The journey towards business startup is an intimidating and questionable one. The idea of building up a business from scratch and running the company shuns certain people away. And most of the time, what makes the journey emotionally and spiritually turbulent is the barrage of questions that one can get, be it from others or even from the individual him/herself.
While there have been many questions thrown at me from time to time, here are three more common ones and my personal thoughts to each of the question:
- Why run a startup now? Why don’t you get a job first?
Believe me when I say that this is also the question that I asked myself the most. The bottom line is, you have to know whether building a business is your kind of thing or not. Personally, it has been part of my dreams for a while and I welcome the idea of it.
Now, the time question. I think being a young adult is probably the best time in life to venture into or run a startup. Yes, we certainly lack experience (be it technical know-how or the life game rules) compared to the veterans out there, but I think this is also a time in life when we have nominal tie-downs and commitments and we are basically flexible as hell in life. There is a very steep learning curve ahead of us and we are hungry to learn whatever that comes along, hungrier than you can imagine.
I’m not saying that you can’t start your own business once you get into the workforce. I know a man that had been employed for more than 10 years and is married with children, yet he is starting his own business now. I am not a fortune teller but it seems to me that the capacity to do so become lesser as one age – our commitments in life is just like a snowball that gets bigger the longer it rolls. I have no idea what commitment will come my way in the future, so I might as well start now.
Nonetheless, I do acknowledge that it is a privilege for me to be able to commit into a startup like HiGi Energy with the spiritual support of family and friends. I believe there are a lot more young adults out there who are eager to build a business but life circumstances don’t allow them.
- Why do you choose to be in the renewable energy industry?
My thought process was to really just go straight to the most pressing problems faced by humanity. In my view, a sustainable business is one that provides a value-adding solution(s) to a problem. It makes sense to say that the direr the problem, the greater the value generated by the solution as it takes away humanity’s urgent pain point. I made a list of issues, and the most suitable field that I can involve in and try to solve with my technical knowledge and educational background is that of providing affordable and accessible renewable energy.
While the costs of renewable energy generally decrease over the years, the fact remains that those energy sources are still considered premium choices available to mainly developed countries only. Global major renewable energy producers are the U.S., European countries with China, Brazil, and India representing the non-developed countries bloc. For the most part of developing and under-developed countries around the world, their economics are simply not matured enough to undergo a quick transition from the current fossil-dominant energy mix to a more sustainable one without external intervention.
It’s ironic to say that renewable energy utilization should be done in developed countries first prior to implementing them in other parts of the world when on the other hand, we are discussing measures in reducing economic gaps and inequalities. Energy, being one of the fundamental essentials for humanity’s survival and progress, might as well be one of the contributors to the existing issues.
I see what HiGi Energy is doing now as one of the possible solutions for affordable and accessible renewable energy for the developing countries, by putting our focus on the most readily accessible form of renewable energy – biomass.
- So when do you see yourself rich and famous?
I am no fortune teller. Seriously.
I don’t think anyone on the team has the answer either.
The main point is, wealth and fame are just not the reasons to build a business or company, isn’t it? If building a business is a guaranteed way to wealth and fame, we all would have been sipping mojitos by the beach now.
Personally, it is a desire for value creation that drives me to this path. First, the intention to create values and the rest is the by-product of that intention. Hopefully.