A local startup is harnessing the creative talents of millennials for its online content platform. aCAT brings you the Startup Story of Goody Technologies.
It is undeniable that we live in an age of digital content. Millennials are particularly known for being very active online users and frequent consumers of such content.
In 2015, Goody Technologies took it one step further.
Through its online publishing platform, Goody Tech lets Millennials create quality content and earn money quickly. Their contributions are then featured on its wildly popular website and social media for other young people to enjoy.
Check out our infographic below to see how Goody Tech started from the bottom and achieved their current success.
7 Lessons You Can Learn From Goody Tech
Aaron Lim is one-half of the brilliant duo who founded Goody Tech. Read on as he shares the seven things that his experiences have taught him.
1. Do your research.
Aaron and Alex (Goody’s other co-founder) originally had an idea for a job search website, but within two weeks of conducting research, they scrapped the idea altogether.
Because they found something to benefit young people better.
The results of Aaron and Alex’s research showed two things:
- Many young people desired a second job, but one with more freedom and fewer limitations like time and distance.
- Social media news feeds were stuffed with click bait, gossip, and negative content.
Equipped with this knowledge, the two best friends proceeded to create a one-of-a-kind platform for young people. Thanks to Goody Tech, more young people can earn money anytime, anywhere, by producing quality online content.
The founders’ research paid off handsomely as they discovered the gap in the market that needed to be filled. Had they not bothered doing market research and went with their initial idea, they might now have a struggling startup on their hands.
It’s easy to speculate the needs of your target market, but the only way to know for sure is by doing actual research. Once you know what people want, only then can you begin to address their problems and offer solutions.
2. Work according to your principles.
As their startup began gaining momentum, Aaron and Alex knew they had to hire more team members. More importantly, these new members had to have the same beliefs and goals.
Goody team members call themselves “Goodians” and they strictly follow their 3S philosophies—Simple, Speed, Secure. These core principles ensure everyone stays on track in any task.
Firstly, SIMPLE reminds Goodians to focus on delivering a valuable product or service to their readers, editors, and advertisers.
Don’t get too caught up in everything else. For example, stop wasting so much time on your competitors. If you do, they’ll become an enormous distraction, making you lose sight of your primary goals.
Secondly, SPEED urges Goodians to work quickly yet efficiently. They grasp the necessity to complete tasks and honor deadlines while maintaining the quality in their work.
Yes, speed is of the essence, but it is not everything. You need to optimize your processes so you can become a more efficient worker.
Thirdly, SECURE is the feeling of reliability and safety. Aaron believes it is vital that users are comfortable with visiting their sites and sharing their information with Goody Tech. That’s why you won’t find pop-up ads on their websites.
You have to build your brand’s trustworthiness and authority so that you are perceived positively by your users. Don’t spam them with useless, negative, malicious content that could cause inconvenience to them. Find ways to add value to your users’ lives.
3. Dig deep during tough times.
In early 2016, Goody Tech was embroiled in a severe financial crisis because the advertising budget in the digital advertising market suffered major cuts.
Goody Tech saw a staggering 80% drop in advertising revenue from the third party advertising network they were using. It was painful for Goody Tech since they fully relied on ad revenue to run their company’s operations back then.
They desperately needed that money for their business, but they were forced to do without it.
This was when Aaron and Alex had to dig deep. The two struggled hard to compensate their fellow Goodians for their work.
Fortunately, financial aid from generous relatives allowed them to pay all their employees on time. The only ones they couldn’t pay were themselves.
Even though this experience hit Goody Tech hard, they never quit. Aaron and Alex used every financial resource available to them to fulfill their rightful responsibilities as the employers.
If your business goes south, you need to be like Goody and dig deep. Find your inner strength to do whatever it takes to get out of the hole.
4. Get creative in your problem-solving.
That incident was a wake-up call to Aaron and Alex. It made them realise that Goody Tech must have total control of their revenue stream, lest they fall into the same crisis again.
After some intense brainstorming, they came up with Gobiz as the answer.
Gobiz has a unique concept behind it. Goody Tech created a platform that allows businesses to connect with social media influencers to help broadcast their ideas to the world. Their advertising channel offers new types of ads, new ways to promote brands and to monetize sites.
Goody Tech’s unconventional solution was so successful that they cleared all their debts within just three months!
Since January 2017, Goody Tech has managed to break even and started gaining profits.
The icing on the cake attracted four angel investors who were impressed by how well Goody Tech bounced back and started Gobiz.
Aaron stresses the importance of pushing the limits of your creativity when it comes to forming new solutions.
If you don’t try to think of clever ways to help your business, you’ll be stuck and never get anywhere. Because when you do that, you will show many people, especially investors, that you can overcome any obstacles of running a business.
5. Shift your focus where necessary.
A chain of events taught valuable lessons to Aaron and his team.
Instead of concentrating all their efforts into fundraising, they had to find ways to sustain themselves organically.
Goody Tech slowly understood the importance of self-sustainability and promptly shifted their focus. Only after they began making profits did they switch their focus back to fundraising.
This led to their highly successful fundraising campaign via the crowdfunding platform, Crowdo. All in all, Goody Tech raised RM 300, 000 courtesy of two angel investors on the site.
This experience shows that you have to be flexible in business. Evaluate your options and find the most beneficial one. Don’t settle for just one option. Shift your focus as the situation demands it because your business needs are ever-changing.
6. Have good business ethics.
From Day 1, Aaron and Alex have regarded their ethics very seriously.
Not once have they allowed their content creators to produce negative content. They are strongly against the idea of damaging someone else’s reputation solely for clicks, page views, or traffic.
Goody Tech proudly works by “Ethics always comes first.”
The founders’ mission has always been about empowering youths through the creation of quality online content and earning income from that.
They want youths to use their skills and create compelling content to enrich, entertain, and help others like themselves.
Now that Aaron and Alex have done this for two years and gone through numerous hardships, they want to advise on one thing.
Don’t lose your humanity over popularity.
You will certainly change throughout your startup journey but never lose yourself. Remember your principles and your morals. Don’t throw them away for the sake of getting rich or gaining more likes and shares.
Your business has to project a sense of integrity, accountability, and professionalism if you want people to trust and respect you.
7. Survive for three years.
Inspired by Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, Goodians share the ultimate goal of “Survive for three years.”
Every team member is well aware that they won’t be paid handsomely; neither will they receive any attractive benefits within the first three years of establishment. This also applies to the founders themselves.
The Goodians have embraced the fact that all the funds they raise and all the profits they gain will be reinvested for business development. They know these measures are necessary to keep their business alive and achieve growth.
Aaron and Alex are grateful to work with a team of diverse and passionate individuals. Their team members were willing to struggle for three years, and they finally see the positive results of their sacrifices.
Although Goody Tech is young, it has made leaps and bounds in growth.
A year ago, it was suffering from debts and lacked funds, but today, it is among Malaysia’s Top 15 Websites with expected annual revenue of RM 1.8 million by year’s end.
So give yourself a goal like what Goody did. You could set it to three years, five years, and so forth. As long as you have a goal to strive for and to help you push through the growing pains.
What’s coming up
For 18 months, they have been running their business solely in Malaysia’s Northern Region. Moving forward, Goody will expand so they can provide first-rate ads services to the Southern Region.
In August 2017, they plan to open a new KL office and target the large potential customer base there. Additionally, Goody is looking to penetrate the English market for local online content.
Like a phoenix rising from ashes
Goody Tech’s startup story begins like every other. Have an idea, get the business up and running, then run into trouble. Most startups fail outright at this point.
But Goody Tech is one of the rare few that grew stronger under pressure. Its ability to thrive under dire circumstances is proof of the company’s capabilities. This is why we can learn a thing or two from Goody.
To date, Goody Tech has around 30, 000 users, over 1000 advertisers, and more than 1000 online editors.
Aaron and Alex’s ideas, ethics, and the team are the factors of their continued success.
“We want to build an ecosystem where all our products can grow healthily instead of focusing on a single Superstar Product.” – Aaron Lim, Co-founder of Goody Technologies
If these lessons have helped you, do share them so others can benefit too. Let us know what you think of this article in the comments section below. We hope you’ll join us again next month for another Startup Story.