Ultimate Goal of University for Heart’s Desires
Date: 2018-01-23

Established in September 2017, Block Ark is mainly engaged in blockchain services, including project investment, post-investment services (such as marketing, PR) and media promotion to publish the company's insights into the industry and views on the project in the company's own media. Su Ye and Fang Xiangyu, founders of the company, graduated from SUSTech Department of Finance in 2017. Since its establishment, the company has shown a good state of profitability.


Brief Introduction to Blockchain

What's the simple definition of blockchain?

Fang Xiangyu defined that blockchain is a trust machine. For example, a transaction between two people does not mean an absolute mutual trust but a guarantee through an agent (such as a bank) as a third party. However, various problems related to privacy such as efficiency, security and information processing would arise from such transactions. Many a time we need peer-to-peer communication, such as direct money trading or data dredging, so how to ensure that money and goods reach the designated position at the same time in addition to cash on delivery? The emergence of blockchains solves similar trust issues. In the past we believed in people, systems, and now we believe in code.


Startup

Su Ye and Fang Xiangyu began their cooperation for entrepreneurship at the end of 2016. They often exchanged ideas on the simultaneously-chosen theme of Bitcoin when they just started to prepare for graduation design. At that time, the concept of blockchain started to rise in China. Shenzhen ushered in many roadshows and the domestic ICO (Initial Coin Offering) became popular. They often participated in roadshows, listened to and absorbed other people's ideas, and also started to invest. After graduation, Su Ye worked in a blockchain enterprise, Fang Xiangyu was employed in a bank, and they continued to pay attention to the blockchain field. In July and August, bitcoin swung wildly. The concept of blockchain received much attention from people nationwide offering many opportunities. So they thought, why not carve out in the industry? In September, the country began to implement regulatory measures. The price of bitcoin fell but rebounded in October. They believed that it was a good opportunity to enter the market. Then, Fang Xiangyu resigned in November and worked with Su Ye to develop the public account of "Block Ark". They did not work out whether it would be a company or something of other forms in the future. They simply thought that there was development room for it and wanted to explore in this field. Later, they met the third partner. At the beginning of this year, the company was formally established and now is on the right track.

"In an emerging industry, the group of people who started up in the first place did not meet such high barriers. We think that we can build our own barriers and do our own things. ”

Su Ye said that he did not think that he would enter this industry. His previous idea was to work in the consulting industry. There were only VC and blockchain for him to choose just after he graduated. He had to choose the blockchain. Fang Xiangyu said that he wanted to make an investment from the very beginning. Although he did not know what he would do in the future for a long time at the university, he always kept one idea in mind, that is, to make an investment.


Unremitting Pursuit

The competition in the financial industry is fierce, which is obvious to all financial practitioners. Fang Xiangyu said that he found the facts were not what he thought after entering the bank. Banks are the hub of the financial system, where only a few people can access the core resources, but more people do the same work repeatedly. The situation is different in the blockchain market where everyone is on the same starting line. Those involved in the capital market are all compressed and flattened. The group of people who first enter an emerging industry do not face high barriers.

"If there is a chance anyway, then try it."

In the process of exploration, they tried in many different forms. When they first chose, they seriously thought about what they could do with their existing strengths. The links of ICO are roughly divided into: institutional investment, project packaging, media promotion, evaluation, exchange entry. In addition to media promotion, other links need much money. The threshold for media promotion is very low, but it can be equal to any other link in the industry. After many evaluations, they wanted to create some ideas, so the IP of "Captain" turned out. Between failure and getting on the right track, it is a process of continuous exploration and a business model that is more sustainable after gradual choose. Meanwhile, Block Ark is also preparing for fund business, because the links of the entire industry coordinate with each other, no matter the company invests by itself or provides investment services. It is a market with strong Matthew effect, where everyone pays attention to the top resources. But how to get such resources? What Block Ark wants to achieve is just to provide such services to customers. The integration of the two parts of business has gradually formed a complete industry.

Next, they plan to raise funds,“If the company wants to operate on track or better, financing is essential and more resources should be introduced”. 


“Choice is really important”


When asked about the most critical factor in the entrepreneurial process, Su Ye did not hesitate to refer to "choice".

In addition to choosing this industry and resignation for entrepreneurship, they have made many choices all the way. For example, when choosing and embracing a partner with a more open mind at startup, Su Ye said that we should take the initiative to embrace others since they open up to us. Events happened afterwards proved that this choice brought them new ideas. They learned a lot of investment experience from Ark in the industry and changed their ideas from previous academic and technological manner to market-oriented manner. Fang Xiangyu said that he used to worship Buffett and Graham. He felt that value investment was essential and effective. But now it seems that he had not found a more effective investment strategy. When the market is in a bull period, investors tend to ignore many factors. Some ideas that perform well in a bull market may reveal many problems in a bear market. Therefore, the quality of a project does not represent its ups and downs. Gradually, they began to consider market sentiment, favorite subject of retail investors, and find hot topics from the perspective of the public. In the digital currency market, everyone seeks profits. However, this idea may only apply to the present period and does not mean that it is always right. The period of the digital currency market is 1.16 years, which is 1/7 that of the financial market. The market is changing rapidly, so whenever there is an opportunity, you should grasp it.

“There are too many opportunities in this industry. It’s like a blue ocean. If you are willing to invest time and energy, you can make your company develop and grow.” In the early days of their business, they promoted their public account articles on industry-related WeChat groups normally accumulated by them. After keeping that for two months, they accumulated one or two thousand users of their own and those users became potential customers of the company later. At the beginning, they didn't know what to do. The team was new, so was the company. No one had entrepreneurial experience, no one stood up and led the way. They went through numerous hardships and cooperated well in many things. After a long time, the team naturally has a clear division of labor. For example, Su Ye is mainly responsible for the foreground while Fang Xiangyu is responsible for the background. They are in charge of different sections. If there is any advantage for good college roommates to start a business, it is trust. The four years of studying and living together allowed them to know each other well. They thought, discussed, tried together and moved forward step by step.

For proposal on "currency trading", the two seniors sent words, "Do not gamble. Do not be greedy". The blockchain market has just started with emerging concepts one after another. It may take three to five years to employ industry technologies. Therefore, the current investment is actually to cater to mass investors. The choice of projects depends on the preferences of the public. In fact, the existing markets are driven by buying and selling activities, so it is only necessary to study how others operate. If you really want to engage in this industry, you must make good preparations in advance. You should go out of the ivory tower and spend time on diligent study and exploration of the industry. If you have no adequate understanding of it, you shall not start blindly, nor take your parents’ money to invest. Currently, the blockchain industry is in a bear market with chaos. After entering the market, you should pay tuition with your money rather than gamble to make money.

For students who have entrepreneurial ideas, the choice is indeed a very important thing. When you choose an emerging industry, you will encounter unlimited possibilities. Su Ye said that he had participated in an entrepreneurial competition. The group that won the first place has now completely failed in the search engine they developed. We all know that Baidu and Google have built high barriers in the search engine field and it is difficult for ordinary people to make breakthroughs. You can start with a small idea, then continue to improve, reduce the cost and free yourself and your family from the burden.

At the end of the interview, we asked the two seniors to give some suggestions on university life and future development.

Su Ye said that there is a popular concept called dark social intercourse. Your level is the average level of the few people around you, who have the best relationships with you. The person closest to you will have a profound impact on you. So when you approach some people whom you appreciate, you should try to keep in touch with them. He heard the concept of blockchain when he listened to a lecture by a senior in the school. In the next place, to understand something, you should first roughly know the framework of it, and then get to know its different sub-categories within the framework. This is true for study or life.

Fang Xiangyu suggested that everyone should try more, go out of school, and take advantage of spare time to explore more possibilities and new things. Many SUSTech students have such potentials. No matter what major you study, you should listen to lectures in other fields on cutting-edge ideas in science and technology like lunar exploration and nuclear physics. Professor Liu Luchuan of the Department of Finance was the supervisor of Fang Xiangyu. He is a person who keeps interest in new things with open ideas. Although he is not in the age of adolescents, he learns new things even faster than young people.

In fact, studying at university is a process of exploring what you really like. The major you study at university does not represent your future and your existing achievements cannot represent the development in the future.

"You shall be brave and resolute when deciding to make a change." 

At the end, Su Ye shared his personal experience. When making strategic analysis in Accenture, he received brainstorming every day to develop development strategy for the company. He found it very interesting and liked it. After starting a business, he could unconsciously work until 12 or 1 o'clock every night.


    "How do you judge the degree of interest you have in one thing? You can judge it using an indicator, that is, you are happy or not when you do a thing at the time you should not do it.” Finding what you are really interested in is the ultimate goal of your study at the university.