A very inspiring story and interview by the founder of Baidu. Robin Li / Li Yanhong (Baidu, Inc., incorporated on January 18, 2000, is a Chinese web services company headquartered at the Baidu Campus in Beijing’s Haidian District. Baidu offers many services, including an amazing Chinese search engine for websites, audio files and images. In December 2007, Baidu became the first Chinese company to be included in the NASDAQ-100 index.)
Something Mr Robin said touches my heart deeply. In the early years of his journey, he went for a job interview to be the assistant of a US Professor. At the interview, he was asked a series of tech questions. He felt that he has performed badly. At the end of the session, the Professor asked him the last question. Till this very day, this question left him with a deep impression. The Professor said. “Do you have computers in China?” That question has a deep meaning. He wasn’t exactly asking him if there are Computers in China. At that time in China, no Chinese could afford to buy a computer. At that instant, he was almost speechless. Deep inside him, he has an impossible dream. He wish that he could tell the professor that one day, he wants to build the world’s greatest Chinese Search Engine. He wishes to buy many computers to make this happen. With the professor’s question. It makes everything sounded impossible. This incident cuts him real deep.
This reminded me a story of my own journey. This was in my early years too. I was given a chance to meet the president of a major MNC (Multi National Corporation) in the US. I was really touched and excited. How often do you get such an opportunity! Filled with hopes and dreams I arrived at the meeting. The first thing the President asked me was “If you have nothing fruitful to discuss, don’t waste my time.” (These words make me feel like a nobody coming from a small country. Trying to dream the impossibles) The night before, I was well prepared with the presentation. Feeling high with hopes and dreams. This one second, the message has melted me from top to the ground. At this point, I almost do not know how to go on. However the show has to go on. I have to hold back my tears and emotion. Bringing myself together. And continue the meeting. It is really hard. Very hard.
The world is fair. What goes around comes around. Several years later. A bigger MNC bought over the MNC I told you. The president I met got replaced. I met him in Cannes. Outside a Korean restaurant. He walked over and said hello. “So what is my friend doing here in Cannes.” he said. I told him that I am here to present Dream Defenders. Eventually he came by our booth and has taken a look at Dream Defenders. He was impressed and offered to represent us in the global market. We didn’t take it up as I was already working with Dreamworks. But I remain in good spirit and let the past go. Now I am still in touch with him.
At times, things like this do happen. Looking back, it is not a bad thing. It makes you stronger. It makes you become who you are today.