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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.

Recent 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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How to Engineer Investor FOMO

Investors have a fear of missing out like everyone else. For them, it’s specifically having the opportunity to invest in a company, choosing not to invest and then having that company go on to be very successful. The pain of not making an investment and having it become successful

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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

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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 > $

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. In fact,