Wild Digital presents 15 questions with Unlockd’s Aliza Knox

Wild Digital, Southeast Asia’s premier digital conference, is known for bringing together the region’s most successful and exciting Internet leaders. Attended by leading tech CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs, senior executives and investors from around the world, Wild Digital explore the trends shaping the industry and discusses strategies for building billion dollar businesses in this space. This year’s conference will be held on May 24th and 25th at Le Meridien, Kuala Lumpur – you can get your ticket here.

Aliza Knox is global COO of Unlockd, an enterprise mobile platform that is changing the way people use and pay with their digital devices. The proprietary mobile platform displays an ad on your smartphone briefly after you’ve unlocked your phone – hence the name. The company has been growing rapidly, with operations across four markets as well as recently securing a deal with the largest telco in the UAE, Etisalat. The company has ambitious plans, wanting to be in all markets and unlock all the screens in Asia.

Business Insider sits with Aliza leading up to Wild Digital to get an early insight, with our 15 questions series.  

1. If you were a superhero, what would your trait or power be?

Teleporting (I’m over VC’s, messaging, and long plane trips)

2. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are 3 things you would bring with you?

Lifetime supply of Diet Dr Pepper, phone with cell tower inside, my husband

3. What are the top 3 apps on your phone?

Twitter, Words with Friends, Hipmunk

4. If you could tell your 18-year old self one thing, what would it be?

Don’t drop out of Chinese in college! I’ve spent a lot of time doing business in China and, while many people speak English, I wish I could show my appreciation of the culture and country by speaking Mandarin.  

5. What would be the title of your autobiography?

Curly hair isn’t so bad after all theme: lots of things seem to hinder you or be problematic, but the key is to turn them to your advantage

 6. Who is your inspiration in the Internet industry, and why?

Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, who used the internet to reimagine education

7. What is the most important trait of a successful person?

Persistence; I really like this quote from Biz Stone (one of Twitter founders) – Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.

8. What was your first business venture?

Lemonade stand, like many American kids

9. If you could pitch to one person, who would it be?

Warren Buffett – while his focus is not on investing in start-ups, he has so much business wisdom, that I’m sure I would get a lot out of the session

10. What is the most exciting thing about your job?

Helping build a new business with fantastic growth opportunities and a great team

11. What was the biggest lesson you’ve learnt and how has it impacted the way you work?

Starting out in consulting, I learnt that you get better answers when you discuss with a group, so whenever possible, I’ve discussed big decisions with small groups of relevant people.

 12. Best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Giving radically candid feedback is important (see new book “Radical Candor” by Kim Scott) ; think about frequency the same way you think about brushing your teeth. The message that the best way you can help the people in your business that you really care about (everyone) is to challenge them directly resonates with me.

13. What’s the biggest challenge facing the tech industry in SEA today and how do you foresee it getting solved?

A gap in the funding ecosystem between very early rounds and later stage

14. What do you think is the hottest vertical in the region right now?

Both in the region and globally, giving consumers back value for all the data they’re providing to drive revenue for players like FB and Google.

15. What are you looking forward to at Wild Digital this year?

Meeting all the attendees I don’t know yet