I Found A Planet Chapter 98
Chapter 98: The Second Project
On the 28th of May, online sales for the Wa-wah robot 1.1 began. In less than 8 minutes, 20,000 units of ready stock for all editions were all sold out. 1.1 billion in sales revenue was almost immediately achieved.
But, it was the same day that Youying Motors called to give feedback on a situation. Zhang Dawei said, "President Chen, our company received a call this afternoon from Japan. It was made by the Assistant Director of Yaskawa Electric. He said that Youying Motors violated their technological copyrights, and they demand that we stop all actions contributing to copyright infringement. He wants us to stop the sales of the motor components. He used very strong words, saying that he will take legal action to protect their interests."
"Because we produced something as good as theirs, we must be plagiarizing them or violating copyrights?" Chen Jin smiled coldly. "They must be insane to fabricate rumors out of nothing! Simply hang up the next time they call!"
"But….. What if they really sue us for copyright violation? I heard that the Japanese are best at kicking up a fuss."
"Copyright violations? What rights have we violated? The brushless motor was invented more than 20 years ago. The exclusive rights to that technology have long expired. What can they sue us for? How would they do it? Just treat it as the anguished howling of a loser. The more attention you give him, the bigger the ruckus he'll make. What you must do now is to quickly expand the manufacturing capability of the brushless motor and grab a larger piece of the market share. You don't have to care about anything else."
Chen Jin also explained that the so-called patent did not exist for components like the brushless motors and mechanical mobile parts. The technological know-how was so generously and easily available. Whether one had the ability to create a product from it was another matter, and the quality of the product itself was yet another matter. What it ultimately reflected was basic manufacturing capability of a country.
Zhang Dawei nodded. "Yes, I understand."
On the early afternoon of the 29th, Chen Jin finished his meeting on the launch of "Wa-wah Robot 2.0" with the robotics project team. Later that afternoon, he gathered the CEO Ling Jundong, Vice President Liang Ying, Product Manager Hou Xiao Feng, Marketing Manager Lee Yuan Liang, and others who had recently joined the team in the strategy meeting room. A more important meeting was convened.
There, he announced the next type of product that the company would soon be producing. When he said the name of the new product, the audience was neither shocked nor excited. They were not struck dumb with astonishment or disbelief. They simply shook their heads or frowned. Their expressions were quite negative.
"President Chen, if it was 20 years ago, the project that you mentioned would definitely make a killing. But, it won't make any waves in this current era."
"Yes, President Chen, the momentum for this category of products has long passed. It's a sunset industry now. Other than a few companies who do inferior or fake products, nobody is doing this. Even the leading giant in this field, 'Bubu Gao Company', doesn't take it seriously anymore. They've all shifted their core businesses to mobile phones."
"Say, President Chen, how did you think of producing a learning machine? I think, rather than doing this, why don't we go into mobile phones? Or we could do something that's related, like a learning app. That would be better than a learning machine."
That was right. The second project that Chen Jin had set his sights on, the second product that he wanted to make, was none other than the learning machine! It would not be the traditional kind of learning machines, but an intelligent learning machine! It was a learning machine with "intelligent" tacked on the front. Even so, the upper management still criticized his decision.
Hou Xiao Feng was a well-known Product Manager who had produced the two apps with tens of millions of downloads, "Car Inc." and "Same City Dating." He said bluntly, "President Chen, your idea is actually good, but… it is not sufficiently forward-thinking, it's slightly lagging behind the current times. Perhaps, you might have researched the development history of the Bubu Gao Company. This company started by making learning machines, homeschooling machines, electronic textbooks, and other educational products. Although they possessed average technological accumulation, some estimated that the company accumulated huge cash flows of at least 100 billion in the 20 years that they were making educational products! For a long time, they possessed an excellent and sophisticated marketing strategy. After the two mobile phone companies under its brand ventured into the mobile phone industry, their market share exceeded that of Da Mi Company in a mere two years. They had the second and third largest market share separately. They changed the market pattern of mobile phones and made the major manufacturers view the offline market in a more important light."
Hou Xiao Feng continued, "We can't look down on the capability of Bubu Gao Company! With its 25 years of history, this is a long-lived enterprise. They were established just a few years after Hua Yao Company. The success of Bubu Gao Company was built on their achievements and cumulation in the educational market. If Xing Hai Technologies wanted to recreate the success of Bubu Gao and follow in their footsteps by making a product that would definitely have been successful 20 years ago but was rather questionable now… Actually, one would know the answer by looking at how Bubu Gao Company has shifted its core business to mobile phones. They are making for shore and they have left behind only the sunset."
Hou Xiao Feng shook his head. "Moreover, the competition in the educational market is too intense! There are various apps and lessons available online. Offline, there are tutoring classes, cram schools, one-on-one home tutoring… Their results are not any worse than the so-called learning machine. I don't favor this decision to create a learning machine and enter the educational market."
Many agreed with the arguments made by Hou Xiao Feng.
Ling Jundong said, "President Chen, the content in educational products is more important than the hardware. We can find someone to develop a learning app. The production costs would be easier to control and the risks are little. We don't necessarily have to make a learning machine."
Liang Ying agreed, "Boss, I think that Ling Jundong's words have a certain logic to them."
Hou Xiao Feng reminded, "President Chen, you may not be too happy to hear this. But, I feel that the development of the company is experiencing good momentum. We can just focus on what we're good at: making robots. We can't afford to make a mistake in our strategic direction."
Yes, yes, yes.
The audience nodded as one.
Sitting at the head of the table, Chen Jin swept his eyes over his audience. Without any changes in his expression, he shook his head. "Maybe you didn't understand what I just said. I'll repeat again, what I want to do is crate an intelligent learning machine. The focus is on 'intelligent,' and not what you understand of the traditional learning machine."
What was the difference between an intelligent learning machine and a traditional learning machine? How intelligent could it be?
Chen Jin stated three criteria:
Firstly, it had an all-inclusive knowledge base. All basic knowledge from primary school to university was included. Mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, literature, geography, history and even an encyclopedia for everyday use. Nothing was to be left out!
Secondly, the knowledge would be taught via lectures from a teacher. It would be complemented with text, diagrams, and relevant videos. In addition, the lecture would be delivered in a plain and simple manner, complemented with a humorous style. It would touch on links between relevant knowledge points to help the student fully grasp the subject.
Thirdly, it could answer all questions within 10 seconds. No matter what the student asked, as long as it was related to learning, the intelligent learning machine could give an accurate answer within 10 seconds in the form of a video.
Chen Jin hypothesized, "Let's suppose that there was such a learning machine that included all the knowledge in textbooks. You would only need one learning machine to grasp all the knowledge that you learn in school. Would you buy it? Let's suppose that there was such a learning machine, where the teacher inside delivered lessons that were interesting and engaging. He is extremely knowledgeable and has a nice voice. It will be much easier to understand the learning content. Moreover, he can customize different teaching programs according to the different aptitudes of each student. This will ensure that every student will have a thorough understanding of the knowledge. The smart student will quickly reach their potential and the ordinary ones can make up for their lack of natural talent by studying diligently. Would you buy such a learning machine? Let's suppose that there was such a learning machine where you could raise any kind of questions related to learning and it will solve the question for you within 10 seconds, complete with textual information, images, and relevant videos. It can solve any questions that you can't. Would students buy such a learning machine?"
When he put forth these three hypothetical scenarios, the audience broke out in a rumble and shook their heads vigorously.
Hou Xiao Feng said, "Impossible. It's impossible to create a learning machine with such a high level of intelligence. This can turn the entire education industry upsidedown!"
Chen Jin stared at him. "The project has not started. How would you know it was impossible?"
Zhou Kun, who was also present at the meeting, said, "Even if it was possible, it would need at least tens of billions of dollars invested in the project to develop such a high level of intelligence. That amount might not even be enough."
"Then I'll invest ten billion into it. And if that's not enough, I'll invest fifty billion, a hundred billion! I don't believe it can't be done!" Chen Jin slammed his fist on the table with a determined expression. He had to do this project with the learning machine. No matter how much money he had to invest, it had to go through! He had a much grander plan that would follow after this project. But first, he had to successfully produce the learning machine so as to ease the way for his grand plan in the future.
Moreover, he had the AI Alice, as his assistant. If not for fear of others' suspicion, he could even produce the product in three months. With the technology on Haierfa, it would be a piece of cake to realize the "intelligent learning machine" that he had been thinking of.
If the students were to put on the simulated reality headgear from Haierfa and studied in the simulated schools, their learning efficiency would be three times greater than if they went to a school in the real world. There were countless teaching methods and scenarios in the simulation. Their results would be many times more shocking than the intelligent learning machine.
"This…" Hou Xiao Feng did not dare to say that Chen Jin's thinking was a little too "lagging." In fact, it was too advanced! It was at least 10 years ahead. He quickly advised, "President Chen, the technological gap is too great and the development costs too high. Please, consider your decision again carefully."
Chen Jin had set his heart on the project. He immediately announced that he would invest one billion to recruit 1,000 software and hardware engineers and data collectors. He would build the project team first!
There was nothing the audience could do. The company belonged to the boss, every single inch of it! As employees, they could only do what the boss ordered them to do.
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