15 Mar Leon, Fall 2016
Posted at 18:20h in Uniters of UW
If everybody contributes one pound, we can have a fortune! That was the concept I wanted to materialize when I got together with a few friends and had my first startup in middle school. We called our business One Pound. It began with us buying beverages like Coke and bottled water at wholesale prices from hotels and selling them to students in school. Some of our classmates were jealous. Teachers thought we were wasting time that should have gone towards preparing for our exams, which are of the highest value in the Chinese education system. When One Pound was at the brink of being shelved, I created other business to save the company. I used my video editing skills to make promotional videos for the debate team and other school clubs. My friends and I helped one member of our company publish his own novel and sell it at school. We also started a tutoring service and made exam study guides, which also satisfied the teachers for a bit. I continued One Pound in high school, where the company’s name became a symbol of eccentricity. I ran this company within the strict Chinese educational system. I’m very adaptable, but my adaptability also comes from Chinese values. Confucianism emphasizes flexibility: avoiding extremes, and finding a solution that works for everyone. As an international student, the real challenge for me is the lack of professional connections. I started going to startup meetings and talking to people, and now I have a great internship working for a small company that makes restaurant management software. I worked so hard my first year at UW, and I’m driven by a passion for Informatics. I love the human side of technology because I think it’s so important to accommodate people of various backgrounds with different lifestyles. I’m so curious about how others experience technology—and life in general! When we’re open-minded, we’re all richer!