Felix Lee, 22, like the average Singaporean male, enrolled in an engineering and business course in polytechnic, then enlisted in National Service.
Felix, unlike the average Singaporean male, graduated as a valedictorian and a business owner.
Though his background was in engineering with business, he started an online travel planner called PackDat with his friend and brother, in 2017.
While working in PackDat, he uncovered that design was a passion that excited him. Hence, he took up online courses and went to meetups to understand design on a deeper level.
“I learned that design is about understanding people more than technology,” said Felix.
“In PackDat, I had to understand the key stakeholders and the problems they are facing.
“I believe that great design takes depth, focus and care. In the process of designing with a great deal of care, we create wonderful products. There is a profound and enduring beauty in such focus on simplicity,” he said.
He shared an example of the design process at Packdat to elaborate.
“At Packdat, we allow our travellers to drag-drop places into their itinerary and saved it as PDF. It sounds simple and intuitive, but we realised that the itinerary could be better. So we integrated it with Google Maps links. The experience then became seamless and saved travellers time and transportation costs.
“That’s designing an experience – when the impact goes beyond the digital interaction.”
“No one ever talks about designing as experience,” said Felix. “I do design because it resonates with everyone. Design is a process used to create change.
“There are a lot of flaws that are around us, and by learning design, I can solve problems,” elaborated Felix, speaking passionately about his desire to “constantly reinvent the world”.
After running PackDat for a year, his hard work paid off and Passpod, an Indonesian-based digital travel startup, acquired PackDat.
Although he is in his early twenties, he has soared high above the average person with his achievements.
However, Felix has no shortage of struggles.
As he had no prior background in design, a question that hung heavily at the back of his head was whether he was a true designer or not.
It didn’t help that there were naysayers out there expressing doubt at Felix’s capabilities since he was still in polytechnic when he started Packdat.
“Naysayers will not believe in you, so all the more you should believe in yourself,” said Felix.
A saying that helped him change his mindset was this: “If you want to dream, dream big. If not, why dream at all?”
That really struck the self-professed dreamer. “I want to dream; it has to be big and it has to be for a purpose bigger than myself,” he says.
Hence, he envisions “to build the world’s largest organisation that create products with the greatest, lasting impact on the world – the next (big) thing”.
Felix may be young, but he possesses big and bold dreams, enabling him to design a better future, a better tomorrow.