For those of you who do not know, Techcrunch disrupt Beijing happened the past 2 days. Been reading and following Penn-Olson for the latest disrupt news (they just changed their logo! neat!) Here are some of my personal thoughts:
1. Niklas Zennstrom of Skype on their take of Chinese copycats: we had a lot of that, but “they were never any threat” because of the network effect — you can clone Skype software but can’t clone Skype users. Definitely something new – network effect. True that we can’t close the users of any products and the true value of a internet startup or a mobile app is its users and all the data they inputed into your platform. Thus, the importance of having a sticky product – your product has to be appealing enough for users to refer other users to it and also for them to come back to your platform. This is the main problem with many mobile app where users acquisitions are the main problem.
3. Celebrity Cofounder – Shoedazzle managed to do this with Kim Kardashian. “Sarah Lacy pointed out that many companies have tried — and failed — using this approach, but Lee emphasized that “you have to have a true partnership with the celebrity” and that “it has got to match perfectly. When you start attaching Ashton Kutcher to a travel site […] it’s not that authentic.” On the contrary, if it’s a good match, the celebrity can bring a lot of traction and interest to the company, Lee argued.” Interesting. Definitely a point to be taken into consideration.
4. Innovation is shifting to Asia – Lee also noted that Silicon Valley may not be the center for innovation it once was. Facebook and Twitter came out a while ago, and Lee said, “I haven’t actually seen anything really cool come out of Silicon Valley in quite a while.” I have also noted this point in my various posts with e27 where most tech companies are flocking over to Asia and Singapore is right in the centre of it. =)
5. Competition in China is really really tough. Every panelist (which consist of those that made it – people like Lee Kai Fu) never failed to mention that the competition in China is really tough and the competitive landscape there is very different from that of the states, or everywhere else for that matter. You have to want it really badly to make it happen, and that alone is not enough. You have to be visionary, and above all, you have to work with the right partners(“guanxi”).