Interview with Yuree Hong
About Yuree Hong
Yuree Hong is an entrepreneur and marketer working actively in the blockchain industry; a founder of SHE Blockchainers, CMO of Kosmos Capital and marketing lead of Eximchain. Featured on Forbes, Yuree is a growth-oriented visionary with 10 years experience in marketing covering APAC and the US. She believes in the power of technology emergence in our daily life that transforms business models. She is passionate about working with tech startups, who can leverage on her experiences from top brands to agencies.
i. How is being a leader and heading a business different in a corporate versus being in a startup?
Regardless of the company size or age, the business will grow better when there is an inspiring leader of the company. There are many well-known leaders like Steve Jobs from Apple, Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook, and Elizabeth Stark from Lightning Labs, just to name a few. They thrived at being at the forefront of the industry and created a unique culture. This inspired their teams to drive and spearhead their companies towards innovation.
In a startup, being a leader means working collectively with the team. You will need to get used to delegating the work to the right team members and feeling comfortable with different leadership styles. Team members equipped with a sense of ownership in their work remains crucial for a startup, and this is produced organically when the leaders of the organization support a collaborative and high-trust environment.
I started SHE Blockchainers Asia to support female leaders’ inclusion in the blockchain space. It’s a non-profit online community that has grown collectively with our members since I started the company in September 2017. I believe the key to our community’s success is that we offer an open and collective knowledge sharing platform focusing on female empowerment in the industry.
ii. What are some of the curveballs you have experienced in running your business and how have you dealt with them?
Starting up a new company was a huge challenge since I began my venture into the entrepreneurial journey last year. There were more roadblocks than I expected while I was exploring the possibilities to facilitate my goals. Time was limited and I was left with a heavy workload pending my decision every night. Many people say prioritising is important when it comes to time management at a startup, and I wholeheartedly agree with that.
Running a fully freelance-operated growth marketing studio was an exciting decision for me. The company is named Hash81, helping blockchain startups make most out of their marketing campaigns. Since it’s a young company, there wasn’t a huge curveball, but connecting with talented freelancers and reliable partners have been a challenge. I took a slow-paced approach when it came to new client opportunities, such as spending more time to review their business models and technology readiness. This was to ensure that every company that worked with Hash81 would get optimal quality performance with every single penny they spent.
iii. Is there ever a good time and can you prepare yourself to be an entrepreneur one day?
I think there is never a ‘good’ time, but you can definitely prepare yourself to be an entrepreneur one day.
My curiosity is a source of entrepreneurship. I am a very curious person particularly in high technology and I always enjoy exploring ideas to solve the current system by applying new technologies. I follow key influencers’ blog mailing lists or Twitter accounts to educate myself on entrepreneurship and technology trends every day. I also spent a few years of my career in a technology startup to learn from real-life working experience at a startup. This experience has been an invaluable source of inspiration for me to stay strong and find the most suitable solutions in the most effective way.
Instead of ‘just doing it’ without forethought, I waited for the right time while preparing myself to embark on the entrepreneurial journey. It was the right choice for me.
iv. Do you think your industry is progressing at the right pace? How do you see your industry evolving in the next 5 years?
The technology adoption cycle is getting shorter and shorter every moment. The blockchain and cryptocurrency industry showed vigorous growth within the past 1-2 years. The regulations in each country of the world will be a focal issue in the next few years, and I believe this will accelerate the steep curve of growth for blockchain in the technology adoption cycle in the next few years.
v. Can you share a crystal ball prediction for 2027?
I believe everyone will have at least one cryptocurrency wallet by then!
vi. What is the one piece of advice you would like to give to your younger self? Or to the aspiring female entrepreneurs?
I would like to highlight the value of collectivity and variety. I started programming in my teens, yet I had stopped in my early twenties because I wanted to work in a position facing people instead of dealing with a computer. Collective work is required when it comes to a higher level of technology development though, as it requires the sharing of ideas from the minds of many people of various backgrounds. The main advice I would have given to my younger self is to continue programming and honing my highly sought-after skills in this field.
I admire many female entrepreneurs who have transformed the industry and the business environment. The blockchain and cryptocurrency industry needs more female participation to support diversification in development of ideas and it will be integral to the growth of the industry.