CEO of OnePlus Pete Lau shared his entrepreneurial background with the audience at the Startup Summit 2014, in Seoul, Korea. OnePlus One, the company’s flagship smartphone which TIME magazine reviewed as the “Phone of Dreams”, has caught the eye in China and throughout the world. OnePlus has sold 1 million phones this year, and the company, having started with just five employees, now has 600. Technode had a chance to talk to Pete Lau, and he shared aspects of his philosophy on the product.

Pete was previously vice president of the Chinese smartphone company, OPPO. Two years ago, he met Car Pei, the company’s co-founder, and together they started OnePlus in an attempt to create a good quality phone at an affordable price. It was a big decision for him to resign and start his own company, an experience he described as the turning point in his life. He said that founding a company was totally different from the anything else he had gone through. “When you start a company, it’s not only about yourself, but the people around you, your family, your friends. I didn’t want to let them down and that’s what kept me striving.”

When asked how the OnePlus One differentiated itself from other phones, Lau emphasized its design. He wanted to build a beautiful product so users can enjoy using it, every time, every day. This led him to consider the phone’s every detail. It should be comfortable when you grab it, and it should be beautiful when you look at it. To give users a feeling that they are close to nature the company released a limited edition rear cover using a natural material: bamboo.

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com