TV programs make money from commercials; Other online video sites run commercials or charge viewers, or both.
In September 2009, Wang Lifen quit CCTV, the state-run TV station, where she had worked as a senior producer and host for 15 years, and founded Umiwi.com.
The aspiration that drived her to leave an impressive career was vetoed in two weeks.
Just two weeks later, Wang killed the C2C model.”It was only a dream of mine and I hadn’t done market research at all. Users don’t want to pay at all; for instance, a user doesn’t want to pay for half an hour of video chatting, as he/she may not take it as valuable service. So it’s hard for pricing or to put into practice even if prices are set”, Wang recalled.
If C2C is not right, how about B2C? Umiwi was officially launched on March 17, 2010, kicking off with original video content produced by its professional team that no other Chinese video sites ever offered before.On the site there reads “an online video platform that serves the State and intellects.”
“Previously I considered Umiwi.com might be a video site, a verticle site or an e-commerce site. After several months, practically we stopped.”
“If we cannot come up with a long-lasting and growth-driving business model and a stable operation approach or cannot pull together a good team, I think we’d better be cautious as investments always ask for returns and will exit eventually. I want to focus on one thing, patiently expanding it. The longest term for a fund is 7 years, a time limit I’m afraid of that will disrupt my rhythm.”
Whoever you are, you can’t suffer any less from starting a business.
Wang Lifen’s comment on entrepreneurship is, “I’d rather stumble across a sudden death on the way to the unknown rather than pick an easy way whose end is in view.”
“At CCTV, you can be definitely clear about what’s the next and you’d expect where you can be. Now with Umiwi, it’s different; of course, to some extent you also have expectations and know where to go, but there is bigger room for the unexpected, which is the biggest difference. It’s especially true for internet industry that it’s not a business that you can just follow a schedule and in many cases the schedule cannot catch up with changes. You must be very adapative to new comings.”
Wang Lifen is a veteran in TV production industry, she is acquainted with big names and she is famous herself, all of which are taken as her advantages as a starter.But she said, “All the hardship, all the tortuous, all the exploration, you have to go through inch by inch by yourself. Not a single inch can be skipped by taking advices from the experienced. ”
“I often read stories of entrepreneurs’. It’s not that I expect to learn from one’s experience, but that I want to read a different life, wondering how everyone is living in this big world. Every sucess cannot be duplicated. “”You may avoid the wrong path by learning from failures, but it doesn’t happen often; you may make a better decision by reading more stories, but you’d better not expect it will be too much better.”
“I value entrepreneurship as the best way to learn about the society and yourself. There is no other way so bloody, so authentic as it is; right in the face of human nature.”