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Asian Heritage Month – Celebrating diverse teams and a lifelong learner

Most founders agree that entrepreneurship is a rewarding experience – it teaches you to be resilient and encourages you to tackle every challenge that comes your way. All of this not only requires strong faith in yourself, but also a willingness to be a life-long student. When David Kim, CEO and Co-Founder of Appsterpiece Inc., realized the strength that learning holds, his life changed drastically. Now leading a software development agency that helps businesses build their scalable Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Kim’s journey to realize his passion for computer science and software was not an easy one. “Ironically, for the longest time, I ran away from software and computer science because of my low grades in those specializations during my schooling and undergraduate degree. It was only when I had the opportunity to work with my friend on a software-based project for our startup that I realized my passion for software development,” shares Kim.

Providing a wide variety of software application services, Appsterpiece Inc. is a London-based software development venture that was founded to provide scaling, high-potential startups with clean and bug-free MVP. From building web-based marketplaces and dashboards to developing mobile-based messaging and fin-tech apps, this venture has worked on multiple projects, supporting clients from different industries. Leveraging cutting-edge software such as React, React Native and AWS, and a team of experts, Appsterpiece ensures that by employing these technologies, they are building the highest quality of products that can be adapted to the growing business needs in the future.

Like many other ventures, this one came to be during the unprecedented times of the pandemic due to lack of opportunities in the gig economy. “When COVID hit, all my projects came to a halt. I was working on my startup with my friend, but that assignment stopped. I also lost most of my freelancing contracts, and so, at this point, I started thinking that if I’m going to pursue software development, why don’t I start my own agency?” shares Kim. Officially incorporated on April 5, 2020, Kim co-founded this business with his longtime best friend, Hyunsoo Je. Migrating to Canada from South Korea years ago, he reconnected with his friend a few years back, only to realize that he was also pursuing his passion in software development. “Initially, we got together to motivate each other and learn about machine learning and AI. This shared passion connected us, eventually turning our friendship into a business partnership,” says Kim. Working through their communication styles, and recognizing their strengths and areas of improvement, the two Co-Founders are constantly learning something new from each other.  

Priding themselves in developing clean, bug-free codes, the team at Appsterpiece Inc. follows an extensive process to deliver their project to the client’s satisfaction. Keeping the standard process framework for most of their customer journey, the venture distinguishes itself by their thorough understanding at the use case development stage – something that is often missing in the software industry. “If you don’t talk about the use case early on and in depth, then there’s always going to be a scope creep, where you find misalignment during the development phase. Ultimately causing delays, waste of resources and extra costs.  Because of this we do an extensive use case development, so that the idea can be implemented without having to change the design too much,” shares Kim. Another USP that the agency brings to the table is their strong UX design. Kim credits this to the diverse perspectives that the Co-Founders and their team bring into conversations, “Because I’m based in Canada, our Co-Founder is in Korea and the entire team is multi-cultural, all of us bring in our unique perspectives and best practices, which we learnt from our own countries, to develop a seamless user flow.” The agency successfully embraces, celebrates and counts diversity as its biggest strength as this helps them in understanding their customers better in the highly multi-cultural country of Canada. Not only this, but the team also leverages insights from customer behavior worldwide to deliver state-of-the-art solutions. “A simple example is that Korean customers are usually very intolerant of bugs. So, we work tirelessly to make sure that our products are bug-free, and our codes are clean,” shares Kim.  

Sharing his thoughts on Asian Heritage Month, Kim gets real and talks about his journey of acceptance and integration of two cultures, “The greatest thing that helped for my growth was to identify what my culture and the North American culture brings, both positively and negatively, and understanding what tendencies I have, to embrace the best of both worlds and integrate them. There’s so much to dissect and learn from all the different cultures around the globe and so, introspection and self-reflection are the way to go.” Not only this, but Kim encourages everyone to think beyond the professional aspect of their lives and meet new people to engage in new experiences. “The more you go out, the more you meet new people and that helps you in gaining so much more perspective,” says Kim. 

“David and the team at Appsterpiece have been invaluable assets to many early-stage companies in the region. They enable companies to move faster and start experimenting with their prospective customers sooner. Their story is also one of perseverance and adaptability which is admirable,” shares Andrew Leest, Manager of Startup Advisory and Venture Growth at TechAlliance.  

Kim’s journey is a true testament to resilience, determination and dedication. From limiting his belief about his capabilities in software development to not giving up and working hard to understand this industry, Kim is now on the path of completing his education in software development and has big milestones planned for him and Appsterpiece Inc.  

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