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My name is Hsu Ken Ooi. I'm Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Iterative, a startup accelerator focused exclusively on Southeast Asia.

Before Iterative, I started 2 companies Weave (YCS14, acquired by LunchClub) and Decide (acquired by eBay). I studied mathematics in school, played video games for money and I'm originally from Penang, Malaysia.

I typically write about startups but will occasionally write about other things. You should subscribe.

Featured Posts

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Convincing People to Work at Your Startup

A signification portion of a founder’s time and energy is spent convince people of things. They could be investors, potential users or prospective hires. I’ve talked a fair bit about the first two so I thought I’d spend some time talking about the last one. The challenge

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Is Your Startup Solving An Important Problem?

A startup exists to solve a problem. In fact, the problem the startup is trying to solve is the most important thing about the startup. It dictates the market size, the product, the type of people the startup needs, etc. Therefore, for a startup to be successful, it needs to

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The 3 Things We Look For in Founders

Maybe the most common question I get is what do we look for when deciding to invest in startups? The answer is surprisingly simple at high level but exceedingly nuanced in practice. At a high level, we (and I suspect every investors) wants to invest (1) in a startup working

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The Difference Between Bad, Good, and Great Startup Engineers

Given something that needs to be built.. A bad startup engineer will immediately start to build it. There’s very little consideration for how it should be built, ways it could be built and what the trade-offs are. You say make a button that when pressed does X. They make

Recent Posts

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5 Reasons Why Office Hours Are So Effective

At the end of every batch, we ask founders "What was the most valuable part of the program?" The answer is always Office Hours. If you've experienced it, it's obvious why but I wanted to see if I could explain it to people who

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The 5 Most Common Startup Pitch Mistakes And What to Do

Iterative Winter 2024 is having it's Demo Day on tomorrow (Wednesday, 8 May). To help companies prepare, we've host pitch practices every few days where companies pitch to other founders, Brian and I. They get immediate feedback, learn from each others pitches, iterate over a few

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What to Look For in Your First Technical Hire

I’m looking for a technical co-founder or hiring my first engineer. Since I’m not technical, I don’t know what qualities to look for. Any advice?

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Top Posts and Book Recommendations of 2023

It's the end of the year and everyone's doing it so I thought I'd share my top 10 posts of 2023 and my top 5 book recommendations. Top 10 Posts I wrote roughly 15 posts in 2023. Mostly on Linkedin and a few made

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Should You Continue Working On Your Startup?

A persistent question founders ask themselves and probably the most difficult to answer. Here are the 3 questions I ask myself when trying to answer this question and what to do about it. Is it growing fast? Growing fast is the best indicator you might be onto something. How fast

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Is Story or Traction More Important When Fundraising?

Fundraising is one of the most difficult things a founder has to do. And I suspect, given the current market conditions, it’s even more difficult now than in the previous seven to 10 years. A common question we get is: “Which is more important: strong traction or a strong

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Learnings Compound, Money Doesn't

Things that compound are significantly more valuable than things that don't. For startups, when you learn something about your users, that learning helps you every time you design a new feature, run a new marketing campaign, etc. for the lifetime of the company. For startups, $ does not compound.

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Founder Simulations

Great founders have this uncanny ability to run highly accurate, localized simulations about their business in their heads. What's surprising is none of them could do this when they started. What's the benefit of being able to mentally run accurate simulations? You can predict the future.