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The Inventor of the Instant Pot on Starting Your Own Company

Advice for the modern business traveller from Robert Wang, the Ottawa-based inventor of the bestselling kitchen device.

Robert Wang

In 2009, engineer Robert Wang was trying to feed his three kids healthy meals fast. This sparked his invention of the Instant Pot – an appliance that can pressure-cook, steam, sauté and get a risotto on the table in 30 minutes. Superfans (or “Potheads”) of Amazon’s bestselling kitchen device rave about it, and Wang says he’s cooking up even more cutting-edge gadgets.

1. My go-to app is WeChat. It’s like a mix of WhatsApp and Facebook.

2. What I had to learn on the fly Time management and multi-tasking, to keep up with our business, which has more than doubled in revenue every year since 2012.

3. Best place for a business lunch Kanata Noodle House near Ottawa, for the rare beef and tendon pho. I like the self-serve condiments on the tables.

4. In business, now’s a good time to start your own company. E-commerce makes it easy to sell your products, so you can focus on refining them.

5. My eureka moment came from trying to feed my young kids a balanced dinner, but not having the time.

6. The biggest risk I ever took was moving from China to England in 1986 – with little English – to do my master’s in expert systems at the University of Essex. It gave me the analytical and communication skills I needed to be successful.

7. My business mantra Create value and be frugal.

8. Dream seatmate Any entrepreneur. I’m always interested in how other people are solving problems in their business.

9. I always listen to our customers. Whenever I have free time, I’m on Amazon reading our reviews.

10. I'm currently reading Brand Portfolio Strategy by David A. Aaker. I like the marketing insights.