My first boss: EasyA co-founder Dom Kwok

The people who helped shape business leaders

Phil and, pictured right, Dom Kwok, co-founders of EasyA. Photo: EasyA
Phil and Dom Kwok (Dom on the right), co-founders of EasyA. Photo: EasyA

Dom Kwok is co-founder of EasyA, a free-to-use app that educates the developers of the future on Web3 applications, with his brother Phil.

EasyA is partnered with over 250 of the world's best academic institutions and leading blockchains, the company hosts regular hackathons, with winners securing considerable funding for Web3 business ideas designed at the event. 650,000 developers have signed up so far, with 50,000 monthly users.

I learned the art of speed and execution in business working under Travis Kalanick, founder and former CEO of Uber, and it was an amazing experience.

Shortly after graduating I was recruited to go and work for CloudKitchens, which was Travis’ new start-up and one which he is currently pursuing.

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CloudKitchens buy up unused retail assets, like shopping centres, repurpose them and turn them into ghost kitchens, which essentially cater for the likes of delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

I was hired to expand out some of the real estate work they were doing in the northeast region of the US, find these assets and bring them to the committee for their approval to invest.

Working under Travis’ tutelage gave me great insight into starting a company from the early stages, one which he had done already with Uber.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Co-founder of Uber Travis Kalanick attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Mike Coppola/VF17/Getty Images for VF)
Co-founder of Uber Travis Kalanick attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Photo: Getty Images

With Travis’ outlook on speed and execution, there was no time to waste and everything was done on a daily basis, as opposed to weekly or monthly, which was vastly different for someone coming out straight out of university.

Working with a leader such as Travis, you have to be dedicated to the mission you are trying to execute. When I first met him, they held a recruiting event in New York and I asked Travis whether he was afraid of competitors and people doing similar things in the delivery market.

I thought it was a good question but he quickly shut it down and said he wasn’t afraid of any competition and basically walked away. But I must have left some impression on him as I was ultimately recruited.

What I had garnered was the mentality of not being fazed about what else was happening in the market space and being hard charging — and Travis was one of those characters. Essentially it’s how he made Uber so successful.

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In the US there is a much stronger sense of leadership than Europe and the UK. It can be more abrasive and bosses are focused on financial incentives and get the deal done.

I ended up staying for one year before founding EasyA at the start of the pandemic. Phil and myself have been involved in crypto since 2012 and been interested in blockchain and how it will change the way we will interact across regions and also at a personal and corporate level.

The genesis of EasyA arrived when we saw a bunch of blockchain projects launching but with no real use cases. They were raising millions in funding, launching tokens but underneath there were no real use cases that people cared about.

We wanted to capitalise on the fact that no developers were going into the space. And so we built an educational platform app that allows people to learn about what they are doing and to bring web3 business opportunities to talented developers that wouldn’t have access to normal funding routes.

EasyA hosts regular hackathons, with winners securing considerable funding for Web3 business ideas. Photo: EasyA
EasyA hosts regular hackathons, with winners securing considerable funding for Web3 business ideas. Photo: EasyA

We have since grown into one of the world’s largest blockchain web3 apps. We call it the Duolingo for blockchain on your smartphone.

We are bullish on mobile and have grown our community to over 650,000 top developers; the important thing is that they come from the top universities in the UK and US.

My brother Phil graduated with first class honours in law from Cambridge University while I graduated from University of Pennsylvania, studying finance at The Wharton School. We started to grow EasyA out of these two universities initially before expanding. We now work with 250 university blockchain clubs.

The North Stars are aligned with us as co-founders. We both want the same thing and it’s a net positive for us, even if we might have different opinions or ideas. Our goal is to drive the mass adoption in blockchain and web3 and help it become the new internet.

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Today, banks will take your money and should they go under there will be no control of your funds. What blockchain essentially does is for you to have full ownership of your money and no third party can have control or liquidate you. That’s the difference in web3 and more people are seeing the benefits of asset ownership.

As a community, we really try to emphasise the benefits of the different types of blockchains — we work with 25 top-tier blockchains — while the teams who have gone through EasyA have raised over $3m in the past half year alone, which signifies that there are some great ideas being generated.

I would like to think that Travis would have liked the speed in which we execute today and the scale in which we have developed.

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