Sunday January 4, 2009
Young, passionate and brazen, Josh Lim shows that the opportunities are limitless when it comes to the Internet.
IT’S quite safe to say that when a 15-year-old steals RM150 from his parents, he is off to a bad start in life.
However, this hasn’t been the case for technopreneur Josh Lim, who did that and went on to start his own business in web marketing.
“I was interested in the Web (Internet) and I bought a 33.6K modem with the money,” he says, with a laugh. “Of course, I returned what I took later, with my own money!”
Charming as it may be, Lim’s impudence continued when he took on international stout brewer Guinness at 19.
Riding on the hype of the “Who is Adam King?” campaign, he promptly registered the web domains whoisadamking.com and thisisadamking.com under Guinness’ nose. Threatened with legal action, Lim stuck to his guns and a settlement was reached.
Lim (second from right) sharing a light moment with Advertlets bloggers at the special Advertlets screening of ‘The Spirit’.
“I did nothing wrong as the websites were not registered,” says Lim. “Rather, I proved a point that you can’t ignore web marketing. Now, you spend close to RM30mil on an advertising campaign and you ignore the web?”
His passion found, Lim left a brief dalliance with acting behind and started working with various web agencies in Kuala Lumpur.
After building up his portfolio, he proceeded to form his own start-up, Josh Lim and Associates.
Still only 25, he is the man behind Advertlets.com, a blog advertising network company that enables bloggers to make a quick buck from their favourite pastime.
“Clients come to us with specific requests for web advertisements and my team helps them identify target markets by monitoring web traffic and assigning the ads to the right blogs,” says Lim, who adds that bloggers will then be paid for running the ads on their blogs.
“We also believe in building bloggers up. Some may have good content but insufficient traffic and we do our best to pitch for them as it is our obligation to give our bloggers due priority.”
My job involves ...
... working in an agile manner as industry dynamics shift constantly.
I frequently meet clients to understand their needs. We discuss the ads they have in mind and specific requests they may have, such as “female only” or “working professionals only”.
Also, I meet up with the bloggers in my network and frequently organise events to bring the community closer together.
A lot of networking goes on and clients can also meet the bloggers.
Lastly, I communicate with my team to determine the business direction of the company.
My morning starts with ...
... me checking my e-mail and keeping abreast with the latest trends in the industry.
I sometimes start work late but meetings can last the whole day and I’ve worked up to 4am on occasions. There are a lot of clients that I have to meet, and social events to attend.
To qualify, you need ...
... strong business acumen as you need to know how to seal the deal. Creativity is more important than formal education in this field. However, higher education in business-related studies may help the individual better understand the time frames and demands involved in the industry.
Psychology and sociology students are sought after, too, as they bring fresh ideas to the table when it comes to understanding human behaviour.
Also, there is a huge demand for programmers who are savvy with the latest trends in web applications.
The best person for the job is ...
... someone with a lot of initiative as the industry changes every day. I once hired a 21-year-old who could do 80% of what I could and it was very encouraging to see someone like him.
Also, the best person is one who has strong communication skills so as to clinch deals and ask the right questions. He or she must also be patient as one will deal with all sorts of people in this field.
Prospects for the future ...
... are really good. Internet advertising is going to expand in a very big way and we expect to be very busy in the coming years. We have the numbers and scalability and I’m happy that Advertlets is part of the Malaysian industry that addresses this phenomenon.
I love my job because ...
... it allows me to do what I always wanted to do in life — determine how a business is run and create awareness. Being a communicative person, I enjoy working with clients and I’m happy to be able to work with and benefit the blogging community.
This is also a good entry point into the global market. The web is infinitely expandable, and developing an efficient web product that enables people to monetise blogging is very fulfilling.
What I dislike ...
... is the resistance that I encounter occasionally. Some people may not be open to new ideas and Internet advertising is, in many ways, a new idea.
Will I be a millionaire by 30?
Only a millionaire? Well, if you do it right, you will be at least one.
I constantly evaluate myself and I’m honest when I say that I’ll be doing this when I’m 30, 40 and if nothing changes, 50.