Welcome to our founder lessons series. This week we have an exclusive interview Jason Ho, founder of D8ii Limited, an offshore outsourcing for startups and SME’s. The company provides fin-tech solutions on web and mobile platforms.
Jason reveals how the company started and lessons learned since launch. He encourages new entrepreneurs to not to be afraid of scaling your businesses.
D8ii Limited is an offshore outsource company which specializes for startups and SME’s. We focus on providing fin tech solutions on web and mobile platforms as well as the leading offshore solution for NodeJS. We also provide foreign work permits and structured solutions for technology companies which want to relocate here in Thailand.
Why and how it was started
When I got involved in the startup, we had a particular problem of actually finding good remote outsource-people. Therefore, we actually turned through all the sites and hired people from websites such as Upwork. The issues with all of these websites were that the quality and developers weren’t that great. At least they didn’t meet our expectations.
In the end, we figured that it would be better if we hired people full time. Even if they didn’t have a competitive skill set, we trained them to be better or to reach the quality level that we want.
From myself, noticing that if I created quality and better standard of outsourcing, there would be more demands from companies for this kind of service.
Basically, D8ii grew from need of necessity. I couldn’t multiply myself for the amount of projects and demands that I had back then. I had to scale it out by hiring more developers. And that’s essentially how we started.
What has been your biggest success factors?
Tim Ferris once said, “Build a system which you can scale.” And this has been my biggest success factor for me.
In the early days of my startup, I was spending too much time. It is a common mistake for most people, which is to over-manage or wanting to know everything or do everything perfect.
Then, I realized that I didn’t have to do everything perfectly. I just had to make sure that everything was done “good”. This mentality allowed me to shift my way to scale my business, which is why we are now growing much faster. I was very conservative. I only had three developers for a long time. I got stuck with these developers for a few months until I changed my mind set.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company
Questioning whether I need a capital or financing, whether or not I should finance to accelerate my growth or bootstrap it and let grow naturally.
I weighed the pros and cons of both for a very long time. Ironically, I had a positive cash flow from day 1 of my startup. Luckily, I’ve never had negative cash flow so far.
Being very modest about my growth. I didn’t take any liability unless I had to.
For a long time, people were either working remotely or from my room. And my room grew into townhouse. And after a townhouse, it finally grew into actual office.
Therefore, my biggest challenge was the timing of whether I should scale faster or not, which is a classic common problem for many business owners.
Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?
It has to be the right team, because it has to do with execution. There are quite a few people who would do a similar thing to us. It depends on the execution and the system that you use in a company.
If there is only one of you and you have to teach whole company everything you needed to do, it would be a bottleneck. I try to remove myself as fast as I can from the potential bottleneck so that I can scale.
Final words for those chasing the startup dream
For those chasing the startup dream, it’s easiest to do with something you’ve got the knowledge to startup with. I spent a lot of time failing in a lot of different areas that I didn’t have any knowledge in. Ironically, when I realized that if I had to do a startup in IT, it was one of the success stories that I have – which came as a surprise to me.