Ms Yeap Hoh developed MeeGenius while looking for new ways to make her young children want to read more. She worked as an executive for 15 years, with leading companies including Credit Suisse First Boston and Pomona Capital, a private equity company, before leaving in 2007 to become an entrepreneur.
In her spare time, Ms Yeap Hoh enjoys cooking, trend spotting and water sports. MeeGenius launched in April 2010.
1. Who are your business influences?
Inspiring thought leaders who lead brands both large and small. Names that immediately come to mind are Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Howard Schultz, Steve Jobs – all chief executives and founders that care deeply about building great brands and businesses as well as cultivating creative cultures for their employees and creating shareholder value.
2. Why did you choose to do an MBA?
Schooling has always been very important to me, and I knew an MBA from Columbia would equip me with the tools I needed to succeed in being an entrepreneur. I concentrated on finance for my MBA programme, which gave me a well-rounded education. I also felt that MBA programmes help budding business leaders build a string network, which I think is invaluable for an entrepreneur.
3. What is the best piece of advice given to you by a teacher?
Whenever you are doing a presentation and making an argument, use simple benchmarks that your audience will immediately grasp and understand.
4. What would you do if you were dean of a business school for the day?
I would have everyone take the day to meet all their classmates. The network you establish and develop in any academic environment is so important. This is something that was very important during my time at Columbia.
5. What is your biggest lesson learnt?
The biggest lesson I have learnt from founding and building my company is to focus. Like many entrepreneurs, I want to do everything and take on as much as possible. However, I have learnt it is more effective to focus efforts on the best opportunities.
6. What is the worst job you have ever had?
Packing take-out at a very popular local restaurant on busy weekends when I was a teenager. It was a good learning experience as a young person, but not a fun one.
7. How do you deal with male-dominated environments?
In male-dominated industries, it is important for a woman to remember she is there because she is qualified to be there. Confidence is essential to succeeding.
8. What is your favourite business book?
Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference is an essential business read.
9. How do you deal with pressure?
I take a step back and try to remove my emotions from the task at hand.
10. What are your future plans?
I plan to continue doing what I love – creating products that inspire, improve and influence the lives of others. It is especially important to me to continue working with children.