Richard Liu on Entrepreneurship: Several Must-Do’s For Success
At the Press Conference of the First Session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, Richard Liu, CPPCC member and JD.com founder, provided some suggestions for young people establishing their own companies.
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Liu said, first, it is necessary to do something worthwhile; second, the new era emphasizes success earned the right way; and third, persistence is key.
The following is a transcript of the press conference:
Reporter: Nowadays, many Chinese young people encounter problems when establishing their own companies, such as difficulty in financing, finding offices, and receiving certificates. It is also hard for them to connect their own ideas with the market. As a successful entrepreneur, can you provide some solutions and suggestions to these young people?
Liu: First, we must do something worthwhile. Just think about it. In the history of business, as long as your business model can solve the problems of the industry or the society, you will eventually succeed. I have never seen a company say that it can create great value for the industry or society, and then do so, only to fail in the end. That never happens.
Second, the new era emphasizes the success earned the right way. We now build a new type of cordial and clean relationship between government and business. As a warning to entrepreneurs, they should bear it in mind and do not commit crimes. Otherwise it will be a tragedy.
The third is persistence. The entrepreneur’s persistence lasts a lifetime. I first started a business in 1998, and was reported by the media for the first time in 2007 for financing. From 1998 to 2007, I lived in a farmer’s shed for six years, and lived in office for the other four. It was not only for saving rent. More importantly, rather, when doing internet business, you find that customers needed 24/7 service. At that time, many netizens used the Internet late at night, like at one or two o’clock a.m., so we must take questions at that time.
In order to ensure the optimal service, I was responsible for customer service because the company did not have the money to hire one. From 2003 to 2007, I lived in the office. At that time, I answered all questions for customers. No one knew this at the time.
In order to ensure optimal 24/7 service for members, I slept on wooden floors, and had my alarm ring every two hours. The alarm was on the wooden floor, and its sound was like an earthquake. So even if I was in deep sleep, I would be awakened to answer customer questions. After that, I went to sleep and set up another alarm clock. I stuck to this cycle for more than four years.
So I want to tell entrepreneurs that you must believe that you are heading in the right direction. Even in the darkness of a decade, believe that what you do is valuable, and believe that your company is necessary for the society. The longer you can hold on, the more successful you will be.