Liu Gen Ping - Venture Capitalist
"As children, they are always living the moment. It’s such a beautiful thing."
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I am a partner with Vertex Venture SEA/India team, based out of Singapore. We are a $305m fund investing into technology startups, at series A/ B stage, across SE Asia and India. I share a meme below because there are lots of different perspectives about what we do. I see myself as a 'gardener' as I look for plants to grow (the next global tech giants) and then help them grow, such as through introducing them to potential customers, partners, senior key team members and the next stage of funding.
How old are your kid(s)?
I'm a proud father of three children, they are 7, 9, 11 years.
Who is the primary caregiver in the household, and what are you and your partner’s parenting philosophy?
I think it would be my wife as she certainly spends more time with kids.
Between us, our parenting philosophies are quite different. She tends to be more like the traditional Chinese parents who are concerned with our kids' academic achievements. She would like our kids to benefit from a good education by getting into good schools. Don't get me wrong, I don't think a good education is unimportant. I just care more about whether our kids are able to develop a more entrepreneurial mindset to survive the turbulent future. I come from a space where things are fast-changing and I'm very concerned if my kids have what it takes to adapt and ride the wave of constant change. Due to our differing philosophies, we may sometimes face challenges finding a good compromise.
What's your favourite moment in the day with your kid(s)?
It is the evening time, the window of time before they go to bed. No matter how much work I need to get done, I would put my work aside and play games with them, or chit chat with them, and prepare everyone for sleeping time. I think this is super important. We can probably outsource the cleaning and certain aspects of educating the kids, but no one can replace the parent in spending quality time with them. Our kids look up to us as role models as well -- as we interact with them, they are picking up skills and ways to deal with issues later in life.
How do you keep yourself sane?
The VC life is pretty hectic and it is hard to stay sane given the need to juggle work and parenthood. Interestingly, I realise ringfencing the time I spend with my kids actually help me to relax and help take my mind off work.
Obviously, there are moments when being a parent is more stressful than being an employee. I realise over time that I just need to have that self-awareness that I'm overheating internally and I will find ways to manage the stress levels. Also, I try to be empathetic to my kids, by looking at things from their perspective. By understanding where they are coming from, where their behaviours stem from, I can often find the solution to be a better parent to them.
Best tech tip on parenting. This can be apps / hardware / gear you use, and how you use them.
Google Home App + Google Nest Wifi Router, as I can control when they will have internet.
Most helpful advice you've received as a parent.
As we get older, we lose touch with our inner child— the spirit of curiosity, imagination and the mindset that nothing is impossible etc. I find that the most helpful advice I’ve received is to embrace my inner child and to see things from a child’s perspective again. This way, we are less frustrated with our children and are also able to enjoy the world around us more.
What lessons do you not want your kid(s) to learn?
As a parent, we want our kids to live happy lives and not experience pain or suffering. There are many things in life that I don’t wish for my kids to go through.
However, I realise that the phrase “no pain, no gain” is true. As much as I don’t wish for my kids to learn things the hard way, sometimes it’s inevitable. Life can be a school of hard knocks and I can’t shield them from everything.
What I can do is to prepare them well, ingrain good values in them and impart the relevant skills so that they may be empowered to make better decisions in life.
What was the best lesson you learned from your child?
As children, they are always living the moment. It’s such a beautiful thing. Life can be more enjoyable right at the current moment, if we don’t spend too much time worrying about the future or things that are not so relevant.
What is your proudest dad moment?
Definitely when my daughter's YouTube video garnered over 8k views. It’s not because of the fact that she is now a micro influencer, but because she got to where she is by learning how to create the video and do everything on her own.
If you could ask anyone, dead or alive, for their best parenting tip, who and what would that be?
It would be Superman's father. LOL. How can I teach my kids to gain mental strength and resilience as well as humility.
That aside, as a father, I wonder how we can find peace with our kids potentially living an ordinary life, because most people would wish the best for their kids and want them to be a hero.
How do you manage technology exposure for your child/children?
Hard... My kids do not have mobile phones yet, and I control their internet time through the Google WIFI.
What hobbies do you and your children share?
Finally, your best dad joke!
Haha just remembered we laughed a lot during our time together but can't remember specific ones.