When talking about Xiaomi, it is always the first thing to compare it with Apple: the new Apple, the Chinese Apple, the killer of Apple. In fact, Xiaomi was much more complicated at the start, in Asia, where he wanted to get up, Apple was an expensive treat. But on all sides, eminent Asian competitors with cosmic budgets for advertising and marketing were pressed: Samsung, Lenovo, Asus, Philips, ZTE. Together with Xiaomi grew up and threatened to become an ecosystem and comprehensive LeEco (which at the moment has strongly passed back and got confused in the search for niches). But along with this, Xiaomi was lucky to develop in China, a country with a strong economy, which recently attracts investors, giant corporations and even human resources, especially in the intellectual sphere.
Now in Xiaomi more than 8000 employees who do not sit in one of the Beijing skyscrapers, but are dispersed throughout the world and especially – the countries of Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, India. Soon there will be Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines. Indeed, Xiaomi extremely values the Asian market – hence some oddities in the product line. For example, do you imagine that Apple will suddenly roll out its set of forks and spoons or, for example, a file for a rough skin stop? And Xiaomi – just spit! Do not believe me? See for yourself – just recently we were shipped to our warehouse (by the way, if you still like something, at the end of the post, coupons for the goods mentioned in the post).
Founded in 2011, by 2017 Xiaomi became a symbol National economy and the pride of the Chinese people. The road was rather twisty.
And let's make the firmware, and then the phone?
Xiaomi was founded in April 2010 by Kingsoft's former CEO, Lei Jun, as a software company creating a new custom ROM based on the Android operating system. Lai's team set out to create additional functionality that Android had not yet offered, and to offer an easy-to-use user interface. MIUI, the firmware created by the team, gained fame and success. Starting in 2014, MIUI could be downloaded and installed on more than 200 devices in English and Chinese, even people without development skills could easily install MIUI on their phones using the MIUI Express APK. As of the end of 2013, Xiaomi had more than 30 million MIUI users around the world. It was a deafening start for the beginning company.
Mi Rabbit knows his business
And why? Because the company was created by 8 partners, and in Buddhism and superstitious to the figures China in particular the eight – the most magical figure that symbolizes infinity (as in an anecdote – the eight, rotated by a corner in half) and the so-called octal escape route. Well, almost like 777 on Russian car plates. In general, the eight was great. The young business was financed by the Singapore investment group Temasek Holdings and Chinese venture capital companies IDG Capital together with Qiming Venture Partners. They were one of the first companies that began to cooperate with the manufacturer Qualcomm – well, you understand, access to perfect and powerful processors was opened. And what else do we need a mobile phone manufacturer?
We will show the whole world … a carrot?
A punch, Another blow and now …
The conquest of the world began. One of the first devices Xiaomi became a smartphone Mi2. It was the first device with a revolutionary Qualcomm Snapdragon chip on board. Only in the first 11 months 10 million pieces of smartphones were sold, and Xiaomi became known in the markets of Australia, the USA, New Zealand and, of course, Europe.
After the success of Mi2 Xiaomi opened the first offices in China and Singapore and launched the Mi3 and Redmi.Xiaomi Mi3 . And again success: the first batch of smartphones was sold out within two minutes after the launch. Advertising was not needed – the media around the world began to talk about a new Chinese miracle. At the same time, Xiaomi looks back at the markets of rich Malaysia and the more endless India and the Philippines. The Indian market is triumphantly conquered – Xiaomi cooperates on it with a local large and very popular online store.
July 22, 2014 changed the mobile world forever – the next strike on the competition was the flagship Mi4. This smartphone has become one of the best-selling in the history of mobile retail – the market poured gadgets in the middle price category, not inferior in performance to luxury flagships of top-end vendors. And at the same time, an active intervention not only of Xiaomi, but also of Chinese phones of all kinds and nounays to the markets of Russia, Europe and the world began.
In 2014, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun attracted about $ 1 billion in investment through the Hong Kong investment group All-Stars Investment Limited. After that, the value of the company was $ 45 billion and Xiaomi became one of the most expensive corporations in the world.
The manner of surprising the market has become a habit for Xiaomi. And users have become accustomed to receive goods of excellent quality for little money – and no matter what it is: a fire detector for $ 30.34 or an IP camera for $ 29.89 (this is the price of pre-order, then it will be more expensive) or even … a water jug with a display and 7 special filters. Thought over everything: from electronics to design. BUT! Whence such prices, when competitors and manufacturers in other countries are times more expensive? Where in the assortment, damn it, water filters?
The secrets of the firm
Of course, it's not a magical eight. Xiaomi has many tricks and secrets, thanks to which they develop even behind the great firewall. Moreover, the guys reject classical marketing and advertising in principle. So, we consider the secrets (and some will not prevent them from introducing themselves).
The first and main reason for the success of Xiaomi is what advertisers call the word-of-mouth radio and rightly consider the most effective and most difficult promotion tool. Communication with users is simply stunning – through Chinese social networks and special trading platforms such as Weibo, WeChat, Xiaomi Forum, Baidu Tieba and Xiaomi Mall. There is a whole community of enthusiasts – MiFans, where activities are constantly held, beta tests, tickets are played for offline fan parties, where you can chat freely or even dance with top managers of Xiaomi. Fanatism and evangelism are two reliable pillars of Xiaomi's leadership in Asian countries and especially in their homeland.
Xiaomi always collect feedback and listen to the users opinion. In this direction work is being done on an unprecedented scale. Xiaomi's real-time data analysis makes forecasts for next week's demand based on feedback and last week's sales data, analyzing its performance in social networks. Accordingly, adjusted and optimized production resources – everything changes on the fly.
Xiaomi has 30 million registered users in one of the communication channels. There also launched a loyalty program with a bunch of bonuses and rewards. During tests of new devices, whether it's a TV or a smartphone, 500 beta testers can buy gadgets for $ 0.16. And this is not so much testing (although it is important, moreover, and not particularly expensive), how much the opportunity to make the first crop of information about the novelty – the whole community is waiting for the feedback of the lucky beta testers.
Xiaomi do not have physical stores in any part of the globe – preference is given to online stores and their own online store, popular in China. This is a huge, enormous savings on warehouse and trade costs: no you personnel, hall, cash desk, security, packaging, display windows, etc. By the way, compare the Russian, English and Chinese versions of the official site Xiaomi. You will see that in the Chinese version – this is not a fashionable corporate website with designer photos, but the most that neither is an online store. Why all this corporate arrogance, when there is no time to explain and need to sell!
The company is dominated by an exceptional labor discipline – so, from October 2016 the company switched to a six-day working week with a 12-hour working day, from 9 am to 9 Evenings.
Xiaomi is produced in small batches, akin to the well-known "just in time" (kanban) production technologies, which for the first time became popular thanks to the principles of Lean Manufacturing from Toyota. The company maintains its reserves small and maintains a flexible procurement cycle from its vast network of suppliers. This again means saving on the production warehouse and at the same time minimizing the costs that could arise from overstocking.
However, something, and the overstocking of Xiaomi does not threaten. So, you can recall the sales records of the company's smartphones: 50,000 for 25 seconds at the start of sales in India, December 8, 2011 100,000 phones for three hours, April 24, 2012 150,000 for 15 minutes, September 20, 2012 300,000 for exactly 4 minutes. And this is only fixed records. Xiaomi itself constantly warms up the demand for its devices and products – with the help of flash sales and pre-orders. They are not afraid to tell the market yesterday what they will release tomorrow – they will not be caught up. They generally steeply manage the deficit – remember at least the stories with forever missing and immensely desired Xiaomi Mi Air notebooks. Comics about the policy of deficit Xiaomi
Last on our list, not such a fanatic, but extremely important reason for success – A long life cycle of products, which is from 15 to 18 months (for comparison, Samsung – 6 months). Simply put, Xiaomi makes 3-5 models a year and rides on them, while competitors rivet on several new models. All because advanced technologies allow long to grow old – the company does not exchange for cheap smartphones "for grandmothers, children, young people, etc.". For example, Redmi 2 and Redmi Prime were launched in 2015, but continued to be sold, as it remained a competitive device in terms of capabilities and prices. Naturally, with such a long life cycle of the product, the cost of components is sharply reduced, it remains to repel the cost and collect the revenue cream.
Ecosystem without cheap pontoons
Xiaomi did not come up with stupid platforms and bother with the values of the brand – instead the company thought about the values of its customers. We all talk about smartphones, but if Geoktimes reads Lei Jun, he will offend us because he does not consider his company a smartphone manufacturer. He claims that this is an Internet company with an extremely successful start of smartphones. Here is what he told in a huge interview with the British magazine WIRED: "Think of Xiaomi as a company that brings innovation to everyone. We focus on high-quality products that help create a connected lifestyle for everyone. When we move into a new era of technological innovation, it means not only smart phones, tablets, TVs, routers – we invest in startups that form what we call an ecosystem. They produce products that are sold on Mi.com, from power banks to wearable devices, air filters and water purifiers. Therefore, we have hundreds of products that combine to create a lifestyle. " Now it's clear where the Xiaomi toothbrush, the Xiaomi spoon-fork, the coolest form of the Xiaomi children's thermometer, and even the digital car rear-view mirror come from in our warehouses?
Lei Jun on the communist-heavenly cover of the British WIRED
Lei wants to destroy another myth – about copying from the West. Here is another excerpt from his interview: "There are a lot of innovations in China, which I think even the west did not catch up … Look at WeChat: people think of this as an application for messaging, but it has become a platform that includes Games, payments, Internet services. Xiaomi is a smartphone company, but we are also an e-commerce company – Mi.Com is the third largest e-commerce site in China and an Internet services company that even publishes games. " But the founder of Xiaomi considers smartphones as a hub for a huge Internet of things, which, according to his forecasts, will soon take over the world. By the way, Jung predicted explosive growth of the mobile Internet 10 years ago, in the era of the first iPhone. So the glory of the visionary behind him was fixed quite firmly.
No, well, something common is clearly there
Role Personality in history
Lei Jun is a remarkable person. He can be safely put on the same line with Steve Jobs and Elon Mask. These are people who in the present do and sell a little bit of the future, set trends, tear patterns and make nehily capital on it. And at the same time they believe in the idea, they form a philosophy not only inside the company, but also inside the whole pool of consumers.
Layu is now 47 years old. He was born in Xantao, Hubei Province – this is east central China. He studied computer science at Wuhan University. It was during the training that he read a book that greatly changed his worldview, "Fire in the Valley" by the authors of Paul Freiberger and Michael Swayne. The book is devoted to the emergence of the computer industry. Of course, he was fascinated by the characters of the book and Steve Jobs in particular, and it was then that he began to dream of creating a company that could become the number one in the world.
In 1992, right after graduation, he got a job as an engineer at Kingsoft, and in 1998 he became its president and general manager. In Kingsoft, Lei worked already until 2007, but this was not his only occupation. In parallel, in 2000, he launched the online bookstore Joyo.com, which in 2004 bought out Amazon for $ 75 million dollars. And then there was Xiaomi. And there is Xiaomi.
In 2015 and in 2016 the world's largest business publications wrote about the decline of Xiaomi, o Its imminent collapse, etc. Strictly speaking, they periodically write about all the legendary corporations, most of which are still flourishing. We do not undertake to predict what will happen next, but it seems that Xiaomi has several safety options. You can, for example, become a Chinese Amazon and grab online retail, poborovshis with the strongest competitors. And this trend is there. You can go into the ecosystem, go into every sphere of life of millions of Chinese and other people and become a research company. You can combine. Today we chose the most amusing novelties Xiaomi, but in fact the world is waiting for new flagship smartphones. Scooters. Cameras. Dronov. In general, do not destroy consumerism in us, do not exterminate. And on such a blessed mail, there will be more than one Internet giant.
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IP camera – coupon GBDAFANG, turns the price of $ 27.99, the first 3 times