Following the Leader
hen we presented tech-savvy businessman Kent Ho with our Leader of Tomorrow award at the Hong Kong Tatler Ball last September, we had no idea he would end up guiding our magazine into the future too. Because not only is Kent this month’s cover star, he is also the guest editor of this, our inaugural Future Issue. How did it happen? Well, like many of the best ideas, over a few bottles of wine.
A month after the ball, Kent threw a dinner party to thank Team Tatler for the recognition. Over the course of the evening it became obvious that not only did this successful venture capitalist have a talent for investing in pioneering tech companies, he also had a keen eye for a story. A decade working in Silicon Valley before returning to Hong Kong to launch early-stage venture capital fund Spectrum 28 afforded him unique insights into the US and Asian tech scenes—from fintech and retail to construction, digital health and even defence drones—and brought an enviable network of influential friends. As a result, Kent’s ideas for editorial content were fresh, forwardthinking and kinda mind-blowing. As the Bordeaux flowed, the concept for Tatler’s first techthemed Future Issue took shape, and when we suggested Kent put his ideas on paper by assuming the role of guest editor, he popped another cork and said, “Why not!”
Over the past six months Kent has helped curate a compelling line-up of interviews with renowned innovators, including Silicon Valley entrepreneur Philippe Kahn (p.178), the inventor of the camera phone, and Jaz Banga, an expert in airborne surveillance drones (p.180). He also sat on the advisory panel for Asia’s Top 50 Rising Tech Stars—our definitive who’s who of the region’s young tech whizzes (p.148). And while Kent was helping us give birth to a magazine, his wife, Emily, really was giving birth—to their second child, a baby girl. See if you can spot Kent’s coded love message to Emily on the front cover.
Thankfully, juggling a stable of billion-dollar start-ups, a new baby and a magazine hasn’t put Kent off his first foray into editorship. Reflecting on his experience, he says, “It’s been my pleasure to work with the Tatler team as guest editor of the inaugural Future Issue and to take part in selecting Asia’s top 50 tech stars. Technology is something near and dear to my heart, and I’m glad that I can contribute to helping people and Hong Kong to understand how transformative technology will be to our lives both at home and in the workplace. I’m fortunate to be able to work with some of the brightest and most passionate entrepreneurs in the world, and I look forward to helping to bring that inspiration to Hong Kong in the coming years.”
If we haven’t all been replaced by media droids by 2018, then we hope to see Kent back in the editor’s chair for the second instalment of the Future Issue.
Future Proof Kent Ho accepts the Leader of Tomorrow award from Hong Kong Tatler managing director Sean Fitzpatrick at last year’s Tatler Ball