WEF Global Shapers event Taipei - GREE Founder’s stories
Yesterday’s event at The Spot (near Taipei Main Station) was a very good event. The venue was a place I’d visit just for the venue itself, with a coffee shop on the first and second floors, and a nice gift shop near the entrance. The founders are at different stages, but with major progress and stories to tell. The audience was equally curated, with founders of startups in Taipei I had been wanting to meet. For instance, the founders of PicCollage and Pinkoi. Even the assortment of coffee, tea, snacks was well chosen. The entrepreneurs spoke to the point. The moderator smoothly introduced, questioned, summarized. Time was controlled. It is odd that my impression was equally on the event organization and execution itself, as it was on the content itself. I liked this event a lot. Better than 95% of the events I’ve been to. I am thankful for the organizers and also the speakers who took time out of their personal trips to Taipei.
Of the content, GREE’s founder’s advice stood out (partly because he is GREE’s founder I’m sure)-
From his experience, he learned that picking which industry to go into was sometimes the most important. As the sixth team member of Rakuten, he saw the right bet, right time for e-commerce. Advice for picking…
1) Choose something you like, are passionate about, know something about
2) Choose something you may have an unfair advantage in, such as resources or just your experience that you’re able to leverage
3) Choose a big market where people are unhappy with current offerings (another speaker brought this up also, and added that the big market should have inefficiencies that technology can improve upon and disrupt)
Moving to a new city, Beijing
Realizing that a lot of people read TechCrunch, and that people can grow up and think so differently but so similarly all at the same time (should we thank Michael Arrington?)
Starting to make new friends and partners
Learning about how China does Internet & startups right
Meeting bigger, better, wiser CEOs, teams, companies
Meeting a few good VCs
Flying just a little too much
Exploring and making friends in Shanghai
Starting to get acquainted with Hong Kong
Seeing less of my old city, Taipei
Seeing even less of my old town, bay area California
Jiepang team winning GigaOM Mobilize #2 Launchpad Startup, winning DoNews and other awards in China
Very thankful for the opportunity to make potential true friends and true partners, we’ll see how things develop in 2011
Starting to get comfortable being myself in a place where I’m pretty much handicapped on different levels
Finding places like The Tree, Bookworm cafe, and I guess San Li Tun Village (I might not know where to go otherwise)
Learning to press the space bar with my left thumb, instead of my right thumb to preserve the newness of my keyboard on the Macbook Air… the power of Apple to change our behavior at a fundamental level
Finding the book The Happiness Advantage (read it!)
Valuing social networks, like, real ones… they’re everything our lives are really about
Realizing the ways I can be a terrible person, and how important family and friends are for telling you (as they can be the ones I’m most terrible to)
Appreciating more people and things in general, sometimes because of differences rather than in spite of them
Realizing that Android is incredible playing with new HTC and Samsung phones. Most recently trying the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Google Nexus S, and seeing the HTC “Bee” in China about to launch with Jiepang preloaded on it
Trusting God (and/or trying to) for all of the above and the next year
Ninja versus Shaolin
My friend Wei just got into Y-Combinator. I am quite proud of him and know that he is going great places.
We got to talking about our startup mentalities. Mine was living in an intensity of constant paranoia, stress, and kill or be killed. His was of being at peace, living a balanced life, and just knowing the right angle and executing like crazy against it. While there’s a lot of variables that I won’t go into, it kind of got me imagining entrepreneurs as fighters. There’s a lot of different fighting styles- Judo, Jujitsu, Boxing, Wrestling, etc. Shaolin kung fu monk masters versus Japanese Ninjas… Bruce Lee versus Mike Tyson… guess there’s an endless debate about what fighting style is superior to what. I think that’s why stuff like Ultimate Fighting Champion is so interesting — letting the market decide, survival of the fittest — kind of like watching how startups actually play out.
I think it is interesting and necessary to know what kind of fighter you are, and to know what the advantages and disadvantages of that is. I dream about destroying companies or being destroyed by companies. I think of who my real friends in this world are and how I can genuinely help them out knowing they’ll help me out. I’m inspired and freaked out by gangster movies like Godfather. I guess that’s the way I think for now. What kind of fighting style are you?