Time: 10:00 PM (Beijing Time), April 9
Wechat group: Mars 3.0 wechat group
Gang Zheng: Founding partner of PurpleSky. As a famous angel investor, has distinguished himself for investing in Momo. And then he explored many projects such as Smartisan, Inke and etc. Recently, as the crucial step, he made all his investment in car making and started Neuron New Power Automobile Company as chairman and CEO.
Fred Wang: Founder of Mars Finance, Chairman of Linekong (HK. 8267), founding partner of Geek Founders, and former Senior Vice President of Kingsoft.
The following is the sorted dialogue script:
Fred Wang: Hi, everyone. Good evening. Welcome to the 12th Ten Questions with Fred Wang.
It is the twelfth "Ten Questions with Fred Wang". More and more people are paying attention to me. A lot of people joked that I took away the jobs of financial journalists. In fact, this is really a joke. In my opinion, “Ten Questions with Fred Wang" known as questions is not just a financial interview, but a way of free expression that you can express the opinions with guests freely based on independent observation. The key to "Ten Questions" is not to ask, but to combine the history and imagination so as to give a personal free perspective. Only in this case, it is a conversation between two living persons.
Let me introduce our guest tonight, the founder of PurpleSky, Gang Zheng.
About Gang Zheng, at the beginning when I heard that I would interview him with “Ten Questions”, I felt hesitant in my heart. Firstly, most of the guests for the previous “Ten Questions” were at the forefront of the blockchain field, except Allen Zhu. I did the “Ten Questions” with Allen Zhu because I wanted to see the other side of the bitter quarrel personally. Secondly, I thought that although Gang Zheng was very active in angel investment, at present, he had not become an absolute tycoon in the field of investment yet. For the selfishness of media, I thought his influence was not enough big. Haha, Gang Zheng, don’t be angry please.
However, my thoughts are all wrong because real brave warriors shall throw themselves into the battlefield with their daggers and swords sooner or later. Today’s Ten Questions with Fred Wang comes from the crucial step of Gang Zheng. Gang Zheng who are in his forties, plans to give up the professional angel investment and chooses to start his own business for new energy automobiles. To be honest, I admire such people like him.
Now, it is the time for asking questions or conversation.
Fred Wang: I remind of several people immediately at the mention of your new energy automobiles, including Elon Musk, Bin Li from NIO, Xiang Li from CHJ Automotive, Xiaopeng He from Xiaopeng Motors and even Mingzhu Dong as well as Yaoting Jia who lost LeEco empire for investing in electric vehicles. I want to know, how do you think of these people? Who has the biggest chance to win? Have you ever thought that if you would be always under the financial pressure like Yaoting Jia? What do you think about that Yaoting Jia has engaged in the industry of automobiles? And recently, there has been some news disclosed from time to time that Tesla may exhaust all the cash on the account before the end of 2018. Perhaps, Tesla’s business is not as good as we imagine. Many people are bad-mouthing his electric vehicles.
Gang Zheng: I am not familiar with each of them. Among them, I just had a meeting with Xiang Li at the dinner invited by the President of Tesla China. Besides, there is no other common point between us. Except him, I don’t know anyone else. I think all the founders of electric vehicle companies are the one who dare to seize the opportunities given by the times. All of them are the first one to eat crabs. As for who has the biggest chance to win, it is really hard to say. As a newcomer, I have no right to make any irresponsible remarks.
Of course, when it comes to automobile manufacturing, the first important factor is the funds for sure. Secondly, talents, production qualifications with Chinese characteristics and etc. are also important. If there is no start-up capital, it is not able to enter the market. If there is something wrong with the follow-up funding, it will be a dead end. In addition, if there are not enough talents for management and manufacturing, the road is blocked. As the industry is so hot at present, the salary for talents has increased exponentially. The competition of talents leads to that the technicians and executives in the automobile industry known as a sunset industry become popular. As a new category, new energy vehicles are a subversion of traditional gasoline automobile industry. Contrarily, the demand for talents has brought the second spring for the talents of this industry.
I didn't want to comment on Yaoting Jia, because I don’t know him and I don’t have anything to do with him. But some people from our US branch office came from the FF team of Lao Jia, so I can get some sidelights. According to my understanding, the general public has a certain misunderstanding about that he engaged in automobile manufacturing and thinks that it harms him, but it is not true. Mr. Jia was the first one to enter the industry. The plan for automobile manufacturing was earlier than NIO, CHJ Automotive, Xiaopeng Motors and etc. In this respect, he is Visionary (Editor's Note: a person with foresight). His forward-looking understanding of new energy vehicles is deeper and earlier than anyone else. We must admire him. No matter how he is in other aspects, Mr. Jia is really serious about automobile manufacturing.
During my trip to Los Angeles in 2014, I got to know by chance that “a local tyrant from China is hiring secretly in LA to work on electric vehicles”. At that time, most people in China didn’t know it. FF91 electric cars have a certain reputation in the industry of new energy vehicles. With big, long and pretty appearance, it is a pure electric car that is developed positively in essence. However, Lao Jia failed on the night before mass production and wasted nearly 2 years of valuable time.
If he was in more awe of mobile manufacturing and didn’t get involved in it, if he could focus on the continuous investment in the main business of LeTV to improve the experience of users and etc. (My understanding of Internet TV comes from the televisions of LeTV. I purchased 3 units of 65-inch LeTV televisions and I placed a 70-inch LeTV television separately in Beijing and Shanghai offices, respectively.), he would not lose tens of billions of dollars so that the entire ecology collapsed, thus affecting the continuous investment in new energy vehicles.
Lao Luo said, if we had billions of dollars in hand at the beginning, maybe our Smartisan mobiles died early. During these days, the newspaper reported that Lao Jia or the companies related to him were investing in Guangzhou. I hope that he or they can success.
I firmly trust in Tesla products and I think that entrepreneurship is the most valuable quality and wealth for innovation and creativity in this age. At present, the problems Tesla encountered are just phased problems. It seems that Tesla has faced death for several times since its establishment, right?
When Elon Musk took over Tesla, it died for the first time. Then, the cost was found to be too high after the model was designed. Before mass production, all was given up for the new design. It was the second time to die. After that, it encountered the lucky bastard. It was almost free to get the complete new automobile factory in California created jointly by Toyota and General Motors. However, it died again as they didn’t know how to operate the factory… From being listed to the current mass production of Model 3, it has been predicted repeatedly that the indexes would lag behind, even it would die again. In fact, since its birth to now, we have been enjoying its Model S/X and others while Tesla has been always connected with death.
I think all this because it is already a listed company. The problem with listed companies is that financial reports and operations must be published regularly. And often the secondary market has no patience and there are various comments from many fool analysts. This is also the problem that many CEOs have to face who are determined to work on century-old shops.
I am one of the first seven users of Tesla Model S in China, and also the first users of Model S P85 and P85D. Although they have some slight defects more or less, the driving experience and sense of science and technology as well as cost performance make me firmly believe that intelligent pure electric vehicles are just the future development direction of automobile industry. There is no need to argue.
Fred Wang: Let's talk about the issue of funds further. 600 millions of dollars is a huge financing for a general start-up. However, it may be a drop of the ocean for vehicles. The accumulative financing for LeEco exceeded 24 billion dollars; the total financing for NIO was over 20 billion dollars; WM Motors also had the accumulative financing over 12 billion dollars; the total financing of first 3 rounds for Xiopeng Motors was up to 700 million dollars and they declared that another 5 billion dollars would be refinanced within two yearso yearsearsver 12 billion dollars; the
Gang Zheng: Of course, it is impossible to start the business of vehicle manufacturing with the financing of 600 million dollars. But if we can use it reasonably, it is enough to realize our expectation of building the bridgehead in the first year, namely, gathering enough high-end talents at home and abroad in a certain scale, finishing the product definition and designs for 1-2 variable models, site selection for mass production, business development, manufacturing of the prototype car and initial construction of the brand. Also, I have some tactical strategies. But they are not mature yet.
Different from what other people think of me, I am always a "poor" person. I always think that I must do the biggest thing with the least money.
Since the first day, PurpleSky has been a “poor” fund. I don’t think more good unicorns can be produced if we raise a lot of money and invest it in many projects. I always think that if we want to get the greatest financial returns, GP and LP must be a community of interests. Therefore, we seldom raise the funds outside and most of the money we earn is reinvested in the funds to share the risk with LP.
So when I face the fundraising, honestly, I always feel contradictory in my heart. You see, I worked hard all day and night in order to earn the money, but about 80% of it was taken away by others…We don’t want to share these fruits of hard toil because it is not right. At present, the moral risk existing commonly in the market just comes from the unjust distribution proportion.
Before, I had worked for General Motors and Delphi Automotive as a senior financial analyst. My previous work was to control the investment in parts and products based on financial feasibility and calculate the rate of return. Therefore, I had been hated by various project directors and product directors, because I challenged those engineers or product managers who spent money without careful consideration from all aspects including the material cost, labor cost, shipments, transportation cost, pace of investment, amount of investment in the equipment, plant and tools, even global inflation index, funding source, cost of capital and other factors.
Therefore, maybe, I am the one who know the most about financial analysis and pay most attention to the return of investment and feasibility, among the founders of vehicle manufacturing. I don’t mean that they invest too much money in it. Only when you get involved in a car company deeply and discuss more than several hundred pages of financial models with the product managers, engineers and purchasing staff can you know what I am talking about.
For this, I have offended some heads of multinational companies who were in high places. Also, after my failure to start a business, I had joined another company in the industry of fine chemicals and taken charge of merger and investment. I had always put the financial feasibility and return of investment in the first place and denied many unreliable investment behaviors. I will also treat our start-up based on this principle.
Fred Wang: Recently, during a media interview, you said that although neuron started late, it stood at the same starting line with these forerunners in view of the great and long future of new energy plus pilotless automobile. Can you tell us your trump card?
Gang Zheng: I cannot say it is a trump card. As an early investor, you know that the competition strategy or trump card of a start-up is often not reliable at the beginning. Even, we cannot say it has been born yet. Neuron is still in a very early stage. At this time, the most important thing is to come into being, do the basic work and then rely on the products, management, vision and users to win the trust and time.
Of course, it cannot prevent Neuron from having its own vision to become the solution provider for future travel. Probably, you may think it is just an empty talk, but it is really practical in fact. We will adopt differentiated competition, firmly focus on the users and win the trust and use of users through algorithm, excellent products and services. Therefore, you ask if we do the same thing? I think it is quite different in essence, which is just the source of our confidence.
Fred Wang: You said that pouring money was a rogue behavior. The problem is that if you don’t want to invest a lot of money, but only spend a small amount of money, it is possible to earn money in the automotive field?
Gang Zheng: With the above understanding, I can have the right to invest a large amount of money. Yes, the vehicle manufacturing requires a lot of money, but we pave the way with the money of investors. So I must use it reasonably with the heart of awe, rigorous finance, and correct layout of tactical strategy. While, we must bet the all we have. In this case, I am different from others in essence. At present, I only hear someone shout, “Do not invest in vehicle manufacturing without 20 billion dollars.” But in fact, you know those people have already been in much debt.
Fred Wang: Before, I have always thought that it was good for you to be a business angle. Maybe for your personality, you are easy to get close to people. For example, you are very brave to express yourself and give a voice for the products of entrepreneurs.
A few years ago, I saw you made live broadcasts on Inke. At that time, I almost could not help bursting into laughter. Most of people on it were young and beautiful girls who were born after 1990. And a crowd of uncles gave likes and sent flowers and cars. Contrarily, you chose to be the uncle and broadcasted yourself so as to attract young girls to view. I also invested in the Smartisan mobiles of Lao Luo. But frankly, your participation degree is higher than many of us. As long as there is good news for Lao Luo, you will send it into the group of Smartisan investors in which we and Lao Luo are involved. Even if the news is bad for him, you will also send it. Haha. Sometimes, I am really afraid that he would get angry with you. In a word, you are a free and relaxed person. But now you change your identity and go to start a business suddenly. Even I need to adapt to it. Are you ready?
Gang Zheng: Lao Luo must be quite tired…I didn’t go to the spot today.
The above statements about me are made after careful observation. I never thought that you would check my circle of friends. Hahaha…Obviously, the likes are not enough…Once, I counted the number of people who checked my circle of friends by a tool and I found there was only one third or one quarter of them to give me likes or comments.
I make live broadcasts just because I really want to get great pleasures from it and meet more people in this way. There are many possibilities for such products in the early stage. You must go deep into them and become one of them, and then you can have a chance to know where the essence and potential are.
Many people are caring about you silently. But they don’t want to speak out and leave their comments. Maybe, like the founder, you must make a correct judgment in the key direction as an investor. Once you make the decision, you must undertake the achievements or consequences. In addition, since you make the judgment, why you cannot trust it and applaud for it? In fact, I also invested in many projects. Finally, I did not applaud for them because I found there were some problems.
You asked if I am ready. How much preparation is enough? I make the judgment based on the current development of this industry, competitive landscape, possibility to realize the technology, market space, time to enter the market, resources and talents we can master, and partners we can be mobilize and etc. I think there is not much difference compared with other entrepreneurs for vehicle manufacturing, although the time is different. As for whether there is no longer an advantage at this time, I also have my own judgment.
Fred Wang: Based on my previous experience, investors are just onlookers for entrepreneurs. In most cases, they are able to advance or retreat. That is to say, they are good sports. But, the founders are dedicated wholeheartedly to one thing as possible as they can. It is hard for the onlookers to understand such feeling. Once it fails, they will be very painful. Although there are many entrepreneurs who succeed at their second or third start-up, but I want to tell you three words sincerely: difficult, difficult, and difficult! Are you sure you would not regret to make the decision in future? When my former boss Mr. Jun Lei started MI, he had said self-deprecatingly that as he was a veteran who had succeed in IT industry for many years, he would be laughed at by others if it fails.
Gang Zheng: I've never been afraid of being laughed at, really. In fact, I have been on the way of being joked by others. When I was a child, I was very short. Even now, I am less than 170cm (172cm for the version of Internet). Although my finger span is not large, I still want compete with others on the piano. Even if I had been always outdone by my peers, I have kept this hobby until now. I found that I played it best among my peers (though I am not very familiar with it).
My grades in high school and college were mediocre, but I had studied hard until I graduated from Columbia Business School; even when I was in Columbia, no one wanted to finish the Term Paper with a Chinese who couldn’t speak English well so that I had to make a group with other lazy students. Finally, I did all the things alone including collecting data, building financial models and writing reports and etc. Eventually, I won the first place the competition of strategy paper in the powerful class. It was true. Until now, I have still remembered the encouragement which the Indian professor gave to me.
Looking back on my career, I spent most of my life in turbulence. I really took many wrong paths, lost many chances, and paid hard efforts and sweat which had no return, and even experienced almost homelessness at the bottom of my life. So, it doesn’t matter.
One of my personalities is that I never give up making efforts. I can adjust the direction, but never admit the defeat, even if I am laughed at by others for my failure. So what?
Fred Wang: In our hearts, you are a real fan of Smartisan (Certainly, I also support Lao Luo). I heard that you had invested in the Smartisan mobiles of Yonghao Luo for RMB 200 million yuan from every now and then. And the products and marketing of Yonghao are powerful, but he only struggle in financing. Once, he could almost get the money from Alibaba, but finally, he was stood up so that he had borrowed money everywhere at that time. After that, you posted in the circle of friends to lash out Alibaba. Once you said that you were confident in Yonghao Luo so that you would not consider exiting the investment until the valuation of Smartisan was up to RMB 30 billion yuan at least. And I invested in it with a few of friends when the valuation of Smartisan was more than RMB 2 billion yuan. Today, you are here and I want to ask that how did you make such a judgment that the valuation of Smartisan would reach RMB 30 billion yuan one day. Many people want to know it including Mr. Luo, I guess.
Gang Zheng: RMB 30 billion yuan is nothing for Smartisan of Lao Luo which is doomed to influence the spirit of one generation. If you must quantify it, you can make a calculation: Lao Luo only needs to sell 5 million of mobiles and the net profit will be RMB 2.5 billion yuan if the profit for one mobile is RMB 500 yuan. Then ten times of the price/earnings ratio shall be RMB 25 billion yuan. Surely, it is just a simple calculation. The final result depends on the product positioning, gross profit, growth rate, market space, cost trend, competitive landscape, input cost and etc. I think, the target is not difficult to be reached. Smartisan has already established a brand effect in design, interaction, user experience, appearance and etc. We just need to give him more time to realize the target.
Don't forget that it took almost 30 years for Apple Computer to be widely accepted by users since its birth! So for a dollar fund with the conception of entrepreneurship history, they need 30 years or 20 years to sustain it in the history, as they know that a great company needs more patience and time to grow.
Fred Wang: One of your friends told me secretly that you called a tricycle to go home when you finished the investment of RMB 100 million yuan in Smartisan mobiles of Yonghao Luo. Was it true?
Gang Zheng: When I finished the meeting at Smartisan one day, I really called a tricycle to go home. It is nothing. You can understand how bad the traffic situation is in Beijing. For me, no matter what vehicle it is, I will choose it only if it is practical, convenient and high effective. And the tricycle makes me have a particularly pleasant experience: it is very interesting for me to chat with the driver sitting in the compartment. However, the tricycles seem to disappear recently.
As investors and entrepreneurs, it should be remembered that we cannot isolate ourselves from society and we must pay attention to the thoughts and demands of people in all walks of life. The direction of social change and consumption trend is multidimensional. So I seldom go to the famous places for meeting in order to pretend to be posh such as Kunlun Beijing and China World Hotel and etc. If I go there, I will feel I am in the clouds, not reliable.
Fred Wang: Generally, the biggest internal contradiction of a company is the contradiction either between the founders or the founders and investors. I seldom hear a good company in which the investors get along with entrepreneurs. In the company you invested, how do you deal with the relationship with the entrepreneurs? Usually, the relationship between entrepreneurs and investors is that between spear and shield. However, I also invest in start-ups. I often feel that the founders and investors should learn from each other. What do you learn from the entrepreneurs? Will you trust the entrepreneurs come out of the failure? Will you invest for the people who failed for several times?
Gang Zheng: I never pay attention to the relationship with the entrepreneurs. I often let it be. If they need help, I will try my best. No matter how late it is, I will appear. If they don’t need help, I will not be involved. I care much about the wishes of founders. I don’t want to bring any trouble to them but if they need me, I will do.
However, there is a limit: the failure rate in the industry of angel investment is so high. Although investors think that the resource advantages are the most important besides funds, the successful entrepreneurship almost depends on the efforts made by the founders and their teams.
I also learned some product thinking from the founders. That is, we shall consider the problems thoroughly. Considering the preferences of target users we face, we need to have continuous improved capacity and extremely simple user experience.
Fred Wang: I heard that you had a very unusual entrepreneurial experience. It was said that you had lost a lot and had a terrible failure. It seems that even you don’t want to mention it any more. After that, you had a perfect transition and became an active A-list business angel from a failed entrepreneur, winning every battle and getting good achievements. Now, you are about to start a business again and transit into an entrepreneur from an investor. Do you worried about that you would fall into the psychological shadow of failure again?
Gang Zheng: I have invested in the entrepreneurs who started several businesses. Besides, I have also invested in the founders who just experienced the failures. However, it seems that I have no good luck at the moment.
In fact, it is not that I don’t want to mention it. Firstly, nobody wants to tell others about his failure. It is very private. But if it is possible, I advise you to give up earlier if it is doomed to be a failure. It is better much to pay the tuition earlier rather than later.
I am worried about failure, but I also have confidence to succeed. Now, the resources I can take use of are much more than that time when I started the business for the first time. This time, when I planned to start the business for vehicle manufacturing, many big guns gave me their blessings. I ask myself that why I get involved in it. In my opinion, the more important reason is that I hope to create a good travel product and experience for society, except that there is an entrepreneurial impulsion in my heart to challenge myself continuously.
It should be the main thread of my life so far to challenge my own boundary of capability. Although I have had some achievements in angel investments and I can continue to do it, the greater challenge is to seize an opportunity in a big field.
In the early years, I had been a direct salesman in the United States, knocking at others’ doors and selling books. Every day, I had to drive for 200 or 300 miles, miles! After three months, I became a black man for the strong sunshine. Every day, I had to encounter different customers and endure the uncertainty, refusal and apathy. During the three months, I had driven for more than 10 thousand miles totally….It is not what ordinary people can stand. But from then on, I had been afraid of strange things and people no longer.
Fred Wang: As for the contradiction, I also think of the contradiction between classical VC and blockchain investment we had discussed for several times. In my opinion, even in the field of classical investment, there is a contradiction between the BAT-centered ecological investment and the traditional frontline investment institutions-centered venture investment. And we always think BAT is the winner.
In August 2017, you posted in your WeChat Moments for accusing Ali of delaying the commitment to investing in Smartisan and abandoning it six months later. You also concluded that BAT had no idea and could not pity the start-ups and provide timely help; never let them invest until it was mature. Today, Ali and Tencent have essentially become one of the largest investment institutions in China and the world. Basically, BAT can look at the project freely if they want to see and invest in any project if they want to invest. They has played a role as the ultimate referee and head player in the mergers of Didi and Kuaidi, 58 and Ganji, Meituan and Dianping as well as Ctrip and Qunar. According to 2017 Annual List of Unicorn Club in Chinese Internet, 50.8% of all 124 unicorns have direct or indirect equity relationships with BAT. Among 11 companies which valuations are over 10 billion dollars, there are 10 companies related to BAT.
My question is how investors can grab good projects in the situation that BAT monopolizes the traditional VC? For those VC members who stick to the mission of investing in great companies, is it better to be alone and find a new path or to put down their condescension and attach themselves to Tencent and Ali?
Gang Zheng: I think professional investors will win in the end. Early good projects must still be dominated by early investment institutions. Although we've seen that many institutions expanded in the early stage and later stage, it is just a short-term phenomenon of industrial chaos. I always believe that an animal should be matched with a certain kind of food. The formation of biological chains and food chains is reasonable and the disorder can only lead to low efficiency and low success rate.
In China, the monopoly of BAT giants is a natural phenomenon, which all the investors and entrepreneurs must face. In this case, it not only raises the threshold of entrepreneurship and investment, but also promotes the start-ups to run fast and grow rapidly. Only they have their own strength, they can get rid of bad destiny and succeed in business.
In essence, investment and entrepreneurship is a long process in which, we need to choose the right partners. We should choose whoever is helpful to us. As a founder, it is very important for me to learn quickly and make the correct choice.
Fred Wang: I have noticed that the next round of investors for Momo and Inke which were the two big unicorns you invested in, separately were Ying Zhang from Matrix Partners China and Allen Zhu from GSR Ventures. You are familiar with both of them. So how do you think of their investment styles and communications styles?
Gang Zheng: There is something wrong with the above statement. For investment of the two unicorns, Matrix Partners China, GSR Ventures and our company invested in them at the same round, but our decision was faster and the funds were in place earlier. We did it early or late, but we were more determined to do it.
Ying Zhang is a tough and tenacious man. It is not a problem. However, we are never defeated by him as we seldom select the same project to invest. For Allen Zhu, data is the most important for investment. He never trusts his intuition and likes to speak in concise words and to the point. They have proved their market positions with their achievements which are worth learning.
Fred Wang: How do you think of new competition between Meituan and Didi? It was ever said by Xing Wang that if Meituan and Didi fight against each other, it will be not a battle, but “war”. Presently the war has happened. In my opinion, the war between Meituan and Didiis is possibly a protracted war, even the war possibly updated. During the period of World War II, German army rapidly got victory in the European battle field due to the “Panzer leader” Guderian who sweep away the millions of enemy troops by tank unit in the battle field. But the final victory greatly originated from the order commanded by Truman who was just took the office of American president to pilot to bomb with atomic bomb, so that Japan was directly crushed destructively, and protracted World War II ended.
Let us assume with bravery that the taxi war between Meituan and Didi possibly gradually result in vehicle supply war even vehicle manufacture war, other than subsidy war. In the latest media interview you accepted, you mentioned that you are about to position the new-energy automobile in “sharing” “new energy+unmanned” automobile. Don’t you regard Didi as your imaginary enemy?
Gang Zheng: The statement about imaginary enemy does not exist. Because we are nothing presently and we fail to compare with them, it is just a point which everyone relatively focus on and is curious about.
However, I still pay my respects to Xing Wang. I believe that he does not intent to invade the market of Didi, his entering the field is a logic behavior based on the prediction of the future about what the purpose user take a taxi for. Of course, user taking a taxi is to go from one place to another place to do something. It is the Meituan’s advantage. Presently Meituan is just to link the point-to-point requirement in the field of taking taxi.
It will be the popularization of unmanned vehicles to change the layout in the future, as you said “it will develop into a war of vehicle supply, even a war of vehicle manufacture”. As for who will possess vehicle, it is suspended. Furthermore there will be numerous variates in the future. But it is a problem Meituan and Didi have to face. While at present most of people are just spectators, and consumers can practically benefit from the war. This is the beauty of competition.
Fred Wang: According to IT Juzi data, it can be seen that among the first-quarter domestic VC projects, 41% belong to blockchain projects mainly including media (12 companies) and virtual currency (37.3%). It is said that you ever suggested everyone in the CEO group of projects you invested in to seize the time to investigate the possibility of combination of project and blockchain. But actually you did not devote yourself to blockchain industry, why? How do you think of chance and risk of blockchain? Will you greatly invest in blockchain if there is the event of vehicle manufacture? And you ever ask everyone in our Mars Finance Group, how does blockchain combine with automatic drive? Now do you have the answer to these questions?
Gang Zheng: Good questions. The reason why I did not greatly invest in blockchain industry is some traditional rational thinking. I noticed the investment opportunity in blockchain aroused by ICO in the middle of August of last year. And I ever stated in WeChat that “I tend to complete 2-year knowledge accumulation by spending two months” and other similar sentences.
But when I deeply investigated, I found that I failed to probe the bottom layer of the technology of blockchain. Although we do not need to directly know how to develop App, front end, rear end, cloud server, technology frame, etc.when we invest in mobile Internet, we can instantly get the effect of product itself and product interaction, and we can immediately become users to judge whether the product is interesting.
However, blockchain technology belongs to bottom application. Presently I have not seen practical product and application except for BitCoin and Ethereum or token. It is a great obstacle. Although it is not necessary to report the logic of project I invested in to LP, I still overcome the obstacle in my mind.
Secondly, as institution participation, we only get stock equity of company in the form of investment from the angle of funds, while institution fail to participate in getting token which must be obtained only in the personal name. It is a great obstacle. Consequently I understand the reason why ICO is not IPO actually, and why ICO also fails to be supervised and to be searched for. In fact I am not conservative. On the contrary, I believe that success is possible if reliable company and reliable entrepreneur get ICO, which will overturn the equity financing.
Actually, we also invested in three blockchain projects which I am able to understand, without large amount and token. Of course I missed the chances like Binance and TRON for which you even cannot distinguish whether it is a chance or not. If you have no accumulation and depth in this industry, you will fail to grasp such kind of opportunity.
Digital currency fund can be understood. But there is no answer to these questions including how to establish legal frame, how to supervise....
As for how does blockchain combine with pilotless automobile, I am now searching for the answer. Currently, we can do something in the aspects of preventing from and controlling hacker invasion, individual privacy protection, as well as evidence obtaining. And we have already found some partners to carry out them.
Fred Wang: I feel that you are relatively enthusiastic about social contact products. You have already invested in Momo and Inke, furthermore you are an enthusiastic user of social contact product. You played many social contact products. And in Inke, you were ever an active online celebrity and anchor, you have 243,000 fans. And you ever threw RMB 1.7 million Yuan to net friend for reward.
And you surely notice that blockchain is now being used to try to reconstruct social contact products. I always believe that blockchain is naturally integrated into community. It was reported in Hong Kong Economic Times on Feb. 12 that Telegram with about 100 million active users, called “Russian WeChat” has already completed the first ICO, with the issuing scale of ＄850 million which was the new financing record. Do you look Telegram to further development? Can you arrange the blockchain projects along the direction of the social contact products which you are specialized in? What change and innovation can blockchain bring about for social contact products?
Gang Zheng: When I do my best to learn blockchain knowledge in August of last year, I perceived that blockchain will possibly bring about huge potential change for social contact products. It is exciting. You know if blockchain technology is applied to social contact products, personal information can be stored in the decentralized and distributed mode, hacker invasion can be prevented, fake personal information and news report can be prevented as well. Although I am not user of Telegram presently, good technology must be accompanied by good product design and good user experience, otherwise only best technology fails to support a product kingdom.
We can learn the lesson from the past Internet: the products which can influence the world do not generally appear in the first stage of technology tide. You can see that those community products, chat tools in the beginning of the Internet have been away from us, from Yahoo to MSN (except for QQ, but WeChat almost replace it), from American GeoGity to Tianya community, from Jiepang to various kinds of blogs.
Therefore, although I have not used Telegram, I believe that it is just a transition product we learn and experience. The true big product has not appeared yet, so please be patient.
Fred Wang: Over the last few days, the message that Mobike was purchased by Meituan has flooded with the screen. It is said that the founder of Mobike, Weiwei Hu has cashed out $200 million, equivalent to about 15 billion Yuan. Then an article of the Mobike founders - you are being abandoned by your peers after cashing out 15 billion Yuan - has been popular in wechat friend circle. Han Han, who became more and more low profile, expressed his views in a long article on Weibo. He thought that this article is not only in the trafficking of anxiety, but in creating a panic, because success is defined not just by several or decade billions. If you read the article and want to abandon the other peers with waves of emotions, it is estimated that you will be tortured by lust in spring, summer, autumn and winter in company’s operation, and will be cut by the landlord as Leeks. As the boss resuming your business after setbacks one another, what advice do you have to for young people? What are your success criteria?
Gang Zheng: My growth experience has been not what we imagine and I expect smooth sailing, and this gives me the opportunity for experience and reflection. Almost half life will be past, in retrospect, I really think that ups and downs in life would make my life more brilliant, although this is somewhat self-evident belated views, but I have always think that fundamental principles should be followed: such as being down-to-earth in conducts and honest in personality; making money in fair way and treating people kindly; by doing so, you will make the life of a half success.
I think I just amended the direction in my life alongside this road. It doesn’t mean I’m great in behaviors. I often suffer failures or get lost on half way, but you must have this concept as the beacon in your life.
On this basis, you should develop the habit of independent thinking as earlier as possible in youth, do your favorite things, and think about how to contribute your value as possible as you can, instead of measuring everything with your own interests at the highest place. I think success would appear appropriately in your life sooner or later in case you follow the aforesaid in behaviors, don't be anxious.
In addition, in the case of the 10-Questions with Fred Wang, I’d like to share with you some opinions in my WeChat Moments: "As everyone retweets them, so do I, but for different purposes. It does not mean that I fully agree with this point of view, but I want you think about them: a few days ago, Mr. Xu called in the maker summit to reflect on the social responsibility in the entrepreneurial and investment time because enterprises with social responsibility will go farther! To defeat the economically weaker rivals to death without bottom line in competition, break through the bottom lines repeatedly in the market without monitoring, utilize and exploit the unfavorable conditions of consumers with asymmetrical information … These wrongdoings will be returned to you sooner or later, and you may lose everything overnight…… I always think that the bottom line should not be abandoned in competition. Your height in life is not merely determined by physical size. It needs to take into account the social consequences directly related to you when selecting the business model, or you will lose everything except for underwear. It is shameful to make money by foul means … so, how do you choose as the moral degeneration of the world is getting worse day by day?
I know that as investors and entrepreneurs appreciate this point of view in the early stage, many people have reservations about this. But I think that if you do not have this concept, it will be zero in the end.
Fred Wang: It is very happy in today's Ten Questions. Thank you for participating in it,.I know you come here is not for me, but for Mr. Zheng.
The new energy vehicles are considered to be corner overtaking node of China's automobile industry. You said that the enthusiasm can make things even more interesting. We hope your dream of shared new energy car will come true as early as possible!
I would like to extend thanks to Mr. Zheng. Thank you for joining Mars 3.0 wechat group.