Hi! I'm Ling Yah

#STIMY 31: Off to the Late Late Show!

Published over 1 year ago • 4 min read

So This Is My Why | Issue 31

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Hey STIMYers,

Hope you're all having a great summer & hello from London!

First off, STIMY recently had one of its biggest guests: a Facebook executive who used to work at Nike, Airbnb & Snapchat).

Secondly, STIMY is off to the Late Late Show!!

ICYMI: Last summer, STIMY featured Nick Bernstein: Senior VP of Late Night Programming & executive in charge of the Late Late Show with James Corden, aka the Big Boss (see Episode 51.1). This 3-hour interview ended up being mentioned multiple times on the show (see YouTube compilation here), which was a lot of fun especially given how we were all stuck at home at the time.

And as luck would have it, the Late Late Show just happens to be filming in the same week that I'm in town!

So I sent a cheeky note over to Nick, who kindly agreed to meet up & helped secure a nifty VIP ticket for a taping of the show. 🙊

Ahh, I'm thrilled. And will be sharing updates, so stay tuned!!

STIMY Episode 84: Eric Toda

Eric Toda is a 4th generation American of Japanese-Filipino heritage. His grandfather, despite going through the Japanese incarceration in the States, volunteered to be in the army because he was fighting for people like Eric himself.

But being of Asian origins, life wasn’t easy. And racism was something that Eric had to deal with while growing up.

Eric shared how his now wife first convinced him to make the switch from law to startup (aka Facebook), and also the difficulties he faced in the earlier part of his career. Including being advised by his father that in order to survive in a white-dominated company, he needed to keep his head down, do the work, and never look a white executive in the eye.

Against all odds, Eric rose to the pinnacle of his career, becoming Chief Marketing Officer at Gap Inc.

But then… it came fell apart when he was fired.

Suffice to say that Eric has had his fair share of challenges in corporate America.

But he has also had some fantastic wins. From working the hugely innovative Nike to creating some of his best, and most creative work while at Airbnb (they swept all the industry awards available in that year).

And who was the person that had (and continues to have) a great deal over influence over Eric?

Jonathan Mildenhall.

Who got Eric into Airbnb with an email entitled, “Oi, you coming?”.

However, Eric thinks that if his son only ever knew of him as marketer/businessman, then he would've been a failure.

He shares why in this episode, and why Meta Prosper is his biggest project to date:

  • 12:08 Joining Facebook
  • 15:59 Don’t look a white executive in the eye
  • 20:42 Getting credit for your work
  • 23:21 Being fired from Gap Inc as Chief Marketing Officer
  • 25:09 Why Eric failed to challenge the status quo
  • 28:19 Becoming friends with executives
  • 30:35 Being an approachable leader
  • 32:25 Jonathan Mildenhall
  • 34:48 “Oi, you coming?”
  • 36:28 Airbnb’s successful 2016 campaign during the Oscars
  • 44:54 You can’t teach ambition & fire
  • 51:01 My people are dying in silence & I’m here with a megaphone
  • 53:31 Why Eric doesn’t want his children to remember him only as a businessman or marketer
  • 56:01 Not being allowed to go to the Smithsonian
  • 57:38 The challenges of Web 3.0 today
  • 1:01:48 Why is Eric Toda so easy to contact?! (p/s: his mobile number is available)

Places to listen to: Website, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Listen Notes

Looking for suggestions of past STIMY guests to listen to? Check out:

  • Nicole Quinn: General Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners; investor and/or board member at Calm, Cameo, Lunchclub, Haus Laboratories (Lady Gaga), The Honest Company (Jessica Alba), Goop (Gwyneth Paltrow), Girlboss (Sophia Amoruso) etc.
  • Richard Lui: MSNBC & NBC News news anchor; Peabody & Emmy award winner; top 100 in news buzz on its “Power Grid Influence Index of TV Anchors and Hosts” and one of “The 50 Sexiest in TV News”; author of “Enough About Me: The Unexpected Power of Selflessness”
  • Debbie Soon: Co-Founder of HUG (Web3 accelerator, discovery platform & pre-mint fund), and former Chief of Staff at ONE Championship

Favourite Finds of the Week

1. Creative Ladder

Ryan Reynolds is making waves in the marketing industry and he's created an NGO to help students from all backgrounds get into the creative industry.

If you're interested/know anyone who might be, this could be worth checking out.

Links: Creative Ladder

2. BeReal

BeReal is a pretty cool social media app that I heard of recently (all the rage amongst Gen Zs), and it comes with a twist.

Here's why:

  • Everyone simultaneously gets 1 notification every day. This notification happens at different times
  • You have 2 minutes to respond, i.e. capture 2 photos: a selfie & photo of whatever's in front of you [I didn't even realise the selfie was even taken until after I'd decided on the background image to take!]
  • All of your friends have to post at the exact same time
  • You get to comment & react with icons of yourself

BeReal tries to create a more authentic social media experience so there are:

  • No filters
  • No editing

How has BeReal done so far?

  • In its first 4 months, users grew 315%
  • It's on Apple's Top 10 free social media app chart
  • Had 3 million downloads in May alone
  • Raised $30 million in Series A in 2020

Link: BeReal

3. BackScoop: All the Latest SEA Goss

BackScoop is a newsletter that talks about all things related to tech and business in Southeast Asia every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Amanda Cua, the founder, began Backscoop in August 2021 and Backscoop recently topping 5k subscribers.

I spoke to Amanda recently - she was meant to begin her university studies during the pandemic and decided that there wasn't any real value in beginning her studies virtually. So instead, she took a gap year to start Backscoop. It's doing so well, she's doubling down on BackScoop & has no intention of heading back to university just yet. 😱

If you're interested in knowing what's happening in the Southeast Asian tech/business scene, Backscoop might be a newsletter to look into.

Link: Backscoop

4. Squid Game IRL

Not sure whether to feel thrilled or terrified or both, but a real life Squid Game is coming our way (better than what MrBeast has done, maybe?!).

They're accepting castings from the US, UK and around the world.

456 real players.

For a cash prize of $4.56 million.

Do we dare?


Link: Squid Game application

Upcoming STIMY Guests

  • Avery Akkineni: President, VaynerNFT
  • Alejandro Navia: Co-founder, nft now

As always, all thoughts are welcome. Just hit the reply button.

And see you all next week! 😊

Ling Yah

P/S: If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, you can sign up here.

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