Meeting Hugo Barra: take-aways

Yesterday, we had the chance to meet Hugo Barra, former VP of Android at Google and current Global VP at Xiaomi (the Chinese Apple). Pia of Kickstart, who organized the event asked me my thoughts and learnings of this session. I thought I could share them here too!

– The big difference between Xiaomi and Samsung/Apple is that Xiaomi uses a lot social media to sell their products
– 3 pillars in Xiamo business: Software first (high margins), hardware (low margins) and internet services (low, but growing margins)
– Your first 100, and then 10,000 first customers are very important. You find them really engaged on your Value Proposition and you try to find similar people through similar channels, or searching for similar demographic profile. You actually choose your first customers, then you find more customers like them and finally you expand to other types of customers. Xiamo is looking for techy, geeky people who blog or have an active community around them to talk about phones and gadgets.
– “Engineers love to complicate things, Designers love to simplify things”
– “Remove stuff until you can’t anymore” to build your MVP
– A lot of industries price their product bottom-up. They find the acceptable price for the users, but then can’t reach profitability. Xiaomi prices its product top-down, so they’re always profitable
– The first rule on hardware markets today is Price aggressively. Except if you’re Apple
– The big difference between developed and developing countries is that here, the experience is increasingly mobile-only. You discover and buy the product on your mobile, while in developed countries, you discover it on mobile, but buy it home or at the office on a desktop computer

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