Telum Talks To… Lee Po-Feng, Chief Editor, INSIDE
“We provide information on the best industry practices and career development." Telum caught up with Lee Po-Feng to share his insights on Taiwan's tech trend next year and his slashie life as a Chief Editor at INSIDE and a financial blogger.
Could you tell us how you joined INSIDE?
I was with SysJust as a Product Manager before I moved into a social media marketing role to get the company's financial news across. Most of Taiwan's financial news is about tech and I have contributed articles to INSIDE's columns. This was how I got acquainted with the founders of INSIDE. Later, I joined INSIDE to fill their vacancy.
Compared with other science and tech media, how is INSIDE different?
INSIDE is the science and tech media focusing on industry trends. We are quite different from other consumer electronics media that focus on product unboxing. We prefer to cover startups rather than big corporations because we want to uncover the opportunities brought about by technological innovation rather than purely the business side of things. In addition, INSIDE focuses on the network and software industries rather than the hardware and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) sectors. We also provide information on the best industry practices and career development.
Compared with other science and tech media, INSIDE differs in that each founder has been working in the tech industry. Each colleague joined because of their passion for reporting, which made our articles more unique and more inspiring to readers time after time.
You were with Academia Sinica for 10 years. How did your natural science research experience have an impact on your decision to be involved with science and tech media?
Scientific research has brought me two crucial benefits. First, I have realised that reading into the statistics often provide a very different perspective. When dealing with news, I can avoid many marketing jargons and can understand the information on financial news more deeply with the knowledge of statistics. Secondly, there is a considerable amount of technology and knowledge in scientific research that require self-learning. There are also many things that not everyone knows. I have come across research topics that even my doctoral advisors do not have a full understanding of. I can often just rely on myself. However, this kind of self-learning skills have helped me a great deal when it comes to understanding new concepts such as blockchain and machine learning. After all, you often need to cast a critical eye over things, especially when it's said on the Internet. You have to learn from the basics so you don't get misled by the specious information out there.
How can PRs work with INSIDE?
There are many ways in which we co-operate with external stakeholders. In the past, INSIDE mostly cooperated with startups. After joining The News Lens, INSIDE came into contact with more international brands, such as Microsoft and AWS, which are our clients. INSIDE also co-operates with science and tech-related exhibitions, as well as other science and tech media when we assist in marketing promotions or covering news in general. We don't usually mind that because at the end of the day, our readers are different and collaboration means synergies.
In the longer term, INSIDE will launch a paid subscription service and begin to accumulate members without changing the existing content.
In your opinion, what is the tech trend in Taiwan next year? Are there any highlights worth paying attention to?
Semiconductor will still be quite important. For artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), there will be breakthroughs in the development of applications. In the case of telecommunications, network security will also be an important issue.
When 5G comes to life, we believe the main battlefield will be in the industrial and commercial application of B2B market instead of the B2C telecom market. Taiwan has a significant edge in this field because its industrial ecosystem is quite complete in the areas of 5G-related equipment and solutions. The level of maturity of the market is set to accelerate the digital transformation of Taiwan's services and manufacturing industries. However, I have to admit 5G technology has limited influence on the media industry, and the problems encountered by the media are difficult to solve via 5G technology.
How do you achieve work-life balance as INSIDE's Chief Editor and a financial blogger?
The first thing I do in the morning is to browse tech and financial news in Europe and the United States and think about what to follow up on. I usually get up at 6am or 7am. I would usually find out a lot had happened during my sleep. When I start work, I have to handle office admin, meet with other departments or other external stakeholders for potential collaboration. I get off work at about 5pm, and the rest of my time is about my family.
I love eating dinner with them and accompany my children when they do their homework. Before I go to bed at midnight, I spend some time on writing articles, designing courses or answering students' questions.
Do you think diversified development is the current career development trend?
I don't particularly recommend diverse development. After all, everyone has different goals. Diverse development is actually very hard, which is not necessarily suitable for everyone. It is more important to have their own goals. I often tell my colleagues that they will not stay in the same job until they retire, so INSIDE must be a springboard for their next steps, and they should constantly be thinking where to go next. I often encourage my colleagues to build their own personal brand whenever it is allowed by their organisation.