November 29, 2022


Stock development

Multimillion-dollar app founders’ share tips for starting a business

When husband-and-wife duo Chris Halim and Raena Lim quit their jobs in 2016 to start their own sustainable fashion business, they had little idea of the success it would become.

But they knew one thing for sure: get a basic product to market as soon as possible — that’s the advice they stand by today.

“As start-up founders, especially at the beginning, there is a strong temptation to build the perfect product before you launch anything, or very strong temptation to aim for all the features and over-engineer everything,” said Halim, an ex-consultant.

“From our learnings, that would be a mistake,” the Style Theory CEO told CNBC Make It.

Start simple

Once Halim and his banker wife, Lim, identified an opportunity to bring a clothes rental service to Singapore, they wasted little time in creating a waitlist to gauge interest before rolling out the service to a small number of consumers.

The best way to launch anything is always do it simple with minimal scope, get it to market asap.

Chris Halim

co-founder and CEO, Style Theory

As demand grew, the couple expanded their user base and apparel collection, adapting to customer requests as they went.

It’s advice shared by many business leaders, including in the iconic book “The Lean Startup,” which recommends entrepreneurs build a minimum viable product (MVP) and then test and iterate quickly in response to customer feedback.

The co-founders of Style Theory, Raena Lim and Chris Halim.

Style Theory

“The best way to launch anything is always do it simple with minimal scope, get it to market asap, then get customers’ feedback,” said Lim.

“Based on customers’ feedback, you can then iterate and make it better. I think that’s a much better way to build something that customers will love,” he continued.

Dream big

In entrepreneurship, you face failures every day … it’s much more important to focus on what are you going to do next.

Chris Halim

co-founder and CEO, Style Theory