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王煜全Chinadaily

对王煜全的最初认知,来自他那句“不讲产业时点的黑科技都是耍流氓”。黑科技,是过去十年不断颠覆人们想象力的高级“物种”,王煜全,则是最接近这类高级物种的人之一。
My first impression of Yuquan Wang was a quote from him that goes “Futuristic technologies that hide their industrialization timelines are all jokes.” Futuristic technology is an advanced “species” that has repeatedly developed beyond people’s imagination in the past decade. Yuquan Wang is one of the people closest to such advanced species.

他既是投资人,不断挖掘和追逐最前沿的创新科技项目,也是创新科技知识的布道者,用最平实的语言,讲述科技的未来。
He is an investor, constantly digging and chasing the most cutting-edge innovative technology projects; he is also an evangelist of innovative scientific knowledge, describing the future of technology in the most plain language.

“如果有个人跟你说,我在深山里钻研了20年,搞出一个全世界都领先的科技,现在我要做公司,请你投资我,这个人九成是骗子,另外一成是脑袋有问题。”
“If someone tells you that they have been studying isolated in the mountains for 20 years and have developed a globally-leading technology, now they want to start a company and need funding, 90% chance is that this person is a liar, and the remaining 10% possibility is that they’re mentally ill.”

“技术不必然需要科学知识,比如当年蔡伦造纸,肯定不知道科学原理是什么,这个纸的纤维是怎么形成的。”
“Technology does not necessarily require scientific knowledge. For example, back when Lun Cai invented paper, he must have no idea the scientific theory behind it or how the fiber of paper is formed.”

……

和王煜全聊科技,不高深,不枯燥。从创新地图,到思维模型,再到投资法则,他知无不言,言无不尽。
Talking with Yuquan Wang about technology is neither sophisticated or tedious. He shares everything he knows regarding innovation mapping, logic models and investment rules.

本期《艾问顶级人物》,王煜全解码2019年科技圈的三大趋势。
In this issue of “iAsk Top Leaders”, Yuquan Wang deciphers the three major technology trends in 2019.

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创新的故事大家听多了,也就搞错了
The more innovation stories, the more misunderstanding forms

王煜全曾在《全球创新260讲》中提到,大多数人对创新其实有一点点错误的理解,以为是那些独出心裁的东西才叫创新,比如说国内的共享单车,实际上它只是起源于一个共享的念头,这种创新叫做模式创新,但这并不是创新领域里的主流,大多数创新其实是科技的创新,但科技创新很可能没有模式创新那么令人兴奋。
Yuquan Wang mentioned in the “Global Innovation 260 Lectures” that most people have some misunderstanding about innovation. They think that only unprecedented inventions are called innovations, such as shared bikes in China. In fact, it originated from the idea of sharing, which should be identified as model innovation. But this is not the mainstream in the field of innovation. Most innovations are actually technological innovations, but they are likely not as exciting as model innovations.

创新应该如何被定义?
How should innovation be defined?

王煜全:我们希望为中国乃至为世界绘制一个真正的创新的地图,创新的高地在哪?创新的趋势在哪?创新的脉络在哪?怎么能够让创新的效率更高?我们最近在搞一个体系,叫创新效率,我们琢磨的不是投一个企业让它成功,是如何建立一个机制,让一千个企业一万个企业能够成功。
Yuquan Wang: We hope to draw a truly innovative map for China and even the world. What is the vision for innovation? What is the trend of innovation? Where is the network of innovation? How can we make innovation more efficient? We’ve been working on a system called innovation efficiency. What we are working on is not merely to invest in a company to make it successful, but how to establish a mechanism to enable hundreds and thousands of enterprises to succeed.

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艾诚:但我要反问,创新是变动的,但在制作创新地图过程中,要尽可能消除不确定性,地图才可以很稳定。那么一个变动的过程,怎么可能有一成不变的公式呢?
Gloria Ai: But I have a question: innovation is dynamic, yet in the process of drawing innovative maps, we must eliminate uncertainty as much as possible, so that the map can be stable. So how can a process of change be equipped with a constant formula?

王煜全:这涉及到一个大家的误解,大家以为创新就是突然之间出个新东西,但其实不是,创新早就产业化,创新早就一步一个脚印,所有的假设都是遵循着前人的脚印,都是有强烈的规律可以遵循的,有很多人还不理解这个规律。
Yuquan Wang: This is a misunderstanding people have. People think that innovation is a brand new creation out of nowhere, but it is not. Innovation has long been industrialized. People follow their predecessors’ footprints one step at a time based on their assumptions. There’ re standing rules to follow, but many people still don’t see it.

艾诚:你发现了什么创新的规律?什么是可为的,什么是不可为的?
Gloria Ai: What innovation rules have you discovered? What is achievable and what is not?

王煜全:简单来说,首先创新的源头往往都是来自于高校、高等学府,当然这个创新是有一定范围的,指的是产品上的尤其带很强的科技含量的创新。民间科学家的时代结束了,这个时代不太会出现爱迪生。
Yuquan Wang: In short, the origin of innovation is often from universities and colleges. Of course, this type of innovation is limited, especially for product innovation that involves immense scientific and technology advancements. The era of folk scientists is over. Another Edison is unlikely to appear in this era.

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艾诚:民间科学家的时代结束?
Gloria Ai: The era of folk scientists is over?

王煜全:是的,如果有个人跟你说,我在深山里钻研了20年,搞出一个全世界都领先的科技,现在我要做公司,请你投资我,你可以转身就走,这个九成是骗子,另外一成是脑袋有问题。
Yuquan Wang: Yes, if someone tells you that they have been studying isolated in the mountains for 20 years and have developed a globally-leading technology, now they want to start a company and need funding, you can walk away immediately because 90% chance is that this person is a liar, and the remaining 10% possibility is that they’re mentally ill.

因为绝大多数的科技来源是在学术机构,但是,不是学术机构自己把科研成果转化成产品的,这里面又有一个中国经常会混淆的东西,我们搞不清楚什么叫科学,什么叫技术,中国一说就科技。其实国外是叫科学和技术。
The vast majority of science and technology is originated from academic higher institutions, however, it’s not those institutions that turn scientific research into products. There’s another concept that Chinese people get confused about a lot. People don’t understand what science or technology is, since the Chinese term “Keji”combines both connotations. However, it is distinguished as science and technology overseas.

艾诚:区别在哪?
Gloria Ai: What is the difference?

王煜全:科学实际上是指的很多原理上的突破,比如说我从科学道理上知道这个叫进化论,那个叫相对论,而技术是指的我从能力上能够做到以前做不到的事儿。但是技术不必然需要科学知识,比如当年蔡伦造纸,肯定不知道科学原理是什么,这个纸的纤维是怎么形成的。
Yuquan Wang: Science actually refers to breakthroughs in theory. For example, I know of evolution theory or theory of relativity from a scientific perspective, but technology means that I can do things that I could not do before. However, technology does not necessarily require scientific knowledge. For example, back when Lun Cai invented paper, he must have no idea the scientific theory behind it or how the fiber of paper is formed.

第二个,就是科学做出来,需要做的科研叫Research,那科研完成了以后,你需要把它开发成产品,叫RND,叫Research and Development,这个又会被搞混。实际上就是说,你要用技术手段,使得科研成果变成产品。
Secondly, science leads to research. After the research is completed, you need to develop it into a product, which is call R&D, i.e. Research and Development, which people are confused about as well. In fact, it means that you have to resort to technology to turn scientific research findings into products.

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从科研到产品的转化,周期至少五年,五年之内是出不来产品的,所以为什么我们经常讲,就是说你要去看黑科技,要判断它的产业化时点,不要看媒体报道说这有个黑科技,你就很兴奋,然后明天能用上,不一定,要看它现在到什么地步了,如果是刚从实验室出来,五年之内肯定用不上。
The transformation from scientific research into products takes at least five years. It is impossible to develop products within five years. We often mention that if you were to evaluate a futuristic technology, you need to look into its industrialization timeline. Don’t get pumped over reading from media coverage of the technology or expect it to be put in production overnight. You need to see what stage it is at right now. If it just completes scientific research, it will definitely not turn into products within five years.

2019年三大趋势:
Three major trends in 2019:

自动驾驶、5G和商用机器人
Autonomous driving, 5G and commercial robotics

2019年初,阿里达摩院发布了《2019十大科技趋势》,包含了智能城市、语音AI、AI专用芯片、图神经网络系统、计算体系结构、5G、数字身份、自动驾驶、区块链、数据安全等领域。
At the beginning of 2019, Alibaba DAMO Academy released the report “Top Ten Technology Trends in 2019”, nominating smart city, voice AI, AI dedicated chip, graph neural network, computer architecture, 5G, digital identity, autonomous driving, blockchain, data security etc.

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在另外一份由CES主办方美国电子消费品制造商协会发布的全球消费科技市场预测报告中,语音计算、机器人、5G、生物科技、区块链和人工智能被列为2019年六大科技趋势。
In another global consumer technology market forecast released by the CES organizer, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), voice computing, robotics, 5G, biotechnology, blockchain and AI were listed as the top six technological trends in 2019.

艾诚与王煜全的这场对话,就发生在CES2019现场。面对这些忽近忽远的新科技,我们更想知道它们会以怎样的一种方式来到我们身边?
The dialogue between Gloria Ai and Yuquan Wang took place at CES 2019. In the face of the new technologies that are looming, we want to know in what way they will come to us.

艾诚:2019年的CES,你看到了什么趋势和机遇?
Gloria Ai: What trends and opportunities have you spotted at CES in 2019?

王煜全:第一个就是人人都在谈自动驾驶。自动驾驶确实是个趋势,但是自动驾驶这个趋势,你会发现说2019年的CES展上自动驾驶似乎平淡无奇,因为和2018年、2017年讲的没啥区别,但是这个平淡无奇背后恰恰是一个讯号,就是自动驾驶开始进入工业化量产阶段。
Yuquan Wang: First, everyone is talking about autonomous driving, which is indeed a trend. However, the autonomous driving products presented at CES 2019 seem quite dull, because it is not much different from what has been shown in 2018 and 2017. Yet, the dullness actually implies a signal that autonomous driving has started to enter the industrialized mass production stage.

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因为如果是要测试市场,或者你要宣告一个新概念,你会有点提前量。所以自动驾驶的新概念成批推出是在两年以前,经过这两年,这些概念都做实了,应该进入量产车了,但是它不可能再推新概念,这两年就只是在重复老概念,你以为平淡无奇的时候,其实黑科技已经在迅速地飞入寻常百姓家了。
Because if you want to test the market, or if you want to announce a new concept, you need to make the announcement in advance. The new concept of autonomous driving was widely introduced two years ago. In the past two years, the concept has been implemented. Cars should be manufactured in mass. Therefore, there will not be any new concept but to reiterate the old concept. When you think some technology is dull, the futuristic technology has swiftly penetrated our daily lives.

艾诚:我反问一句,这其中有没有坑和泡沫?
Gloria Ai: May I ask is there any trap or bubble in it?

王煜全:自动驾驶其实是有很多的风险的,或者是有很多的就像你说的坑或者是泡沫的,最主要的一个问题就是过于追求极致的高水平,但目前很多高水平的东西人工智能是做不到的。
Yuquan Wang: Autonomous driving has plenty of risks, or traps and bubbles like you said. The biggest issue lies in the pursuit for the ultimate perfection, which cannot be achieved by AI at the moment.

所以特别聪明的一个做法是叫做“科技的外溢性”,就是你在追求极致的时候,极致往往不容易做到,但是在这过程当中,当技术水平极大地被拉升,你降维去做别的事情,你把极致技术降低难度,你可以做很多其他的事情。
A clever solution is to resort to “technology externality”, where the more you pursue perfection, the harder it becomes. However, during the process, when the technology is enhanced substantially, if you lower your threshold for technology, you would be capable of deliver many other achievements.

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艾诚:2019年前沿趋势之二,你会给什么样的答案?
Gloria Ai: How would you comment on the second trend in 2019?

王煜全:第二个是一个我自己觉得意外的东西,这个和一个大趋势相关的就是5G,你会看到大家都在谈论5G了,但我认为5G来得没那么快,因为现在谈论5G的都是设备上,反正是不对的。因为经过中国这么多年的通讯业的发展,我们都知道,谈论5G或者说真能引领科技的应该是应用。
Yuquan Wang: The second one is something that I didn’t expect. It’s related to the big trend of 5G. You will notice that everyone is talking about 5G, but I think 5G will not be industrialized that quickly, because people are mostly talking about 5G devices, which is not the right direction. After years of development of the telecommunication industry in China, we’re all aware that the real technology-leading trend should be 5G applications.

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艾诚:如果要补充第三个趋势和机遇,你认为是什么?
Gloria Ai: If you were to name a third trend or opportunity, what do you think it would be?

王煜全:还有一个是机器人,尤其是商用机器人。举例来讲,现在洗衣机已经很发达了,烘干机也很发达了,最讨厌的是叠衣服,要是有个叠衣服的机器就太好了。这件事以前很难实现,因为你没有人工智能和机器人结合是做不到的,现在反过来了。我觉得是一个很激动人心的时代,因为科技的能力已经超过了需求,所以谁能够首先发现需求,谁就能够很容易地设计出产品,很容易地扩大出市场。
Yuquan Wang: The third one should be robotics, especially commercial robotics. For example, the washing machine is now very developed, so is the dryer. The most annoying thing is to fold the clothes. If only there was a machine that folds clothes. This was difficult to materialize before, because you can’t do it without combining AI and robotics. But now it’s doable. I think it is a very exciting era, because technology capability has exceeded the demand. Whoever can discover demand first can easily design the product and expand its market share.

美国对科技的狂热程度远远赶不上中国
The United States is far less enthusiastic about technology than China is

科技可以带来世界的变革,也可以让投资人赚得盆满钵满。
Technology can not only bring about revolutions in the world, but also create a fortune for investors.

市场咨询公司荣鼎集团(Rhodium Group)的资料显示,中国对美国高科技部门的风险投资额从2013年的3.76亿美元增长到了2018年的31亿美元。
Based on the data from the market consulting firm Rhodium Group, China’s venture capital investment in the US high-tech sector increased from $376 million in 2013 to $3.1 billion in 2018.

与此同时,国内的资本浪潮正在光速席卷科技领域。据CB Insights数据,2017年中国对人工智能创业公司的投资在全球占比48%,已经超过美国(38%)。过去4年,在BAT对人工智能领域的投资版图中,对美国公司的投资占比为44%,而对本土的投资占比则高达46%。
At the same time, the domestic capital is drastically injected into the technology sector. Based on the data from CB Insights, China’s investment in AI startups accounted for 48% of the global total in 2017, surpassing that of the US (38%). In the past four years, out of the investment in the AI sector by BAT, 44% of the capital was invested in American companies; 46% in domestic ones.

但问题是,有资金,懂科技,就一定能成为优秀的科技领域投资人吗?
But the question is, if you’re funded and knowledgeable of technology, will you become an outstanding investor in the technology sector for sure?

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艾诚:很多朋友看过你的《全球创新260讲》,大家好奇的是,如果说你看到全球前沿科技的风景,能够预见未来,是不是可以更好地做投资?艾问资本也专注在这个媒体科技上,接触了很多科技公司之后,我们发现与其找寻被技术驱动的市场,不如找被市场驱动的科技。这话怎么理解?
Gloria Ai: Many people have watched your “Global Innovation 260 Lectures”. What everyone is curious about is that if you can interpret the world’s cutting-edge technology and anticipate the future, can you make better investments? iAsk Capital is also dedicated to the media technology sector. After interacting with many tech companies, we found out that instead of looking for a technology-driven market, it is better to find a market-driven technology. What do you think?

王煜全:我认为不是从哪出发的问题,而是都要考虑到。因为从企业角度讲,你要投资一定投最盈利的,但是从产业角度上你会发现,一个产业要完备的发展,有些企业可以很盈利,有些企业没那么盈利,但如果你只支持有规模、盈利好的企业,这产业可能就完蛋了。产业就相当于一个生态,不能只管大树不管小草,一个健全的生态必然什么都要有。
Yuquan Wang: I don’t think it’s a problem with the driving force, it should all be taken into account. From the perspective of an enterprise, you have to invest in profitable business. Yet, from an industry point of view, for an industry to develop in a sound manner, some enterprises are profitable, some are not. If you only support scaled profitable enterprises, the industry would be doomed. An industry works like an ecosystem, where we can’t only take care of trees while ignoring grass. A sound ecosystem needs everything in place.

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艾诚:能分享一下你的投资案例吗?
Gloria Ai: Can you share your investment cases?

王煜全:我们现在投资的很多企业还是在成长期,未来两年,应该有些企业上市或退出。做投资需要有非常大的耐心,十年树木,百年树人,虽然现在这个社会已经使得企业发展的速度大大加快了,但是依然至少需要20年的时间去塑造一个足够好的企业,10年时间的卧薪尝胆,打磨产品,10年时间去全球扩张,建立自己的系统,我们投的企业基本上都还年轻。
Yuquan Wang: Most of the companies we invest in are still growing. In the coming two years, some enterprises might go public or exit. Investing requires a lot of patience, just like how it takes three generations to make a gentleman. Although this society has greatly accelerated the development of enterprises, it still takes at least 20 years to nurture an enterprise to be good enough. After pulling through 10 years of hardships and perfecting products, you should spend another 10 years focusing on global expansion and network building. The companies we invest in are mostly young.

当然还有一个好玩的地方,我们现在是在竭力说服美国的科技企业跑到香港去上市,为什么?因为纳斯达克对科技企业的估值不够高,美国对科技的狂热程度远远赶不上中国,资本市场也是对科技的承认,认可程度远远赶不上中国。
Another interesting thing is that we’re trying our utmost to persuade American tech companies to go public in Hong Kong. Why is that?It’s because NASDAQ undervalues tech companies. The United States is far less enthusiastic about technology than China is. The recognition of the technology sector in the US capital market is also far behind that in China.

艾诚:最后一个问题,十年之后的王煜全,和十年之后你所在经营的这个平台,你会怎样预见?
Gloria Ai: The last question is, what’s your prediction of yourself and the platform you’re operating in 10 years?

王煜全:坦白讲,我有点中国古代文人的情怀,就是说事了拂身去。我希望大家记住是这个平台,我希望大家记住是创新在这个平台上能够做到更好,至于谁做的,我觉得还是这道理,时势造英雄,是历史做的,因为我都不知道能不能成功,我们只是尽力去做,那个没想过。我只是想十年之后应该会有更多的时间退退休,放松一下,仅此而已。
Yuquan Wang: Frankly speaking, I’m kind of like ancient Chinese literati, who would retire after they fulfill their responsibilities. I hope people remember that innovation can be facilitated on this platform. As for who contributes behind the scene, it fits the saying “The times create heroes”, so the credit should go to the times. I’m not even sure if we can succeed, but we’re trying the best we can. I never thought about the prediction. In ten years, I just want more time to myself after retirement so I can relax. That’s all.

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