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Wen/Lakeside Black Clothes Man
Source: Lake University (ID: hupansanbanfu)
What kind of people are entrepreneurs?
Here is a special topic on the lakeside – “Old things on the lakeside”, trying to explore the flesh and blood story behind an old thing from the entrepreneur.
The protagonist is Bit Guild’s founder, Jared, and his old object, a breastplate he wore when he attended the Global Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2010.
In Jared’s words, he attended a lot of games later, but only retained his badge in 2010. First, he missed his state of being simple and happy. Second, he believed that he could do more than that in the future.
In one’s childhood,
The real world is not very friendly to me.
I just don’t like the real world. It wasn’t particularly friendly to me when I was young.
In the United States, my stature is short and thin, even shorter when I was a child, because this also went to see a doctor, and later it was tall, barely 1.70 meters tall.
And I am an introverted person. It’s difficult for me to perform well in school. Besides some friends in music class, it’s more difficult in other aspects.
But I’m still a competitive person. I think it’s more comfortable to socialize in the game. So I quickly fell in love with playing games. I think it’s fun, I feel I have a sense of existence, and then I can play well.
In the game world, I want to be what kind of person, anyway, everyone is on the same starting line, no matter who you are.
One thing is particularly funny. For a while, I was the president of a game guild. At that time, I was 14 years old. Once a member of the game union didn’t hit the boss on time. I scolded him. “It’s good to go on line at eight o’clock to hit the boss. You don’t hit the boss until eight fifteen. I deduct your points. You won’t come back to Lao Tzu to kick you out again.”
Then he said, “Yes, yes, I was wrong.”
Later, I learned that this man is a UFC star, that is, a punch can kill people, people every day on TV, earning millions of dollars a year. But in the virtual world, I am a 14-year-old child, who dares to scold such a person without 100 kilograms.
That’s what I’m interested in in in a virtual world like games. It’s a fairer place where real people don’t mix very well, and they can mix very well in a virtual world.
But playing too many games is definitely a bad boy. When I was a child, I was often scolded for playing games. I remember very clearly that at 3 or 4 a.m., my dad said from upstairs and downstairs: Why are you still playing games, and stop your broadband tomorrow? When you wake up the next morning, the broadband stops or the keyboard disappears, which is a common occurrence.
And playing games does affect learning. I used to get the best grades in my class. In high school, I started taking B, C, D in some subjects, and even two F in one semester. But they couldn’t control me, and I would not listen to them. I kept playing anyway.
Besides playing games, I also like making money.
I am Jewish, my father is a middle-level manager, our family is endless, but it can not be said that rich, is a white-collar family. My mother didn’t work when I was young, and then she went back to school and did more for public welfare. I don’t know how business genes come from, anyway, I’ve always liked to make a little money.
Because the game played a lot, I found that there was a market for equipment in the game, and I probably knew how much each thing should cost.
At that time, there were many accounts sold. Once, I saw a 60-level game account on eBay for $500. Look at that screenshot. A few pieces of equipment add up to more than $500. I stole my mother’s credit card. At that time, I was under 18 years old and had no credit card. I bought my account and began to dismantle my equipment. This one sold 100, that one sold 200, and the account could sell 300, 400 dollars to make money through this.
Later, I went to buy my own account, took some time to upgrade my equipment and sell it. I earned about $3,000 that summer vacation. At that time, earning money was to buy a computer with high configuration, so that we could play the latest game, but parents did not buy it, so they had to find their own way.
Later, I went to college. At that time, playing games was not my dream. My dream was playing games. But the university did not play games, I do not know what skills to do games, which major to choose, I think it should be able to write programs, so I chose computer science.
But after going to college, I was very depressed, because playing games was not what I particularly wanted, so I played games in school every day, when I was a freshman, my grades were very poor, and then I dropped out. After dropping out of school, I haven’t been at home for about two months. It was probably the most depressed time in my life. I didn’t know what to do.
But at home, they play games every day.
I like to play games and want to be a professional electrician, but I found it impossible. At that time, I thought I could play well, so I wanted to go to Korea. I learned that Korean electrician and American sports stars are almost the same treatment. But the professional players in the United States could not beat those Koreans at all. They played very well. I was only a semi-professional player at that time and could not reach the professional level.
Later, I went to work in a Japanese restaurant and began to be interested in Asian languages. I went back to school and began to learn Chinese. Then a lot of things happened.
There is a magic in China.
Called “Internet Cafe”
Later, I went back to school and learned Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Chinese is the worst and Korean is the best.
After one year of study, I want to go to Korea, but the school has not studied a year to go to Korea project, then I want to go to Japan, Japan also needs two years. The head of our department told me that you should go to China and write an application in 200 words.
In 2004, I went to Qingdao University. At first, I had the idea of playing casually for two months. When I got there, I found everything was new. At that time, I didn’t know Chinese characters, and I didn’t know where to go by bus. Anyway, it was fun.
Sometimes on Saturdays, five or six students organized to study how to take the bus, how to open a bank account, how to withdraw money, how to make a mobile phone, and then we went to McDonald’s to organize activities.
Anyway, everything is very strange, for us, these are similar to the tasks in the game. I found China interesting, and then I felt that everything in China was cheap. In 2004, I got 500 dollars, three months passed like the king, three people eat more than ten yuan can eat very well. I haven’t taken a taxi, either. I take the bus.
I was 18 years old that year. I couldn’t drink at that age in the United States, but in China. We went to Qingdao Street to buy beer. The beer was packed in plastic bags and hung on chairs. It was fun.
Later, I found out that there is a special magic thing in China, called Internet cafe. At that time, CS was very popular in China. I started to play CS in Internet cafes. There were dozens of people in a room who could drink Coke, smoke, eat instant noodles and stay up all night.
I’m a good CS player. Some people always think that I cheated. Once I heard a curse in the Internet cafe: “Where is that person (net name)? Find him and hit him.” I came to find that I was a foreigner, and then they watched me fight, and found that I really played well, and bought me a bottle of Coke. I was very happy.
At that time, I often stayed up all night in the Internet cafe. I liked this culture. I felt comfortable in China. So I came back the next summer vacation and the third summer vacation. I continued to read Chinese and went on to graduate school.
Now some people say that I am too smart. In 2004, I knew what the future of China would be like. Then I chose to go there and do business. But at that time, I did not have the idea that when I came here, I felt that I had fun playing games and that the country was fun. It was as simple as that.
After staying in China for several years, I feel more confident than before, because my figure and what I like to do are different in America. But in China, the height of one meter seven is normal, and playing games is normal.
Moreover, compared with the students who came with me, my Chinese literature is quite fast. I have some learning methods of my own, and my Chinese has made rapid progress. Here I found some sense of achievement, and found that the world was so big, there was not so much difference between nations.
We have a concept called reverse culture shock, that is, many people go to a particular country for a period of time and return to their own country will become very depressed. I feel this way when I come back to the United States after I have almost come to China. The last few times it was particularly serious.
I don’t think Americans are fat. It doesn’t matter if they are fat. They feel a little proud. They always think they are amazing, but they usually never go out. I grew up in a small city. After several years in China, I went back to chat with my high school classmates. I felt that I was not speaking the same language. I didn’t know how to talk to them.
I said that the future game is the world of gold coins.
Americans laugh at me
Later, I studied for a master’s degree. I spent part of my time in Nanjing University. I spent about half a year in class with Chinese students. When I graduated, my school asked for six months’internship. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know anyone who works as a game company in China.
But over there in my hometown, there is a friend who makes shoes. He has several shoe factories in Dongguan, and then I went to Dongguan. It was the most brilliant time in Dongguan.
I do quality inspection in the shoe factory over Dongguan and run around several cities every day. I am a person who has no interest in fashion and doesn’t understand it at all. It’s painful to do it there. I go home early to play games after I finish my work every day. In this way, I find a business opportunity.
I used to play World of Warcraft, American servers, and Chinese servers when I came to China. I didn’t want to spend time practicing a new role, so I went to Taobao and gave him my account and password. I could soon reach the full level and it was very cheap.
One day, I looked up some overseas websites curiously and found that the price of overseas training agent was very high. So I got an idea. I went to contact overseas websites and said that I am a foreigner who plays Warcraft in China. I can find someone to offer you this training service in China. It’s half cheaper than you are now.
My luck was good, and soon a boss came back to me and told me to give me some lists to practice. I went to Taobao to find a merchant, each number to 200 yuan, he trained after I gave it to the overseas boss, I earn the middle price difference.
At that time, I was 22 years old and thought it would be good to make money through games.
Later, I received a lot of lists and the workload became larger. I went back to Nanjing and rented an office for 1,000 yuan a month. I invited two friends to help me. I also named the company niubility (actually unregistered). I am CEO.
Slowly, business is on track, and everyday orders, dispatches and settlements are handed over to others to do, so I go to develop some new product businesses, such as acting as a substitute, or selling some of the more advanced equipment directly.
We rented a bungalow as a studio in the village of Daxing, Beijing. It was a small house without air conditioning. We have hired more than a dozen employees, all from the village, who pay 1,500 yuan a month, although not much, but it is certainly better than going to the factory.
Later we also filmed a documentary called “Play Money”, which was the scene of that studio, where dozens of people played games, and all the sheep, chickens and pigs ran outside.
At that time, we made a lot of money. At first, we made 20,000 yuan a month, and then we could make more than 100,000 yuan a month. This is a lot of money for the new graduates.
That’s when GDC sponsors invited me to give speeches. I think they invited me because I dared to talk about playing gold coins in the game.
There are still a lot of big online games overseas, but basically everyone hates playing gold coins in the game: first, it will destroy the balance of the game, because as long as you have money, you can buy good equipment, which is unfair to non-spending players.
Second, it will destroy the economic system of the game. At first, players play slowly in it. When large or professional golden coin players or organizations called “Jinnong” come in, hundreds or thousands of people play golden coins in a server. More gold coins come out, which will lead to inflation and even the collapse of the game economy.
Of course, another reason why the organizers invited me may be that I am the only person in the industry who can introduce the industry in English.
So in 2010, the main content of my live speech in Austin, USA, was to introduce the industry of Jinnong. I said that I am an American who plays gold coins in China. They used to call this “Chinese farmer” and there is racial discrimination in it.
Sony and Blizzard, the big game makers at that time, were listening there. I said the game of the future was for the authorities to sell gold coins themselves, and they all laughed at me. When I finished, someone from a game manufacturer came to me and said that our company could never sell gold coins on its own. It was a horrible thing.
As a result, gold coins and equipment in World of Warcraft can now be purchased directly in French currency, and Sony is much earlier. All games have become what we call free to play, free games, players buy gold coins and props from development companies.
Later, I attended many game conferences, but I only retained the badge of 2010.
First, I miss that time. It was very simple and fun. In addition, I always feel that what I do is not high enough, playing gold coins is the industry’s bottom business, even the game peers will despise, because even the game is not their own. I must have some bigger dreams myself, so I want to do something else.
I said you should go back to Changsha,
They said, “No, I’m fine outside.”
The gold coin business lasted about two years and made 6.7 million yuan. Although this industry is not illegal, but a grey business, because it violates the agreement in the game, so the development company has the right to close accounts, this is very annoying, sometimes thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars closed directly swallowed in one account. This is a very disgraceful business.
In addition, we mainly fight World of Warcraft. By 2010 or so, the number of users of World of Warcraft began to decline significantly, and our business was naturally affected.
In addition, the homogenization competition in this industry is very serious. There are about hundreds of thousands of people in China engaged in this industry, and there is no essential difference in the gold coins they sell. They are all made by very indigenous companies. In Nanjing, some of them are in Hefei, Wenzhou or Henan. Then we started price wars and even attacked each other’s platforms. I don’t think the industry is that fun anymore.
Because of gold coining, I met my later partners. We had some cooperation in the gold coin industry before. Once, I went to Hunan on a business trip and talked about the game industry. At that time, China’s page-surfing began. There was no such game overseas. At that time, I thought I was a language major graduate. I knew Chinese, English and games. I could try to act as an agent for domestic page-surfing to help them distribute overseas.
I think this is definitely more promising than gold coining, so in May 2010, my partner and I founded R2Games in Changsha.
Being a company is different from making gold coins.
It doesn’t need too much cost to make gold coins, and the mode is simple, and the scale of receiving and dispatching orders is not large. After switching to R2 Games, the requirements for the team are still relatively high. We have to register the company, talk to people, sign contracts, and have terms. We have to have customer service, localized team, business, finance, human resources and so on. Maybe we are really a company.
At that time, we had no financing. I put in the money I earned from gold coins. A few people added up to a few million. But signing a game can take hundreds of thousands or even millions, so it’s important to sign a game. If it fails, the company will go bankrupt.
The industry is also highly demanding, a bit like investing, you have to decide what products are likely to succeed, and you have to consider what strategies to adopt. These are quite different from the gold coin business I used to do.
At that time, many people told me that the model of page-surfing could not be successful in the United States, because our cultures were different, at that time I felt I had to prove it. As I said before, as an American who stays in China, I think there is no essential difference between people. So I think there is a market in China and it can be successful in the United States, but localization should be done well.
I saw the previous game of going to sea. Their translation was to find a college student with CET-4. The American players couldn’t understand what they had written. And the pricing is messy. Chinese game companies always think that American players are very rich. They sell 10 yuan RMB stuff in China for 10 dollars in the United States.
So in the early days, I did the translation of our products, including how to change the game to meet the needs of foreign players. I also did it, and I also did the customer service.
My partner is mainly in the market. We were lucky. The first and second products were successful, and the company began to make money. If we want to be large-scale, multi-product, multi-language, we need to find people, and there are requirements for people. For example, if we want to be in the European market, we need to find German, French or Spanish translations, as well as understand the game.
None of these people are in Changsha.
At first, we didn’t want to leave Changsha, so we started to make phone calls crazily. As long as we saw the people from Hunan who play games in Beishengguang, we all contacted and said, “Brother, it’s time to go home and come to Changsha. Changsha is good. We can do it now. Come on.” One hundred percent refused, saying, “I am good in Shanghai, I am good in Beijing, and I will not consider returning to Hunan for the time being.”
We can’t. There is a lot of controversy about moving out. I want to go to Shanghai. I think the core of our company is our global issuing ability. Shanghai must be the most international.
My partner feels that Guangdong is pragmatic, and he is not an internationalist himself. I used to be a standard Putonghua, but later I became a plastic Putonghua in Hunan because I wanted to help him translate.
There was a lot of noise about where to move. Later, I took the localization team to Shanghai and he took the market issue to Guangzhou. Later, it was found that Shenzhen had both internationalization of Shanghai and pragmatism of Guangzhou, and moved to Shenzhen at the end of 2013.
For R2Games, I’m quite proud. When I was founded, I was 24 years old and started from scratch. It took me five or six years to make a net profit of more than 100 million yuan a year. I was supposed to be listed in Hong Kong. Later, I said that I could go on the third board in China. It was also listed.
But slowly, I began to look at some new opportunities, because I found that the value I could contribute to the company was not so great, and I did not want to do it after the release, so I came out.
The virtual world in Player Number One,
It’s going to come true.
It was a coincidence that I entered the block chain.
When Bitcoin first came out in 2009, I specially studied it, because the first people to play Bitcoin, besides cryptographers, played gold in the game.
At that time, some gold coins because there are many idle machines, they turned to dig, I have several friends very seriously put in, they also mentioned to me, let me dig some, buy some.
I took it seriously, but just stuck in one spot. I think this thing is always a minority, and it can not become a popular thing in the future, so I didn’t buy it.
Later, when I went to Los Angeles, I sent a message to my friend who was Bitcoin and asked him to have dinner. He called me directly to his house. He had a suite by the sea. There were about seven or eight people in the room. Each person took a notebook and discussed some new items related to the block chain. The discussion was very intense.
They happen to have a project to invest. Everyone raises their hands. This one says I want $500,000, and that one says I want $200,000. Then my friend said, “XX didn’t come today, so there’s a share of $100,000 left.” I thought for a moment, although I don’t understand it, I looked at his house, car, and private jet. It shouldn’t be a problem to follow him. I raised my hand and said, “I want that $100,000.”
Because I haven’t done some trading and investment in virtual money, they spent a day helping me popularize these, wallet and private key. They also reminded me that if the private key is gone, the money will be gone and nobody can save it. This is the focus of the block chain.
Later, I began to invest in this area, earned, also lost, the whole is to earn some. Later, I saw the opportunity of block chain games. At the end of 2017, there was a game called cryptokitties, a simple nurturing game. At that time, in the fire, a virtual cat fried hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The core is that all the items in the game are on the block chain, which means that the virtual assets of the game are in the personal wallet, not on the game server. In contrast, World of Warcraft’s virtual assets do not belong to individuals, as long as the account is closed, everything is gone, but on the block chain, 100% of everything belongs to individuals.
Therefore, although the whole block chain industry bubble is very large in 2017, I am a chain of comparative beliefs from the perspective of future and idealization. In 2018, I devoted all my efforts to the project of block chain game, Bitguild (BitValley), and now I have experienced bull market and particularly cruel bear market. Within a day, the company’s assets wake up one million dollars more and find another million dollars less before going to bed.
Recently, this industry has ushered in a bull market, I do not know why, there is no practical reason. But I think this industry is still very early. It may take another five to ten years.
Some time ago, there was a movie called Player No. 1. I believe there will be such a world in the future. I am not sure about the time. Of course, there must be good and bad in it. I don’t mean to create an oasis or something. I just like to do this business. I’m not likely to do other business anyway.
There are still many places to break through in this industry. Now there are hundreds of thousands of people. What’s the point? I can make a de-centralized application, maybe only 3000DAU. This number is very strong in the block chain, but it’s impossible to find investors.
Before the virtual world becomes a reality, there are still many things to do, such as remember their own passwords, whether human beings can do this, I really don’t know, like my mother, remember passwords is impossible, her every password is written in it, if the book is not taken or lost, then she The password is gone. The core of the block chain is the private key. Assets are in their own hands, not banks or other intermediaries. If the private key is lost, the assets will be lost.
I like the Chinese way of life.
As a foreigner starting a business in China, this identity will certainly help me, and I have done overseas distribution before. When I go to negotiate with others, people will surely be more willing to believe me. I speak Chinese and English fluently, and I have also worked in the American market.
So although we were small in size in the early days, at first some people would like to believe us and think we are reliable.
I think I still understand Chinese culture because I have stayed for a long time. If you are an American who has just come from the United States and doesn’t know much about Chinese culture, if you do business in China, you must feel that everyone is doing it.
Foreign businessmen have a natural sense of distrust in doing business with Chinese people. In fact, they do not understand the culture and language. We used to specialize in learning Chinese euphemism. Chinese people don’t say no. So what Chinese people are talking about in the end seems not to be understandable just by listening.
For example, if they don’t want to cooperate with Americans, they will definitely say, “Sorry, it’s not appropriate at the moment.” If they were Chinese, they would say, “How about this time, but there’s still a chance for this.”
Personally, I like this expression in China. I came to China at the age of 18. Now let me talk about business with foreigners. I’m sure I can’t. I used to find foreigners in my company who had not spent much time in China to talk business with foreigners.
Personally, I like Confucian culture very much. I learned it in college. I have also written some articles. It’s still interesting. I am Jewish. Judaism has its own set of ideas, theories and principles about the world. I like to study the influence of a religion or philosophy on the way of thinking of a country’s unified identity. So I will also see how Confucian culture affects Chinese people’s psychology. This is what I studied a long time ago.
When I was a child, fortune telling told me that I was a Chinese in my previous life. This story had no effect on me, but it was funny, because compared with this, it was the Internet cafe that left me in China.
I didn’t make any deliberate changes when I came to China. I adapted to the new environment subconsciously. For example, when I came to Changsha, my Mandarin became substandard.
My wife is from Hunan, and she always gets angry when people say that she makes my Mandarin not standard. In fact, her Mandarin is very standard. I am mainly influenced by my colleagues. Now my Mandarin has improved a little, because the proportion of Hunan people in the company has declined.
Including coming to China, I like spicy food and Sichuan-Hunan cuisine. When I was a child, my parents told me to believe in Judaism and to go to church. After 13 years of age, maybe I am a more rational person. My brain is a little bit overwhelmed. I feel that the Bible is similar to magic fiction. I began to have some ideas of my own, and there is no Jewish observance of Judaism. Maybe that’s what Judaism does well, because the Jewish Church teaches its children to think independently, which also leads me to not believe in religion itself. But my dad is more trustworthy.
My grandfather was a Polish Jew, my grandmother was a Russian Jew, and later immigrated to the United States. Judaism has many traditions, such as the cutlery for meat and the cutlery for dairy products must be strictly separated. If there is meat in the pot, there can be no other, which is quite rigorous. So far, I have not dared to eat pork in front of my father. In fact, after my first meal of bacon, I found it too hard to believe in Judaism because Bacon was so delicious. Now, I almost only have Chinese traditional festivals.
Just one thing hasn’t changed. I’m not going to take a nap.