2014/08/06 by lingdecklee
[The following is an interview by Jessica Kao (EST staff) on Tinki Cheng, Founder of UMade, with authorization for publishing on the personal blog of Start Jeffrey Up and the FB page of Entrepreneurs Society of Taiwan (EST).]
1. Where did the idea for your startup come from?
I have worked at advertising agency for years, and I noticed there are so many people who have great talent on creation. They can create awesome great designs, photos, and pictures easily, but they have difficult time to turn those artworks into real products. Also, more and more consumers are tired of mass produced products. They would like to have their own products, something meaningful to them. Therefore, UMade is born. We expect we can use an innovative production process to provide a creative alternative to mass produced products to consumers, and also provide a solution to let artists bring their creation to life in a physical form without worrying about the inventory issue.
2. Who are your target customers and why do they use your service or product rather than competitors?
People who like to be unique. Because of the high quality of our products, and because we provide the best balance to give consumers solutions to create their own custom-made products without the need to spend too much effort.
3. What is your business model?
Selling products and share profits with all the designers and artists.
4. Give an example of how the marketplace has proved your intuition completely wrong, and another example of when your intuition has been completely on the money. How have you cultivated a better sense of the market?
Haven’t had a specific one that I can share yet.
5. Do you have co-founders? How has this affected how decisions are made in your startup?
I have one partner. We made important decision after discussion.
6. What has been your best marketing investment to date?
We haven’t started investing on marketing yet, but will do it soon.
1. What pivotal experience led you to seriously consider entrepreneurship?
I would say it’s the gene. All my families are entrepreneurs, so becoming an entrepreneur is not surprising to myself. I enjoy the process of finding solutions to all the challenges, building systems, and encouraging people to make things better.
2. What has been your greatest challenge since becoming an entrepreneur?
Time management. Because you would face too many choices and have too many tasks needed to accomplish every day, but you only have 24 hours.
3. What helps you keep going in the face of challenges and obstacles?
Believe in the goal and I just simply like what I am doing now, so I will keep doing it.
4. What experience has been most useful to you in your entrepreneurship journey?
Make a complete plan for your business is not as important as you thought, but speed definitely is (may be even more important than you thought.
5. What do you need to learn or improve to take your business to the next level?
We need to improve the completeness of the team and build more product categories.
[Tinki was a guest speaker at the last EST event on July 28: EST Speaker Night: What we have learned from Silicon Valley (by UMade, elbum and IndoorPoint)]