Brian Wong: ‘Kiip Getting Lucky’

Three years ago this Mother's Day weekend, Brian Wong paid a sad surprise visit to his mom in Vancouver; he'd just been laid off from his business development gig at Digg. This year, the newly-21-year-old is 18 months into founding Kiip, which has 35 employees in New York and San Francisco and has given 40

Kiip founder Brian Wong outlined ways for controlling luck during his talk Friday morning at Big Omaha. 

Three years ago this Mother’s Day weekend, Brian Wong paid a sad surprise visit to his mom in Vancouver; he’d just been laid off from his business development gig at Digg. This year, the newly-21-year-old is 18 months into founding Kiip, which has 35 employees in New York and San Francisco and has given 40 million rewards for achievements in games.

Lucky?  

“Luck is supposed to be, like, you can’t control it,” he said on Friday morning while speaking at KANEKO on the second day of speeches at Big Omaha 2012. “I’m here to say that you can control it, and I’ll give you ten steps to do that.” 

Those steps: 

1. Start Playing

Wong said he is tired of people asking for coffees from other entrepreneurs to learn from them. 

“You won’t know how the game will be played until you start,” he said.  “You won’t get lucky until you actually start playing.”

2. Surround Yourself with Other Lucky People

Events like Big Omaha are a great way to do this, Wong said.

Once you’re surrounded by lucky people, “don’t ask how, just hang out with them. When you hang out with them, luck breeds luck, wealth breeds wealth.”

3. Choose a Really BIG Field 

You can only be a “lean startup” and iterate if you have really big field.

“If you have the positioning that will basically allow you to tackle everything within a very wide breadth,” Wong said, “what you have as a result is basically an excuse to do a lot of different things.”

4.

Oops. Make that nine steps. 

5. Make a Game with Less Players 

Make sure that big field you chose is filled with just a few players. If you have to, differentiate yourself from the competition. For example, Kiip. “We’re not an ad network,” Wong said. “We’re a rewards network.” 

“If you you can play it right, if you can make your own bucket, that’s what I call a blue skies effect,” Wong said.  People start buying into your idea, then become customers.

“If you have a buyer and a seller, you now have created a market. That’s an amazing, beautiful thing.” 

6. Remove ‘Unlucky’ From Your Vocabulary 

Wong’s brother applied for a job last week, and didn’t get it.  

Wong’s take: He was actually lucky to find out that he was not a good fit for the job. If he’d got it, he would have hated it, and that would be worse. 

7. It’s All About Relative Luck 

“If you’re able to remove unlucky, if you’re able to find this area for you to play in, and then you realize that you are actually being very lucky, it will enable you to perceive how to move forward,” Wong said.

“Go through life knowing that nobody gives a f— about you,” he said.  

“This means that anything that happens to you is an amazing opportunity, and you will grab the bull by the horns.”

8. Use What *Normally* Gets You Lucky

Don’t try to think up strengths you should have or spend time trying to fix your weaknesses. Instead, use the “superpower” traits you already have — the ones you use to get someone to go out with you or sleep with you. 

For Wong, that’s getting people really excited about stuff. 

Don’t know what yours is? Ask your friends. 

9. Make People Lucky 

The more you help others, the more they are willing to serendipitously help you. 

Also, think about what you want, and then ask people around you. “No one will know how to help you unless you tell them how to help you,” Wong said. 

10. Luck Becomes Serendipity 

Act and do in a way that allows you to identify the opportunities that come to you. 


For real-time coverage of Big Omaha on Thursday and Friday, including a live stream of all 14 speakers, visit siliconprairienews.com/live.

 

Credits: Photo by Malone & Company / Big Omaha


Silicon Prairie News’ coverage of Big Omaha 2012 is presented by CoSentry. For more than a decade, CoSentry has provided startups, web-based enterprises and larger organizations a safe, secure, affordable network of computing and data storage facilities.

Learn more about CoSentry at cosentry.com.

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