Johnson Khoo, Founder & CEO of Wowwwz

Wowwwz is a romance lifestyle app that helps like-minded people discover each other while helping couples find interesting things to do on a weekend.

Tell us about yourself ?

When I was 19 years old, I decided to come back to Malaysia after 6 years in Singapore as an ASEAN scholar because I was inspired by the power of entrepreneurship and wanted to do my part as a Malaysian in helping our country fulfill our full potential. I was sad to see that so many of my friends were choosing to leave Malaysia with the intention of never returning.  

I thought to myself, if those of us who were privileged enough to receive an education overseas and see the world like myself all decide to leave Malaysia, then who would be left to help right the wrongs in our country and fulfill our full potential?

Long story short, I came back, learnt the ropes about entrepreneurship from mentors, raised money from investors and started my first venture when I was 19 while completing my law degree and CLP, made some money investing, realized that our start-up ecosystem, while thriving, isn’t really ready for zero to one companies like the ones I am building, lost money hiring programmers who couldn’t deliver, realized I would need to be technical to be able to build what I wanted to build, finally learnt to code, found a technical co-founder who was willing to quit his high paying job to join me full time, met an investor that truly believes in my vision and mission, raised some pre-seed funding, and finally, only now, I feel that I have the necessary skills needed to build what I have always wanted to build – something that could really make a significant impact on the world and everyone’s lives.

After 9 long years (I am turning 28 this year), we’re only just getting started.

Johnson Khoo, Founder & CEO Of Wowwwz

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

I realized that 80% of couples actually met each other through a mutual friend.

An average person on facebook has 500 friends, that would mean that all of us would have an extended network (friends of friends) of around 250,000 people. Let’s just say only half of them are of the opposite sex, that’s 125,000; another half of that are taken/attached, that leaves us with around 60,000 guys or girls who’re of the opposite sex from us who are also single and available. Even if 2/3 or 40,000 of them are not “our type”, that still leaves us with 20,000 single guys or girls who are “our type”!

To put things in perspective, 20,000 people is an entire Merdeka Stadium (at full capacity) worth of single guys and girls whom we’re interested in. We just need one of them to notice us and take a liking to us and vice versa!

Through Wowwwz and our graph powered database, we are able to help people who share the same values, friends and interests discover each other as they answer questions about themselves or leave a praise/testimonial for their friends.

With this, our app is able to make suggestions like:

“Did you know that Rachel, Johnson’s friend, would also go on a backpacking trip across asia, loves to read and would also like to play badminton this weekend?”

We’re merely using technology to facilitate and accelerate how natural introductions happen in real life, just like how facebook’s photo tagging function facilitates how we share photos with our friends so we don’t have to show people physical photo albums anymore.

What’s your company’s goals?

Our mission is to help every single person on earth find and build lasting relationships.

If you’re single, we aim to help you find not just any partner, but the right life partner for you; if you’re married or attached, we aim to help you create more memorable memories together with your better half as you journey through life together.

One day, we hope to have built a comprehensive set of tools that would solve all relationship problems in the world, from finding/meeting the right partner to thinking of where to go on a date this weekend.

We envision that Wowwwz would be an app that everyone would use daily to meet their relationship and romantic needs, just like how we use facebook to keep in touch with our friends.

Johnson Khoo, Founder & CEO Of Wowwwz

How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business?

To be honest, it is hard to market something like what we are building, because nothing like it really exists yet.

How would you describe a search engine before search engines existed? An operating system for the internet?

How would you describe a social network before they existed? A search engine for people?

Although there are dating apps like Tinder out there, we’re actually fundamentally different from them. It’s like Tinder & CoffeeMeetsBagel and other dating apps out there are Yahoo or AltaVista while we are Google, or Friendster and MySpace, while we are Facebook.

To most people, they’re all similar, but in essence, there is a fundamental difference.

For now, we start small, and to different people, we are different things.

To a college student, we’re an app for you to meet people from other colleges.

To a single person, we’re an app for you to meet like-minded people.

To a person at an event, we’re an app for you to discover other people at the same event.

To a couple, we’re an app for you to find things to do together on a weekend.

Just like how facebook was just a college directory when they just started.

How do you advertise your business?

Generally, we try not to.

Instead, we focus more on fine-tuning and optimizing our app so that we add value to our users so much so that friends would invite their friends and get each other interested in discovering interesting people and things about each other.

If we get that right, network effects should kick in and our app should grow exponentially by itself.

However, we do work with event organizers, brands and student organizations to spice up their events and reward people who love their products with vouchers and prizes while helping them discover people who share similar values and interests.

So, if you would like to spice up your event/prom or help people who like milk-tea get to know each other better over a cup of milk-tea at your outlet for example, do let us know!

What made you choose this type of business?

If you manage to find the right life partner, life would be like heaven on earth; but if you’ve found the wrong one, it would be a living hell.

Choosing the right partner for life is one of the most important decisions any of us can make, and many people actually end up with the wrong person and live miserable lives or leave behind broken families because they din’t know or weren’t able to find someone who’s right for them.

Also, everything we build here on Wowwwz is based on a set of fundamental relationship principles that I’ve found to be 100% true over the past 12 years or so, which I’ve written about here.

If we are successful, we would be solving a fundamental global problem that everyone in the world faces and have a significant impact on everyone’s romantic lives, which makes up a big part of most of our lives. That’s why we are doing this.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Don’t start a start-up for the wrong reasons.

Make sure you know why you’re starting what you’re starting, what you’re really getting into and whether that’s really what you want to do.

Why do your customers select you over your competitors?

Our users prefer us over our competitors mostly because we are truly committed to helping you find someone who shares compatible values and interests as you for you to go on a lifelong journey with rather than superficial encounters while keeping the experience fun and social.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

I would’ve learnt to code much earlier.

How can people connect with you?

You Can Download Our App At: https://www.wowwwz.com
Read About My Journey At: https://johnsonkhoo.com


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