How He Convinced 300,000 People to Work With Him, From Malaysia
At first, no one would pay attention to this entrepreneur. Now, he has 450 staffers in 40 offices around the globe.
Introducing our new podcast, Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer, which features business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side happy, wealthy, and growing. Feifer, Entrepreneur's editor in chief, spotlights these stories so other business can avoid the same hardships. Listen below or click here to read more shownotes
A few decades ago, there weren’t many stock photos featuring Asian people. Consequently, advertisers and media companies in Asia were using a lot of photos of white people -- something that was in no short supply. This got a Malaysian entrepreneur named Andy Sitt thinking: What if he built an Asian stock photography marketplace? There was demand, certainly. All he needed was supply.
So he called a ton of photographers throughout Asia. “And like 99.9 percent of all photographers would reject us,” he says. Why? Because Sitt was a nobody. They’d never heard of him and his company hadn’t proven itself yet, so why would they want to work with him?
Almost every entrepreneur has some version of this problem: When your company is brand new (or even when it’s not), it’s hard to convince other people to work with you. And yet, you need these other people. You can’t survive without them. They’re your future suppliers, or contractors, or partners, or sponsors. Which means you need to find some crazy way to prove to them that you’re worth working with. That you’re legit. That you’re a bet worth taking.
That’s what this new episode of Problem Solvers is about. Over many years, and many experiments, Sitt solved this problem – and now his company Inmagine Group is a powerhouse in Asia, with 450 staffers in 40 offices around the globe, and more than 72 million images sourced from 300,000 contributors.
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Jason Feifer is the editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine, and host of two podcasts: Build For Tomorrow, a show about the changes that got us here, and how to thrive in a changing world; and Problem Solvers, about entrepreneurs solving unexpected problems in their business. He writes a newsletter about how to find opportunity in change.
Prior to Entrepreneur, Jason has worked as an editor at Men's Health, Fast Company, Maxim, and Boston magazine, and has written about business and technology for the Washington Post, Slate, New York, and others.