Wesley was born and raised in Hong Kong, he then went to Australia to study communication design in Queensland University of Technology.
After graduating, he went back to Hong Kong and spent around 8 years working at Fox and NOW TV in broadcast design roles.
When I was a designer back then, I was interested in how to make money. However, I didn’t take freelance jobs like many designers.
I invested a lot of time reading stock investment books by Warren Buffett, The Intelligent Investor, etc.
I accumulated a lot of knowledge on investment and when I think back, it’s just like what Steve Jobs said about “connecting the dots”.
Wes was inspired by Steve Jobs keynote in 2010 and thought to himself, it will be a great idea to create an app for iPhone.
A year later, he started using an iPhone and couldn’t find a phone case he liked, so he started an app called Casetagram.
My initial plan was to earn enough money to buy my first house, like many Hong Kongers.
I didn’t have any idea how to start and run a company. When the opportunity was knocking at my door, I had to make a decision.
I started this company instead of buying a house.
Being an Instagram-addict himself, Wes wanted to enable users to turn nice Instagram photos into phone cases with Casetagram.
Casetagram had gotten great traction during the first year, and people started copying in the second year. It was when Wes decided to bail on the customization model and started a brand instead, that’s how CASETiFY was born.
According to Wes, users don’t just want a customized phone case, they want something that represents them, to be able to express themselves.
Being headquartered in Hong Kong definitely has its perks for a physical product-focus company like CASETiFY, due to its proximity to China.
CASETiFY positions itself as a “full-stack” company, from branding, manufacturing to shipping its own products, which can’t be replicated easily.
We focus on building our brand. You can only beat the copycats if you have a good brand.
It is easy to imitate a product, but it is not easy to clone a brand philosophy.
Speed & timing is very important for start-up business, CASETiFY seized the opportunity to be the first of its kind and received global media attention as a result.
Many celebrities are using CASETiFY’s product, including people like Lionel Messi, Snoop Dogg, Kobe Bryant and many more.
Back in 5 years ago when nobody used the term “KOL”, influencer marketing, we were already there, before it started.
The way we did it is really simple, you make a great product that people love, and what’s the first thing people do? When they get their phone cases, they take a selfie, and post it to Instagram.
That’s how it got started, it’s like a ripple effect.
Throughout the years, CASETiFY has also crossed-over with many big brands like NBA, Disney, Pokemon, Hello Kitty and many others.
CASETiFY has more than 2.3M followers on Instagram, over 1.5M Facebook followers, and they are also active on other social media platforms.
As the results, CASETiFY has grown into one of the top 3 tech accessory brands in the world.
Why is speed so important? I am going to borrow a quote by Bruce Lee – the icon from Hong Kong. “Speed is invincible in the world of kung fu”
How do you apply that to business? In the business world especially for small startups, why is speed so important? With a small team, a small startup, you have to move fast, that’s the only chance to beat the Goliath.
2 years ago when Apple first launched the Apple Watch, our team looked at the keynote and thought that’s a very interesting watch. However, the watch band is ugly, so what can we do? So we decided to work on the Apple Watch Band.
On the day after Apple gave the keynote, guess how long did we roll out the product? We rolled it out in a week!
Because of the speed, we got into Mashable, Wall Street Journal, all the big press, and it’s free!