Stephen Tse is the founder and CEO of a Blockchain project named Harmony. For those new to Crypto and Blockchain, Harmony is a protocol that allows trustless smart contracts. Think of it as a new technology stack on the internet that allows users of computer programs to verify the results by themsel
Publish Date: Jul 16, 2021
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Stephen Tse is the founder and CEO of a Blockchain project named Harmony. For those new to Crypto and Blockchain, Harmony is a protocol that allows trustless smart contracts. Think of it as a new technology stack on the internet that allows users of computer programs to verify the results by themselves, instead of trusting whoever is serving these programs to the users. At the time of recording, Harmony ranks top 100 in terms of market capitalization for all Cryptos. Stephen also runs a weekly get-together for entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Participants are mostly Crypto-centric founders, although not exclusively so. The organization is run a bit like a Christian fellowship, except that people don't get up and take turns to describe their relationship with God. Instead, they take turns to talk about their journey in entrepreneurship. And instead of reading scriptures when they get together, they pitch their businesses, ask for help and share best practices as well as past failures in business. Every time I leave one of these events, I feel thoroughly rejuvenated, and this is all thanks to Steven's leadership. He has a way of making sure everyone feels included and inspired at these events. And I believe he applies this to the way he runs his organization. Stephen and I covered a lot of ground in our chat today. We talked about him being raised on a pig farm in Hong Kong, where he had a free-spirited childhood, how he decided to start this weekly entrepreneurial get-together and why he felt it was important for him to be this extreme matchmaker for these events, and how he saw culture building for startups. He was very open about his past struggles with aimlessness in his career and bumpy personal relationships. We covered how he saw China's rise in its startup scene from the lens of a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and lastly why he felt it was important to give your kids freedom to explore so that they don't peak too early. In the end, we also had some fun speaking Cantonese. Enjoy! As usual, don't forget to like, subscribe and ring the bell on our YouTube channel. Thank you. YouTube: https://youtu.be/eqYzbcvZXbI 0:00 Intro 3:23 Growing up in a pig farm in Hong Kong: Parents immigration story, Starting to read outside textbooks at 10 years 8:24 Moving to Vancouver: Trying to fit in in school, self-consciousness, lacking in specific school skills 10:42 Curiosity as the defining Watershed time at 10 years old 11:32 Happy-go-lucky vs a hyper tracked childhood 13:57 Learning from the example of grounded yet free-spirited parents on kindness and hard work 15:05 What influenced his path, having no 'guiding light', to being a founder of a startup, getting his PhD 16:59 Useful vs destructive obsession with computers: how some people get in too deep and are unable to get into meaningful work 19:37 Leadership experience and challenges running TGI pre-pandemic and during the pandemic 21:25 The idea of 'forced' networking at TGI 24:00 The importance of authentic culture building and Stephen's strong attachment to the number "1" 30:27 The walkabout period of Stephen: Experiences of wondering, building a business with high expectations, challenges finding a compatible partner, and low moments including physically 36:13 The benefits of bootstrapping community to set up a business: Avoiding founders' isolation and loneliness 40:24 The inevitable - comparing yourself to others, and leveraging networks of people with same ideas for fundraising 42:11 The inspiration from China for startup: Speed of Shenzhen, hunger, passion and a different spirit for business 44:16 Thoughts on Silicon Valley lagging behind in terms of dreamer mentality and work ethic compared to China 46:52 The pros and cons of the possibility of doing business in China in the future especially in FinTech and Blockchain 48:11 Thoughts on keeping up with China's developments and innovations in FinTech eg CBDC 51:21 Family & parenting: How to replicate rewarding elements of an immigrant child to a generation that hasn't experienced the immigration story 52:45 Un-schooling and un-parenting: Not peaking too early, the benefits of exploration and unstructured time 57:23 Discussion in Cantonese: Stephen doesn't think he's peaked; how he improved his game of tweeting/writing in English 1:00:23 Summary: Treating everyday as Day 1, setting a good example for your children and learning English 1:01:11 Final words on always having the mindset of everyday is "Day 1"