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10 startup lessons to learn from Chinese drama Love O2O

Love O2O is a 2016 Chinese drama based on the novel of the same name written by Gu Man.

The plot follows Xiao Nai (Yang Yang), a gaming expert who also happens to be a basketball star, straight-A student, swimming athlete and co-founder of a game company. Would it be surprising to know that he is also the college heartthrob?

Putting aside the impossible existence of a man like Xiao Nai off-camera, there are a few points to be taken while watching him start his own company while finishing his final year in university.

Promotional poster for Love O2O.

While most viewers must be drawn by the innocent courtship between Xiao Nai and Bei Weiwei (Zheng Shuang), here at KajoMag we want to share 10 startup lessons to learn from Chinese drama Love O2O:

1.PR is everything

In Love O2O, Xiao Nai is described to be cold and always one to have savage comebacks. Although he is still a degree student who enjoys online gaming, he carries himself with such maturity.

Even when he is put into a sticky or uncomfortable situation, Xiao Nai still manages to put on a smile and be courteous.

After a pitching presentation, for example, Xiao Nai and his company Zhi Yi Technology co-founders/roommates are approached by several potential partners and investors.

One of them points out that his game idea is realistic and humble unlike Xiao Nai himself, to which he replies, “Lucky it’s the game that I’m selling, not myself.”

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No matter what situation you are in, always remember that PR is everything.

As Warren Buffet said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

2.Know your competitors and study their business strategy

Zhi Yi Technology’s main competitor is Zhen Yi Technology. While competing for the rights to develop a game with Feng Teng Technology, Xiao Nai studies Zhen Yi Technology’s business methods and even their past strategies.

His study on his competitor allows him to expect what their next moves are.

3.Expect the worst and be prepared

This mindset helps Xiao Nai be prepared for all the dirty tricks up competitor Zhen Yi’s sleeves.

Maybe in real life, pulling dirty tricks while doing business might get you into trouble with the law, bur it is often a dog eat dog world out there so expect the worst possible scenarios.

This does not mean you should be pessimistic with the future of your startup, but be prepared come hell or high water.

4.Your team comes first

Speaking of dirty tricks in Love O2O, Zhi Yi’s competitor Zhen Yi tries to poach Xiao Nai’s teammates.

In this case of ‘bros before dough’, none of his co-founders leave him for the competitor’s company.

A study showed that infighting is one of the reasons why many startups failed especially when it involves partners.

Have a strong teamwork for your startup. Credits: Pexels.
5.Know your weaknesses

There is no such thing as the perfect business idea and module. Every startup has its own weakness.

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In the drama, Zhi Yi’s main weakness is lack in marketing. It is the main reason why they choose to work with Feng Teng. The latter has good track record in marketing their products.

Know your weaknesses and find ways to overcome them.

6.Create short term goals

When it comes to startups, it is important to create goals. If you have some business background, then you will already have learned the five criteria in developing solid goals.

They need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. The time bound goals can be set either within a short or long period of time.

Short-range goals are things to work on over a short period of time, for example, how many prospective customers you have reached out in a day.

Xiao Nai in Love O2O is the typical type A-type personality. His short term goal is to develop a mobile online game before the age of 25.

7.And do not forget your long term goals too

One of Xiao Nai’s long-range goals is to invest in cybersecurity.

Having long-term goals allow you to clear up your ideas, focus your efforts and use your time productively.

Set up some goals and watch your startup growths.
8. Have a vision to change something in the world.

Any startup should have a bigger and wider vision. Disney’s vision is to make people happy whereas Ikea wants to create a better every day life for people.

Meanwhile Xiao Nai aims to depict the world he wanted to create through technology.

Regardless what your vision is, the most important thing is that it resonates with you.

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9. Your passion and interest are still important.

Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

At the end of the day, your passion and interest will drive you towards your vision.

When Xiao Nai was confronted by his father over his career choice in mobile games, he convinced him with his vision.

However he also added, the main reason was simply because he loves gaming.

10. Protect your ideas and copyright

In the drama, Xiao Nai said this to his teammates: “If you have treasures, you’re bound to encounter some hungry wolves.”

So if you have a great business idea, be sure to protect it. If it is an intelligent property, get a copyright.

Rather than whining or complaining about people stealing or copying your ideas, remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Plus, failing in originality is definitely better than succeeding in imitation.

Rest assured if there is one thing about copycats, is that they will always be one step behind.

Do not worry about copycats and continue to work on original ideas. Credits: Pexels.
Patricia Hului
Patricia Hului is a Kayan who wants to live in a world where you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight. She grew up in Bintulu, Sarawak and graduated from the University Malaysia Sabah with a degree in Marine Science. She worked for The Borneo Post SEEDS, which is now defunct. When she's not writing, you can find her in a studio taking belly dance classes, hiking up a hill or browsing through Pinterest. Follow her on Instagram at @patriciahului, Facebook at Patricia Hului at Kajomag.com or Twitter at @patriciahului.
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