Last Wednesday, we got a chance to talk with Justin Wang, founder of Scry (CBN-SG000000562), a startup that helps making prediction and decision-making more accurate with better data and research. Scry‘s digital platform uses consumer-generated feedback through targeted questioning (known as question engagement) to create predictions that allow businesses. We learned the reason behind why Justin, and his co-founder, Jia Huang Ho (previously of Spidee, a smart e-marketplace that automatically matched social media influencers to brands), came up with this crowdsourced forecasting platform, and how it will help making differences in business world.
Faces of SME (F): Hi Justin! Thank you so much for agreeing to talk with us. So, we’re curious, what first motivated you to start Scry?
Justin Wang (J): Prior to this, my career background is in Information Security Management, which is actually a risk management. In this industry, there are a lot of accountability. I was an external consultant and it is difficult to have a say within an organization. I was then intrigued to see what we can do to make a change. We followed up with researches and bouncing off ideas with each other, and it is proven that deep researches can lead to better decision making. Expectation of certain things can be matched up with the future outcomes. When this is being applied in business, it helps minimizing risks of bad decision taking and predicting future trends.
F: The premises sound really encouraging! How many users are there now?
J: Last year alone, we have almost 1000 users making predictions and using the platform daily.
F: In starting this, what did you find the most challenging in the process?
J: There’s never just one issue. There will always be problems and it’s safe to say that creating startup is a way to provide solution, but you’re constantly on guard for problems. These problems can come and go; you’d run of time, you need to get your contract, you will at one point try to run a proposal to one of your investors. All of the challenges are non – linear, so you’re constantly on guard and learning as you go.
F: In doing all of this, what can you pinpoint to be the most rewarding experience you and your team has encountered?
J: So, Zeroth-AI, the AI and machine learning focused accelerator, who seed-funded us, is based in Hongkong. One of the requirements for us was to be based in Hongkong for three weeks. We were housed in a really tiny apartment, and it was a struggle to get internet access. What we did was heading down to cafe and try to survive even we have zero skill in speaking Cantonese. Same thing went down when we have to discuss and bounce ideas with our mentors, who have lots of different nationalities crammed in one room. It was really challenging to translate values to these people’s understanding while simultaneously running the site on a daily basis.
F: That must be a wild experience to have. What’s next for Scry?
J: We plan to commercialize the platform in Q3 or Q4 this year. So far now, we have users from India and Western Europe, as well as the States and Australia. 3% of our users are from India and Southeast Asia, so in its sense, we have had crowds based in these international markets and will continue to maintain it.
Scry also has built an additional layer of Artificial Intelligence (AI) through machine learning methods to further refine and improve our prediction accuracy rates. As part of our improvement, Scry is building a machine learning algorithm to provide feedback to users about their predictions and reasoning, helping them improve upon those topics as well. The seed funding that we got from Zeroth-AI will go towards growing the platform and user-base to widen the forecasting topics.
F: There’s no slowing down! What do you do when you’re not working?
J: I mostly read whenever I’m back home in Singapore. I was born and raised in Singapore, but I spent most of my time in Australia.
F: Last question, what is one thing that you care most in your life?
J: Well, it’s not too far from the very reason of why I’m building Scry. Scry is a manifestation of what I care about, which is keeping track of what people decide, how reputation are made and sustainably managed by people. It’s very anecdotal, and even one wrong move can cause you to be wiped off. Consistency doesn’t matter. I do believe decision making should not be a dark art.
F: Thank you for sharing with us, Justin!
J: Thank you!
CBN – SG000000562
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