June 07, 2007


By Lai Kok Fung, BuzzCity CEO
Life doesn't progress like a spreadsheet.

I think that's one of the biggest lessons I've learned over the past eight years, since leaving a secure job at Kent Ridge Digital Labs in 1999 to launch an internet startup with three colleagues. Today, that startup – BuzzCity – is a vibrant mobile service provider delivering content to consumers in over fifty countries. By the end of the year (2007), we expect to add another 8 markets in eastern and central Europe. We currently serve more than 1 billion mobile advertising impressions every 3 months, have multiple revenue streams and are not overly dependent on any one market.


But it hasn't always been like this. In fact there have been moments when we wondered how to carry on. This week, I'd like to share with you a bit of our company's history and the lessons we've learned along the way.

Before forming BuzzCity, I was a researcher specialising in pattern recognition. We worked with barcodes and taught computers to recognize faces. Some of the technology was adopted by government agencies and Singaporean government-linked companies. However after a few years, I was tired of simply publishing papers and I really didn’t like the idea of our technology servicing only a select group of people. I remember a particular moment when I was at an underground station, watching commuters enter and exit the trains, and I thought “What a pity. My work has nothing to do with them.”