Working Long Hours Is Nothing When You Love What You Do: 22-Year-Old Kiip CEO Brian Wong
For a man who's leading a company worth millions at an age during which many are hoping they can just make it to graduation, Kiip CEO Brian Wong is vastly ahead of his time. All it takes is one look at the 22-year-old's resume to discover that running at a prodigious pace has always been in his nature.
The Vancouver native skipped four grades throughout his elementary school years and earned a degree of commerce from the University of British Columbia. Now, Wong is putting all his energy towards building his own enterprise with Kiip, which has provided an exhaustive (yet exhilarating) experience.
"Sometimes you don't even know where you are, that's how exhausting it is. It's the funniest thing ever," Wong told Elite Daily, before detailing how fulfilling his experience has been. "This is a life that you feel like is actually making an impact. You have influence yourself. There's meaning to what you're doing everyday. That's very rewarding in and of itself."
As Wong paints the picture of a man who very much enjoys every minute of his work, it's unsurprising to hear that his entrepreneurial journey began out of pure interest. It all started on a plane. As he flew through the sky, Wong noticed passengers on their phones using all sorts of apps, which prompted him to think about rewarding those users at their most joyous moments.
“It was just so addictive. I mean I got the idea and said this has happen," Wong said. "I just wanted to see what this looked like. I started using the tools that I had like Photoshop just to build initial mock-ups and that’s kind of how everything started.”
Kiip-enabled apps offer special rewards from companies (a one-week free trial of Hulu Plus, for example) during users' "moments of achievement," such as leveling up in a game or completing a fitness objective. Furthermore, with Wong always looking to improve the way in which his company facilitates this process, he says that working on perfecting Kiip usually takes 14 to 16 hours out of his day.
While dedicating so much time to one endeavor might sound excessive or even unfathomable to some, the CEO insists that because building his product counts as doing what he loves, the long hours are tireless.
"It's like living your life," Wong says as he plays down his habit of putting in lengthy shifts at the office. "Does it feel like too many hours to live your life for 24 hours a day? You really can't complain because it's your life. It's the same [with Kiip]."
Many have lauded Kiip as the largest and most successful of its kind. Since its launch in 2010, the company has drawn $15.4 million in investment, been integrated into over 1,500 mobile apps and collaborated with over 100 major brands, such as Pepsi and Disney, as they provide exclusive offers to users at the moments during which they feel the most accomplished.
“It’s about aligning with the new generation of consumers," Wong said. "...We want instant gratification. We want everything bite-sized, so Kiip is able to align directly with that by rewarding you in the moment and being a part of your life rather than you needing to align with them."