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在线翻译:
szdaily -> People
Entrepreneur takes drastic action to achieve dream
     2014-August-29  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Debra Li

    Debra_lidan@163.com

    NOT everyone would walk away from a well-paying job to start a new business. But Cao Tong did just that.

    At 32, he feels pressed by time to “do something and make a difference,” at least in his own life.

    “I quit my job in June, forcing myself to take this step and start my own company,” he said.

    A fan of movies and traveling, Cao registered a company focusing on movie-themed online travel services. He also registered a WeChat account called “Movieroad” (如影随行) to promote his ideas.

    I am the one

    After graduating in 2005 with a degree in Chinese language from Shenyang University, Cao worked for a magazine and websites before finding a job with Shenzhen-based Bosera Asset Management Co., Ltd. as a publicity manager. After saving a bit of money, Cao decided it was time to start his own business.

    When he submitted his resignation, many people around him were a little surprised, just like when they watched him on Jiangsu Satellite TV’s dating show “If You Are the One” four years ago.

    “Cao Tong didn’t tell us that he was going to the show,” said a former colleague surnamed Huang. “The next day, everyone was talking about him. In retrospect, he is a little more courageous than most of us.”

    “I’m not very good-looking or extroverted,” Cao said. “Appearing on TV was a little challenging, but I did pretty well on the show. The experience helped build my confidence. In fact, it feels good to take on challenges.

    “We are lucky to witness this booming Internet era, and it’s a pity if we don’t take advantage of it,” he continued.

    Quite a few of his former colleagues from Netease, a Guangzhou-based firm, such as Fang Sanwen, the founder of Xueqiu.com, a social network for financial investors, have their own success stories to tell.

    “Watching a guy who once sat in the cubicle next to you achieve great things can be both inspiring and unnerving,” he said. “It’s great to be successful. Apart from the life of luxuries, there is so much satisfaction in accomplishing something, creating something and realizing your potential.”

    A small company

    Cao envisions a company made up of a dozen people, some familiar with film and TV shows, some familiar with tourism, and a few website editors and technical support staff members.

    “Currently, I am working with three to five people. We are working on the website and a book that will be published before yearend.”

    Cao said he is a big fan of movie-themed tours and expects his potential clients to be like-minded.

    “If you are a diehard fan of ‘My Love From the Star,’ you would like to see the places where Do Min-joon’s spaceship crashed, the coffee shop where Do had an appointment with his ‘lawyer dad,’ the housing estate where Do and Cheon Song-yi lived, and many more unforgettable places from the show,” he said.

    His website will offer detailed plans and useful tips for such tours, with maps, pictures, and interesting introductions to the scenic spots. He also envisions the website as a B2C platform where people can book hotel rooms and air tickets. It will also have simple social networking functions so that people can meet others who would be willing to join them on group tours.

    Even with a grand blueprint before him, however, Cao agrees that it won’t be easy.

    “So many established online travel companies like Ctrip.com and Qunar.com are already in the market. It won’t be easy to get a foot in the door, and it will be even harder to succeed.”

    A big ambition

    However, the plain-looking young man is confident.

    “I expect the prices offered on my website to be much lower than those on Ctrip, but perhaps a bit more expensive than Qunar. I will make sure that we provide our clients with the most convenient booking experience, from flights to hotel rooms, when they are interested in a certain movie- or TV show-themed tour. People like efficiency, and they won’t mind paying a few more bucks for less hassle.”

    Cao is also confident that people will embrace the idea of movie-themed tours.

    “Many young tourists have individualized needs that are still not being met by the market, and movie-themed tourism is one of them,” he said.

    “If you book a typical two-day package tour to Kaiping in western Guangdong Province, famous for its diaolou (fortified towers), you will soon forget most of what you saw, unless you occasionally go back and look at the pictures you’ve taken. However, if you have seen Jiang Wen’s film ‘Let the Bullets Fly’ and then tour the place where it was filmed immersed in the era it represented — the time when the diaolou was fully functioning — in your mind, the impression will be much deeper. Reliving the exact scenes from the film on location will give you a much deeper understanding of the place and much more satisfaction from the tour.”

    David Liu, a friend of Cao, said Cao is good at seeing things from a new angle.

    “He is a fan of board games. When we were playing Sanguosha, he found some loopholes in the game design and came up with ideas to improve it,” Liu said. “We have often heard how popular movies can increase tourism, like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ has done for New Zealand. I’m curious how his startup ideas will work out and wish him the best of luck.”

    Cao is also looking for investors for his project.

    “I’m starting the project with my own savings, but I expect to find investors to fuel its growth,” Cao said. “A group of businesspeople who worked with Huawei have set up a foundation called Exhwer Club, which could be a potential investor, and I’m also looking at the possibility of crowdfunding.”

    At this stage, his primary concerns are to build a website with attractive content and accumulating fans on his WeChat account.

    “I need a solid website, a published book and persuasive demos to draw investors. Now, I’m taking small steps that will build a staircase to my dreams,” he said.

    “Many young tourists have individualized needs that are still not being met by the market, and movie-themed tourism is one of them.”

    — Cao Tong, a fan of movies and traveling who registered a company focusing on movie-themed online travel services

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