Dohyun Kim was born and raised in Southern California and is always on the move (a bit of a digital nomad at times). He created the social media account YourAverageTechBro, with his largest platform being TikTok with 165,000 followers, and then Youtube in second place with around 15,000 subscribers, and Instagram and Twitter at a much smaller following of 1300 and 100, respectively.
He creates content on the internet about being a software engineer and about working in tech in general, as well as tech adjacent topics like startups.
Where did the idea for YourAverageTechBro come from?
I accidentally stumbled upon creating social media content during the pandemic when I had a lot of time on my hands to do so.
I grew up consuming tons of social media content, primarily on Youtube, and I always thought that it would be fun to create content myself, but I never took the initiative to do so. Then, during the pandemic I took the leap of faith to make my first piece of content and I have been addicted ever since.
I first started off creating cooking videos because I am an avid home cook, but I ultimately decided to pivot into software engineering. The reason for this pivot is because I realized to succeed at Youtube, I had to lean into my competitive advantage.
At that time, my competitive advantage was being a software engineer that worked at Google, so having that title of “working at Google” gave me a sense of credibility to my audience and helped me grow much faster than I ever could have if I had stuck with being a cooking channel.
The first platform that I started on was Youtube, but growth was very, very slow. After 9 months of creating roughly 2 videos a week at 5-6 hours per video, I only amassed around 700 subscribers. At this time, which was March 2021, I finally decided to get on TikTok and to try growing on that platform, and the results were instantly much better.
By my 6th or 7th post I had already had a video that hit 2 million views and I gained 10,000 followers in a matter of roughly two weeks. It was from this moment on that I began to double down on short form content, and that is how I ended up growing my audience on TikTok.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I typically start my day waking up at around 6am (I’ve always been an early morning person). After waking up a bit by scrolling on my phone, the first thing I do in the morning is work out either in the form of a run (usual route is a 6.5mil loop), rowing (have a Concept2 rower at home) or lifting weights at the gym.
I’m usually done with my workout and at my desk by around 8am, and then from 8am-10am I work on social media content (filming/editing) or building a startup (still working to find traction on this one — my Twitter account usually has the most updated idea that I’m working on at the moment. Have had 2 failed startups so far so it’s definitely a process). then from 10am-6pm I do my 9-5 job as a software engineer, and then usually in the evenings I wind down with a nice TV show and dinner and then probably from 8pm-10pm I work a little bit more on either social media content or startup stuff until I go to sleep.
Since I still work my 9-5 job as a software engineer,
How do you bring ideas to life?
The process of figuring out how to create viral content on TikTok is always a mystery, and one that I am still actively trying to figure out right now. I no longer scrolled through TikTok for enjoyment — I analyzed every single post that I scrolled through on TikTok to figure out, “what is making it viral?” I would look at how many seconds there would be in between transitions, what angles/lighting works, what tricks they’re using to keep viewers engaged, and so much more.
I also started to dive deep into the creator economy and follows other social media accounts such as the Colin and Samir show to get a deeper look into how high level content creators succeed on the platforms.
Short form content has the luxury of being relatively quick to create (~20minutes per post), so it allows me to test out a lot of different video concepts to see what sticks with my audience and what doesn’t. If something catches my audience’s attention, I double down on it and make as much content as I can with that particular format, and then I repeat it with other formats as well.
This video was my first truly viral piece of content. From this piece of content I learned the importance of sharing helpful resources and importantly free resources (people love free resources).
Up until now I was only producing content for Youtube, but once I saw more traction in the short form video space I realized it would be silly of me to ignore short form video content, so I doubled down on it.
What’s one trend that excites you?
As cliche as it is, the creator economy. I still think we are quite early in the creator economy and I’m super excited to see what comes out of it in the next decade!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I truly love this one quote of, “Don’t get ready. Get started.”
The biggest productivity hack that I have come across is not psyching yourself out and overanalyzing an idea or situation — you just have to go out there and do it. Figuring out how to make your activation energy super low is the biggest life hack I can think of.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t care too much about what other people think about you. You might think that everyone’s eyes are on you, but really they aren’t. So get out there and do crazy things.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Marketing is harder than engineering in the early days of a startup.\
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
MAKE CONTENT. Too many technical founders fall into the trap of coding endless amounts of features, but you have to stop coding and market and market HARD. Making content, whether in the form of audio or visual content will help grow your audience so much.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Trying lots of different formats for content. Don’t be afraid to experiment a lot, especially with short form content. Short form content has the luxury of being really quick to make, and it serves as a great way to get an initial signal of whether an idea is good or not.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Having 2 failed startups so far while building in public. It hurts seeing all the countless hours of hard work that you put in ultimately amount to nothing. The best way to overcome it is to realize and understand that this is all a part of the process, and every failure has a purpose on your path to creating a success.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A really modern and beautiful power tool set. Do what Away did to suitcases to the power tool industry. This is just waiting to be disrupted.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Ergonomic mouse. Being a software engineer and content creator, I am at my desk a lot and use my computer basically all day. Buying ergonomic desk equipment (mouse, keyboard, etc) has been a lifesaver for me. Highly recommend investing in your health this way.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use siri for voice reminders a lot. I probably have 10-15 reminders on my phone at a time that I set by using Siri, and it helps me keep track of a lot of different items. Relatively low tech, but useful!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Andre Agassi’s biography, Open. One of my favorite books of all time that isn’t necessarily business related, but tells the incredible story of the fall into drug addiction and building himself back up to becoming the world’s best tennis player.
What is your favorite quote?
Don’t get ready. Get started.
- Don’t get ready. get started.
- Stop engineering and start marketing
- Invest in your health
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.