Jack Wong, Co-Founder of Shoe Mo: 'Reading is just another dimension to learning'
At ShoeMo they use premium cleaning products and standardized processes to take care of your sneakers and give them a refreshed look. Their services include cleaning, repainting, restoration and customization.
Jack’s from Malaysia, an engineer by education, but currently in the business development side of things with a media company. He spent 4 years as a British Army reservist in the UK, then formed a team of 4 to drive halfway around the world, in an old jeep. Post-trip, he gained experience in sales and marketing across different industries, from recruitment to banking and media.
He met Ginny, the other co-founder of ShoeMoe (and also a sneakerhead), through a mutual friend. While they were out jogging, she asked if there were services for sneaker cleaning in their country – that’s how the business concept was born.
They did a market survey, and further validated the idea by asking for dirty shoes from their friends – this brought them valuable insights into the behaviour of potential customers. The business grew via word of mouth and they were receiving up to 6 pairs of sneakers per day consistently, which was when they decided to open a physical store.
We loved how Jack talks about reading and defines it as “another dimension to learning”. See what other nuggets of wisdom he has to share on books, in the interview below.
Quel est votre livre préféré et pourquoi ? Entreprises et non-entreprises, si possible.
Business related book? Has to be Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, loved the Nike story from start to end, obviously also because it’s also footwear related. Another business related book that left its mark was “Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki” which gives a pretty interesting take on the fundamentals of customer – business relationships.
Non business related books wise, I tend to read a healthy mix of fiction and nonfiction mainly related to foreign culture/stories and history.
Y a-t-il eu un moment, précisément, où quelque chose que vous avez lu dans un livre vous a aidé ? Pouvez-vous m'en parler?
Yes definitely, Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment‘s approach to relationships with clients / customers / partners is definitely something practicable – on building likability and trustworthiness. I have always been a Business Development kinda guy so this was actually very helpful.
Quels livres conseilleriez-vous aux jeunes intéressés par votre parcours professionnel ? Pourquoi? (pas de limite de nombre ici)
Read as much and as wide as you can really. I think reading is just another dimension to learning apart from interacting with people, travelling, formal education etc.
J'aimerais en savoir plus sur vos habitudes de lecture. À quelle fréquence lisez-vous ? Sous quel format ?
I read on a weekly basis (physical books), but on my phone on a daily basis be it via audiobooks, podcasts & websites. Personally I prefer audiobooks and podcasts while commuting, podcasts specifically can cover a lot more ground as they tend to be more summarized and concise.
Comment gagner du temps pour lire ?
I don’t, I just listen to audiobooks and podcasts while commuting between places.
Prenez-vous des notes ou avez-vous une autre technique pour conquérir le torrent d'informations ?
I haven’t really got a solution to this part, but currently tended to be a pencil and whatever piece of paper I can get my hands on while driving (which probably isn’t the safest thing to do).
Comment choisissez-vous les livres à lire ensuite ?
For books, I tend to be more selective, usually picking biographies or business books related to prominent figures / brands that are relevant.
Priorisez-vous les livres recommandés par certaines personnes ? Y a-t-il quelqu'un que vous considérez comme un gourou des recommandations de livres ?
Haven’t really been following any book gurus really, but from time to time I do get recommendations from my other peers in the industry.
Dernière question : quel livre lisez-vous actuellement et qu'espérez-vous en retirer ?
Robert Kuok’s Memoir – biography of a Malaysian born business magnate and investor who made his fortunes building commodity empires and international hotel brands. It’s interesting to read up on the way he approached business in this part of the world (Asia) and how they had the general economic foresight to spot opportunities (and disasters).
Links where you can follow Jack Wong or find out more about his projects:
All books mentioned by Jack in our interview:
- Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight
- Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions by Guy Kawasaki
- Robert Kuok A Memoir by Andrew Tanzer