The Moore’s Law in Learning — Dinner with Fritz Demopoulos, Co-founder of Qunar
Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their life and career, where we get a glimpse into their mentality and attitude behind their ventures and stories.
Behind Fritz’ success in being one of the few who cracked the China market (without speaking a word of Mandarin) — founding Qunar, China’s largest travel portal, and now investing at Queen’s Road Capital, he shared with us his principles that got him to where he is.
What’s your guiding life motto?
“It’s important to be first.
A lot of my success comes from focusing on areas others weren’t focusing on — perhaps ideas that people think were stupid and so were overlooked.
When I look at companies I’ve set up, I wanted to be the category leader immediately. If you’re not first, it’s much more difficult, especially in a place like China where there are so many capable people who would prefer to operate in a vacuum. Being the first player is a strategic priority every time we invest in a company. Being the first also gave us a lot of opportunities, allowed us to fail and make mistakes.”
What do you think are the most important experiences to get out of your 20s?
“When I was 25, I probably wasted some of my time. I was 30 years old when I set up my first company. Looking back, I would start my business earlier.
An entrepreneur has two roles: one is brutal execution and the second is resource extraction in a very efficient way.
Someone in their 20s needs to focus on building experiences and trying to identify resources they can bring into a startup environment. It can include money and relationships. In your 20s, if you’re running execution or learning about extraction, that’s a good use of your time.”
How can someone impress you?
“People who are completely committed to their vision — it’s really impressive. It needs almost a maniacal focus on trying to accomplish something. What’s funny in this world is that we are very readily willing to help people we don’t know who are maniacally focused on their vision.
These founders you can see the electric in their fingers, they’re almost shaking — that’d really impress us.
It’s not just someone having a good idea that they’re trying to sell, those people don’t impress us at all.”
What is one action you want everyone here to take away from meeting you today?
“If you learn 3 new things from every person you meet, you can be well on your way to doubling your knowledge in 18 months — like the Moore’s Law.
If you’re constantly doubling your knowledge, learning about things every single day, you can’t help but build up the level of competency and insights to help you be successful. Learn three new things everyday!”
Thank you Fritz for donating your time and raising 70 volunteer hours to FoodAngel, PathFinders, Asian Charity Services, Kids4Kids and more!