Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Simon Tian, whose company aims to enrich lives through the power of disruptive technology. Most notably, he has a big vision for wearable tech, and is on his way to bringing it to the mainstream…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I’m the Founder & CEO of Neptune, an innovative consumer electronics company that aims to enrich lives through the power of disruptive technology and intuitive design. I strategize and oversee all operations of the company.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I had a big vision for wearable tech, a vision that could bring it to the mainstream. It was to have the wearable be your personal smart device, and to reinvent the smartphone to only become a dummy pocket-sized display for your wrist. It was so compelling, yet no one else was doing it, and so I wanted to make it happen.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is brainstorming about product design/features, as you know you’re designing something that thousands and hopefully millions of people will use. Brainstorming about how to bring the product to market is also interesting. Basically I like everything that requires creativity from my end.
The most challenging part by far is in the execution, making sure that everything is being handled properly.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
When you realize that except for sleeping and eating, you’re just working.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Being in the same position, running the company, although it might be a public company by then.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Getting our first product, Pine, the first standalone, full-featured smartwatch that allows you to make calls, send messages, browse the web and much more, on the Android platform, ready to ship. I had to go to China to make sure that everything runs smoothly on the production line, that all the technical issues were resolved.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
No, money I think is simply a very positive “side effect” of success.
Success brings satisfaction I would say, not happiness. The thought that you’ve created something new, that’s never been done before, but that a lot of people want and use because it solves legitimate problems in their lives, is what brings satisfaction to me.
I don’t know yet what’s the secret to happiness, and I think most people don’t.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Reaching $800,000+ on our Kickstarter campaign for Pine and shipping the product to all of our backers in June 2014. That’s my most significant milestone to date, because that was when we became a real business that actually delivered real working products to customers.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Have a vision, and have drive. Learn everything from the Internet. That’s all it takes.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
I like Main Deli, Firegrill, and Omnivore. They’re just really good places with great food and good atmosphere.
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
I like to improvise on the piano, produce music, listen to music, etc. I’m a musician.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
I like big cities like New York and Shanghai. Shanghai is probably my favourite. I like visiting places where there’s bustling energy, giant skyscrapers, and lots of dining/drinking places and cultural attractions.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Gimme Shelter, Rolling Stones.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be a professional musician. I might pursue music in the future, actually.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I do not. I’ve been busy preparing for the launch announcement of a brand new product earlier this week and haven’t had a chance to investigate. It’s definitely something I plan on looking into in the future.
What to you is notable?
People who have a strong vision and are determined enough to realize it. Of course, the impact and size of that vision in its realized form is directly proportional to notability.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Android. Our products run on Android.