Johnathan Teh (MCom ’11) is currently living in San Francisco, expanding his social media tech company, Onswer.
I made my career choice because... I became an entrepreneur because I see a problem that needs to be addressed. I felt compelled and passionate to change existing people-business communication channels. As an end consumer, it is frustrating to see how we still have to put up with poor customer service today; especially in such a globally connected world. I believe the best future businesses will be those that are deeply integrated with their people and are fundamentally social through a simple communication channel. I simply chose to take action in making my belief into reality.
The other factor affecting my decision to be an entrepreneur has got to be my interests in questioning and pondering on concepts and processes. I have always found it interesting to understand why and how certain things are done and made. Being an entrepreneur allows me to submerge myself in understanding these aspects in a more holistic view.
In hindsight, that bit of naivety and stubbornness definitely helped going over the edge.
If I had known then what I know now, I would have… Done things much quicker and more efficiently because ‘time’ is the most valuable resource we have in life. Focusing more on executing and learning from mistakes rather than trying to plan things perfectly.
As a student I… actively participated in extracurricular activities and successfully managed a graduate society. It allowed me to experience the importance of team and individual effort. I also then came to realisation that everything is possible through hard work and determination.
The most valuable knowledge I attained during University is the ability to think critically.
My most impressive achievement is… founding an Internet-tech company without any prior technical knowledge or experience, but fuelled by passion and naivety. I have built business relationships, fostered a passionate team of people, raised capital, built product, travelled different corners of the world and more importantly, learnt and experienced everyday lifestyle as an entrepreneur with an open mind and heart.
At the moment I’m inspired by... being the best I can be and creating change in the process. Changing the way people and business communicate and interact in a much simpler and easier way. "I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about that… Then I realised I am somebody." - Lily Tomlin.
Others say I… am courageously different, crazy at times, and have the gut to follow my heart. When looking back at what others have said about me, I like to relate myself most with ‘having the gut to follow my heart’.
My greatest goal that I’m yet to achieve… creating that simple channel to connect people with brands and in the process revolutionise the way people interact with brands.