Pop Quiz, Monday with Kenny Li

Kenny Li

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Kenny Li

What is your job role?
I’m the founder and CEO of Worthyt.

Tell us about your company?
Worthyt is an app that lets content creators (bloggers, YouTubers, podcasters, journalists, etc.) earn money by fielding and answering questions from their audience. It’s a great way to get support from your community while answering their pressing questions. You just create a profile, set a price, and link to your profile on your articles, videos or other content. People who click can go straight to your Worthyt page and ask you anything for the price you set. If you answer within three days, you get to keep the money, and the asker gets a great response.

What do you love most about your job?
Speaking with our users and engaging communities. Being able to make a difference in people’s lives is a huge motivator. Content creation is a tough task–many struggles with monetization and that issue trickles down into other things like deciding how to scale as their audience gets bigger. It’s great when we see them using our platform to get their questions organized in one place, and they actually start earning money from it.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The biggest motivation that keeps me going in this project is knowing that we can grow it bigger day by day because there’s always more content creators we want to introduce ourselves to–always more help we can provide them. And the difference between finding and not finding that person to help today is maybe just a matter of having that extra conversation or reaching out to one more person.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
They are talented at what they do, and the inspiration comes from the work they produce. For example, I’d have a vision in my head, and I’ll doodle it on a piece of paper or mock it up in PowerPoint and hand it over to Nir, who is in charge of all of our frontend interface. Next thing you know, he creates a version of my vision that is something more beautiful than what I even had in my imagination. His creative ability inspires me.

Then there’s Trevor, and he’s our CTO. Whenever I have an idea, he’s the first person I turn to. We can sit for hours and debate or challenge each other; he has this superpower of being able to examine every permutation of any event. Sometimes, I’m surprised by the scenarios he brings up but then realize how possible they may be given the right conditions. He forces me to extend my critical thinking and refine the ideas.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We like to do logic puzzles and hold small book clubs. During lunch, Trevor would bring up a logic puzzle, or we would look one up on the Internet, and then spend that time (admitted, sometimes it consumes our entire day) discussing with each and brainstorming solutions. It’s a great way to exercise our brains beyond doing the same tasks, and it’s fun to do it through teamwork.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
I think one of the biggest challenges for myself is juggling school and my startup. Business school requires an intense amount of dedication not only for classes but also for team projects and assignments outside of class. I enjoy every moment of it, but my one reservation is that it limits my time working on Worthyt. That being said, it’s also a blessing because being in school gives me access to so many resources, so much helpful talent, and a great environment to learn more skills that can be applied immediately.

Another challenge is trying to ignite the network effect; it’s definitely easier said than done. I think for many entrepreneurs, we have it in our minds that whatever we’re building is pretty amazing, and the growth will somehow explode overnight, and we’ll wake up to find ourselves a million users. The reality, though, is that it rarely happens and you just need to roll up your sleeves and start doing all the necessary work to get the ball rolling. That ball might be a tiny golf ball or a giant boulder–I think it’s more often a giant boulder.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Prior to starting this company, I founded a company in the b2b space focused on cloud computing. I think one of the most valuable lessons I learned from that was how you should always overestimate timelines for sales pipelines. Not giving yourself enough wiggle room leaves no room for error, which will affect your cash flow at one point or another when things outside of your control occur and slow down the sales process. And cash flow is what you need at the end of the day to keep the lights on.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Always be available. It doesn’t matter if it’s the weekend or 11 p.m. Respond to people, talk and learn–it’s the fastest way to collect data, improve your product, and expand your network. Every piece of communication is extremely valuable. People will eventually start to become familiar with your brand.

If you have pride, swallow it and be prepared to be wrong all the time. If something doesn’t work, the most important thing is to fix it as quickly as possible–ignoring problems or pretending everything is fine might fool people in the short term, but it can cost you your business.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Website: https://worthyt.io
Twitter: https://twitter.com/itsworthyt
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/itsworthyt

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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