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ViewFind CEO Zheng Yu Huang believes the true test of an entrepreneur comes from solving challenges, not counting successes.
ViewFind CEO Zheng Yu Huang advises founders to openly share their decision-making logic with investors as a way to build their confidence.
You’ve heard the advice, get out of the office to do your best thinking. Zheng Yu Huang did just that, and credits his trip to Myanmar with giving him the inspiration to launch a startup to connect people through visual storytelling.
In a time when anyone with a phone becomes an amateur photographer, Huang says that, in fact, “only a few people can tell a story with a picture.” Huang founded and serves as CEO of ViewFind, a platform that curates high-quality visual stories, in video or still photography, and presents them in web and mobile formats.
The idea came to him while taking a river trip in Myanmar with a photojournalist. He saw the photojournalist photographing “ordinary people living extraordinary lives,” he says. But recognizing how hard it is today for photojournalists to distribute even their most compelling work, he thought what can be done to “give a voice to these Myanmar people who don’t have a voice?”
Sometimes the crazy-sounding ideas turn out to be the best ones, Huang says. “If it’s real innovation, it has to be kind of crazy to start with.” To turn his idea into a business, Huang draws more on passion and psychology than his extensive business background, a reversal of his earlier thinking. “I’ve heard, and now agree, that 30 percent of entrepreneurship is mechanics, 70 percent is psychology,” he says.
If it’s real innovation, it has to be kind of crazy to start with.
Huang is building ViewFind on the principle of content sharing with the goal of providing a platform for quality work. An editorial team reviews submitted material to ensure it meets the ViewFind’s standards. If accepted, ViewFind helps the creators monetize and syndicate the work. In the future, all brands will have to be publishers, especially on social and mobile, publishers of high quality visual stories. A major revenue source is how ViewFind collaborates with businesses and non-profit organizations to produce original sponsored content.
Leading a creative content business requires living with a level of chaos. “Culture is formed through the clashing of personalities and differences,” he says. And Huang must rely on a network of artists and investors to fuel the company. “Most of the great talent we have is because investors, advisors and friends made referrals or recommendations,” he says.
When looking for a bank for his new company, Huang chose Silicon Valley Bank. “They care about innovators; they’re partners who serve up-and-coming entrepreneurs,” he explains, offering special events for founders and access to collaborative work spaces.
Though ViewFind may be a small company now, it is important to Huang that SVB has offices in Europe and Asia. “They can grow with me,” he says.
See all Next2 client stories:
Zheng Yu Huang,
Frida Polli, and
See all Next2 conversations:
Larry Cutler & Zheng Yu Huang,
Jessica Green & Joshua Hoffman,
Frida Polli & Kathryn Minshew.
At Silicon Valley Bank, we have conversations every day with technology visionaries who are shaping the future. We invited several clients on the frontlines to share their experiences and points of view on how to build a successful innovation company.
In this collection of stories, titled Next2 POV, you will hear about the vision, passion and sheer grit necessary to get going, and how building a trusted team of partners and advisors is a prerequisite for success. Our goal is for these stories to give you insight and inspiration to move your big idea forward.
ViewFind CEO Zheng Yu Huang says even small startups need to set up processes so they can scale and find success.
ViewFind CEO Zheng Yu Huang describes how moving his startup into its first office is giving his team a new sense of purpose.
ViewFind CEO Zheng Yu Huang says it’s easy to lose a healthy life balance at a startup. He maintains a morning exercise routine to avoid burn out and stay mentally ready.
Mikkel Svane, co-founder and CEO of Zendesk, discusses why it’s critical to have a banking partner with resources that grow at your pace.
Larry Cutler, CTO of Baobab Studios and Zheng Yu Huang, CEO of ViewFind, discuss their approaches to failure and experimentation.
Jessica Green, co-founder and CTO of Phylagen, discusses how she manages rapid change.
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