Each year Forbes identifies pioneers under the age of 30 in various industries. The 2021 list consists of 300 young entrepreneurs and trailblazers who lead the indictment in the new normal.
7 Malaysians made the list this year, from political changers to cricket farmers. The biggest trend off the list? Most of these Malaysians have never had experience in the fields for which they have been recognized.
How does Forbes even start with a sea of entrepreneurs, influential figures, and other notable names?
A crowdsourcing survey
It requires a tool: a survey. With the form 30 Under 30 (U30) people can nominate themselves or another person. The skip logic guides respondents to follow-up questions that apply to their answers.
Dictionary time: Skip logic is a feature that changes which question or page a respondent sees next, based on how they answer the current question. It is also known as conditional branching or branching logic.
Next, the public must fill out the forms. Forbes will publish the survey through its platforms such as mailing lists, embed it on its U30 website, and publish it on social media.
What's in the poll?
You will be asked to enter the names of the people you wish to nominate (possibly yourself) and whether they were previously on the U30 list. Depending on your answer, you will be directed to the corresponding follow-up questions.
The categories include the details of a nominator such as the industry they fit into, their role in a company, the name of the organization, and their email address. There are a total of 10 categories for the Asia list:
- Finance & Venture Capital,
- Consumer technology,
- Enterprise technology,
- Industry, production & energy,
- Media, Marketing & Advertising,
- Retail & e-commerce,
- Healthcare & Science,
- Social entrepreneur,
- The arts (Art & Style and Food & Drink),
- Entertainment & sport.
It's okay if you're not entirely sure which category your candidate fits into, as Forbes editors will later place you in the category that they think is the most appropriate. Next, you will be asked questions about this nominee's personal life, work and education, awards, and press coverage.
Lastly, you need to explain (hopefully in detail) why you think this person deserves to be on the list. If you missed any questions, you will be directed to fill out before finally hitting the submit button.
After waiting around 5 to 8 months (based on information we found about the 2019 vote), over 2,500 nominations will be sent to Forbes reporters and editors who will review the application. If they like your nomination, contact relevant sources and your nominee to review the information.
Reporters will then make an initial shortlist of 500 names and send it to a jury that will decide who can be part of the 300 people on the U30 list.
The final 300, which will then be selected, will be considered based on these criteria: demonstration of leadership, impact, potential for success and embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit as synonymous with Forbes. Other factors like the innovation and disruption they bring, as well as the size and growth of their businesses in some categories, all play a role in Forbes' final decision.
Travis Chambers, of American video advertising firm Chamber.Media, wrote about his nomination experience on the 2018 30-under-30 list, stating that Forbes did his due diligence by asking him for three years of tax returns to replace his Revenue figures claimed for him to prove business, references, and more. "They didn't give me a giveaway, they really looked into my career and work to see if I was worthy of the nomination," he wrote.
For the 2021 30 under 30 Asia list, judges included Kai-fu Lee, Hiroshi Mikitani, Roshni Nadar Malhotra and Patrick Grove of the Catcha Group, to name a few. These names previously made it onto a Forbes list themselves, from Japan's richest to the world's 100 most powerful women.
Every April the U30 list is finally revealed and those who created it get an email about the good news.
A little tweak
Forbes first launched its 30-under-30 list in 2011 under the direction of Randall Lane, who was promoted from the magazine's editor-in-chief to chief content officer. The list was created along with a U30 channel on their website to appeal to more millennial audiences.
The special channel now offers content on financial, business and management advice for young readers. When the U30 list first started, the team actually struggled to find enough candidates as voters often gave up their forms.
Salah Zalatimo joined Forbes in 2015 as Chief Digital Officer. As head of the platform's digital transformation, he dedicated himself to solving this problem. He had 3 goals in mind:
- Keep people busy until they hit submit.
- Facilitate distribution through email, social networks, and web embeds.
- Whether on the desktop or on the phone, it has to look good and be accessible on all devices.
So he turned to Typeform, a Spanish SaaS company that specializes in creating and surveying online forms. This wasn't enough, however, as the questionnaire had to look like it was from Forbes. So Salah completely removed Typeform's branding and stuck Forbes' logos and colors on it.
John-Son and Zikry / Photo credit: John-Son Oei, Zikry Kholil
The minor changes to the programming and branding of their polls earned 15,000 nominations in 2016. That year, Forbes was also expanded to include Asian, European and African lists that Malaysians – John-Son Oei, 28, and Zikry Kholil, 29 – made it on.
To date, over 50 young Malaysians have made Forbes' 30 under 30 Asian list since then, and Vulcan Post is proud that we saw and introduced many of them from the start, and we hope to keep seeing more new ones to see Malaysian names appearing on future listings!
- You can find out more about the Malaysians on Forbes' 30 Under 30 Asia 2021 Here.
- Read more about the list of the past we covered here and more about our Forbes-related coverage here.
Selected image source: Still "Phoenix" Diana, professional wrestler / Yi Hern Chang, JomRun / Sasha Tan, Favful / Wan Hasifi Amin Wan Zaidon, co-founder of Baituljannah