A few months ago, Woomentum partnered with Happi PTE to introduce in-house market research capabilities for our members through the Happi app. We were impressed by Happi’s business model as it resonated with our values of social service and commitment to making the world a better place. The man behind this ingenious model is Greg Lipper, an experienced entrepreneur, sales and marketing director and a power-house of knowledge!
This is his amazing story in his words.
1. Please share with the network your journey as an entrepreneur in Singapore.
I’m a 52-year-old American who went to Japan (for what was meant to be one year after graduating from university) to study the language. 30 years later, I’m still in Asia. Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans! I have worked in entrepreneurial, intra-preneurial, and sales/sales management roles, living 12 years in Japan and now almost 20 years in Singapore. My entrepreneurial journey began at 12 when I set up a business selling skateboard parts from California to kids in New York. Since then, I have started 4 businesses, each of which have been based on interesting ideas just slightly too early or under-funded. Haven’t found the right formula yet, but I think I am onto it with my current venture, Happi.
2. You named your business as Happi. It’s unique to come across people naming a data-driven business with an emotion. What was the motivation for that?
Quite simply, we want to make people happy. We want to create a platform that enables people to use their opinions as currency to drive money to causes they care about, win prizes, get promotions aligned with their preferences, and even connect with job opportunities all without spending any money or exposing their personal information.
We want to enable clients to understand, engage, and converse at scale with consumers in emerging markets with greater speed, ease and efficiency than ever before possible. We want to enable research to become fun, rewarding, and engaging for consumers as well as profitable for clients.
When we added all of those things up and looked for the common denominator, “happy” was the one word that jumped out. I originally incorporated Happy Pte Ltd and was amazed and so proud that I got the name. Then, 2 days later, a social media consultant told me it was a stupid name because you can’t do social media listening on a common word like “happy”, so 3 days after incorporating, changed it to Happi……and, to this day, we haven’t done social media listening once!
3. What were your earliest struggles in getting your business off the ground?
Validation. I had an idea for a new way to conduct and sell market research, but I had no background in market research. Validating that the idea has legs and a place in the marketplace was the first challenge. My second challenge was implementation. I didn’t have a CTO or technical co-founder and struggled through various outsourced development scenarios in the first two years.
4. As Chief Happiness Officer, what drives you each day?
Supply and demand. Our critical success factor is keeping the supply of people willing to offer their opinions just slightly ahead of the demand of clients willing to pay for their responses. If we let supply get too far ahead of demand, people run out of questions, and there’s no reason to use a survey app if it doesn’t have questions for you. If we let demand run too far ahead of supply, clients have to wait too long for surveys to complete. Completion in a day or two is one of our core brand promises, so speed is really important.
5. What do you expect from a network like Woomentum?
No expectations. I joined because someone I respect invited me. I think both Facebook and LinkedIn proved and fulfilled huge personal and professional needs, but I think they have both become victims of their own success and the time is right for the next generation of personal and professional social media. Woomentum seemed interesting to me because it has a point of view. So, I just joined as an experiment with no expectations.
6. Share with us a wise lesson you learned in life.
Employment offers you the illusion of security. Entrepreneurship offers you the illusion of control. They are both illusions. You are never really safe or secure. You are never really in complete control. What is important is to know yourself well enough to know which illusion resonates strongest with you. Figure out which path is right for you knowing that both are imperfect. If you decide on the entrepreneurial path, then there is one other truism: perfection is the enemy of greatness. Focus on creating something with the seeds of greatness rather than the shine of perfection.
Thank you, Greg Lipper, for this amazing story and profound words of wisdom. We hope Happi continues to do great work and help businesses as well as entrepreneurs receive better insights and scale well knowing the opinions and expectations of their customers.
About Happi: Happi is a consumer insight and interaction app that rewards people for responding to 5-question surveys with chances to win prizes, donations to charity groups or a cause they select.
Now, it’s your turn:
What inspired *you* most about Greg’s story, and what’s your big takeaway from the work he does?
We want to get to know you better and the work you are doing — Join Woomentum today! 💪