Morris Sim’s new concept Kafnu is taking co-working to a new level – allowing entrepreneurs to live, work, play, learn and sleep under the one roof.
What’s your story?
I started my career as a product developer at Microsoft. I’ve always loved building products, I’m a builder at heart. I’ve lived in Asia and the US and have worked across the technology, entertainment, fashion, and hospitality industries. My last company, a marketing agency I co-founded called Brand Karma was recently acquired, and I’m now running Kafnu. Kafnu is a completely new concept in shared spaces where an entrepreneur can live, work, play, learn and sleep, all under one roof.
What excites you most about your industry?
The sharing economy has brought fresh thinking to the real estate and asset management industries we work in. This disruption means there are almost infinite opportunities for people to create new value, and that’s very exciting.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Taiwan, and then immigrated to the US when I was 10 where I studied and worked in the for years. I moved back to Taipei several years ago and that’s where I live now.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Tokyo. I love Its efficiency, culture, history and the fact that I learn something new every time I travel there.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.
Who inspires you?
Bill Gates. I worked at Microsoft for over 10 years, and it’s been truly interesting to see how he’s making a similar, and perhaps even bigger, impact in the world of philanthropy as he has done in technology.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
1) Facebook’s chat bots developed a language to talk to each other on their own. This is mind-blowing.
2) The human brain doesn’t actually stop developing at 20 years old like we previously thought; it actually develops until 25-30. So effectively the brain is a lot more flexible at a later age than we previously understood.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have learnt how to play the piano.
How do you unwind?
I spend time with friends and family. They make me laugh and that’s relaxing.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Ubud in Bali. Because it’s very peaceful, beautiful and spiritual. It feeds the soul.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Shameless plug for your business:
Kafnu is the future of shared spaces: blending elements of living, working, playing, learning, and recharging in a single building. Our vision is to give our members access to everything they need to be their best selves, personally and professionally, so they can focus on their creative vision. That means a comfortable place to rest, a luxurious fitness center to blow off steam after a long day, a music studio in which to create, desks and work pods, a private whisky bar to bring friends, and event space where something’s always happening. A vibrant community around you.
We’re opening spaces in Taipei and Hong Kong before the end of this year, and envision a network of Kafnu spaces all across Asia. You can learn more at www.kafnu.com.
How can people connect with you?
I connect with people who are passionate about something; people who have done something to realize the potential of their passion. While they might not have achieved their entire vision, the people that inspire me put consistent effort into their passion, regardless of the outcome. I find it easy to relate to these people and always learn something from them.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from www.callumlaing.com