Ten years on, no Steve Jobs in China

He read all the biographies of Steve Jobs and felt that the man was very much like himself.

When Steve Jobs released the iPhone 4, Liu Zuohu was helping OPPO sell blu-ray machines overseas. The flat thunder of the iPhone 4 made OPPO, which originally intended to transform, move, and founder Chen Mingyong ran a few trips to the electronics market and decided to do cell phones too.

Numerous domestic cell phones sprouted up like a spring, Meizu’s Huang Zhang, hammer section of Luo Yonghao have shown their heads, Lei Jun’s fan economy in full swing, the flag of heroism fluttering in the wind. Liu Zuohu was obscure, but hardworking and capable. Soon, he was sent to the western front by the organization, and left OPPO in 2013 to found One Plus.

It was a time when “heroes” were on the scene. Although the product had not yet come out, the attitude had to come first. The twists and turns of Mr. Qiao across the Pacific Ocean made the domestic cell phone manufacturers climax. In 2011, Steve Jobs died, the old man’s product philosophy further sublimated, entrepreneurs scrambled to establish a sense of mission, and the launch of some domestic cell phones became a parody of the Apple launch.

“I stood alone at the crossroads of technology and humanity, only to see old Joe’s tombstone standing alone there ……,” said Luo Yonghao.

However, ten years after the death of Steve Jobs, the Chinese cell phone jungle has gone through several iterations, until today, the original most imitation of Steve Jobs baggage, but also all the people have undergone a radical change.

Lei Jun converted to Musk choked to make a car, Luo Yonghao ran to Hangzhou live with the goods, Huang Zhang hidden in the Pearl River Delta, even the most legendary Jia Yueting, after doing enough ambush in the predicament, but also delayed to wait for a new miracle.

On June 16, an internal email from OnePlus, which is “forbidden to be circulated”, said that OnePlus will merge with OPPO and become an independent brand under the latter. Even though the official statement says that OnePlus will continue to “not settle”, for many of its followers, the Liu Zuohu-style faith of OnePlus has been coldly integrated into the larger collective under the need for efficiency and resource integration.

In the tenth year of Steve Jobs’ death, the pattern of the domestic cell phone jungle has turned into a check and balance between several super factories. The era of individual heroes quietly came to an end, and in this race, no one became the real Steve Jobs.

01
In the world of the Internet, the era of being able to dream of being a hero is not long ago.

Zhou Hongyi once had a serious discussion with an Internet bigwig about “innovation”, and at the end of the conversation, the bigwig patted Zhou’s shoulder and said meaningfully: “Xiao Zhou, you don’t understand. Do not do many things when you can not see, we are such a big company in case we can not do others will laugh, let small companies to do ……”

In the classical Internet era, Zhou Hongyi is a sense of mission. His company size in front of the small companies look tall, in front of the BAT and look small, which gives him the space to move, justice towards which side of the sway, he can move with the wind. His 360 and other large companies engaged in copycat is not the same, he engaged in micro-innovation, and this subverted the antivirus software.

Most of the time, Zhou Hongyi a red coat, clanking iron bone, in the era of Copy To China prevalent, he went to the United States to investors to speak about the project, foreigners are difficult to figure out what he is doing, but this is for Zhou Hongyi, worthy of pride – this is an innovator’s dilemma.

During the 3Q war, Zhou Hongyi was very angry and full of dueling impulses. He locked himself in the house, did not go out for a week, smashed a table and two doors, until he read all the biographies of Steve Jobs he could find, and was enlightened, he felt that the man was very much like himself.

At least in Zhou’s opinion, the interplay of two kinds of loneliness happened in a ghostly way on himself and Steve Jobs. Extraordinary creativity, paranoid character, unconventional …… these attributes on both sides of the Pacific Ocean like an activation of the connection network.

Zhou was not the only one who fell into fascination, a new discipline formed a prairie trend in China. In the classical Internet era where engineers and product managers have a strong culture, “learning Steve Jobs” has become a kind of epiphany. Of course, Zhou Hongyi is not considered the trumpeter of this discipline, he just happened to fall into melancholy at that moment, as if he happened to meet another self in the world.

Steve Jobs impressed Lei Jun a little longer. Lei Jun read “The Fire of Silicon Valley” in college, and the story about Steve Jobs made his blood boil. He then worked on the electronics street in Wuhan for a while, feeling good about himself, and then began to fantasize about writing a set of software to run on every computer in the world, dreaming of starting the world’s most powerful software company.

Lei Jun later recalled that he did not even think clearly what he was opening a company to do, the root of his beliefs, just Steve Jobs also started a business in college.

Lei Jun’s early entrepreneurial story soon came to an end, and the company had to rely on a partner’s mahjong skills to barely support the food bill by the end. After that not-so-OK first experience of entrepreneurship, Lei Jun was not yet a Leibu, he was obscure, and the day after the company ceased to operate, he walked on the cherry blossom road, subservient to the rolling dust, and lamented: “Life is so beautiful”.

A few decades later, the world is unpredictable, Lei Jun on the cover of Wired magazine in 2016, a small line on the cover, subtle and arrogant, Don’t call me China’s Steve Jobs. translation is “Don’t call me China’s Steve Jobs”.

Ten years on, no Steve Jobs in China

The idol worshipped in college has turned into a kind of symbol to describe himself, Lei Jun’s negative sentence, which seems to welcome and reject.

Compared to Lei Jun and Steve Jobs’ spiritual ties, Liu Zuohu, who developed overseas in his early years, did not attract much attention from the foreign media at first, as some people paid attention to the OnePlus brand, but few cared about who was the main manager behind the phone brand.

Some people call Liu Zuohu “Mr. Just Right”, which means he does everything just right, or in other words, without too much character. Compared to the international cell phone circle of these distinctive activists, many times, Liu Zuohu is as simple as a cloud of air, although he also has a special admiration for Steve Jobs, but also in the computer saved a bunch of iPhone disassembly diagrams, will be to the media long sigh: “the perfect combination of technology and art”.

In 2016, the Chinese cell phone industry has long entered the white heat of competition, entrepreneurs’ imitation of Steve Jobs, extremely prosperous in this field, the whole Steve Jobs imitation show has also developed from the role-playing imitation in the early years to a restrained and somewhat twisted imitation.

Among them, Lei Jun, Luo Yonghao, Huang Zhang, and even Jia Yueting are regarded as the best of them. In addition to Huang Zhang, the other three have been configured with a Steve Jobs-style visual style for their launches, and for a long time Lei Jun and Jia Yueting have been in the same vein as Steve Jobs in terms of dress code.

Luo Yonghao was blunt on Weibo: “The large venue presentations I’ve done over the years have been formally learned from Jobs’ launch (that’s a giant rear-projection screen, a very few beams of dyed lights, plus the default theme of Keynote) ……”

A subtle contradiction appears between these founders’ launches and interviews; the tech community is imitating Steve Jobs’ behavior on all fronts, yet no one wants to admit they are imitating Jobs.

02
Huang Zhang seems to be the most bent, he hardly shows up, the community has polarized praise and criticism of him, the M8 series of cell phones, a battle of the gods, so he from the Chinese Steve Jobs imitation show group, was singled out, being pointed to the nose: you most like.

But the trend didn’t really last long.

In 2016, the year Lei Jun was featured on the cover of Wired magazine, the popularity of Steve Jobs personality possession had almost reached its end, most notably when several Steve Jobs “heirs” were about to go on different trajectories.

Luo Yonghao’s Hammer was not financed in 2016, and twice he was unable to pay his salary. He planned for the worst and had his legal and financial affairs rehearsed in accordance with the country’s bankruptcy and liquidation procedures. In Lao Luo’s own words, hammer section experienced the most dangerous 2016.

On November 5 of the same year, Jia Yueting released that famous letter – “LeTV’s seawater and fire: is it swallowed by giant waves or boiled by seawater”, LeTV has completed film and television, sports, Internet finance, automotive, cloud, TV, cell phones, and “platform + content + terminal + application ” a series of famous ecological model layout, but the biggest problem is that there is no money.

Ten years on, no Steve Jobs in China

LeTV’s crisis from the undercurrents, in this moment a full outbreak.

And Huang Zhang’s side in turn is banging the gong, riding on the road of the demon.

After the M8, the whole Meizu pace quietly towards another path. Huang Zhang had just gotten $650 million in financing from Jack Ma at that time, and the whole Meizu fell into a cheerful and bizarre atmosphere, according to the departing core figure Li Nan: “The whole company culture is arrogant from top to bottom.” Huang Zhang’s personality is even more inscrutable, a Meizu employee said: Huang Zhang once entered the company lobby when the receptionist did not stand up, he directly fired that administrative staff. Huang Zhang has also expressed in public: “I will not serve myself at home, this is not something I should do.

At the same time, Huang Zhang’s literary feelings can hardly hold themselves, he is keen to make the new product launch into a concert, and happy to do so. As a result, Meizu’s product line and the number of singers flew in equal measure, and rock and folk music took turns to appear. The intersection of technology and humanity was interpreted as a crude combination of cell phone products and artists with little innovation as well.

That year, it seems to have become a watershed in the collective fate of Chinese Jobs, with some decadent and some crazy.

03
The spirit of Steve Jobs was implanted in the Chinese venture capital community, and the effect gradually became out of control. Investors and entrepreneurs were originally a mixed bag, with a group of people who were full of talk and lacking in ability and resources, but were mixed in the circle. When Steve Jobs became a buzzword, some used it as an umbrella.

For a long time, “changing the world” and “becoming Steve Jobs” became the finishing touch in the investment and financing roadshow, and a tool to liven up the atmosphere and brighten up the personality of the entrepreneur. Once the words came out, most of the scene applauded. The market is to some extent eager for the Chinese version of Steve Jobs, which is an interesting capital story.

But any concept of the Internet can not withstand abuse. Zhou began to soberly analyze the spirit of Steve Jobs that once redeemed him, and after Steve Jobs became a national idol, he swept off his feet and dropped the line, “With all due respect, you can’t train Steve Jobs in China, and if anyone says Steve Jobs who is a fake ……”

The earliest record about “learning Steve Jobs”, in view of the inconsistent learning style of entrepreneurs, some are outwardly, some are inwardly, the testimony has been unable to do justice. Zhou Hongyi’s public speech did provide a message, he said that in 2001, a city government of Zhejiang Province announced a talent training project, with five years as a training cycle, each cycle to invest 50 million yuan, invited academicians from two academies to be mentors, to train 100 “Steve Jobs” type leaders.

The spirit of Steve Jobs 20 years ago in the domestic formation of standardized production. But this matter seems to end up just to end, only to leave the joke of “training 100 Chinese Steve Jobs” in the jungle.

Taking Steve Jobs as the standard to imitate and surpass was once taken very seriously in the field of domestic cell phones. Luo Yonghao said in 2012 when he first made the phone, “Don’t worry, I did learn a lot from old Joe, but with ten years, it’s not a problem to surpass him.” — as Luo Yonghao has said many things, this did not come true. Now, ten years is close at hand, the old Luo’s cell phone business has been shelved, and is now still running around in the live band industry due to debt problems, “make a friend” founder Huang He said, the debt is paid off, until April 1, 2022.

But even back in the beginning, a question is: what is Lao Luo going to surpass Apple? Sales or workmanship?

It may be more just a fight against mediocrity.

On the fourteenth day of his live broadcast, Luo did an interview with Liu Zuohu as an interviewer. Luo Yonghao, known as “Brother Long” in Jianghu, and Liu Zuohu sat together in what should have been a tiger fight, but times have changed, and sympathy based on the past has replaced competition and disobedience. Halfway through the video, Luo Yonghao says with true emotion, “Now what we do is not a product anymore, although the development is also very good, but it is, not yet so happy to be a product.”

Some fans say that the old Luo in the video looks at Liu Zuohu with eyes full of envy and helplessness.

But Lao Luo is considered a survivor of this imitation game. When he finished paying off his debts, he still has “green hills” and still has “firewood” to burn.

Ten years on, no Steve Jobs in China

Huang Zhang and Jia Yueting are desperate against mediocrity, and they are almost at the end of their consumption.

Huang Zhang seems to have buried himself in the dirt. The recent exposure of Meizu has not escaped the suspicion of “rubbing the heat”: rubbing the heat of the new car manufacturing, rubbing the heat of Hong Meng. It is the same operation every time: to send a mysterious picture on Weibo, attracting people’s imagination and then dislike.

Huang Zhang’s most recent appearance was in a steakhouse in Shenzhen, where a digital blogger caught a glimpse. In the group photo, Huang Zhang’s polo shirt collar is wide open, the whole person due to the photographer’s excited hands shaking and present a hazy feeling, bizarrely maintain that iconic mystery – although this mystery, because of the decline of Meizu and dispel the charm.

Jia Yueting has not returned since boarding the plane to the U.S., and countless stockholders are eagerly awaiting his return, but his heart is set on the new car, and after countless resource channels have been blocked, he is still ambitious, much like Steve Jobs’ famous “reality distortion force field” – it often makes people who are in the scene of Steve Jobs’ conversations have a deeper understanding of the reality. This is much like Steve Jobs’ famous “reality distortion force field” – it often gives people in Steve Jobs’ dialogue scenarios the illusion that something unrealistic is feasible. Jia has learned a trick or two, but so far he has only moved himself.

Lei Jun is probably the smoothest of all, not wasting years of going with the flow.

In March this year, Lei Jun choked up and announced that he was going to build a car for rice fans. This is a fanfare of the change of heart, since then the jianghu no Leibus, only Resk.

More people are running to build cars, a hot money track, Musk has become their new idol – but, perhaps for identity reasons, perhaps Musk’s personal charm is too controversial, now they no longer need to follow Musk’s dress and words, but retain their own style, just doing similar things Musk has become the “new age” Musk.

Musk has become the “Steve Jobs” of the new era, but he is not destined to become the real “Steve Jobs.

However, this did not prevent someone across the ocean from trying to build a bond with him. In January this year, there was news that Zhou had discovered a security flaw in Tesla’s car, and they told Musk about it, but Musk was furious. In Zhou’s words, Musk ignored himself.

Four months later, 360 took a stake in Nezha Motors. Prior to that, 360 had little technical reserves in the new car-making field, and its most relevant business was probably finding security holes in the car’s software. But apparently, that didn’t matter to the car builders.

When the new field starts to gather popularity, what is more important than winning or losing, is that people are on the field. For them, cell phones and Steve Jobs, have been the story of the last race.

In 2021, the tenth anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death, all the “low-hanging fruit” of Steve Jobs was picked, and almost all the successors of Steve Jobs in China were lost.

An era of passion has truly ended in silence.

Image from the Internet, invasion deleted

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