Mobile Education Is Gold Mine
(Lin Xinglu, CEO of MobEdu)
Lin Xinglu is the founder of MobEdu.cn. He is specialized in research and development of industrial information and personalized products. He joined InfoHighway at the age of 17, later worked in IT companies like China Motion, Hi-tech Wealth, 265.com, etc. In 2000, he co-developed Donews with Liu Ren and Du Hongchao. And he also participated in founding several IT companies.
MobEdu.cn is dedicated in the product development in mobile education field. In February 2011, the company launched its first product, “Children’s Animal World”, which was ranked the first place as soon as it was launched in App Store in Education section.
When Lin was 17, he Joined InfoHighway. In 1999, he worked in China Motion. In 2000, he developed IT writing community DoNews.com. Later in 2001, he joined Hi-tech Wealth. In 2003, Lin founded Smartphone and was appointed as CTO of 265.com.
His main achievements include Bytemen personalized website, China Mobile SMS application gateway transformation, enterprise information acquisition system, embedded-based application development, and during 1999-2004, Lin independently developed software search engine, FTP search engine project and enterprise competitive intelligence system.
This young successful programmer attended the tide of entrepreneurship now.
Lin is focused on the product development in mobile education now and he named the company MobEdu. They have successfully released more than 10 children education applications, gaining 1 million accumulative downloads. And they are developing a tablet operating system suitable for children.
When we asked Lin the reason why he chose the direction of mobile education in the numerous entrepreneurship projects, he answered, “I started working in 1995. My first job was a programmer. The first software I wrote was about computer assisted teaching. In 2005, I also made a website called “Hundred Thousand Whys” which was my early attempt. The second reason was that when I got an iPad in 2009 and it shocked me that it’s such a miraculous product that I can complete unimaginable things before with it. I know the age of mobile Internet is coming, which arouse my passion for it. The third reason is that I am a dad. When my daughter turned 4 years old, I wrote some small apps for her to learn things and she liked them very much, which brought me great sense of accomplishment. For these reasons, I chose the direction of mobile education.”
Even though Lin felt a little bit boring to go in this direction at first, he still insisted it. As he said, “I know making online games is very profitable. But I think since I have chosen the direction, I should continue to do it.”
But later, after deeper research, Lin realized that the market of mobile education was much bigger than he had assumed. He said, “Before the rise of mobile education, the market of preschool education has taken 100 billion yuan. In fact, there is a lot of space in this area if you have the capability. And it is the time for its rise, so we need grasp this opportunity of revolution and innovation.”
Like most start-ups, MobEdu office is located in a residential area not far away from Beitucheng subway station. The initial team consists of 6 people, two of whom work as part time. At present, Lin invested his company without VC. Even though he has contacted some, this year’s VC investment is more prudent so he hasn’t gotten one.
As a specialist in technology, Lin knows how to save costs in a start-up company. He said, “Now our company is still on the stage of development. And the cost on servers and bandwidth is extremely high because we use cloud computing like SAE or borrow friends’ mainframes.”
Lin said that it was necessary to update technology and equipment once the project had a certain scale and met the needs of users. As an Internet enterprise, keep adding servers is naturally indispensable. “When it refers to servers, there are IBM, Lenovo, Dell, Hewlett-Packard that are popular, and I highly recommend Dell for start-up companies, because it’s more cost-effective and suitable.”
In terms of specific products, Lin believes that Dell T110 and R210 II servers can meet the needs of small and medium-sized start-ups, for their better balanced performance, flexibility and price. Both servers support the operation of related business applications in terms of performance and characteristics to improve data integration, sharing, protection and management, with extensibility. And they can meet the potential needs in the future.
For small and medium-sized enterprises, in addition to products that should meet the needs of the company, it’s also vital whether the providers can provide a comprehensive solution including servers, storage and network. Thus, in believes that due to the limitation of resources in IT start-ups, the technology department want to simplify IT management and handle data security issues and BYOD strategies easily. Therefore, small and medium-sized companies prefer IT solutions with characteristics, such as easy installation, configuration and management; easy operation and low customization requirements; and maintaining the quality with limited resources. Most importantly, they should provide comprehensive IT product service.
“Compared with the prices offered by distributors, Dell has a good direct selling performance-price ratio, and Dell can provide a balanced combination of products and service solutions.” He said.
Lin is optimistic about the development of mobile education. Speaking of the program’s development process, he recalled, “We came up with the idea in April, and we launched it later in June. There were friends in the same industry doubted whether we could finish the job due to the scale of the range it covered was wide. We made it in the end, that’s a huge encouragement.”
“There are many similar companies now, almost 100, and the good ones have received investment.” He said. Maybe it still takes time to make profit for them, but mobile education application must be gold mine that worth exploring.
From: China Internet Weekly (December, 2012)