Interview With Kwan Yu Queenie Lee, Founder At Missolink
Kwan Yu Queenie Lee is the founder of Missolink. Situated in Kwun Tong, an industrial district that is one of the best neighborhoods in Hong Kong for startups and early stage companies. Missolink is a welcoming and supporting place filled with a diverse startup community. They have positioned themselves as a home base for startups launching new business ideas and reaching their potential. What are the best things about coworking compared to a traditional office space? : I would say that coworking spaces are alive, we are a dynamic workspace full of laughter and ideas; and you always find inspirations within it. Do you host events for your community?: Of course, we have regular networking gatherings every week. We are also planning for some project pitching events for all kinds of startup teams in the coming future. What types of coworkers seem to enjoy your coworking space the most?: I think young startup teams or freelancers who are both practical and open-minded enjoy our coworking space the most. Well, most of my coworkers have on-going business or start-up projects running when they join us. I think they are also quite outgoing and they love the dynamic atmosphere here. What is your favorite coworking space you have been to in a different city? : I have been to several coworking spaces in different places but not a lot. OFFICEtakecare in Italy, MESH in Norway, CLBC and Happen Coworking Space in Taiwan and Ideaworkbar in China. To me, they are all good but I am most impressed by MESH and CLBC. MESH has a very loyal group of coworkers, most of them have been staying with MESH for 3 years or more, so I guess they must make a really serious effort to build their community. CLBC is very passionate about the idea of coworking and they even collaborate with coworking spaces in Taipei, TaiChung, and Tainan and formed an organization called Coworking Taiwan. I think it is really meaningful to have coworking spaces working together to create more value for coworkers. What is working best for your marketing right now?: Mainly online including Google, and social media. What is your biggest differentiator compared to other coworking spaces?: I would say we make a good team here in the sense of working together with all coworkers who have different skills and experience. The working atmosphere, the cohesion of the Missolinkers' community and the diversity of industries involved by our coworkers makes a difference. What is the toughest decision you've had to make in the last few months?: Most of the time, newcomers blend in well into our community; but sometimes we have newcomers who caused some complaints from our existing coworkers due to his attitude and the way he behaved. In a culture like ours, we should embrace the differences between individuals and diversities, yet I had no choice but to discuss with him about the disturbance and discomfort that he may cause to others. This is a tough decision for me to interfere personal quarrels among members. If it was possible, what advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?: Make better use of your time. How did you meet your co-founders or business partners?: We are old-time friends, most of us know each other for more than 10 years, we have different specialties and we have considerable experience in starting new businesses. Favorite place to travel to?: New Zealand, what can I say, I love nature. What are some of the best things about your coworking community?: People. Our coworkers, are the most amazing "things" in our community. They are the ones who help us to create the whole harmony and coworking spirit at Missolink. Without them, we would need to take the lead in every single campaign or event held at Missolink. There would be no way for us to be effective, without them. We believe we created a culture here but we still rely on our coworkers to maintain it and bring value to each other. What book are you most likely to give as a gift?: As a coworking space owner, I think I would pick Zero to One by Peter Thiel as it is easy to follow and good for almost every startup. What is your favorite small business in your neighborhood? : There are a lot of small businesses that impress me a lot; if I have to pick, I would have two in mind. One is a business about reforming old buildings for student accommodations. They negotiate with the owners of old buildings and persuade them to renovate their properties into residential units. I think they are doing a very good job and I have insight into the student accommodations market. The second would be an online seller of ready-made ingredient packages in Hong Kong. They clean and prepare ingredient of different dishes and sell them in package online. Customers have to spend less than 10 minutes to cook with simple instructions. This really caters to the needs of the busy working class in Hong Kong and not to mention those young couples who don't even know how to cook. I think this is an interesting business and could be huge in the coming future. What is your favorite app or online tool?: I am trying out the coworking management system, Happy Desk, which is kind of useful to me. What was the best event that you recently attended?: I went to the Salone del Mobile Milan in April this year, it is a huge show and I think they are perfect in every way. How did you finance your business?: We found investors. What business would you love for someone else to start?: A business that improves the lives of the elderly. I think it would be very meaningful if we could make old people's lives better. What advice do you have for new business owners?: Once you start, devote all you have and you never give it up.