[SPECIAL Hall Night Talk – Timothy Yu]
The 5th talk of the SPECIAL Night Talk held by HSBC Prosperity Hall invited Timothy Yu, a 27-year-old entrepreneur who founded SnapAsk, a hundred-million-dollar business. The presence of Timothy himself has attracted a lot of people to come. At the end of the talk, MFH-B was packed with people. It was a full house!
The one thing Timothy taught us was that for change to happen, one shouldn’t just wait for it, but should go ahead and do it. Timothy started off as a private tutor, tutoring 3 to 4 students a week. The tutoring took up most of his time and he felt that he didn’t have enough time for himself. He wanted a change, so he gathered his friends and asked them to put money to rent a space in Fortress Hill. He built a tutoring center and ended up tutoring about 50 to 60 students a week. It still took as much time, but he earned more money.
Through his tutoring experience, Timothy understood the importance of one-to-one tutoring. Students can understand even better when the teacher’s focus is all to the student. This sparked the idea of creating a platform that provides this one-to-one tutoring experience.
Being a financial risk management major, Timothy understood nothing about coding nor programming and he needed a lot of help to be able to realize his initial idea. He first started off with a simple Facebook page, and once he saw that people responded to his idea, he used this validation to then create a website. The road to success wasn’t always smooth. There was always that fear of failure and it wasn’t an easy job to pitch investors to invest in his business. But Timothy persevered, and was passionate about what he did. He deeply believed in quality education.
At the beginning of his startup, he heavily relied on part-time engineers and programmers. What he searched in his employees, apart from their skills, are their work attitude. He wants ‘doers’; people who do not back down from challenges just because a new idea is far from the norm we are used to. This is exactly what we need more in our society—doers who want to make a change.
A few residents were asked to describe their experience:
How did this talk inspire you?
“I try to be more well-rounded in all areas. It’s good to be an expertise in your area, but also open your eyes and be keen to learn everything in other areas.”
– Gao YA, HSBC Prosperity Hall, Year 2, Creative Media, Mainland China
“You can achieve anything if you really put your mind into it. Timothy is a very young entrepreneur. He started off at our age! He also wasn’t a computer science student, but he ended up being the founder of a mobile application company. It made me realize that you don’t have to be an expertise in a certain field to be able to succeed in that area.”
– Chan Ho SHING, HSBC Prosperity Hall, Year 4, School of Law, Hong Kong
How important do you think is IT in our daily life?
“The presence of mobile application has really sunk into our life. We study and workout with the help of mobile apps. It has become a habit and made everything more convenient and easier.”
– Vipul AGARWAL, HSBC Prosperity Hall, Year 3, Environmental Science, India
Based on the testimonies of our resident, it is apparent that the talk was a huge success. Let’s look forward to the next SPECIAL Hall Night Talk!
Writer: Natasya Viona CHANDRA (Jockey Club Harmony Hall, Hall 7)