ChainDD New Year Speech | Hejuan Zhao: There Is Glory On the Edge of Cliffs

Abstract : Simply holding a belief would not make someone an idealist, but strongly believe in the world while standing on the edge of a cliff will. An idealist is a warrior who fights all the time and never gives up.


Jan 04

PHOTO/Visual China

By Ms. Hejuan Zhao, Founder and CEO of TMTPOST and ChainDD

It is my pleasure to say Happy New Year at the first day of 2019. This winter is indeed a freezing one, said by every participant. Even New Year’s happiness has been influenced by the coldness.

During the past year, we have witnessed many freezing farewells as well as painful regrets. But not a lot of people believe 2019 would be better off. More and more people are backing off, giving up, retired or left. We hardly could hear those ambitious words we used to say.

Ten years ago in 2008, the Financial Crisis was just ended. Back to that time, I have not start my own business and was assigned to help Minggao Shen, a famous economist to do researches in Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone, especially private companies in Zhejiang and Jiangsu Province. We visited many corporations, banks, security companies and related government organisations. And all we can see was just one word, Depression. Even in Zhejiang Province, where was the home of the most active private companies, thousands of factories were either worrying of getting bankrupt or already were. Moreover, the government was under pressure, the bank was tension, and companies were standing on the ice (the Internet economy was still developing back to that time). In summary, it was unbelievably similar to today. 

I was under a lot of pressure after my research. I was worrying about China would have a great depression. However, my leader Mr. Shen commented, the new structural cycle's opportunities are happening. 

At the end of that year, I was invited by Chile's government to record the Financial Crisis' impact on the whole world. Chile is called as Miracle in South America, as it went through Mexico's Financial Crisis in 1994, and many rounds of global Financial Crises. In order to show the country's openness and resolution, I was invited to visit several core institutions of the country, includes the central bank and mines. I asked the vice president of central bank of Chile, that the public said Chile's achievement is based on the strict capital control, is it? The vice president denied, and elaborated a bit but I could not recall. Although there was a single word I remembered clearly, which is confident. The answer was like, we have to be confident regardless.

Not until the recent two years, I could fully understood Mr. Shen's and the vice president's words. In the past decade, just like us as a new media, many other new economics started developing because they took the opportunities provided by the new cycle. Cycle also means periodic bottleneck. Just like macro economy and overall industry, a company also has its own cycle. If we agree that cycle is a must, the important thing is that everyone should be confident on sticking on or climbing up, to make breakthroughs. Take Tecent for example, QQ was going down when the government came up positive policies, then they had WeChat. Technology and capital are the main but invisible forces behind this example.

People ask me, do you believe Elon Musk's Mars colony mission? And I always answer, YES I DO. Sooner or later, human will migrate to another planet. Likewise, some people ask me, do you really believe in blockchain and Bitcoin? And my answer is of course I do. The technology, business, human behaviour are all making sense, so blockchain will be the future, sooner or later.

I sincerely believe in the power of technology, the power of humanity, and the power of logic.

And a single individual’s depression he/she felt in this great age was just tiny.

Now I will share something sad.

Recently, I am reading Shuming Liang’s oral history. The title of his oral history was named by an American journalist, Has Man a Future? Many people thought this question was asking by Shuming Liang himself, and it has been quoted a lot. But in fact, the question was asking by the father of Shuming Liang. When he was in his sixty, and quite depresses about the society, he asked his son (i.e., Shuming Liang), Has Man a Future? It was on the 7th of November, 1918. A century ago, everyone knows it was in extreme chaos.

The young Shuming Liang cannot fully understand his father’s question, and replied with his optimism, “I trust the world is getting better everyday.” “It’s good, if so.” Ji Liang replied. Several days after this conversation, Ji Liang jumped into Beijing’s Jishui Lake, and ended his life. Before his suicide, Ji Liang left a long public letter to condemn the society was morally wrong and triggered heated discussion.

The sad part is, after 100 years, today, China has abandoned the old feudalism that Ji Liang died for. But the world seems not worse than a hundred years ago.

Last night, Zhenyu Luo had a New Year’s Eve speech. There was a funny story. Luo said one of the product managers in his company asked him, what does an equal mark mean? Luo said it means the left equal to the right. But the product manager said no. An equal mark means there is something irrelevant or not important. For example, one apple plus one apple equal to two apples, which means that the differences between the two apples are not important. 1+2=2+1, means the total number is important, the order is not; there are three people in your family and three in mine, which makes six people in total. And that means, scale is important, relationship is not.

“Many things have being ignored by the equal mark. Our mind development is the process of getting and losting in the same time. So practical people should have a skill to make abstract principles back to the real and practical world. ” This made me think a lot.

I think of a story my grandmother used to tell me.

There was a donkey favored by its owner. One day, the donkey accidentally fell down into a well in a forbidden area. The animal cried piteously for hours as it looked forward to being saved by its owner. The owner asked many of his neighbors and friends for advises, but no good ideas came out. People thought the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, so it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey. So people all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried terribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. It would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, it would shake it off again and take another a step up. And eventually, to everyone’s surprise, the donkey walked off from that well and survived.

Maybe there are opportunities behind what we are worrying about. And maybe it is the start of a tragedy when we feel comfortable.

I don’t think today is not the time for start-ups at all. A start-up could be done, but never the time of starting things up. Simply holding a belief would not make someone an idealist, but strongly believe in the world while standing on the edge of a cliff will. An idealist is a warrior who fights all the time and never gives up. 

It does not matter how the world would change, but your inner mind’s change matters. What I want to say is, 2019 is coming now, and let us to be more simple and straightforward; as only in this way, we would deserve to stand here.

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