Ai Ching Goh is the co-founder of Piktochart – an easy-to-use design tool to help users create engaging infographics from their information data.
Human Asia eagerly spoke to Ai Ching recently.
What does Piktochart do, and why did you start this business?
Ai Ching: Piktochart is the easy-to-use design tool that helps you tell your story with the visual impact it deserves. Back in 2009, I was in a corporate job. Slide decks and reports were extensive, crammed to the brim with text and typically read out verbatim. Data was mostly not visualized, and when it was, it tended to be overly complex. And stories? Well, stories were omitted in favor of cold, hard facts. It was all very logical, all very rational – but also severely lacking in emotion and human ingenuity.
What was different about this one meeting wasn’t the meeting itself; it was that, for the first time, I actively started questioning why I felt so disconnected from the presenter. And more importantly, I guess, what it would take to bring about a real connection and to make it matter. Those questions – along with a burnout and a keen desire to spend my days in a truly human-centric workplace – eventually made me leave my job.
But little did I then know that those same questions would also take me and Andrea (my husband) on a journey that’s been more rewarding and purposeful than anything we could have ever dreamed of.
When a customer first visits your Piktochart, what is the first interaction they would encounter?
Ai Ching: They would be able to scroll around, check out the different product offerings, how to use it and how to make impactful visual communication materials. Then they would sign up to use the product.
What struggle did you have in reaching your customer?
Ai Ching: Our customers are mostly based in the US so time zone is a challenge, but we have also staff in their time zone to get closer to the customer.
What helps your business stand out from your competition?
Ai Ching: Better understanding of our users and wanting to create the best line of products to meet their needs, and not just trying to make a profit.
What is your philosophy on graphic design and how do you incorporate this into what you do with Piktochart?
Ai Ching: I am not a designer by background, but I think communication has to be purposeful and impactful.
Where do you hope your business will be in two years and what are you doing to make that hope a reality?
Ai Ching: We are working hard to launch the next iterations that will make Piktochart more powerful in the context of collaborating together with other people, so we’re looking forward to getting more teams to check it out. What we’ve discovered is that making the editing and designing process wasn’t enough, people still needed to send these materials out for buy-in or a presentation.
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Ai Ching, please tell us more about yourself. What were you doing before Piktochart?
Ai Ching: I was studying Experimental Psychology and I was also working in a corporate organization in the media/advertising department.
How did you first get into the startup world and how did you meet with your co-founder?
Ai Ching: After my corporate job, I had a burn out experience where I was lying in bed for 3 months. It made me think very hard about the life that I desired and what “success” really meant. Was it climbing the corporate ladder, making as much money as possible, “personal growth” whatever that meant? What would all these things mean if I was lying in bed?
I realized that I could not avoid working, but I could avoid dragging my feet to work everyday. That was the main reason why I started my own startup.
Is it difficult being in a husband and wife team?
Ai Ching: It was initially difficult during the first two years. After that, we learned to respect and trust one another professionally and today, I would not have chosen any other co founder. He also complements my strengths and weaknesses – I am rash and tend to be biased for action. While Andrea will think about the technical things and try to slow me down a bit.
Where are you most creative? Do you have a particular creative space where you prefer to work?
Ai Ching: I am quite adaptable to multiple environments.
Which app, software or website could you not live without?
Ai Ching: Hmm I don’t know if I have an answer to this. The apps I use the most are: WhatsApp, Google Drive, Gmail, Slack, LinkedIn, and the Holy Bible app. But there’s none I would live without.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Ai Ching: Figure out your “why” and what’s the legacy you want to live. Everything else would become a lot clearer.
You can visit Piktochart at https://piktochart.com/
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