In the vast Vyond office, the eye is quickly drawn to the standard-size ping pong table.
It has become a tradition of the office that every Friday, Vyond’s founder, Alvin Hung, will play a few matches against his teammates on this table.
Alvin’s entrepreneurial journey has been like a game of ping pong – he has experienced many back and forth gains, losses, and fortunes. To Alvin, the keys were always how much he can learn, and what he needs to do to improve.
Alvin taught himself coding when he was in primary three or four. He was fascinated by computers and was inspired by Bill Gates to start up.
One Sunday morning, as Alvin was playing on my computer as usual, his father came into the room with a Time magazine. The cover story was about Bill Gates and how he successfully took Microsoft public.
“At that moment, it dawned on me that computers were not only fun but could make careers.”
Gates’ story moved Alvin deeply and sparked his entrepreneurial dream. After he finished university in the US, Alvin joined Oracle in Silicon Valley and worked there for a few years. During that time, he founded two businesses. He experienced the pride of having his work recognised and tasted the excitement of having one of his businesses acquired. He also witnessed projects falling through due to miscommunication with clients, which led to the closing of his other business.
This roller-coaster experience did not dim Alvin’s entrepreneurial dream, however; it emboldened him to use the experience as a training opportunity.
“It is only by learning from your mistakes that you will find new directions.”
One time, Alvin found that the animation software on the market was all very difficult to use, even for someone who studied computer science like him. He was lost.
So, Alvin came up with an idea: why not create animation software that everyone will find easy to use?
After a series of R&Ds, the online animation production platform Vyond was born. Vyond is like a massive digital animation workshop. There are many animation elements that users can simply drag and drop to create an animation. During this start-up process, Alvin took countless product refinements and losing his way before he found his market position and his path to success.
Facing a tough entrepreneurial journey, every entrepreneur must build a like-minded team and a healthy corporate culture to succeed.
Having experienced Silicon Valley’s revered innovative culture, Alvin hopes that his teammates can also work and thrive under the same environment.
“I want my colleague to walk through Vyond’s doors and feel that they are “living in Hong Kong but working in Silicon Valley” and that they can flex their creativity in an environment.”
Vyond treats its staff to 12 movies of their choice every year and gives out travel coupons at the annual dinner lucky draw to help them to revitalise outside of work. There is even a beer tap at the office for the staff to relax over a high-quality craft beer after a day of hard work.
The team-spirited Alvin even hosts TGIF parties every Friday and organises video game contests regularly to bring the team together and to foster the team spirit.
Vyond is now a member of the Cyberport Incubation Programme. With Cyberport’s support for start-ups, Alvin has gained the opportunity to demonstrate his business at various events and seminars and to meet with different industries, the academia and the government. All of which have laid the foundation for Vyond’s Asia-Pacific expansion.
Alvin is not afraid to fail, and he personifies a never-say-die spirit. This, coupled with an innovative working environment, is what will guide Vyond to even greater success.