It takes a special kind of person to become an entrepreneur. Business is full of risk and potential for failure. In order to study business, one must pay attention to the successes and failures of other entrepreneurships. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the story of Jide Technology and their newest product – the Remix IO. In order for an enterprise to be successful, the company needs to possess an inventive idea, a team of experts, and luck with finding sponsorship.
It takes a special kind of person to dare to start an enterprise – it has to be a daring, creative person who is willing to take risks, come up with new ideas, and look for potential solutions to the world’s day-to-day problems. In order to have a clear picture in mind, it is important to study both sides of the spectrum – the failures and the successes of individual businesses. This paper is dedicated to studying the promising startup business of Ziang Zhu – the founder of Jide Technologies. He and his company have an ambitious goal in mind – to create an Android-based OS that will supplant the giants of the electronic market, such as Windows and IOS. Observing Jide Technologies as it tries to make its way out of the infant stages of business creation will prove to be an enlightening experience, as the company has the potential both success and failure.
Background of the Entrepreneur
Ziang Zhu was born in 1995. His father worked in the IT industry for a long time and has plenty of experience with technology. Although Ziang Zhu is currently studying Fashion Technology, he is also running his own enterprise along with his co-founders. He is an Industry Sales Manager in the company. His responsibilities include finding new trade contracts and promoting the product to potential sponsors and customers. Due to lack of actual hands-on experience in the IT field, Ziang Zhu leaves the technical parts of the enterprise to the professionals and concentrates on what he does best. The young man’s latest successes include receiving sponsorship from JD.com and Foxconn, who saw potential in the product they are developing and agreed to invest in the project.
Ziang Zhu has a great relationship with his father, who also acted as his mentor throughout the years, and is actively assisting him in this project. The young man says his father does not believe they have enough strength, talent, and resources to supplant multi-billion giants like Apple or Microsoft. Still, he remains optimistic and says that running an enterprise would prove a positive experience. His father contributed to the creation of Jide by calling upon his old colleagues that have experience with the IT, and inviting them to join the project. This provided the company with dedicated and experienced staff and paved the way for future success.
Company and Product
Ziang Zhu’s company is in its infant stages, still operating through a Kickstarter. However, they are already selling products to any potential buyers, one of their offers being Remix IO. This unique product runs on Android Nougat-based system and combines a TV set, a gaming console, and a PC, together.
Ziang Zhu expressed his admiration for the Android platform and explained the reasons why he chose it as a base for Jide’s line of products. The company believes that “the accessibility and versatility of the system have earned it millions of followers around the world” (Remix IO+ 4K, 2016, para. 6). It is also likely that this platform was chosen as a base since it is much more available to customization when compared to the other platforms out there like IOS and Windows. IOS is a very closed system that is not operated by any products other than the iPhone line. Windows, on the other hand, is a system riddled with flaws that remain the dominant OS due to its brand rather than functionality. In addition, major companies like Microsoft and Apple do not promote any products based on their systems to avoid competition. These companies protect their copyrights fiercely, which made Android the better choice.
Right now, Remix IO is available at Kickstarter for 99$. Jide Technology received over 4,400 backers over the last few months and managed to exceed the initial goal of 250,000 $ by more than two times. As of 19 November 2016, the supporters of the project managed to amass more than 600,000 $ to back up the prospective enterprise (Remix IO+ 4K, 2016). This is a great success and bodes well for the company’s future.
Their feature product, the Remix IO, follows the philosophy of multi-functionality at its core. It is a modern concept that has been very popular in the last decade – it promotes multi-functionality in gadgets and electronic devices, as opposed to focusing on a single operation. The smartphone industry is the most obvious adept of this philosophy – many smartphones nowadays are capable of performing the function of computers, cameras, musical players, radios, telephones, and others. However, this idea has weaknesses. Where the multi-functional devices win in versatility, they lack in quality. Dedicated devices will always beat the Jacks-Of-All-Trades of the electronic industry. The overall performance of the Remix IO, thus, will not exceed that of dedicated PCs and consoles.
Ziang Zhu and his team have conducted a market research prior to launching their Kickstarter. According to the young entrepreneur, there is a great potential market in China and less-developed countries that could not afford the expensive technologies of Windows and Apple. The Chinese electronics market size is large, estimated to be at 1,244 billion euros in 2014 (Leading countries in the electronics industry, 2014). Wensong (2012) says that “the majority of China’s population have a relatively modest income, which does not allow them to purchase expensive brands and technologies” (p. 77). According to Kyo (2014), “the average Chinese private-sector worker earns about the same as a cleaner in Thailand worker” (para. 1), which is around 4,700 dollars. This means that the target audience for Jide products in China is large. Mozur (2015), in his article regarding China’s trading policies, states that “protectionist policies of the local government also put a damper on any external competition” (para. 12). The innovative concept of their merchandise further limits the number of direct competitors their product will have to face. This means that Jide Technology is venturing towards a relatively unclaimed part of the electronics market, a “Blue Ocean within a Red Ocean” (Kim & Mauborgne, 2016, para. 4).
The company’s products will be aiming for the low-cost bracket of the population, providing reliable and effective solutions to everyday problems. Their proposition makes a lot of sense in that regard – a device that is sold for 99$ and incorporates functions of a TV set, a gaming console, and a PC, is much cheaper than buying all three separately. The Android platform, upon which Remix OS is based, is excellent for such multi-purpose gadgets, as smartphones are made to manage many functions, which translates well into Remix IO.
There are relatively few competitors in this marketing bracket. The only competitors with similar functions that are available to the customer are NVIDIA Shield TV, Roku Ultra, and Xiaomi Mi Box. While not exceeding their competitors in price, Remix IO offers much better performance, which should be enough to win them a loyal customer base. Here is a competitive test matrix for the products offered by Jide Technology, which allows us to compare them with their direct competitors (Remix IO+ 4K, 2016):
|Remix IO||Remix IO+||Nvidia Shield TV||Roku Ultra||Xiaomi Mi Box|
|CPU||RK3368 Octa-core A53. According to Parker (2015), “having an octa-core enables fast and fluid multi-tasking that a regular quad-core does not allow” (para. 5).||RK3399 Dual A72 + Quad A53. This device features a split between cores – the dual A72 is used to process simpler and less consuming tasks, while the Quad core is engaged when increased performance is required.||Nvidia Tegra X1 Quad A57+ Quad A53. This platform is the only one out of three competitors to match Remix’s CPU capabilities.||Quad-core. Fairly standard. Cannot compete with Remix or Nvidia.||Quad core A53. Cannot compete with Remix or Nvidia.|
|GPU||PowerVR SGX6110||Mali T864||Nvidia Maxwell 256-core||N/A||Mali 450|
|RAM||2 GB||4 GB||3 GB||N/A||2 GB|
|Storage capability||Up to 16 GB of data storage.||Up to 32 GB of data storage. 2 times more than Nvidia Shield TV||Up to 16 GB of data storage. Same as the basic Remix IO.||N/A||8 GB|
|Output Resolution||60 fps, standard for all models.||60 fps, standard for all models.||60 fps, standard for all models.||60 fps, standard for all models.||60 fps, standard for all models.|
|Ports||Possesses 4 USB 2.0 ports, an audio-jack and a micro-SD Ethernet cable port.||Possesses 2 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, an audio-jack and a micro-SD Gigabit high-performance Ethernet cable port.||Possesses 2 USB 3.0 ports, and a micro-SD Gigabit high-performance Ethernet cable port. No audio-jack.||Possesses 1 USB 2.0 port, and a micro-SD Ethernet cable port. No audio-jack.||Possesses 1 USB 2.0 port, an audio-jack, and a micro-SD Ethernet cable port.|
|Connectivity||Supports wireless connection, Bluetooth, and Miracast||Supports wireless connection, Bluetooth, and Miracast||Supports wireless connection, Bluetooth, and Chromecast||Supports wireless connection and Miracast. No Bluetooth.||Supports wireless connection, Bluetooth and Google cast|
|Application environment||Android and Android TV||Android and Android TV||Android TV||Roku OS||Android TV|
|Price Range||The price of the product is 99$, which is much cheaper than the Nvidia Shield TV. Current kickstarter price.||The price of the product is 129$, which much cheaper than the Nvidia Shield TV. Current kickstarter price.||The price of the product is 199$, the price exceeds the most expensive Remix product by 60$, with performance below or comparative.||Paying 130$ for this product is not worth the money. Severely outdated model.||69$|
This matrix clearly indicates that the closest competitor, the Nvidia, has an over-priced product that exceeds the price of Remix IO by two times. This means that they will not be a competition for the low-income customer bracket that Remix IO is aiming for. The other two competitors, Roku Ultra and Xiaomi Mi Box, are “severely lacking in performance capabilities” (Newman, 2016, para. 7), meaning that between the three products, a customer is more likely to choose Remix. At this moment, the price for Jide Technology products does not include any additional value, since they are not a popular brand yet. In order to make themselves a name among the prospective customers, they are willing to sell high-performance gadgets at lower prices.
Early Successes and Challenges Encountered
According to Ziang Zhu, the early challenges they encountered when starting their enterprise were similar to many others who tried to enter the viciously competitive market of devices and electronics. Without Ziang’s father, his knowledge, and connections, it is likely that the entire enterprise of Jide Technology would not have been possible – without skillful specialists and deep knowledge of the IT industry it is nearly impossible to develop a successful product and offer it to potential customers. Creating electronics and programming software is a lot different from opening a grocery store.
Another challenge Ziang Zhu mentioned was lack of resources. He remarks that “we had to cut our employees when we did not have enough financing” (Z. Zhu, personal communication, November 15, 2016). It was a distressful situation, as all available employees were valuable at the start of the project. The greatest success their company had was attracting JD.com and Foxconn’s investments, which significantly boosted the project and rectified the unstable financial situation of Jide Technology. Lastly, Ziang Zhu mentioned that he did not expect to receive so much positive feedback from many potential customers who were willing to donate and pre-order his merchandise. It was of great help to the project.
Advice for Entrepreneurs
Ziang Zhu offered a general advice for all entrepreneurs when he was asked to do so during the interview. He reinforced the claim that nothing is impossible, and that one should try to reach out for the opportunity before dismissing it as impossible or “too hard.” He stated that “it will be a very good experience for later years even if the company fails” (Z. Zhu, personal communication, November 15, 2016). This claim is reaffirmed by many stories of success – not every businessperson was born lucky. In order to build a successful enterprise, many of them had to try repeatedly, in order to see for themselves what works and what does not work. This kind of tenacity also builds character, which is necessary to survive in the viciously competitive world of the global market, where a business has to compete not only against local challengers but also against competitors from abroad.
When asked about who should and who should not try becoming an entrepreneur, Ziang Zhu answered that while the experience would be beneficial to all, not everyone is cut out for the task. Entrepreneurship is a risky and stressful ordeal, and the possibility of failure is high. He remarked that if everyone became an entrepreneur, the world would experience a shortage of workers. According to Gickley (2012), “the working class and the entrepreneurs depend on one another” (para. 4), for mutual prosperity – entrepreneurs generate ideas, and skillful specialists make those ideas come true.
Outlook for the Future and Conclusions
Although the company looks to have a promising start, the future of their product remains to be seen. The Remix IO looks like a promising piece of equipment that will win the hearts of many low-income families, as it will offer them three commodities for the price of one. However, should their pilot product fail to deliver, it will result in a failure and likely lead to the demise of the enterprise.
The sponsorship from Foxconn and JD.com, as well as their support in promotion of Remix IO and Remix OS, will ensure that the pilot product will receive plenty of attentions from customers and perhaps even media resources. Making their name known will be paramount for future growth and success. Should Jide Technology manage to earn its place on the local Chinese market, it would be able to consider expanding into other low-income regions like India and the Middle East, offering them quality merchandise at affordable prices. Chinese protectionist policies ought to protect the company from having to face such giants as Apple or Microsoft until it gains some foothold and becomes strong enough to venture outside of the safe zone.
Jide Technology enterprise serves as an interesting example of an ambitious business project made possible through dedication, desire, and convenient circumstances. Often what makes the difference between a failed business and a successful one is a little bit of luck. Ziang Zhu was very fortunate so far. He was able to rely on his father’s connections to build a team of experts, many of them with experience working in the Silicon Valley, in order to design and assemble the kickstarter product to offer to the audience. The idea was original and innovative enough for such Chinese media giants as Foxconn and JD.com to notice them and deem the enterprise worth the risk, and providing additional support. The fate of Jide Technology now lies solely in the hands of Ziang Zhu and his team. They have all the tools to succeed. Now, they have to claim their place in the market before the larger companies notice it and use their vast wealth and resources to claim it for themselves. As Herman (2010) stated in his article, “Blue Oceans do not stay blue for long” (para. 12).
Gickley, C. (2012). Entrepreneurship and business-owning aren’t for everyone. Web.
Herman, D. (2010). Every blue ocean will eventually turn red; Create an unfair advantage instead. Web.
Kim, C.W., & Mauborgne, R. (2016). Blue ocean strategy tools. Web.
Kyo, L. (2014). The average Chinese private-sector worker earns about the same as a cleaner in Thailand. Quartz. Web.
Mozur, P. (2015). New rules in China upset western Tech companies. New York Times. Web.
Newman, J. (2016). Roku 4 review: The best Roku player, but not for the money.
Parker, M. (2015). Octa-core vs Quad-core: Does it make a difference? Web.
Wensong, H. (2012). Advances in electric and electronics. Berlin, Germany: Springer.