As the internet and online shopping has become more and more a part of our lives, online subscription services for everything from razors to fresh foods to shoes to wardrobe advice have popped up. These systems are desirable to consumers because of their simplicity and ease of interaction with the businesses. Tri Nguyen talks about his career with online subscription service Zodist and helping people find their favorite products through this new online service.

(Photo Courtesy of Tri Nguyen)

(Photo Courtesy of Tri Nguyen)

What does your current job entail?

“I handle the business development and marketing strategy role of our company. I work with our brand partners to help promote and market their product. Recently, we put on a public launch event for one of our partners that turned out to be a blast. We’re also in the process of fundraising and developing a retail location, so I work with our team internally to hit our milestones and work on the negotiations with outside parties.”
What is your favorite part of your daily duties?
“I read every single customer service email that we receive. The ones that make my day are the ones are from customers who love our product and share their feedback with us.”
Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role? 
“Absolutely. Fortunately for me, I had started my business right when I got into the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship program. I was able to directly apply the material learned in class which translated into improved processes, honing my business development skills, better accounting methods and more efficient operations.”
Have you participated in any form of continuing education? 
“Not in higher education, but we if stop learning, we can’t continue to grow. I always read the latest blogs on marketing strategies, talk to other CEOs and learn from their experiences that I can then apply to my business, or learn from their mistakes and hopefully avoid the same ones.”
Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a similar career?
“Being an entrepreneur is definitely not suited for everyone, but in my opinion, it is extremely fulfilling. Taking the first step is always the hardest because you don’t know where to start and don’t want to fail, but once you overcome that initial inertia, you’ll start down a really rewarding journey. Constantly surround yourself with like-minded people. Having a great support network is essential when times get tough, and they will get tough. Lastly, have a backup plan; always, always, have a backup plan. Startups are the perfect storm of chaos. Be prepared withstand anything.

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at


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