Four months ago, in a residential neighborhood near Dafen Village in Shenzhen, the Pan brothers from Henan rented a four-bedroom, two-hall apartment here as a new office location for the spin-off technology company they created.
The biggest place for the “Apple Peel” brothers’ entrepreneurial record is the office of his brother Pan Lei. The coffee table is a standard set of brown merchants on the coffee table. Against the wall lies a two-foot wide boss table and a large executive chair that can lie on its back. On both walls, two plaques of "Great Exhibition Grand Plan" and "Hongye Takeoff" shone.
The only thing that makes people feel a little high-tech is that about 20 newly recruited employees are scattered in every corner of the living room, bedroom and kitchen, with a computer. Among them are Pan Lei's friends, neighbors, and strangers. However, there is one thing in common: they are all as young as the Pan brothers.
From "apple peel" to "apple tray"
More than a year ago, the Pan brothers tinkered with a product in a warehouse in Shenzhen, which turned the iPod Touch that could not call and send text messages into an iPhone. After a year of silence, the brothers will soon release a new product-"Apple Pan".
"Pan" is the name of the brothers-23-year-old Pan Yong and 25-year-old Pan Lei, which is also the pinyin of "pan", translated into Chinese, which means "apple disk"
The user inserts something like a square U disk into the iPhone's charging interface, you can directly read the movies and music in the disk on the iPhone, and you can also copy and cut the photos in the iPhone directly to the disk-no need to connect There is no need to connect to Apple’s app store. Like the traditional U disk, the "Apple Disk" also has a USB interface, users can also copy the files in the disk and the files in the computer. Moreover, this stuff applies not only to iPhone, but also to iPad and iPod Touch.
At this time, the Pan brothers had sold more than 20,000 "apple peels" and earned more than one million. But their path to entrepreneurship has gone through twists and turns.
was cheated twice
More than a year ago, the Pan brothers were still living in an old warehouse in Shenzhen’s uncle’s house. When the brothers rushed together for hundreds of thousands of yuan to prepare for the production of the "apple peel" invented by them, a variety of cottage products appeared on the market, and they immediately fell into a difficult situation without a source of funds.
But fortunately, there are endless stream of people who come to them-there are manufacturers and there are also venture capitalists. One of the calls came from Pan Yong’s alma mater, Henan Huanghuai College.
It was a day in September 2010, and the caller was the head of the Department of International Software at Huanghuai College. The other party said that he was very excited after seeing Pan Yong's deeds. After a round of praise, asked Pan Yong what is the difficulty now, and said that the school is willing to help him, hoping that he will come back to school when he has time.
Almost at the same time, a press release titled "Huanghuai College Graduate Pan Yong Achieves Great Results" was posted on the website of this little-known university in the heart of the Central Plains. The article wrote: "Pan Yong's success is a review of the quality and level of our school, and it has served as a good incentive and role model for the students in the school." At this time, Pan Yong has graduated and left the school for more than a year Too.
After more than a month, Pan Yong returned to his alma mater and gave a "passionate" report to the teachers and students of the school. After the report was over, the school gave him an unprecedented 100,000 yuan "Entrepreneurship Support Fund" and selected three outstanding students as assistants.
The school also mentioned in a press release that it will be equipped with professional instructors. However, according to Pan Yong, he never knew who the teacher was, and the three students selected by the school also left on their own after a few months of internship in their company.
The 100,000 yuan subsidized by the school is undoubtedly a gift from the snow. However, relative to the production cost of three or four million, this money is still a stubborn salary. At this time, some foundry bosses with production capacity came to the door and came up with a solution: they invested money, the Pan brothers provided the technology, and the profit from the sale was divided into five or five. The brothers decided to accept.
After many contacts, they selected a manufacturer to launch the "Apple Peel Generation". However, after thousands of units were shipped, the partners suddenly stopped cooperating. At the same time, they found that an almost identical product appeared on the market, but the other party changed its name: C leather. After tracing, the brothers discovered that the producer turned out to be their partner.
lost the first battle, but they did not want to give up, and re-find a cooperative manufacturer. This time, Pan Yong deliberately encrypted the software. Soon, "the second generation of apple peel" was born.
However, the dream of the brothers did not expect that the same story was staged again-after nearly 10,000 units were shipped, the second partner also stopped supplying. The other party cracked Pan Yong's encryption technology and launched an almost identical "Apple Peel Enhanced Version" on the market.
was cheated twice, and the brothers completely lost confidence in this mode of cooperation. They decided to find an enterprise that only did OEM and no sales, and invested money by themselves and placed orders for production.
Although failed to earn a "big head", the brothers' situation has also greatly improved compared with a year ago. As soon as the iPhone 4 came out, the brothers who hadn't been able to use the iPhone bought one each. They not only received their father who was far away in Tianjin for medical treatment, but also brought in Pan Yan, his second brother who was in the auto parts business in Beijing. The three brothers re-registered the company—Shenzhen Derivative Technology Co., Ltd. and redistributed the equity—Pan Yong, who developed the “apple peel”, accounted for 50% of the shares, while Pan Lei and Pan Yan each accounted for 25%.
Now, the three brothers have a preliminary division of labor. Pan Lei, the best eloquent brother, led the overall situation. Pan Yan, the second brother with business experience, was in charge of finance, while Pan Yong, the third brother with expertise in technology, continued to focus on technology. They were originally an office by one person, but Pan Yong, who was a little introverted, refused. He said, "It's not used to staying in a room alone."
From "Apple Disk" to smartphone
On February 17, 2012, after taking reporters to visit the new office, Pan Lei asked with some confidence, "How is it? Is there something like that?"
After making some money with "apple peel", the Pan brothers started recruiting horses. In more than half a year, the company has moved twice, because more and more employees are recruited, and the original rented place can no longer be accommodated.
In Pan Lei's conception, this is far from his current status. He was originally engaged in renovation business in Jiangmen, and his daily life may be: pulling orders, bargaining and entering and exiting various building materials markets. But the "apple peel" that the younger brother accidentally tinkered pushed him to the position of a manager. He always smiled and said: "Is there any way, I have to bluntly rush forward."
When "Apple Peel" was made, he wanted to make as much money as possible from it. However, he was deceived twice in succession, and as the boom after the "Apple Peel" went public, he began to realize that this product alone would certainly not be a great weapon.
For the company, almost all the hopes are placed on the technical "genius"-brother Pan Yong. After the successful "Apple Peel" test, Pan Yong thought of designing a wireless version of "Apple Peel"-users only need to hold this thing like a remote control car lock, they can directly call and send text messages. In this device, a second card can also be inserted to work with iPhone to achieve dual card dual standby.
However, this function is quite difficult to implement. The wireless remote control uses Bluetooth technology. In the first few months, there has been no progress and the brothers are also lost. Pan Lei said that at that time he was desperate and did not know where the company was heading. Coupled with the lack of management, the morale of the entire company is very low.
It was at this time that Pan Yong unexpectedly discovered that he actually cracked the interface protocol of the iPhone. A bold idea came up: why not just make a mobile hard drive for the iPhone?
Everyone who has used an iPhone knows that if you want to download movies and music or export photos from your phone, you need to connect the iPhone to Apple’s iTunes store. For many novices, this procedure is quite complicated. Moreover, limited by the memory of Apple's mobile phones, movies and music that can be stored in the iPhone are also limited. "Apple Disk" solves this problem.
"If the new product can avoid iTunes and solve the problem of data input and output, the market is definitely good." He said. After several months of testing, the product named "Apple Disk" was successfully developed.
However, after the "Apple Disk" is shipped, will it really sell like the "Apple Peel", and the Pan Brothers actually have no idea. But this time they have learned the previous lesson-the product has not yet been put into production, it has set up an encryption program to prevent people from being copied.
In addition to this new product, Pan Lei also plans to guide the company's transformation. Recently, he has been busy applying for a mobile phone production license. According to his judgment, he is currently in the period of upgrading and upgrading functional machines and smart machines, and in his view, "this is the only opportunity for the company to transform".
"Whether it is successful or not, try and see first", Pan Lei declared that he now finally wants to understand the future of the company-that is to do a combination of hardware and software products, and the main field is intelligent communication. The words "financing" and "listing" are constantly emerging from his mouth. He already intends to make derivative technology a big company.
On its website, a new smartphone has been unveiled. This 5.3-inch screen, 5 million pixel camera smartphone uses Android system, the price is only 798 yuan-almost half the price of the same configuration smartphone on the market.
Pan Lei said that he intends to learn the sales model of Xiaomi mobile phones-without going through any agents, selling directly on his official website. And the reason why the price is set so low, it is completely trying to make a "fame" in the smart phone market.
However, for the Pan brothers, the biggest risk now is: what will Apple do with their "apple disk".
Different from a year ago, the brothers did not avoid taking pictures or media reports this time. They firmly stated that the "Apple Disk" just cracked the interface protocol of the iPhone, did not jailbreak, and did not harm any interest of Apple. , "Do not worry about any problems at all."