To Jia Jian, entrepreneurship was not something that he dove into immediately upon his graduation from the National University of Singapore. Believing in the importance of timing and the right idea, it would be only 2 years later that he, together with his co-founder, Derek, started Viddsee.
With his degree in Mechanical Engineering, Jia Jian first worked at one of Singapore’s largest TV operator, Starhub, where he was actively involved in product development. The nature of his job made him keenly aware of the numerous opportunities that would change the way people seek entertainment – future generations would jump straight to smartphones and mobile phones, skipping television and computers.
He found himself facing two choices – to help Starhub manage the above mentioned changes by building products or to drop everything and throw himself in the middle of the change. His decision to take the leap of faith eventually led to the birth of Viddsee.
Lights, Camera, Action! – The Start of Viddsee
Joining his university’s film club sparked his passion for filmmaking and gave him the opportunity to meet his future co-founder, Derek. Together, they created films that were showcased at various film festivals, organised film workshops and even ran a small production house.
His involvement in filmmaking shed light on the numerous difficulties faced by content creators. Firstly, it was hard for filmmakers to get the traction and outreach their films deserved. While there was YouTube, the pressure to constantly upload videos meant there was no space for storytellers to produce premium content and moreover, the overcrowding of the billions of people made it difficult for filmmakers to reach their intended audience. Hence, spurred by the desire to empower storytellers, Jia Jian and Derek decided to create a mobile-centric platform that would allow filmmakers to produce short, premium content that would reach their intended audiences. Thus, the start of Viddsee.
What sets Viddsee apart can be summed up neatly in one word – authenticity. Anyone who scrolls through the videos uploaded on Viddsee would realise it’s deliberate focus on Asian-centric stories. The marrying of entertainment and local culture stems from Jia Jian’s belief that people would only truly be impacted when they can see themselves in the content and this focus on relatability is one of the many reasons why Viddsee has quickly amassed a loyal and engaged audience.
What Drives Him
Amidst the hustle, Jia Jian cites two values that keeps him grounded – focus and humility.
While we often hear of stories of entrepreneurs working late into the night, he believes that the key to balancing the different facets of his life is focus. While in his office space at BLOCK71 Jakarta, he will give his 100% to work. Yet, the moment he is home, the focus would be on his family and with a laugh, he quips that it means there will not be “answering of emails at the dinner table”. The importance of family is not lost on Jia Jian. After all, they were the ones who provided him the immense emotional support when he left his corporate job, and allowed him to focus on growing Viddsee.
While many would not hesitate to see his startup as a success, being humble allows him to constantly seek self-improvement. The importance of humility can be seen in his management of Viddsee as well, where there are numerous processes in place to ensure each and every employee does not rest on their laurels and is constantly growing alongside the company.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
“You are here on a marathon, not a sprint.” To sustain oneself in the long path ahead, he believes that it is important for future entrepreneurs to dig deep and find their motivations that would serve as their fuel. To him, being an entrepreneur is not just about starting a business. Instead, entrepreneurship is about the possession of the right mindset and the desire to bring value to the lives of the people around you.
Written by: Merilynn Seng