“Keep talking to your customers/users. This is the only way to keep on the right path and find useful solutions for the industry.”
Workstream is blessed in having ingenious, forward-thinking founders to drive its growth - and Max Wang is one of them. Always on the move between San Francisco, Beijing, and Wuhan, he is a serial startup founder who always seeks business opportunities to bridge America and Asia. Max started China's AngelList in 2011, built a 50+ people team, and grew to series A+. By doing that, he nurtured a strong network with other founders and engineering leaders in Asia, so he could quickly build a team of former CTOs at Workstream. Today, Max shares snippets that include why they created the Workstream platform, what motivates him, and other key takeaways from his years of experience.
Nicole (N): What was the main issue that triggered you to start working on Workstream?
Max (M): Me and Desmond were building a global outsourcing platform in 2017. During that time, we realized that hiring is a huge pain point. By interviewing 100+ potential clients including HR head of Starbucks, founders of Coup Cafe, CEO of GoGoVan, head of Uber HongKong, HR head of GE, etc, we found that hiring hourly workers is an unsolved pain point and there is huge potential in that niche. So we decided to explore it and started building the first version.
M: We successfully built a remote engineering team covering 4 time zones. We explored a set of tools, team cultures, collaborating conventions, and hiring principles to facilitate the team architecture. Luckily it works well and the team is showing great momentum.
N: How is this project challenging you?
M: This is the first SaaS product I have built. Building a highly accessible product for thousands of different clients in one platform is a great engineering challenge. We keep pursuing better code quality and more flexible system architecture. This will be a long-term challenge along with our growth. Solving it in a good way will be a cornerstone of our overall success.
N: What is something you learned that you practice daily?
M: Repeating best practices is the best way to make progress and move things forward.
N: What is the biggest challenge you have encountered in your career?
M: When the resource is extremely limited, how to learn new and hard things as fast as possible and apply them in production bravely.
N: Who inspires you and why?
M: The whole team inspires me a lot. A key principle I learned in the past 8 years as a startup founder was that we should always find talents who have better expertise than us in some aspects. By doing this, I can always learn new things from everyone and everyone can learn from each other frequently.
N: I know you Founded Asia’s AngelList and built a 50-person engineering team. What is one piece of advice that you will give someone who is running a startup?
M: Keep talking to your customers/users. This is the only way to keep on the right path and find useful solutions for the industry.
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