Asia Startup Pulse

Applying Design Thinking to Launch an IoT Product with Alvin Chiang, Founder of Gululu

Episode Summary

Design thinking. Lean startup methodology. Validation. Market Research. These concepts are familiar to every founder, and they are vital to any company’s success, but so few startups are able to do them well. Today’s guest, Alvin Chiang, is an exception. A veteran of internet giants NetEase, Alibaba, and Renren, Alvin founded Gululu in 2014. Gululu enhances children’s wellness through smart IoT technologies, and their first creation is a smart water bottle designed to help children cultivate healthy habits. In this episode, we discuss the extensive market research that went into the birth of Gululu and the ongoing development of the product. During the course of the conversation, we were thrilled to discover that Gululu is a perfect use case for design thinking.

Episode Notes

[2:08] Introducing Alvin Chiang
[3:13] About Gululu
[4:22] How Gululu chose which problem to solve
[9:40] Design thinking in Chinese internet companies
[10:38] Lean startup methodology and iteration
[12:03] Technology infusion theory and acquiring users
[14:05] How Gululu uses IoT to keep users engaged
[17:00] Gaming vs. gamification
[19:18] Cooperating with parents
[21:43] Bringing Gululu to life and building a team
[23:50] How Gululu acquired their first users
[26:37] What Alvin learned at Alibaba
[28:13] Expat vs. local Chinese users
[29:41] Market education
[32:33] Gululu stickiness
[34:00] What opportunities are out there for entrepreneurs?
[38:01] How to find Alvin and Gululu

Many thanks to our hosts Ryan Shuken and Oscar Ramos; our guest Alvin Chiang; producers Eva Shi and Matthew Wu; editors David and Geep; organizer Chinaccelerator; and sponsors People Squared and Himalaya. Be sure to check out our website

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