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  • The First Chapter of Siloon

    As Internet bubble bursted between 2001 and 2002, many internet companies in US, especially in Silicon Valley, went busted too. The cost for developing software in the west is unmanageable. Software outsourcing became very hot topics and movement. Almost over night, every company wanted to outsource software development and IT business to the countries that have access to cheap and massive labor force. Among them, India is the first choice of the destination. At the meantime, China was famous for the outsourcing destination for manufacturing and electronics assembling business; however, its software talent pool was getting bigger and better. The 80-generation that was born in the good time and received excellent education started entering the workforce. I saw the opportunity that China could become another powerhouse next to India for software outsourcing, if and only if they got better training and managed in the west style. After careful research, exploration and preparation, Siloon Software Ltd. was founded in Chengdu in the fall, 2005.

     

    Siloon's first office was a typical IT office filled with cubics by resembling the western style. We planned to staff 12-15 employees to fill the space. After we found a perfect office with right size, we started renovating it. It took more than one month and spent a fortunate to renovate it. In the west, nobody spent money on a rented facility. But in China, almost every company has to and wants to remodel the office. Let me share a funny story about office renovation. After intensive search, we hired a renovation company to design our office. However, they suggested that we should have a few closed offices around the wall and windows - a large President office, an accounting office, a few VP offices. Then there was little space but blocked from light for developers in the center. I just didn't believe what they were thinking. I told them that our company was a place for employees to learn and work, and it was employees who would make things happen, not the managers. At the end, they were very reluctant to take my advice. Finally the office turned out to be a very pleasant work place: two small offices, one for me, a large meeting room and 12 spacial cubics. I felt it was more than enough to start our business.

     

    Located in the heart of the technology town, Software Incubation Center of Chengdu Hi-Tech Zone, Siloon's office was open for business on September 15th, 2005. Within one week, Siloon welcome its first 8 employees, among which, Kevin, Robin and David are still with the company. These 8 employees had no clue of what Siloon would do. The only thing that they were sure was that we were producing something new and exciting. They came to work in the empty office because they believed that they would grow together with Siloon. They would receive the first-hand experience in the entire life-cycle of software development, from business requirement, prototyping, coding, QA and deployment. They would learn the cutting-edge technology and enhance their programming skills.

     

    I still remember that I used a following picture to show the candidates during an interview. it was my surprise after a few months that I found that those employees who wanted to join in Siloon were fascinated with my presentation and concrete development plan because they had never seen it before.

     

                 

     

    I also remember another story. 8 people team was very small at the time. You could not hear any sound in the office. It was too quiet. One female employee asked me how we could make everyone be active or talkable around the office. I asked her to find a way to entertain everyone. She did. She suggested we should ask questions or tell a joke on MSN. Soon, the team started chatting and getting to know each other. Gradually, Siloon started growing, 8, 12, 16.....

     

    That was how we started...

     

     

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