2007-2009 freelancer Ye Dingding
In 2006, Netease Hangzhou Research Institute was established in Hangzhou. Ye Dingding, who graduated from Zhejiang University in, stood out from many applicants and became a member of Hangzhou Research Institute. But only a year later, he chose to resign and become a freelancer
Founder:The common mode of technological leapfrogging growth is big factory gilding or entrepreneurial experience. Why did you choose to become a freelancer soon after graduation?
Ye Dingding:To sum up:I hope my time can be filled up. The workplace is a bit leisurely for me, which is a waste of time.
I came into contact with computers in 1999. At that time, windows was very mature. In my hometown, the view of computers was a new generation of game machines. No one regarded it as a tool to create value. I don’t like games. I have a computer at home. I don’t need to waste it. I just started to practice typing. I practiced typing very fast before entering the University (laughter).
After entering Zhejiang University, I realized that computer technology could create so many beautiful things. At that time, I began to have a sense of urgency. I participated in the open source community and some external open source projects, and also helped the school’s forum to provide maintenance for the very popular 88 (freecity) and other IT products. I enjoyed the feeling of filling up the time.
There’s another reason,Compared with the research of technology itself, I hope to use technology to create products and create valueAnd becoming a freelancer not only allows me to freely allocate my time, but also directly participate in various projects at home and abroad.
Technology maker: many technology friends have a freelancer heart, but freelancers are obviously faced with great challenges, such as how to continuously realize income. You have talked about the methods in many interviews. Tech maker would like to know where your courage comes from?
Ye Dingding:My family is in business. Businessmen are more courageous in challenging new things and believe that they can support themselves in any way. This is the first reason.
The second reason is that during my work in Netease Hangzhou Research Institute, I have already started to use my spare time to help my senior brother with some projects. One is distributed catering search, and the other is reading later. In the process of doing these projects, I experienced remote collaboration, and had some experience on how technology providers can achieve products and deliver results, and felt that I could handle it.
To be honest,Until the day I came out, I was still not sure whether I could do it or not, but it was unacceptable to continue to live a life that made me dissatisfiedSo I want to challenge it. As for the problem, just find a way to solve it.
Tips: ye Dingding’s freelancer experience
1. Freelancing is not isolated from the world. On the contrary, it is most important to maintain good social quality
2. Participating in open source projects can not only establish the image of experts, but also make many friends
3. In the time of lack of contacts, think about the suitable project source and take the initiative to attack
4. Establish a personal propaganda position (Ye Dingding is the founder of the famous it podcast tea hour)
5. Library and coffee shop are more suitable places for work than home (Hangzhou Library is very good)
Founder:Among the projects you contacted in those years, were there any products that you thought would be popular?
Ye Dingding:My clients are mainly from the United States. The United States in 2008 and 2009 is very similar to that in China in 2013 and 2014, with many entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial projects emerging. What impressed me deeply was a public opinion analysis tool and a vertical real estate industry product similar to Facebook.
But at that time, my role was still a developer, and my goal was to become an excellent developer with high quality and speed. I was mainly responsible for responding to the demand and using technology to realize the demand side’s ideas. I didn’t think much about things in the business field, and of course, I was also constrained by the distant space. I couldn’t judge the future of the project in the U.S. market.
Freelancers may have to go through two stages. The first stage is to polish themselves on the technical level. First, they have to be skilled, and then they look for opportunities to expand their cognitive boundaries to the business field.It took me more than two years to polish the technology. In 2009, I came into contact with an enterprise microblog project, started to build products from 0 to 1, and entered the second stage.
Entrepreneur Ye Dingding 2009-2015
Founder:From a freelancer to an entrepreneur, what is the impact on your work style?
Ye Dingding:As for the project of enterprise microblog, the partner in the United States is responsible for putting forward business ideas and ideas, and responsible for marketing and sales. I need to think about how to combine business and technology. Instead of starting directly with software design, I have become a product designer. I also need to learn team management. I built the technical team in China.
Founder:What do you think is the most valuable experience of this venture 10 years ago?
Ye Dingding:Enterprise microblog is a typical to B project. We need to continue to explore what customers like and care about. Our idea is to use information flow as an interactive way to derive the collaborative function within the enterprise – in essence, our products are very similar to slack. On the basis of information flow, we try to graft many third-party tools, such as QA, project management tools and so on.
Our competitor is yammer, which is more similar to the corporate version of Facebook, and was later acquired by Microsoft for $1 billion. In the process of competition, we constantly think about differentiated competition points and determine PK method. For example, yammer’s SaaS service charges $2 per person per month, while we use the tactics of attracting users to try it for free and closing the loop in private deployment. But in the process of advancing, we found that,Private deployment is very expensive from implementation to cost. Another problem is,We constantly add functions to our products, but gradually realize that our products lack a core value. What kind of products are we doing？ The cost pressure of private deployment and the lack of core value of products are the main reasons for our competitive disadvantage.
Founder:The pressure of private deployment and value dispersion lead to weak competition. Which is the more critical reason?
Ye Dingding:Ten years ago, I thought it was the former. Private deployment mode led to low ROI, but now I firmly believe it is the latter. Clear core value can not only make customers better understand and accept you, but also make the most efficient allocation and utilization of enterprise resources.
Although the progress of the project is not very smooth, I think collaborative management is a valuable to B service direction. Around 2010, the mainstream collaborative tools used in China were some open source projects that appeared in 2005 and 2006, so I started the second venture project: windmill, which is a collaborative tool. In 2011, I began to think and make demo. In 2012, I started my business with two partners.
Founder:What is your role in the three person entrepreneurial team? Business leader? Or the core of technology?
Ye Dingding:All three of us have technical background. The other two partners are more technical. The market side is mainly my own business. Although there are not many people in the team, our goal is very big – now I still adhere to this goal, that is to make a world-class software of China’s own.
Windmill is still under maintenance today. It is a commercial project that can survive. At first, I narrowly thought that we should make excellent products to attract customers, and refused to take the route of financing smashing the market. When I wake up and interested investors want to join, there are some vague and difficult situations in the early days, so windmill is just a case in point The form of Huai is maintaining. Fortunately, the amount paid by users is enough to cover the cost of the server, and the maintenance does not involve much energy.
CTO Ye Dingding 2015 present
Founder:How do you know Simon?
Ye Dingding:A series of coincidences, through a few friends connected together. When I first met, he talked with me about how to use data analysis tools to drive growth, which is exactly an area I have been focusing on,How to use data enabling services more efficientlyAnd I think his idea can be commercialized, and he’s looking for a technology partner, so it’s a hit.
Tips. Zhang Ximeng, founder and CEO of growingio
He is a former senior director of U.S. business analysis department of LinkedIn, and was selected as “the world’s top 10 leading data scientists” by data Science Central.
Founder:Join growingio, let you end the continuous 7 years of telecommuting life, adapt smoothly?
Ye Dingding:Not bad, because this career fits me very well. In terms of technology, I am very confident that the technology we used in the enterprise microblog project is two to three years ahead of our competitors. Take windmill and growingio as a comparison. The former is an operation oriented product, while the latter is more technology oriented. In fact, the former is not suitable for me. I can create more value in growingio, so I should not worry about work habits.
Growingio’s demo was made in December 2014, butIn fact, until the beginning of 2015, we were still struggling: is it in the United States or in China. As mentioned earlier, China set off a wave of entrepreneurship in 2013 and 2014. I think this is an opportunity. Start ups must solve the problem of growth, use data more effectively to analyze users and drive business. In addition, the growth of China’s Internet industry is far from being capped, so it is better to work hard in the market with strong development.
I took Simon to China for three weeks and made a tour of several major cities in the country. In fact, in the first week, he was determined to do the Chinese market.
Founder:Now there are more and more tob start-up projects, which is also the main battlefield for technologists to exert their energy. Can you share some entrepreneurial experience of growingio?
Ye Dingding: the core team of growingio is from the United States. The main challenge we are facing is the lack of understanding of the domestic market in the early stage. For example, in the United States, SaaS cloud service is the mainstream business model, but in China, many enterprises, especially in finance and other industries, still accept the way of privatization deployment. However, growingio adapts to this change very quickly. Once it starts to go deep into the market and get to know its customers, it quickly adjusts its thinking and product direction. This ability of rapid adjustment and adaptation is also one of the most important abilities of entrepreneurial teams.
Second,As a technologist, we should always recognize that products and technologies serve the market, customers and demands.In the past six months, I have visited customers every week, and I have maintained interaction with customers during the epidemic period,Products, services, markets, etc. can not be built behind closed doors. We must go deep into the front line of customers in order to truly understand their needs and understand their language. What customers need are tools, services or overall solutions. Only by figuring out what customers need, can you know how to grow up with customers, how to match products, and how to provide supporting training, consulting and other services.
Founder:In the five years of growingio, what is your biggest personal growth?
Ye Dingding:Thinking model and cognition. From the initial work of receiving orders in the stage of freelance, to the completion of products in the early stage of entrepreneurship, from design to delivery, and then to growingio, further to the business level.Thinking change is a long-term challenge. To be honest, even today, occasionally I still use products to push back the demand, and then I will be alerted by the team and remind each other that we must focus on customer demand.
The customer base of growingio service is also gradually expanding. From the Internet before to the traditional retail, finance, automobile, real estate and other industries, everyone’s background, language and needs are greatly different,How to use the language system recognized by customers to communicate, I must be more active, more active to jump out of their comfort zone, in order to better serve each other.