Brian Wong – Founder, CEO of Kiip
Brian Wong’s story is remarkable: the son of immigrant parents smuggled from a life in mud huts to Hong Kong where his father ultimately became an accountant with his own firm, shaped Wong into an entrepreneur that challenges others to create something amazing with the resources available to them today. “If you can’t produce something amazing, then you’re doing a disservice to the stable environment your parents struggled to create.”
His personal drive was born out of an idyllic childhood in Vancouver where he decided to push himself out of his own nest. Wong graduated high school at age 13 and from the University of British Columbia at 18. At age 17, he decided to study abroad in Singapore, an experience he attributes to broadening his mindset to look beyond the Big 4 that typically recruited from his business school
Wong was struck with the desire to become an entrepreneur after he moved to the Silicon Valley to work for the now-restructured Digg, where he was laid off after 6 months. The realization that he wasn’t in control of his own fate resonated with him: “If I started my own thing, I not only benefit from those successes, but I’m also responsible for any failures. I wanted to design that fate rather than being a casualty of that fate.”
Gayle Fuguitt, President & CEO interviewed Brian on June 24, 2015 and dug right in with the question: “How does Advertising work today?”
According to Wong, advertising today is too inward-facing between advertisers and publishers, creating a lucrative environment for one another when really it ought to be working more in the consumers’ favor, ultimately creating a better experience for them.
“The way that advertising will work is if we’re able to make the consumer the top of that food chain.”
Speaking on his inspiration to start Kiip, after observing people using the apps on their mobile devices, Wong wondered about what made games specifically so addictive. He noticed that gamers especially relished the achievement moments—but that these moments were also being squandered on banner ads, badges and other ineffective would-be connections. Wong felt compelled to take those moments and acknowledge the end-user, and to reward them by embedding Kiip (across 3,500 apps to date!)
When faced with the question of Big Data, Wong thinks about the consumer, asking how can we serve this data back to the consumer, in the moment, in a relevant way?
Wong also raised an interesting point regarding privacy: if “great advertising feels like a service”, and consumers have no issues with service-industries knowing their very personal details (for example, travellers expect hotels to know specific details, like the type of pillow they like or room preferences) then by using big data, advertising can be ultimately transformed into a consumer-serving industry.
In fact, Wong’s team has noticed that users on Kiip’s platform are asking for more information to be collected on them in order to get more relevant rewards.
Check out more in the video interview, brought to you by The ARF in Cannes Lions 2015.
Brian Wong has been recognized with many awards for his accomplishments and leadership, including: One of Canada’s “Top 20 Under 20”, Business Insider’s “Top 25 Under 25 in Silicon Valley,” “30 Under 30 in Advertising”, “18 Most Important People in Mobile Advertising”, Forbes’ “30 under 30” for three years and Mashable’s “Top 5 Entrepreneurs to Watch”.
Brian will be speaking at ARF’s event at Facebook Headquarters: How Advertising Works — How Technology Makes It Better.
He spoke at the Cannes Lions Festival on Creating Valuable Consumer Relationships with Connect Moments.