Alvin Woon is shifting his trajectory from entrepreneur to venture capitalist 雲惟彬轉換跑道 創業者變創投家

While attending the cocktail party held to mark the opening of TMI Labs, Alvin Woon (one of the founders of the social networking and micro-blogging service Plurk) stated that, while his decision to join TMI Labs was partly influenced by the urging of TMI Labs CEO Alex Wang, a close friend of his, a more important reason was the fact that Taiwan accounts for the single largest share of Plurk’s traffic; Woon hopes that Plurk’s experience with new business start-up can help to clarify the way young entrepreneurs think and the difficulties they encounter, and that through this venture capital vehicle he will be able to help young entrepreneurs in a meaningful way. Woon, who is 30, urges young people to become entrepreneurs as early as possible; the younger you are when you start up a new business, the less worried you will be about failing, and the more benefit you will get from the expertise that you accumulate.

“I believe that youth is an advantage for an entrepreneur. If you are over 30, with a family, then your responsibilities may make you reluctant to take risks.” Alvin Woon was 26 when he became one of the founders of Plurk. He says that, at the time, he didn’t think too much about it; he took the attitude that since he was young and single, even if he failed he would not be hurting anyone else.

Plurk’s rivals are Facebook and Twitter. All of them got off the ground at around the same time, and there is little to choose between them in terms of the quality of their technology. However, if you have venture capital funding, you can make your technology better, and expand the scope of your service provision. “You can compare it to opening a coffee shop; your competitors will probably be the other coffee shops in the area, and all of you will have roughly the same costs.” If your costs are about the same, then having access to more abundant funding than your rivals enjoy can help you to expand your business.