Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Kevin Yee, Co-Founder & CTO at BetterData

Kevin Yee is the Co-Founder & CTO at BetterData, an AI synthetic data platform that transforms sensitive production data into anonymous and high utility synthetic data that can be freely used, shared and stored globally. 

Learn about the daily routines from the most successful people in the world by signing up to our newsletter

1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I am currently the co-founder and CTO at BetterData, an AI synthetic data platform that transforms sensitive production data into anonymous and high utility synthetic data that can be freely used, shared and stored globally. 

Prior to starting BetterData, I was at IBM developing enterprise data and AI solutions.

I have a degree in Computer Science and AI from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). I am an AI researcher by training where I have worked at various AI and cybersecurity research labs in Singapore and Israel. Some projects include identification, shelf recognition in supermarket robots and deep generative models for synthetic data generation.

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I spend most weekdays as a CTO and weekends as a founder.

For weekdays, my typical day starts at 9am and ends at 9pm where I work with my 7 team members on my engineering team remotely. I start with breakfast at 9am while checking emails to reply to.

Next, we have a stand-up meeting at 12 noon to discuss progress, challenges and help needed. Next, I would update the project management page to assign tasks or update its progress to ensure we are moving forward.

The rest of the day is split between technical sales calls, strategizing on the most important features to build and bugs to solve, and reading or coding those features out. 

For weekends, I would spend the first half of the day on founder duties such as managing HR records, salary payments, funding documents, checking hiring portals, etc. We are a lean and small team as a start-up so most of the things we take for granted in a large company, such as having a dedicated admin or HR person, is done by the 2 founders which is me and my co-founder Uzair. The next-half of the day would be spending time with my family and friends for dinners or nature walks.

3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance means that I find fulfilment in work and life too.

For work, it is about finding something that I am passionate about where I am happy to spend a majority of my week on. My passion for technology comes from the need for me to make an impact in this world and I see AI as a force multiplier to that.

With data privacy being one of the biggest stumbling blocks for companies to develop AI today, I find a lot of meaning in using synthetic data to overcome this challenge where these AI models will go on to make great impact whether its hospital research labs predicting patient health or banks fighting fraud.

For life, I am still figuring out how to balance work with time for my hobbies, family, friends and sleep.

Elon Musk, Kobe Bryant, Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, receive a new daily routine each week about some of the most successful people in the world.

4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I reduce most of my sugar intake that causes my energy levels to fluctuate which is not productive – no sugar drinks, avoid sugary pastries, sweets, etc. I do have a soft spot for bubble tea and ice cream though.

5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

For the past year, I have been watching almost all of Garry Tan’s videos. His youtube videos around product, engineering and start-ups are inspirational and helpful as I build my own as a first time founder. 

6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I want to know how the work-life balance evolves for a start-up founder from pre-seed to IPO, that would be interesting.

Before you go…

If you’d like to sponsor or advertise with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.