Sunday
Mar192017

Multi-talented Marina Mustafa is more than just a foodie

WHEN you hear the phrase “foodie” being uttered, normally the image that appears in your mind is that of a food lover.

Marina Mustafa certainly loves food but she does way more than just sample tasty food. It’s hard to list all the food-related activities she engages in because she does so much.

She writes cookbooks (in Bahasa Malaysia and English), endorses kitchen appliances and food products, develops recipes for clients, contributes articles to newspapers and magazines, hosts cooking shows on TV and online, conducts cooking demonstrations ... the list goes on.

She was a restaurateur too. Together with her sisters, she opened an eatery called Cafe Dania, which became very popular and lasted for 14 years until a health situation forced her to take things a bit easier.

No longer able to take the long hours required to run a restaurant, she and her sisters decided to call it a day.

But instead of giving up on food, Marina found other ways to leverage on her passion for it. In fact, she gives new meaning to the word “foodie”.

If there ever is an all-round food lover, she is it. She talks to Savvy about the wide range of food-related activities that she’s currently involved in and how she manages to cope with the help of her children.

DID YOU GO TO COOKING SCHOOL OR ARE YOU SELF-TAUGHT?

I graduated from Australia with a business degree — not a culinary one — but as it turns out, all the work I’m doing is food-related. And yes, it’s all self-taught.

Well, I come from a cooking family. My mother loved cooking but so did my aunts, uncles and cousins. Cooking was a family activity for us. As kids, we all have our role models and mine was my mum, who loved concocting new and unusual dishes which always tantalised us. She inspired me to learn how to cook.

HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED REOPENING CAFE DANIA OR OPENING A NEW RESTAURANT NOW THAT YOUR HEALTH SCARE IS OVER?

I loved operating Cafe Dania but it’s not something viable for me at this stage in my life because if I owned a restaurant, I’d want to do the cooking.

I loved being connected with my customers and making them feel like they are eating at home. But this is something that I wouldn’t have time to do and besides, this kind of home-cooked oriented restaurant would not be profitable today.

OF ALL THE THINGS YOU DO, WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST FULFILLING?

Personally, it would be cooking for my family, for which there are no plans for retirement anytime soon. It’s something that I take great joy in doing and will continue to do as long as I can.

But professionally, I would say it would be my very interactive cooking demonstrations which many people seem to enjoy.

WHICH ACTIVITY IS THE MOST LUCRATIVE?

Endorsing products by international brands.

ONE ACTIVITY THAT DOESN’T GENERATE MUCH MONEY IS AUTHORING COOKBOOKS. YET YOU’VE DONE 10 OF THEM. WHY BOTHER?

It’s safe to say I won’t be able to retire on the royalties I get from these cookbooks but I do them because I want to share my recipes and knowledge about cooking. You could say I write books for three groups.

Firstly, I want to do this for my children. This is my legacy for them.

Secondly, I want to have a record of the amazing recipes passed down to me by my mum, aunts and uncles. This is to honour them.

Lastly, I want to do this for the public. I want my recipes to reach as many people as possible. That’s why I do cookbooks as well as all kinds of things online.

YOU INVOLVE YOUR CHILDREN IN YOUR ACTIVITIES. WHAT DO THEY DO EXACTLY?

All my children are somewhat involved in my food-related activities. My eldest son helped me self-publish my first cookbook many years ago. He did both the photography and the layout.

He also started my Facebook page and right now he’s working on setting up a new website for me.

My older daughter, who is now a cookbook author herself, is the one who helps me make YouTube cooking videos, which is something I’m into these days.

My younger son is the one who helps me behind the scenes during my cooking demonstrations. He also helps buy the ingredients. And my youngest daughter helps me with short Instagram videos.

YOUR YOUTUBE VIDEOS (WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/USER/MARINAMUSTAFACOOKS) ARE REALLY GOOD. IS IT TRUE YOUR DAUGHTER SHOOTS ALL THESE ON HER IPHONE?

Yes, isn’t it amazing what can be achieved these days with just a camera phone? I would normally discuss a concept with her and discuss possible angles and settings for the shoot.

Izarra would often introduce new ideas to make the videos interesting and new. Then she just shoots it on her phone and edits it on a computer. Technology has made possible what used to take a whole production house to do.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE CONTENT. DO YOUR CHILDREN HELP WITH THAT?

Actually, I do that on my own. While my son helped with my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/cookingwithmarinamustafa) and taught me how to use it, I’ve been updating it myself.

Everything about my work is very personal and I think my fans who “like” the page would know if I weren’t updating it myself.

HOW WEB-SAVVY ARE YOU?

Not as much as I would like to be but I’m okay. My children who are very web-savvy, have been my guiding light when it comes to anything tech-related. They teach me the basics and from there, I experiment.

It’s important to be web-savvy so that you don’t have to rely on others for every single thing you want to do online. My Facebook page is a perfect case in point. Once I learnt how to use it, I decided to manage it myself.

DO YOU BROWSE THE INTERNET MUCH FOR FOOD-RELATED MATTERS?

I browse the Net for the latest trends in food. I even look up the latest cooking videos to get ideas on how I could make my videos more interesting visually. And of course there are the recipes — so many of them out there! I usually browse through recipes to get new ideas or to improve existing recipes in my repertoire.

DO YOU PREFER TRADITIONAL KITCHEN EQUIPMENT OR MODERN GADGETS?

I like both. I am very sentimental about my traditional equipment like the batu tumbuk (mortar and pestle) and the periuk tembaga (copper pots), for example.

I feel these traditional cooking methods produce more flavourful dishes. But I use the pressure cooker a lot too. My pressure cooker has a permanent place on my kitchen countertop. I also love my food processor. So my kitchen is a mix of old and new, traditional and modern.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE FOOD-RELATED THAT YOU’D LIKE TO DO?

I have started my own range of sambal (chilli paste) plus several other food products that help to cut down on cooking time for those who are too busy to make these things from scratch.

It’s still early days but I want to eventually have an online store that sells these items.

Sunday
Mar122017

Nesu: The solo headhunter

What are the ins and outs of the headhunting industry? Oon Yeoh talks to Nesu Pang, a self-employed headhunter, to find out.

IN the war for talent, many companies have to rely on “headhunting” agencies to help them recruit the right executives to fill crucial vacancies.

The advertising and media agency sector is highly competitive, with a very high staff turnover rate.

One of the most effective headhunters in this niche sector doesn’t work for a recruitment agency but is self-employed.

Nesu Pang has worked on both sides of the media sector, with extensive experience working for media agencies as well as for media owners.

Her introduction to headhunting for the media sector came when her manager at a TV production company invited her to join a new regional recruitment company that the manager was helping to set up.

Nesu worked there for one and half years before striking out on her own. She talks to SAVVY about the ins and outs of the headhunting industry and explains why she prefers to stay self-employed than start an agency with staff.

What made you decide to set out on your own?

I didn’t like working for a regional company. They didn’t understand the local scene. I felt I could do a better job if I was running my own headhunting business.

What gave you the confidence to do this?

Having worked in the media sector — both in the agency and owner sides — since graduation, I knew the business well and I had a good network of contacts in the industry. I saw that many media agencies had trouble getting good staff. This was a never-ending problem so there was definitely a demand for this service.

Was it a struggle at first?

Actually no because I had accumulated some savings and I made sure my car loan was already paid off before I did this. Also, my housing loan was very manageable and I didn’t have many other commitments. After about three months, I started making money so I can’t say it was much of a struggle.

What level of employees do you headhunt for clients?

All levels from executive to CEO. The clients tell me what they need. After I understand the culture and vision of the company, I set out to find the right candidates for them.

What’s your success rate like?

If I take on an assignment, I usually get them the right person for the job but sometimes perhaps because the job or the company is not that attractive, I have to say no to the assignment.

I reject clients about 30 per cent of the time. I’m very upfront with them about the issues they have that make it hard or even impossible for me to find suitable workers for them.

How do you make your money? Does the client pay?

It’s entirely on a success basis. I get paid a percentage of the candidate’s annual salary if I successfully place them. It’s the client who pays, not the worker.

How many placements do you do a year and what is the salary range like?

I do between 14 to 18 placements per year. The salary ranges from as low as RM3,000 per month to RM38,000 per month.

To be effective in your job, do you have to constantly network?

Yes, I often meet people for lunch and dinner. So I’m networking all the time. I meet with potential candidates much more than with clients. I’d say the ratio is 70:30 for candidates and clients.

When you’ve met a new prospective candidate, how long can it be before you end up placing him or her somewhere?

Sometimes very quickly if the right opening is there but sometimes the gestation period can be as long as one or two years. That’s because I don’t only meet with people when I have a job for them. Sometimes it’s just pure networking for future opportunities.

How do you go about approaching prospective candidates?

Oftentimes it’s just cold calling. I tell them I’ve heard good things about them and then I ask them if they are open to exploring new options. If they yes, we meet up. If they say no, I won’t disturb them.

What do you talk about when you meet them purely for networking purposes — meaning you don’t yet have a job for them?

I try to find out what they want to achieve career-wise. Once I understand them better, I am better able to match them with the right clients. This might sound cliche but what motivates me is that in helping these people, I feel I’m effecting positive change in their lives.

What’s a typical day like for you?

One of the best things about being a one-person show is that I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule but I do try to stick to a standard routine. I wake up at around 7.30am, walk my dog, do some exercises, read a little and then eat my breakfast. My working day starts at around 10am.

I spend a lot of time communicating — making calls, returning calls, e-mailing and working on proposals. Lunch time is spent networking — usually with candidates. In the afternoon, I get back to work, do a bit of exercise and walk my dog a second time. Come evening, I’m off networking again, usually with clients.

You obviously love your job. What’s the worst thing about it though?

When you meet a not-so-good client or candidate, you really hate it. At times like that, I really wish I was not in this line. It can be emotionally draining.

How do you plan to expand if you don’t want to build an agency with employees?

I envision growing a network of associates. Already I’m working with another freelancer whom I think is quite good. When he helps me out, I offer him a profit share. I prefer working with associates who are self-employed as they are essentially entrepreneurs. I don’t want to have staff.

Do you plan to go regional?

I have a few regional clients. I prefer to focus on local business because regional work requires travelling which is quite disruptive. This kind of business can’t be done purely via e-mail or Skype. You need to meet face-to-face.

What do you think was the biggest factor in your success?

I think parental influence is important. I grew up in an entrepreneurial environment as my parents were business people. And entrepreneurship is something my father really encouraged.

When I told him about my plan to leave my job to start my own business, his response was, “What took you so long?”

Sunday
Mar052017

The go-to guy for resumes


By OON YEOH

What does it take to be in the business of resume writing, wonders Oon Yeoh

HANS Toh is a writer but he’s not your regular writer. He specialises in writing resumes. This is a rather unusual job and it certainly wasn’t part of his career plans. Hans studied engineering and worked in that field for several years before he decided to switch to a career as a resume writing specialist.

The idea of specialising in resumes came about when during the course of his initial career in engineering, he had to write resumes for his various job applications.

“I was looking for professional guidance on how to write a good resume but such help was hard to come by,” he recalls.

So he searched the Internet for ideas. He found that much of the resources were Western-centric and thus not that suitable for this part of the world. That made him realise there was a gap that needed to be filled. He saw an opportunity and seized it.

Hans talks to Savvy about the business of resume writing, what constitutes a good resume and his plans to expand and broaden his services in this very unusual field.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE MALAYSIA’S FIRST CERTIFIED RESUME WRITER?

At the time, there were some people offering resume writing services out there but they weren’t very good. None had any kind of professional training in it. So to distinguish myself, I decided to become the first Malaysian to get certified in this area. The certification is offered by the Professional Association of Resume Writers based in the US.

WAS THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS A STRINGENT ONE?

It wasn’t easy. I had to do a lot of research and spend countless hours writing to perfect my skills. The certification involves a two-part online examination done over a specified period of time. The first part gauges your grasp of the English language as well as your understanding of the recruitment market. The questions are really challenging. The second part requires you to write a resume based on a hypothetical client. The bulk of the marks will come from this section.

HOW DOES YOUR SERVICE WORK?

Clients can engage my services via my website (www.hans.com.my) where they can submit their existing resume as the base reference document. I’ll send them a series of fact-finding questions via e-mail. Once all the information I need is received, I’ll provide them with a resume design as well as details about the flow of information in the resume.

If the client agrees to my proposal and makes a payment, the drafting process will commence. I can usually get the job done within three days.

HOW DO YOU MARKET YOUR SERVICES?

Everything is done via online channels, namely Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. It makes sense to go the online route as job seekers today will turn to the Internet whenever they’re looking for a job.

DO YOU PERSONALLY USE THE INTERNET A LOT?

Yes, definitely. To write a resume well, I’ll have to find out details of the industry my client is in. I need to understand the industry and ensure that the right jargon, buzzwords and lingo are used. I’m constantly researching things online.

COULDN’T A PERSON JUST LOOK AT SAMPLE RESUMES ONLINE OR BUY A BOOK ON HOW TO WRITE A GOOD RESUME?

They certainly could but it takes a lot of time to do that. Most people don’t have time. They want to get a job fast! Besides, why not let a professional help you get a leg up with an effective resume? When clients come to me, they know that they’ll get a top-quality resume.

ARE YOU STICKING TO JUST WRITING RESUMES OR HAVE YOU BEEN EXPANDING YOUR BUSINESS?

Oh, I’ve been very busy on that front. Besides writing resumes, I’m also coaching people on effective interviewing skills. I conduct workshops in universities and colleges. And I recently published a book about resume writing, which I hope will serve as a guide for fresh graduates. New services include LinkedIn profile development. I’d like to scale the business but it’s all about finding the right partner to help you do this.

THESE DAYS PEOPLE CAN GO TO SITES LIKE FIVERR AND GET ARTWORK DONE FOR US$5 (RM22.50). WHAT IF SOMEONE COMES UP WITH A RESUME SERVICE FOR US$5?

Yeah, there’s nothing to stop anyone from offering very cheap resume writing services but generally, you get what you pay for. If the service is so cheap, you have to wonder how good it is. Imagine if you were going for surgery, would you want to go with the cheapest surgeon or would you prefer the one who’s properly qualified, even though he might cost more?

WHAT’S A GOOD RESUME?

The best resume is one that’s tailored-made for a specific position. Let’s say Jane is a marketing specialist who conducts training very infrequently. And let’s say she wants a career change that moves her more into the area of training. In such a case, her resume has to talk more about her training expertise rather than her marketing strengths.

An excellent resume generally contains three key elements: Relevant working experience, measurable achievements and educational background or professional training obtained. You can think of a resume as a kind of report card where you can find the name of the subjects taken as well as the grades achieved. In a resume, work experiences are the subjects while the measurable achievements are the grades.

HOW LONG SHOULD A RESUME BE?

For fresh graduates, they can be between one and two pages. For someone with 20 years’ of experience, the length can go up to three or four pages. But don’t make the mistake that the longer the resume, the better. The important thing is that the information presented in the resume has to be relevant to the job being applied for. During my job search days, my resume would be around two pages long.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE MALAYSIAN JOB SEEKERS?

Identify your own measurable achievements. Start keeping a note book on how much money you have made for your company or how much money you have saved for your company, etc.

Sunday
Feb262017

Scaling up from one-person freelancer

What does it take to build a creative agency, wonders Oon Yeoh


MALAYSIANS are entrepreneurially-minded. Many people say they’d someday like to start their own business or at least become self-employed. Many who become successful freelancers generally don’t regret leaving the 9-to-5 office life behind.

But after a few years of freelancing, it’s not uncommon for them to wonder whether they can build something bigger than themselves.

Becoming a successful freelancer is in itself already a tough undertaking. Building a company with employees takes it to another level — and this is something not everyone can pull off. It requires a mind-set shift to evolve from being a free agent to being an employer.

One person who’s managed to do this with aplomb is Bernie Quah, who pretty much kick-started the graphic recording industry in Malaysia.

Graphic recording is where a live artist (or team of artists) visually record down the key points of a talk or seminar by sketching what is being said.

Bernie started off as a one-person show but as demand for her services grew, she had to grow the capacity for her business to take on more work.

Today she has a small team that helps her with assignments in three countries — Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. She talks to Savvy about what it takes to build

a creative agency with talented and loyal staff.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH GRAPHIC RECORDING?

I was an interior architecture student and I realised that making visual sketches of notes was the most effective way for me to learn things.

I found my drawing skills to be most useful when I attended conferences and began illustrating those talks. It allowed me to instantly capture key points and interesting quotes which I might otherwise forget about.

I didn’t know it was called graphic recording at the time. When I discovered that there were people actually doing this as a profession, I thought it was so cool and began following the work of famous graphic recorders from around the world.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO TAKE THIS UP AS A PROFESSION?

I spent some time in San Francisco and the city really inspired me. It taught me that age doesn’t matter when it comes to creating new ways of doing things and building businesses around new ideas. I met many young people who were starting companies and after a while, I decided I should give it a try too.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?

I actually began working as a graphic recorder in Singapore because the market there was more familiar with this concept. So, it was more viable for me to offer my services there. In time, the trend of engaging graphic recorders for seminars spread to Malaysia and I was able to get work here too.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO TAKE ON STAFF?

When requests from Hong Kong started to flow in, I knew I had to grow the company. But being that graphic recording was a new industry, there wasn’t exactly a ready group of experienced graphic recorders to hire. There were, however, skilled artists who could be taught the craft. And I was prepared to do that.

WEREN’T YOU AFRAID SOME OF YOUR STAFF MIGHT LEARN THE SKILLSETS AND START THEIR OWN BUSINESSES?

This is always possible but I believe in the saying: “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.” Hiring other illustrators was a big move for me but from the moment I started my company I knew that it would someday have to be something bigger than just me.

HOW IS DOING BUSINESS DIFFERENT IN SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA AND HONG KONG?

There are a lot of similarities between Singapore and Hong Kong, in terms of

the pace of city life. Malaysia is a little

bit more relaxed. I tend to spend more

time in Malaysia now that I have staff that can help me out in Singapore and Hong Kong.

SPEAKING OF STAFF, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING?

Graphic recording is a very niche skillset. I usually look for people who either already have done something similar or have the potential to develop those skills. If they like sitting in airplanes for a couple of hours every week, that’s a big plus point!

WHAT TECH GADGETS DO YOU USE FOR WORK BESIDES A LAPTOP AND A MOBILE PHONE?

Nothing. Those two things are basically all I need to run the business. In terms of services, Internet access is crucial for communicating with my staff since we are in three different countries but also easily 90 per cent of our business enquiries come through our website (www.sketchpost.com).

YOU WEREN’T A BUSINESS STUDENT. WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR BUSINESS SENSIBILITIES FROM?

I read as much as I can but I wouldn’t say all my decisions are based on what I learn from business books. I’m often inspired by what graphic recorders in the US and Europe are doing as the industry is more advance there. So, I try to keep up to date with what’s going on there and see if those things are applicable in this part of the world.

WHAT ARE THREE TIPS YOU CAN OFFER FREELANCERS WHO WANT TO GROW SOMETHING BIGGER THAN THEMSELVES?

First, your aim should be to build something greater than the sum of its parts. Building a business isn’t about outsourcing additional work but creating something that’s not just bigger but better.

Secondly, be prepared to make educated guesses and take calculated risks — and learn from what didn’t work.

Thirdly, remember that you have to weather the hard times to get to the good times. Tough times don’t last but tough people do.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THIS YEAR?

This year, we’re going to focus on spreading our own spin on design thinking through workshops! We’re currently working

on refining a syllabus that lets people become a little more confident in

their innate creativity while having fun

doing it.

WHAT ABOUT THE NEXT THREE YEARS?

I’d like to get to where my company can run autonomously enough that I can take

a holiday without having to check my e-mails!

Sunday
Feb192017

All for worthwhile causes

All for worthwhile causes
By OON YEOH
19 February 2017

IF you’re a web-savvy individual interested in innovation, you probably would have watched a TED Talk video. You might have even attended a TEDx KL event, now in its seventh year.

For the uninitiated, TEDx is a TED-approved programme of localised events that allow more people to share a TED-like experience. The main TED body has some strict requirements but individual TEDx events are very much self-organised.

The person who first brought TEDx to Malaysia is Daniel Cerventus Lim, an entrepreneur and a big fan of TED. His motivation for doing this is to show that contrary to popular perception, there are a lot of innovative Malaysians.

“I want to create the closest TED-like experience for people in this country and also use it as a platform to highlight talented individuals with amazing ideas and doing remarkable stuff,” he says.

The following highlights the origins of TEDx KL and Lim’s plans:

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR AND WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST BIG SUCCESS?
When I was 13, I was put in charge of my school’s computer club. I helped grow it to become one of the biggest clubs in the school. I guess the seeds of entrepreneurship within me began there. My first real business was a portal selling cars in the early 2000s. I also had some success consulting on online marketing, but what took off for me was running an education tourism company. The company organised study tours, bringing foreign students to Malaysia to study English. It was conducted like a summer camp.

WHAT DID YOU ORIGINALLY ENVISION OF TEDx KL?
Initially, I thought it would be a gathering of some like-minded people interested in ideas, technology and science but TEDx KL quickly became more than that. The audience kept growing and growing.

HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO GET PERMISSION TO DO THIS?
It’s not as difficult to get as you might think but we were one of the early ones. When I applied for a TEDx licence in 2010, the concept of TEDx was still very new. We were the 36th licensee globally. Now there are well over 10,000 licences around the world with events being held in remote places like Scott Base, Antarctica, which happened quite recently. In Malaysia alone, there are probably more than 50 licence holders now. Most of them are held in other states or focused on universities or colleges. There are some that focus on different languages such as TEDxPetalingStreet, which is conducted in Chinese.

AT FIRST YOU DIDN’T CHARGE ANY ENTRANCE FEE BUT LATER YOU DID. WHY?
One of the conditions for the licence, which is given for free, is that the conferences cannot be for profit. I self-funded the very first one but I couldn’t keep bearing all the costs so we had to start charging, if only to cover expenses. There is also an unexpected positive side effect of charging. More people started attending the event. Apparently, people don’t appreciate something when it’s free. When we started charging RM50 for the ticket, more attended. When we raised it to RM150, we had thousands attending the event. I can only explain this by saying people tend to appreciate things more and are more committed to attending when you charge for the event.

HOW DO YOU SOURCE FOR SPEAKERS?
We maintain and update a list of interesting people. We also spend a lot of time researching and vetting them through multiple independent sources to ensure they are credible. After that, we will have exploratory discussions with them to see if they are indeed suitable to be speakers.

YOU’VE ALSO CREATED A YOUTH OFFSHOOT OF TEDx KL, RIGHT?
Yes, it’s called TEDxYouth@KL and the next event titled What Now is set for Feb 25. This year’s speakers come from an array of backgrounds, and they include notable personalities such as Journalist for Social Change Ian Yee, Advocate for Social Image Rozella Marie, Experimental Musician Takahara Suiko and Ethical Fashion Activist Sasibai Kimis. You can go to tedxyouthkl.com for details.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR TEDx KL?
We’ve launched TEDx Adventures where ticket holders get exclusive access to various workshops, sessions or even tours by our speakers or partners. So far, we’ve had public speaking workshops, a Tesla test drive, tours around KL to discover the history behind the street names, and drone flying lessons, among other cool activities.

SINCE TEDx KL IS NOT A BUSINESS AND IS NOT FOR PROFIT, WHAT IS YOUR MAIN BUSINESS?
I have two main businesses, Artsys and The Wayang. Artsys is a start-up studio that focuses on building new businesses together with different partners. For example, we are collaborating with DiGi to launch KreativeCrew, which is a crowdsourcing platform for creative idea and projects. The Wayang is our video production house and we have done some work for clients but we are also launching our own online channels for business, music and food.

ARE YOU A HEAVY INTERNET USER? AND WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE WEBSITE?
I am such as heavy Internet user, mainly for podcasting. I listen to a lot of these. My favourite website is called ProductHunt, where you can find out about new product and services. It really keeps me up to date on such things.

DO YOU DO A LOT OF ONLINE BUSINESS NETWORKING?
Actually, I hardly do that at all. To me, nothing beats a face-to-face meeting so when it comes to business networking, I’m still a traditionalist. I prefer to meet people in person rather than online.

WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG THING THIS YEAR?
Video — including live video — will be big this year. We are consuming more and more video each day and we will see a lot of new experimentation on video this year.

ARE YOU A SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR?
I think of myself as a problem solver. If there’s a problem worth solving, I am interested. I’ll do something if I think it’s a worthwhile cause. And there are many worthwhile causes out there.