The e-mail showed up in my inbox and instantly brought a smile to my lips. Of course I would want to pursue your story, Miss Chief Happiness Officer at LoveByte, Amelia Chen!
Based in Singapore, Amelia designed the app LoveByte to provide a private space for couples to connect – for them to upload their photos, notes, dates, to do messages, sweet nothings and cute stickers to each other. “I am very bad at remembering important dates and therefore thought that something on these lines would prove useful for couples,” says Amelia.
My curiosity got the better of me and I asked her the one question which was foremost on my mind – ‘Chief Happiness Officer’?
That is because I oversee aspects of the app like art direction, app and product design, marketing and user support, key areas that determine the user’s experience with the app and make them happy. As LoveByte aspires to help couples remain in love with each other, it makes me very satisfied to know that it is actually doing so. In fact it is making them feel closer to each other.
“My job is to spread love and deliver happiness to as many people as I can reach out to, thus the title,” she says.
Through this app, it becomes easier to form fond memories over time and improve communication – the couple can look back at them anytime by simply looking up the app and be reminded of the good times in their relationship.
It so happened that Amelia stumbled upon the LoveByte project when the founder Steve Sng shared the app idea with her. Being the romantic person she is, she thought it to be an equally romantic idea and decided to join in.
“Not knowing anything about app design, we decided to work together – he as developer and I as designer, and give it a try,” says Amelia. Since they were first time entrepreneurs, it was difficult to convince investors to give them funding. That, Amelia says, was not a good enough reason for them to give up and they went ahead with the iOS app and published it on July 28, 2012. It just took them a week from the date of launch to make their presence felt and get featured in the Singapore App Store.
With this success in their kitty, they approached investors and managed to secure their first seed funding in November 2012. In October 2014, LoveByte was acquired by migme, a social network listed on ASX.
The journey of this entrepreneur
“Nobody would believe this now, but my teacher would write in my report cards that I needed to speak up more often. Also, I was not an academic, I would doodle in my book (characters similar to LoveByte mascot) and read books from the library other than my textbooks,” says Amelia.
Amelia always liked drawing and eventually went to school to get a diploma in Digital Media Design. She stumbled into Seth Godin’s books one day at the library, where he had published books with catchy titles like ‘All marketers are Liars’ and ‘Purple Cow’.
“I grabbed them and instantly fell in love with his writing about marketing. So much so that I went to pursue a degree in Marketing and Public Relations. To me, I wanted to study what I was interested in and it was useful to be able combine design and marketing skills since both are kind of interlinked at my workplace,” she says.
Amelia says she never expected to delve into entrepreneurship and calls it a ‘happy accident’. For her, enjoying what she was doing was most important. She believes that if we are spending half of our lives working, we better make it as happy as we can. “I care a lot about having a happy workplace and a happy team,” says this 26-year-old entrepreneur.
Amelia’s father is a retired policeman while her mother is a homemaker. Amelia is the youngest child in her family, with three elder sisters who are happily married. She says she is lucky that her parents gave her ample freedom to explore and discover what her interests were and not put pressure or insist that she works in a certain sector.
The creator in Amelia
Amelia was already dabbling in all-things-digital since she was young. In the process, she discovered her love to create. The idea of seeing concepts grow from nothing to something excites Amelia.
Anything that interests me, I would find ways of recreating it on my own. My first project (wookypooky.com) was a paper goods project where I would make cards for my friends with handwritten notes. I wanted to encourage more people to express feelings for their special ones in their lives.
After this she worked on a deal aggregator and couponing. “I was very excited when somebody actually wanted to purchase our data because it worked. It got me really motivated when I knew I could build something that people wanted and would pay money for,” she says. It also worked as a validation for her capabilities and she has since been hooked into entrepreneurship.
She plans to make her presence stronger in technology and expand her venture.