in the pipeline, but we just don’t have enough resources to execute them in time!

But We Really DON’T HAVE Enough Time, Money & Resources

Things are moving, but too slowly, because it’s just mostly me doing everything.

We would need a proper seed round to be able to hire out a proper engineering team in order to properly execute and build out the basic features we need to build in order to achieve a respectable retention rate and K-Factor.

Read Also:

Why Am I Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup — Wowwwz?

Facebook Always Changes Stuff That Breaks Things Too — They Don’t Care

To make the signup process simpler, we are currently using Facebook Login, and Facebook has been changing their Facebook Login SDK and graph API pretty frequently because of the privacy issues they are currently facing, but they don’t really bother to inform small start-ups like us about those changes properly, often breaking things and us finding out only when a user realises they can’t sign in via Facebook or when we receive an error email from our servers.

That takes up a lot of time and derails our development of other new features.

We Can Only Prioritise On The Critical Elements

Because we don’t have enough manpower, we have no choice but to only prioritise on the critical elements of the app so it can at least serve its basic function.

We Feel Sooooooo Frustrated, Sad And Depressed

You have no idea how frustrated, sad and depressed we get when we see an error or a user complaining about a bug or a bad UI that could be improved.

It hurts so bad because we know, and want to fix and improve it so bad but are helpless because there are so many things to do but not enough time to do them.

That We Are RIGHT — But Stuck In The WRONG ECOSYSTEM

It is even more frustrating to know that we are doing the right things, solving the problems the right way and have everything it takes to build Wowwwz, except the funds required to do so because we are stuck in an ecosystem with VCs who don’t understand truly innovative and game-changing start-ups like Wowwwz.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

It’s frustrating to know that if I was a Chinese citizen based in China or born in the US and can easily relocated to Silicon Valley, I would have been funded and been able to build Wowwwz into a very successful start-up that is helping billions around the world find their right life partners and live happily ever after a long long time ago.

An Ecosystem That Doesn’t Fund Truly Innovative Ideas That Solve Global Problems

Unfortunately, for now, I am stuck in an ASEAN start-up ecosystem that prefers to fund copycats and instant revenue generating start-ups that don’t really scale well and doesn’t understand what it takes to spot and fund truly innovative ideas solving global problems that could become the next Facebook or Google like what I am building — Wowwwz.

Wowwwz Would Already Be A World Changer If We Were In Silicon Valley Or China

After talking to VCs in China and friends in Silicon Valley, I am very sure that Wowwwz would already be well funded and a world changer if we were in Silicon Valley or China.

Same Pitch — Totally Different Reactions

I used the exact same pitch I used with ASEAN VCs when I pitched to Chinese VCs in China, but got 2 totally different reactions.

ASEAN VCs thought that it was too ambitious and it din’t make money, whereas almost all Chinese VCs in China think that Wowwwz is going to be the next world-changing start-up that is at least as big as Tencent or Alibaba.

VCs in China understand how you can lose hundreds of millions of dollars without generating revenue in your first 5 to 7 years to focus on solving a problem so everyone would use your app daily. Once that happens, you will be making billions out of thin air every quarter just like what Facebook and Tencent are doing right now.

They understand because they have seen it happen, and were part of that process.

ASEAN VCs, on the other hand, have never seen it happen. Most weren’t even entrepreneurs themselves and have never been part of a start-up. Most ASEAN VCs have backgrounds in banking and finance and were used to dealing with big listed companies or established companies in conventional industries who are preparing for IPO.

They don’t know what it takes and how to spot the next Tencent or Facebook.

It Is A Problem With The Mindset Of ASEAN Investors

What’s holding us back and causing our app to be so sucky and full of bugs for now is the mindset of ASEAN investors, who are not funding truly innovative and game-changing start-ups like ours.

That’s why we can’t build a proper team to properly build out our app.

We Can’t Even Get Enough To PROPERLY Get Started

I have literally sacrificed my life to build Wowwwz and am doing everything I can. I really don’t know what else I can do.

If I get any lesser than the 3–5 hours of sleep I get now I would die.

Read Also:

Why I Got So Frustrated At ASEAN’s Start-Up Ecosystem After Coming Back From China

Right now, we can’t even get enough funding to properly get started, that’s why our app is so SuckShit for now. It’s improving, I am doing everything I can to improve it every day. But progress is slow, because we are severely underfunded and it’s just mostly me doing everything.

I really hope you guys understand this, support us nevertheless, share my story and our circumstances with your friends and give us a chance to build ASEAN’s first 100 billion USD world-changing start-up that would help everyone in this world find their one true love and go on to build lasting romantic relationships and live happily ever after.

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections


I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

Over the past 10 years of my journey as a start-up entrepreneur, I have received plenty of advice from mentors and people who are much more successful that me.

I Started My Entrepreneurial Journey When I Was 19

When I first came back from Singapore when I was 19, I knew nothing about entrepreneurship and business.

I was just an ASEAN scholar who just completed his A-Levels.

Hungry To Learn — I Seek Out Advice From Many Mentors

I knew I had a lot to learn, so the first thing I did was to find mentors who could teach me how to become and entrepreneur. I went for all the free conferences and talks I could find and just went up and said hi to the speaker of the day who was usually a CEO or founder of a company and asked him or her if I could buy her coffee.

Mentors Are Not Always Right

Over time, I’ve built up a close relationship with many mentors and pioneers of the start-up scene in Malaysia, including founders of some of the most successful tech companies in this region — ASEAN.

However, I’ve come to realise that mentors are not always right.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

Especially When No One Has Done What You Are Trying To Do

We can learn a great deal from the experience of our mentors, but they might not be right all the time, especially when they have not done what you are trying to do.

With time, things change, what might be true before might not be true anymore today. Even if they have tried something before, the results might be different if you try it again today, because things are different, or they might have missed out something previously.

Read Also:

Most People Were Wrong

The Worst Advice I Have Ever Received

To date, the worst advice I have received from mentors as a tech start-up founder is to not learn how to code, focus on what I did best and outsource the tech.

Do What You Do Best — Leave The Tech To Someone Else

They told me to do what I do best, which was to focus on the business and product development and outsource the tech to someone else.

Read Also:

Apps I’ve Built In 9 Weeks @ NEXT Academy

They Were Right In Their Context — But Very Wrong For Me

To be fair, they were telling the truth about what they feel and were genuinely trying to help. They were also right in their context, because at their age, and with the resources and money they have, it would make more sense for them to just outsource the tech.

They were also right because the businesses they have built so far were mostly just moving conventional businesses online or do not require very advanced technology.

Read Also:

27 Things You’ll Learn In A Programming Bootcamp

They are mostly copycats, things that have been done before and the technology required to do so was readily available. At least, it’s not hard to hire people who can build it.

Read Also:

The Problem Of CS (Computer Science) Graduates Who Can’t Code

You Need To Know Tech To Build A Truly Innovative Tech Start-Up

That was the worst advice I have ever received because if you want to build truly innovative start-ups that have the potential to solve global problems and changed the world that no one has done before, you would need to know tech.

Simply because you would need to iterate on your product so many times that outsourcing it would just be unsustainable. Every new iteration is also technically a new invention that has never been done before.

You Either Need To Have A Steve Wozniak Or Be Your Own Mark Zuckerberg

To start such start-ups, you would either need to be technical yourself or have a Steve Wozniak as your technical co-founder. Steve Jobs din’t know much about building computers, but he had the vision to create great products, while Steve Wozniak was the one with the technical engineering expertise to wire up the first personal computer.

Read Also:

Why I Am Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup — Wowwwz?

In this region, a Steve Wozniak is going to be hard to find. Even if they existed, they would be working for a big company with a very high salary or have plans to move to Silicon Valley soon. They probably also wouldn’t join you if you weren’t technical.

Outsourcing Is Not Sustainable

Building entirely new products and features that solves a global problem in a way that no one in the world has done before often involved multiple iterations and pushing the boundaries of existing technology. It is simply not sustainable to outsource that.

Read Also:

Why Start-Ups Today Need To Raise More & More Money Just To Get Started?

Especially at the very start when it’s just you building your MVP, you and your co-founders would need to be the one to do everything yourself to keep costs low.

Founders Who Understand Tech Build Things Very Differently

A founder that understands tech well enough or knows how to code themselves often build things very differently from a founder who doesn’t. They know what to prioritise on, what can be done easily with technology and what can’t.

This allows them to be able to think outside of the box to come up with innovative solutions to problems and the most efficient way to build them in a scalable way.

Non technical founders often feature creep and build things in a way that is not scalable because they don’t have a technical roadmap in their head when they were deciding on which products to build.

That would result in huge technical debt which require massive rebuilds as you hit scale.

Knowing How To Code Will Save You A Lot Of Money

Either way, knowing how to code will save you a lot of money, especially during the early stages when you are building an MVP to validate your idea. You will know how to tell good software engineers from lousy ones and can do simple things yourself.

Even if you are just building an e-commerce site, a copycat or a simple booking or listing app, knowing how to code can easily save you anywhere from RM20k to RM60k.

If you are building something truly innovative that solves a global problem, that’s at least hundreds of thousands to millions just to come up with an MVP if you were to outsource it to a development house, and that’s not including all the resources needed to operate and market it.

Knowing How To Code Will Help You Attract The Best Engineering Talent

One of the biggest reasons why my co-founder and CTO decided to quit his high paying job and take a huge pay cut to join me living in the same room at our office together is because I knew, or was learning how to code at that time, and he was inspired by that, my vision and my deep understanding of tech.

It makes things much easier when both co-founders know how to code, because we would be on the same page on a lot of things and understand exactly what are the problems we are facing and how things should be built.

For example, our app crashed a couple of times because of sudden API changes from Facebook due to their privacy issues which also prevented people from signing in to apps like Spotify and Tinder.

We knew that was not a problem with our code, and took steps to solve it together by making quick hacks and fixes to our code base to accommodate the sudden changes by a third party like Facebook.

A non-technical co-founder might start to blame it on the code of the technical co-founder for a problem was has nothing to do with their code base at all.

I Should Have Learnt To Code A Long Time Ago

Given another chance, I would have learnt how to code much earlier.

It would have saved me plenty of time, money, sweat and tears. It takes years to truly master coding, and starting earlier would have made me a much better coder than I am today, that was the advantage that people like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg had.

Read Also:

How I Almost Lost Hope In Life As A Start-Up Founder

Learn How To Code If You Want To Start A Truly Innovative Tech Start-Up

If you want to start a truly innovative tech start-up that is solving a big problem in a way that no one has done before, I would strongly suggest that you learn how to code.

You might be able to get away with it if you have a lot of money or are building something that isn’t that innovative or just requires simple technology and features that are already commonplace among the apps development firms are building.

Otherwise, doing what you do best — business — and outsourcing the tech would be one of the worst advice you can ever receive as a tech start-up founder.

Read Also:

What’s Stopping ASEAN From Having A 100 Billion USD Tech Company?


I am also building a start-up myself, and I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

Dating is a global problem everyone faces, and is often one of the first problems entrepreneurs would think of solving when they are starting their first business.

However, investors generally don’t invest in dating apps for a few simple reasons.

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

Online Dating Today Is A Stupid Business

The main reason why investors don’t really invest in dating apps is because online dating as it exists today is a stupid business.

Read Also:

Why Investors Don’t Fund Dating — By Andrew Chen

The Better You Are At Matching People — The Faster They Leave

The way online dating is done today, the better you are at matching people, the faster your users will leave. Just imagine if you are single today, you use a dating app and found your soulmate, you can’t use the app anymore because that would be cheating.

The better you are at matching people, the faster your users would leave.

Resulting In High Churn — High Costs Of Acquisition — Low Customer Lifetime Values

Naturally, this results in a high churn rate, high costs of acquisitions and a low customer lifetime value, because you would need to keep finding new users as they leave.

It’s Like A Restaurant That Can Only Serve A Customer Once — Stupid

That’s like having a restaurant that can only serve a customer once and have no returning customers. You will have to keep getting new customers.

Read Also:

7 Famous People And Startups That Started Or Started As Dating Apps

That’s Why Many Dating Apps Try To Milk As Much Money From You As Possible

In order to be able to survive, dating apps today are forced to milk as much money from their single users as possible in the short time that they are still single.

Most Investors Have Lived Past The Problem And Can’t Relate

When most people become rich enough to become investors or venture capitalists, they are usually past their dating age and already married, that’s why there is also usually a mismatch in timing between investors and founders because investors have lived past the problem and have either a bleak view on dating or can’t relate to the problem as much.

Many Have Tried & Failed — Because They Did It The Wrong Way

It might surprise you that many founders and venture capitalists have actually tried to start a dating app or have friends who tried to do that during their younger days and failed. Their past failure tells them that dating can’t really be solved or the best you can do is what Match Group and Tinder are doing now and can’t get any better.

Read Also:

Worst Advice I’ve Ever Received As A Tech Entrepreneur

That’s a big mistake, just because many have tried and failed does not mean that no one will eventually solve dating thoroughly.

Things change, technology improves, society’s behaviour evolves and many of those who tried and failed tried to solve dating the wrong way.

But Online Dating Is Still A 2 Billion USD A Year Business As It Exists Today

Even with the stupid and inefficient way dating is solved today, online dating is still a 2 billion USD a year business simply because dating is a fundamental human need.

Match Group generates close to 2 billion USD a year from online dating and has a market capitalisation of about 22 billion in 2019.

Dating Is A Fundamental Human Need Everyone In The World Faces

This is because no matter where you are in the world, you crave to have someone you can grow old together with as a companion and life partner.

It is human nature. We spend a huge part of our lives finding the right life partner when we are single, plenty of time getting to know each other better while dating and a lifetime together once we are married.

Dating is a fundamental human need everyone in the world goes through.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

Online Dating Is A 100 Billion USD Dollar Opportunity Investors Are Missing

Whoever manages to solve dating thoroughly and become the last and the best dating app in the world would be conquering a market that is at least worth 100 billion USD.

It would be something that everyone in the world would use every single day to meet all their relationship needs, from finding the right partner when you’re single to finding interesting couples activities to do on weekends once you are married.

Dating Just Needs To Be Solved The Right Way — Wowwwz Can

No one has solved dating thoroughly yet because no one has a deep enough understanding to introduce people to not just any partner, but the right life partner who has compatible values and interests as you whom you can live happily ever after with and help you build a long and lasting romantic relationship.

Read Also:

How Is A Dating App An Innovative Idea?

Dating just needs to be solved the right way, maybe a start-up like Wowwwz will be the one to eventually solve dating thoroughly and help everyone in this world find their one true love and live happily ever after.

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections


I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

When I got back from a business trip to China as part of a program organised by the Beijing government, I got extremely frustrated, because I realised that I have been right about what I am building and its potential to become the next 100 billion dollar company that’s at least as big or if not bigger than Tencent or Alibaba all along.

The problem was that I was stuck in the wrong ecosystem with VCs who don’t understand how world-changing 100 billion USD companies are built.

It’s super duper frustrating!

Don’t Be A Jaguh Kampung — They Said — In 2009

When I first came back from Singapore in 2009 as a fresh eyed 19 year old, I was excited to be part of the Malaysian start-up ecosystem, because my mentors and pioneers in the industry were urging Malaysian start-ups to think bigger and solve bigger problems.

Don’t be a just a jaguh kampung, they said.

I was excited because that was exactly why I was inspired by the power of entrepreneurship, the opportunity to make a significant positive difference in the world while making enough money to sustain it at a tremendous scale.

That’s Bullshit — They’re Only Looking For A Jaguh ASEAN — At Most

However, I soon realised that that was all bullshit.

When they say they were not looking for jaguh kampungs and start-ups that only serve the Malaysian market, what they really meant was to think a little bit bigger, but just a little, just ASEAN would do, not any further than that.

Read Also:

What’s Stopping ASEAN From Having A 100 Billion USD Tech Company?

Just start an ASEAN copycat of something, or bring a solution that exists elsewhere but has yet to be done here. ASEAN is enough, don’t think any bigger.

China’s Start-Up Ecosystem Is Already On Par With Silicon Valley

China’s start-up ecosystem is actually already on par with Silicon Valley.

They used to be copying from the west, but nowadays, the west is starting to copy from China, because Chinese start-ups have copied everything they can copy and have started to innovate and come up with innovations of their own.

VC round sizes in China have also grown to a point where they are on par with Silicon Valley, with start-ups raising 1–1.5 million USD pre-seed rounds, 2–5 million USD seed rounds and Series A upwards of 10 million USD.

Almost Every Chinese VC Told Me Wowwwz Would Be A Huge Company

When I pitched Wowwwz to Chinese VCs, almost all of them told me that Wowwwz would be a huge company, on par with that of Alibaba or Tencent.

The reasoning was simple, because the problem we are solving is a huge one that everyone is facing, and no one has solved it the way we are solving it with huge amounts of data and in a way that everyone would use everyday throughout their lifetimes.

They can see that very clearly.

They’re Not Just Trying To Be Nice To Visitors

I wondered if they were just being nice to me because I am a foreigner and a visitor, but it turns out that they weren’t. They were serious about it, and told me that the war for the best and the last dating app has just started, and Wowwwz is on the right track.

They Will Tell You That Your Idea Sucks Right In Your Face

If they think your idea sucks, they would tell it to you straight right in your face. They told a US start-up exactly why they think their idea would not work in China and their solution to the problem doesn’t really makes sense right in their face.

For some other start-ups, they bluntly told them that what they are doing has already been done in China a long time ago, but they can introduce them to those start-ups that are now already big companies that could be interested in acquiring them as part of their expansion plans to other regions, just like what Alibaba did with with Lazada.

Exact Same Pitch — 2 Drastically Different Responses

It’s amazing that the same exact pitch got 2 such drastically different response. How could it be that Chinese VCs could see how Wowwwz could become the next 100 billion USD start-up that everyone in this world would be using every day to meet all their relationship needs while all ASEAN VCs see is an overly-ambitious start-up that doesn’t generate any revenue during its first few years of its life.

It’s All Because Of Mindset

I realised that the difference is all in the mindset of investors.

People Who Have Seen It Happen (China ) Vs People Who Haven’t (ASEAN)

There is a stark difference in mindset between people who have seen how 100 billion dollar world-changing start-ups are built and those who haven’t.

In China, they have seen how Tencent and Alibaba was built, that’s why they understand what it takes to first solve a problem thoroughly before focusing on monetising, whereas those who haven’t don’t dare to take the risk.

Revenue Is A Non-Factor — In Fact You Will Lose Hundreds Of Millions In The First 7 Years

When Chinese VCs told me that they think Wowwwz is on the right track and has the potential to become the next Tencent or Alibaba, I asked them why, and told them that I have no revenue right now.

To my surprise, they told me for the type of start-up Wowwwz is building, revenue during the early stages is a non-factor. In fact, they told me that we will probably be losing hundreds of millions of US dollars or even billions for the first 5 to 7 years at least.

Once Everyone Is Using Your App Everyday — You’ll Make Billions Every Quarter

But they understand that once you have iterated enough, built out your platform and solved the problem you are solving thoroughly so well that you are the last and best app there is that is orders of magnitude better than anything that exists before and when everyone in the world is using your app everyday, you’ll be making billions every quarter just like what Facebook and Google are doing today!

This Is A Concept ASEAN Investors Seem To Be Unable To Get

This is EXACTLY what I have been trying to tell ASEAN VCs for years!

It seems like this is a concept that ASEAN investors just seem unable to get. They would think that you are being arrogant and naive.

Read Also:

Are Early Stage ASEAN VCs Valuing Start-Ups Wrongly?

No One Said An ASEAN Start-Up Is Only Limited To ASEAN

I totally understand where ASEAN VCs are coming from. I agree that there is a huge difference in the maturity of the ASEAN ecosystem as compared to developed ones like Silicon Valley and China.

The ASEAN market is a much smaller market that can’t possibly support such valuations and such a clientele. There also isn’t enough later stage funding and rich companies who are willing to experiment with new services to support such start-ups.

I get it. I totally get it!

Read Also:

Asshole VC Terms Founders Should Beware Of In Malaysia

But who said that an ASEAN start-up is only limited to ASEAN?

Wowwwz is built to be global from day one, we just need enough resources to get started properly in ASEAN, proof that what we are doing really works and deploy our platform in Silicon Valley or China and raise money and grow from there.

ASEAN has more than enough money and talent to at least get us started up until Series A and are ready to truly start our journey to global prominence via Silicon Valley.

Stop Only Investing In Copycats — Invest In Truly Innovative Start-Ups Like Wowwwz That Can Go Global As Well — World-Changing Start-Ups Deserve A Chance Too

It is really time for ASEAN VCs to stop only investing in copycats and regional solutions that generate revenue instantly that have limited potential. They are great and should be funded as well, but shouldn’t we also give truly innovative start-ups that aim to solve global problems and have the potential to be the next Google or Facebook like Wowwwz a fighting chance to get started properly?

Read Also:

How Is A Dating App An Innovative Idea?

The Sad Impression China Has On ASEAN Start-Ups

The Chinese VCs were incredibly honest with me, and told me the truth about what they really think about our ASEAN start-up ecosystem and their impression of it.

Nothing Innovative Coming Out Of ASEAN

Frankly, they feel that there is nothing truly innovative coming out of ASEAN, with the exception of Wowwwz, most are just regional copycats or regional solutions that already existed for a long time elsewhere.

Read Also:

Are ASEAN VCs Stuck With Un-EXITable Dividend Paying Start-Ups?

There is nothing wrong with that, China has plenty of that too. In fact, they started with that, but eventually, they started to innovate and come up with entirely new and innovative products to solve big problems themselves.

In ASEAN, there’s none yet, except a start-up like Wowwwz.

Round Sizes Are Too Small — Our Series A Is Smaller Than Their Seed Rounds

A Chinese VC also told me that they generally don’t invest in ASEAN start-ups until they reach at least Series A because our round sizes are just too small.

Most of our Series A rounds are smaller than their seed rounds. In ASEAN, you see start-ups raising 2 million USD or 4 million USD Series A rounds; in China and Silicon Valley, start-ups are raising 2–5 million USD seed rounds.

Read Also:

Why Start-Ups Today Need To Raise More & More Money Just To Get Started?

Seed rounds in ASEAN are closer to 200–500k USD if you are lucky, while Silicon Valley and Chinese start-ups can raise anywhere from 1 to 1.5 million USD pre-seed with just an idea, and I’m not talking about people with a proven track record here.

Because Of That — Only Looking To Invest In Verticals They Have Perfected To Expand

Because of that, when they do invest in ASEAN via a special purpose fund, they are only looking to invest in verticals that they have perfect in China as an expansion plan.

Namely Logistics, Payments & E-Commerce — China Backed Funds For This Purpose

Things that they have perfected and are looking to expand to ASEAN via acquisition or investment are logistics, payment and e-commerce. There are a couple of specially set up China backed funds that are set up specifically for this purpose.

Wowwwz Is An Exception

The good news, and also bad news is that Wowwwz is not part of this category. Wowwwz is a truly innovative start-up solving a global problem that could become the next Google, Facebook or Tencent, we are one of the rare innovative start-ups from ASEAN who dare to take on big global problems.

Read Also:

Why Am I Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup — Wowwwz?

The War For The Last & Best Dating App Has Just Started In China

From what I have seen, the war for the last and the best dating app in the world has just started in China, I came across competitors heading in the right direction that have raised way more funding than us pre-seed just to get started.

We Have The Better Vision & Solution — But Can’t Be Part Of It Because We Are From ASEAN

While I was there, I did extensive research on them and turned entire buses of students and entrepreneurs into focus groups to understand what they were doing and how they were doing it.

After understanding what was happening, I believe that Wowwwz still has the better vision and solution, and they are a couple of key things that they are currently doing wrongly.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

We could win this war if only we had enough resources to at least build out our vision.

Unfortunately, we can’t be part of that war and get funded by Chinese VCs because I am a foreigner from ASEAN and are based and stuck in ASEAN.

If I Was A Chinese Citizen In China Right Now — They Would Have Funded Wowwwz

If I was a Chinese citizen based in China they would have funded me a long time ago.

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

The problem was that I am a foreign national, and for a pre-seed start-up — because we haven’t launched in China, that’s why we are considered pre-seed there, you would need to raise an amount that is larger than a normal pre-seed round to be able to own any equity in a Chinese tech start-up.

It’s Legally Impossible For A Foreign Pre-Seed Start-Up To Get Funded By VCs In China

I was excited to find that Chinese VCs believed in what I was building, and went on to do extensive research on how I could possibly get funded by them as a foreigner.

Unfortunately, it turns out that it is legally impossible for a foreign pre-seed start-up to get funded by VCs in China. There turns out to be a minimum requirement of how much you need to raise in order for foreigners to own a stake in a Chinese tech start-up, so it would be okay if you are raising Series A onwards, but for the amount you are raising pre-seed, the amount would be too small for a foreigner to qualify.

These Chinese VC funds can’t invest outside of China or Silicon Valley because that is what their prospectus dictates, so to get investment from them, you would have to incorporate a company in China, which is a problem if you are a foreigner and the paid up capital in your company is too small to meet the minimum requirement, which sucks.

There are Chinese backed VC funds set up for the sole purpose of investing in ASEAN, but these funds are different, they have been set up with a mandate to invest in things they have already perfected in China which they can expand to ASEAN, in particular logistics, payments and e-commerce, like what Alibaba did to Lazada.

Unfortunately for me, Wowwwz does not fall into that category, the war for the last and the best dating app in he world just started in China, but their funds can’t invest in ASEAN start-ups while their ASEAN funds can’t invest in start-ups outside their mandate.

Balik Tongsan Then You Say? — I Can’t — Because I Am Malaysian

I am proud to be Malaysian, that’s the whole reason why I came back from Singapore and am sacrificing so much in hopes of one day helping Malaysia fulfil our full potential.

I crave for the day that we are truly 1Malaysia, a Malaysian Malaysia.

Ironically, at this point, it seems like I would only be able to do it if I “balik tongsan” where the start-up ecosystem is ready to fund something like Wowwwz. Unfortunately, even that isn’t possible, because although I can blend in into their culture and speak their language fluently, I am still a Malaysian, not a Chinese citizen.

I can’t just “balik tongsan”, because I am a Malaysian citizen. I am an outsider.

It Is Extremely Frustrating Because You Know That You’re Right — But Can’t Do Anything Because You’re Stuck In An Ecosystem With VCs That Do Not Have The Right Mindset

If I was wrong about Wowwwz and everything I am building, I would gladly accept my mistakes and move on.

Read Also:

How I Almost Lost Hope In Life As A Start-Up Founder

But it gets super frustrating because you know you are right, can see that you are right and have validated that you are right about Wowwwz and its potential, but you just happen to be stuck in the wrong ecosystem that doesn’t have the necessary mindset to understand truly innovative world-changing start-ups like Wowwwz.

That’s Why I Needed To Try To Start A Paradigm Shift In Thinking Among ASEAN VCs

Because of that, I need to try everything I possibly can, including sharing my story and this web of articles in hopes of starting a positive paradigm shift in thinking among ASEAN VCs to learn how to invest in truly innovative and world-changing start-ups like Wowwwz that would have a significant positive impact on the world, become the first 100 billion USD start-up from ASEAN and 1000x your entire portfolio.

I Need To Try Everything I Possibly Can — Even I Risk Offending Some People

I have no choice but to try everything I possibly can, before I can truly said that I have tried my best and given my all, even if it comes with the risk of getting blacklisted by some VCs and offending some people. I really have no other choice.

I Need All The Help I Can Get — From ALL OF YOU Reading This — To Have A Chance Of Building Wowwwz To What I Envision It To Be & Helping Everyone In This World Find True Love & Live Happily Ever After

To be able to build Wowwwz into what I envision it to be and help everyone in this world find their right life partners whom they can grow old together and live happily ever after with, I would need all the help I can get.

If you are reading this, I need your help.

Help Me Build Something That Can Impact Your Life — And Everyone Else’s Lives

Do spread the word about my story, my 10 year journey trying to do this and my upcoming Youtube Channel about love and relationships to as many people as you can so more people will know about it and hopefully, we can start a paradigm shift in thinking among the local start-up ecosystem together.

Kindly, like, subscribe and SHARE it with all your friends.

Help me build something that can impact your life, and everyone else’s lives in this world. A lot of people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands, help me, so I can build tools that help them find their lifetime happiness.

Come on, let’s do this and make the world a more loving and lovely place together!

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections


I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

Dating has been an age-old problem that many entrepreneurs tried to solve.

However, no one has thoroughly solved the problem of helping every human being in the world find and live happily ever after with their one true love yet.

Read Also:

7 Famous People & Startups That Started Or Started As Dating Apps

Dating Is A Complicated Problem To Solve

The reason no one has truly solved it yet is because dating is an extremely complicated problem to solve. It is NOT AS SIMPLE as matching people with each other or creating a platform for people to find each other.

To solve the dating problem thoroughly, an app not only has to help single people find each other, but also help THE RIGHT PEOPLE find each other, and help them along with their long journey ahead as soulmates so they can live happily ever after and grow old together.

Dating Is Social 2.0

Dating is the next level of social networking.

As with all problems that involve human interaction and a social aspect, we would need to build a complete set of tools that helps facilitate or make each step/interaction easier.

The 100 Billion Dollar Dating App Has To Solve Everything About Dating

Just like how Facebook kept innovating from just a college directory to:

  • Adding Like Buttons & Super Pokes
  • Having A NewsFeed
  • Photo Tagging Functions
  • Birthday Reminders
  • A Proper Messenger

… and much more to help friends stay in touch better, a dating platform would have to keep innovating and build features that would:

  • Understand Each User Well Enough To Know Who’s Right For Them
  • Help Compatible People Find Each Other Better In A Fun Way
  • Help Facilitate Conversations As A Mutual Friend Would
  • Help Couples Know Each Other Better
  • Help Couples Build & Maintain Their Relationship Throughout Their Lifetime

It is a feature war.

Losing Sight Of Your Mission Means Death

If you lose sight of the problem you’re trying to solve, either by succumbing to pressure from the wrong investors or try to monetise too quickly, you’ll end up like Friendster or Myspace.

梦想可以改变,可是使命不可以改变

You can change the route you take, but you have to stay true to your mission“

马云/Jack Ma

The Problem With Current Dating Apps

Unfortunately, most dating platforms today are not led by a visionary founder that’s truly passionate about helping everyone find their right life partners and continue helping them build and maintain their romance so they’d live happily ever after.

Read Also:

Why Investors Hate Dating Apps

A Visionary Founder Who’s Life’s Mission Is To Solve Dating

Even if they wanted to, most lack a deep enough understanding of what makes a couple right for each other to build the necessary tools and data graph to introduce the right people to each other.

Read Also:

The Fundamental Relationship Principles I Am Building Wowwwz On

Too Superficial

Most dating platforms today are owned by one big dating conglomerate or are regional copycats of the same thing with slight variations.

They are either too superficial — mostly based on looks & location — or way too serious that you won’t find anybody on the platform until you are above 35.

Read Also:

What’s Stopping ASEAN From Having A 100 Billion USD Tech Company?

With such platforms, you will probably have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince, and it is going to be very hard to find someone who shares the same values as you and is truly compatible with you as a life partner.

When you eventually realise it, it might be too late.

Too Comfortable Where They Are

Despite their lack of depth, that is the best people have right now, and since dating is a fundamental global problem that everyone faces, people still use it.

It is still a 2 Billion USD a year market right now.

Take a look at Match Group — used to be part of IAC, and owns Tinder, match.com etc.

Because of that, current dating platforms are pretty comfortable where they are and don’t really feel the need to innovate or go further in trying to solve the problem thoroughly.

Online Dating Today Is A Stupid Business That Investors Hate

Besides that, new dating platforms that are trying to innovate and make things better often struggle to get funding from investors to build out their innovation.

Apart from the wave of dating apps a few years ago sparked by the traction Tinder got — a result of an internal hackathon within match.com — and the popularity of apps like Down To Bang at that time, investors have generally been reluctant to back dating apps.

Read Also:

Are Early Stage ASEAN VCs Valuing Start-Ups Wrongly?

*Tinder started from an internal hackathon in match.com & has never raised external funding, it is fully funded internally by Match Group which also owns match.com and other dating platforms. It used to be part of IAC group, which spun all their dating assets off into a separate company now known as Match Group.

Online dating as it exists today is a stupid business because:

  1. The Better You Are At Matching People, The Faster Users Leave

Imagine if you are single right now, you use Tinder or match.com, found someone, and all of a sudden, you can’t be on the app anymore, because that would be cheating.

That’s like having a restaurant that serves amazing food that you can only visit once.

An App That Both Singles & Couples Can Use Daily

Because of that, the best and the last dating app that eventually manages to solve the dating problem thoroughly needs to be a lifestyle app that both singles and couples can use daily for all their relationship needs (according to the stage they are in, single, dating someone or married) for the duration of their lifetime.

A Facebook For Our Romantic Lives

Just like how Facebook helps us with all things that has to do with staying in touch with friends and our social circles, the last and the best dating app has to do the same thing for our romantic lives.

Read Also:

How Is A Dating App An Innovative Idea?

2. High Churn Rate, High Costs Of Acquisition & Low Customer Lifetime Values

Due to the nature of how current dating platforms operate, it results in a very high churn rate, where people leave often and don’t stay long.

Since each batch of new users will eventually leave the platform, that results in high costs of acquisition for every new batch of single users which also has relatively low customer lifetime values.

Read Also:

Why Start-Ups Today Need To Raise More & More Money Just To Get Started?

A Focus On Squeezing Every Penny Out Of You During That Short Window

That is why most dating platforms today only focus on squeezing as much money out of their single users (through credits & subscriptions) in that short window when they are still single or are not frustrated at your platform yet.

Instead, they should really be focusing on figuring out how to build more tools to help you find not just any partner, but someone who is truly compatible with you and continue helping the both of you on your romantic journey together.

Read Also:

Why Investors Don’t Fund Dating — By Andrew Chen

Why Dating Is More Than A 500 Billion USD Market

The reason why the next 100 Billion USD start-up would be a dating app is because whoever manages to thoroughly solve dating and be an integral part of all our romantic lives would have conquered a market that is worth much more than 500 Billion USD.

*500 Billion USD is the size of the digital advertising market in the US a few years ago, add in the entire Valentines Day market, dining, vacations, family planning, gifts & the blue ocean of micro-services in the form of dating tools, it is worth much more.

Romance Plays A Huge Part In Everyone’s Lives

When you were single, how much time did you spend looking for your soulmate and going on dates trying to know potential suitors better?

When you are seeing someone or married, how much time and money do you spend every month hanging out with your other half?

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

Our Soulmate Or Our Search For One Takes Up A Lot Of Our Time

All the time spent texting your boyfriend/girlfriend, looking for new and interesting places to go and reminiscing on the sweet moments you both had together will all be done on the platform.

Everyone Would Use It Every Day

If you’re single, you’ll use it every day to get to know more like-minded people who might turn out to be someone special.

If you’re married or in a relationship, you will be using it every day to look for more interesting things to do together, manage your chores/anniversaries/family planning/couple goals and document the memorable moments in your time together.

There’s no doubt that you will be using the platform every day.

The Main Lead Generator For All Things Romance

All the restaurant/cafe dates, staycations, gifts and experiences will also be planned through the platform that eventually manages to thoroughly solve dating.

It will become the main lead generator for ALL THINGS ROMANCE and become an integral part of our every day lives.

History Repeats Itself — Search Engines, Social Networking, Dating

If there is one thing that I’ve learnt, it is that history tends to repeat itself.

Google & Facebook today are both worth well over 100 Billion USD, and whoever manages to thoroughly solve the dating problem and become the last and the best dating app everyone uses daily looks set to become the next 100 Billion USD (at least) company.

  • Fundamental Global Problem
  • Many Big Players, No Clear Winner
  • A Global Monopoly

The online dating scene today looks eerily familiar to the time when the “search engine wars” and the “social networking wars” were still ongoing.

Read Also:

5 Things Multi-Billion US dollar Companies Like Facebook & Google Have In Common

The Dating App Wars

Dating is a fundamental global problem just like search & social networking, there are many big players who are doing more or less the same thing — just like Friendster/Myspace/Hi5 & Yahoo/AltaVista/MetaCrawler, and now we are just waiting for the start-up that can thoroughly solve the problem and that start-up will eventually become the Facebook & Google of dating.

History has proven time and time again that if someone comes up with a solution that is way better than anything that existed before it, everyone will use it.

Just like how Facebook proved to be a better way to stay in touch with friends than writing letters & Google proved that it is a better way to access information than visiting a library or looking through a phone directory.

Who Will Be The Last & The Best Dating App?

The start-up that would eventually become the last & the best dating app that everyone would use daily to meet all their relationship needs to:

  • Stay True To It’s Mission Of Helping Everyone Find & Build Lasting Relationships
  • Build A Comprehensive Set Of Tools That Solves All Relationship Problems
  • From Finding The Right Partner For Singles
  • To Building & Maintaining A Relationship For Couples

Hopefully, with your understanding and support, it can be a start-up from Malaysia.

Read Also:

Why Am I Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup — Wowwwz?

I Need Your Help To Help Everyone Find True Love

However, after sacrificing 10 years of my life trying to start a truly innovative start-up that could change the world from Malaysia, it seems like it is impossible for a start-up like Facebook or Google to ever have a chance of getting built in Malaysia.

We are severely under-funded, VCs here don’t seem to understand start-ups that don’t generate revenue (during the early stages like Google & Facebook) or are not copycats, are too risk adverse & users are also less tolerant of buggy first iterations — Facebook was also just a buggy college directory with hyperlinks when it first started.

That is why I need all the help and understanding I could get from you guys to ever have a chance at succeeding in building Wowwwz into what I envision it to be — a platform that would help everyone in this world find their right life partners & continue to live happily ever after.

“让天下没难做的生意” — 马云/Jack Ma

Jack Ma’s mission for Alibaba is for there to be “no hard business in the world”, my mission for Wowwwz is for “everyone to find true love & live happily ever after”.

“让天下的人都找到属于自己的幸福” — 邱崇圣/Johnson Khoo

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections


I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

There seems to have been a shift in investment strategy among ASEAN based VCs recently. A lot of them seem to be shifting their focus to deep tech or AI and blockchain based start-ups.

There’s also been rumours that a significant number of seed and early stage VCs are starting to shift their investments from seed to Series A and later stages instead.

Read Also:

What’s Stopping ASEAN From Having A 100 Billion USD Tech Company?

If they do that, who’s going to be funding the pre-seed and seed rounds?

That would mean only kids from rich families can start start-ups, and you will be severely limiting the quality of the start-up pool by doing so.

Stubborn Fixation On Regional Copycats & Revenue Generating Start-Ups

For the longest time, ASEAN VCs generally have a strong preference for regional copycats and revenue generating start-ups only.

Most of them might not admit that they prefer regional copycats, they would say something like they are looking to invest in innovative and proven business models that has yet to be implemented in Southeast Asia — but that’s basically just a nicer way to describe a regional copycat.

Revenue & Earning Multiples Is A STUPID Way To Value Early Stage Start-Ups

This might be due to most of their experience from private equity and banking, because that’s what they are familiar with and the only way they know how to value a company — based on revenue or earnings multiples. Unfortunately, that’s an entirely WRONG WAY to value disruptive early stage start-ups that could become the next Google or Facebook.

Facebook & Google had none. That means they would not have gotten funded here.

Read Also:

Are Early Stage ASEAN VCs Valuing Start-Ups Wrongly?

To keep their options open, most of them would say that they are open to any type of start-up as long as it is promising, but the truth is often far from that.

Actions speak louder than words, all you need to do is to look at the types of start-ups in their portfolio to know what their real investment thesis is.

If you are an X of Southeast Asia with good revenue, you stand a good chance.

Stuck With Profitable Small To Mid Sized Start-Ups That Can’t Exit

I suspect that one of the reasons why this shift is happening is because plenty of ASEAN VCs are now stuck with small to mid sized start-ups that are profitable or breaking even but can’t find a way to exit.

Read Also:

Are ASEAN VCs Stuck With Un-EXITable Dividend Paying Start-Ups?

Too Small To IPO

Because most of them are regional copycats or businesses that are simply moving conventional businesses online, they can’t grow beyond ASEAN, simply because the original they copied from would be in the way.

That severely limits their market size.

On the other hand, those that are basically moving conventional businesses online will find it hard to expand to other countries due to existing incumbents or heavy logistics or capital requirements — their growth will not be exponential.

Because of that, many of them are too small to exit via an IPO.

Read Also:

Did Softbank Get It Wrong With Uber And WeWork?

Unable To Get Acquired

Unless there is a stable original start-up you copied from in Australia that is planning to expand to Southeast Asia by acquiring a start-up, the chances of a regional copycat getting acquired by anyone is pretty low.

It will be a gamble.

Truly Innovative Start-Ups Will Usually Not Want To Acquire Local Copycats

A truly innovative start-up that wants to conquer the world like Facebook, Google or Airbnb would not want to grow by acquiring a local copycat. An innovative technology they could integrate into their product, yes, but not a local copycat.

They would rather set up shop alongside you and fight you, because they know that the best product will eventually win, and they have the vision and passion to continually improve and iterate on their product until they are the last and the best at what they do.

Just listen to what Mark Zuckerberg’s advice to Brian Chesky was when Rocket Internet copied Airbnb in Europe to understand what I mean.

Groupon made that mistake, that’s why they are not doing very well today. They are still losing money, their stock flatlined, and had to shutter many of their overseas operations. Just look at how their stock has performed and their financials here.

These start-ups will not want to acquire local copycats unless its virtually free.

Collect Dividends?

So what do you do if you are a VC with a portfolio of small to mid sized start-ups that can’t really grow anymore, somewhat profitable, but can’t IPO and no one wants to acquire?

You’re stuck collecting dividends, with that 10–30% share of yours.

Defeats The Purpose Of Being A VC

That’s actually pretty stupid, because that’s not how VCs are supposed to operate.

If you really wanted to collect dividends, you should have started a private equity fund or invested in blue chip stocks like Public Bank or Microsoft instead.

In fact, you would be much better off investing in an amazing recipe or F&B business like GoNoodle House or an amazing Nasi Lemak franchise if you really wanted to collect dividends from your investment.

Venture Capital As An Asset Class Is Supposed To Be Super High Risk Super High Return

VC as an asset class is supposed to be super duper high risk, super duper high return.

Like SUPER DUPER!

Go BIG or go home man!

Yes, 90% of your portfolio will crash and burn, but you’re looking for that 1 start-up to become the next 100 Billion USD company like Google or Facebook, or at the very least the next Airbnb at 20 Billion USD to make supernormal profits for your entire fund!

That’s why VCs should really only be investing in start-ups that CAN become 100 Billion USD world-changing companies if they succeed.

The bigger the challenge, the BIGGER the REWARD!

Might As Well Invest In Bonds Or Listed Companies

If your goal is to generate a conservative return on investment, you’re much better off investing in bonds, private equity or listed companies.

An Over-Correction To Deep Tech & “Sexy Technology”

I suspect that some ASEAN VCs have realised this problem, hence the shift to and correction towards “Deep Tech” and “Sexy Technologies” like AI and blockchain.

But if you ask me, that’s an over-correction and another huge mistake.

Deep Tech Is Elon Musk Level Stuff + 100x Harder + 100x More Capital Intensive

True Deep Tech is usually extremely capital intensive, a lot harder and usually the stuff on the level of what Elon Musk is doing at Tesla or Space X.

Southeast Asia just doesn’t have the manufacturing or ecosystem infrastructure to truly support Deep Tech. It is almost going to be a suicide mission. You should be leaving deep tech start-ups to Silicon Valley or places like Shenzhen where there’s plenty of R&D budget, huge tech companies with deep pockets who are truly interested in deep tech and the infrastructure required for you to iterate on deep tech quickly.

Invest In Software Based Start-Ups Solving Global Problems Instead

What ASEAN VCs should really be doing is to invest in truly innovative software based start-ups that can solve a global problem and become a platform everyone would use in the world and become as big as Google or Facebook one day — something like Wowwwz.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

Southeast Asia won’t be able to support such a start-up all the way, but it can act as a stepping stone to get it started until Series A before it continues its journey in Silicon Valley & the rest of the world.

The Bullshit Behind Blockchain & AI Start-Ups

I would say that most VCs or start-up founders in this region who talk a lot about AI and blockchain don’t really understand what they are truly talking about.

I could probably count how many true AI & blockchain experts there are in this region with just a few pairs of hands — at least those that I know of.

Blockchain & AI Are Like Electricity — A New Technology

Blockchain & AI are new pieces of technologies. It is like electricity.

No joke, electricity was the new piece of technology that a tech start-up in 1892, called The Edison Electric Light Company, started by Thomas Edison, which J.P Morgan, the first Venture Capitalist invested in to build an Minimum Viable Product (MVP), to light up his house with electric lightbulbs, which later became today’s General Electric, used to power their main product — lightbulbs and solve the problem of lighting.

Thomas Edison did not invent or discover electricity, instead he figured out how to properly apply it in the RIGHT WAY to solve a problem — one of the problems being lighting.

Just Using It Is Nothing Special

Saying that you’re building an AI or blockchain powered something is like saying you’re building an electricity powered fan or fridge. Of course it is powered by electricity!

Read Also:

How Is A Dating App An Innovative Idea?

Almost everything is powered by electricity! Similarly, almost everything will be powered by blockchain and AI in the future. It’s nothing special.

The Prize Lies In Applying Blockchain & AI To The Right Problem Correctly

Real AI & Blockchain start-ups usually won’t say that they are an AI or Blockchain start-up. They would say something like that they are a logistics start-up, but when you really understand how they were able to make logistics 60% more efficient and cost effective, you’d realise that they were able to do it because they have immense amount of data and were able to use AI to increase the efficiency of logistics by 60%.

Watch this interview by Sam Altman from Y-Combinator to understand what I mean.

Most ASEAN AI & Blockchain Start-Ups Are Just Bullshitting

Unfortunately, from what I am seeing, most ASEAN “AI” and “Blockchain” start-ups are just bullshitting. Not every problem in the world should be solved using blockchain or AI.

The prize lies in applying the right technology to the right problem in the right way.

Most start-ups are just trying to plug AI & Blockchain into problems in a way that doesn’t make sense just because it’s “the trend”. Any true AI or Machine Learning expert would know that there are many levels to AI and you will need a significant data set for AI to really work.

You need huge datasets to be able to train your Machine Learning models and the ability to come up with the right hypotheses to test and work towards solving a problem more efficiently.

Just Plugging Tensorflow Into Your Project Doesn’t Make You An AI Start-Up

A lot of these start-ups are just plugging in a publicly available library like Tensorflow without any meaningful purpose just to call themselves an AI start-up.

This is something that anyone who knows how to code can do.

Read Also:

7 Famous People & Startups That Started Or Started As Dating Apps

I am not going to say which ones, but plenty of ICOs I know are actually elaborate con-jobs, the money raised is already long gone, spent on lavish offices and siphoned out by the founders, but many are still oblivious to what is actually happening.

Wowwwz Is Actually Perfect For AI — But We Don’t Call Ourselves AI Powered Yet

With the data graph that we have, Wowwwz is actually perfect for AI & Machine Learning, but we are not shameless enough to call ourselves an AI start-up because at this moment, we aren’t one yet. Simple if/else statements, complex queries and algorithms would do a better job at the moment.

We would integrate AI & Machine Learning into Wowwwz at some point in the future, but it will be for very specific purposes, to solve a very specific problem. You need to know what you are doing and what do you plan to achieve, and plan the relevant models accordingly.

Read Also:

Why Am I Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup — Wowwwz?

Otherwise, your Machine Learning models might come to the conclusion that poor people shouldn’t be able to find a soulmate or less attractive people should not be able to find true love, which is untrue, horrible, ethically wrong, and absolutely not what you want to achieve.

It would be perfect to help singles identify which other singles would be a good match based on their values, social graphs, compatibility and interests based on certain ground rules or to identify which couple activities a given couple with a certain set of interests would enjoy doing together on a weekend, but we need to be very clear on why and how we are going to integrate AI & Machine Learning into solving a problem and helping everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after.

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

Learn To Invest In Truly Innovative Tech Start-Ups Solving Global Problems

What ASEAN VCs should really be investing in are truly innovative tech start-ups that are solving global problems and can become 100 Billion USD global companies like Google or Facebook if they succeed.

I believe that start-ups like Wowwwz is one of them.

Our ecosystem has the talent & money to get them started, but start-ups like these are not getting funded because they are not copycats and don’t generate any significant revenue for the first 5–7 years of their lives before they have solved the problem thoroughly.

Read Also:

Why I Got So Frustrated At ASEAN’s Start-Up Ecosystem After Coming Back From China

What VCs here need to understand is that such start-ups are the ones that would eventually generate billions in profit every quarter once everyone in the world is using the service everyday, just like Google & Facebook. They both followed the same path and did not generate any significant revenue until they are confident they have solved the problem thoroughly.

If ASEAN VCs really want to make money and not be stuck with small to medium sized start-ups that can’t IPO or get acquired, they need to change their mindset, learn from the best VCs in the world and start investing in game changing start-ups like these.

You can start with Wowwwz.

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections


I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

Over the past 10 years of being in the Malaysian start-up ecosystem, I was surprised to find out that a significant number of CS grads can’t actually code.

Some even started their own tech start-ups, but were struggling to find programmers to build out their apps. I was genuinely surprised because if you are a CS grad, can’t you build it yourself?

Some of them told me that it was because they were never really good at programming, that’s fair enough. I know how to code — I learnt how to at a programming bootcamp called NEXT Academy, but I won’t say that I am the best at coding.

But shouldn’t you at least be able to build simple apps or at least build an MVP yourself like I did? Even more so if your app or web app is just a simple listing and booking site.

Apparently that’s not the case.

Why Can’t CS Degree Holders Build Their Own Apps?

After I was forced to learn how to code to build my own start-up — Wowwwz, I started to understand what was really happening in our education system that was causing CS degree holders to not be able to code.

Read Also:

How I Almost Lost Hope In Life As A Start-Up Founder

A Computer Science Degree Does Not Really Teach You How To Code

I soon realised that a computer science degree does not really teach you how to code and build full applications or websites. They might teach you the basics, and have small introductory courses on how to execute code on a terminal, but that’s far from what is needed to build a fully functioning application that can serve as an MVP — Minimum Viable Product.

Theory Vs Practical

I found out that a computer science degree mostly teaches you theory.

Do not be mistaken, the theory you learn in computer science classes is exactly what would help you build a world-changing start-up like Facebook, as Mark Zuckerberg mentioned himself in a fireside chat — stuff like how to make an algorithm faster etc.

However, you need to apply that theory to a fully functioning app for it to be of any use.

The part where you build a fully functioning app, that’s the practical part where most computer science courses don’t really focus on. Instead, they focus on the basic fundamentals of programming and how to make algorithms milliseconds faster. These are problems that most start-ups would only face when they grow big enough to reach a certain scale.

Read Also:

Why I Got So Frustrated At ASEAN’s Start-Up Ecosystem After Coming Back From China

CS Grads Vs BootCamp Grads

I learnt how to code out of necessity — because I can’t find any software engineers who were good enough to build Wowwwz — from a programming bootcamp.

Read Also:

Apps I’ve Built In 9 Weeks @ NEXT Academy

My background was in law, I don’t have a CS degree. I am what people in the industry would call a bootcamp grad programmer.

BootCamp Grads Are Great With Practical

The difference between a bootcamp and a CS degree is that a bootcamp focuses on teaching you how to code out a fully functioning MVP in 2 weeks. It is 3 months of intensive practical training.

A CS degree on the other hand teaches you the fundamentals of programming, theory and various algorithms, many of which you won’t really use until your application hits a certain scale.

Read Also:

27 Things You’ll Learn In A Programming Bootcamp | NEXT Academy Blog

Good bootcamp grads are great at writing code and building fully functional apps in a short time, but they often lack a strong fundamental understanding of computer science, and tend to write code in a way that will break when you reach scale.

Good Enough For Early Stage Start-Ups Who Need To Iterate Fast

That’s great for start-ups who need to iterate and push out product fast, but bad if you’re building for long term sustainability, you will probably have to rebuild a lot of things as you scale, but that’s actually part of the growth process of any start-up that makes it that far.

Read Also:

Worst Advice I’ve Ever Received As A Tech Entrepreneur

CS Grads Have A Strong Understanding Of CS Fundamentals

CS grads, on the other hand, have a much better understanding of CS fundamentals, and can build quality sustainable code that can scale, the kind that can handle millions of queries at the same time.

My co-founder and CTO is one example of a rare CS grad — I should clarify that it is only rare in Malaysia — who can actually code. Someone like him is what you would call a true software engineer, someone who can code and also have a good understanding of CS fundamentals in order to write and build quality scalable applications.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

Towards the later stage of a start-up or for big corporations who need to maintain apps and infrastructure at a big scale, you will need someone with strong CS fundamentals like a CS grad. A bootcamp grad can also fulfil that role if they keep learning and develop strong CS fundamentals after they’ve mastered the practical side of coding.

The problem in Malaysia is that a significant number of CS grads know the theory side of things but don’t know the practical side of things.

You need both.

Read Also:

What’s Stopping ASEAN From Having A 100 Billion USD Tech Company?

Most Of The Time, You Write Essays, Not Code

I have also found out that throughout the course of a CS degree, you actually write more essays than code. These are essays about CS fundamentals, algorithms and stuff like that.

Computer Science Needs To Be APPLIED To Practical Engineering

In order to be effective, CS fundamentals need to be actively applied to the practical act of coding and building apps and algorithms, not just writing essays about how you would do it if you ever did it and what are the pros and cons of doing it in different ways.

Read Also:

7 Famous People & Startups That Started Or Started As Dating Apps

Theory Alone Is Useless

It is the lack of practical coding experience that resulted in Malaysian CS grads who can’t code and can’t build simple applications.

In this sense, theory alone is useless.

Practical Experience Alone Is Not Scalable

On the other hand, if you are a bootcamp grad, you can probably build simple apps and websites with ease, but if you don’t continue learning and develop strong CS fundamentals, chances are that you are writing unscalable code that will break when you build more features on top of your app or when your app reaches scale — let’s say 2000 people using your app at the same time.

Read Also:

Why Is Our App So “SuckShit” | Wowwwz

It is good enough for early stage start-ups that don’t have scale, need to iterate fast and where most features might not even make it past the next release, but you will have to rebuild or refactor everything once you reach a certain scale, otherwise your app will probably crash.

CS Students Overseas Usually Start Coding/Building Stuff Since Young

I’ve come to understand that this problem is less prevalent overseas simply because CS students overseas usually start coding and building stuff since young. Mark Zuckerberg build an MSN-like app called Zucknet when he was still a teenager.

Read Also:

Why Am I Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup — Wowwwz?

These CS students don’t have a lack of practical experience, most of them probably have more practical experience and have built more hobby apps for fun than most software engineers here.

A CS Degree Enhances Their Knowledge So They Can Push Boundaries With Code

Armed with a wealth of practical experience, they enrol in a CS Degree course full of questions and a good understanding of how things work.

They will find a CS degree very interesting because they are excited to find out how they can make the application they built even faster or better after applying CS principles to their code.

Most Malaysian CS Students Study Computer Science Without Actively Applying That Knowledge By Building Stuff

Plenty of Malaysian CS students I know enrolled into a CS course without knowing what they’re really getting into. Most of them don’t even really know what they want yet, as long as they get a degree, it’s fine. Some eventually discover an interest in computer science, and go on to become great software engineers, but most don’t.

Those who don’t actively apply what they learn from a CS degree by actively coding and building out applications to test out their CS principles and push the boundaries of programming would probably end up as a CS grad who can’t code.

CS Theory Needs To Be Coupled Up With Practical Experience In Coding To Be Useful

To be an effective software engineer, you need both a good understanding of CS fundamentals coupled with up to date practical experience.

I started as a bootcamp grad without strong CS fundamentals, but in order to build an application that’s as challenging as Wowwwz and in order to build it sustainably so it can scale properly and new features can be added to it, I had to learn CS fundamentals on my own with guidance from my co-founder and experienced software engineers.

Skills Need To Be Constantly Honed & Refined To Stay Relevant

Technology also moves at a really fast pace, what was true a year a go might not be true today.

Syntax change, frameworks change, things get deprecated. Even if you knew how to code a few years ago, you might have some catching up to do before you can start coding and building applications again today.

Otherwise It Is Education Wasted

If a CS graduate does not actively apply their CS knowledge by building applications or working on code and does not keep themselves updated with the latest frameworks and technology, their education in CS is basically wasted.

That’s how CS graduates in Malaysia end up not knowing how to build simple apps.

That’s Why More CS Grads Does Not Equal To More Software Engineering Talent

With this in mind, more CS grads does not equates to having more engineering talent. You will only have plenty of people who know some CS theory but not know how to actually build an app or become a software engineer at a start-up or tech company.

Encourage The Building Of Apps — Encourage Experimentation — Applaud Failure

As with a lot of skills in life, you learn by trying, you learn by experimenting. It is okay to fail, it is okay to be embarrassed by the first app you ever built, it might look ugly or crash on signup, but at least you tried, and learnt.

That makes you a better coder.

We should encourage more people to try building apps to solve different problems just for fun, don’t judge them if it is lousy, encourage them to try again and become better.

That’s how you create better tech founders, better software engineers and a better start-up ecosystem that can propel Malaysia into a high-income nation.

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections


I am building a start-up myself, and I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

Receiving funding from investors is like getting married. If you take on the wrong investors with shitty terms, it’s like being stuck in an unhappy marriage, and it could kill your start-up before it even got started.

Over the 10 years that I have been in the Malaysian start-up scene, many founders have come to me for advice or confided in me privately about the shitty terms they were bound to that are killing their start-up or screwing them up personally.

Read Also:

Why Start-Ups Today Need To Raise More & More Money Just To Get Started?

I have also asked many fellow founders for advice to see what is considered normal and fair in our ecosystem and compared it with how it should really be done like the top VCs and start-ups do in Silicon Valley to get a clearer picture of what’s really happening.

Even Lawyers Might Not Know Best — Start-Up Law Here Is Very Under-Developed

Even when it comes to lawyers, not all lawyers are well-versed with what is fair for tech start-ups. I would say most aren’t. You can’t apply the same terms and mindset that you used for conventional businesses to tech start-ups.

They’re very different.

There are too many investor horror stories that no one dares to talk about publicly.

The Wrong Investors Will Kill You

This is not a joke. The wrong investors will really kill your start-up.

Even in developed ecosystems like Silicon Valley, taking on investment with severely unfavourable terms will prevent future good investors from investing in you.

Start-Ups Are Hard — Founders Need Enough Skin In The Game

The reason is simple, the best VCs know that trying to start a disruptive start-up is extremely hard, and the founders need to have enough stake in it through multiple rounds of dilution to not give up easily or just quit altogether.

The wrong investors can also force you to make the wrong decisions that would kill your company like what happened to Friendster and Hi5.

Smart Founders Should Not Have Taken Bad Deals

If you have shitty terms with an existing investor, this also does not reflect well on you as a founder to future investors because the assumption is that only dumb founders would ever agree to such terms in the first place, and no future investor would dare to come into a start-up that has shitty terms with an existing investor that could hold the company ransom and seriously screw things up for everyone.

Most Don’t Live Long Enough To Tell The Story

Most start-ups that get caught with shitty terms don’t survive long enough to tell the story. Most just fade away or got screwed but can’t do anything about it.

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections

No Founder Dares To Speak Out For Fear Of Getting Blacklisted

Others are too embarrassed to talk about it or do not dare to consult anyone for help or speak out for fear of getting blacklisted by VCs and the start-up community.

It Is Fair That Some VCs Think That Way — I Understand

VCs generally don’t like it when founders speak out about stuff like these because they can be seen as whiny and troublemakers that might falsely accuse them of stuff like these in the future if things go wrong. They also believe that stuff like these should be kept private and resolved privately or through the legal system.

That’s a fair way to think, but unfortunately legal recourse is not available for everybody, you can’t really resort to that if you are poor or don’t have enough resources to fight the legal battle. Furthermore, if the start-up is already dead or the value you stand to gain if you win is not more than a couple of million, there really isn’t much sense to spending the huge amounts of money required to fight the case.

It is a business mistake and there is really no point complaining about it. You just got to suck it up and move on.

That’s Why I Am Not Naming Any Names — It’s A Guide For Future Founders

That’s why I am not naming any names here. The point of me sharing all these real life stories from various founders and VCs — that I shall never name — is not to blame or shame anyone, but to give future founders a better understanding of what mistakes you might make that could screw your start-up or you the instant you sign on the dotted line.

This would prevent a lot of good founders and good start-ups from failing and going through hell unnecessarily. I believe that this information should be available, and founders should talk more among themselves to find out which VCs are good and which ones aren’t, because VCs do that too.

I have never personally accepted any of these bad deals because I know what they mean, how they would kill my start-up and what’s fair for what I am building. Coming from a legal background, having many lawyer and fellow founder friends and learning from the best people in Silicon Valley definitely helped, but I’ve gotten many shitty deals offered to me and seen many disastrous effects from fellow founders who went through hell or came to me for advice when they receive such term sheets.

Spark Positive Change Among VCs Who Might Unknowingly Be Making These Mistakes Due To Inexperience Being A Proper VC

I am sharing these stories so that if you are a founder and ever see these asshole terms, you know better than to sign on the dotted line, and also hopefully spark positive change among some VCs who might mistake having overly harsh terms as a good thing based on their experience in conventional businesses, because those terms could unknowingly kill their investment before they even know it.

Asshole Terms Can Hold You Ransom

There was this start-up that went through an accelerator program, and took a small pre-seed investment (less than RM50k) from them. They had a solid team and a viable business, that’s why some angel investors were interested to invest.

Unfortunately, the accelerator had unfair veto powers to block the addition of any new shareholders, and the accelerator used that power to force the new investor to buy out their shares at more than double what they put in, if they don’t do that they won’t let the new investor invest and rather let the start-up die.

Read Also:

Are ASEAN VCs Stuck With Un-EXITable Dividend Paying Start-Ups?

They essentially held that start-up ransom in order to exit with a 5x profit. This is not normal, it is normal for early investors to exit early to a later stage investor, but that’s at least after the start-up has somewhat stabilised and the round size is big enough during Series B or Series C onwards, not the immediate next round for that insignificant 10–30k they put in, and you should not be able to force it.

You can see that that’s the accelerator’s business model, to flip the start-up for a quick profit and hold the start-up and the new investor ransom if they refuse to buy them out, which is very wrong.

Shitty Terms Will Prevent You From Raising Your Next Round

If you raise money on shitty terms, you can jeopardise your chances of ever raising another round from a good future investor. In that sense, your start-up would already be dead before it even started.

If you accept unfair terms from your investor in your current round, future investors would steer clear when they perform their due diligence simply because they don’t want to be entangled in a legal mess or being held ransom by your earlier investor.

Read Also:

Are Early Stage ASEAN VCs Valuing Start-Ups Wrongly?

If you give out too much equity or mess up your cap sheet by giving out equity too freely without reasonable justification — or not knowing what is a fair amount for their contribution — future investors will also be reluctant to invest because they feel that you might not have enough skin in the game to see your vision through anymore or your messed up cap table would prevent you from raising future rounds.

Accepting shitty terms also does not reflect well on your intellect, because investors want to invest in smart founders, and smart founders should never accept shitty terms that might jeopardise their start-ups.

You Can Be Personally Screwed — It Might Bankrupt You

A founder once shared an unfair term sheet he received with me that could get him personally screwed if he accepted it. The worst clause found in that term sheet was one that would make him personally liable for the entire investment amount should the start-up shut down or for any other reason is unable to repay the investors the full investment amount after a certain date.

What was even more outraging was that the full “investment amount” was not even a real investment amount that the “investor” put in with cold hard cash, it included “in-kind” benefits that the investor forced upon the start-up like co-working space and “training” that the investors put a value upwards of a couple of hundred of thousands to — there’s no way in hell that sort of “training” is worth that much.

That’s basically a very bad loan that would bankrupt you.

Know What Is Fair & What Is Not

In reality, the terms of an investment would depend on a lot of factors, including the nature of the business, the potential of the business, how much leverage do you have and how desperate you are for the money.

Are you desperate enough for the money to take on shitty terms?

If your start-up does not need to raise funds from the best investors, then sometimes it might be okay to reluctantly accept some slightly unfair terms that are not ideal but won’t kill you and you can survive with.

Read Also:

Worst Advice I’ve Ever Received As A Tech Entrepreneur

But to be able to do that, you would at least need to know what terms are fair, what terms are not, what can be tolerated, and what terms would definitely kill you.

Some Are More Acceptable Than Others

Among all the shitty terms that you would encounter, some are more acceptable than others. Some are not ideal, but you might still be able to take the hit and live with that if you are really desperate for the money.

Others, on the other hand, would kill you. You should not accept those terms under any circumstances, unless you’re on a suicide mission or plan to run away with the money.

Example Of Asshole Terms From Real Life Stories

Over the years, I’ve seen quite a number of shitty term sheets from fellow founders and heard an equal number of horror stories from the founders who went through that themselves.

I am not going to name names and am going to be intentionally vague on certain parts to protect the identify of the parties involved because I do not want to point any fingers at anybody. I am sharing these stories because I believe that the ecosystem and future founders and VCs have a right to know what’s fair and what’s not so we can build a better ecosystem where more start-ups can be successful together.

I will be describing some examples and explaining why such terms are unfair or why they could kill your start-up or screw you up personally.

Counting “Training” & “Office Space” As A Significant Part Of Investment Value

An accelerator program once offered a start-up a term sheet for an investment of around RM 600k for more or less 12–15%, which seems like quite a good valuation for an early stage Malaysian e-commerce start-up given the low valuations in Malaysia.

That’s until you find out that up to RM400k of the RM600k would be in the form of office space and “training provided”. That would mean that the start-up is essentially raising RM200k for 12–15%, which is a whole lot less.

Now, it’s actually normal for accelerator programs to charge a fee for their programs, 500 Startups US does that too, they invest 150k USD for 6% and charge a fee of 37.5k USD, but they usually take a much lower percentage and actually invest the cash that the start-up would use to pay the accelerator so the accelerator could pay their mentors and cover their costs.

The value and costs of running the accelerator is transparent, rather and randomly assigning a value to services that costs you nothing so you can get a bigger stake.

Read Also:

What’s Stopping ASEAN From Having A 100 Billion USD Tech Company?

Furthermore, the fees for joining an accelerator program should only be a small portion of the investment made, and not make up a whopping 2/3 of the entire “investment”.

What start-ups really need is cash, not benefits in kind.

Ideally, all deals should be a straight up cash for equity deal, so the start-up can have the flexibility of how they would like to allocate their resources, by spending less on rent and more on marketing or engineering rather than having to allocate a huge portion of their limited resources that their investor forced down their throat.

Start-ups should have the freedom to allocate their resources the way they see fit.

It is unfair for an investor to significantly inflate the value of their investment for a larger stake via non-cash contributions, because you are essentially raising money at a much lower valuation. If you’re really desperate for money, you might have no choice but to take the deal, but you need to know that you’re actually raising at a much lower valuation.

Mandatory ESOP That Does Not Dilute Them

There has also been term sheets that include a mandatory Employee Stock Option Program (ESOP) clause that DOES NOT dilute the investors.

While it is normal to allocate 10% to 20% of shares for early employees during each major round of funding, it is not fair that the investors can’t be diluted. All additional shares issued for employee stock options should dilute all existing shareholders equally.

Otherwise, that would essentially mean that employees’ stock comes solely from the founders, and the founders would be significantly diluted. Since the round includes a mandatory allocation for ESOP, that means the founders are essentially raising the amount of money for the percentage agreed PLUS the percentage of ESOP that needs to be allocated and not dilute the new investors.

If you are only giving out 10% of your shares this round, a 10% ESOP that does not dilute the investors would mean that you are basically giving away 20% for the investment, essentially having the valuation cut in half.

Inflated “Legal & Admin Fees” To Be Paid To Their Associated Firms

In addition to attributing a huge portion of the “investment value” to benefits in kind, that same accelerator also needed the start-up to pay up to RM50k for legal and admin services rendered by their partner firms.

Since RM400k of the RM600k “investment value” is in the form of office space and training, that means an additional RM50k needs to be taken out of the RM200k in cash to pay the accelerator’s partner firms, essentially leaving the start-up with around RM150k in usable cash.

Read Also:

Why I Got So Frustrated At ASEAN’s Start-Up Ecosystem After Coming Back From China

RM50k is a very steep price for a simple shareholders agreement for a pre-seed start-up, it’s absurd, this essentially means that the start-up is raising only RM150k in cash for 13–15% of stock. That accelerator also mandated an ESOP program that does not dilute themselves, which essentially cuts the valuation in half again.

Too Many Board Seats

Board seats are valuable, because they essentially give you control of the start-up’s key decisions. Most pre-seed and early stage investors would not get a seat on your start-up’s board. Your first non-founder board member will probably be from the lead investor from your first proper VC led round.

Even so, they would usually only take up 1 board seat, the founders should maintain control of the board until at least your start-up enters the later stages. The purpose of having an investor on your board is so they can provide guidance, an objective and experienced opinion, make key introductions when needed and keeping them up to date on the start-up’s progress. The founders should always have the power the make key decisions, especially during the early stages of a start-up where many risky and defining decisions needs to be made in order to make sure the start-up stays true to its mission.

So, if an early stage investor or accelerator requests for a majority or significant number of board seats in an early round of funding, something is wrong.

Excessive Investor Reporting

If you’re doing your job right, a start-up founder would be so busy building the product, team or business that you won’t even have time to sleep.

A start-up founder’s time should not be wasted on excessive paperwork like preparing investor reports. Every moment counts, especially during the early stages of a start-up.

It’s fair to prepare a proper progress report for our investors every year, or if the founders are more inexperienced, young and need more guidance, perhaps bi-annually or at most once every quarter. Anything more frequent than that is excessive and a waste of time.

Read Also:

Are ASEAN VCs Over-Correcting Their Investment Strategy?

Unfortunately, I’ve seen some investors demanding monthly or weekly progress reports in their term sheets. That’s just crazy. If that happens to you, you need to ask your investors whether they’d rather see progress on paper or actual progress that matters.

Investors can’t treat start-up founders like primary school kids, if they do so, they are probably the wrong investors for you. If you’re serious about building your start-up, you shouldn’t agree to terms like these, or convince your investors why such terms are dumb.

Unfair Anti-Dilution Rights

Fast growing tech start-ups need to raise multiple rounds of funding in order to grow and build out their businesses. Naturally, that means founders and other shareholders would need to go through multiple rounds of dilution throughout the lifetime of the start-up.

It is only fair that everyone gets diluted equally during each round of funding. No one should have any anti-dilution rights unless the start-up needs to raise a down round — a round at a lower valuation.

Anti-dilution rights are normal in conventional businesses, but not so for fast growing tech start-ups who need to raise multiple rounds of capital at different valuations. If the start-up needs to raise a down down, it’s still fair because a start-up would only need to raise a down round if the start-up isn’t doing well, which comes with its consequences.

Otherwise, giving an investor anti-dilution rights in your start-up is unfair because you are essentially giving them a lot more shares in the company and raising your round at a much lower valuation depending on how well your start-up eventually does in the end.

It is understood that the earlier you invest in a fast growing start-up the more your stake will be diluted with each round the start-up raises at a higher valuation, but that also means you have the most to gain because you got in early for your stake at a much lower price. Just a 1% stake can amount to billions or tens of millions in the end if your start-up does well, so don’t agree to anti-dilution rights, it is not common practice and not a fair term when it comes to tech start-ups.

Follow On Rights At A Discount

While anti-dilution rights are unfair, follow on rights are, unless they are at a discount.

Y-Combinator has follow on rights on their start-ups as well, that means they have the right to join a future round to maintain their stake (in terms of percentage) by investing more money at the valuation of that future round, which would be much higher.


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That’s the right way to maintain your stake as a percentage in a fast growing tech start-up that is doing well as an investor, by investing more in their later rounds at higher valuations together with the new later stage investors, since you’ve already benefited so much from the appreciation in stock price from your earlier investment.

I’ve seen accelerators and VCs include a sneaky discount along with their follow on rights, some as high as 30%. That’s unfair because the earlier investor would have already benefited from the increase in valuation of their previous stake, being able to follow-on at a discount to the next round’s much higher valuation is not fair for the later investors and would force the start-up to give out a lot more equity to raise the cash needed to further grow the start-up.

The start-up would have to give out more equity to raise cash if existing investors can invest at a discount. New investors would also not think it is fair and might not invest in the start-up altogether because of this.

Allowing follow-on rights with a discount might prevent you from raising any further funding, it is an unfair term that might jeopardise your chances of raising further rounds.

Beware Of A Loan That Is Not A Convertible Debt

It’s almost impossible to properly value an early stage start-up that is still iterating on their product and hasn’t really figured out its business model yet. Because of that, the standard way early stage investors in Silicon Valley invest in tech start-ups is through a convertible debt or a SAFE.

A convertible debt is essentially a loan that can be converted into shares at a certain price in the future, usually with a maximum price or at a discount from the start-ups first properly valued round — usually Series A.

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Did Softbank Get It Wrong With Uber And WeWork?

Loans are a common way shareholders inject capital into a company when it comes to conventional businesses, in under-developed start-up ecosystems like Malaysia where many start-up instruments are not recognised or not enforceable, many Malaysian start-ups have to improvise and use existing tools recognised by Malaysian company law to achieve the same effect of a convertible debt or a SAFE, so early stage investors do invest part of the full investment amount into start-ups via a loan.

The important part is to make sure that the loan achieves the same effect as a convertible debt or if equity is already issued, would be written off once the start-up raises its next round at a higher valuation.

This is important because if the loan remains a loan, that means the start-up would have to eventually pay back the investment made via a loan, which makes the investment a loan and not an investment.

Your new investors won’t be happy because the earlier investor would still get back their money plus interest besides the shares that they have gotten from their earlier “investment”, worse still if you are using your new investor’s money to pay off a loan from your previous investors.

So, make sure your investment is not made via a loan that’s not a convertible debt or can’t be written off.

Excessive Interest Rates & Repayment Terms

It’s normal for VCs to attach interest rates to their investments, usually when calculating their liquidation preference or when the investment is made via a convertible debt.

However, the interest rate should not be excessive. A number of Malaysian VCs and accelerators tend to attach an overly high interest rate to their investments with ridiculous payment terms. By right, an investment should not have any repayment terms, otherwise it’s more of a loan than an investment.

Unfortunately, due to the wrong way many VC funds in Malaysia are structured and the majority of VCs being formerly from the banking and private equity sector, many VC investments look more like loans than VC investments.

There are also many firms who call themselves VCs but are actually more like loan sharks than VCs, I’ve met a good number of them in Malaysia. These are not really VCs, not even the wrongly structured ones that function like private equity, at least those are legit.

If your term sheet includes excessive interests rates and ridiculous repayment terms, I would advice against taking money from them, many fellow founders have rightly made the decision to decline investment offers from such firms, including later stage firms. These start-ups would rather take out a proper loan from a bank if a VC has such terms.

Such firms usually only have their eyes on the money and have no regard for the long term vision and well-being of the start-up. All they want to do is to make a return on their investment and exit as soon as possible. They also might not have the holding power necessary to see an innovative start-up through to where they need to get and would force you to make bad short term focused decisions that would kill your start-up or completely derail you from what you really want to build.

Unfair Veto Powers — For Example Power To Accept New Investors

In most shareholder agreements, there would be a section regarding veto powers or stuff that would require the consent of all shareholders before the company can proceed with.

This section is usually used to protect against cases where the founders or directors take on an excessive amount of debt or liability or make a huge investment exceeding a certain amount that could destroy the company or change the financial soundness of a start-up significantly.

Veto power for taking on loans or liabilities more than a certain significant amount or spending more than a certain big amount in a single cheque is fair.

However, many Malaysian investors like to sneak things like the power to accept any new shareholders into this section. This is dangerous because such veto powers can be used to hold a start-up or a new investor ransom like the case when an accelerator program demanded a 3–5x exit from new investors on the next immediate round when the start-up was still technically in the pre-seed stage and needed all the cash it can to get started.

The accelerator was trying to “flip” the start-up for a quick profit.

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Fortunately for that start-up, their new investors who were interested to invest were experienced and knew how to deal with that rogue accelerator. They saw through the accelerator’s schemes and bought them out with what they put in but refused to pay a single cent more and are prepared to get the founders started on a separate entity and fight whatever legal harassment they might come up with.

Otherwise, that start-up would have just died because of that accelerator holding them ransom and scared off any future serious investor.

That start-up was also fortunate that the amount needed to buy out the bad investors out was small, otherwise you have to factor in the cost of buying out a bad investor into the round you are raising which means you will have to give out significantly more equity for much less money because a big part of that round goes to buying out bad investors rather than growing and building the start-up.

Personal Liability On Founders For Investment Amount

I told the founder that came to me with a term sheet with this clause that all other shitty terms in that term sheet was still something you could probably survive with if you were really really desperate for money and don’t mind taking a very low valuation and risk not being able to raise any further funding, but this one term is the one that would kill you and screw you up personally.

This term could bankrupt you.

In addition to having unfair veto powers and severely inflating the investment value by hundreds of thousands via “benefits in kind” rather than cash, that accelerator also made the founders liable for the full amount in cash plus severely inflated “benefits in kind” should the start-up close down or is unable to repay them after a set period of time.

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Given the fact that more 90% of start-ups fail, that would mean you would most probably go bankrupt if you don’t have the cash to repay the RM600,000 or so — in reality its just RM150,000 that you received — to that accelerator.

This is the kind of term that would kill you, and makes you feel like throwing the term sheet back at them and just walking away.

Unfortunately, some good and reputable firms or organisations, some of whom are started by friends I respect, hold dearly and have done a lot for our ecosystem happen to have similar terms too, due to the wrong way they are structured and a lack of understanding from powerful people that are entangled in bureaucracy, but they usually will not pursue and enforce such terms unless there is a clear element of founder fraud involved.

That was a compromise the pioneers and builders of our ecosystem had to make just to get things started in a country that never had a start-up scene. They had to include those terms to appease people high up who din’t understand how to fund start-ups but made sure to never enforce those terms.

With that understanding, it might still be okay to go ahead with that deal, many have benefited from it, but without that understanding and if the deal is done by a private firm, I would never accept a deal that has that term in it.

Adding A Multiple To The Personal Liability & Liquidation Preference For The “Investment Amount”

This just baffles me, that same accelerator had the audacity to add a 6x multiple for their already severely inflated “investment amount” that was mostly made up of benefits in kind to the personal liability the founders had to bear and their liquidation preference.

That meant that if the start-up failed, the founders of the start-up had to pay back that accelerator 6x the “investment amount”, much of which was not even cash they ever received. That’s just crazy.

A founder must be really stupid or careless to accept a deal like this.

Liquidation preferences, on the other hand, are normal. Most VCs have that, they would want to be paid back first with whatever that’s left in the company in the event it closes down or does not exit for an amount that’s higher than what they put in.

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In my opinion, a 1x non-participating liquidation preference is fair to allow the investor to recoup as much as they can up to an amount that they’ve put in just in case the start-up fails. Some more predatory VCs or risky deals might warrant a higher liquidation preference, maybe up to 4x, which is extremely high, but that’s up to the founders to decide whether they would want to live with that and the rewards justify the high liquidation preference — for example if you’re raising a huge amount and you can partially exit during that round, then it might be a risk you might want to take.

Either way, a 6x liquidation preference is just way too high, even more so when most of that base amount was benefits in kind and not cash. To apply that same multiple to a term that should never have existed, to make the founders personally liable, is even more absurd.

No one should ever take such a deal.

Investors Might Be Inexperienced

I asked that founder how well did they know the people running that accelerator, and whether he thought they were sincere and good people. I asked this question because the terms seemed too absurd to be true, and it could be due to the investors being inexperienced and not knowing what terms are fair when investing in a start-up.

Investor’s Lawyers Might Be Using Unsuitable Templates

Sometimes, it might not be the investor’s fault.

The investor might be a good person genuinely interested in investing and helping to build the start-up, but hired the wrong lawyers who don’t really know how to do deals involving start-ups.

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Being from a legal background and having many close friends who are lawyers, I have a good idea of the state that our legal profession is in. Given Malaysia’s nascent start-up scene, there aren’t many lawyers who are experts in start-up law and terms that are suitable for start-ups. If you’re using templates meant for conventional businesses, in their attempt to protect their client — the investor’s — interest, they might actually unintentionally be doing more harm than good and might include terms that would kill their investment before it even gets started.

Explain To Your Investors Politely

If that’s the case, my advice to the founder would be to just sit your potential investors down and politely explain to them why you can’t accept those terms and why the terms would kill your start-up or prevent you from raising any future rounds.

If the investors are genuine, they should understand and make the necessary changes.

Sometimes Investors Really Are Assholes

Unfortunately, sometimes investors really are assholes. They are in the business either to flip start-ups to make a quick profit and are willing to do anything to achieve that target including holding the start-up ransom, letting them die or make the founders personally liable so they would be their slaves — in essence they’re a loanshark.

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Never Take Money With Asshole Terms

Founders who truly want to build disruptive companies that solves a problem and make life better for everyone should never take money with asshole terms to protect yourselves, your start-up and your mission solve the problem you’ve set out to solve.

Know What Kind Of Start-Up You Want To Build

The next thing is to know what kind of start-up you want to build and what kind of start-up you’re actually building, what terms would be fair for a start-up like yours and what would not.

Start-ups that are solving smaller problems or are limited to a certain locality or region usually command much smaller valuations for good reason, that’s fair. Raising a round at too high a valuation for your start-up might prevent future investors from investing in you too, or might force you to have to raise a down round in the future.

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On the other hand, start-ups that aim to solve global problems and have to eventually raise global funding from Silicon Valley investors have other terms to worry about and can’t give out too much equity to make sure they have enough skin in the game.

You need to know what kind of start-up you are building, who you would need to raise money from in the future and what kind of terms they can or can’t accept.

You need to know your start-up’s true market potential and which path you need to take in order to know what’s fair and what’s not for your start-up.

Founders Should Stand Together & Support Each Other More

Nevertheless, start-up founders should stand together and support each other more. VCs talk amongst themselves and share thoughts about deals and founders. Founders should do the same about VCs too so we know who are the good ones and who are the bad ones who might screw us over.

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Many founders are clueless as to what might get them screwed in the future until they actually get screwed years down the road. It would be great if we could share what we know with each other more so we can make more well-informed decisions and avoid pitfalls that might kill our start-up or get us into serious trouble.

Founders Have Right To Know What Are Asshole Terms So They Can Avoid Death

The point of me sharing all these stories is not to point the blame on anyone or start a big woo-ha, that’s totally pointless.

I am sharing these stories to hopefully spark positive change in our ecosystem and also because I believe that founders have the right to know what bad terms to look out for in a term sheet that could kill them or their start-ups.


I am building a start-up myself, and I hope you will help me out a little here so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

The average seed round in developed ecosystems like Silicon Valley and China is 2–5 million USD today — 2019. Founders can also raise up to 1 to 1.5 million USD pre-seed just with an idea and without anything built.

Back in 2004, Facebook’s seed round from Peter Thiel was just 500k USD.

What changed?

Gone Are The Days Where Scrappy MVPs Are Good Enough

Times have changed. Back in the day, you can start with just a website with hyperlinks, and you can grow by sending email invites. Scrappy MVPs were good enough.

Today, if you need significant engagement, you’ll probably have to be a mobile app with push notifications, and develop for both iOS & Android. Our standards are also much higher, we expect apps today to be polished and well built when we first use them.

Facebook Started As Just A College Directory With Hyperlinks

When Facebook first started in 2004, it was just a website with hyperlinks that listed everyone in Harvard and what course they were taking. It’s basically just a college directory with hyperlinks.

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There was no news feed, no like button or even a superwall. All of that came later as they raised more funding, acquired other start-ups and developed new features. By the time Facebook reached the shores of ASEAN in 2008, the Facebook we see is very different from the very first version launched in Harvard.

Users Nowadays Expect A Polished App From The Get-Go

Times have changed, users today expect new apps to be polished from the get-go. We have a low tolerance for buggy apps and unfriendly user interfaces.

Inflation — The Cost Of Living & Hiring Has Gone Up

Because of inflation, the cost of living and hiring has also naturally gone up. Since wages have gone up to support the ever increasing cost of living, the cost of hiring and building up a team has also naturally become more expensive.

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High Demand For Software Engineers Drives Up Costs

Besides that, the increasing number of start-ups and big companies have also driven up the demand for software engineers and have driven their wages up by a huge margin.

A tech lead in a top US company in silicon valley today can earn upwards for 500k USD a year.

Unsolved Big Problems Require More Complicated Solutions

Most problems that can be solved with a simple website with hyperlinks have also already been solved. What’s left are more complicated problems that often require more complicated and custom made solutions in order to solve effectively, even at MVP stage.

Things like helping people find their right life partner and continue building their relationship after marriage so they can live happily ever after.

There Is A Lot Of Money Going Around In Mature Markets

Because of the success of start-ups like Facebook, Google, Dropbox, Airbnb, the low interest rates after the 2008 recession and a long period of economic growth that propelled tech companies to astronomical values, there’s a lot of venture capital money circulating in mature markets. More start-ups are getting funded and round sizes are getting bigger and bigger as competition to get in on exciting start-ups increases.

Infrastructure Is Cheaper But Problems Are Harder & Wages Are More Expensive

With the advent of cloud computing services like AWS and Google Cloud, infrastructure is significantly cheaper today. Websites are also easier to build because of more advanced technologies. It is much easier to build a hyperlinked website today than it was back in 2004.

However, problems that are left to be solved are much harder and require much more complicated solutions, coupled with more expensive wages and cost of hiring, the costs of just getting started and getting a functional MVP off the ground increases dramatically as well.

That’s why start-ups today need to raise bigger and bigger rounds just to properly get started.

The Situation In ASEAN Is Sad — 500k USD Seed If You’re Lucky — 2–5 Million USD Is Series A

Unfortunately, in ASEAN, you are fortunate to get a 500k USD seed round, round sizes are getting a little better in Singapore and Indonesia now, but 500k USD is still the average. In Malaysia, it’s even worse, our seed round here is closer to 500k ringgit, 3 to 4 times less.

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The average Series A in ASEAN hovers around 2–5 million USD, that’s only a seed round in China or Silicon Valley.

Round Sizes In ASEAN Need To Get Bigger For 100 Billion USD Start-Ups To Emerge

Unfortunately, the costs of starting a truly innovative start-up that could change the world from ASEAN has increased accordingly also.

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Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

Wages and rent might be cheaper here, but you would still have to pay a lot for the best software engineers, server costs and online tools also cost more because of the exchange rate and the lack of incentive programmes to use those services in this region.

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Consumers here also expect more polished apps because they are used to a very polished version of tech products that only reach ASEAN shores typically after a US start-up has reached Series B or C and is already a big global company.

If ASEAN is to ever have a world-changing 100 billion USD start-up, round sizes in ASEAN needs to get bigger. Small round sizes are okay for local copycats or moving conventional businesses online, but not for truly innovative start-ups that are solving global problems and can become global companies used by everyone.


I hope you will help me so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

Many people are baffled by the kind of valuations start-ups like Uber and WeWork were able to get from VCs like Softbank given how much they resemble conventional businesses rather than true tech start-ups like Facebook or Google.

Are Uber & WeWork Really Worth That Much?

The question on everyone’s minds is whether Uber & WeWork are really worth that much, given how much money they are losing even after raising billions.

Did Softbank make a mistake?

I Am No Expert — But Let Me Know If My Observations Makes Sense

I am no expert, but I’ve studied how the stock market works and how multi-billion dollar companies justify their valuations, especially those north of 100 billion USD like Facebook, Google or Microsoft extensively.

The reason I had to do that was because I wanted to build a 100 billion USD start-up that could solve a global problem so I could help Malaysia fulfil its full potential.

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To be able to do that, I would first need to understand how the stock market works and what makes a company worth 10 million, 100 million, 10 billion or 100 billion.

Why Facebook & Google Are Worth More Than 100 Billion USD

The reason why companies worth well over 100 billion USD like Facebook and Google are worth so much is because they are pure tech companies.

They can build their platform once and launch everywhere in the world without having to have an on-ground team. They are also solving fundamental global problems that everyone faces, and their products are what people around the world use everyday and can’t live without.

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Big conventional businesses like Starbucks actually make comparable amounts of revenue, but have very high costs and narrow profit margins for each sale they make compared to true tech companies like Facebook and Google who can basically print money out of thin air.

It costs Google & Facebook virtually nothing to show you an ad, link or picture in their newsfeed or search results besides the negligible costs of keeping the servers running at scale. If they were stingy china-man companies, their profit margins would be sky high, but they increase their costs by paying sky-high salaries and attractive benefits like free food, massage and a great working environment to attract top talent and invest heavily into research and development and innovation, building risky cutting edge things like self-driving cars (Google’s Lidar Cars) and solar powered airplanes.

The Problem Is — A Heavy Physical Aspect Makes A Difference

Unfortunately for Uber & WeWork, their core product and business has a heavy physical aspect, with Uber having to work with local drivers who are providing a service that requires a physical asset — a car — that needs maintenance and incurs costs every time they ferry an Uber passenger and WeWork having to work with local landlords and sign long term leases on property in order to refurbish them and rent them out.

Uber has to pay drivers, and WeWork has to pay their landlords. There is a cost they have to pay — to a middle-man/supplier — for every unit of service they sell — ride/rent.

History Has Proven Time Again — If It’s Much Better — People Will Switch

However, the service that Uber & WeWork are providing has real value, and is much better than anything that existed before it.

History has proven again and again that people will ALWAYS switch to something that is better, even though they might not know they want it or might find it weird at first.

Henry Ford said that if you had asked people what they wanted before everyone had a car, they would say that they wanted a faster horse carriage.

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Our parents or grandparents din’t think that we needed a better way to stay in touch with friends; letters, house phones and coffeehouse meet-ups were good enough. They didn’t think there was a problem to be solved, but today many of us can’t survive without Facebook or Instagram.

We would have totally lost touch with some friends without it.

Cabs and cars worked fine before Uber existed, and the idea of getting into a stranger’s car who was not a cab driver seemed weird and creepy, unless you are used to hitch-hiking, but it turns out to actually be an ingenious and much better solution to transportation.

History has shown us that if you’ve build a product that is orders of magnitude better than any solution before it, people will eventually switch to it.

Uber & WeWork Have A Heavy Physical Aspect To Their Business Models

Uber relies on local drivers and their cars in order for their users to be able to book a ride to their destination. Their app on its own, without the drivers and their cars would not work. Drivers are stakeholders too, and need to be paid for each ride completed.

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WeWork on the other hand relies on local property owners to lease them their property at a cheaper price in return for a long term commitment from WeWork to rent the place. Regardless of whether WeWork is able to fill up their co-working and co-living spaces, WeWork still has to pay rent to their landlords, which is a significant operating cost to their business model.

A Heavy Physical Aspect Results In Higher Capex For Expansion

Unlike purely tech start-ups like Google and Facebook who can just build their platform in Silicon Valley and get everyone in the world to use the same platform, start-ups with a heavy physical aspect like WeWork and Uber require significant amounts of capital expenditure to expand their services across different countries and markets.

The Requirement Of An On-Ground Team To Launch In A New Country

In both cases, you would have to hire an on-ground team in order to launch in a new city or a new country. Uber needs to build up a community of drivers while marketing their service to consumers while WeWork needs to secure their landlord, manage the renovation and day to day operations of their space and have an on-ground sales team to ink deals with companies who might want to move in.

Local Copycats Have An Advantage For Businesses With Heavy Physical Aspect

With Didi & Grab’s victory over Uber in their local markets and the success of local co-working spaces like Colony, WORQ and Common Ground in local markets like Kuala Lumpur and other cities around the world, the results have shown that local copycats actually have an advantage over businesses with a heavy physical aspect.

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Why I Got So Frustrated At ASEAN’s Start-Up Ecosystem After Coming Back From China

This is because local copycats are more familiar with their own country or region, have more close connections and hence can better hyper-localise and forge better deals due to strong existing connections and a better understanding of the local market.

Hyper-Localisation Matters More When Local Stakeholders Are Involved

Local drivers and landlords have different cultures and prefer to work with people or companies who understand their cultures better. Armed with knowledge of the local culture, local copycats were also able to hyper-localise their services so that it’s more in tune to how local consumers use their products, just like how Grab offered the option for consumers to pay cash due to the low credit card penetration rate in ASEAN and set prices beforehand because ASEAN consumers are more price sensitive and would prefer to know how much a trip would cost before taking a Grab ride.

But Softbank Invested In All Of Them — “Morganisation” All Over Again

I think I see what Softbank is doing here, they invested in all the regional ride-hailing platforms in the world besides Uber — which they of course invested in too later on — including Didi in China, Grab in ASEAN and Ola in India.

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Are Early Stage ASEAN VCs Valuing Start-Ups Wrongly?

J.P Morgan, one of the first venture capitalists in the world who invested in Thomas Edison’s lightbulb start-up, did the same thing back in the early 1900s, when he consolidated the railway industry as well as the steel industry in the U.S, forming companies such as U.S Steel and General Electric.

That concept of investing in all the the major players in an industry in order to consolidate them to weed out inefficiency and competition like what J.P Morgan did came to be known as “Morganisation”.

That’s Okay — Either Way — Softbank Wins — Question Is — By How Much?

Softbank is basically doing the same thing here with ride-hailing, if you own all of them, either way, you win as long as ride-hailing wins.

The more important question here however is whether ride-hailing will be worth as much as what Softbank thinks it will be, because Softbank will only make money if their stake is worth much more than the valuation that they bought it at.

Transportation & Accommodation Are Global Problems

Companies that can command 100 billion USD valuations are usually solving global problems that everyone in the world faces.

Transportation & accommodation are indeed global problems that everyone in the world faces, everyone needs to commute and everyone needs a place to stay or work.

But Uber & WeWork’s Solutions Don’t Solve Them Entirely — Impossible To Do So Due To The Enormity Of The Fragmented Physical Market

However, because problems like transportation and accommodation are so big and have such a heavy physical aspect to the solution, it’s quite hard to solve the problem for everyone with just one single platform.

Due to the heavy physical aspect involved, where the solution involves the rights to property, drivers and cars, you would need a very high amount of capital expenditure to grow and it would be almost impossible to conquer the entire market due to the enormity of the existing fragmented market.

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Are ASEAN VCs Over-Correcting Their Investment Strategy?

You will have to own all the property in the world or all the cars and drivers in the world in order for you to fully conquer the market.

It is quite impossible to do so.

Uber Is Just A Better Taxi Company With An App — Market Isn’t Worth That Much

Much of the criticism on Uber’s lofty valuation is that it is basically just another taxi company, albeit being a much better one. The taxi industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, but it is not worth that much, mostly because it is a conventional business with high costs, lower margins and non-exponential scalability unlike true tech companies like Google or Facebook.

Basically, it is like a slightly better Comfort Delgro with a bigger market.

People Do Drive Less & Uber More — But Not By That Much

The counter argument to that is that Uber has actually created an entirely new market by enticing people who usually wouldn’t take public transport to now take Uber instead and getting people who usually would not become cab drivers to become Uber drivers.

There is some truth to this, especially in markets like Kuala Lumpur where the reputation of taxi’s aren’t great, people have been using ride-hailing more than they normally would with the advent of ride-hailing start-ups, with some even getting rid of their cars.

People Who Need To Drive Will Still Drive — It Makes More Economic Sense

While that was possible when regulations were non-existent and everyone could become an Uber driver whenever they had time and the price war was going on and subsidies were keeping prices artificially low, it is not when regulation kicks in and subsidies run out.

Once the market goes back to market prices, those who need to drive would still go back to driving because it makes more economic sense.

It would make sense to purely rely on ride-hailing services if you don’t already own car, but it would not be too convenient if you had a family with kids.

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Uber/GrabCar Vs Driving Your Own Car: Which Is Cheaper?

If you have already bought a car and have to pay down your instalment or have already paid off your instalment, it would not make financial sense to switch entirely to ride-hailing services, simply because you already have a monthly commitment to your car or the cost of driving is a lot cheaper if you have already paid off your car loan.

Especially if you are in sales or have to travel to multiple locations in a day, driving would ultimately still be much cheaper and make more economic sense.

City Folk Drive Less Because It Makes Economic Sense — Not Because Of Uber

Unless you’re in a city where the cost of owning a car is already unsustainable like New York City. In those cities, people have always been taking public transport and cabs even before ride-hailing services like Uber came about.

People In Cities Like New York Prefer Cabs To Driving Even Before Uber

As cities grow and the costs of living gets higher, it is a natural trend for city dwellers to increasingly shun car ownership and opt for public transportation — which includes ride-haling — instead of owning cars.

As more cities grow, more city dwellers will opt to not own a car, but that’s due to the natural progression of a city, not due to the emergence of ride-hailing services like Uber.

Margins Are Tight — Because Of The Middle-Man/Supplier — Drivers

For every ride Uber or Grab delivers, most of the fare has to go to the drivers, who also need to earn a living, pay for fuel and the costs of the car and maintenance.

Because of the need to pay drivers for their time and cost to operate their vehicle, margins are tight. If you slap on a subsidy, you’re essentially losing money on each sale made.

You will also need to spend more the faster you grow.

It’s Still Worth A Lot — But Not That Much — They Should Still Survive

Nevertheless, I believe that once Uber decides to flip the switch and stop the subsidies so they start to make a profit on each ride, it can still be a sustainable business.

They have created real value and made a service that’s much better than anything before it — cabs. However, they are probably not worth that much if they are just a better version of a taxi company.

Their true value in that case should be more than the entire cab industry because of the extra value that they have created, which is still worth a lot, but not as much as they are worth today.

Come On — Snapchat — Twitter — Zynga — Groupon Are Still Around — Just Smaller

There are start-ups with much worse business models and are still haemorrhaging money that are still around like Zynga and Groupon.

They still exist, just much smaller than they used to be. Even for a start-up like Snapchat, which is essentially in the communications industry competing with the likes of WhatsApp, Messenger & Instagram whose USP was almost entirely wiped out by Instagram and struggling to become profitable, still yielded a handsome profit in the form of an exit by way of an IPO for their founders and investors.

Unlike those start-ups, Uber and WeWork have created more value and true utility, and would still be worth a whole lot, but perhaps not as much as they are worth today.

Is There A Tech Bubble? — Not Like The 2000s — No — But There Is A Lot Of Money

Many people are saying that there is a bubble in tech like what happened in the 2000s. After studying what really happened and hearing from those who were in the know in the early 2000s, the situation today is actually very different.

Back in the day, any dumb idea can raise a tremendous amount of funding, there was absolutely no regard for a path to profitability or even solving a true problem. Today’s start-ups are different, many of them do create real value and are solving real problems.

It is also normal for companies to be worth more due to inflation and the fact that truly disruptive tech companies like Google or Facebook can really become global monopolies and be worth that much.

However, there is a lot of cheap money out there due to the super low interests rates coming out of the 2008 financial recession, which led to an increase in investment in general across all industries. This caused the entire stock market today to be overvalued.

There Is Real Value This Time — But If There’s A Correction — Some Might Die — But Not Uber & WeWork — Downsized Yes — But They Have Real Value — Will Survive

The entire stock market today is probably due for a correction of some sort soon, but it is not tech specific, there has been true value created by most tech companies, and they would likely emerge much stronger just like how Google did.

When the correction happens, some start-ups with terrible business models and are not really solving any problem or creating real value might die, but not Uber & WeWork, unless something goes terribly wrong internally or with the management of the company, which might be the real cause of their downfall in the end — if they do eventually fall.

They might be downsized, but because they are creating real value, they would survive.

Uber’s Valuation Is A Bet On Whether Self-Driving Cars Become A Regulated Reality

The way I see it, Uber’s valuation is largely a bet on whether self-driving cars would become a regulated reality where every car you see on the road is a self-driving car.

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Self-Driving Cars Are Already A Reality — But When Will Regulation Make It Common?

Self-driving cars are already a reality today, the technology is already here.

What’s stopping every car on the road from being a self-driving car today is government regulation and some ethical issues that we have yet to resolve — things like should a self-driving car swerve to the right and risk killing 1 person in order to avoid killing 3 if it did not swerve at all.

Self-Driving Cars + Uber Is The Future — The Question Is When Will That Happen?

Over time, self-driving cars and ride-hailing will become the norm, it’s just natural progression as society develops and technology advances.

The question is when?

It’s A Very Long Game — Each Country Will Take It’s Own Time To Get There

Due to the often stifling bureaucracy in each government and the politics involved, it would take a long time for the governments of the world to get their act together in welcoming the advent of self-driving cars.

Each country would likely take its own sweet time to get there, with various interests groups and big industries trying to slow progress until they are ready to fully capitalise on the opportunity.

It’s going to be a long game and a long wait.

Self-Driving Cars Eliminates The Middle Man — Uber Will Be Worth That Much Then

But when that day comes, Uber would be worth a whole lot more, probably even more than what it is worth today, because they would have eliminated the biggest part of their cost — the middle man — in Uber’s case, that’s the driver.

With the advent of electric self-driving cars like Teslas, the cost savings would be even more significant, since electricity is cheaper and electric cars have less moving parts and require less maintenance than internal combustion engines powered cars.

Can Uber’s Cash Reserves Last Them That Long? — Maybe

The danger here is that Uber runs out of cash and dies before that day becomes a reality.

If they manage their costs well with Softbank’s immense financial backing, there could probably survive until that day comes, we shall find out.

Maybe Tesla Will Be The Ultimate Winner In The End

But who knows, perhaps Tesla might end up becoming the ultimate winner in the end if they control the key hardware required to make this work — a huge fleet of self-driving electric cars connected to a ride-sharing system.

Grab Faces The Same Problem As Uber — In A Much Smaller Market

Grab basically faces the exact same problem as uber, but in a much smaller — by spending power — and much less developed market in ASEAN.

Grab Is Only Worth That Much If They Become A Tencent Of ASEAN

In my opinion, Grab is only worth what they are worth today if they manage to become the Tencent of ASEAN and become a super app.

Otherwise, they are just an ASEAN taxi company, which is still worth some money, but definitely no where near what they are worth today.

Grab Has To Conquer Payments, Healthcare, Insurance & More

In order to become the Tencent of ASEAN, Grab will have to conquer payments, healthcare, insurance and much more.

It Looks Like Grab Has The Cash & A Good Chance Of Doing That

With their tremendous cash reserves and the cheaper cost of labour in ASEAN, coupled with the recent moves they’ve made, it looks like Grab has a decent chance of achieving just that if you they manage their resources carefully and make the correct moves.

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Why Start-Ups Today Need To Raise More & More Just To Get Started?

But Exiting Would Be A Problem — No ASEAN Stock Market Can Absorb Them

Nevertheless, trying to list Grab on an ASEAN stock exchange and trying to exit in that manner would be a huge challenge. I am doubtful that any ASEAN stock market has the ability to absorb Grab with their current valuation.

They Are Worth More Than Major ASEAN Banks — And Still Losing Money

At their current valuation, Grab is actually worth much more than some of the major banks in this region, and they are still bleeding money.

RHB’s market capitalisation is only roughly 5 billion USD while Maybank’s is only roughly 25 billion USD.

ASEAN’s Public Investors Aren’t Ready — They Don’t Understand Tech Yet

Most of ASEAN’s rich investors made their money from conventional businesses like property, manufacturing, banking and commodities.

Most of them are from an older generation and do not really understand the value of tech.

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5 Things Multi-Billion US Dollar Companies Like Facebook & Google Have In Common

They have not yet seen a Google or Facebook being built, most probably do not even know how much they are worth today — FB is worth more than 500 billion USD while Google is worth more than 840 billion USD in 2019, how they make money and are totally clueless to the fact that Google and Facebook are making billions every quarter out of thin air just by showing ads.

They are familiar with things like coffee and steel that you can see, feel and touch, not ephemeral things like a picture or a link that appears on a screen for a short while.

ASX Isn’t Liquid Enough For Huge ASEAN Tech Stocks

The Australian stock exchange used to be a popular place for ASEAN tech start-ups to list, due to the underperforming and dying mining stocks in the stock exchange.

However, over the years, many ASEAN listings, with the exception of a few, have crashed and failed. At best, they’re penny stocks that don’t see much movement and don’t provide much liquidity to investors and shareholders.

The Options Are — HK — Nasdaq/NYSE Via Didi Acquisition — NYSE/Nasdaq With Strong Chinese Backing — But That Might Not Really Be An Exit For Softbank

Listing in Hong Kong might be one of the options, since Alibaba first listed there long before they listed in the US.

Other than that, one of the best options in my opinion would be to get acquired by Didi and list on Nasdaq or NYSE as part of Didi, holding Didi stock.

ASEAN start-ups generally don’t do too well in US stock exchanges because investors there see the ASEAN market as too small for their tastes, especially so when you have to convert revenue or profits made here to USD. They seem minuscule. Many US based growth stage start-ups make much more than an ASEAN champion.

If Grab ever plans to list directly on a US stock exchange, they would need to have very strong financial backing from a big Chinese company, like what SEA did. Grab has Softbank, so it might work, but that would mean Softbank can’t really exit because they would have to hold on to their stock in order for the stock price to not fall, unless they can find someone to take their stock off them at that valuation.

WeWork Is Just Much Better Office Space & Living Space With Better Amenities

Those who have experienced working both at a conventional office and working at a co-working space would know how much better working at a co-working space is.

WeWork has added significant value in creating working and living spaces that is much better than what most people are stuck with today.

It’s Good — It’s Much Better Than It’s Competitors — It Should Be The Way Forward

What they have built is way better than what exists today. The world would be a much better and much more productive place if everyone worked at a nicer work place, that should be the way forward.

Like Uber — There’s Real Value — But They Just Should Not Be Worth That Much

There’s real value that is being created, the question, like Uber, is whether they are worth as much as they are worth.

Landlords & Huge Rent Commitments Suck Up Margins

While drivers and their cars make up the bulk of Uber’s costs, WeWork faces the same problem with their landlords and huge rent commitments.

How Much Can You Squeeze Out Of A Community? — No One Knows Yet

Some argue that there is a lot more to be made from the tight-knit community that WeWork has built around their co-working spaces.

I see sense in that, and agree that there is much more to be made from communities, but no one knows for sure yet.

Much More Has To Be Done — You Have To Provide Many Services

For that to happen, WeWork has to do much more than just provide a cozy co-working space. They would have to build and provide many more services to be able to profit from the community that they have built.

Better Living & Work Spaces, Better Community Is Great — Not Everyone Can Afford

However, not everyone can afford better working and living spaces. With the prices where they are at, it’s pretty expensive.

You Have To Conquer The Entire Housing & Office Market To Be That Valuable

In order for WeWork to truly solve the housing and office space problem thoroughly, they would have to conquer the entire market, which is close to impossible.

That Requires An Enormous Amount Of Capex Or Committed Opex

WeWork would need to have control over most of the office and living spaces in the world to do that, and that would require an enormous amount of capital expenditure.

The property market is huge, requires plenty of capital and is pretty fragmented. It would be almost impossible to have control over a significant portion of it.

Co-Working Is Great — But Too Much Sunk Costs To Switch For Most

While everyone would love to work at a cozy and comfortable co-working space, it wouldn’t be practical for a lot of people and companies to do so. There is too much sunk costs invested in their existing offices for them to switch easily.

Conventional Offices Are Much Cheaper — Prices Have To Go Down By A Lot

Renting your own office is still much cheaper, and gives you much more freedom to do what you want with the space. For co-working to be affordable for everyone, especially if you have interns, prices will have to go down by quite a lot.

My co-founder and I chose to get our own office which we are sharing with a few other start-ups for that sole reason. It is much cheaper than a co-working space, there’s no extra charge when you hire more interns, you can host your own events — like speed dating events — and you can stay and sleep there like what we are doing. Co-working spaces don’t really allow you to sleep there.

Co-Living Has A Life Span — Only 20s — 35 — Before Starting A Family

As for co-living, there is only a certain amount of time a person would want to stay at a co-living space, that’s when they are still single and without a family.

Once people start getting married and have kids, they would prefer their own space.

Uber & WeWork Can Become The Next Alibaba Or Amazon?

Perhaps the plan all along was for Uber & WeWork to hold on long enough to become the next Alibaba or Amazon, who both seem to also have a heavy physical aspect to their business, but do they really?

Contrary To Popular Belief — Alibaba Is NOT A Copycat Of Amazon

Many people, especially westerners, think that Alibaba is China’s copycat of Amazon. However, that is actually far from the truth.

Alibaba Is A Merchant Platform — Physical Aspect Isn’t That Heavy

Amazon started off selling books online, they would go out and buy the books that were ordered online so they could deliver them to their customers and eventually stocked up on the popular titles based on the orders they were getting.

As they grew, they were still primarily an e-commerce platform, where they would get stock from suppliers and sell it to customers.

Alibaba, on the other hand, is a merchant platform that connects merchants to buyers, they don’t make a margin on the goods sold through the platform, but instead charges the merchants a listing or subscription fee to list their products on the platform.

They did not need to have inventory and their business model does not have a heavy physical aspect. They only went into logistics and warehousing later to make things easier for their merchants.

Their Mission Is To Make All Forms Of Commerce Easy — Client Is The Merchant

Having a strong command of both Mandarin and English, I realised that Jack Ma has been misquoted many times in articles and documentaries, especially by the western media and English speaking journalists.

If you understood what he said in Mandarin during his speeches and interviews, you will realise that Alibaba’s mission is to make all forms of commerce easy, and their client is the merchant, not the consumer.

They are a platform that connects merchants to buyers, and do not sell anything to the buyers directly, and hence do not really sell products, the merchants do, not them.

You Need To Listen To Jack Ma’s Speeches In Mandarin To Truly Understand

The context and meaning you get if you listen to Jack Ma’s talks and speeches in Mandarin first-hand is often very different from what you read in western articles. You’ll need to listen to Jack Ma himself to truly understand.

Amazon Isn’t Worth Very Much Until Very Recently

When Alibaba got listed on NYSE in 2014 at a market valuation of 231 billion USD, I was surprised to find that Amazon was actually worth much lesser at only 100+ billion USD.

If you look at Amazon’s market capitalisation throughout the years, it wasn’t really worth that much until recently. It’s stock only truly shot up exponentially in the last 5 years from 2013–2014 onwards.

Much Of Amazon’s Worth Today Is Because Of AWS — Prime & Data As Well

That’s because of the longest time, Amazon wasn’t really making money on their tight e-commerce margins. Their business model was still conventional and are seen as just an online retailer and are valued the same way conventional retailers were valued.

Much of Amazon’s recent stock surge and profit surge came largely from the maturing of their cloud server service AWS and premium subscription service Amazon Prime, which had very high margins, similar to how Google and Facebook are selling ads, because the cost per unit sold is low for such products, giving them high profit margins.

Of course, the consumer data that they have gathered over the years also helped them to sell more to consumers and manage their logistics and buying costs more efficiently using AI and machine learning to accurately predict consumer’s spending behaviour.

It’s A Long Game For WeWork To Find/Develop It’s Own AWS, Prime & Data

Softbank is probably betting that WeWork and Uber would breakeven, hold out and one day develop their own high profit margin product in the form of their own AWS and Amazon Prime of transportation and co-working with the help of the data that they would be gathering from their users and customers.

However, that’s a long game to play, we do not know when that would happen and whether that would happen. WeWork and Uber would need to have a visionary founder that keeps innovating and building new products for that to happen.

I think it is possible, but it is a long game ahead.

Google — Facebook — Wowwwz Are In A Different League — They Solve Global Problems Everyone Faces Thoroughly — Purely Online — Minimal Physical Aspect

Tech companies like Google and Facebook, and perhaps one day my start-up — Wowwwz, belong in an entirely different league.

They solve global problems that everyone in the world faces, and they can solve those problem thoroughly purely online via tools and services on their online platforms with minimal physical presence excepts servers to keep their app running.

This Allows Them To Build Once — Launch Everywhere — Print Money Out Of Thin Air

With little to no physical presence or infrastructure required, this allows tech companies like Google, Facebook and Wowwwz to build once and launch everywhere in the world.

Everyone in the world would be using the same Google search engine, Facebook app and Wowwwz app, there is little to no physical or on-ground costs. This allow these companies to literally print money out of thin air, that’s why they are worth so much.

Super Duper High Margins — With Little To No Costs Besides Servers & Electricity

For every ad or link Google or Facebook serves, there is little to no costs for them besides servers and electricity, which is negligible at their scale. That results in super duper high margins, akin to printing money out of thin air.

The Catch — It Requires Vision To Build Such Solutions

The catch, however, is that it requires vision to build out such solutions like Google and Facebook that solves a global problem that everyone in the world uses everyday.

Visionary Founders Who Understand The Problem Enough Are Very Rare

Such visionary founders who understand a global problem enough to solve them thoroughly are very rare. Not everyone has vision.

Google — Facebook — Wowwwz Won’t Make Significant Revenue For 5–7 Years

Companies like Google or Facebook also would not make any significant revenue for its first 5–7 years of its life before it solves the problem thoroughly.

They would need to spend hundreds of millions to billions just building out their solution in order to become the last and the best solution for their problem.

Investors Who Are Attracted To Instant Revenue Will Miss Out — Huge Mistake

Many investors, especially those in under-developed ecosystems like ASEAN shun these companies for a lack of early revenue, and prefer start-ups that make revenue from day 1 like Uber and WeWork.

That’s actually a huge mistake.

It Actually Costs Much More To Build & Grow WeWork/Uber Than Facebook/Google/Wowwwz Although The Latter Doesn’t Generate Revenue At The Start

In the long run, it actually costs a lot more to build and grow a company like WeWork and Uber than a Google, Facebook or Wowwwz although companies like Google, Facebook and Wowwwz do not make any significant revenue during the first few years.

Google/Facebook/Wowwwz — 500 Million USD To 5 Billion USD In First 7 Years

Companies like Google, Facebook or Wowwwz would have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars or even up to billions to build out their product in the first 7 years.

No Meaningful Revenue — Focus On Iterating Fast & Solving The Problem Thoroughly

During that time, they would have no meaningful revenue, and would be focusing on iterating fast and solving the problem thoroughly, increasing their retention rates and viral co-efficient.

In Facebook’s case, that would mean adding a super wall, newsfeed, photo tagging function and much more to keep users engaged and help friends stay in touch.

Uber/WeWork — 10 Million USD To Get Started — Bottomless Pit Hole Afterwards

It still takes some resources to build out Uber’s app and to furnish the first WeWork space, but after that, they can start generating revenue from their first ride or tenant.

You can start generating revenue with just 10 million USD invested.

Instant Revenue From The Get-Go — Simple Solution — But Lose 25 Cents On Every Dollar In Revenue As You Grow — The More You Grow — The More You Lose

Many investors like the fact that Uber and WeWork are generating instant revenue from the get-go, from the first Uber ride and the first tenant onwards. This is possible because the solution they are offering is rather simple, a ride to a destination and a place to work.

However, margins are thin due to the fact that Uber and WeWork need to pay their drivers and landlords on each unit sold. Worse still, in order to grow and weed out competition, massive discounts and subsidies are employed until a point where the companies lose 25 cents on every dollar in revenue as they grow, sometimes they can even lose as much as how much they bring in in revenue.

With this model, the more you grow, the more you lose.

Uber just lost 5 billion USD in this recent quarter alone, that’s already enough money to build out Google, Facebook or Wowwwz to mega-profitability.

Read Also:

Uber Lost More Than $5 Billion Last Quarter — TechCrunch

When You Start To Consolidate Your Market Share — Margins Are Still Thin

Even when Uber or WeWork start consolidating their market share and raise prices back to where they should be, margins would still be thin due to the nature of their business of having to pay a middle man or supplier since their solution is not entirely tech based.

You’ll Need To Hold Out Until Your Own AWS — Data & Prime Comes Along

Uber would have to hold out until self-driving cars become a common and regulated reality while the both of them would have to hold out until they stumble upon their own version of an AWS or Amazon Prime where they can enjoy supernormal profits with negligible costs per unit sold.

Uber & WeWork Have Real Value — Just Maybe Not This Much Right Now

Nevertheless, I believe that Uber and WeWork have real value.

Uber will be worth as much as it is right now or even more when self-driving cars become common on the road and WeWork might stand a chance when it figures out how to build tools and services that would greatly benefit its community.

The only problem is that its a very long game for both, they will have to hold out until that happens, which could be possible with Softbank’s deep pockets, we shall see.

Unless They Are Rotten From The Inside — They Should Survive

By creating real value, they should survive, unless they are actually rotten from the inside from mismanagement or a toxic culture.

Otherwise, even if things don’t work out, they should still survive, just smaller.

I Hope Softbank Survives & Not Get Too Jaded — I Think They Can

What Softbank is doing is actually a great thing, it drives innovation and gives start-ups the capital required to make things better and drive society forward.

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How Is A Dating App An Innovative Idea?

The only problem is that they are a late stage fund that can’t reach start-ups like Wowwwz that are stuck in ecosystems that aren’t ready to support true innovation yet.

I hope they survive even if Uber or WeWork don’t do too well, the world needs them.

Softbank Has The Holding Power To Wait It Out — I Hope

Things would probably turn out more than fine as long as Softbank has the holding power to wait it out until self-driving cars become common for Uber and until WeWork figures out a high margin revenue stream from its community.

I hope they have the holding power to wait it out and their investors don’t get impatient.

The Vision Fund Is A Great Thing — I Admire Masayoshi Son’s Vision

The world needs the vision fund to drive innovation and society forward. It is a great thing that it actually exists. I admire Masayoshi Son’s vision and his take on the world.

Masayoshi Son Is Right On Many Things — I Like His Spirit — I Share His Mindset

I think that Masayoshi Son is right on many things, I love his spirit and share his mindset. You have to take big bets to solve big problems in order to generate supernormal returns.

One should build to become number one, nothing less.

There Are Still Plenty Of Great Start-Ups & Solutions That Need The Vision Fund

There are still plenty of great start-ups and solutions to pressing global problems that everyone in the world would do better with, and they would need the financial support of the vision fund in order to properly build out their solutions and launch to the world.

Problems like helping everyone in the world find their right life partners and go on to build and maintain healthy and long lasting romantic relationships like what my start-up — Wowwwz is trying to solve.

A Lot Of Global Problems Can Be Solved & A Lot Of Great Value Can Be Generated

Many global problems like love and relationships can be solved and a huge amount of value can be generated from it in the long run, because you are solving a global problem.

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Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

The World Needs More Risk Takers Who Dare To Dream Big & Make Things Better

There are too many naysayers who are too afraid to do anything themselves but resort to condemning others to make themselves feel better.

The world needs more risk takers who dare to dream big, take risks and make things better for everyone in the world.

That’s The Only Way Society Moves Forward

Without them, society will still be stuck in the stone ages. Mankind would not be able to progress without taking risks, embracing failure and learning from its mistakes.

The world needs more people who would take the risks necessary to leave a dent in the universe and move society forward.

From Railroads — Lightbulbs — Computers — Smartphones To Reusable Rockets

Innovators and risk takers have brought us the railroad, lightbulbs, computers, smartphones and today, even reusable rockets.

These are all things we take for granted today that were ridiculed for being too ambitious or absurd when their founders first pitched their ideas.

I Hope I Can Contribute One Small Part By Helping Everyone Find & Build Lasting Romantic Relationships Through Wowwwz Too

I don’t know whether I would be able to do it in the end, but I am trying everything I can.

Hopefully, I would be able to contribute one small part to driving society forward too by helping everyone in this world find their right life partners and live happily ever after through the start-up I am building — Wowwwz.

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections

To even have a chance of doing that, I need your help.

In fact, I need all the help I can get, because I am doing this from an ASEAN ecosystem that isn’t really ready to fund and support start-ups like what I am building that are solving hard global problems and don’t generate any revenue during the first few years of its life.


I hope you will help me so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to SHARE this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

Dating is a global problem that everyone in the world faces at some point in their lives.

It is a fundamental human need to want to find a life partner to settle down & start a family with at some point of most people’s lives. With that in mind, it is only natural that one of the first problems an entrepreneur would seek to solve is dating, especially if you are a young male who’s thinking of starting something —since a significant portion of aspiring entrepreneurs so far tend to come from that same demographic.

Reid Hoffman Started A Social Network With A Dating Element Called SocialNet Before He Joined Paypal & Started LinkedIn

Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, the key person who introduced Peter Thiel to Facebook so he could make the first outside investment into Facebook — he did not lead the round himself because of a conflict of interest, he was building LinkedIn at the time, which was also a social network, Paypal Mafia and partner at Greylock Partners revealed during a fireside chat with founders that one of the first start-ups he started before even joining Paypal was a social network called SocialNet — this was really early days even before Friendster, Myspace or Facebook came about — which included a dating element.

Bill Gates Once Tweaked The Class Sorting Software He Built For His School So That His Class Would Have More Girls

While he was learning how to code with Paul Allen in high school, one of the interesting projects he recounted was this class management software he built for his school where he tweaked the code so the software would put more girls in his class.

Youtube First Started As A Dating App

Many might not know this, but when Chard Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim left Paypal to start Youtube, youtube was meant to be a video version of an online dating service, where singles would upload videos introducing themselves so other singles can find them and get to know them.

Basically, Youtube started as a video based dating app.

Eventually, people started uploading cat videos and all sorts of other videos, and the rest was history. Instead of becoming the platform that solved dating, Youtube became the world’s largest video repository and second largest search engine.

The First Start-Up Ex-Sequoia Asia Partner Yinglan Started Back In Stanford Was A Dating App Called LoveMatch That He Started With His Current Wife

At the time of writing, I have yet to meet Yinglan, but I read and heard that he is one of the better and more forward thinking VCs in the region, the kind that truly innovative start-ups solving global problems like mine might need.

I like to do my research and background check on potential investors to determine whether they might be a good fit for my start-up, because the wrong investors would kill you or severely derail your start-up. Hence, I looked him up.

That’s when I found out that his first start-up when he was at Stanford which he built and sold was a dating site he started together with his current wife called LoveMatch — you can read about it here.

Read Also:

Putting His Insignia On The Southeast Asian Tech Startup Scene

His VC firm Insignia Ventures and previous firm Sequoia Capital Asia, generally invests in Series A and above, so my start-up is still too early for him. However, I’ve always wanted to meet him to see what his thoughts on the future of online dating are and what he has learnt from building and selling an online dating platform.

We were both invited to speak at a conference in Vietnam last year and we were supposed to meet, but he couldn’t make it because of a typhoon.

Would love to know what his thoughts are. Let’s see what happens.

Monk’s Hill’s Partner Peng Was The Co-Founder Of A Classifieds Startup With A Dating Section That Eventually Became Match.com

One of the co-founders of Match.com, which used to belong to IAC and has since spun out to become Match Group, a dating conglomerate that also owns Tinder — started from an internal hackathon — OkCupid, PlentyOfFish and much more.

Their market capitalisation started at roughly 2 billion USD when it was first spun off from IAC in 2015 but have since grown their annual revenue to 1.8 billion USD and a market cap of close to 20 billion USD.

I met him briefly during a fireside chat which he spoke at. He was in a hurry and there wasn’t much time to talk to him but I managed to ask him some key questions. It turns out that much of Match.com and Match group today really had nothing much to do with him, he started a classifieds website in 1993 but it din’t really work, the only section that seemed to be working was the dating classifieds known as Match.com. That was the only classifieds that someone was interested to buy, so they sold it in 1997.

Fellow founder Gary Kremen left in 1996 and Match.com changed hands a couple of times and eventually ended up with IAC in 1999, who built it into the dating conglomerate that also owns Tinder today.

He told me that dating is not a VC fundable business, and that I should do something else. He told me that in order for dating to work, it needs to be free, and something everyone can use daily, like Facebook, and if someone can truly solve it, perhaps it would be a company like Facebook.

The funny thing is, I totally get where he is coming from, and totally agree with him. Dating, as it exists today is a stupid business, and not VC fundable, as I’ve written about in the article below. It also needs to be free and something everyone can use daily, which is the exact way I am building Wowwwz, as a social network for romance, where both couples and singles can use everyday to fulfil all their relationship needs, and its free for the users.

Read Also:

Why Investors Hate Dating Apps

I’ve also said many times that Facebook still is the largest dating app in the world today, and tried to build Facebook’s dating feature and exactly what was today’s secret crush back in 2013.

I understand exactly where he is coming from, that is why I am so confident I can solve dating thoroughly and become the last and best dating platform in the world that would be worth as much as Facebook. Given sufficient resources, I am confident we can do it and even beat Facebook to it, because solving dating is Wowwwz’s core mission, it isn’t Facebook’s. There is a reason why Microsoft lost to Google in Search and Google + lost to Facebook in social networking and Dropbox can still be worth 10 billion USD when Google launched Google Drive at the same time as Dropbox.

The team that is most focused on the mission and led by a visionary founder truly passionate about solving the problem thoroughly will always end up building the better product and win.

Brian Chesky talked about this in the fireside chat below.

Peng made most of his money from his subsequent start-ups, and wasn’t really involved in building Match.com to where it is today, that was mostly IAC. It’s also clear from what he said that day that he isn’t really passionate about solving dating, the dating classifieds just happened to be the only more valuable asset in an otherwise failed classified venture. Because of that, there’s probably a lot he does not know and does not see about the potential of truly solving dating.

Read Also:

Are Early Stage ASEAN VCs Valuing Start-Ups Wrongly?

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I wasn’t able to share what my views on solving dating are and how it is the next 100 billion USD opportunity the way I am doing it.

It is important for VCs to always be open to listening to what founders have to say and not categorically shut off their mind once they hear certain key words or come across something that they tried and failed because what used to be true years ago might not be true today. Furthermore, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about life and businesses, it is that there is always something you don’t even know you don’t know.

As Peter Thiel rightly pointed out, the best and most disruptive start-ups are the ones that usually sound absurd at first, they’re usually CONTRARIAN, but RIGHT. If you always shut your mind off after hearing something contrarian, or contrary to your own believes based on your own limited world view, you are never going to find out whether someone is just contrarian and wrong as usual, or are they actually contrarian, but RIGHT.

Adding someone as a friend on a website to stay in touch? Sounds extra, we have letters and telephones, it is not a problem, and you would have just missed Facebook.

Organise all the information in the world? Sounds impossible, and you would have just missed Google.

Getting strangers to stay at strangers homes and homeowners to open up their homes for guests? Sounds creepy, who would do that? And you would have just missed Airbnb.

The fact that I actually agree on everything he said about dating and how it is not a VC investable business as it is today, but can still see how I can truly solve dating throughly and build it into a 100 billion USD business says something.

Read Also:

Most People Where Wrong

I can see everything you see, but there is something I am seeing that you are not seeing.

Perhaps one day we would have the opportunity to sit down properly and have an honest in depth discussion so he can find out what it is that he is missing and not seeing.

We shall see.

Once Popular Social Network Hi5 Actually Started From A Dating Event

Through the first ever Y-Combinator Start-Up School Program, I had the opportunity to be introduced to the founder of Hi5, one of the first and largest social networks along with MySpace and Friendster when Facebook was still just a college directory.

At one point, Hi5 was growing by 500,000 users per day.

I asked him many questions to which their answers confirmed what I already knew about building the next 100 billion dollar start-up, and that I was on the right track with Wowwwz.

What I found out from him about the truth about the social networking wars and more further confirmed what I already knew, the the wrong investors would kill or severely derail your start-up, that you need to stay true to your mission, and solve the problem thoroughly. That’s the difference between a Facebook and all other social networks that were much bigger and much more well funded that came before Facebook.

Wowwwz wants to be the Facebook and Google of the dating wars, not Friendster, Myspace or Yahoo, Metacrawler, Altavista, many of these early search engines and social network, some who were even listed and market leaders for some time that most millennials never even heard of.

You want to be the last and the best, not an also-ran.

Anyway, one of the interesting things I’ve learnt from him was that Hi5 actually started from a dating event. I asked him how did he get his first user base before focusing on increasing retention and their viral coefficient by keep iterating on new features, to which he said it all started with a speed dating event.

Many people on Hi5 got married via the platform and are still together today.

I’ve asked him many more very specific questions to which you can meet me in person to find out more, like how doing things that don’t scale at the start like having dating events and photographic apartments personally like Airbnb did is definitely the right way to go during the early stages, but the interesting point I wanted to bring out for this article was that Hi5 first started as a dating event too.

That tells us how big a part dating plays in our lives, and remains a problem that hasn’t been solved thoroughly today.

Facebook Started As A Website To Connect Students In The Same University, But Really Though?

During a speech Mark Zuckerberg gave at Stanford in 2005 when Facebook just started, he mentioned that the reason he started Facebook was simple. He thought: “Wouldn’t it be great if I could just type in someone’s name and find out some information about them?”.

That’s how he started with the first version of Facebook which was essentially a college directory. In his other talks, he denies how the movie portrayed one of his earlier side projects FaceMash and the early version of Facebook as a tool for dating.

While that might be true, we can’t rule out the strong possibility that one of the main reasons why Facebook caught on was due to the lure of the opportunity to find and meet new people on campus whom we might end up dating.

If you are a teenager or a college student, dating is one of the things that you would be thinking about quite a lot.

Dating — The Next 100 Billion USD Opportunity

Because dating is such a fundamental and basic human need, it takes up a huge portion of our lives, from finding a suitable life partner when we are single to building and maintaining a romantic relationship once we are attached or married.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

Dating takes up a huge part of our time, money and energy. Just ask yourself how much time do you spend with your significant other and how much money do you spend a month going out on dates once you start dating and how much time do you spend thinking about who you might date when you’re single to know the answer.

Come on, let’s be honest with ourselves.

Dating is a global problem that could be solved much better and whoever solves it thoroughly would have built a solution that everyone would be using every day of their lives, and is definitely at least a 100 billion USD company.

Why Has No One Solved Dating Yet?

Dating is an extremely complex problem to solve, it is not as simple as matching 2 single people who are in the same location to each other.

You need to introduce 2 people who share compatible values, complementary interests, are at the right stage of their lives, at the right location, have compatible life goals, are able to get along well, grow together, are physically attracted to each other and can go on a lifelong adventure together at the right time as a mutual friend would.

You also need to build tools to help them truly get to know each other better, create memorable memories and experiences together, resolve conflicts and grow together as a couple in their long journey through life.

Otherwise, there would be plenty of heartbreaks, broken souls, divorces and broken families. The world needs a proper dating solution, not just hookup apps.

Read Also:

How Is A Dating App An Innovative Idea?

Not everyone can solve it. You need to have a founder who deeply understands the problem, is extremely passionate about solving it, has the vision to solve it and has the ability to attract top talent to help him or her build it and can execute on it.

Who Would Be The One To Finally Solve Dating?

I believe I can be that founder.

Unfortunately, I am stuck in an ecosystem that isn’t ready for truly innovative start-ups that are solving big global problems. We are only ready for regional copycats or instant revenue generating offline-to-online or b2b Saas solutions, where key stakeholders and gatekeepers do not know how to identify truly world-changing start-ups that could become the next Facebook or Google because no one here has done it before.

Read Also:

Why Am I Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup — Wowwwz?

That’s why I am trying everything I can, from having learnt how to code myself, building the app, data graph and algorithms myself, to starting a Youtube Channel on love and relationships that will be launching soon and everything I can possibly do in order to start a paradigm shift in thinking so that we could get enough resources from investors to at least get a chance to properly get started.

If you’d like to live in a world where everyone can meet the love of their lives, build lasting relationships and live happily ever after with much less heartbreak, broken souls and broken families, please give us a chance by downloading the app, SHARE this article and many other related stories with your friends so we can get enough funding to properly built a solution that could help everyone in this world find and build lasting relationships.

Hopefully, Wowwwz will be the first 100 billion dollar app from ASEAN that truly changed the world and finally solved dating thoroughly, but for that to happen, I need your help.


I hope you will help me so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to share this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need to more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships-coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

From my experience talking to VCs over the past 10 years, many of which are great people, great friends and mentors whom I was able to have honest conversations with, I realised that there might be something ASEAN VCs are doing wrongly that’s preventing truly innovative global start-ups like Google or Facebook from ever getting started here.

Read Also:

My 10 Year Start-Up Journey — Lessons & Honest Reflections

The Purpose Of Venture Capital

Venture capital as an asset class was created to take advantage of the tremendous rewards in store for funding an innovative and disruptive start-up that could change the world and dominate or even create entire new industries for years to come.

From J.P Morgan investing in Thomas Edison’s electric company more than 100 years ago that eventually resulted in General Electric and every household being powered by electricity to Peter Thiel investing in Facebook to connect everyone in the world through an online social network that everyone is using to keep in touch with friends and get news today — in the process helping create an entire industry of digital marketing and content marketing, venture capital has been able to capture tremendous rewards and return on investment by investing in risky ideas aiming to solve big global problems.

Super High Risk — Super High Return

To capture the tremendous value and financial windfall that a truly innovative start-up like Google or Facebook can generate, VCs need to be bold enough to invest in risky and ambitious ideas aiming to solve big global problems before anyone is ready or have even heard of the technology — like lightbulbs when everyone was using candles.

Through vision, intuition and good judgment, VCs need to believe before they see. Believe me, Wowwwz will become the last and best dating app in the world that solves dating thoroughly and everyone uses everyday to meet all their relationship needs.

It is a game of super high risks, but also super high and super sweet returns.

Most Startups Will Fail

VCs also need to understand the hard fact that most start-ups of this nature will fail, we are talking about more than 90%. VCs need to start to be comfortable with that fact.

Read Also:

Why Am I Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup — Wowwwz?

You’re Betting That One Will Become The Next Facebook/Google

That’s okay, because you only need 1 out of all your portfolio start-ups to become the next Facebook or Google, or at least the next Airbnb or Dropbox to make 1000x returns or more on your entire portfolio.

All your other start-ups can crash and burn and lose all your money, that’s perfectly okay!

Go Big Or Go Home — Pointless To Invest Otherwise

It is a high stakes game, you will have to go big or go home.

You need to have the balls and confidence to bet BIG, bet on VERY AMBITIOUS start-ups with an ACTIONABLE PLAN to execute on that are trying to solve HUGE GLOBAL PROBLEMS everyone in the world faces.

If you’ve ever played poker, you’ll know that you will only keep losing money if you are afraid to bet big at the right time, multiple small wins won’t win you the game. You need to be even more aggressive if your fund size is small, like most VC funds in ASEAN.

Stuck In Dividend Paying Start-Ups You Can’t Exit From

Having a small 10–30% stake in small to medium sized profitable start-ups that can’t exit but are paying you a small dividend like what I suspect a lot of ASEAN VCs are facing now is NOT A WIN.

Read Also:

Are ASEAN VCs Stuck With Un-EXITable Dividend Paying Start-Ups?

Mismatch In Mindset

I’ve realised from having honest conversations with many friends, founders, and mentors that there is a mismatch in the mindset of most ASEAN VCs and the mindset that great VCs should have.

Investing Like Bankers

A lot of VCs in this region are investing more like bankers than a VC.

That’s probably due to how wrongly some VC funds here are structured and the previous experience of VCs here as bankers. Banking experience is useful when it comes to structuring a company, knowing what it takes to prepare a company for IPO and using various financial instruments, but you shouldn’t value an early stage start-up the way you value a late stage conventional business that’s preparing to IPO.

Those are 2 totally different things that require totally different mindsets!

A caterpillar looks nothing like a butterfly, if you don’t know that butterflies used to be ugly caterpillars with no wings, you will never find a butterfly when they are still young.

Venture Capital Here Is More Like Private Equity

Private equity firms usually invest in late stage stable companies that are almost ready to go for an IPO. All they need is that one last boost of capital to expand to a new market or streamline their operations before they prepare themselves for an exit via an IPO.

Read Also:

What’s Stopping ASEAN From Having A 100 Billion USD Tech Company?

These late stage companies usually have strong financials and can pay back the money taken from a private equity firm with interest over time if things don’t go so well or if they eventually decide not to go for an IPO. That’s the kind of thing a firm like Goldman Sachs or Blackstone would do 1–2 years before a company like Facebook plans to go for an IPO. They are already huge global companies with strong financials who have already conquered the world by the time private equity firms invest in them.

Read Also:

What Ails Venture Capital In Malaysia And Why Consolidation Is Not The Answer — By Dr Sivapalan Vivekarajah

Unfortunately, since most VCs in this region have either have a background in private equity or banking, VCs here also invest like private equity firms, which is crazy.

That’s still okay for late stage VCs, but that shouldn’t be the case at all for early stage start-ups. You can’t judge an early stage start-up the way you would judge a late stage company that’s ready to go for an IPO.

Lack Of Founder VCs

The best VCs are usually those who were start-up founders themselves, people who were once hustlers who started just with an idea to change the world and grew their start-up all the way to a successful IPO. Acquisitions are fine too but that’s not the entire journey, especially if the acquisition occurred early, acquihires are usually not really acquisitions — they are just a more glorious way to close down so you can say you exited.

Either way, founder VCs are able to better identify quality start-ups that could change the world or become the start-up they once started and exited during the early stages of a start-up before the start-up’s product fully takes shape.

Read Also:

Asshole VC Terms Founders Should Beware Of In Malaysia

They would also know what terms are fair, what terms are fatal and how to guide a start-up all the way form inception to IPO.

There is a severe lack of such ex-founder VCs in ASEAN.

Only Understanding Copycats

The few good ex-founder VCs we have in this region mostly founded regional copycats, which is great, there is nothing wrong with that, it’s just that they might only understand how to spot and guide other regional copycats and not truly innovative start-ups that could change the world.

It requires a totally different mindset and set of skills to do that.

Limitations Of A Regional Copycat

Although copycats are still hard to build, and you still have to innovate and iterate fast to hyper-localise, the journey of building a regional copycat is still drastically different from a start-up trying to solve a global problem and being involved in an innovation war to solve a problem thoroughly, expand globally and become the last and best in their class like the journey Facebook or Google went through.

Read Also:

Why Investors Hate Dating Apps

Unfortunately, no one from ASEAN has done that yet.

So, if there is ever to be a start-up the scale of Facebook or Google from ASEAN, the founder would have to be a visionary, a pioneer and someone who can start a paradigm shift in thinking in the ASEAN start-up ecosystem.

I don’t know if I can become that person, but as you can see, I am trying everything I can.

Making Revenue A Mandatory Criteria

One of the biggest mistakes I think ASEAN VCs are making is making revenue or GMV or gross merchandise value a mandatory criteria before investment. That’s okay for e-commerce or marketplace start-ups, but not for all types of start-ups.

With that requirement, it means that no ASEAN VC would have ever invested in Google, Facebook (Facebook had some revenue, but insignificant and is due to the experimental ad budget present with big tech companies like Microsoft that does not exist here), Instagram or Whatsapp when they first started.

Read Also:

Why I Got So Frustrated At ASEAN’s Start-Up Ecosystem After Coming Back From China

By that logic, ASEAN VCs would be missing out on some of the most valuable start-ups of all time! That would also mean that if Google or Facebook were started in Malaysia or ASEAN, they would have never been funded and would have died.

The Flaw In Valuing Early Stage Startups Using Revenue Multiples

It is okay to value a start-up using revenue multiples during the growth stage of a start-up, during Series B or C onwards, but never during the early stages. A start-up needs enough capital just to get started properly with today’s demanding consumer market and high costs of assembling a decent team to build and iterate on a quality product.

Read Also:

Did Softbank Get It Wrong With Uber And WeWork?

Furthermore, an early stage start-up that hasn’t yet found product market fit is constantly evolving and iterating, and should be focusing on building a product that solves the problem thoroughly before even focusing on revenue.

It is unfair and highly flawed to value an early stage start-up using revenue multiples.

Ask The Right Questions — Will The Startup Solve A Global Problem If They Succeed

Instead, ASEAN VCs need to start asking the right questions, whether a start-up would have solved a big enough global problem if they succeed.

They should focus more on the what if they succeed, rather than all the reasons they could fail.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

Would they be building a product that everyone in the world would be using. If the answer is yes, and the team has an actionable plan to get it started, you should give them a chance.

How Much Do They Need To Properly Get Started — To Get To The Next Stage

The next question ASEAN VCs should ask is how much does such a start-up need to properly get started. That depends on the complexity of the problem they are solving and the quality of the team that they would need to build to get them there.

Read Also:

Why Start-Ups Today Need To Raise More & More Money Just To Get Started?

Start Taking More Risks — Start Asking The Right Questions

It is my sincere hope that ASEAN VCs would finally start to take more risks and invest like a VC should. Leave the mindset of a banker and private equity investor behind and start asking the right questions and investing the right way.

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

Let’s Build The First 100 Billion USD Start-Up From ASEAN Together!

ASEAN is ready for the first 100 Billion USD global champion to join the ranks of Facebook and Google, all that is needed is a slight shift in investor mindset.

Let’s create history together, shall we?

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.


I hope you will help me so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

Download the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

  • Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

I suspect that a growing number of ASEAN VCs are getting stuck with portfolios of start-ups that are profitable, stable but can’t really grow anymore and are having trouble getting acquired or going for an IPO.

That’s a problem for VCs because they would need to exit their positions in order to realise the returns on their investments.

Limitations Of ASEAN Copycats

Due to the fact that they are copycats, they would naturally be limited to the region or locality that they operate in because the original incumbent would prevent them from expanding into other regions.

If you are in China, that’s alright because China is one unified country of 1.4 billion people, with a thriving and growing middle class of more than 300 million people.

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Are Early Stage ASEAN VCs Valuing Start-Ups Wrongly?

That’s roughly the same size of US’s middle class. That’s why Chinese clones of US companies are still sizeable companies and are worth almost as much as their US counterparts from whom they copied from.

ASEAN Is 600 Million Strong — But Small Middle Class — Fragmented Markets

There are 600 million people in ASEAN. However, most of our population are not middle class, don’t really have credit cards, don’t really have tertiary education and don’t really have high earning power.

If you live in a city, are well educated and can understand this article, you’re probably part of the privileged few in our region who’re part of the middle class. To understand how you’re just 10–20% of the 600 million people in ASEAN, you’ll need to understand the true scale of the population in ASEAN in rural areas, in kampungs, in the city slums and in backward townships spread across every ASEAN country.

The city might seem big to you, but the reality is, if you have a good enough command of English to even read this article, you’re part of the privileged minority.

Most ASEAN countries also have different cultures, have different government regulations and speak different languages. That makes it even harder for any start-up to truly conquer ASEAN as a market.

The Next China? — Maybe — But That’s A Long Game

The spending power of the ASEAN market is just way behind that of the US & China.

Facebook just made its first billion USD in Asia recently back in 2016, and that’s including Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong since Facebook isn’t in mainland China, while it has been making 5 billion USD for every quarter back in the US for quite some time.

Read Also:

Facebook Tops $1B Revenue In Asia For The First Time

Those with a vested interest in the strength of the ASEAN market will say that it is growing rapidly and ASEAN will become the next China.

Well, that’s not wrong, eventually, it will. China thinks so too, that’s why they are looking to acquire ASEAN copycats at a low price as part of their expansion strategy.

However, in my opinion, that’s still at least 10–20 years away, or even much longer. That’s a very long game, and you will need tremendous holding power to stay in the game that long, Chinese companies can do that, because they are loaded with capital. You would also need to pray and hope that all the leaders in ASEAN countries don’t screw up, that you won’t have a Najib starting a 1MDB or another leader doing something stupid that would derail the growth of any of our economies in the next 10–20 years.

It’s a very long game.

They have the cash and the holding power, and also know that it is still a long time before that happens, so they are willing to wait until you bleed yourself dry and run out of cash before acquiring you at a low price, like what they did with a local e-commerce company.

Copycats Are Great For Consumers — But Their Potential Is Limited

Don’t get me wrong, copycat start-ups are a great thing, it’s part of the globalisation movement, and they bring new solutions and products to ASEAN consumers much faster than the originals can ever expand their way to reach us.

It’s a good thing, and it’s great for us ASEAN consumers.

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Did Softbank Get It Wrong With Uber And WeWork?

In fact, for start-ups with a physical aspect to their businesses, local or regional copycats have a much better chance of winning and standing their ground, because the understand the culture and market better and can hyper-localise.

It’s just that as a business, their potential is limited to their region or locality.

Tech-Enabled Start-Ups Vs True Tech Start-Ups

This is basically the difference between a Groupon and a Google.

Tech-enabled start-ups don’t really have technology and innovation at their core, the core of their business is more focused on operational and business model innovation. Tech is just an enabler for them, they would still require huge on-ground marketing or biz dev teams to operate. Physical operation is still the core of their business.

They are essentially still a conventional business with a tech twist.

Engineering + Tech Innovation At The Core

True tech start-ups, on the other hand, have engineering and tech innovation at the core of their businesses. Their main product is often powered by a core piece of technology or platform that they constantly iterate and innovate on. They would focus on hiring an extremely capable engineering team to build upon their core product and are extremely scalable. Google & Facebook operated solely out of Silicon Valley while the rest of the world still got to use their product and advertise on their platform for a very long time.

Facebook is a true tech start-up. During one of Y-Combinator’s Start-Up School Talks in the early 2010s, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that the greatest technical challenge they faced was with Memcached, because you would need it to quickly crawl through your social graph to show your list of friends.

Today, you would use something like REDIS. It is a hard thing to do because that’s one reason why Friendster died and was so slow in showing your degrees of separations between friends. I know because this was one of the reasons why We Could Happen, an early version of Wowwwz — the start-up I am building crashed on signup.

There is an entire discussion on Quora about the amazing technologies Facebook has built and more.

To built something like Wowwwz, I would have to build plenty of such custom solutions and push the boundaries of engineering and tech as well. I will write a separate article and story about how Facebook is a true tech company and how Wowwwz is one too on a later date.

For now, I just want to make my point that something like Facebook is a true tech company that has true innovation at its core.

Truly Highly Scalable — Do Not Require Local Offices To Expand Operations

Google & Facebook did not have to have an office here in order for us to use Google or Facebook as users or advertise on their platforms as businesses. They only recently opened offices in this region, but even so, most of their engineering is still done in Silicon Valley, and to a lesser extent, Singapore, other offices in this region are merely marketing and community building outposts to help support their clients better, but they would still do perfectly fine without them.

Tech-Enabled Start-Ups Would Need Huge On-Ground Teams To Expand

A tech-enabled start-up like Groupon, on the other hand, requires a huge number of marketing or biz dev team on the ground in each city they are expanding to in order to operate. They need them to reach out to merchants and keep convincing them to put up deals (which are essentially a marketing cost). It’s essentially a perpetual sales cycle.

Their “Tech Platform” Is Usually Simple And Does Not Need Much Tech Innovation

Their tech platform is essentially just a simple listing and booking web app with a countdown timer that has evolved little since it was first conceived. Of course, things need to be improved with scale, but such a platform essentially does not require any form of true technological innovation to build.

True Tech Start-Ups Are Worth Much More — Because They Are Truly Exponential

The reason why true tech start-ups like Google and Facebook are worth well over 500 billion USD and are easily generating more than 5 Billion USD a quarter in revenue globally with super duper high profit margins is because they are truly scalable.

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The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

Google and Facebook is only built once in Silicon Valley, and is used by everyone across the world. Their core tech solves a global problem, and is the same virtually everywhere apart for some minor language translations that can easily be implemented with tech.

Most ASEAN Copycats Are Tech-Enabled Businesses

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong being a tech-enabled business. They still solve a problem, and are good for consumers, and still have value. Hence, you should definitely still invest in them.

All I am saying is that, their potential is limited, especially if you are only an ASEAN version of it, given the ASEAN market’s much weaker spending power.

Because of that, maybe we should not only invest these type of businesses, but focus more on truly innovative tech start-ups solving global problems that have a chance at becoming the next Google or Facebook instead.

Too Small To IPO

Because they can’t expand beyond ASEAN or their locality and the much weaker spending power of our markets, most of them are unable to IPO (unless you count penny stocks and secondary boards, but that’s not really liquidity and not really an exit).

No Bigger Acquirer To Sell To

If you have the right connections and have been aiming to sell to an Australian version of what you’re doing, or are lucky enough that an expanding original makes the mistake of growing too fast and acquiring you, that’s great.

But otherwise, it’s going to be tough to find someone to acquire you, because truly innovative start-ups would rather set up shop beside you and beat you, because they know that the best product will win, and they are confident in their ability to keep innovating and solving the problem better than you.

Read Also:

Are ASEAN VCs Over-Correcting Their Investment Strategy?

Stuck With Collecting Dividends

Because of that, many VCs here are left with no other option but to collect dividends from their 10–25% share of small to mid sized profitable start-ups that can’t really expand any further, go for an IPO or get acquired.

That’s fine, but if you really wanted to do that, you should have invested in a good F&B business like Go Noodle House or a very good nasi lemak shop instead.

The dividends would likely be much higher and you would own more of the business, it is also less risky than “tech startups”.

VC Investments Should Be Super High Risk Super High Return

As a VC, that’s actually a problem because venture capital should be all about super higher risk and super high return.

Venture capital, as an asset class, should be looking for 1000x returns by investing in super risky ventures that would most likely fail, but even if just one of them succeeds, can generate 1000x returns for your entire portfolio.

Better Off With Bonds & Private Equity

If you wanted to generate conservative returns, you really shouldn’t start a venture capital fund. You are better of with investing in the bond market or private equity.

Find a factory or soy sauce manufacturer that is undervalued or has a strong product and invest in them before they go public. That would be a much better strategy.

Best Case Scenario — A Regional Champion Worth 500–700 Mil USD

A regional champion in ASEAN is worth around 500–700 million USD, there is a reason why start-ups like Jobstreet and iProperty sold for around that price point.

The value would increase in the future mainly because of inflation, but not by much. Grab, on the other hand, is a different story for another day, it’s mainly propped up by the value of Uber, which is mainly dependent on whether self-driving cars become a regulated reality, where governments are okay with self-driving cars on the road and all Ubers would be self-driving. That eliminates the middle-man and a limiting physical aspect to their business and drastically increases their profit margins. Otherwise, they are just a slightly better taxi company, which isn’t worth that much, that’s why they are not doing that well in the stock market right now. But they have strong investors and can play a long game, so we will see what happens. That’s another long story for another day.

In my opinion, for Grab to justify their valuation, they would have to become a Tencent of ASEAN, they probably realised that, that’s why they are going into payments, healthcare and more.

That’s another long story that I’ll leave for another day, but in most cases, there is a limit to how big an ASEAN copycat can grow.

ASX Does Not Guarantee A Good Exit

Plenty of ASEAN start-ups chose to list on ASX because for a period of time, Australian mining stocks have been steadily declining and delisting themselves from the stock exchange. That left a void of listed companies that was filled with ASEAN tech start-ups.

However, most of them weren’t really doing well on the ASX, many of their stock prices plummeted and flatlined. Even if they were doing alright, most were just penny stocks and don’t really have much liquidity. Getting acquired by a bigger Australian competitor would constitute a much better exit.

Can’t Compete Anywhere Else

In many ways, such start-ups are stuck, because they can’t really compete anywhere else outside of their home region.

Time To Invest In Truly Innovative Start-Ups Solving Global Problem

Perhaps it is finally time to invest in truly innovative start-ups that are solving a global problem that could one day become the next 500 billion USD company like Google or Facebook. ASEAN is ready to start it, we just need more VCs to be open the idea.

Higher Risk, But That’s What VC Investment Should Be

I know such potentially world-changing start-ups are much riskier, and often don’t generate any significant revenue for the first 5–7 years of their lives, but when they do succeed in solving the problem throughly and when everyone in the world is using their product, they can easily make billions every quarter with virtually no costs and sky high profit margins. That’s the kind of start-ups venture capitalists should be investing in.

It’s time to be more adventurous, you guys are VENTURE Capitalists!

Ask, What If They Succeed, Not What If They Fail

A lot of VCs in this region are pretty risk adverse, probably due to their past experiences from banking and private equity or the way their funds are structured — a lot of them are structured as loans, they tend to see all the obstacles and challenges a start-up would face while trying to carry out their mission.

However, if you have been learning from the best VCs in the world, that’s an entirely wrong way to think about things.

Read Also:

What’s Stopping ASEAN From Having A 100 Billion USD Tech Company?

Instead of on focusing on all the obstacles that would cause a start-up to fail, you should instead be focusing on all the great things that could happen if a start-up succeeds.

All big problems worth solving have huge challenges, the bigger the challenge, the BIGGER the REWARDS!

Can They Change The World If They Succeed

Ask yourselves, what if the start-up succeeds, would they change the world?

Would they solve a global problem and become something that everyone uses? Would they become the next 100 billion USD company like Facebook or Google?

If the answer is yes, and the founder has the vision to do so and a plan to overcome all the seemingly insurmountable challenges that stand in the way, you should invest and give that start-up a chance.

That’s the spirit of VENTURE capital!

Dare to be ADVENTUROUS and invest in things that could truly change the world, just like how J.P Morgan, one of the world’s first venture capitalists invested in this tech start-up founded by Thomas Edison which eventually became General Electric!

Even when everyone in the world was still using kerosene lamps and candles, when there was no power grid, and most people have never even seen a lightbulb, dare to imagine a world where every home in the world has electric lighting.

DARE to believe in a founder who has that kind of vision!

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How Is A Dating App An Innovative Idea?

We Need To Have More Faith In Ourselves

Many VCs are reluctant because they are afraid that ASEAN might not be ready to support such potentially world-changing start-ups, but ASEAN is actually ready, there is sufficient talent, and sufficient money, ASEAN is able to act as a stepping stone to support such start-ups, maybe not all the way, but at least until Series A before they continue their journey in Silicon Valley and the world.

The problem right now is that such start-ups are not even getting funded to even have a chance to properly get started, and that is causing top engineering talent to leave.

We need to have faith in ourselves, in our founders and in our talent.

Many VCs Are Great People — They’re Great Friends — Great Mentors

Don’t get me wrong, many VCs are great people, they are kind, helpful and honest. Many of them are also my friends and my mentors, that’s why I’ve had the opportunity to have many honest conversations with them, and I fully understand their concerns.

Many copycat founders are also my friends, and they are all great people. There is nothing wrong with starting a copycat, as long as you’re solving a problem and making life better for consumers. It’s a great thing.

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Why Am I Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup-Wowwwz?

In fact, I would advise younger founders to start copycats or revenue generating start-ups, because it is what our ecosystem is ready for. It’s a much easier journey.

But I have limited time on earth, I have a much bigger dream, and I don’t have many 10–15 years to build start-ups, even regional copycats take 10–15 years to truly mature, that’s why I need to try everything I can to build the first truly world-changing start-up from ASEAN, by solving dating once and for all and making sure everyone in this world can find their right life partners and continue to live happily ever after after marriage.

But Maybe — It’s Time For Us To Aim Bigger — We Can Do So Much Better!

All I am saying is, maybe it’s time for us to aim bigger.

Regional copycats and revenue generating start-ups are great, but we can also build truly innovative start-ups with the potential to change the world in ASEAN!

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Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

We can do so much better. We are ready, we have the founders, the talent and enough money to get us started, all that’s missing is a shift in mindset and daring to invest in the first 100 billion USD start-up from ASEAN that everyone in the world uses.

Let’s start this exciting journey together!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.


I hope you will help me so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

Download the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

  • Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

I have been trying to build a truly innovative start-up that solves a global problem everyone faces that has the potential to become the first 100 billion USD start-up from ASEAN so I would have enough financial and economic influence to help Malaysia fulfil its full potential — by building schools & educating the electorate in rural areas so Malaysians can make well-informed decisions together — for nearly 10 years now.

This path is extremely hard, especially trying to do so in a nascent start-up ecosystem that isn’t really ready to support such an innovative start-up. I had to sacrifice everything, my life, my time, my money and the best years of my life.

It is also a very lonely journey that almost no one in this region would truly understand.

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My Impossible Grand Plan To Help Malaysia Fulfill Its Full Potential, Or Is It?

I know that if I don’t try everything I can, I would regret it. It’s made worse to know that you’re right about what you’re doing and its potential, but things doesn’t seem to be progressing much because you are stuck in an ecosystem that isn’t ready.

If I don’t do this, I don’t know anyone here who can. Even if they could, no one would, knowing the sacrifices they need to make in order to make this work.

Founder Depression Is Real

Sometimes, when all hope seems lost, nothing seems to work and no one seems to understand you, you really don’t feel like living anymore.

Every single day, I ask myself whether I should just stop and give up, but when I look at the progress, the people who are meeting each other on the app, the couple who got married because of our efforts, and the stories of those that have gone before me like Jack Ma and Elon Musk, I know that the struggle is part of the process, and I should continue, because I am on the right path.

From their stories, I know that it is normal for most people to think you are stupid, crazy, arrogant or overly ambitious when what you are doing is something disruptive that no one else has done before, even when it comes from successful people or even your idols whom you really respect.

Sometimes, they can be wrong because they are blinded by their past successes and ego. Elon Musk must be devastated when Neil Armstrong testified in congress to say that the private sector should not be building rockets and that reusable rockets are impossible to build. It must have hurt, but he pushed on because he saw something even experts din’t see, against all odds, and against the entire rocket science community.

I cry uncontrollably when I hear stories like these, because I can relate.

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Why Am I Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup — Wowwwz?

It is really sad when things like these happen. Founder depression is real. At its worst, I get panic attacks in the middle of the night, I get cold sweat, can’t sleep, and keep wanting to work and do whatever I can to make progress, even though there is just too much to be done in time and you are already completely exhausted.

Depression Is Not Just Sadness — It Is Much Worse Than Just Sadness

Most people mistake depression as just sadness, which happens to everyone, and people should just get over it and move on instead of complaining about it.

Depression is much worse than just sadness, it is a sense of hopelessness, a sense of futility, a sense of frustration that no matter what you do, you’re still stuck.

I got diagnosed by my friends who are practicing doctors, it is clinical depression, which would require medication if its serious. For me, at least I know that I am depressed, and hence can take steps to mitigate it.

When you are genuinely depressed, you truly believe that you prefer to be dead than alive, because being dead is a form of release, from the hopelessness in the world.

When You Lose Hope — Because All Efforts Are Futile

For those of you who knew me before 2013, I am actually a very positive and motivated person, one of the most lively, friendly and positive people you’ll ever meet.

I understand that many things are really just about perspective, and almost all problems can be solved through perseverance and taking action with the right solutions.

That’s true for most things, but trying to start a truly innovative start-up like Wowwwz from an ecosystem that isn’t ready like Malaysia and ASEAN is really really hard, because almost no one understands you, and some of the most successful people in this region think you are wrong, because they have never built something like this and have never learnt to see things the way the best in the world do.

It’s frustrating when you understand everything that they are saying, but still see things they don’t see that the best in the world see, but they refuse to learn because they are more successful than you now.

It’s made worse when they start to think that you are arrogant for not listening to them when the reality is the exact opposite, with them not willing to accept new ideas and the fact that things have changed since they last tried.

After a while, you start to doubt yourself and everything that you’ve learnt from the facts that are staring in your face and the honest advice from the first hand stories of people who have actually built world-changing companies that significantly changes the world.

You start to lose hope, when everything you are trying doesn’t seem to be making much of an impact. But for some reason, every time you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel, doors open, but only small ones, one by one.

It’s extremely frustrating when you know you’re right, and the results are starting to show you are right, and VCs in other markets have assured you that you are right, but you can’t participate because you are not a citizen of their country, that prevents them from investing in you, but you are stuck in a region where VCs just don’t get it.

When all your efforts are futile, you start to doubt whether “perseverance is key” is really true, and whether you are really cut out to do this.

Maybe you are just not privileged enough to attempt something like this.

It Is A Dark Dark Place Where You Genuinely Don’t Feel Like Living Anymore

When your life, your passion, your mission and your purpose is basically your work, and it seems hopeless, there really is nowhere to turn to. All you want to do is to work harder to make it work, no matter how long or how much effort it would take.

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So, when things seem hopeless, especially when it comes to things that you can’t really control, like other people’s mindsets, you genuinely don’t feel like life has any meaning anymore. You’ll also be so exhausted and burnt out that you’d just rather not be alive.

Sometimes, that hopelessness brings your thoughts to a dark dark place, one that morphs into immense anger against people who are doing things wrongly and preventing society’s progress.

Only a sane perspective and hope can bring you back.

Hope — Is The ONE THING That Separates Superheroes Vs Supervillains

If you think about it, hope, is the one thing that separate superheroes from supervillains.

Most of the time, supervillains think they are doing the right thing. They genuinely believe that they are trying to save the world and are doing the world a good deed. The only difference is that they have lost hope in humanity and are taking things into their own hands. Magneto genuinely believes that he is doing good by helping the mutants take over the world and kill off a cruel and discriminatory human race which he has lost all hope in. Professor X, on the other hand, still has hope in the human race that they would one day learn how to accept the mutant race and work hand in hand with them.

It’s the same thing with Thanos and the Avengers. Thanos genuinely believes that he is saving the universe by wiping out half of the population to prevent living beings from destroying themselves by overpopulating the universe. He has lost hope in our ability to stop over-consumption and destroying our own planets in the process. The avengers, on the other hand, believe that there’s still hope that we can solve our own problems and prevent our living habits from destroying our universe in time.

Supervillains have given up hope on the good in humanity, hence they feel that it is okay to use whatever means possible to achieve their goals in making the world a better place, even if it means using force or unethical ways to get rid of those who stand in the way.

Hope, is the one thing that separates them.

That’s Why HOPE is the GREATEST Human Superpower

That’s why Professor X once said in an X-Men movie that HOPE is the greatest human superpower. I think that is very true.

2013 — When Programmers I Hired Just Couldn’t Deliver

There are a few key moments in my 10 year journey that made me really depressed.

One of them was when the programmers with more than 10 years experience that I hired just couldn’t deliver on building the first iteration of Wowwwz, known as We Could Happen then. It wasn’t my first time working with programmers, that’s why I did everything I was supposed to do as a non-technical project owner.

I made sure to hire experienced programmers, made sure to do up detailed page by page mock-ups, not to feature creep and was very clear on the spec sheet and repeatedly asked them whether they were able to execute on the project before I hired them.

I have also learnt to expect delays on such projects.

Read Also:

The Problem Of CS (Computer Science) Graduates Who Can’t Code

However, what was supposed to be a 3–4 month MVP became a 1 year project which still crashed on sign-up. They kept telling me that it can’t be done but everything I am learning online says that it can. I later found out from experienced technical founders from the Dotcom boom that I was right and my programmers were wrong. I have also since confirmed it by learning how to code and building what they said was impossible myself.

I was helpless and felt really depressed when that happens.

When I Realised That Privilege Is A Very Real Thing

Over the years, I also realised that the stories you read about in the media is often not the full story. Many of the most successful start-ups and businesses in this region are actually started by people from pretty privileged backgrounds.

When you see start-ups raising their first VC seed round, what you don’t know is how much personal or family money the founders have already invested into the start-up to get to a point where they got VC funding. Depending on the complexity of building the start-up, the amount ranges from the price of a decent house to tens of millions.

Read Also:

What’s Stopping ASEAN From Having A 100 Billion USD Tech Company?

They are also often pretty well connected and always have a comfortable family background to fall back on and can still maintain a relatively comfortable lifestyle when building their start-up.

I realised that privilege is a very real thing, and I don’t really have that. I don’t come from a rich family and my parents are retired — not the rich enough to retire type, the too old so you have no choice type — and I have to earn everything and raise any money I need myself. Perhaps I am just not privileged enough to attempt something like this even though I have everything else it takes to make it happen.

When I Realised That You Needed Millions Of USD Just To Even Get Started

I used to be the guy at conferences looking for good software engineers to be my technical co-founder, until I become one myself. Right after I lost money hiring programmers who couldn’t deliver building We Could Happen, I kept wondering whether I was really that bad, maybe I am just not cut out to be an entrepreneur.

One day, a friend introduced me to one of the early software engineers of one of the most successful start-ups in this region, whose founder isn’t technical as well. I wanted to learn what I was doing wrong, why he was able to do it but I couldn’t.

I was also planning to hire the best development firm in Malaysia who alleged built the first version of their app, even though they are very expensive and would cost me a fortune, but I figured, if only the best will do, then so be it, I shall earn the money and do it. So I wanted to find out more about that firm and whether they are really that good.

Read Also:

Why Start-Ups Today Need To Raise More & More Money Just To Get Started?

I got even more depressed when I found out that the founder’s family actually put in close to 10 million USD just to get started before they got any outside VC funding, from which point everything was just numbers, and the founder too lost a lot of money on foreign outsourced developers who couldn’t deliver, and the amount was much more than what I lost.

I also found out that the firm I was planning to hire actually only built one small part of the app, the founder had to spend a lot of money to build out a full team for each platform the app was on and an on-ground operations and marketing team as well.

I don’t have that kind of money, and I also realised that earning money to hire the best outsourced development firm wasn’t sustainable even if I could, given the innovative nature of the start-up I am trying to build, I would need to keep re-iterating on the product.

I was very depressed at that point of time, because all seemed hopeless. It seems like only privileged people can start start-ups in this region.

But I knew I would regret it if I did not try everything I possibly can, so I picked myself up and learnt how to code myself, and built Wowwwz to be what it is today, an app with more than 5000 users, having couples getting together and even resulting in a couple getting married. Progress is still slow because it’s mostly a 1 man show, there are so many bugs that needs to be fixed, features to be built and things that could be improved, but we need enough resources to move faster.

When I Realised That The Ecosystem Just Isn’t Ready

I’ve had many honest conversations with mentors and the pioneers of the start-up scene in Malaysia and ASEAN as well, and I realised that our ecosystem just isn’t ready for truly innovative start-ups like Google, Facebook or Wowwwz.

Read Also:

Are Early Stage ASEAN VCs Valuing Start-Ups Wrongly?

If Google or Facebook started here in Malaysia, they would have died because no one would have funded them, because what they were doing sounded too ambitious and they din’t generate any significant revenue for the first few years of their lives.

It’s sad, because we have the talent and enough money in the ecosystem to get started, all that is required is a change in mindset among key gatekeepers, who’re doing it wrong.

Founder Stories Kept Me Going

Whenever I feel like giving up, founder stories from those who have gone before me like Jack Ma and Brian Chesky kept me going.

Even Patrick Grove tried for 8 years and re-mortgaged his house twice — but at least he had a house to remortgage — before things started to become better. At that time, I have only been trying for a few years, so I have no right to complain.

Knowing That You Are Not Alone In This Path — Others Have Gone Before You

Knowing that you are not the first one down this path and there were others who have went before you and that you are on the right path doing the right things encourages me. Understanding the challenges and that people doubting you is part of the process also makes the journey easier.

But sometimes, self-doubt does creep in and you wonder whether you are actually wrong or it won’t work for you because you are in another ecosystem or in the same ecosystem but building an entirely different kind of business that your ecosystem isn’t ready for.

But They Were In A Different Ecosystem — You Can Only Hope + Try Your Best

Given the circumstances, I can only try everything I can and hope for the best.

It’s Frustrating To Know That You Are Right But Stuck In The Wrong Ecosystem

When I came back from China and found out that I was right about what I am building and its potential all along and what was preventing me from moving forward was really because I was stuck in the wrong ecosystem with investors who don’t have the right mindset to invest in truly innovative start-ups like mine, it was truly frustrating.

Read Also:

Why I Got So Frustrated At ASEAN’s Start-Up Ecosystem After Coming Back From China

If I was wrong, I would have gladly accepted my mistake and moved on. The frustrating part is that I was right, that the dating wars has just begun in China and whoever wins it would become the next 100 billion dollar company and I would have been part of it if only I was based in China and was a Chinese citizen or if I was based in Silicon Valley.

That’s deeply saddening and depressing, because I don’t know what else I can do.

Small Doors Are Opening — But Not Nearly Big Enough

Every time I felt like giving up and calling it quits, a small door opens, which gives me hope and something to pursue to move things forward. I know I would regret it and can’t say that I have tried everything I possibly can if I don’t pursue them.

Small doors are opening, but they are not nearly enough to see a real breakthrough.

Things Are Better — Because There Is HOPE — A Small Glimmer Of Hope — Is Still Hope

Now that I know how to code and build things myself and have raised a small pre-seed round, things are better, and there’s hope, but things are still moving too slowly because it’s still essentially a 1–2 man team. To truly progress and grow, we would need sufficient resources to hire out a proper team to build all the features we need to build and improve all the things we need to improve on but just don’t have sufficient time and resources to improve on because there are so many more urgent and pressing bugs to solve.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

I Still Feel Depressed Sometimes — Maybe I Have Not Fully Recovered

Although there’s been progress, we have more than 5,000 users and growing, with people meeting each other and getting together on the app, there is still so much more that could be done if only we had the resources to do it faster.

Knowing that you are on to something and definitely on the right track but stuck in the wrong ecosystem where you can’t really do anything about it just feels frustrating and defeating — it feels hopeless.

That’s why I have to try everything I can, including sharing my story and the truth about our ecosystem in hopes of sparking a paradigm shift in thinking among investors.

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

There’s hope, in a sense that some US VCs based in Singapore who used to only invest in later stage start-ups here are starting to open up to more early stage ones like mine and some Indonesian VCs are also starting to make the shift to more innovative start-ups like mine, we’re currently talking to them, so let’s see what happens.

Despite that, I can’t help but still feel depressed sometimes, what if all of these things I am doing doesn’t work and is pointless? What if I am just wasting my time?

I don’t know, there’s hope, but maybe I have not fully recovered yet.

I Would Have Tried Everything I Can Possibly Try By Next July

I turn 30 by July 9, 2020.

By then, I would have tried everything I can possibly try — short of pointing a gun to someone’s head and using unethical means. I would have tried to start a paradigm shift in thinking among VCs in Southeast Asia, started a Youtube Channel about love and relationships in hopes of driving greater traction and built everything I can build with the limited time and resources I have.

I could continue to code and build out the app — there is an extensive list of features and tools I plan to build — but I am afraid that it would just be too slow, because it costs resources and time just to upgrade dependencies and maintain existing features due to the fast moving nature of tech and the mobile landscape. If you have a proper team, that’s negligible, but not if you are basically a 1 man operation.

I Would Have Sacrificed 10 Years Of My Life

By then, I would have sacrificed more than 10 years of my life, 11 to be exact, since I came back from Singapore on ASEAN scholarship when I was 19 trying to do this.

I Can Only HOPE — That Big Doors Will Open — And We Can Change The World Together

For now, I can only do everything I possibly can that’s within my control, and hope that more people would start to understand what I am doing and give this potentially world changing start-up from Malaysia & ASEAN a chance.

I Can Only HOPE — That We Can Help Everyone In This World Find True Love & Live Happily Ever After Together

There is so much more to be done, and we are ready. All we need is a slight shift in mindset and the support from all of you.

Let’s help everyone in this world find true love & live happily ever after together.

We can do this together, we all your help, WE CAN.


I hope you will help me so that I can build the tools to help everyone in this world find their soulmate whom they can grow old together and live long happy lives with.

If you have access to a brand, company, working building, community or even VCs, let me know; I can help you build a community of people who like your product or brand and introduce them to each other, or bring a community closer by introducing people at the same building or company to each other!

You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com or LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to share this story and all related stories to as many of your friends too, we need more people to spread the word so we can start a positive paradigm shift in our ecosystem.

Also, you can help by downloading the app, give us a good rating, subscribe to my Youtube Channel about relationships — coming soon, leave your email, join this Facebook Group and check back every few months for cool updates.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

JohnsonKhooTV — Subscribe to my upcoming Youtube Channel where I will be talking about real life stories about love & relationships

FB Group To Stay Updated On Wowwwz’s Journey— Join this Facebook Group so you can stay updated on our journey, new features and new stories and new updates on our quest to build a start-up that could help everyone in this world find true love and live happily ever after

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

More stories and articles can be found on my blog johnsonkhoo.com or via this link to a list of all published stories here.

Help me out, because many people’s lifetime happiness is in your hands.


Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up, you can also start to meet other amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore who share the same values and interests as you by scanning the QR codes below.

*Search for Wowwwz on the App Store or Play Store to download

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


Do SHARE this with as many of your single friends as possible so they can find their soulmate soon, we can get more traction, and raise the funding necessary to build you more cool features that will help amazing single people meet each other and amazing couples grow their relationship!

Let’s do this together!

The world needs YOUR HELP so all of us can find true love!

You have the power to become a superhero!

Earlier this year, on 9 July 2019, I turned 29.

10 years ago, I was a bright-eyed 19 year old who just started his entrepreneurial journey.

I came back from Singapore — I was studying there on ASEAN scholarship — because I was inspired by the power of entrepreneurship & wanted to help Malaysia fulfil its full potential.

Inspired By The Power Of Entrepreneurship To Change Malaysia

If Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates were Malaysian, their personal wealth alone could help educate our electorate in rural areas & kampungs — especially Sabah & Sarawak — so we can all make well-informed decisions, vote in a capable government based on sound policies & truly progress together as a nation.

So I thought, let’s do that!

Let’s solve a global problem, build a 100 billion dollar startup a go from there!

You can read more about my full journey in this collection of stories here.

Read Also:

My Impossible Grand Plan To Help Malaysia Fulfill Its Full Potential, Or Is It?

ASEAN’s Ecosystem Is Not Ready To Support The Next Facebook Or Google

Over the years, I’ve been through a lot, learnt many painful lessons and have realised a couple of hard truths about our start-up ecosystem that’s preventing the next Facebook or Google from ever having a chance of getting built in Malaysia.

Google & Facebook Would Have Died If They Started In Malaysia

Simply put, if Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page and Sergey Brin were Malaysians, Facebook and Google would have died long before it even got a chance to get started, simply because as our current ecosystem is right now, no one would have understood what they were trying to build and no one would have funded them.

I have always believed in working hard on executing and letting results speak for itself. There is no need to complain, whine or talk a big talk; just do, deliver and everything will fall into place. I still believe that today.

Our Ecosystem is JUST NOT READY To Support Truly Innovative Start-Ups

However, after trying almost everything I can possibly try for the past 10 years, I’ve come to the realisation that there is something fundamentally wrong with our startup ecosystem, where a significant number of people in positions to allocate resources don’t really have the right mindset or knowledge to do so, which is preventing truly innovative and world-changing startups from ever getting built in Malaysia.

Worse still, some are doing it in a harmful way that would destroy a startup before it even started. That is very sad and frustrating, because so much talent and potential is wasted.

Read Also:

What’s Stopping ASEAN From Having A 100 Billion USD Tech Company?

The Reason I Am Sharing My Story

I also want to clarify that the purpose of me sharing my 10 year journey here is not to put the blame on anyone or anything, because there is a reason for why our ecosystem isn’t ready to support world-changing zero to one startups.

Read Also:

Why Am I Sacrificing My Life To Build My Startup — Wowwwz?

I Am Not Trying To Blame Anyone — Our Ecosystem Is Young

Our ecosystem is, after all, still a very young one; one where no one has ever built a world-changing global company worth more than 100 billion USD.

At least not yet, and I understand that.

**the best we have today are regional champions or regional hyper-localised copycats

**there is nothing wrong with that, I am very proud of them, it’s just that they are a totally different breed from world-changing companies like Google or Facebook & take a very different path

I am sharing my personal journey here because:

ONE — So A 19 Year Old Aspiring Entrepreneur Today Would Know

I want a 19 year old aspiring entrepreneur today — in 2019like me 10 years ago— to know what he or she is really getting into. That if they wanted to build a truly innovative world-changing zero to one startup like Google or Facebook; as it is right now, it is IMPOSSIBLE to do so from Malaysia — unless I succeed and help you.

I hope my pitfalls, lessons and insider’s overview of our ecosystem can help a 19 year old aspiring entrepreneur like I was before avoid painful mistakes when starting whatever venture they may be thinking of starting and save him or her years of his or her life, plenty of money and the risk of falling into depression like I did.

I hope my story can help a young aspiring entrepreneur today better navigate the startup world and increase their chances of finding success.

TWO — Spark Positive Change In Our Ecosystem

Spark a positive change & paradigm shift in thinking among VCs, investors, fellow startups, the general public and the ecosystem to better understand how Venture Capital & a supportive ecosystem is supposed to work and be more accepting of truly innovative ideas — that are by default much riskier & would sound over-ambitious to a conservative ecosystem like ours — that could truly change the world and become 100 billion USD global companies that everyone in the world uses daily.

Read Also:

The Next 100 Billion Dollar Start-Up Will Be A Dating App

Hopefully, convince some VCs who are engaging in damaging practices to change their ways for the better instead of unknowingly doing harm to the ecosystem.

THREE — A Plea For Help

Let out a sincere plea for help hoping that enough people reading this might be persuaded enough to take a wild bet and give what could potentially be Malaysia’s first 100 billion USD start-up a chance by supporting us in any of the following ways:

For Everyone Reading This — Help Spread The Word
  • Spread this story so more people will know about it
  • Download our app and share it with your friends

Download Wowwwz

  • Tolerate the many bugs that we have on our app — for now — because we are still just an underfunded 2-man team frantically trying to fix existing bugs while adding crucial features
  • Give us constructive feedback we can improve on in due time, with sufficient time and resources — we have very little of both now— rather than 1 star ratings on the play store
  • *Read* Please give us 5 stars although you think our app sucks haha. Thanks so much!

Read Also:

Why Is Our App So “SuckShit” | Wowwwz

If You’re An Investor — Take A Wild Bet On Us
  • Take a wild bet on us

*or at least hear us out with an open mind

  • This is your chance as a VC to invest in the first ASEAN start-up that could become as big as Google or Facebook — that’s at least a 100 billion USD company — that everyone uses daily
  • I am not joking, we are building something that everyone in the world would use every single day to meet all their romantic needs, from finding the right partner when you’re single to where should you have tea/brunch when you are dating or married
  • We will be the main lead generator for all things romance — the entire Valentines Day industry, gift-giving, vacations, staycations, gifts, family planning, dining, couple activities, movies, concerts, you name it, there is always a romance angle to that
  • If you’re still not convinced that that untapped market is worth north of 100 billion USD, something is very very wrong with you
  • You will also be helping everyone in this world find true love and meet their right life partners using data and a set of comprehensive relationship building tools
  • You will be helping to reduce the number of heartbreaks, broken families, divorces and people who are stuck with the wrong person — a living hell — for life
  • You can truly help make the world a more loving and happy place by investing in us
  • Let’s talk more. You can reach me at johnson@wowwwz.com
  • LinkedIn is fine too.

Read Also:

Here’s Why You Should Invest In Me & Wowwwz

If You Represent A Brand, Venue, Restaurant, Building Or Community — WORK WITH US To Build Your Community & Engage Your Customers/Users
  • We have a feature where users can just scan a QR code or click on a link to meet other people who also like the same product, share the same interest or visit the same restaurant frequently.
  • (E.g. Meet other people who also like Starbucks/Harry Potter/Cornetto Ice-Cream Etc)
  • Work with us so we can help introduce people who love your brand/product/venue to each other and build engaging communities around them for everyone’s benefit

 


 

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Kuala Lumpur!

SCAN with Wowwwz to meet amazing single people in Singapore!


 

The Risk I Am Taking By Sharing What I Know

Everything I am about to share with you about the ecosystem is true.

However, I’m afraid that some people might get offended by the truth.

Founder Stories That No One Talks About

Unfortunately, there are certain horror stories that only founders would share amongst each other.

In fact, I suspect that doesn’t happen nearly enough in Southeast Asia where founders tend to keep things to themselves unless someone opens up first or asks them about it.

Repercussions From VCs & The Community

Generally, founders would never dare to voice out about such issues for fear of the possible repercussions, like getting blacklisted by VCs — I know it happens, the community and the risk of never getting funded by anyone ever again — essentially getting their reputation destroyed & wiped off the ecosystem.

Knowing that such grave consequences might await me, I still feel that there is a need to bring such issues to light in order for us to improve together as an ecosystem so more innovative start-ups from ASEAN can have a chance of succeeding.

*because as the ecosystem is right now, it will never happen

I figured, whoever feels offended or blacklists me are not the right investors or partners for me anyway. On the other hand, those who find sense in what I am about to share & are willing to listen or explore more might just be the right investors or partners that I have been searching high and low for over the past decade.

Trying To Start A Spark For Positive Change

Having said that, I do not wish to start any legal battles or point fingers at anyone for that is totally pointless and does nothing to improve the ecosystem. What I am aiming for here is the realisation of the truth and a spark towards positive change.

I Will Not Name Names, But Will Describe Stories In Detail

Therefore, in my stories, I will not name any names, but will only describe each story in detail, so anyone who receives a similar term sheet or gets stuck in the same situation would know who I am talking about and can make a better informed decision moving forward that best safeguards the future of your start-up.

Siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas lah kan.

A Summary Of My 10 Year Story

To save you time, here’s a point form run-through of my 10 year story.

Feel free to skip to the part about the lessons learnt below.

2009–2012 — Getting Inspired + Getting Started
  • Got inspired by the power of entrepreneurship
  • Completed 6 years of ASEAN scholarship (till A Levels)
  • Came back to Malaysia, wanted to help Malaysia fulfil its full potential
  • (our problem is really a rural-urban divide, still is even with the new government)
  • Ageing parents (70 & 60) — they are now 80 and 70
  • I am the only child, wanted to spend more time with them
  • Started my legal education because law is easy for me.
My First Start-Up — First Time Raising Funds — First Co-Founder — 19 Years Old
  • Knew nothing about entrepreneurship
  • Went for all the free seminars and conferences, bought as many speakers & CEOs coffee, asked for advice as a 19 year old aspiring entrepreneur
  • Found a few mentors
  • Found out about a start-up competition
  • Needed co-founder to participate, knew nobody, reached out to primary school friends
  • Got introduced to co-founder via primary school friend
  • Learnt about business models, executive summaries & how to pitch
  • Raised RM25,000 in pre-seed money
  • Built a pilot project, a market research company called TryThisOut! (gamified sampling & surveys in universities)
  • Was best performing team in 4 months, won competition, won another RM20,000
  • Continued on to build the business.
Find A Co-Founder Who Complements You — People Might Not Always Mean What They Say
  • Learnt my first lesson on choosing the right co-founder
  • Will be writing more about that in a separate story — so stay tuned!
  • Pivoted to a video based role-playing market research software
  • (watch a video, character goes to a party, video pauses, Coke and Pepsi on the table, user makes choice, continue on with story, story differs with different choices made, gather user’s choices & preferences, something like Netfilx’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch)
  • Klarssen, Whisperto.us, made money, but not much
  • Realised Malaysian FMCGs are only interested in advertising — how much can you sell, market research usually conducted at APAC level in SG or HK, big contract with IDC or Nielsen, what we are getting are only small contract or sub-contracts, could become a RM10–20 million company if I continued working at it, but it’s not the kind of business I want to build
  • Returned money to investors with an interest, thanked them for believing in me from the start, told them about our journey, the pivots and the decision behind winding the start-up down
2013 — Limited Time — I Only Want To Start Start-Ups That Can Change The World — Allstars Accelerator Program By Cradle & Proficeo
  • Was making money from investment planning (for company directors) and the stock market rebound after the 2008 crash (made half of the bull run)
  • With the help of some capital earned from the first start-up
  • Built up my network, not just in the start-up scene but also the conventional business scene.
  • Found out what kind of start-ups can become 100 Billion USD companies

Read Also:

5 Things Multi-Billion US Dollar Companies Like Facebook & Google Have In Common

  • Realised that it was either education or dating
  • Pitched E-Class Asia, an education search engine, got into Allstars — Malaysia’s version of Techstars/Y-Combinator, was the top few, pitched to industry leaders on Demo Day
  • One of the top tech entrepreneurs in Malaysia wanted to invest, but felt they were too conservative and preferred to come in later
  • Was doing my CLP (Certificate in Legal Practice), realised education has a lot of red tape and it costs a lot to produce the video content needed, and dating is more direct and relevant to me at that time, hence did not take the investment and used my own money to solve dating

 

  • Started We Could Happen, completed mock-ups, user testing, engaged developers with more than 10 years of experience, shot short film and promo materials
  • Tap on the link above to take a look at an early hi-fidelity mock-up
2014–2015 — We Could Happen — The Truth About Development Firms In Malaysia
  • Software developers couldn’t deliver, what was supposed to be a 3–4 month MVP became a 1 year plus project and the app still crashed on signup
  • Decided to just launch it to see what happens