Why can Pinduoduo succeed? This is a topic that has been discussed by countless people.

Two years ago, 6 hours before Pinduoduo’s listing, a reporter asked the founder Huang Zheng asked this question that everyone is interested in. And Huang Zheng just said lightly:Most of our success depends on luck.

Huang Zheng is a pragmatic person. Although there is a modest element in this statement, it undoubtedly contains his true thoughts.

Mencius said:Time is not as good as location, and location is not as good as people. Looking back on the development history of Pinduoduo, we will find that It can have today’s achievements, it is the result of the combined effect of many objective conditions.

It can even be said that There will never be a second Pinduoduo in the world.

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Mobile Internet, smart phones and WeChat

2014 With the issuance of 4G licenses by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China’s 4G network has been officially launched on a large scale. Numerous Internet brands have begun to shift from PC to mobile, and mobile application scenarios have been greatly enriched. Pinduoduo was born under the background of the outbreak of the mobile Internet.

In 2015, when Pinduoduo was established, the number of Chinese Internet users was 688 million, and after three years it has grown to 828 million. In the eyes of more than 100 million people, the Internet world is like a piece of white paper. In their eyes, Taobao and Pinduoduo The difference is not big, this is an excellent opportunity for Pinduoduo to acquire new talents.

More importantly, in recent years, mobile Internet users have gradually become the mainstream. As of 2018, 98.6%of China’s more than 800 million Internet users are mobile phone users. It can be said that whoever wins the mobile phone user wins the Internet market.

Entrepreneurship in the field of e-commerce is a big bet. If you bet on the right, you will lose money. Judging from the results, Pinduoduo’s choice is very wise. It puts all its chips on the mobile terminal and concentrates on the mobile terminal. Even now, there is no PC terminal entrance and no waste of resources.

Of course, only a well-developed network is not enough. The hardware as a carrier is also a necessary condition for the rise of Pinduoduo.

In 2013, the overall coverage of smart phones in China was around 40%, and only first-tier city residents generally hold smart phones. Obviously they are not the target audience of Pinduoduo. If Pinduoduo was born two years earlier, although it could catch up with the early train of the mobile Internet, it would still die due to hardware constraints.

Since 2016, with the reduction of internet fees, the popularization of Wi-Fi, the speeding up of internet speed, the price war of domestically produced thousand-yuan smartphones and other factors, smart phones have begun to be widely used. Start to really sink. Pinduoduo’s kung fu has finally come into use.

In addition to the mobile Internet and smart phones, there is another important factor that directly contributed to the qualitative change of Pinduoduo, and that is the rise of the giant WeChat.

Before 2014, WeChat was just an ordinary chat tool, but since the launch of the WeChat red envelope and WeChat payment functions, WeChat has taken the first step towards the”Super APP”, and users have started Explosive growth.

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Once anything is related to money, The taste has changed. Even the most resisted teenagers could not help the temptation of their elders to send red envelopes and downloaded WeChat one after another. The popularity of WeChat Pay has brought more possibilities to it, and Tencent’s long-standing e-commerce dream finally has a chance to come true.

In September 2016, Tencent invested in Pinduoduo and also launched business cooperation. From then on, the WeChat management system seemed to give Pinduoduo the green light, and sharing links was overwhelming, but it was rarely blocked. Pingduoduo has been focusing on the concept of”social e-commerce” since its establishment. With the support of the largest social platform in China, it has become”complete body”.

Pinduoduo is lucky. It seems that someone has paved the way for it since its birth. In other words, it is like the virtual bamboo in”The Eight Parts of the Dragon”. Although the qualifications are mediocre, it can always appear on the right occasion and meet the right person at the right time.

As the saying goes, Half a step faster is a genius, one step faster is a lunatic. Timing is too important for entrepreneurs. Countless people who think ahead have died because of premature practice. However, Pinduoduo unbiasedly exerted its strength when the time was right, while Fuming was already a blockbuster.

The entrepreneurs who appeared after Pinduoduo may not be so lucky. 2014-2016 is the golden age of the mobile Internet. Missing is a miss, and tuyere will not give them a second chance.

The last phenomenon-level outlet appeared around 2000 when PCs and the Internet became popular. The emergence of giants such as Ali and JD.com is the best proof. Based on this calculation, at least in ten years, there will be no more companies like Pinduoduo taking up time.

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fight Duoduo”picked up” a big bargain

From the perspective of the e-commerce environment, Pinduoduo faced a very harsh environment when it was born:mid-to-high-end markets include Tmall, JD.com, and mid-to-low-end markets. There are Taobao and its subsidiary Juhuasuan in the market, and Vipshop in the vertical field, and it seems that there is no place for Pinduoduo.

By the way, many people think that Juhuasuan is a group-buying platform developed by Ali”targeting” Pinduoduo, but in fact Juhuasuan went online as early as 2011, and it is the earliest in China. A batch of group buying websites. In other words, Pinduoduo doesn’t have much innovation in form. Others have already walked the way they can go.

Therefore, at that time, some people in the industry believed that Pinduoduo had basically reached the end of its two-year practice, and if it went on, it was bound to touch the cakes of the giants, which might be suppressed. But what they didn’t expect was that Pinduoduo embraced Tencent’s thigh, and broke through the bottleneck of volume due to an unexpected event.

During the”Two Sessions” in 2017, Ma Yun posted on Weibo that it should be like The treatment of counterfeit goods is the same as the treatment of drunk driving, and the longest lasting, widest, and most powerful action in the history of Taobao began.

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How strong is the crackdown this time? In order to eliminate bad merchants on Taobao, on the basis of manual recognition, image, semantic machine algorithm recognition, and fake detection model are also added. Any merchants with different physical objects and descriptions may be listed as anti-counterfeiting targets. Some businesses have even been”manslaughtered.”

According to the”2017 Alibaba Intellectual Property Protection Annual Report”, this year, 240,000 Taobao suspected infringing stores were closed, and among the suspected infringing links that were actively deleted,97% was instantly killed as soon as it went online, and the overall intellectual property complaints dropped by 42%, showing that the anti-counterfeiting results have been remarkable.

It is true that the”strike hard” this time has improved the sales of counterfeit products on Taobao to a certain extent, but more of it has made counterfeit and white-brand products no place to stand. Unlike fakes, these fake and white-brand products are in demand in the market, and their quality is often no major problem, and they are completely worthy of the price, but they are removed from Taobao because of irregularities.

So Pinduoduo ushered in a golden opportunity. It opened its doors to welcome these fringe merchants”abandoned” by Taobao, and screened and transformed them according to different situations:

1. For the shoddy counterfeit goods, Pinduoduo resolutely combats, and is absolutely not tolerant, because this is a real”fake” and sells genuine products The price does not have the quality of genuine products, which will cause serious damage to the platform and consumers.

2. For counterfeit goods imitating well-known brands, Pinduoduo strictly restricts their promotion and allows them to be sold without harming the legitimate rights and interests of other brands. It can be seen that this is a compromise method.

3. For the white-label products that do not have a brand but are qualified in quality, Pinduoduo encourages them and gives them resources to help them formalize and brand. These white-label products have also contributed to the explosive growth of Pinduoduo in the future.

Of course, Pinduoduo has some trade-offs in the category. The products they introduced in the early days were mostly daily-use groceries, which belonged to the products that could be”committed”. There is not much difference between a three-yuan socks and a thirty-yuan socks in the eyes of some people, as long as they can be used, this type of people has become the main consumer of Pinduoduo.

As for some foods related to the lives and health of consumers, Pinduoduo did not sell much in the early days, because even if they dare to sell them cheaply, few people will buy them. Although the users of the”sinking market” have low purchasing power, they are not stupid, and they are very clear about what is cheap and what cannot be. And a large part of them come from fourth- and fifth-tier cities and rural areas. They are in the origin of agricultural products and there is not much demand for food.

So we can find a magical phenomenon:When Pinduoduo is growing fastest, it is also the time when it gets the most scolded. This is obviously because there is a”dislocation” between the user and the product:some people think that the product does not match expectations as a”fake”, but some people think that as long as it is sufficient, it is a”real product”, but the latter Rarely speak out in public media.

In short, The rise of Pinduoduo is closely related to the changes in the e-commerce environment. When the mainstream platform begins to”upgrade”, there will inevitably be some people’s needs that cannot be met, and the occasional Pinduoduo just fills the gap in the market.

Therefore, as long as Pinduoduo does not actively give up this part of the market, the next Pinduoduo will never appear.

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Founding People”grow their maturity” Pinduoduo

Although the time and location have turned to Pinduoduo, it is personal factors that ultimately determine the company’s direction. And the founder of Pinduoduo, Huang Zheng, not only has extraordinary strength, but his luck is also good enough to explode!

In 1998, Huang Zheng was recommended to Zhu Kezhen College of Zhejiang University, majoring in computer science. Out of his passion for majors, he spends almost all of his time learning computer technology, so he has developed a hard power and has his own unique insights into many professional issues.

Although it is often said that Huang Zheng is low-key, the 22-year-old Huang Zheng is as young and vigorous as his peers. He often posted his ideas and research on technical forums, and he was already well-known at that time.

Once, Huang Zheng received a private message from a stranger who claimed to be Ding Lei from NetEase /strong>, because I saw Huang Zheng’s article on the forum, I want to ask him for technical questions. Huang Zheng felt that the other party was joking, but this rather difficult question aroused his interest, so he gave a detailed answer.

He thought that the incident would just pass, but after a few days the person came back and said that he would invite him to dinner, and thanked him in person. Huang Zheng was invited to the banquet with a believable attitude, and he was convinced that the person was really Ding Lei after seeing the scene. In this way, Huang Zheng met this friend who changed his life.

Ding Lei’s career during this period was not satisfactory. NetEase’s stock price fell again and again, almost to the point of being acquired. Fortunately, Duan Yongping, the father of Backgammon, took a heavy position in NetEase’s stock, which gave NetEase a breathing space. With the game business, Ding Lei and Duan Yongping became friendly.

In 2002, Huang Zheng went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study for a master’s degree in computer science. Because Duan Yongping and Duan Yongping are both Zhejiang University alumni and in the same city, Ding Lei introduced them at the dinner. Unexpectedly, the two hit it off, Duan Yongping liked Huang Zheng very much and accepted him as his apprentice on the spot.

Two years later, Huang Zheng graduated with a master’s degree and also received offers from Microsoft and Google. At that time, Microsoft was already the world’s top IT company, and Google was a rising star. Just as Huang Zheng was hesitant, Duan Yongping gave his valuable advice:Go to Google.

To say that Huang Zheng is really lucky, he has just joined Google, and he ushered in the Google listing. Later, as Google progressed all the way, Huang Zheng’s His net worth also rose with the tide, and soon exceeded one million dollars, achieving financial freedom. He was only 26 years old that year.

Also in that year, Duan Yongping took Huang Zheng to dinner with “Stock God” Buffett. Perhaps the time of a meal can’t say what a life-long truthful saying, but at least it has improved Huang Zheng’s vision. After all, there are very few people in the world who have this opportunity.

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Seeing this, I think you should understand Huang Zheng Where is the special. He saw the pinnacle of the industry in his youth, so he didn’t need to worry about his livelihood and gave him more time to plan his future. Know that at his age, Ma Yun is only an ordinary English teacher, and Liu Qiangdong is still selling discs in Zhongguancun, Huang Zheng’s starting line is one ahead of others. Big cut.

For a company, the mode of operation determines its lower limit, and the quality of the founder determines its upper limit. Even at the same time and in the same environment, if the founder is not Huang Zheng, it would be difficult to reach the height of Pinduoduo.

Why? First, without Huang Zheng’s personal connections, Pinduoduo would not be able to get investment so easily and would not be able to spend money on advertising overwhelmingly, thus missing the golden age of expansion. Second, if you don’t have Huang Zheng’s technical foundation, it is easy to ignore the importance of the algorithm, and the”thousand-thousand-thousand-face” algorithm is the foundation for Pinduoduo to settle down.

In a sense, Pinduoduo was”ripened” by Huang Zheng. His huge personal resources greatly accelerated Pinduoduo, making it go public in 3 years and GMV exceeded 10,000 in 4 years. These fabulous speeds become reality.

Looking around, how many Huang Zheng can there be in the world?

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fight Duoduo’s model cannot be copied

Pingduoduo’s road to success is actually very anti-successful. Successful scholars always like to attribute the success of a company to various subjective factors, as if other companies are simply not working hard enough or not choosing the right path.

But when we look at Pinduoduo’s success factors, time, location, and people are indispensable. Among other things, if Ding Lei hadn’t read the article written by Huang Zheng back then, there would probably be nothing to do. Just as the original life was born from the amino acids produced by lightning, Pinduoduo’s success was originally the result of coincidence.

So, looking back at Huang Zheng’s sentence “Mostly by luck”, you will find that he is not humble at all, as it is. The success of Pinduoduo is not the success of the model, but the success of the opportunity. Opportunities cannot be forced, so Pinduoduo cannot be copied.

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The non-replicability of Pinduoduo mode has been It has been fulfilled, that is, the Taojiji which went bankrupt 8 months ago.

Taojiji, founded in August 2018, has received US$42 million in financing within 2 months of its launch, with a valuation of US$242 million and 130 million registered users. But its brilliance came and went quickly. It only took 15 months to declare bankruptcy and finally ended in a dismal debt of 1.6 billion.

The failure of Tao Jiji was doomed from the beginning. It was”born” in 2018, and it has already passed the”golden age” mentioned in the previous article. At that time, even Pinduoduo began to”float” and absorbed mainstream brands to adjust its business structure. Taojiji was still sinking the market blindly. The dividends of social e-commerce have long passed.

Furthermore, Tao Jiji is said to imitate Pinduoduo, but it does not imitate the essence of Pinduoduo. It only saw the cheapness of Pinduoduo, but did not realize that Pinduoduo’s real power lies in that it allows users to enjoy the feeling of”taking advantage”. So the user viscosity of Taojiji and Pinduoduo are not in the same order of magnitude.

What’s more, the founder of Taojiji has no technical background, nor does he have the vision and contacts of Huang Zheng. He cannot easily win the favor of investors, and the money cannot continue to burn. When the only low-cost advantage no longer exists, users naturally abandon it.

Seeing the failure of Taojiji, we are almost certain that there will be no second Pinduoduo in the future. Qi Baishi said:“Those who learn from me live, those who resemble me die”, blindly imitating there is only one dead end, and the”tombstone” left by Tao Jiji is enough to warn future generations.

Finally, I want to say, The world itself is full of variables. Most people’s path to success is blocked by some force majeure, so opportunities belong to a small number of people. Sometimes, recognizing one’s own ordinaryness is also a positive attitude.

Author:Zhao closing