Damien Loh From 1B4 - Interview
Posted on August 18 2018
'Never Waste A Moment' We interview Damien Loh Co-Founder of 1B4 'a revolutionary new beverage supplement designed to protect your body from the ravages of a big night out'.
'What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?’
The drive comes from the fact that I feel empowered being a founder of my own company. It’s really is a special feeling knowing you are writing your own story. Each day seeing a little bit more of your dream become a reality is thrilling.
Why and how did you and the team start 1B4?
Joe and I were based in Japan and there were many functional drinks there to combat the after effects of a big night out. Our initial reaction was one of skepticism. We kept thinking if it was so great, why has it not spread across the world? However, after trying it for ourselves we did a 180 and became true believers ourselves.
We kept hearing our friends who came over to visit ask: “Why isn’t this amazing product available elsewhere?” and after hearing this for more than a dozen times we started to consider more seriously starting 1B4 to share this with the world. The confluence of an effective product with a global market with little to no competition was too tempting to pass on.
A quick intro to 1B4, designed to protect your body from the ravages of a big night's drinking.
‘What does an average day look like for 1B4?’
1B4 is a side gig for the both of us and since we don’t have full time staff its pretty much the both of us doing everything and anything. Because of this, we pretty much work at random times of the day and could range from inspecting aluminium bottles, to speaking to on premise distributors, or even stapling brochures on to bottle sleeves.
Being an entrepreneur sounds very glamorous, but the reality is that it just means you have to do everything yourself.
1B4 Never Waste A Moment - Sponsoring Local Singapore Events
What inspires you?
The potential of the product. We can see how the market for energy drinks started from it being one product (Red Bull) in a local market to becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Seeing how we have a product with similar dynamics and how we are walking a similar path really gets me psyched.
We also get a nice fuzzy feeling inside to have people try it and become loyal fans of the product. Its not saving the world but its nice to know you’re making peoples live just that wee bit better.
What do you enjoy most about running your own company?
I like the fact that I am learning something new every day. I am a big believer of life long learning and having the ability to learn, apply and then see results on a real time basis is very rewarding for me.
Can you tell me about a time when you almost gave up, how you felt about that, and what you did instead of giving up?The search for the right people to help us develop the product was a long and
trying one and it was really frustrating that no one understood what we trying to do with the product. It really required for us to think outside the box and to cast our net a bit wider in our search. We ended up working with someone in the US. I think that episode just really instilled in us the fact that we have to learn to walk through walls.
We’ve faced equally challenging obstacles but I think with our new mindset and lateral thinking they feel a lot more tractable.
What do you think are the biggest challenges 1B4?
Biggest challenges of 1B4 is getting people to try it. I think for a lot of people it’s a product to thats too good to be true. We know once you try it however, chances are you’ll be a life-long ardent fan ;)
Any advice for your previous boss?
No advice per se but I now empathise a bit more of how he in the end had to take ownership of everything. Everyone only focuses on the prestige and the money the boss gets but not on the blood and treasure spent to get there and to stay there.
Are there any brands, business’ or business leaders that you admire?
Hackneyed as an answer as it might be I think Elon Musk is someone I look up to. He really embodies how with a bit of intelligence and a lot of work you can learn anything and do anything. He has made world beating companies in 3 separate industries and 2 of them concurrently!
What would you like to achieve Professionally in 6 months / 1 year / 5 years?
I’d like for 1B4 to be available broadly in SIngapore within in 6 months. Over a year I’d like it in a few regional countries and in 5 years globally. We’re not giving ourselves specific deadlines however as we rather roll it out right than fast.
1B4 Rolling the business out when its right rather than fast.
Any advice for talent looking to set up their own hustle?
Don’t worry about not having any experience or expertise in a specific field. If you have a good idea and am sufficiently motivated there is very few things that can’t be learnt. We are both from finance and yes the learning curve was steep but definitely not insurmountable.
What is your favorite quote?
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
If you just surrender when someone says it can’t be done you won’t go very far. You really have to push the envelope and really find what is the real boundaries are not the artificial ones set by bureaucracy or indolence.
Connect with 1B4 on their social channels.
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