Xiong Xiaoge (Huge Xiong), founding partner of IDG Ventures, made a thought-provoking keynote speech at the year-end conference held by Entrepreneur China magazine, here’s part of the excepts from his speech:
Xiong Xiaoge, founding partner of IDG China Photo credit: Chuangyebang
Good morning, everyone.
I’m talking about D-R-E-A-M today, a word that means a lot to a person and even a nation. Recently I saw local media covering stories on dreams of grassroots, and our new president Xi was also talking about the Chinese Dream. Well, as to me, dream weighs even more to an entrepreneur. You have to have a dream that keeps you energetic and passionate, that keeps you hang in there to make the dreams come true, that makes an entrepreneur.
Actually days ago I happened to read a piece written by myself back in 1993, titled “Dreams come true”. It was published on the 1st issue of the Electronics World, which reminds me of the past days.
Back in the 90s, I had a dream that I would bring excellent foreign tech magazines and venture capital into China. Before joining IDG, I worked as an editor and interviewed many entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley. This experience makes me realizing what a great role magazine can play as a platform for entrepreneurs. With efforts with my fellows, I founded a magazine and our first fund started investing in China in the year of 1993. That was when I wrote that piece, I still remembered that I didn’t even change a word before publishing it.
Clearly I was quite proud of the piece and myself at the moment. Sorting out the results, I brought in 40 magazines in total and became the first VC in China. So it looks like my dreams did come true and it was a perfect ending. But when I read that piece now, honestly I didn’t feel that way at all I could say I feel very blue instead. Publication and Venture Capitals have been two very mature industries in the States and I just happened to step on China early. The past trophies were just my luck, but what about the future decades? What should I go for and what is my dream now? These questions have haunted me recently.
In the past month, people have been talking about the presidential election in America. For me election is the best example for getting something from nothing, and the nothing here is a dream. You won the competition with a convincing plan. If people like your dream, they support you, vote you and follow you. As investors, we tended to look up to successful examples in America and look for the similar ones in China. But now I don’t think this is right. When we copy, do we really wanna be the copycats of something? And will we become exactly successful as the originals? I doubt that.
Now the market talk is all about mobile internet, and some say that our future belongs to the mobile. I can’t deny this perspective, yet no one can actually make this clear. It is believed that 5-10 years is a development circle in every industry. When I first entered the tech industry, people were talking about Microsoft, IBM and Intel. 10 years later, now we care more about companies like Google, and Facebook. That’s why I can’t help pondering that ten years from now, who would be in the center of media hype in China? Will we still speak about Baidu, Tencent or Alibaba? Or will we see some new names that we haven’t met yet? I have faith in the later prediction as long as we believe in our dreams.
The hit MV Gangnam Style going viral and now 800m people become fans (no matter you are a president or a kindergarten kid), isn’t this amazing and unbelievable? And I kept thinking that this is all owing to the internet, especially the mobile internet which help us create miracles that we never dared to imagine. With technology, everything is possible as long as you got your dream and you work hard to realize it. This is the chance of this Internet era.