Make Respectfulness A Priority — Timothy Yu, Founder of Snapask

Time Auction
3 min readMay 24, 2017


Sometimes the most inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their life and career, where we get a glimpse into their mentality behind their stories.

Snapask has taken Asia by storm — the fast-growing tutoring app that makes learning easy for over 300,000 students across Asia in just 2 years. We had dinner with the young entrepreneur Timothy Yu, who raised 51 volunteer hours.

Like Snapask, our meeting began with a question.

What’s the life philosophy you live by?

“Be the best. Be respectful. Always challenge yourself to be a better person. At the same time, don’t let your ego get in your way.

Be respectful in any conversation. Even you are making a strong justified point,

make respectfulness the first thing that you want to deliver to that party.”

What’d be the advice you would give to the high school students and freshman?

“Don’t listen to anyone, your parents or teachers.

Success is something you define — it’s defined by tons of failures, until you can find a formula of success.

There are different success stories for all of us.

For people who are in school, I’ll advise them to always do something for yourself — it can be a project, joining an NGO, doing some charitable cause — as long as you know there’s something you genuinely believe in and you’re actively spending your time and effort to participate.

If it makes you a better person instead of having a better CV — then you’re on the right way!”

What can people do to impress you?

“Quiet people impresses me. I like people who don’t talk a lot, but they make strong points when they have to. Those people read a lot; they listen first, and listen again, until they find opportunity to actually contribute to the conversation. Most people they speak because they want to speak, but wise people they speak because they have something important to say.”

What is the one action you want everyone to take away from meeting you today?

“To always challenge your best self, challenge yourself as of today. Take a good look on what you are working on now, and see what it could be further, which actually resonates what you want to do.

In my entire journey, I got told thousands of time that ‘this would not work’, but I know I’m improving every day.

I know what I’m doing does resonate with the core belief — to empower people to have a better way to learn — I hope all of us can achieve in life as well.”

Thank you Timothy for donating dinner and contributing 51 volunteer hours to AIESEC, Hands On Hong Kong, IMC Sunday School, Boys and Girls Club Association, and everyone for volunteering!

For more experiences, visit Time Auction, a platform connecting you with inspiring people while encouraging volunteerism.


Kristen Lam

Hi Tim! It was a pleasure meeting you today! Thank you so much for sharing your entrepreneurial experience during the dinner- it gave me a lot of inspiration to continue with Viewfinder. I learnt so much from your Snapask journey, and from your work ethic in running your company. Thank you for your insights on Viewfinder as well! I will definitely take your advice and explore ways to improve Viewfinder’s monetisation model. Thanks again for spending your dinner with Time Auction, and hope that the rest of your week goes smoothly after moving office! Best, Kristen



Time Auction

Time Auction is a charity that advocates volunteerism. We encourage volunteering with inspiring experiences, while connecting skilled-volunteers with NGOs.