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在线翻译:
szdaily -> In depth -> 
Young business owners of the digital age
    2014-09-16  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    BORN in 1993, Wang Yue said he grew up hearing success stories of Internet tycoons. This year, the sophomore at Peking University, launched a long-distance education website and quickly attracted more than a million yuan (US$162,600) in investments.

    In high school, Wang made money by giving lectures to junior schoolmates on test taking. In his first year at Peking University, he bought watermelons from the market at 1.2 yuan per kilogram and sold them on campus for 2 yuan per kilogram.

    “But all those businesses were small and, most important, not cool,” Wang said.

    For the 21-year-old, Google, Tesla Motors, and Steve Jobs, the legendary co-founder of Apple, are “cool.”

    Wang, two co-founders, and eight employees, all undergraduates at Peking University, are “studying part-time and working full-time” in a rented apartment in Beijing’s Zhongguancun, China’s equivalent of Silicon Valley.

    As China has achieved great economic progress, people who are under 25 mostly grew up in a financially secure environment. A stable salary, insurance, an academic degree and a hukou, or household registration, things that were important for people who were born before 1990, are not so important for members of the younger generation.

    “For people who were born after 1990, the most important thing is to have fun; the second would be to accomplish something with meaning,” Wang said.

    “The Internet brings with it the spirit of being free and independent. For people who speak digital as their first language, we were born with those characteristics.”

    Young people can start businesses even if they have little to no money or experience. But whether those startups last is another matter, according to Lu Wei, co-founder of Magic Entrepreneur College, a business training agency for owners of startups.

    Lu said the lack of experience could still be a major disadvantage for young business owners. “They are too young to understand what users need, and they don’t know how to find people who can help them.”

    Bad teamwork can also be fatal for new businesses, Lu said. “Most of them are the only child in their families and are quite self-centered. They can be very proud. Sometimes it is good, but sometimes it means they can be difficult to communicate with and work with,” Lu said.

    Passion for what they do is a must for entrepreneurs, but many passionate young people seem to lack the know-how, Lu said. “I can’t remember how many of them have come to me directly and told me that their website is going to be the next Facebook, Google or Taobao,” Lu said, referring to the giant Chinese online shopping portal.

    “But they stumble when I ask them why they had these goals, and, most important, how they planned to achieve them.”

    Zhang Yichi, a Peking University professor, said studies show that about two-thirds of startups fail within the first five years. According to his personal experience working in the school’s entrepreneurship center, the situation could be worse for the next generation of startups.

    “I always tell my students that the first company is meant to fail, but it is still worth trying. We can learn from the failures,” he said.

    (SD-Agencies)

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