Time: 9:30 PM, April 25
Wechat group: Mars 3.0 wechat group
Yuchen Sun: Founder of TRON, founder and CEO of mobile social application APP Peiwo, Founder and CEO of Ripple, initiator of The Path of Wealth Freedom Revolution. Global Outstanding Youth of World Economic Forum (Davos Forum),;Forbes 2015 30 Chinese Entrepreneurs under 30; one of Chinese representative entrepreneurs of post-1990 generation .
Fred Wang: Founder of Mars Finance, founder of Linekong (HK.8267), partner of Geek Founders, and former Senior Vice President of Kingsoft.
Following is the sorted dialogues script:
Fred Wang: Many celebrities have been forced by reporters to fill out Proust questionnaire. I intend to select two questions from Proust questionnaire to ask Yuchen: “Which part of your body are you satisfied with most?” “What feature of yours do you hate most?” In fact, the two questions are associated with what you are mostly proud of and dissatisfied with. It can be seen from some social psychological books I have read that human being always has sense of pride resulting from satisfaction. For instance, some stars rely on their exquisite face; some children who have bad score and bad physical conditions always refuse to enter or are rejected by others, which will influence their own life. So how do these satisfactions and dissatisfaction influence you in the course of your growth? Have you had impressive trauma? The reason why I ask you these questions is that I feel you succeed more smoothly than those at the same age as you. You are just less than 28 years presently, but you have grasped the first opportunity of blockchain. A lot of people are jealous of you, for you have earned much money which they cannot earn in their lifetime. Social psychologically, Public is characterized by weakness for peep. Today, we are the public, haha.
Yuchen Sun: The first question is what you are dissatisfied with most. It is divided into two aspects.
I ever wrote one sentence which can best express my opinion when I started my business. Of course, at that time I believed that the cause resulting in my failure of my business starting is the era which I belong to. For instance, Xing Wang and many post-1980s generation might have a lot of opportunities. They imitated Facebook, but failed. Then they imitated Twitter, but failed. They might have a chance to imitate Groupon by developing Meituan. The god has given him a lot of chances to get over failure in his lifetime. However, when I started my business, all the opportunities of mobile Internet have been closed. So I have to be full of remorse at that time. I can say proudly that I could also create a $10 billion company if the God had given me a good chance.
Therefore, what I may be dissatisfied most with for a long time is the era which I belong . But now, I think that blockchain has become a very important field for the post-1990s generation to surpass. Consequently, what I am proud of most is also the era which I belong to.
Fred Wang: It is said that the act principle you have been believing in since your childhood is “to be No.1”, and you indeed made it. For instance, you won the first place in the Ninth New Concept Composition Contest; you graduated from Department of History of Peking University with the first place in terms of performance in the grade; you were the first student of post-1980s generation in Hupan University founded by Jack Ma; TRON founded by you is the largest blockchain community group of Twitter...You ever said “I cannot definitely be left behind in this accelerated era.” What does it mean not to be left behind but be No.1 for you? What if you cannot take the first place in one field? Will you continue or change the racing track?
Yuchen Sun: First of all, I want to clarify that many opinions about me on Internet are not correct actually. That sentence indeed is one of the important principles in my life. I believe that the company or product which fails to take the first place in one field, especially the first place of this kind of differentiation, is not necessary to exist, for the existing value is very low. Therefore, that’s why I often emphasize the importance of strategy. In case of entrepreneurship, a person should select what he is specialized in or what he loves. In case of life, possibly he should choose the field he likes.
I think the most miserable thing for one’s life is that he indeed fails to succeed in the field which he likes very much, or that he does not know what he likes at all or he cannot find his correct position at all.
To some extent, the miserable stage of mine was basically solved after I was 22 years old when I started my business. At that time, I finally found out one thing I was willing to do and I was good at.
Fred Wang: In your eyes, it seems that life is either success or failure without any intermediate zone. You require yourself to keep working for 7×24 hours. Do you enjoy this high-intensity working state? Or do you have to do it due to anxiety?
Yuchen Sun: I think that high-intensity working state is an essential requirement for entrepreneurship, or it is naturally normal. Therefore, it is far from enjoying or having to do it.
To sum up simply, I have been through these years and I did not deliberately make great efforts. It is not objective to determine that we work deliberately round the clock. To some extent, it is a natural selection result. But we are busy actually presently, which is normal. Most of startup enterprises are still in the beginning and require more energy than other mature platforms, which is understandable.
Fred Wang: There is no difference between show field and battle field to some extent.
Yuchen Sun: I believe that show field has greater significance than battle field. Since macroscopically speaking, it is not necessary to care about win or lose in the life at macroscopic level. Each person has his/her unique side. I do not suggest it is a battle where everyone must conquer others. So from this point of view, it is a show field where for everyone to fully show himself. It is enough.
Personally, I think that the unquiet state of the world is normal, and its essence is that the change of the world is normal. So our sense of safety comes from the state in which we have been embracing the change for a long period. The only unchanged thing in this world is definitely the change. Therefore, you must be ready to embrace the change of the world. It is the greatest experience in so many years of entrepreneurship.
Fred Wang: Yuchen, I remembered the book “Give Your Sense of Safety in This Unquiet World” written by Shumin Bi. She wrote, “The unquiet state of the world is normal.How to look for the sense of safety in this unquiet world is compulsory for everyone. Where is your sense of safety from? From performance? From wealth? Form reputation? Or from honor?”
Yuchen Sun: Performance, wealth, reputation and honor are as transient as a fleeting cloud to some extent actually. They are regarded as a kind of recognition or acceptance from others or the world, but this recognition or acceptance has its shelf life. Therefore, even if a celebrity performs well but he/she fails to make any achievement in some years, we may say that he/she is outdated. Why is that? The reason is very simple. It is because that the recognition or acceptance given by others in the era always has its shelf life. Therefore, you must keep embracing this era. In English, it may be said that we must deliver something.
Fred Wang: You attacked Ethereum on Twitter on April 6, resulting in a great influence. You listed the following 7 advantages of TRON coins over Ethereum:
1. 10,000TPS of TRON VS 25TPS of Ethereum;
2. Zero service charge of TRON VS high service charge of Ethereum;
3. Consistent Coinburn of TRON VS no Coinburn of Ethereum;
4. Java language of TRON VS Solidity language of Ethereum;
5. Powerful scalability of TRON VS non-scalability of Ethereum;
6. $1 billion award from developer in TRON VS no plan in Ethereum;
7. 100 million users of TRON VS a few of users of Ethereum.
Vitalik immediately counterattacked: The 8th advantage should be added. “TRON has more powerful ability of writing the white pater (Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V are more efficient than typing new contents)”, mocking that TRON has the act of plagiarism in its white paper. On April 18, Vitalik said in a media interview that TRON “has no soul”. Subsequently TRON announced 300 million TRX blank investment plan specifically for Ethereum users. To tell the truth, are you happy when you saw the reply from Vitalik on Twitter? Why did you select TRON VS Ethereum, other than TRON VS EOS or other digital currency? For most people, you have already grasped the proper chance to promote TRON. Have you weighed and considered the mind of Vitalik?
Yuchen Sun: First of all, let me answer the question that why I selected to compare with Ethereum? The reason is very simple. TRON has been developing on Ethereum for a long period, so I deeply understand the problem that Ethereum cannot meet the requirements of developers and most of DApp. Therefore the 7 advantages of TRON over Ethereum as listed above are really some of our practical opinions based on our frontline practice. That is one of important reasons why we selected Ethereum for comparison.
I did not grasp the good chance for promotion. We didn’t consider the mind of Vitalik either. When I twit on Twitter, I did not send to Vitalik or make any explanation. We were very happy to see that he was willing to discuss with us to increase the influence. Of course, we did not expect his reply or something else at that time.
Fred Wang: You ever mentioned that “It is of no significance to always discuss plagiarism in the commercial society” when you replied to “TRON is superior to Ethereum”. Objectively, the Internet industry in China actually is full of plagiarism. For instance, Alibaba of China is a copy of eBay of US; Baidu of China is a copy of Google; OICQ of China is a copy of ICQ of US...Almost all the Internet industry of China is a copy of Silicon Valley. Do you think that plagiarism in the commercial society can result in loss of human beings’ creativity and innovation courage? And what if you find that your TRON is plagiarized by other projects someday?
Yuchen Sun: I believe that the most important thing in the commercial society is execution and whether one thing can be delivered really or not. I think it is important to deliver what you want. To some extent, it is no use to argue whom the idea on earth belongs to.
For instance, as for Twitter which has appeared, Xing Wang can make it, Sina can make it, and Tencent also can make it as well. But finally it depends upon the execution. The user will choose the one which can deliver it.
Therefore, I believe that the success in the commercial society essentially is the result of users’ selection. However, in the field of blockchain, whether a public blockchain or thing is completed properly or not is essentially the result of joint selection by DApp developers and global user. It largely depends upon the development of blockchain technologies includes TPS, governance structure, availability of services offered to DApp developers. All of these factors are the key to the success in commercial competition.
What if TRON is plagiarized by any other project one day? In fact, many ideas of TRON have been plagiarized by the industry. For example, we have locked position till 2020. Actually TRON is one of the earliest that have locked position in the industry. Since we locked position last year, we have been imitated by numerous projects. Such kind of plagiarism indicates that we have done well and contributed to the industry in this field to some extent.
Besides, even if we find that we are plagiarized by rivals, we should also improve our execution so that it can be done better. Tencent specializes in developing products. If a team finds its product is plagiarized by Tencent, it indicates that your development direction is right and Tencent recognizes you with its own action. Of course, it is a very dangerous signal to be plagiarized by your rivals. It means that you have already had many competitors in the racing track, and you must be sufficiently competent if you want to stand out.
Fred Wang: Let’s talk about current hot topics. The competition regarding 21 global main nodes for EOS is now proceeding vigorously. The most active investors including Charles Xue, Xiaolai Li, Old Cat (Laomao), Huali Yi, James Gong, etc. as well as many EOS communities such as Gravitational Wave participated in this competition for EOS super nodes. Presently, 55 teams have participated in the super node campaign. Similarly, on March 31, your TRON public blockchain has already possessed 2,739 nodes within less than 9 days after the testing network was put on line. And the nodes of TRON have already been found throughout the world except for Antarctica. On April 12, you published An Open Letter to TRON Community on Super Representative Election, stating that it will hold the first 27 super representatives election on June 26, 2018 with a view to establishing the autonomous community through extensive election.
You grasped the right market opportunity. I predict that with EOS market education, your super representative campaign will get a lot of attention. Why is the election time of TRON super representative so close to that of EOS super nodes? Is it coincidental or intentional? Is it your plan to gain traffic for free? (I find that you have good market sensitivity). What’s more, what is the innovation and advantage for TRON compared with EOS? Show us the key points.
Yuchen Sun: First of all, the super representatives of TRON and the super nodes of TRON are the natural results. We elect super representatives not because we find EOS is popular. If you don’t think so, it may indicate that you are not familiar with TRON actually.
In fact, we have announced our road map and TPOS mechanism long before for the purpose of electing super representatives. It means that EOS took the same governance mechanism as us. And TRON and EOS are developing quickly, especially TRON. EOS started the election two months earlier than us, but both of us held the election almost at the same time. It is mainly because we work harder and developed it faster than EOS. So I believe that we did not plan to gain the traffic for free. Instead, it is the natural result.
I do not dare to say what kind of innovation and advantage TRON has compared with EOS. But I can talk about our key points and hope that everyone may concern about it. There are 27super representatives of TRON, which are more easily elected than 21 super nodes of So far, there are 20 organizations that have registered for TRON super representative election and the number is on the rise now. We look forward to your participation. Furthermore, we do not refuse those who have already participated in election of EOS to participate in election of our super representatives. Just like National College Entrance Exam, all test-takers may provide two choices. We offer awards to all super representatives of up to 1 billion TRX each year.
Additionally, `what we now have a great support is a $2 billion PROJECT GENESIS plan forDApp developers on TRON and the whole TRON project. I look forward to your attention. If you participate in such sub-projects as programming competition, Bug Bounty, TRON LOAN, etc., and develop DAPP on TRON, you will have the chance to receive the reward capital of total $2 billion, thereby establishing a good TRON community together.
Unlike EOS, the testing network of TRON has been launched so far, so that everyone can participate in the simulated voting. You may get TRX for free testing and vote in the TRON network. You are also welcome follow TRON Github and receive TRX for free testing and become the node of TRON. Additionally, you may also be elected as TRON representative.
PoS is still in the early development stage at present. So we hope that we can build the PoS community together with EOS. I believe that 2018 is an important year for PoS, and a lot of good PoS public blockchain projects will appear in 2018, forming a new supplement to BitCoin and Etherreum POW. Here, I sincerely invite all the campaigners of EOS to consider running for super representatives of TRON.
Fred Wang: You are called the founder of “Management of Live Market capitalization”. In August 2017, TRON was listed in Binance, and 500 million TRON coins (Electronic TRX of TRON) was totally sold out within 53 seconds. Prior to it, you carried out a multitude of live and offline activities and set up several hundred WeChat groups. How do you think of the “live” event? It is said by Chandler Guo (Baoerye) that the blockchain essentially is the business about traffic. May I understand that you match the identity of “a web celebrity of entrepreneurship”?
Additionally, I find that you are good at playing social software. You have more than 400,000 followers in Twitter and TRON Foundation also has nearly 300,000 Twitter followers. Each post has hundreds of comments. Moreover, you also have nearly 300,000 followers in Facebook. I think that these figures may be TOP3 among global blockchain projects in terms of activity on social platforms. Furthermore, TRON has also established national communities in minority languages including Korean, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Arabic. Whereas you perform well in Twitter and overseas social media, how did you make it? It is said that 90% of overseas followers of TRON are foreigners. How did you on earth spread TRON and Yuchen’s brand over to them? Will you please disclose a little bit exclusive secrete to your peers in winning overseas communities?
Yuchen Sun: I think that many questions can be answered together. Why? Blockchain is essentially a DAO, namely Decentralized autonomous organization. In the early stage of a DAO, connection and interaction between the founder and the community is actually the most governance structure in the community. In fact, it is not necessary to operate company, but it is a necessary option to operate a DAO or a community.
Therefore, when it comes to the secret in winning overseas communities, I think that the most important is to embrace the whole community with heart and communicate with each person in the community. I think it is the most critical thing.
I think that the authenticity of interaction is very important. Many founders think that it is OK to communicate with the community directly through public announcement or in other capacity, but the effect is not good. Founders would better communicate with heart personally. Many project parties are required to improve the true communication. Especially for many projects emerging this year, we cannot find any person in charge. They hide behind the curtain to avoid being known to others. He knows nothing about the community, let alone true and effective communication with the community
Fred Wang: EOS and TRX have not migrated their own Tokens to mainnet so far, which are still in the address of Ethereum. Media’s statistical analysis about Ethereum shows that TRX has about 470,000 addresses totally, only 7.8% of which belong to individual coin holders; EOS has about 300,000 addresses totally, 27.4% of which belong to individual coin holders. In the ranking list of TRX wallet balance, TRON Foundation takes the first place, accounting for about 34%, and has been subject to locked position, resulting in failure to be traded in the secondary market. Addresses ranking No.2 and No.3 hold nearly 20% of tokens, which means that the jetton is very centralized.
My questions are as follows: Which are two big accounts holding position close to TRON Foundation? Whom TRX belongs to? Has the TRX been highly controlled?
Yuchen Sun: First of all, in my opinion, it is actually a question that may be easily misunderstood for those who are not in the coin circle. Both TRX and BitCoin were misunderstood previously. For instance, the jetton of BitCoin was also considered to be very centralized. In fact, these accounts belong to various exchanges.
The account with 140,000 BitCoins ranking No. 1 is that of Bitfinex, and the other big-amount accounts also belong to other exchanges. As for TRX, it is very simple. The two big accounts are Binance and Bittrex. It can be seen that the two exchanges are mainstream exchanges that take a great share in our trading volume. Other big accounts are Upbit, Bithumb and Huobi as well as the cold and hot wallet accounts of OKEx.
Therefore, the more coins the exchanges hold, the more disperse the coins are. As we often say, there is no money in the wallet of Chinese, and all the money are deposited in ICBC, CBC, CMBC and Alipay accounts. The money deposited in ICBC and CBC does not belong to these banks, but of the depositors. Therefore, the money in Binance and Bittrex does not belong to them, but the users. The principle is the same.
Fred Wang: As you mentioned just now, the $2 billion community incentive plan PROJECT GENESIS (TronPG for short) officially released by TRON includes Github incentive plan (100 $100,000 support projects in Phase 1), BUG-BOUNTY, TRON Entrepreneur Fund, etc. Recently, Huobi also launched $200 million global ecology fund with platform token HT as circulation medium. Last week, OKEx officially released the road map for ecological construction. Besides, OKEx is about to launch global partners plan and global digital asset open program. In recent five years, Tencent has always been vigorously promoting the open plan. According to the achievements of five-year open plan of Tencent announced by Tencent COO Mark Ren, Tencent has helped 30 companies to be listed and more than 6 million registered entrepreneurs, and achieved total revenue of partners of RMB 16 billion.
In my opinion, ecological construction of the decentralized blockchain project is completely a kind of establishment of new order for such traditional Internet giants as decentralized Tencent. How do you think of the difference between the openness of blockchain world and the openness promoted by Tencent Open Platform? The generation of Internet started from de-intermediate layer. But current internet giants eliminate traditional intermediate layer and become an absolutely exclusive center. When it comes to internet prosperity, many people may feel painful because it is hard for a small company to survive. You should understand it.
Yuchen Sun: Actually, the openness of blockchain is greatly different from the openness promoted by Tencent Open Platform. After all, the openness promoted by Tencent Open Platform is an open route based on classical Internet thinking.
However, blockchain openness is essentially the openness of DAO. To some extent, if the open strategy of blockchain world succeeds, most of infrastructure service that we may have access to in our life will be controlled by DAO. For example, BitCoin is a typical DAO. No organization or individual can completely control this infrastructure. It is a totally decentralized layout and a decentralized structure.
But it is not the case for Tencent Open Platform. It is an open platform with Tencent always as the center. On this open platform, all data and core resources are always controlled by Tencent. However, the open strategy of the blockchain world is definitely not like this sinceAll data belongs to users and all core resources are open in the decentralized manner.
You are right. Centralized Internet does have great effect on the whole human beings, and with the development of Internet in recent years, the negative effect is increasingly apparent. Facebook hearing that was popular throughout the world long before allows us to understand that Facebook may influence US presidential election through some tiny changes in advertisement. The reason is very simple. It only needs to use little data to influence the opinions of intermediate persons and swing voters, thus influencing US presidential election. Moreover, giants monopolize data and traffic, thus greatly affecting other Internet companies, especially small companies
Therefore, I think that it is the time to change Internet structure, which is also the vision and value TRON always sticks to, namely decentralize the Web.
Fred Wang: Based on the analysis on the development history of BAT, it can be seen that it is not easy to realize $10 billion market capitalization. For example, it took 9 years for Tencent, which was established on November 11, 1998, to realize its $10 billion market capitalization; it took 10 years for Alibaba, which was established in 1999, to realize its $10 billion market capitalization in 2009. It took 9 years for Baidu, which was established in 2000, to realize its $10 billion market capitalization in 2009. On January 5, 2018, TRON reached a record high market capitalization of $13 billion, but it has been half a year since its inception in last July.. Did you remember what moves you when you heard the news on January 5? Mainstream media made sufficient coverage when most of Internet companies have market capitalization exceeding $10 billion. But TRON was not known by most of people when it realizes the market capitalization of $13 billion. Why?
Yuchen Sun: Firstly, I would like to make a correction. The highest market capitalization of $13 billion of TRON on January 5 should be the circulation market capitalization. Based on the full market capitalization, our real market capitalization may be more than $13 billion, and even reach $25 billion.
On January 5 when I worked in the company, my co-worker told me the price. Moreover, we know that it hadn’t sustained for a long period. So it is not necessary to talk about it. I seldom search the price, since the coins of TRON Foundation was locked and have nothing to with me. In fact, I think that the market capitalization is not closely associated with me. There will not be a true price until a team delivers the content.. Therefore, my team and I focus on how to deliver the true value rather than care about the price.
I believe that the reason why mainstream media did not made much coverage about TRON is very simple. Our vision and commission values, i.e. decentralized Internet, is not popular presently. Majority of media still pay attention to the current state and future of classical internet. They don’t care about the decentralized internet. But I believe that more and more media will focus on the development of the decentralized internet over time. Of course, I think that today’s “Ten Questions with Fred Wang” is actually just a beginning
When I am in real live, what is presented in front of you often is me and half of my assistant, and even only myself. But I cannot make it without efforts of TRON team and community supporters. Globally, TRON now has a R&D and operation team consisting of more than 100 persons and more than 1 million supporters. They always work hard round the clock. I am just the lucky gue to show in front of the camera and record everything while TRON’s current performance is mostly attributable to their efforts.
Fred Wang: How did you design the development path of TRON when you started TRON? As you control an economic entity worth $10 billion, is there a moment when you feel you cannot manipulate it to?
Yuchen Sun: As for the first question, I would like to spend a longer time answering to it carefully.
In fact, when I developed TRON, most of persons got to know us through our live and news about TRON. But for myself, I didn’t get started until I had a very detailed and thorough understanding and plan for TRON. TRON encountered a lot of difficulties and obstacles during its development. But we finally made it. I think the core reason is that we have already clearly known what we want to do. It matters.
Someone in the group asked me what Ripple is, and many people do not know what it is. In fact, I touched BitCoin in 2012, and entered Ripple to start my blockchain career in 2013. At that time, there was no word “blockchain”. We called it value network, value internet, or distributed liquidation technology. In 2014, I won the investment from IDG Capital, Ripple founder Chris Larsene and Greg Kidd to establish Ripple, which was the former of our current company. Then, we began to promote blockchain technology and smart contract in China.
We are one of the earliest blockchain and smart contract companies in China. Therefore, we felt depressed when Ethereum made a great success in 2017, feeling that we’ve missed the chance of smart contract. As an entrepreneur, I felt a great pressure indeed at that time. For example, Xing Wang established and operated Fanfou, but only saw Sina Weibo being listed in NASDAQ. I believe that once he is given another chance, he will definitely make a success with Fanfou.
Therefore, I didn’t want to lose this chance when I operated TRON. We made up our minds to do it. In 2017, we did try our best to make up all the time that we’d lost. It is similar that former school graduates during the period 1966-1968 who was held up by national college entrance exam tried to make up all the lost time in their university studies at all costs.
Fred Wang: In the beginning of this year, the greatest suspicious voice associated with blockchain entrepreneurs was that ICO was challenging the humanity. For instance, who will do his job after winning a great investment? Compared with entrepreneurs of traditional internet who make great efforts to get success from financing to achieving expected performance, to awaiting IPO or sell-off, ICO really succeeds too fast. In 2003, Tianqiao Chen at the age of 30 was the largest black horse listed in TOP 10 of Hurun China Rich Listt. He ever wrote in his signature of MSN that “Who can understand my feeling when I reach the peak 10 years later?” which was mentioned repeatedly. Over time, , have you ever had the same feeling as Tianqiao Chen?
Yuchen Sun: I am very honorable to be compared with Tianqiao Chen. In fact, I spent a lot of time in studying his story since he was ever the richest person in China. I like him very much. Of course, I don’t want to repeat his story. I hope that I can seize the true opportunity to bring about a totally new future for this era when I am given that opportunity.
By means of Legend, Tianqiao Chen had a very big platform and a dream regarding an entertainment empire. As a result, he failed to implement his dream out of various reasons. I think it is a great pity. Therefore, I do not want to become that tragic hero. I prefer to accomplish what I want to do even though I have to bear a bad name. It is the greatest change for me in these years. I would like to accomplish the mission rather than be a hero.
This is a sentence I updated in my WeChat Moments. I think it fits the scene.. Since the question you asked me today is about the signature of Tianqiao Chen in his MSN: Who can understand my feeling when I reach the peak 10 years later. But MSN is not available now, but WeChat is. So my new signature has changed to the one as follows: I did a lot of drastic things when I was young only for the purpose of attracting attention from the world; and I did some ordinary things when I grow up only for the purpose of enabling the world to need me.
Group friend: The statement about your fund-raising of RMB12 billion is found online. Would you please talk about the true state of the capital?
Yuchen Sun: Realization of RMB12 billion is nonsense. We are the earliest team that chooses locked position in the industry, and even a sample team with respect to this aspect. Furthermore, RMB 34.2 billion TRX controlled by us has been locked until 2020 from December 2017.
Fred Wang: Have you ever seen The Graduate, an American movie in 1960s? Some young people may not have seen it, but they must have listened to the popular song Scarborough Fair. The movie tells a love story of the graduate Ben, and reflects the growth of the young people and their resistance to the society of adults. It reflects the background of the 1960s of the United States, when young people sought for self-liberation through rock and roll music, alcoholism and drug abuse. They resisted to the hypocrisy and material desire of the middle class, which the silent last generation could not do. They found a way to unite together and burst their rebellious energy. 1960s is a period when young people were generally unique. Against this backdrop, the Beat Generation emerged.
It is the so called Beat Generation that gave rise to the later vigorous information revolution. In the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs showed their distinctive temperament and even arrogance in their own youth. Bill Gates was arrested by the police for several times for over-speed and driving without license while Steve Jobs was addicted to marijuana and psychedelic. In my opinion, the post-1990s generation, or the so-called post-internet generation, is similar to the young people of the generation described in the movie The Graduate in terms of temperament. For this generation, their popular culture is hip-hop, anime culture, live webcast and Douyin. How do you think of the period in which you grow up? I think you know what I mean. You must have a wonderful answer.
Yuchen Sun: Actually, young people of 1960s in the United States are the ones whom I adored when I studied in Peking University. They exerted a tremendous impact on global culture. There are also excellent entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Their spiritual life had a strong mark in 1960s. Even it can be seen from current iPhone contains a lot of romantic elements relating to the marks of that period.
As post-1990s generation, I admire those young Americans in 1960s. When I left school and stepped into the society, I felt the stress on our generation is far beyond the previous generations. Social structure has become very dense. Most chances for us to show our talents and enjoy the romantic elements have disappeared. Even there are such chances, you might find they are controlled largely or disappear quickly. Hence, we might not fully put our ideas into practice like young people living in the United States in the 1960s.
As we grow up, the post-1990s generation is becoming introverted, but it cannot restrain us from making our contribution. I think introvert is just the beginning of precipitation. Following the era of cultural aggression, young Americans in 1960s did not enjoy the harvest time in their own life or the society until the 1990s and 2000. It had been three or four decades since they were born.
I think the next ten or twenty years will see the delivery and growth of the young people of the post-1990s generation. So I cherish the next ten or twenty years very much and expect to make my own contribution to this era.
It may be said that the post-1990s generation is a generation without youth. However, I don’t think it is a bad thing. There may be even more wonderful things in the future.
Fred Wang: Congratulations to you on your graduation from Hupan University. But you seemed not to attend classes in the past six months. When you just arrived at Hupan University, you were engaged in the internet product Peiwo APP, but you failed. When you graduated, you switched to blockchain. I found most of your classmates were engaged in traditional internet. What do you think you can learn from it? I remembered Jack Ma also gave a class about traditional internet. Most of your classmates did not understand blockchain, and even misunderstand it. How did you explain blockchain to them? Weixing Chen is also your classmate of the same term when you were at Hupan University and also an influential figure in the field of blockchain. Which one of you did talk more about blockchain when you were at Hupan University?
Yuchen Sun: First of all, our study at Hupan University lasted three years totally and the main task of the last academic year is discussion and graduation dissertation. So I indeed spent less time at Hupan University in the past six months. My graduation dissertation is about the development of blockchain and TRON. We will make it available in an open source way. Welcome to pay attention to it.
In my opinion, the cases of traditional internet are also the cases of entrepreneurs, which help me a lot. It is of a great significance to learn experiences of other entrepreneurs. This is also the biggest difference between Hupan University founded by Jack Ma and Harvard Business School.
Teachers of Harvard Business School talk more about others’ cases, while teachers of Hupan University are from the frontier and have rich business experience and lessons. Let’s take the session given by Jack Ma as example. He invited CEO of Alibaba Group Daniel Zhang, Senior Vice President Lucy Peng, former CEO Jonathan Lu and Vice Chairman Joe Cai to review how they made a choice at critical moments of Alibaba. I think this is of a great help for our growth.
At Hupan University, I was the only one engaged in blockchain, which impressed me a lot. When I attended classes this year, Jack Ma paid great attention to my project. Since TRON was so hot that many discussions appeared in the society, Jack Ma kidded me, “Yuchen, you might not anticipate the project is so hot.” I said to Jack Ma that I hoped our news did not bother him, and indeed, I did not know the development direction of the project, including reflections of the society and the era, when I started the project initially. Jack Ma told me that when he was engaged in e-commerce, he also did not anticipate Alibaba could develop that much. So I think this is a fate for every entrepreneur.
When we studied at Hupan University, Weixing Chen talked a lot about blockchain. He is extraverted, while I am introverted in our class.
Fred Wang: As far as I know, you majored in history. Without science and engineering background, how did you start with blockchain? Who is your guide?
Yuchen Sun: Actually, I started with blockchain long before. In the year of 2012when I just knew a little about it, I usually bought Bitcoins via OTC (Editor’s note: Over-the-Counter). At that time, there was no mature exchange and we could not trade conveniently as people do today. We often went to bank and withdrew cash in dollars. When I studied in Philadelphia, I bought lots of Bitcoins via OTC. It was in the course of OTC that I met with many friends in the circle of Bitcoin. I met with my earliest friends engaged in blockchain via OTC.
Fred Wang: I asked Charles Xue about blockchain entrepreneur spirit in the 1st Question 10 with Fred Wang. His answer was that blockchain entrepreneur spirit consists of three aspects. The first one is that they should be subversive in thinking; the second one is that they should be bold to do what they believe; the third one is that they should have very strong learning capability. Lun Feng asked you during your interview for Hupan University, “you are so young and if you succeed in your entrepreneurship in the future, what do you want to do?” Your answer was that you wanted to promote the development of business civilization and the cultivation of entrepreneur spirit. In your opinion, what is the entrepreneur spirits for the post-1990s generation? And do you have such spirit now?
Yuchen Sun: First of all, it’s too early to say that I have a venture success today. Actually, I’ve just made a start. I think it may take another ten years for me to make it and create my own era and legend. From this point of view, I am just a young person who wants to do something. I just want to do what I want. Just as I wrote in my signature of my WeChat account, I just want to do something simple and hope that the world needs it. I think this is the entrepreneur spirit of the post-1990s generation.
Perhaps I can talk more about this topic when I realize my ideas and get things done in the next ten years. I don’t want to be a tragic hero which makes a great dream to be all in vain. Instead I expect my ideas to be a real future that is witnessed and enjoyed by all the people.
Fred Wang: Wittgenstein told us when he was dying, “I spent a wonderful life.” Stendhal said satisfactorily when he was dying, “I lived, I loved and I wrote.” Nikolai Ostrovsky also had a well-known note, “Man's dearest possession is life. It is given to him but once, and he must live it so as to feel no torturing regrets for wasted years, never know the burning shame of a mean and petty past; so live that, dying, he might say: all my life, all my strength were given to the finest cause in all the world - the fight for the Liberation of Mankind.” These words always echo in my mind. I fear that I cannot say so when I am dying, so I am always keeping doing my efforts.
The above words are excerpted from an essay titled The Furthest Journey Always Starts Here, which was written by Yuchen when he participated in the rematch of the Ninth New Concept Essay in 2007.
Yuchen Sun: This article was written in the year of 2006. Twelve years have elapsed. In these twelve years, a lot have changed except for my original intention.