Robert Lo is the founder of Alset, the game changing gig economy app where people can barter or charge for their services or offer them as a favor. As a leading thinker in augmenting the fiat currency, re-shifting the way society defines and redefines value, and democratizing work in the twenty-first century, Robert is the visionary force behind Alset. With a long background with Big 4 and consulting for top tier organizations, Robert currently serves as the Chair of the City of West Hollywood’s Business License Commission. He holds a Masters of Business Administration in Finance and Masters in Organization Development, both from Pepperdine University.
Where did the idea for Alset come from?
The idea for Alset came from the need for a concurrent operating, one that mirrors an open source system so people can get access to real time resources, whether it is goods or services. It was also a way to give people options and so they didn’t feel hopeless in life.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The days are early, starting at 6:00 AM, and they can stretch into the night and weekend. They are filled with effective either meetings or communication between me and the marketing / public relations team or myself and the development team. The days can be filled with interviews, answers emails, empowering the team to take lead, or working towards executing goals.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I like to discuss the ideas with my team, and see how it lands for the team to determine if it is worth invest time, energy or money around that effort. Then the team rallies behind the decision and we bring it to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Discipline. Staying on a routine, making my bed, going for a bike ride or a run, tackling the tough issues at the start of the day, listening to feedback, engaging with team, etc.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Go to bed. Get plenty of rest.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Trust is reflexive. If you don’t have trust in yourself, then there won’t be trust in others.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Be honest with yourself.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Leverage your relationships and connections. It takes a village to raise a baby. A friend of a friend of mine introduced me to our senior developer through our doubles volleyball group. My product manager was an old next-door neighbor who is now in New York. My media strategist is the nephew of my closest friend from grad school.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Alset stopped in the middle of development because the engineers didn’t know how to execute the key functionality of the application. We were on pause for nearly a month before I came across our current senior developer. Be patient and sit with the uneasiness.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
1.) Instead of land farming, someone should leverage hydroponic farming, much like cannabis. It’s more sustainable and cost effective. And you can control plant growth.
2.) Someone should figure out a way to create affordable geo domes.
3.) Someone should figure out a way to make solar panel scooters, bikes, or cars.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought groceries for my aunt. It will feed the soul. The exchange of $100 is priceless compared to what you get back. If you are open to giving you will be open to receiving. The same applies to spending.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
GitHub and JIRA are great workflow tools that will help you with the development of your app. You assign the work effort to your team, and the person who created the ticket closes it out.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Zero Cost Margin Society. You will understand how the world should operate.
What is your favorite quote?
“My inner light thanks your inner light.”
- Give it away for free. People will always come back for more, especially if it is too good to resist.
- Be willing to fail over and over again in order to learn from those mistakes.
- Remain open to people’s ideas and know when and how to implement those ideas when the opportunity strikes.
- A job worth doing is worth doing well. So, make a commitment.