Every generation has its own figures of time. And every today is entering an unknown tomorrow. In today’s world, the Internet industry is developing at a mad speed, with major changes taking place with every passing minute. And because of the rapid development, people are easily forgotten as time flies. Whether it is young ambitious entrepreneurs who have just found their place in the world of business, star investors that walk through different venues, programmers who spend hours of time writing codes in front of the computer screen, operators that bury themselves in loads of work, geeks that spend hours searching for information they need to complete their thirst for geek knowledge, or even delivery guys who go around the city under the intense sunlight, their efforts together constitute the Internet world we have right now. They might be conquering this era, or they might become only accessories of the time. Anyhow, their moments are worth recording, and worth remembering.
TMTpost’s new column Photo Gallery is finally online, a new column through which TMTpost aims to use to record individuals and entrepreneurs in the Internet industry. Photos don’t lie, but they don’ tell the whole truth; photos are free, but they are also full of traps. Therefore we present the images we see, and let you have your own understanding of these individuals.
The 20-Year-Old Entrepreneur, Xu Ke
Xu Ke has been a center of attention online and a much-discussed entrepreneurial figure of the young generation. Some commented on Zhihu, a Q&A community similar to Quora in China, that Xu Ke was a perfect example of entrepreneurship bubble. However, there are also a large number of people who think highly of her product ERA, which adopts a task-based social networking mechanism. As a school dropout who had had quite a few scandals from her private life, such as her major car accident and the nude photo incident, her personal stories might give you the impression that this girl is a complete rebel.
She started her path as an entrepreneur in 2014 and later founded Xunzong Technology this year in May. In August, she officially launched her social product ERA and introduced her understanding of how social networking works between strangers in her first interview with TMTpost. According to her, ERA helps users utilize their fragmented skills in life to cash in and achieve the goal of social networking with others. Xu Ke took it one step further and gave her first speech on TMTpost’s Crazy Camp salon (for more stories, please read The Next Generation Of Social Networking Culture Will Be Led By My Generation).
It has already been three months after I wrote my first story about Xu Ke, and she’s continuing to gather momentum and refine her product. On October 28th, she announced in Shanghai that her company had completed the pre-A round of financing at 12 million RMB, and that she had co-established ESI Venture Capital.
You would probably find it hard to label Xu Ke since she’s as diverse as a person could be. She’s a 20-year-old entrepreneur from a rich family. She used to study abroad. She’s already a CEO of a company. She’ beautiful and camera loves her. And, she’s so much more than that.
In her private life, she is crazy for League of Legends and the board game The Battle of Three Kingdoms. She likes to browse through Baidu Tieba, listen to Dubstep music, watch crazy videos, and smoke all the time. She’s just like most young people who are on their smart phones all the time and stay up at night frequently. As a young girl, Xu is also incredibly straightforward when expressing herself.
From October 28th to 30th, 2015, TMTpost’s journalist Chen Zheng spent three whole days closely with Xu Ke and recorded both her work life and private life in hopes of having a glimpse of her entrepreneurial journey. This is an experimental column that will continue throughout this year. On every Tuesday, we will post a new Photo Gallery series on TMTpost.
Xu Ke, the first one to be captured by the camera of Online:
October 28th to 30th 2015
Xu Ke, the founder of ERA
In the afternoon of October 28th, the press conference of ESI Venture Capital was held on the 53rd floor of the CITIC plaza near the Huangpu River, the very first press conference for Xu Ke and her team.
Xu Ke was there to welcome every guest herself.
Before the conference, Xu was smoking at the corridor while listening to the moderator rehearsing. In fact, Xu Ke has been a smoker for quite a while.
Besides media outlets, investors and entrepreneurs, the organizers also invited a few famous e-sports players since the gaming sector would be one of the main fields that the foundation would focus on. Xu Ke believes that young people are the future in the market, and their consuming power would be the mainstream.
Xu once again told her personal stories in her speech. She was born and raised in a rich family and later at the age of 12 her family went broke. When she was studying abroad, she was discriminated by racists. She fell in love in a young age; she was a big spender; she was alcoholic; she liked car race; she gambled; she lost her way and found her real path in the end. She basically told stories about herself before coming back to China to start her own business.
She had told the same stories many times, only to different people in different places.
Partners of the foundation left their handprints together. As a young girl who had just started her entrepreneurial journey, Xu had already encountered a few scandals. But Xu said she didn’t feel that much pressure on her as people might expect.
Like many other green entrepreneurs, Xu Ke wrote all her speech transcript. She carefully considered every sentence and every word she’s going to say. This name card, which reads Mrs. Xu Ke, showed people that Xu Ke was no longer just a simple girl anymore.
After the conference, Xu had a project discussion with entrepreneurs and partners at the foundation.
After the conference, Xu found a corner where she could smoke and talk to her partners about other details. Xu Ke has the passion of youth, and that’s what makes her special and allows her to deal with different people smoothly and unite a group of people that share the same goal with her.
Back at her apartment, Xu shared her opinions about the conference they had earlier with her team.
October 29th, 1:00 am. Most people in Xu’s team like to stay up at night, including herself. After the meeting with her team, Xu started to play The Battle Of Three Kingdoms on her phone, and it’s already one in the morning. Xu is really into the history of the Three Kingdoms for the fact that she believes that history was a tragedy since nobody actually achieved their goal.
Xu used to live alone in her apartment located at Gubei. But since she has frequent meetings with her team here, she invited the team members that often came here to live with her. And they have been living with her ever since.
If there isn’t much work to do, the day usually starts at noon. Two core members of the team became friends with Xu Ke through playing games together when she’s still studying in UK. They are around the same age and they all love to watch crazy videos.
English singer, Mika, who also had a vibrant past.
No matter where she is, Xu would check out her phone when she has time.
In the afternoon, she went to the Xijiaojiayuan to have a meeting. The company rented two mansions, one in Xijiaojiayuan, Hongqiao District, and one in Qingpu, as both an office and a dorm. The mansion in Xijiaojiayuan is the base for the technical team while the operation and marketing team stays in Qingpu.
Six punishments for being late.
So far there are 10 people in the technical and design team, so is the operation and market team. All members are born in the 90s except for the CTO.
After launching ERA’s android version in September, the technical team has been working on fixing bugs for different phone models.
Xu Ke is probably the person I know that loves squatting so much. She basically squats in any place when she has the chance.
Beautifying the photo she received the other day before posting it on WeChat.
The mansion in Xijiaojiayuan doesn’t have a particular meeting room. In this case they hold meetings in the closet. Some people joked that they were just like plotting something evil there.
Everybody has their own ideas on market promotion, which seems to be one of the main obstacles they need to tackle at present.
Making reports on work. Xu once said in her speech to investors that although she’s very young in this team, she had earned their trust and respect with sweats. Nobody in the company has ever questioned her ability.
This is an office and also a home. Xu hired a cook to make meals for the team, insuring that her people are well-fed.
At the office in Qingpu, Xu began to smoke once she got off the car.
The team started with only one person and had expanded to 32 people. Brainstorming has become an everyday session for the team. “Finding people that share the same goal, same value like me, and achieving our dreams together have always been my ultimate goal in life,” Xu said.
Workout equipments are barely used at the office. People here like to play games better.
After another meeting, Xu Ke had a road show on WeChat. She once again introduced her product and told her stories.
Playing LOL and The Battle of Three Kingdoms is a shared hobby among most people at the office. So after work they stayed for a couple rounds before leaving. Xu Ke would always be around and watch them play.
October 30th, afternoon. A partner brought her a legal document. After reading all those legal terms that few understood, Xu signed the paper.
At the SkySOHO located in Hongqiao District, Xu Ke rented an office that has three rooms that connect to each other. Xu said she had always wanted to move into a big office. According to her, since the company’s founding they had moved to different places in Shanghai, but they were not her ideal office in mind. She wanted a big office where everybody could work together. And it wasn't until October that she had the opportunity to make this dream come true.
“I feel relieved,” she said, as she browsed through her past Wechat moments. At the very beginning the technical team would move to an small apartment in some community just to save money when Xu’s out of town. This is something she would never forget. When she found out this thing she promised everyone that one day they would move to a big office and she would give the team a comfy working environment. Now, she has definitely kept her word and made her promise come true.
TMTpost Photo Gallery
Special column of TMTpost
Aiming to record individuals and entrepreneurs in the Internet industry
Photos don’t lie, but they don’ tell the whole truth
Photos are free, but also full of traps
This is an Internet age, and we want you to discover stories with us online
(Like our Facebook page and follow us now on Twitter @tmtpostenglish and on Medium @TMTpost.)
[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @fliesslaughterhouse, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]
Translated by Garrett Lee (Senior Translator at ECHO), working for TMTpost.