Lei Jun is the CEO of a Chinese company Xiaomi. In the past, however, he started as a forum moderator or programmer, and in today's article we will take a closer look at his motivational story. He also presented it as part of his annual speech at the August press conference, where the smartphone was presented Xiaomi MIX Fold 2.
Lei Jun: He started as a forum moderator
Xiaomi is one of the most valuable brands in the world today. It is the third largest smartphone manufacturer in Europe, as well as in the world, behind giants such as Samsung and Apple. However, these achievements cannot be achieved overnight, which Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun is also very well aware of.
In order for this then still ambitious young Chinese man to reach his current position, he had to overcome great challenges. Along the way, he has had many wins as well as losses and learned from his mistakes. He presented all this in his annual speech, just before the presentation of new products.
Beginnings in the 70s, the rise and fall of Pangu
Lei Jun began his speech as a kind of story of technology and life. He was talking about his hometown Xiantao, which is located very close to the big city of Wuhan. And it was in connection with his hometown that he remembered how simple the small technological products that were sold at local train stations in the 70s were. That is, when he was still a boy.
As a growing teenager, Lei Jun had a keen interest in technology. Finally, he graduated from Wuhan University with a degree in electronic engineering. It was at this time that he started programming as part of a Chinese company Kingsoft. She was involved in software development, incl Pangu, which was the Chinese equivalent of k Office product from Microsoftu (today it offers e.g. WPS Office).
After more than three years of hard work creating software Pangu it sold only around 6000 copies. Lei Jun talks about Pang as a failure but also a lesson, but he also doesn't regret being a part of this project. He used the accumulated experience in other projects.
Moderator for the forum that was the basis for the Mi Community forum
In addition to working for the company Kingsoft Lei Jun also showed off his high typing speed on the computer. This excellent typing helped him become a forum moderator. This forum subsequently became the third most active in China, with around a hundred posts per day.
Lei Jun was still working, yes, but when he got back from work, he sat down at the computer and continued to write for the forum. He says that the current community of users that the Xiaomi brand has reminds him a lot of that time and he is proud to have created something like this.
Connection with Microsoft and the beginnings of JOYO
In 1996 he was Kingsoft so strong in China that Microsoft had no choice but to offer a partnership agreement and compatibility with the package WPSOffice, by Kingsoft. And two years later, when Lei Jun was only 29 years old, he became the president of Kingsoft. It was a rather difficult period, where software piracy also played its role.
Despite the best efforts to keep the company afloat, in 2002 Microsoft ended its partnership agreement. Kingsoft thus had to start from scratch, and in 2005 released a free version that helped the company find its foothold in the market.
However, Lei Jun, who did not hesitate to highlight his character as an entrepreneur during his speech, had his eyes set on the next opportunity for several years. He created Jun in 1999 JOYO, an online shopping website that sold books as well as technology items such as computer software with home delivery across China.
In this way, the executive director of Xiaomi gained experience in the e-commerce industry. He learned first-hand how online sales work, a foundation he could later apply to one of the best-selling mobile phone brands in the world.
The new era of Kingsoft and the emergence of the Xiaomi brand
Only four years after the platform was created JOYO the reach of this service also reaches the United States, where it catches the attention of Amazon. The technology, but especially the sales giant, offered Lei Jun $75 million. After the sale of JOYO, Lei Jun mainly acted as an investor trying to keep Kingsoft on the market. That is, a company that could not catch up with the worldwide Microsoft.
Kingsoft started with bold steps. In addition to helping many companies, this Chinese company brought investment in the mobile market. At this point, the company even leapfrogged Microsoft and became the first to incorporate its product WPS Office also for Android smartphones. Microsoft only came up with a similar alternative in 2015.
Finally, with more than 15 years of business experience, Lei Jun decided to go all out in the smartphone category. Judging by his annual speech, it was not easy to go from a PC platform with Kingsoft to smartphones with Xiaomi. But he emphasized that "you have to accept the frustration to get to the top."
To infinity and beyond
After the establishment of the company Xiaomi in 2010 and connected with Lei Jun's business model and experience, catapulting to significant success followed. The brand was born in the same year when rival Apple launched the iPhone 4 model.
Thanks to perseverance, patience, vision and determination, Xiaomi is one of the biggest companies in the world today. With its products, it also competes with such giants as Samsung or Apple.
Huge achievements and ambitions have made Lei Jun one of the 30 richest people in China, and he also belongs to a select group of billionaires according to the magazine's ranking Forbes. Given the numerous buzzwords and plans to expand the portfolio, this does not look like any sort of retirement or hiatus for the company.
Xiaomi intends to continue its investments in completely new categories. This is, for example, an electric car with fully autonomous driving in real traffic, but also advanced robotics.
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