Shi Ling, Tai
What does this photo mean to you?
My co-founder and I goofing around at JSConfAsia 2019 with a unicorn floatie. The JSConfAsia event and community means a lot to us. We first presented our first prototype in a lightning talk at JSConfAsia in 2016, and have very enthusiastic response from the developer community about our idea, which really convinced us to further develop it into a product and a business. Since then, we've been to JSConfAsia every year to learn, meet new people in the community, and share our knowledge about building great software. Since the COVID pandemic, we really miss conferences like these that bring the developer community together.
Tell us what inspires or drives you?
As a kid, I was always fascinated by technology and how it empowers people, that's why I choose to study computer science and become a software engineer. UI-licious was founded on the desire to empower non-technical software testers who were testing software by hand to automate user interface testing without needing to learn to code. At times when running the business felt too hard, it keeps me going when a user writes to us sharing about how our product makes their work fun, gives them peace at night knowing that their systems are up, and occasionally saved the day by catching a major defect before the software is released to their customer.
Name one essential trait of a founder and tell us why
Knowing when to say no. Running a business is not trivial at all, and when you have a limited runway, it is essential to know what to focus on, and to keep your focus on it. In the beginning, I noted down every suggestion and accepted every meeting request from investors, from users, and tried to get them all done. I had a super long to-do list that made me very stressed and it also distracted me from what really needed to be done, or really accomplishing anything at all. It's like juggling - if you had 10 balls and tried to juggle all of them, you might just drop all of it. It would be better to focus on 3 balls, and let the rest drop, so that at least you have 3 balls in the air. My personal health and well-being being one of the balls I've learnt to never drop.