我相信未来集市可以让商业文明普照在每一位平凡人的身上。

I believe the Future Bazaar will cast the light of business on all ordinary people.

——吴召国 未来集市创始人

——Wu Zhaoguo, Founder of Future Bazaar

在广州花都,我们见到了未来集市的创始人吴召国,这里是未来集市的总部。采访当天,恰逢“未来集市第三届社交电商节暨首届创业者大会”在花都体育馆举办,来自全国各地的未来集市掌柜们赶赴花都。

In Huadu, Guangzhou, we met with the founder of Future Bazaar, Wu Zhaoguo, in its headquarter. The interview coincided with the same day of the Third E-commerce Networking Event by Future Bazaar and the first Entrepreneur Conference, being held in the Huadu Stadium. Micro-business owners of Future Bazaar from across the country traveled to Huadu for it.

这些掌柜中,有来自云南抱着两岁大孩子的妈妈,也有从河南赶过来的退伍军人,有坐着轮椅的,也有年过半百的。他们说来这里不为别的,就是想见吴召国一面。

Among them are a new mother from Yunnan with her two-year-old kid, a veteran traveling from Henan, some in wheelchairs, and some over fifty years old. They traveled all the way there for nothing but to meet Wu Zhaoguo in person.

未来集市到底是一个怎样的平台?值得他们不远万里从各地赶来。吴召国又做对了什么,使得他受到如此拥趸?本期《艾问顶级人物》,艾问创始人艾诚对话吴召国。

What merits does the platform Future Bazaar have, making users willing to travel across the country? Which was the right move the founder Wu Zhaoguo has made to merit so much dedication. In this issue of iAsk Top Leaders, Gloria Ai, founder of iAsk, is interviewing with Wu Zhaoguo.

Who knows what bread and butter 

mean to ordinary people?

第三届社交电商节,也是未来集市全球首发的日子,为此,吴召国已经几天没合眼了。在我们的对话过程中,只要有间隙,他就会立刻投入工作。

At the Third E-commerce Networking Event, the Future Bazaar is going live globally too. Wu barely rests for days to prepare for it. During our interview, even if it’s a small break, he would immediately jump back into work.

吴召国说,从2014年创业开始他就没睡好过,一直处在焦虑中。当150万用户把希望的眼神注视到吴召国时,他开始担心自己未来是否还有能力继续为他们创造价值。

Wu mentioned that he has not slept well since 2014 when he started his business. Anxiety all alongside the journey. Now 1.5 million users are gazing at him with high expectation, he is concerned with how much bandwidth he has to keep creating value for them in the future.

时间拨回到2014年,吴召国创办思埠集团,他将碎片化的生产力集聚起来,让人人有事做,人人有钱赚,成为新时代的致富带头人。在外人看来,吴召国和他的思埠集团书写了一部移动社交电商行业的奇迹史。很多人说思埠的崛起,正是因为“吴召国”三个字。

Back in 2014 when he founded SIBU Group, he agglomerated fragmented productivity, enabling everyone with business and money, and hence becoming the champion building wealth in the new era. From an outsider’s perspective, Wu and his SIBU Group illustrate the miracle in the networking e-commerce industry. It is widely acknowledged that the rise of SIBU Group is attributed to the name Wu Zhaoguo.

在未来集市的总部,几乎每一层楼都会看到吴召国的名字和他曾经说过的标语,当我们问及他本人时,他却表示,自己的名字其实不重要,但这三个字对基层的创业者有着非比寻常的意义,他们把吴召国视作是激励他们前行的人,是给予他们创业平台的人。

In the headquarter of the Future Bazaar, we can see his name and quotes he had once said almost on every floor. When being asked, however, he does not think his name means much to himself, but a lot to the vast grassroots entrepreneurs, whom figured Wu as a motivator to march ahead and the creator of the entrepreneurial platform. 

艾诚:基层的创业者,他们是谁?

Gloria Ai: Who are these grassroots entrepreneurs?

吴召国:他们是一群宝妈,他们是退伍军人,他们是大学刚毕业的年轻人,他们是渴望自立自强的残疾人等等,这样众多的基层创业者。

Wu: They can be mothers of toddlers, veterans, fresh college graduates, the disabled yearning for independence and so forth. They are all grassroots entrepreneurs.

艾诚:吴召国在带领他们在做什么?

Gloria Ai: What is Wu Zhaoguo leading them toward?

吴召国:创业。对他们而言,创业就是养家糊口,先解决生存问题,再谈让生活变得更美好。

Wu: Entrepreneurship. For them, entrepreneurship is a means of make a living. They need to survive first before improving life quality. 

吴召国说,他了解这些人,他懂得生活的艰辛。从高考落榜,到连续创业失败,小镇青年吴召国进入社会的前十年尝尽了辛酸的滋味。这一路打拼过程中所受到的屈辱和困难,使得他比其他人更理解那些生活在底层的平凡人所需要的是希望和尊严。

Wu explained that he has been there and perfectly understands how hard life can be. From failing in the college entrance examination to failing at entrepreneurship several times, young Wu Zhaoguo who came from a small town experienced all the setbacks thoroughly during the first decade of his career. Having gone through all the trials and tribulations and having suffered humiliation and hardship, he understands better than anyone what ordinary people needs: hope and dignity.

创业之初,吴召国只是在这里租了一层楼,但随着业务的扩大,满满地将办公空间延展到了整栋,除了自己公司的几百名员工,平台上两千多名大小分销商也在这里集中办公,而且吴召国从不向他们收租金,“除非我揭不开锅了,只要我还有力气给他们提供,我就免费。”

At the start of the business, he only rented one floor. With the expansion of the business, the office space extended to the whole building. In addition to the hundreds of employees of his company, more than 2,000 dealers on the platform also work in the same space. And surprising enough, Wu never charged them for rent. “Unless I were to go broke, as long as I’m still capable, I would keep it for free.”

现在的中国正见证着一场由小镇青年积极投身创业而带来的变革,他们是中国商业一个新的蓝海市场。吴召国要做的,就是为他们提供平台,助力他们成长,让人人都能创造价值。

Today’s China is witnessing a revolution brought about by youth from small towns who are proactively engaged in entrepreneurship. They can form a new blue ocean market for the Chinese business. And what Wu works on is to provide them with a platform and help them grow and create value.

Who can forge ahead against questions?

未来集市,是吴召国对原来业务进行的一次全新迭代。从2019年6月30日未来集市APP上线公测,截止目前,不到3个月的时间,平台付费用户达到150万,GMV达到15亿人民币。

The Future Bazaar is a brand-new iteration of Wu Zhaoguo’s business. Within 3 months from June 30, 2019, when the APP’s open beta was released, till present, 1.5 million paid users registered on the platform, with a GMV of RMB 1.5 billion.

8月25日,在未来集市第三届社交电商节上,我们本以为整个会场会陷入到庆功的喜悦中,但有些意外的是,吴召国和他的团队一开场就是在道歉,他们为未来集市跟不上爆发式的增长而道歉,为技术、客服、物流跟不上而道歉,希望大家给予他们更多的时间。

On August 25, at the Third E-commerce Networking Event of Future Bazaar, we expected that the whole venue would be immersed in the joy of celebration. However, surprisingly, apologies went first in the opening remark. Wu and his team apologized for the limited bandwidth of Future Bazaar to keep up with exponential growth and for the less-than-optimal performance of technology, customer service and logistics pledging for more time.

更让人惊讶的是,他们坦诚地揭开自己的伤疤,告诉大家自未来集市APP上线以来,他们受到了多少攻击,收到了多少投诉。吴召国说,反观这些问题的背后,他要感谢媒体、同行甚至竞争对手等社会各界的监督,因为只有这样,未来集市才会更快速地成长。

What’s even more surprising was that they candidly revealed their pains and shared with the audience the negative feedback and complaints they had received since the launch of the APP. And in the face of these issues, Wu said he would like to thank the media, peers and even competitors for the supervision from all walks of life, because this is the only way for the Future Bazaar to grow even faster.

8月1日,吴召国发了一封题为《为你坚强,为爱坚持》的公开信,他在信中表示:质疑声一直充斥着我的整个创业生涯。一路走来,有多少次被误解的辛酸、有多少次被打趴下的狼狈,老吴都自己扛过来了。是对我们商业模式的坚定信念,让我在嚎啕大哭后仍然坚持;是对团队及产品的信心,让我一次次从泥坑里爬起来继续拼搏。

On August 1, Wu released an open letter entitled “Staying Strong for You, Hanging in for Love”. In this letter, he wrote, “I have been constantly questioned throughout my entrepreneurial career. Along the journey, I pulled through the bitterness of countless times of misunderstandings and the embarrassment of being defeated plentiful times. It is the determined belief in our business model that enabled me to persevere after bursting into tears; it is the faith in my team and products that empowered me to overcome obstacles one after another and keep striving.”

艾诚:和你开始这次对话之前,我搜集了关于未来集市的各种报道和各种言论,一半是正面,一半是负面?

Gloria Ai: Before today’s interview, I did some research on the media coverage and comments about the Future Bazaar. Half of them are positive and the other half, negative – is it fair to say so?

吴召国:不止,90%是负面吧。说吴召国是传销,未来集市这家公司为什么吴召国不是法人?是要跑路吗?过去的三个月一直就是这样的攻击,非常严重。

Wu: Not just half. 90% of the comments are negative. They accused me of pyramid selling and questioned why I am not the legal representative of the Future Bazaar. Some even asked whether I’m planning to run away? I have been constantly attacked by these comments in the past three months. It was very severe.

艾诚:如果未来集市不是传销,我们应该怎么界定它的商业本质?

Gloria Ai: If the Future Bazaar is not a pyramid scheme, how should would you define its commercial nature?

吴召国:社交电商。未来集市是一个极其简单的商业模型,跟主流的电商没有太多区别,我们只是在这个基础上加了一个自用省钱的设计。你去天猫购物,买了一个东西100块,它会有十块钱佣金给到淘宝客。我们把给淘宝客的这十块钱佣金拿出来做了一个激励,就这么简单的一个商业模式,而且它是一个通用的商业模式,它不是我原创的。

Wu: It’s social e-commerce. The Future Bazaar adopts an extremely simple business model. It’s not much different from the mainstream e-commerce. We just add an additional feature that helps you save money for personal use based on the model. If you go shopping on Tmall and spend RMB 100 yuan on an item, Tmall will reward a Taobao spreader with RMB 10 yuan of commission. Similarly, we use the 10-yuan as an incentive on our platform. The business model is just that simple, and it’s universally adopted – not my original idea.

吴召国对艾问表示,未来集市是一个社交电商平台,它将以更好的供应链、更优化的技术,去服务更海量的人群,通过社群和圈层的影响,把全球好货分享给身边的每一个普通人,让他们在这个平台上创造价值、收获价值。

Wu shared with iAsk that Future Bazaar is a social e-commerce platform, which will serve a larger number of people with better supply chains and more optimized technologies. Through the impact to social groups and circles, quality products from around the world can be shared with every ordinary person around you, so that they can create and gain value on the platform.

在他看来,社交电商有两种形式,一种叫拼团式,一种叫分享式,未来集市正是后者的代表,我分享给你我赚钱,你买东西你省钱,后者一定是比前者更能够激发使用和购买欲望的,这个赛道非常之大。

From his perspective, social e-commerce consists of two forms, i.e. group buying versus referral. Future Bazaar represents the latter, where I can make money by the referral and in the meantime while you can save money because of my referral. The latter form certainly can encourage the purchase on the APP than the former. The market size for this sector is enormous.

但无论哪个细分赛道,市场对于电商平台崛起的认知都少不了“烧钱”这两个字。拼多多今年二季度亏损超10亿,云集二季度亏损8000多万,京东在实现盈利之前的十年里“烧”了300亿……

Regardless of any segmented sector, the prevailing market view of the rise of e-commerce platforms is related with “money squandering”. In the second quarter of this year, Pinduoduo’s loss exceeded RMB 1 billion; Yunji lost over RMB 80 million in Q2; JD.com “burned” through over RMB 30 billion in the decade before making profits.

“我们不会走‘烧钱’这条路,我做了这么多年生意,我不愿意用‘烧钱’去占领市场,我觉得这样死亡率极高。我希望是一步一个脚印,最安全地把企业做大”,吴召国对电商有着自己的理解。

“We will not take the path of ‘burning through money’. After all these years in the business, I don’t buy it when obtaining market shares by ‘squandering money’, which would very likely result in a business failure. One step at a time and then scale up my business steadily – that’s my goal.” Wu has his own judgment on e-commerce.

Who can catch the users neglected by the mainstream e-commerce?

艾诚:未来集市这个平台所汇集的小微创业者们散落在这个世界各个角落的,他们可能不是那么主流的力量,但你觉得他们不可忽视?

Gloria Ai: The small and micro-business owners gathered on the platform of Future Bazaar are scattered all over the world in real life. They may not be the mainstream force. Do you still think they are not negligible?

吴召国:对,我们还有很多很多用户是被主流电商所忽视的。前段时间,我们在山东做了一场地推会,有一个小学毕业的阿姨,她没有微信支付,连微信都用不明白,我们的地推人员教她怎么下载,怎么绑定银行卡,怎么支付,怎么填收货地址,一个小时、两个小时、三小时耐心地指引他们,这个人群是我认为很重要的,叫增量人群,我不是在跟主流电商抢用户,而是做增量用户。

Wu: Yes, there are still numerous users who are neglected by mainstream e-commerce. A while ago, we hosted a local marketing event in Shandong. There was an auntie who only finished primary school. She didn’t use WeChat Pay and barely understood how to use WeChat. Our local salespersons taught her how to download, add cards, make payments and enter delivery address. They patiently spent a couple of hours walking them through the app. This user group is vital in my opinion. They’re increment users. I won’t be snatching users from mainstream e-commerce. Instead, I’m tapping potentials from increment users.

2019年上半年,中国网络零售总额已达195,209亿元,占社会零售总额的24.7%,预计到2019年底,中国移动电商用户规模将突破7亿人。但即便如此,依然有大量人群是已有的电商平台尚未触达的。

In the first half of 2019, China’s total online retail sales reached RMB 19,520.9 billion, accounting for 24.7% of total retail sales of consumer goods. It is expected that by the end of 2019, the number of China’s mobile e-commerce users will exceed 700 million. Even so, there are still a large number of consumers who have not yet been covered by the existing e-commerce platforms.

目前我国农村常住人口超过5.6亿,若以当下热门概念“下沉市场”所对应的三线以下城市及农村地区而论,人口基数则更庞大。

At present, the resident population of rural areas in China exceeds 560 million. If it’s based on the cities below the third tier and rural areas in correspondence with the buzzword grassroot marketing, the population base is even larger.

吴召国给我们讲了一个在未来集市平台上发生的真实故事,他曾在云南的山区见过一个妈妈掌柜,一个月挣四五百块钱,却特别感谢他。他不明白为什么,就跟人打听,才了解到她的前两个孩子都因为没钱买奶粉,营养不良夭折了。后来通过未来集市一个月能挣四五百,就能在当地养活一个孩子,她就非常知足。听起来有些沉重,但吴召国说这样的故事每天都在未来集市这个平台上发生。

Wu shared with us a true story that happened at Future Bazaar. He once met with a user who is a mother in the mountainous area of Yunnan. The mother only earned RMB 400-500 per month but was particularly grateful to him. He didn’t understand why. Thus, he asked around and learned that the mother lost her first two babies due to malnutrition because she couldn’t afford formula. Some RMB 400-500 per month through Future Bazaar would be sufficient to raise a child locally. So she was very content. The story makes our heart sink, but similar stories happen at Future Bazaar on a regular basis, according to Wu. 

​或许这就是他的使命感,他要帮助这些渺小而普通的人群。

Perhaps this is his sense of mission: to help these unprivileged ordinary people.

社交电商的广阔赛道,数以亿计的增量用户,再加上吴召国的精耕细作,都让资本无法忽视未来集市的崛起。2018年,吴召国接连拿到了赛富和华创资本的两轮融资,今年又完成了B+轮融资,360金融也加入了这个阵营。

The vast market of social e-commerce, hundreds of millions of increment users, coupled with Wu’s dedicated work, contributed to the rise of Future Bazaar that the capital market cannot ignore. In 2018, he successively completed two rounds of financing from SAIF Partners and China Growth Capital. This year, he also completed the Series B+ financing. 360 Finance also joined as an investor.

艾诚:我和你的投资人去聊,他们说吴召国是一个很另类的人,既谦虚又狂妄。

Gloria Ai: I spoke with your investors, and they called you “an eccentric person, humble but wild at the same time”.

吴召国:做人比较谦虚,做事比较狂妄。没办法,做这个行业注定了我们必须要狂妄,但现在也慢慢地开始收敛。过去五年,因为这个行业不被主流消费者认同,我们只能站起来,告诉市场我们很优秀、很厉害,用这种方式去抗争、去证明。慢慢随着政策的改变,市场的接受,媒体对我们的看法也越来越友好,我们也开始慢慢地沉淀自己。

Wu: Humble in person, wild in business. I had to. This industry gives you no choice but to go wild. But now I’m trying to restrain myself too. In the past five years, we were not appreciated by mainstream consumers. In times like this the only thing we can do is to stand up and reassure them that we are excellent. We fight back in this way. Now sentiments from the state is changing after the policies are changed, and the way media views us is more of amity. We are also getting to be reserved.

吴召国说,人总要成长,他自己,他帮助的这群人,连同这个社会在一起成长。

Wu said people need to grow eventually. He himself and the user groups he is helping are growing together with society.

8月8日,国务院办公厅印发《关于促进平台经济规范健康发展的指导意见》,明确鼓励发展平台经济新业态,推进“互联网+创业创新”,依托互联网平台完善全方位创业创新服务体系。

On August 8, the General Office of the State Council issued the “Guidelines on Promoting the Standardized and Sound Development of the Platform Economy”, which clearly encourages developing new formats of the platform economy and facilitates “Internet + entrepreneurial innovation”, so as to perfect the comprehensive entrepreneurial innovation service system via the Internet platform.

平台经济,正是吴召国一直努力的方向。未来集市的底层逻辑是将碎片的生产力释放出来和对现有生产关系的再塑造,通过S2B2C的商业模式,将商家、掌柜和消费者都聚集到这个平台上,去掉一切不必要的损耗,使各方利益实现最大化,从而完成新业态的构建。

The platform economy is what Wu has been committed to. The underlying logic of Future Bazaar is to make the most out of the segmented productivity and reshape the existing relations of production. The business model of S2B2C pools merchants, shopkeepers and consumers on the same platform, eliminating all unnecessary losses and maximizing the interests of all parties, in order to form a new business format.

不过吴召国也坦言,现在还不到谈成绩的时候,团队都在为了这个目标努力,要一步一步来。

However, Wu also admitted that it’s still not time to dwell on achievements yet. The team is striving hard step by step for the goal.

当我们问吴召国如何预见十年之后的未来集市时,他回答说,“相信未来集市可以让商业文明普照在每一位平凡人的身上。”而对于他自己的未来,他希望有一天可以成为一名投资人,可以给更多像他一样从农村走出来的草根青年赋能、助力,“这是我最在乎的。”

When we asked him how he envisioned Future Bazaar in the next decade, he responded: ” I believe the Future Bazaar will cast the light of business on all ordinary people.” As for his own future, he wishes to become an investor to empower and help more grassroots youth like him who came from have a rural background. “This is what I care about the most.”