5 minutes with… KeyNinja Co-Founders James Vuong and Michael Wang

Jasmin Chia
Skalata Ventures
Published in
3 min readAug 22, 2019


KeyNinja Marketing Director Tricia Yong and Co-Founders James Vuong and Michael Wang.

The 24/7 key delivery service platform for Airbnb hosts, homeowners and property managers has grown in leaps and bounds this year, expanding its offering to include housekeeping services. Now in their second year of operation and preparing to take KeyNinja to the next level, Co-Founders James Vuong and Michael Wang share some words on how they stay motivated and their number one rule for office meetings.

How do you usually start your day?

JV: I thrive on momentum so I like to start my day by knocking out increasingly rewarding, simple tasks to gain momentum. There’s something oddly satisfying about watching that unread email count drop so quickly every morning, so I start with clearing the easy emails first.

MW: Coffee, shower and then I check the news and my emails for anything important.

What’s your number one rule for meetings?

JV: Keep them as short as possible by having an agenda organised and keep the meeting moving. It’s also important to let others speak.

MW: Come on time and be prepared. If you are late or unprepared you are wasting everyone else’s time too.

How do you inspire your team?

JV: I try not to focus on myself in any of our business goals and objectives. Instead, I focus entirely on achieving the outcomes we want to see in the business. In doing so, I think this resonates with the rest of the team and we all end up on the journey together.

MW: I tell all my developers that you are here to learn, to solve problems and most importantly, to have fun doing it.

What was your last eureka moment?

JV: The laziest person in the world wants the same things as the most efficient person in the world.

MW: Realising how important it is to be able to listen. You can learn so much by just listening to others.

Something you do every day

JV: I have an unusual habit of playing Freecell at my computer whilst I’m on the phone, and I’m on the phone a lot.

MW: Reflecting at the end of the day is important to me. I think of what I’ve learned, who I’ve talked to and what they’ve said that will make me a better person and business owner.

Something you wish you did more of

JV: I wish I had more time to return to music composition which at an earlier time in my life had been my passion.

MW: Personally, I wish I exercised and meditated more. At work, I could work on better planning and managing tasks.

Best decision you ever made

JV: Getting married!

MW: Moving to Melbourne. I was in New Zealand for 15 years and Melbourne is so much more happening!

How do you stay motivated?

JV: My wife, Tricia, is my marketing counterpart, and knowing that we’re in this together and that I have her full support keeps me supercharged daily.

MW: Keep reminding yourself why you wanted to do it in the first place.

Business motto

JV: Teamwork makes the dream work.

MW: You are here to help grow the business and in doing so, grow as an individual.

Favourite way to relax

JV: Watching some Netflix before bed. Right now I’m watching “The Vietnam War”. It helps me reflect on the opportunities I have been given as a first generation Australian, and acts as a reminder of my parents’ humble beginnings.

MW: Walking my dog and travelling. Next on the list is Japan I want to see the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival and try Kaiseki (traditional multi-course Japanese dinner).

KeyNinja is a Skalata Ventures portfolio company. For more information please visit keyninja.io.