Why I started my business?
By Tan Bo An, founder of Stitch Interactive
28 March, 2020
Entrepreneurship is not easy and it will never be. When I started out, there are obvious uncertainties that come to mind: the know-hows to run a company, the running costs of the company, the competitive nature of the industry and most importantly, the income that I can bring back to my dining table, in the comfort of a place I call home. The aforementioned points are all appalling reasons why people are afraid to take a leap.
So, why did I start my business?
I wanted to work for myself
I've had experiences working for others, and many times I'm forced to do something because my boss or superior told me to. Sounds familiar, ya? That, of course, included working overtime (OT) and being in the IT industry, it wasn't likely that I was going to be paid for that. That does not go well with me and I was left emotionally imbalanced. I always thought to myself that there are better ways to do or manage things (for example, work-life balance). But these ideas were rarely taken in. I don't blame the bosses, because they were in charge.
But I knew I had to work for myself. I wanted to be in charge, right the culture and earn what I duly deserve. Even if I were to work OT today or in the future, it will be for my company and myself.
I wanted to show my skills
When I was working for agencies, I was able to showcase some of my skills. But they weren't many projects that were highly interesting or experimental. These were the projects I was vastly attracted to, something I could design and develop according to my ideas, and with little interference from bosses. All I need to do is to convince and align clients to my ideas so that I will be able to hone my range of skills freely.
I wanted to impart my knowledge
I was grateful that I was able to
complete my education with a bachelor's degree in Multimedia Technology & Design. The education system in Singapore is such that I took a period of about 17 years to do so, because they included pre-school, primary school, secondary school, polytechnic and university. I am a firm believer of this education system, as it scaffolds learning effectively. For example, it doesn't make sense for a primary school graduate to join a university directly. Unless, of course, if you are a genius! Honestly, I'm none of that.
It was only until after national service (all male Singaporeans need to serve the army) that I landed my first full-time job. After a stint of at least 2 years in the army, I was always likely to be rusty and acting like a noob. But I was lucky to have met 2 colleagues who were always willing to help and guide me. Back in those days (around 2007), there wasn't even a mention of the term
full-stack developer. It only became better known since 2010. And these guys matched the role of a full-stack developer to a tee. They were well versed in more than one area of web. They could do design, frontend and backend development. I was in awe of that, and I aspired to be like them. Gradually, under their inspirations and guidance, I improved. Today, I am still driving myself to be an all-rounded full-stack developer. In the IT industry, it will be foolish to think that I have
completed my education because this industry is ever evolving and there are new languages and technologies to learn. And I take up that challenge.
I have always been grateful to education and puts it upon myself to discover and nurture new talents in the Information Technology sector. I have an unrelenting passion to teach, putting my 15-year industry experience to good use. I wish to inspire others, with my experiences and perennial eagerness for improvements. As Stitch Interactive's slogan says,
We create the present and inspire the future. The second portion of the slogan certainly accentuates my intention to impart knowledge.
I love to customise
Just take your house for example, I suppose everyone wants to make their house nice and unique to others. And that is the same for design and development. There are many ready-made website and app solutions available at low cost. Customers sometimes choose that, because they are cost efficient and perhaps, they are on a tight budget. Sometimes, the designs look boring and these solutions lack continuity, and it is difficult to add functions or build upon such systems. I embrace custom, modular design with headless CMS, that can enable our clients to have custom-made solutions that are scalable and easy to use.
I wanted to get out of my comfort zone
In the days when I was studying in Polytechnic, I realised my classmates were not fixed, as per secondary school, for example. I dreaded that I wasn't able to make new friends easily or communicate effectively with others, perhaps that was due to my introverted character. When I first co-founded a creative agency almost 10 years ago, I knew I had to get out of my comfort zone. Over a decade, I improved and was able to communicate better with others. I have got out of my comfort zone and here I am, with a brand I call my own, Stitch Interactive.
Nice topic to kick start my blog, isn't it? I hope you have enjoyed my very first blog post and stay tuned for future posts!
A BIG shout out to all frontline workers fighting the current COVID-19 situation. Thank you for your hard work, courage and commitment!
P.S. Everyone plays a part to ensure the safety of one another. Adopt maximum social responsibility. Take care everyone and stay safe.
Thanks for reading!