VIPKID listed #29 on Fast Company’s 2018 Top 50 Most Innovative Companies
(Here are the rankings: https://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies)
I remember when I first came to VIPKID. We were working out of the gorgeous headquarters, a 1000 year-old temple in the old town Gulou area of Beijing. We had about 8,000 teachers and 100,000 students.
During my interview, one of the three founders and my boss, Jessie Chen, told me: “We want to be the #1 education company in the world.”
I knew VIPKID was doing well. They had a great product offering. I was proud that I would be helping American teachers make a side income while educating Chinese kids curious about the west.
But #1 education company in the world? Really?
Today, I can say that I firmly believe that the company has a real chance.
Fast Company’s rating of VIPKID is amazing, but it’s not a surprise for me. Putting us on a list of 50 companies alongside Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and SpaceX is a very prestigious honor that fills me with pride.
But I believe in this company and where it’s going.
It’s not just the innovation.
It’s not just the technology.
It’s not just the market.
It’s the people.
The people here truly believe in our mission. From the other co-founder, President Victor Zhang — who stopped by last week to personally give 红包 (“hongbao” or lucky packages) to those working in the office over Spring Festival. That’s dedication for a billionaire. He could be off on an island somewhere during the holidays. But no, he wanted to be here and recognize us in person.
Cindy Mi, our other co-founder, talks with a confidence about us using augmented reality to give children a fully immersive education experience, and artificial intelligence during classes to give teachers automated feedback (“Try using more body language,” “Try adding more light to your face,” “Try letting the student talk more”). She has full confidence that we will enter markets in the rest of East Asia and India soon, and that China is only the beginning.
The people at VIPKID believe in the impossible, and we achieve it, too. I feel so lucky to be here and surrounded by such great minds and strength.