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The following is the 82nd issue of the GGV Investment Notes series.
Author: Fu Jixun
After entering the “post-new crown epidemic era”, we need more innovative spirit than ever before. It is a sharp edge to defeat the “black swan” incident.
The importance of innovation
Over the past few decades, GGV’s focus has evolved from the PC Internet to the mobile Internet, and the size of the team has also evolved from the front and back to the front, middle, and back offices. It is the constant iteration and constant innovation that have made GGV today. .
In the high-tech field, a little behind means annihilation of the entire army. We have seen that, on a global scale, most companies that accompany innovation have developed well. Of course, innovation and risk coexist. The greater the intensity of innovation, the higher the risk, but the adventurous spirit is very commendable.
Why do we always emphasize the spirit of innovation? This starts with my experience when I joined Hewlett-Packard many years ago .
Since I was very longing for and interested in science and technology since I was a child, I wanted to find a job related to science and technology. Therefore, from 1993 to 1996, when I just graduated from graduate school, I joined Hewlett-Packard Co., Ltd., located in Singapore. This experience made me deeply aware of the importance of innovation for a company.
At that time, it was 1993, and HP had become a big company with global attention in the high-tech field . Hewlett-Packard is very large, with many product lines-from computers to servers to printers. There are multiple categories of printers. In addition, HP is also involved in medical equipment, as well as many electronic products in other fields. The long product chain has created it, and it is its innovative power that supports this product chain.
From the beginning of its establishment, HP’s development has been labelled as “advanced”, including the integration of “walking” management methods into corporate culture; the creation of the employee stock ownership plan that later became popular in the United States to enhance employees’ sense of belonging and mobilize work enthusiasm ; Promote the formulation of technical standards for the electronics industry to ensure that companies with advanced technologies do not deviate from the industry track in the competition… Whether it is in business philosophy or in the company’s long-term development plan, HP has always had advanced awareness and continuous innovation Perseverance: “To last, not just to make money”. It is precisely because of this that HP was able to become one of Silicon Valley’s first and greatest technology companies.
How to talk about charisma
After entering HP, I once thought that I would engage in R&D as an engineer and would always follow this path. However, after two or three years, I began to feel a gap. This gap is that no matter how well I do, it will be limited by the geographical dimension.
I stayed in Singapore most of the time. At that time, Singapore and even all over the world would do a lot of innovative work in product development, but I felt the originality of technological innovation at the time, and finally discovered that it actually happened in the US headquarters, such as Inkjet core technology of HP printers. What we do more is to focus on their core technologies and implement specific results in response to the various needs of the local market.
In less than three years, I have grown from an entry-level engineer to a team leader, and my boss recognizes me more. If I insist to stay here at HP, no accident, then, I’ll Yi Dian little to rise. But my heart is telling me that this is not the career I want, because it is farther and farther away from my original intention when I chose HP.
Although there were many bright spots in the Southeast Asian market at that time, if each economy could not find its own innovation point, it would eventually encounter a development bottleneck. For example, Southeast Asia was using so-called cheap labor to boost the economy, but the momentum of China’s development has risen, and it is accelerating to attract the transfer of the labor market. At that time, the total population of Southeast Asia was only 600 million, which is incomparable with China’s population of one billion.
My perception at the time was that in such a market, no innovation basically means no future. So during that time, I have been trying to get involved in innovation-related things, and I also started discussing entrepreneurship with my classmates, and also put forward some ideas that seem to be impractical now.
At this moment, another charismatic work began to wave to me. At the end of 1996, I encountered an opportunity to work for the Singapore Science and Technology Agency. At that time, I chose this job mainly because of a speech delivered by the chairman of the Science and Technology Agency Zhang Mingjian. At that time, Zhang Mingjian proposed to be an incubator and a service center for entrepreneurs. At the same time, he also pointed out that Singapore needs to innovate and encourage innovative entrepreneurship.
Although I was hesitant at the time. One is that I am worried that I cannot adapt to the working environment of a government agency, and the other is that I actually need to reduce my salary to work. But in the end, the enthusiasm for driving innovation surpassed the hesitation, and I left HP and joined the Science and Technology Bureau.
Imagination is the soul support of innovation
Although I did not work at HP for a long time, HP has taught me a lot of things. The most important thing is that if you want to be innovative, you must have imagination. From the perspective of innovation awareness, many of today’s ideas have indeed appeared within HP more than 20 years ago. The emergence of these ideas is precisely due to a wealth of imagination.
At HP, it often describes the future it envisions with advanced imagination. In 2007, Jobs launched the iPhone, marking the official arrival of the era of smart phones. But what everyone does not expect is that HP actually started to imagine this ultra-compact computer earlier, and really considered making it. Although limited to the industry technology level and market conditions at the time, it could not be realized. .
For another example, around 1995, Prototype HP used the 3D printing technology that has only been widely mentioned in recent years to mass-produce prototypes. The previous model is that if you want to open a mold to produce a prototype, the investment will be large, but through 3D printing, you can quickly build samples according to a single prototype, and the effect is very good. After that, you can directly make samples to determine the future Design a plan, then make a mold, mass produce, and then produce a large number of finished products. At that time, HP had already replaced the original plastics and various expensive molds in practical applications, and saved hundreds of thousands or even millions of investment in the development of early samples.
First of all, the founders of HP, David Packard and Bill Hewlett, are both very imaginative people. They have co-authored a book called “TheHPWay” (“HP Way”), the book details Tells about HP culture, among which innovation is the most important part of HP culture. Secondly, HP has a strong sense of giving full play to the initiative of its employees. Because we want to achieve innovation, we ultimately rely on the joint efforts of every member of the organization. There is a very important content in the book “TheHPWay”: Hewlett-Packard’s five values. Where the first one is this: We all have trust and respect for each person. In other words, HP believes that everyone in the company wants to be themselves, as long as they provide everyone with good enough tools and enough support, employees will spontaneously pursue excellence.
Of course, perhaps this approach is not suitable for everyone. Take today’s GGV as an example. As long as suitable people come in, we will give the strongest trust and support, and at the same time give them good enough tools and platforms to enable them to truly be themselves and give play to their motivation .
This point, perhaps today can still be mapped from our own team, similar to the spirit of HP back then. Whether it is for ourselves or the venture capital industry, innovation will not bring the greatest risk, and no innovation will produce potential dangers.
*Author introduction: Fu Jixun is the managing partner of GGV Jiyuan Capital. He has more than 20 years of working experience in the field of venture capital and has worked with many successful entrepreneurs.
Fu Jixun has been paying attention to investment in online travel, travel, corporate services, consumption and other fields. He has invested in Qunar (NASDAQ: QUNR), Youku Tudou (NYSE: YOKU), Grab, UCweb, Didi Chuxing, Manbang Group, Meicai, etc. the company now also served Xiaopeng car, hello travel , cool house music director and other enterprises.
Jixun served in many industry major strategic acquisitions in important roles, including Youku and Tudou (China areas in science and technology with multi-billion dollar level of acquisitions), Baidu / where to go, Ctrip / where to go and mushroom Street / beauty said .
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/why-is-innovation-so-important-in-entrepreneurship-ggv-investment-notes-issue-82/
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