Thought Leaders May 27, 2020

Ignite Podcast – Episode 04 – Jakob Lykkegaard – Learn to Solve the Big Problem in Small Pieces

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze talks to Jakob Lykkegaard about building businesses from scratch, the lessons Jakob has learnt over the years, staying mentally healthy, and more. 

Jakob has been involved with a handful of startups over the past decade. Currently, he is a Co-Founder and CEO of a new concierge platform called Ask Ava. He also runs a gaming studio called Lykke Studios, a member of Apple Arcade. 

The entrepreneurial mindset

Michael kicked off the podcast by pointing to an unlikely similarity between dieting and building a business from the ground up. The level of discipline required, as well as the systems that need to be set up, are very much comparable to each other, he suggested. 

While Jakob agreed, he added that you also need to have the curiosity about how things work. By being curious, you will be able to find gaps in the market and form business ideas that provide unique solutions to potential customers. 

Entrepreneurial lessons

“The more time you spend building things, the more you figure out what you want to do and what you are not good at,” Jakob told Michael

In other words, Jakob’s experience in the startup space has allowed him to understand his skill set, which is the ability to develop ideas fast, accompanied by the ability to convince others to invest time in his ideas. 

Building Ask Ava from scratch

Michael asked Jakob how he got started with Ask Ava and how he plans to scale the business. When Jakob started renting out a villa he recently bought in Phuket, his customers were always asking him about transportation, nearby leisure activities, and other amenities.

He realised that there as a gap in the market where villa and Airbnb stayers could not get access to the type of services that are usually provided by traditional hotels and resorts. 

Jakob then developed an online platform that allows travellers to book transportation, leisure activities, and other concierge services in advance. 

Currently, the platform has been launched in Phuket as a test.

Is exponential growth good?

The two also discussed whether exponential growth in startups are healthy for their long-term growth. Jakob argues that exponential growth is good, as long as the business can be monetised quickly. 

Without a way to monetise the startup and start generating revenue when exponential growth occurs, startups are only losing money. 

But what signals should you be looking for when accessing whether your startup is scalable? Listen to this episode of the Ignite podcast to find out more about running a startup business today. 


Michael has been podcasting with some of the best investors and business builders globally and discussing all things startup with them from an Asian perspective.

Michael I. Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.

Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used successfully to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth.

After more than 20 years in Tokyo, Michael moved to Southeast Asia to get more involved in the Private Equity and Venture Capital business and invest his own capital.

Michael is quite skilled at connecting people and capital to innovative ideas and is a trusted advisor to both investors and founders. Michael has raised capital and advised some of the most famous startups in the region.

Michael is a leader in the digital media space, having pioneered the concept of a podcast network in Asia, while building the biggest and fastest growing listener base in the region. His flagship website,, has listeners in over 100 countries and is available on virtually every podcast player that supports RSS feeds.


Bangkok based Serial Entrepreneur, Speaker, Angel investor & Mentor in mainly Mobile Tech. Currently building up Lykke Studios to be the leading Augmented Reality studio after co-founding and sold to (Vistaprint Inc.) and to "I have no special talents, I am just passionately curious." - Albert Einstein

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