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"Sogou" Wang Xiaochuan: be forced to the innovation of a dead end

by santa jed 2 months ago in celebrities
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"Sogou" Wang Xiaochuan: be forced to the innovation of a dead end

"Beyond despair is heaven. Facing the sea, spring blossoms. Signed, Sogou split, Ali capital injection, seed beans...... We should continue to work hard, strive to be the standard bearer of Internet innovation!" On the evening of August 8, 2010, Wang Xiaochuan, the CEO of Sogou and a "man of science and technology", wrote an emotional paragraph on his microblog. On this day, Sogou finally became an independent operation of the company.

Just a year and a half later, he was reaping the fruits.

When it comes to the fastest growing Chinese Internet company in 2011, Sogou is easily the strongest contender.

To talk about today's results, we need to go back to Wang Xiaochuan's pivotal meeting with Ma in June 2010. Hangzhou was so hot and sultry that you could hardly walk two steps without breaking a sweat.

However, sitting opposite Ma Yun Wang Xiaochuan, their heart is unusually calm. During the 40-minute conversation, Ma asked him three main questions. The first question is: "Is [Sogou] a credible company?" Wang Xiaochuan answers, and Zhang Chaoyang and Sohu all hold. Ma asked, "how can Sogou get things done?" Wang Xiaochuan replied that the Sogou input method has been made, and they will use the same team to do browsers and search engines. Mr. Ma finally asked: "What's in it [for Alibaba]?" Wang Xiaochuan bluntly can avoid Baidu a big alone. After asking three questions, Ma decided to fly to Beijing himself, and he finally convinced Charles Zhang, chairman, and CEO of Sohu.

Building a "three-stage rocket"

Sogou has been soaring ever since. Wang is not surprised by Sogou's rapid growth over the past year or so since he believes it is the result of years of accumulation - after eight years of exploration, Sogou has finally found its way.

Time also goes back to the origin of Sogou. That was in September 2003, Zhang Chaoyang found Wang Xiaochuan, he assigned the task to develop a search engine for Sohu like Baidu. Zhang's high hopes for search, which represents the best business model on the Internet, have helped him stay in the business despite its unprofitable nature over the past eight years.

In August 2004, after 11 months of round-the-clock development, the search engine was officially launched and named Sogou. Unfortunately, the time is not good, in Sogou's search online on the same day, Zhang Chaoyang attended the press conference, and halfway out of the rush to China Mobile headquarters -- on the same day, Sohu's SP business was stopped by China Mobile. To ensure the survival of SOhu, just online Sogou can only be forced to wean, no more resources to do promotion.

In August 2005, Baidu successfully went public in the United States. Since then, the chances for other search companies in the Chinese market have become increasingly slim. Baidu's advantage is not only in market share but also in "strong brand potential energy and user viscosity". In other words, Baidu has become the first search engine to change the way users get information. Baidu is already synonymous with the search among Chinese Internet users, and it has set the bar high enough. Later, Ma and Zhou Hongyi invested heavily in vertical search, but the slow progress also proved this.

"I was wondering if there were some new products that could help drive market share, but I honestly didn't know what to do, so I was feeling my way." It is also in such a predicament, that Wang Xiaochuan after careful consideration, turns the sword to take a "product with search" way, trying to find a breakthrough through the "curve to save the country".

Input method products are produced in this context. Wang attributed the success of the input method not to "inspiration" but to "innovation-driven to the brink".

"Wang Xiaochuan has a very special way of thinking about technology and products. He is obsessive and paranoid. He is off the beaten path." Internet expert Chen Jiao said that he had studied the Sogou input method and browser carefully, from which he deeply felt a point: if you want to beat the snake, Wang Xiaochuan only hit seven inches, other parts he did not care.

Despite the lack of financial and human support, the input method enabled Wang Xiaochuan to find the secret to the low-cost operation of a successful product.

According to Wang Xiaochuan, in the first two years of the Sogou input method promotion, the funds used are also millions of yuan, and this million yuan or installment payment, from only hundreds of thousands of yuan to start, the effect is good to add. "When we started, we had a problem. We didn't even have a decent server. We had to rely on 20 PCS for all our searches. "Sogou had no money and few people, so it was impossible to do systematic data analysis, and even the data itself might not be accurate." A Sogou old staff said.

However, under such conditions, Sogou not only in the search engine thesaurus, intelligent error correction, cloud skin, and other Chinese input fields to achieve innovation, but in product positioning and marketing, channel play also formed their style.

At this time Sogou input method into the "cry not cry" predicament. In June 2007, the first anniversary of its launch, its market share was just 2%. After finding that the only way to rely on Sohu and other portals for advertising and media marketing is very ineffective, Wang Xiaochuan decided to explore a new path.

What should we do next? This became the biggest problem in front of Wang Xiaochuan. In 2008, Wang Xiaochuan discovered the browser this "baby".

Bosom friend + opponent

Make "3 class rocket" in the process, Wang Xiaochuan encountered a bosom friend on his market. That person has also become his most concerned competitor, Zhou Hongyi, the chairman of Qihoo 360.

They both have a strong search complex and are trying to break Baidu's dominance in the search market. In 2003, Wang Xiaochuan was ordered to develop the Sogou search engine, and since then has not given up; Zhou Hongyi has been involved in search since 2001 when he started 3721. He left Yahoo in September 2005 to set up Qihoo 360 with search as his primary goal.

However, in the search market, the two companies have not opened the situation, until they both found the same treasure - browser, only to find in the search of this "Alibaba treasure" "customs clearance secret language".

They all found that the browser is an important entry point to the Internet, which brings traffic and revenue to search engines; Through the browser drives the search engine, takes the product with the way of search, and finally fully able to break through the defensive line of Baidu.

Seeing the power of combining the client and search, they both did the same thing. In 2008, Wang Xiaochuan launched Sogou high-speed browser and formed the "input method - browser - search" three products in alliance, with Sogou to create a unique "three-stage rocket" development mode. In Wang's own words, "THE input method is the first stage rocket, the browser is the second stage rocket, the search is the third stage rocket, and the final launch comes from the third stage rocket." In the same year, after gaining hundreds of millions of users at 360 Security, Zhou also entered the browser market with 360 Security Browser.

Mr. Wang later said that in 2008, he and Mr. Zhou were the only two people who realized the importance of the browser. Since then, this "bosom friend + rival" relationship has been with them. Mr. Zhou also played a crucial role in Sogou's spin-off in 2010.

In early 2010, Google announced it was pulling out of the Chinese market, leaving the search engine with nearly 30% of the market share. Zhang, who had become somewhat frustrated with search engines, again saw an opportunity behind the change. One day in February, he welcomed a guest of honor -- Zhou Hongyi. "If we join forces, we can knock out half of Baidu's market share!" Mr. Zhou's words are provocative. On the surface, at least, the partnership is a match made in heaven. 360 has strong entry ability and unique "business means", but lacks the technical ability and cash tools like a search engine, which are Sogou's strengths.

Mr. Zhou proposed a partnership of his own: He wanted Mr. Zhang to transfer Sogou's browser business to Qihoo 360, while Qihoo and Sohu set up a joint venture focused on search engines.

Mr. Zhou's plan looks attractive. He felt Zhang Chaoyang's pulse. Indeed, searching for this piece of cake is what Chaoyang Zhang has been wanting to get. However, after, Zhang Chaoyang is famous for a long time and wants to cooperate with 360, and how to cooperate, wants to split Sogou, needs to consider.

In which Wang Xiaochuan is urgent. Without the browser, he said, Sohu would lose control of its traffic and eventually its voice in the joint venture, which would be unfair to Sohu.

He felt must let Zhang Chaoyang know about the browser to Sogou and even the importance of the whole Sohu. At this time, a Sogou search market conditions of the report was placed in front of the old Zhang. "Can the browser make search engines fly?" Mr. Zhang began to re-examine the browser as a product.

Sogou search traffic growth, Zhang Chaoyang wants to know exactly why. "Find out why at once!" Zhang Chaoyang ordered. Internal and external channels of statistical analysis show that the reason for the rise of these market shares almost all point to another Sogou product - the browser. Zhang finally knew, that the original itself in the past few years hard to find the crack search engine law, has been firmly in his hands.

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