We had the chance to interview the co-founder of Mytaskboss TAYZEN OOI, Mytaskboss (mytaskboss.com) is a Malaysian freelance service marketplace. Malaysians use Mytaskboss to outsource ad-hoc tasks or complete freelance tasks to earn money. We act as a centralised matchmaker platform connecting people looking for help and people looking for extra income. Our focus is on generic tasks covering both personal and business needs
SZ: Tell us about your background
- I’m somewhat of an outsider in the digital world. Coming from a banking background with almost no tech background, I’m quite surprised how I ended up here.
- I worked in banking in KL for 8 years before moving to Singapore in 2016 to continue my banking career for another 3 years. In 2019, I decided that there was more I could contribute than the constant politics and red tape of climbing the corporate ladder.
- I still clearly remember the moment when I decided to quit. I was tasked with preparing an important presentation which ended up taking 4 months and multiple revisions from the corporate hierarchy before ultimately being rejected within 5 minutes at the Board meeting. What a waste of 4 months!
SZ: Tell us how did you come with your company/startup/product idea?
- When I was in KL, I barely had any savings even though I don’t really splurge on luxury. The combination of rent, car instalments and bills meant I was living month-on-month most of the time.
- After speaking with family and friends, I saw a real need for Malaysians to earn extra income on top of their existing full-time jobs. The analytical side of me began thinking about how to incorporate extra income into the already busy lives of most Malaysians.
- About 6 months ago, I wanted to bring my car from KL to my parents in Penang. Stuck in Singapore and unable to return to Malaysia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, I hustled friends and friends of friends to find somebody to help me drive the car to Penang. It was then I thought what if there was a way I could readily find trustworthy help to do this task.
- Coupled with the belief that most working adults have overly busy lifestyles, the idea of Mytaskboss was born, a platform for people to “free your time or monetize your free time”.
SZ: How is your company/startup/product different from competitors?
- Competitors in a similar focus market in Malaysia are quite scattered with each of them taking a narrow vertical of the market. What that means is that the efficiency of matching tasks and taskers is not as good as it could be.
- Mytaskboss aims to achieve higher task matching efficiency by connecting the digitally-savvy with the old school generation, reaching out to the group of users who are underserved because they are wary of providing personal information online or making online payments.
- Another feature we are currently working on is to translate our marketplace into multiple languages, allowing for better connectivity and task matching in Malaysia’s diverse culture.
SZ: What is the business model of your company/startup?
- Currently we are keeping it very simple where we charge taskers a flat 17% commission on their earnings.
- As Mytaskboss continues to evolve, I foresee we will be working towards a tiered commission model ranging from 10% to 17% based on the taskers’ ratings, amount of work done and trainings the tasker has completed with us. We will be providing free training to increase our taskers’ skillset as we believe in empowering our community.
SZ: How do you overcome the challenges you face on a daily basis?
- A wide variety of problems arise almost every day. Problems we expected, problems we thought we had solved and unexpected problems which surprises us sometimes.
- The key thing for me is to change my mindset on how I approached the problems. I had to learn pretty fast not to let these problems overwhelm me, but rather look at it as a challenge to overcome. It’s all about the attitude in approaching the challenge, I know if I start to moan and whine about any quirky problem that came along, it would quickly overwhelm me.
- The other key thing a founder CEO needs is the willingness and hunger to learn. It might be easier for me to get our tech guys to fix a problem or hire a freelance creative to copywrite for us, but I found that a CEO needs to know enough about all aspects of the company – from setup to coding and marketing. You can’t be a good CEO if you can’t tell if a feature change needs 1 hour or 1 week.
SZ: What is the most difficult decision you have to make in your business?
- So far I am lucky that I have not had to make any major difficult decisions. Lots of small decisions to make almost everyday, but no major decisions.
- I try to approach decision making in the company in the same way I approach poker (I play a fair bit of poker online) – based on all the information currently available to me, what is the higher probability path to take and how much do I want to risk to take that path. And if the odds of failure are high, I might give-up on that path and look for the next high probability opportunity.
SZ: What is your advice to the new entrepreneurs?
- Execution is key. It is what separates the great entrepreneurs from the mediocre or good ones. If you can consistently execute your objective, you’re probably in the top 10% of entrepreneurs. Say the objective is to pick the biggest fruit from the top of the tree, while most entrepreneurs will give up after their 10th try, the great entrepreneur will be looking to see if they can grab a lower hanging fruit, or find a different fruit altogether. The important thing is that they go home with a fruit while others go home empty handed.
- Don’t get married to your idea. Learn to listen to your customers. For your company to succeed, you would very likely have to change your value proposition multiple times.
SZ: Anything you like to add?
In light of the current COVID-19 situation severely impacting Malaysian small businesses, Mytaskboss has been actively engaging with small business owners to see how we can help them. In a lot of cases, downsizing and reduced employee hours had affected the businesses’ ability to function properly. Mytaskboss is partnering with these small businesses to supply them with an on-demand work force to counter any staffing issues.