Behind the Seams: Q&A with Syl Tang, Founder of

January 20, 2014
Syl Tang is a “futurist” and the founder of HipGuide. Launched way back in 1999 (which was in the Paleozoic Era, if I’m not mistaken), the HipGuide set out to serve as an editorial source for both travel and fashion. Today, the HipGuide continues to thrive and Syl also acts as a consultant for well-known beauty, beverage and automotive brands.  She also contributes editorial content to a number of publications including the Financial Times and The Hollywood Reporter . The story about how I met Syl is pretty funny.  Syl was speaking at an event a few years ago where she was labeled as a futurist -- the most awesomest job title I’d ever heard of.  Who wouldn’t want an inside track on the future, right?  As a joke, I asked her how she procured that title (“Is there a degree for that?”).  She proceeded to tell me a slew of You Know You’re a Futurist if… jokes.*  Basically, being a futurist is about thinking about “what’s next.”  Syl’s written articles about shoppable video, wearable tech and a million other things we’re only just beginning to hear about in the mainstream. Frankly, she’s fascinating… and sassy… and hilarious and I’m glad to call her a friend.  Last March, Syl and I, being the social butterflies that we are,  attended three events together back-to-back (you can see post 12when you click on the #s). It was a blast.  Now, I’d like to take you Behind the Seams™  with us on another adventure, learning what makes Syl tick! Read more below!  WHERE?

*One of them was, You know you’re a futurist when you use a worm hole to commute. Ha!

Here are a few more of Syl's answers from our interview that I thought you would enjoy!

what causes and/or organizations do you support? 
I support Planned Parenthood because they are about an aspect of basic women's health, having regular checkups and preventative birth control. To me it's about making smart choices up front to protect yourself. I feel as women, we should have the opportunity to plan our lives, destiny and finances. I also support my parents charity, the Fraternite Fund, which provides for orphans in poor areas of China. 

what have you learned about the work force that you didn't know in college?
How much space do we have on the internet? So much! And I am still learning each and every day. I would say the most important thing is resilience. You will fall down! And you just have to keep getting back up. As an entrepreneur, it's an always evolving process how to sell your product, and finding new ways to market that, explain who you are, find clients, fill gaps in the marketplace, and reinventing yourself. There's so many curveballs coming your way, and you can't predict them, so you just have to find a certain inner strength to dust yourself off and keep going.

Favorite thing to do in NYC/or city live in?
I love to eat, so one of my favourite things to do is walk around NY starting in one neighbourhood and just nibble my way through the city and the day, a bialy here, pierogies there, maybe find the best $1 pizza/hot dog/whatever, take the free ferry to the Fairway for the lobster rolls, have a cocktail overlooking the water at the Watermark bar, end up at MoMA and then the Modern in the evening.

What is your proudest career moment? 
Has it happened yet? :)  I am proud of the fact that I am part of a DVD that's taught in universities the world over. I'm a case study in universities everywhere from Purdue to Nova Scotia to Dubai, which means maybe other entrepreneurs can skip over mistakes I've made or feel inspired to try to do their own thing. 

Follow Syl on social media:
Twitter & Instagram: @hipguide



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