ON BACKGROUND I studied Business Adminstration in Beihang University (Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics). After I graduated, I volunteered in Inner Mongolia and when I got back I worked in the administration and logistic department of NEC China for two years. After that, I worked for NetEase (163.com) then during the Beijing Olympics, I switched to a friend’s training company to work as a director in charge of administration, finance and logistics for two years. I then moved back to NetEase and worked there until I joined momotech.
ON PRODUCT We only have one product and that’s momo. momo is a mobile social networking app which can be used on both iPhone and Android phones. With a GPS function on smartphones, our product focuses on social networking and helping people connect with acquaintances and even strangers near their location for chatting and friend-making.
ON STAFFING It was hard for us to recruit when we first started the company last August because we were a small startup and not many people knew us. We used to recruit staff through our founders’ connections and friend referrals. As we grew and became more well-known, more and more people started to apply for jobs through our website and we needed to screen before interviews. We do have a long term development plan for the outstanding staff and our compensation is above average in the mobile tech industry. Many people think that our company is promising and there’s a lot of room for future growth; so they would prefer to work for us rather than for some big companies with less potential.
ON STRUCTURE We have five departments with around 60 people on aboard. We have an operations department in charge of promoting momo and its branding, customer service, marketing, and maybe sales in the future. Our product department is in charge of product development and its future planning. We also have a tech department doing the technical work, a design department responsible for product design, and an admin and HR department in charge of staffing, finance, and logistics.
ON MARKETING We prefer to use weibo and renren.com as marketing tools to promote our product because they’re very popular and we do think that at this moment, that is more effective than buying advertisements for publicity because people talk and the information spread out really fast. When people who don’t know much about momo go on our weibo, they get to see how the app works in different situations and how it helps them to connect people around them in reality. For instance, if you go to France for travel and you want to know if there’s Chinese in your area, you can use momo to find them easily.
ON CAPITAL We did have some financing when we first started. Our CEO used to be the editor-in-chief of NetEase and he invested his savings and found this company with the help of some other friends. The startup fund was less than two million RMB and then we got more financing as we grew.
ON IP When we started, we only registered copyright for the name of our product, and this caused problems with many other similar apps who copied our interface. However, even though they have similar layouts and skins, they are not able to compete with us because we update our product really quickly, and they’re not capable of challenging us in terms of technology stability and product quality and functionality. We are very confident about momo.
ON PHILOSOPHY Efficiency is all we ask for. Unlike big companies, our work is based on cross-department cooperation. All of our five departments work very closely together for our product, momo. Everyone is treated fairly and equally, the interdepartmental communication and coordination is very efficient and everyone enjoys the company environment.
ON THE OFFICE We have moved three times. When we first started we stayed in an office in Xiaoyun Centre which was an average office building with a space of 100 square meter for a few months. Then we moved to King’s Garden Villa where we worked in a three-floor villa for half a year, and a few months ago we moved to Vantone Centre.
ON AMBITION The core value of our company is our product, momo. We hope that there will be more than 100 million users over the next year or two. We will only focus on momo, and our expectation is that every smartphone user will know about momo and therefore it will become the best mobile social networking tool in the industry.
ON BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT To me, the entrepreneur environment here in Beijing is fully saturated but not in a very healthy way. In general, a lot of the companies are only after short term money and profit making. However, we are more focused on long term development. We want to make momo a great app for the next generation in which all networking needs can be fulfilled.