When you have a solid plan of a big idea, people and market will follow you.
Michael Ou is a FinTech entrepreneur who devotes his time in the development of blockchain security. Specializing in the innovative use of blockchain technology and smart cards, Michael was awarded and recognized over time for his contribution in the industry – 2015 Entrepreneur Star, 2016 Medical Blockchain Top Award, 2017 Innovation Gold Award, as well as 2017 Meet Neo Star.
In 2014, Michael founded CoolBitX, a blockchain security company that presented the world’s first mobile hardware wallet, the CoolWallet S, which reset the world’s expectations of a hardware wallet – offering unparalleled ease of use with best-of-industry security. With current valuation exceeding one billion Taiwan dollars, CoolBitX has sold over 100,000 wallets worldwide under Michael’s leadership.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I own an 18-year-old banking security solution company that helps 50 banks in 30 countries to protect their customers’ assets in a compliant approach. After getting into cryptocurrency in 2013 and trying a few hot and cold wallets, I realized something was missing in the market, which led me to start CoolBitX in 2014. My vision for CoolBitX is to build the world’s most secure and ease of use wallet to store digital assets.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Wake up at 6, have Weetabix and sugar-free soy milk. Read news for an hour. Kick off every morning with the internal review and proceed to meet with partners & clients. After that, I frequently have lunch and dinner with stakeholders to chat about work and build connections within the industry.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Usually, when an idea comes to my mind, I would write it down in my note and list out the pros and cons first. Then, I would think about how to execute the idea, as well as the cost and result. After that, I would discuss with my team either via calls, meeting, or emails – whatever suits at the time.
If the majority of the team members are happy with the idea, we bring the idea to live by scheduling it to the development pipeline.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Seeing digital assets becoming mainstream is very exciting. We started CoolBitX when digital assets were just an early concept. As time goes, digital assets become bigger. A few years back, no one from my family and friend knew what Bitcoin was. Now, everyone has heard of it, and many even invested in it. In a few years, digital assets will be like stock, forex, or gold. I believe that most people who invest in these will very likely start to invest in digital assets as well.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Minimalist lifestyle: simple and clean diet, clothing, and regular workout. 100% dedication in bringing success to business.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Dream bigger, make more friends. No one will think you are too young to do big things. When you have a solid plan of a big idea, people and market will follow you.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
We completed the first stage of the 2nd generation product- CoolWallet S development in 4 months that nobody believed we could achieve it. Our team’s devotion and determination to succeed made everything work out better than we’ve envisioned.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Study, learn, grow, and communicate with both internal and external stakeholders. These will help you grow fast.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Imagine what I wish the world will be in 3 years realistically, and put it in a practical plan.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The first 2 years when I started the business, I was not able to fundraise for the company. For a few months, I could not even pay my team’s salaries. Then, I started seeking angels who helped me tremendously and taught me how to finance the company. I really appreciate the efforts and resources my angels brought to the company.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
To connect and broaden the use of CoolWallet S device and CoolBitX technology to more applications in the Blockchain space. We are still discovering the potential and possibilities at the moment.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best money I recently spent on is river tracing with the team. Helping each other out in challenging activity is the best way to team bond and spark chemistry.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Evernote. I put all of my to-do lists in Evernote and check it all the time to remind me of the tasks I need to complete.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Murray Rothbard, Man, Economy, and State
What is your favorite quote?
Every individual…is constantly engaged in planning. This planning may range from an impressive investment in a new steel plant to a small boy’s decision to spend two cents on candy, but it is planning nevertheless. It is erroneous, therefore, to assert that a free market society is ‘unplanned’ on the contrary, each individual plans for himself.” -Murray Rothbard, Man, Economy, and State
- Focus matters. You only have 24 hours a day. Stay away from unnecessary activities you will find yourself more productive.
- Spend some time to imagine what the world will be in 3 years. What is missing in that picture may be a good business.
- Keep learning every day.
- Discuss your findings with your team.