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From Aspiring Painter to Web3 Visionary

Sammi Wei


Powered By:

hsbcinnovationbanking logo

From Aspiring Painter to Web3 Visionary

Sammi Wei



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Sammi Wei t2.World
Full transcript here

About Sammi Wei

Episode 128: Amardeep Parmar from The BAE HQ welcomes Sammi Wei, COO and Co-Founder of t2.world 

Sammi Wei, co-founder and COO of t2.World, shares her journey from rural China to becoming a visionary for the creator economy, focusing on elevating writers. Wei's path took her from aspiring painter, through a finance education in Canada, to discovering Web3 and pursuing an MBA at Oxford, leading to her co-founding t2.World. The platform aims to provide fair compensation and community for writers in the burgeoning creator economy.

Sammi Wei


Show Notes

Show Notes: 

00:00 - Intro

01:29: Sammi Wei shares her childhood ambition of becoming a painter, her working-class family background, and early exposure to art.

04:03: Discussion on the motivations behind choosing a difficult course, touching on familial pride.

07:47: Discussion on Wei's experiences with diversity in the art and event space.

13:30: What attracted Wei to the t2 project and her decision to join as a co-founder.

15:10: The initial steps towards making t2 a reality and major development pivots.

16:43: Wei shares personal motivations behind her writing projects.

21:24: Focus shift from Web3 technology to addressing writer needs.

22:15: Technology choices and the philosophy behind t2's creation.

23:54: Reasoning behind t2's timing for the public launch.

25:11: Challenges of feedback and aligning with t2's core mission.

25:54: Fundraising journey and aligning with investors who share t2's vision.

27:08: The most enjoyable parts of the journey with t2.

28:51: Reflections on advice for younger self and dreams for the future.

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Sammi Wei Full Transcript

Sammi Wei: 0:00
Let's move away from the big platforms, let's really create an alternative that's actually going to stay that way and not become another big platform. And because I had a business background, the thing that made most sense was an MBA and I thought again. This Asian thing in me was like I'm going to do the best program that I can do. And we've started this very cool journey of building what is now T2.World. We're on a mission to elevate more writers in the creator economy which, as we all know, is blooming.

Amardeep Parmar: 0:32

Today on the podcast we have Sammi Wei, who's a co-founder and COO of T2.World. They're elevating writers in the creator economy. Sammi's got a really interesting journey, having been born and raised in rural China before moving across to Canada and going into finance, but then pivoting into the art space, really enjoying that world and, along that journey, discovering Web3, deciding she wanted to learn more, coming across to the UK, going for a degree at Oxford, doing her MBA, where she discovered a white paper that led to what she's doing today. So it's a really interesting journey that's quite different to what you might have heard before. And we're the BAE HQ. I'm Amar, and this podcast is powered by HSBC Innovation Banking. So, Sammi, you've done incredible work so far throughout your career, but you started from somewhere right. So when you were a kid, what did you dream about? What was your ambition?

Sammi Wei: 1:29

I wanted to be a painter and I laugh because it was a laughable idea. Growing up in a actually a lot of people don't know this, but I grew up in a very much working class family in a very small town in China and I think half my family didn't even have like what was called urban status, so they were from rural farming families and so we had definitely had no painters in our family. We had some people who were, you know, quite very much excelling in whatever field they were in, but it was not painting or art or anything like that. But my parents were very on board with that. Actually my dad actually used to be, he was really into calligraphy, so that was really a cool thing to see in that part of China that in that kind of working class environment.

Sammi Wei: 2:15

I never really got to be a painter. Obviously. It just I think it was maybe one year into art classes. One, I, my mom, my mother actually saved some of the watercolors that I did um from back then. It's one of the two pieces of artifacts that she has from my childhood, so one watercolor of a mouse the thing and she said it was very impressive for whatever age I was. But I gave up when all my friends were, like, why are you going to art classes? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Um, and I cared about their opinions then. So, however old we were five or six or seven, I don't know.

Amardeep Parmar: 2:50

Was it five or six or seven, that's where you gave up on that right now. What then happened as you went through your teenage years? What were you then looking at as a potential career?

Sammi Wei: 2:55

Well, teenage years um career wise? I don't. I think. From very early on I was um a lot of people in my family. This was a very special period in China when it became a possibility to work outside of the state system so the open market, so they call it, or partially open market, and so a lot of my family members went into business of all sorts. So that was always interesting. They like Family talk conversations was very much business, but I found it all super interesting and most of them traveled a lot because there were a lot of sales activity happening all across the country. My father himself, he traveled a lot, so that was always, I think, quite adventurous to me.

Amardeep Parmar: 3:39

Did you then go and study at university?

Sammi Wei: 3:41

Yes, I studied. I think my undergrad degree was a double major in real estate and finance, simply because finance was the most challenging to get into at the university, at UBC, in terms of business school degrees, so I wanted to do the best program, whatever that meant. I never did pursue a career in finance.

Amardeep Parmar: 4:03

So is that from a personal pride perspective?

Sammi Wei: 4:06

I don't know if it was undefined I think all the Asians would relate to this it wasn't so much personal pride, familial pride yeah

Amardeep Parmar: 4:16

So obviously you, you grew up in China and then you went to University in Canada. What was that decision like? Was it something which is quite easy if you'd see change countries? Or?

Sammi Wei: 4:21

Sorry. No, actually I did move to. So my family moved to Canada when we were 10. So that was I had. That was much easier than what I then witnessed. You know a lot of immigrants coming in when their children were you know very much in their late teens. That was definitely much more challenging. It didn't feel I didn't feel any different than any other in-province kid that was applying to that particular school. But what I didn't realize was that how bubbled I was actually in a very specifically Chinese-Canadian community and I didn't know that. I just thought this is Canada. That was the Canada that I grew up in. It was very much an inner city neighborhood. Lots of our school, I want to say, was primarily Chinese-Canadian. You know Chinese of all sorts, not necessarily from China, of course. So that was an interesting realization when I finished university and I thought, ah, actually, looking at the job opportunities out here, I'm going to be working with people who are not Chinese- Canadian.

Amardeep Parmar: 5:27

And like once you're at university, you said, like you're looking at different job opportunities was that you said you obviously didn't work in finance. So what was then the decision there? Because if you worked in finance, you think the natural choice, okay, I'm going to go work in accounting or banking or something. What made you take a different path?

Sammi Wei: 5:43

So, honestly, the primary reason was that I didn't know how to apply to jobs. I sent some online applications and I felt completely defeated when I only got, I think, two interviews out of maybe 10 applications and I didn't get any of the two interviews. Now I understand, of course. I just didn't apply to enough jobs, but nobody really told me how many jobs you were supposed to apply to. So, anyway, so I thought, okay, I'm gonna go do my own thing. And I had this opportunity to start being an event producer, working event production, which was very exciting. I did all kinds of roles in that line of work and ended up having my own production company and then went from that to public art production and facilitating a lot of the business end of that sector, and that was super fascinating. And I got to meet a lot of painters.

Amardeep Parmar: 6:30

It's come full circle there. So looking at that as well, where you said where, as well as here's an industry advantage, right, is that if you don't know you're meant to apply to many jobs, then you don't apply to as many and then you don't get the same opportunities. And it's one of those things it's really difficult, because how do you, how do you understand that, right? How do you learn that if you're not from that background or people in your family haven't been through that kind of role? And do you feel like that events production industry went into was actually almost a happy mistake in terms of because you'll think I want to get into finance, but that didn't quite work out. Did you enjoy being in the event space?

Sammi Wei: 7:05

Very much. So yeah, it was crazy. I, it's probably the most crazy period in my life. Just the amount of traveling, uh, the kind of schedule around event production, um. Which is crazy and the kind of uh I think people who work in performance artists will understand is that you have a very strong bond that's very intense for a very short period of time and then you kind of go away and you're like, oh well, do it all over again for the next one, and that's very different from the sense then of pivoting to arts. And then now where I'm now, the kind of professional and social bonds that I've been developing are much more long term and the connections are, for me at this stage in my life, feel a lot more rewarding, um, for what I need right now.

Amardeep Parmar: 7:47

So you mentioned as well about how you grew up in this very Chinese- Canadian environment and obviously in the event space and art space. I'm guessing it was much more mixed. Yes, how did you feel in those spaces? Did you feel like you're included, you're part of it or a bit on the outside?

Sammi Wei: 8:01

Good question. Uh, mixed is an understatement. It was very much not mixed, I think, in some, definitely in the public art space, where few people had control over the public resources that were available and the institution that I worked at was one of them had access to abundant public spaces and I hadn't. But again, I hadn't realized and we were talking earlier, before we started recording that about people are too busy assimilating. I was too busy assimilating to realize. And then I had someone from the city of Vancouver had asked me to coffee, who was also Asian, and said you know, I don't see many Asians working in public art, public space activations. I love to just have coffee or have lunch and get to know each other. And I thought you're right, you're the first asian, the only other asian that I've run into, you know, in this particular um space, other than the some of my colleagues that I actually work with, but they weren't in that position of power to be in that management of the resources that we were, you know, thinking, thinking about.

Amardeep Parmar: 9:01

So it's one of the interesting things as well, because I mentioned before about the writing I did before what I do today, and I never really noticed as well about a lot of the top writers on the platform.

Amardeep Parmar: 9:11

That was medium, that were is very, very white, and there's a few black american authors, but there wasn't really any asians. And it was only when people started messaging me because they'll be like, oh, like, you're the only person who looks like me, who's near the top of this that you start to really pay attention and, as part of the motivation behind what we're doing today, it's just that I realized that when you're busy doing your own thing, sometimes you forget that actually a lot of other people look up to you, and I guess you had that with the person who reached out to you about wanting to connect because they're like you're somebody who looks like me who's doing something which I want to do and as you went through that process, so you're obviously now managing the artists as well. What was the next step from there? So you'd done that, what was next in line?

Sammi Wei: 9:55

It really fell into me. So what happened next? I was working on a very cool art project that completely blew my mind. It was called Voxel Bridge. I had to learn everything, so I learned about AR VR, web3, and it was the most and, looking back in retrospect, like it was the most challenging beginner's introduction to Web3. That is possible because the people that we collaborated with for that project were from the Polkadot Kusama ecosystem, which is the most complex, probably architecturally speaking, blockchain ecosystem out there the most complex implementation of Web3, as they now call it. But that was great because then my learning appetite was huge and I thought, okay, wow, there's a lot of really exciting things here. I felt like as a 90s kid. I felt like, whoa, this is like surfing in Ask Jeeves days or even before that, I think.

Sammi Wei: 10:48

In China we had sina. com, which was like absurd black hole of all kinds of weird and cool things. So I got really excited. That was how I felt and then I threw that project. Working with Jessica Angel, who was the artist for the project, I started meeting all the kind of cool people in the space that thought that were really in it for ideology purpose. I've also since met more people like that. But I've realized also in the space there are people who are not necessarily in it for the same, for the same gains. But for me that was enough, convincing enough for me to keep exploring.

Sammi Wei: 11:21

And because it literally triggered my learning appetite to the point where I thought I'm going to go get another degree, and because I had a business background, the thing that made most sense was an MBA. And I thought again, this Asian thing in me was like I'm going to do the best program that I could do. So I researched the best programs out there. I really only wanted to do a one-year degree. So I ended up at Oxford and then before I went I thought, okay, here's what I'm going to get out of this. I'm going to go in, make a ton of friends and have a lot of fun, but on my job side what I'm going to do is find something that's rewarding at the intersection of some kind of creative media slash Web3.

Sammi Wei: 12:01

And then it was only a few months into the program. Then I read this really cool white paper passed to me by a family friend, the white paper for T2, which was very much at the time only the economic design and kind of the curatorial aspect. Very complex, a really cool read. I spent quite a bit of time going over it multiple times. Then I had a call with the founder, Mengy ao, who then invited me to come on board. I've since become her co-founder and we've started this very cool journey, building what is now T2.world, which is very reliable to Medium, very similar to Medium but with the added perspective of community, so kind of like a Medium slash subreddit format, and we're on a mission to elevate more writers in the creator economy which, as we all know, is blooming. But writers are very much left behind and that's what we're here to help with.

Amardeep Parmar: 12:53

We hope you're enjoying the episode so far. We just want to give a quick shout out to our headline partners, hpc Innovation Banking. One of the biggest challenges for so many startups is finding the right bank to support them, because you might start off and try to use a traditional bank, but they don't understand what you're doing. You're just talking to an AI assistant or you're talking to somebody who doesn't really understand what it is you've been trying to do. HSBC have got the team they've built out over years to make sure they understand what you're doing. They've got the deep sector expertise and they can help connect you with the right people to make your dreams come true. So if you want to learn more, check out hsbcinnovationbanking. com.

Amardeep Parmar: 13:30

So it's interesting there with the idea of T2. So you read the white paper. What was about that white paper that really made it stand out to you? Because I guess at that point, if you're joining as a co-founder, there was still quite a lot of work to do. So what made you decide? Okay, this is what I'm going to jump into and dedicate my time to from that paper, because it must have been an impressive paper.

Sammi Wei: 13:51

Yeah, I think there were a few aspects. Uh, I'll go from probably kind of the most impressive to the last thing, which is more like just for me personally, it really tickled me. So the first thing was the ideology behind it was that we wanted to reward people for how much time they spent on the network, and that included everybody that was spending time on the network, whether you were typically considered a consumer or a creator or the owner of the platform. But everyone was treated equal, just based on how much time they were spending and how much work they were putting in. So that was very cool for me, a bit of a utopia, but we're trying to figure out how to make it work in the real world.

Sammi Wei: 14:25

And then the second part of the paper itself was really well written in that it was a bunch of very complex ideas, both from a philosophical standpoint and also from the technology that it was endeavoring to incorporate, and that, intellectually, was very stimulating for me. And then the last bit was that, because English is now Mengyao's first language, I could see the kind of creativity she had to bring in to really bring the paper to life in terms of words and how she used strong words together to drive a point home. She was very poetic. She's a very poetic person in general, but I think in writing it really comes through, even though it's not her native language. It really shined and for me that was very touching. So that's the last bit.

Amardeep Parmar: 15:10

So obviously, when you got in touch with your co-founder there, was she looking for a co-founder at the time?

Sammi Wei: 15:23

No, she was looking to do user surveys. So she surveyed me as someone who enjoyed reading and writing quite a bit and as a potential user, and she kind of asked a bunch of questions, which then, I didn't realize, turned into a bit of an interview, um, and she had asked me something about, uh, I think she was quoting from the Alchemist and I had a copy on my desk. You know the whole thing about good omens and I thought, okay, well, this is a bit, you know, freaky in a really good way. So I remember we have a screenshot of that actually.

Sammi Wei: 15:48

And then it wasn't until after the call she was, I think, a little bit shy in approaching me, but she was just really happy and said you know, would you consider being our CMO? And I told her I loved marketing, have lots of ideas, but I'm not really interested in that role. But I proposed an alternative, which is that I can run the operations you know, part-time for now as I'm going through finishing up my MBA, but yeah, I would love to be a part of the journey and then that's involved into a co-founder role, which I really appreciate. And we built the team together. We raised quite a bit of resources so that we could build T2 into the current stage. It is which you know. As you know, yesterday, wednesday, we were just celebrating our public launch after over a year of more stealth you know private development and that was incredibly rewarding.

Amardeep Parmar: 16:43

You mentioned there about your own reading and writing is why you were a user, potentially of T2. What was that about for yourself? What were you writing about?

Sammi Wei: 16:51

At the time I was working on an extended family biography, I realized that, thankfully, in our, I guess female line in my ancestry, my great-grandmother well, my grandmother, both my grandmothers, my great-grandmother on the maternal side, and my great-great-grandmother both lived quite full and long lives and so, as a result, the extended family gathered quite frequently when they were still alive, and even to this day we stay in touch precisely because, literally because our, you know, common ancestors lived long enough for us to be in the same room.

Sammi Wei: 17:28

So that was very cool and there are just these incredible wild stories from each of their lives, and in a very particular time in Chinese history, I think, where people are kind of going from this well, are we communists? Or you know what is happening? Oh wait, the market is opening up and people's entire. You know, I still see a lot of people in my family who don't really understand how the modern world works, because they grew up being told that communism is the way and even so, that's very confusing to them, even though society has pivoted greatly, and politically, of course.

Amardeep Parmar: 18:08

Yeah, and it's really interesting as well, and do you think that story resonated with your co-founder too? so was that part of what you bonded on, or what was the? What do you feel like the bonding was about there?

Sammi Wei: 18:12

It didn't come from there, but we did have lots of bonding moments over our family later on in conversations and if you want to speak another time, she has great stories to tell there as well um, but in that particular conversation we just bonded on all the ideas that we had shared. There were a little bit of philosophical debate in terms of like who gets to determine, you know, what is right or good, um and uh, things like that. But yeah, overall we were really excited about the writing and reading space. I think that alone was quite strong.

Amardeep Parmar: 18:40

And obviously you came on board in those very early days and at that point I guess, was there an app yet, was there a product yet, or did you come pre-product?

Sammi Wei: 18:49

There was a pre-product. Yes, there was a very beautiful but very simple demo and actually it was very cool. So she created an abstract of the white paper, then used that to demo the reading experience that she had envisioned. The app now looks completely different, of course, but it's been yeah, it's been an incredible journey.

Amardeep Parmar: 19:09

What were those first steps of trying to make this reality? From that white paper and that dream and that philosophy, to let's make something which people can actually use.

Sammi Wei: 19:17

Yeah, I remember in the beginning we spent a lot of effort in research. We spent a lot of work creating this yellow paper that we never published, mostly because we've pivoted away from that kind of research-oriented route and into, well, let's actually throw something out there for people to play with, and break and experiment with, and create chaos and see what happens. So we're very much focused on having a product mind. We've gone through quite a few product managers in that process because we didn't know what we were looking for in a product manager. Meng Yao actually has an architect slash design background, so she herself approached this from a very you know, let's design things that solve people's problems. That was her approach, which is great.

Sammi Wei: 20:00

I don't have any product experience. I've learned how to upskill quite a bit to be able to have those product conversations. I think I would highlight one major pivot, which is that in the white paper we only very much talked about curation of content. Let's curate the whole internet. Let's figure out a way to align incentives of how people use the internet so that we're getting the best content possible for every individual.

Sammi Wei: 20:24

And the of course we realized, well, actually people didn't have as much of a problem with curation, or at least that wasn't really the incentives that we had in mind maybe weren't enough to curate, so to speak, because again, who are we to judge, or who is anyone to judge? Really, it's more about what appeals to an individual the most and what that niche interest might bond with other people who might want to come into that. So that's when the community aspect really pivoted from curation to just let's create a lot of interesting stuff in this particular very niche topic that we're interested in. For now. Right now we have, for example, a community, uh, vinyl collectors based out of Poland, and they just want to talk about music and they love talking about how you know vinyl, as it's making a little resurgence, but still, in in the bigger grand scheme of things, it's it's becoming devalued and they want to, they want to look at how what three may even play a role in that. So very exploratory, uh, I love it very much, yeah, so niche, cool things like that.

Amardeep Parmar: 21:24

What's interesting, too, is that the way you've explained the product is very much about the end user and how it's actually going to help them, whereas what can sometimes happen is people decide they want to use Web3 and then try to find a problem, and the way it seems like you've done it is that more about Web3 is a way to deliver what you believe is going to make a huge difference to the world, right? How did you go about? So? You mentioned that used I think it was polka dot before, right, which is very complicated. How would you go about picking the technology to use for that?

Sammi Wei: 21:51

really good question and you also remind me of another pivot we've made, which is that actually we started off that way. So we started off from okay, what is possible in web3 and what do people are? What are people excited about in web3? And let's bring that to them. And now it's from very much no, what do writers care about and how can Web3 help? And we made that pivot, thankfully, in time for our community to grow with us into what it is In terms of technology choices.

Sammi Wei: 22:15

For me it was very much, as long as philosophically I can stomach whatever it is that we're putting out there, because technology decisions are, in a sense, like ethic decisions and, of course, we come from very much the mindset of let's move away from the big platforms, let's really create an alternative that's actually going to stay that way and not become another big platform.

Sammi Wei: 22:40

Or at least if it did, then everybody, all the users, should be able to benefit from that and not be extracted from. So we had our head of engineering, Rafal, who was also very aligned philosophically. So between the three of us we made those decisions and along with we aligned ourselves with some really cool tech partners. And, yeah, I would say the first layer is probably ideology. And then the second layer came to how fast they were able to respond to our user needs with us. So, for example, our login partner Privy, they were very much aligned on bringing you know, making this technology very accessible to the masses. So that's the ideology alignment. And then, number two, they were extremely responsive to, and I said our users need this and they were able to prioritize and develop accordingly. So those two criteria were probably the most important.

Amardeep Parmar: 23:35

As you mentioned, there was a launch on Wednesday. And you'd had quite a journey to get to that launch, and what's interesting, I think, too, is that sometimes people worry about when do they do private beta versus when do they make it public, and what made it like now is the right time for this to be public and people listening right now to be able to download and get involved?

Sammi Wei: 23:54

It's really down to the circumstance of the particular product and the community. For us we wanted to have a solid early community that we trusted, who understood our mission, who wouldn't be distracted by kind of what's meta or what's trendy, and we very much got that. So that was great. And they were able to tell us then very honestly and truthfully what it is that they thought were working and what didn't work. And for us it was important because we had so many unanswered questions.

Sammi Wei: 24:25

We had investors that were challenging us at every turn which is great, pushing us to really get to the core of the problem and the unique solutions that we're able to bring, and we wouldn't have been able to do that as much, I think, in a public sphere where people would have there would just be more opinions from people who are less aligned with what we actually wanted, and I think it would have been really difficult for us to actually shut off that noise if we actually made ourselves public in that space. It did take much longer than we thought. We thought we would be maybe private testing for three months or so and then we would go public. Three months was not enough. We didn't have the insights that we needed. We didn't have the, we were not developing fast enough to deliver what we wanted to deliver. So in the end, that's just what it took.

Amardeep Parmar: 25:11

It's one of the challenges for us I was smiling as you said that as well because we have a lot of people who want to give us advice, and it's trying to understand the core mission and what's the alignment of why we're doing what we're doing. And if people, like you said, don't really understand that or aren't in the same alignment, then they can try to give advice, or they try to give you feedback which doesn't really relate to what you actually want to do. And there's an element of listening to feedback, but also making sure that you're not building a product for a niche that you're not, as I said, in mission driven and aligned to as well. And one thing that's really interesting, I think as well, is that you're able to raise funding before going public and before having a wide user base. What do you think about the product or about the company enabled you to do that?

Sammi Wei: 25:54

So I think a lot of that is because we had in our early days of fundraising which was quite incredible. We went through an accelerator called Open Web Collective and they were able to facilitate conversations for us with investors afterwards that were very effective.

Sammi Wei: 26:10

And early on we had great momentum just from signing on two co-leads very early, both of whom were very aligned with us just in terms of ideology, and it was so strong and I think in Web3, that's the cool thing is the ideology is so strong.

Sammi Wei: 26:24

It really powers people to make decisions and take risks that maybe they otherwise wouldn't have. That you're you know. I know that VCs have their calculations, their mottos and whatever it is. That may tell a different story for such an early stage company, and we were very fortunate to have that momentum from the co-leads. And then after that, it's much easier to convince the smaller checks to come in. But even then we held out until we made sure that every single person that signed on to invest, to back us were, you know, were in it for the long haul, wanted to support us on this mission and we were able to including a very incredible writer himself, Mario Gabriel, who has a really good newsletter, uh, about tech, but uh, with a creative angle as well.

Amardeep Parmar: 27:10

As you're just on the public launch now, what have you enjoyed most about this journey? What's the bit that? Because it's obviously new for you in some ways being co-founder of, like a tech company and you were in the art space before. What's been the best part of this, like? What have you loved the most?

Sammi Wei: 27:24

Don't know about the best part. I'll start. I'll start talking about the things that I love and then maybe I'll land on the best part. Um, I was surprised at the party the other day that people were congratulating me. I don't know it sounds silly, but I don't know why I was surprised.

Sammi Wei: 27:39

I just thought, oh well, we've been, you know, a lot of cool things for the whole year and this is just a little. It was just a little opening. It wasn't really. And then I didn't realize people actually from the outside know it was such a big deal and people wanted to be happy for us and I thought, okay, I'm going to let people be happy for me, because I should be happy for me, I should be happy for the whole team and I had a lot of gratitude in that moment. So that was definitely and it's still fresh on my mind so definitely one of my top moments. Otherwise, I've really enjoyed. So I didn't meet most of the team in person until in June 2023. So we had our first team offsite. So for that was the first time meeting the entire team, almost the entire team. We had one person missing. Very sad. Um but um and we went. I I physically tortured everybody. So I designed the itinerary.

Sammi Wei: 28:27

I said, okay, we're going to go hiking, then we're going to go surfing and, uh, people didn't love the hike so much, uh, you know, and uh, they had trouble. A lot of people had trouble surfing, but everybody loved it in the end and it was great experience and I remember and that was in cornwall, so I could not have asked for more um appropriate place, you know, also very romantic for lots of writers in english literature. Uh certainly.

Amardeep Parmar: 28:53

If you could give yourself one piece of advice from like what you know today and if you could have told yourself that when you started and shortcut some of that learning because you already knew it when you started, what would that be?

Sammi Wei: 29:02

So many things. Um, I guess, um, I saw, um, there's a instagrammer that I follow who is a health advocate and he's, you know, very cool, very queer um, and he says you're, you're not going to be called to have a dream that you don't have the capacity within you to fulfill, and I wish it's literally from that. In upbringing there was not a whole lot of encouragement. There was a lot of shaming, down-putting of big dreams. People didn't want big dreams. People wanted realistic, pragmatic, and I pride myself on my pragmatism. But I wish I had been a dreamer earlier.

Sammi Wei: 29:43

I mean, I was a dreamer at six years old, then I wasn't. So, yeah, I wish I had held on to that. So that's definitely one. And then the other thing was to embrace myself for and that comes from what I was saying earlier about emotional intelligence and, yeah, just life. You know, long, long, lifelong journey, learning of learning, um, emotional intelligence has been probably the most piece of learning or topic for learning. That's been the most rewarding and I wish I would have embraced that earlier.

Amardeep Parmar: 30:17

So you just mentioned about being a dreamer. So you're here today, maybe in 10 years time. What's the dream? What would you hope you've been able to do and you can dream big, that's not realistic at all. What? What would that be? What would it be like you'd love to say

Amardeep Parmar: 30:34

I mean undefined could be t2 or personally

Sammi Wei: 30:37

Yeah, so different things. I mean for t2, definitely millions and millions of writers, uh, and readers, who are actually not getting paid peanuts as of today's standards. But outside of T2, for myself, I see myself potentially in the post-T2 feature. I don't know when that will be. But definitely, coming back to the queer community, I had an opportunity to interview for a position that, if not for Oxford and T2, that I would have very much wanted to serve, which was in the queer community in Vancouver. Yeah, definitely something in that realm, and I don't know what it will be. I don't know if it will be nonprofit. I don't know if it will be. I don't know if it will be advisory, consulting or community work, just whatever gets people happy and whatever gets people to believe that they should be living their best lives as their authentic selves.

Amardeep Parmar: 31:29

So we're going to move into some quickfire questions now, on that note. So the first one is who are three British Asians or Asians in Britain that you'd love to shout out because you think they're doing incredible work?

Sammi Wei: 31:40

Yeah, number one one of my closest friends, Minying Huang, an incredible poet I've been very fortunate to witness their growth in that realm and Jaron Soh, of course, the co-founder of Voda. Full disclaimer I'm an angel investor in Voda. It's a mental health app specifically for the queer community, so I very much endorse it. Wonderful product, wonderful team. And then my other friend you can find her as Pat W on LinkedIn. She is doing incredible work in, most recently now in the music industry, so look her up as well.

Amardeep Parmar: 32:15

Awesome. And then, how can the listeners today find out more about you, find out more about T2 and what you're upto?

Sammi Wei: 32:21

I a good old linkedin post, so definitely find me on linkedin. Uh, I'm also on twitter and lens, of course, which is the web3 social t2, of course, I love writing. Well, I'm getting there. So everything that I write on t2 I distribute through my other social networks, so I'm sure that if you follow me anywhere else, you'll find my my writings on t2

Amardeep Parmar:
and then people can just go to the app store, standout t2, or where can they find that?

Sammi Wei: 32:44

Great question. So, uh, no, we're not a, we're a web app. So you can just find us at t2. world, um, nice and easy. And if you do, uh, t2.world, forward slash, fww, we are running an incredible um writing challenge that's called friends who write, so sign up with some friends. The prize pool is just about 10,000 pounds, which I think is an incredible opportunity to improve your writing skills. We've got workshops, we've got social events. Expand your network and win some prizes.

Amardeep Parmar: 33:12

And is there anything that the listeners today could help you or help T2?

Sammi Wei: 33:15

Definitely spread the word, whether it's about T2 going public, any writers or readers that you know, we are still. You know, even though we've gone public, we're still very much open to feedback. We want to build with our community. So any feedback that you have from the experience, whether it's, you know, bug reports just DM me or it's things like I've got an idea for a new community or I've got an idea for a new writer or a new feature, something that's really cool, that I really want to use, you know, bring it on. We want to incorporate them as soon as we can, yeah, or that, or the writing challenge itself, so very cool for writers of any stage in their career.

Amardeep Parmar: 33:51

So thanks so much for coming on today and it's been really interesting to hear your journey and all the different pivots along that way. Have you got any final words for the audience today?

Sammi Wei: 33:58

Oh, I think I used my final words earlier because you had a great cue for me, but I just, yeah, whether you're, you know, british Asian, any kind of professional or entrepreneur, I think, be on the lookout for each other. That sense of community, you know, I appreciate being here with the BAE. I was saying earlier, sometimes we forget how hard we are trying to be assimilating every day and it's really nice to be in a space where you can safely be consciously aware of your Asian identity and be really proud of that. I'm very new to the UK. It's just two and a half years now and only six months in London. So if you're new-ish, you know, even though I don't know I don't know what it's fully like to be British Asian yet, but I do know what it's like to be an Asian immigrant in a Western country and I think that support network will go a long way. And, yeah, don't stop.

Amardeep Parmar:
Thank you for watching. Don't forget to subscribe and see you next time.

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