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Book notes: Xiaomi

Book notes: Xiaomi


I don’t read book summaries. Neither should you. The following are mostly notes to myself, and are my interpretations.

My first Xiaomi product was a power bank. Then a phone for my dad. Water Purifier, cameras, screw-driver set, fitness band, electric kettle, jumping rope, nail clipper. I can go on about the number of Xiaomi products I have and even more that I'd like to own and experience. I'm a fan. Speaking of which, I also wanted to get their fan but wife didn't let me.

If there's a company after Apple that wows me, it's Xiaomi. I absolutely love everything they build. They build it beautifully and they build it good.

  • "The story of the heroes of Silicon Valley burned my chest all the time. I often dreamed that one day I would create a first-class software company. The whole world uses our software." — Lei Jun

  • Look-up: Liu De, Industrial Designer at Xiaomi

  • Lei had one unconventional suggestion for the senior executives at the India office — he asked them to start hiring Mi Fans as Xiaomi employees

  • Xiaomi's first manufacturing unit was in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh.

  • Note: "What do you wish your water purifier would do?"

  • MIUI was built focused on 3 things: Open, Fast, Smooth

  • Build hardware patent portfolio

  • Note: BBK group owns Vivo, Oppo, Realme and OnePlus.

Fans with benefits

  • MIUI's bulletin boards allowed users to post reviews, comments and suggestions to regular software updates, which were then quickly incorporated into the operating system and made available in the next week's roll-out.

  • From getting user feedback on weekly software updates to hosting opinion polls for new features, and even employing Mi Fans as its employees, Xiaomi has become an internet company for the user, by the user and of the user.

  • Xiaomi divided users into four basic categories based on their individual skills and levels of expertise. These categories were slotted in descending order of technical skills with about 1,000 high-skilled developers, 100,000 medium-to-high skilled product testers and 350 medium-skilled product supporters. The fourth category, consisting of regular users, required a very low skill set (for posting new ideas and promoting new products) but drew in people in the first three categories as well.

  • In marketing terms, the fourth category would the top of the funnel. As is self-explanatory, the user-developers were invited to co-develop the system with Xiaomi engineers; product testers were in charge of beta testing and had to submit regular test reports; and product supporters were expected to spend an hour every day fielding questions from regular users about the best ways to use the system.

On advertising

  • While the first three categories of users volunteered to improve MIUI, the Xiaomi operating system, and later entire devices, it was the fourth group that really took the gospel to the ends of the earth.

  • From the very start, Xiaomi officials were clear about two things — one, they were not going to spend big money on advertisements and two, they were going to let their products speak for themselves.

  • Don't create ads; create good content

  • Unboxing videos became really popular. Xiaomi started posting unboxing videos of its devices to familiarise the audience with the basic features of the phone.

  • It also started spending a lot of time, energy and money on producing well-designed and good quality products.

  • While other companies spent just a few dollars on packaging box, Xiaomi decided to use boxes that $10 apiece.

  • A Xiaomi box was so sturdy that it could support the weight of adult human.

  • Video: What makes something go viral?

  • By mid of 2014, there were 20 million users on Xiaomi's BBSs (Bulletin Board System). 2 million visitors accessed the BBSs every day and 300K participated daily.

  • Unlike traditional brands that do not spend money to build up individuals and their social profiles, Xiaomi spends time and resources in building up their key opinion leaders.

  • The idea is simple. Instead of having to go through influencers, the media or buy expensive advertising, build up your key opinion leaders, build a direct relationship with your audience and own the narrative.

Reference reads

© Copyright 2023, I guess.

© Copyright 2023, I guess.