Bra Asks - Preface

Bra Asks - Preface
This is not just a set of ten questions for the pioneers of our era, but also an important chapter witnessing the changes and progress within the roaring waves of China's internet development.

Hey guys, I am the founder of DNSPod and the host of the "Bra Asks" column, Sam Ng, where "Bra" is my online nickname.

Many people have asked me: "Bra, why did you, someone with a technical background, decide to start the column?"

Since being captivated by something called "Shi Ling Tong (视聆通, a service initiated by the Guangdong Provincial Data Communication Bureau in 1995. It was offered to users in Guangdong Province through a dial-up modem connection, providing internet access primarily to websites within Guangdong Province and China, along with selected international sites.)" in 1996 and entering the webmaster circle, founding DNSPod, and returning to Tencent, I've had a history of over two decades with the internet. Immersing myself in it, my deepest feeling is that change is the only constant. I've witnessed computers transitioning from an unaffordable novelty to a common household item, and eventually to a small screen everyone carries. The internet in China pulses through network nodes, connecting people to society and to everything around them, with the changing mediums reflecting the shifts of an entire era.

A moment that left a deep impression on me was when, although the TCP/IP protocol was born in the United States in the 1970s, it wasn't until 1994 that we established our first TCP/IP connection with the international internet, becoming a member of the global internet community. It took us over 20 years to catch up with the pace of internet development in other countries. By 2021, we can finally stand on the same starting line as countries and regions like the United States, Europe, and Japan. In the field of 5G, we are even leading the way.

It's safe to say that in the era of the industrial internet, we are no longer followers but leaders, marking a significant epochal opportunity. However, this opportunity is akin to pioneering hard work. Its broad prospects are obvious, but the challenges are also right in front of us: significant investments, high costs, and a lack of directional development guidelines. If the consumer internet is a 100-meter dash, then the industrial internet is a marathon without a visible finish line. This requires a group of revolutionarily optimistic pioneers. Many of my friends stand at this starting line, knowing only that the finish line will be met with endless cheers and applause.

Yet, during the long run, these pioneers need to solidify their current position, sell basic services to ensure the survival of their businesses or products, while also having a forward-looking mindset to plan a long-term blueprint for their operations. No one knows when dawn will break, and in anticipation of it, pioneers must consider how to "survive" until then. The results of the seventh census were released two days ago, showing a birth rate of 12 million in 2020, a full 18% decrease from 2019. With no more growth, the era of extensive growth supported by capital strength has passed, and the golden rules of the past 20 years are gradually losing their reference value. Now, more than ever, it relies on entrepreneurs to learn by trial and error. The future of internet products and business models will face more time for tempering and challenges. Therefore, I believe there needs to be someone to document the birth of new opportunities, the spiral rise of the industrial internet amidst doubts and development, and the pain, entanglement, and struggle of these Chinese pioneers, as these are significant snapshots of the development of China's industrial internet. Despite the abundance of financial and internet media interview channels, having been interviewed many times myself, those spectating from the shore can never match the profound experience of those in the water. Having immersed myself in this industry for over two decades, I hope to use my business acumen, knowledge, and understanding of companies to take readers through the growth of a company from the perspective of the general public, to understand the operational logic of a new model, new business, and new era.

Besides its documenting significance, I also hope that "Bra Asks" will become a "seed" in the future. Since its inception, from WeChat Official Account to being reprinted and featured by multiple media and communities like CSDN and OSChina, and spontaneously shared by readers, our guests have expanded from cloud resources to technology, entrepreneurship, and new media circles, something beyond my initial expectations. Starting "Bra Asks" was merely a whim of mine, but as it persisted, I saw its influence grow. I believe these valuable records will become opportunities in the eyes of some readers or even enlightenment for emerging entrepreneurs. Readers of the "Bra Asks" column can learn about digitalization in enterprises, state secrets algorithms, DevOps, the full-scale internet, cloud-native, big data visualization, and more in the era of the industrial internet through these pioneers, and even find new growth points for their own industries. As Tencent's founder, Tony Zhang(Zhang Zhidong), said at a recent Tencent internal conference: "We are not just working on the current internet, but using our technology and capabilities to combine with traditional industries, to drive some industries, enabling more people to become wealthy."

When I was very young, I enjoyed reading a magazine called "The Science for Juvenile" by myself at home. Pondering over the circuit diagrams, capacitors, and resistors was more interesting to me than playing outside. I believe that the "Bra Asks" column can also become someone's "The Science for Juvenile", hoping that today's readers will be like that little boy many years ago, who couldn't put down "The Science for Juvenile", not knowing that the words before him were quietly opening the door to another world.