Meet Thomas Chang, President of PointUp Creative
Thomas Chang is the President of PointUp Creative, an international design firm that focuses on user centered design to help companies with innovative launch and market growth. He started PointUp Creative in 2012 as a spin-off of another design firm, and has been a tenant of Innovate New Albany for three years.
PointUp Creative helps consumer goods companies launch and market their products by providing logo design, custom designed ecommerce platform, and ongoing interactive marketing strategies to increase online sales.
For their digital clients who need mobile apps or custom software, PointUp Creative creates the platform solution for them, with a focus on user interface, to ensure the user is actively engaged in the clients’ calls to action goals.
Thomas has over 10 years of design, branding and marketing experience, including expanding new market penetration for larger international brands and growing new product development for small to medium sized companies. He has experience in product life cycle development from concept, to R&D, design, launch and sales and marketing. Thomas has an interactive design degree from The Ohio State University.
What made you decide to start your business?
I’ve always been involved in helping others create a successful brand of product or idea. Working in corporate allowed good exposure and experience with large funds and resources, but showed restrictions of innovation and stalled development cycles. I really enjoy the personal relationships with people, and with free collaborate efforts, I have a better ability to help in a more efficient manner, with more creative freedom.
Venture Capital, Angel or Bootstrap?
Bootstrap. I saved, planned, and strategized before launching. I had the fortunate opportunity to spin it out of another venture I was involved in. But even then there was a lot of preparation, projects, and more worrying.
What are you good at or known for?
User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) are very important for a company identity. What is your product or platform trying to convey? Who is your intended audience? Why are they using it? This is the core of brand experience. It’s not enough to just look pretty. It needs to convey an identity, engage your intended audience, and have them act to you. This is especially important for software and digital platforms.
Your brand tells a story. Your product, website, mobile app or software serve a function. We do extensive research and analysis into the development and design during the creation process to ensure the results convey the identity intended to have passionate users.
What is the smartest move you’ve made so far as a business owner?
Introducing new design solutions and development techniques. I always put a person-focused approach to our design and development. How the user feels using your product or the user-friendliness of the platform are crucial to a successful business.
What is your biggest mistake?
Hiring people based on resume instead of the betterment of the team. With a small team each person has more effect and interaction with each other. Team dynamics and culture can be negatively impacted quickly. Also, our approach to designing solutions for clients are very free flowing and innovative. We don’t use traditional structured approaches. This sometimes causes problems with people who have long experiences at very rigid structured corporate companies.
If you had one piece of advice to give a new business owner, what would it be?
Research and learn as much as possible. I’m always reading and exploring new trends, industries, and concepts.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a business owner?
Balancing work and family time. Learning to prioritize with a growing family and expanding business.
How has your business grown and changed since it first started?
Technology is dynamic and changes fast. We have better resources and improved services to better help our clients.
What made you decide to become a tenant at Innovate New Albany?
As a resident of New Albany, I heard great things about the facility and its initiative in bringing technology companies to scale to success. It’s been a great fit working with many talented and successful people. I’ve also been able to collaborate with some of the great companies headquartered in New Albany, OH.
Being a self-employed business owner, how do you keep yourself focused and motivated?
I’m very motivated and driven by nature. With a regular habit of reading and exploring, I’m always learning. I always try to improve myself. I’m always looking to be more innovative, creative, and efficient.
What do you love most about working/living in New Albany?
It’s a great community to live in. There’s been a long-term master plan that continues to grow and develop to continuously foster family life. I really enjoy all the resources available for family time with my wife and kids. Working here is great. No traffic! The business and community leaders are available and willing to work with us. The area offers great opportunity and resources for business owners.
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