Pitching to a Chinese Taxi Driver

Posted in Company
By Kerry Liu on April 10, 2014


 Over the past month, we have been working really hard on our core messaging. Big Data and Analytics is a space with lots of buzzwords and we want to simplify that. Businesses don’t care about buzzwords. This is obviously an iterative process, but we’re getting closer.


It’s been a crazy week so far. Rubikloud attended the Cloud Factory conference in beautiful Banff and was privileged to win the “Most Disruptive Cloud Startup” award amongst many other talented start-ups. I think part of this win was due to our clearer messaging.

I’m in China for a series of meetings with massive online retailers (we’re talking billions in revenue per year each). I just landed in Shanghai. I was born in Shanghai but moved to Vancouver as a baby. Since then I’ve been coming here at least once every two years. Starting in my University days, I got in the habit of talking to local taxi drivers about how they viewed the massive changes to China. I used to just jump in a cab and ask them to show me the coolest parts of town.

This time, on my way back from the airport, my cab driver asked me what I did for a living. I thought this was a perfect chance to try and explain a very technically deep solution in a simpler way. In my broken Shanghai dialect here’s how I described Rubikloud. First I asked him a question:


Me: Do you buy anything online?

Him: I book my travel online through CTRIP but my son buys everything online. He gets groceries, clothing, etc.

I have a software company that helps online companies make decisions with the data we collect from you. We help them collect this data then our software looks for patterns and turn those patterns into recommendations they can actually implement. We know you want to buy online and we know they want to sell more efficiently. Our software tries to make those decisions easier.

 I then went through a few examples and he got it.

Tech is huge here right now. The IPO market is hot, start-ups are starting to get publicity. It just so happens that this taxi driver’s son was studying engineering in Beijing.

Ok off to find some dinner…or is it breakfast for me?