Calling Michael Cheng a serial entrepreneur hardly does him justice. The 24-year-old, who splits his time between Vancouver and Toronto, has founded 21 companies since the age of 13 (including his latest effort, Covr.ca, a music discovery site). His biggest success to date is WittyCookie, a digital marketing agency he started while still a student in SFU’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology. Now in its third year, WittyCookie was profitable within its first six months, and today it employs 50 people and has 1,200 customers worldwide. Cheng will be the first to tell you not all his companies have been successful: failure to him is a badge of honour. “When you start to truly see failure as a stepping stone and not as a sign of incompetence,” he says, “that’s the key trait to a successful entrepreneur.”
Profit is also overrated, he says. His measure of success is delivering value to stakeholders, “because a company is like a family: it’s got the employees, the investors, the suppliers, the manufacturers. If you’re not delivering value to your extended family then I think it’s time to call it a failure.” –David Jordan
Join us to celebrate this year's winners at our 30 Under 30 event on April 30, 2014. Get your tickets here.
BCBusiness 30 Under 30
Our 30 Under 30 celebrates B.C.'s young guns who excel in their respective industries, give back to their community and planet and who will lead business in this province for years to come. Each year, winners of our 30 Under 30 will be featured in the April issue of BCBusiness and on BCBusiness.ca, with one exceptionally amazing young world-changer gracing that issue's cover.
“When you start to truly see failure as a stepping stone and not as a sign of incompetence that’s the key trait to a successful entrepreneur”