An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Tao Huo, the founder and CEO of BaishanCloud, which was honored in our:
- 2022 Best Tech Startups in Bellevue
- 2021 Best Tech Startups in Bellevue
- 2020 Best Tech Startups in Bellevue
Tell us the origin story of BaishanCloud – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
Baishan was formed in 2015 with the idea of helping Internet and enterprise customers with their need for delivering and accelerating contents to different locations. With the development of the cloud computing market in China, there was a huge demand for a CDN (content delivery network) that serves as the backbone of all cloud services. It is intended to reduce network latency and increase service availability, so that seamless user experience is ensured.
At Baishan, we have a total of 13 partners, each responsible for a business function. Most of the partners have had decades long experience with the CDN industry in China and abroad, and worked together in the past. The collective wisdom and execution capability have helped the company since the start.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
The list of hurdles seems to be never ending for any startup as your business continues to encounter issues ranging from fundraising and cash flow to people management and customer acquisition. To us, the injection of startup culture into the company has remained the biggest challenge as the company grows bigger in size. The hunger and desire to grow the business and full acceptance and recognition of startup mentality by employees is a big part of it. The transition from operation under a typical startup mode to a more institutionalized one as business grows to the next stage always presents enormous challenges for the founders and management team.
What does the future hold for BaishanCloud?
Ultimately, we would like to remembered as a “respected global tech company”. As a leading cloud data service provider, BaishanCloud will continue to focus on providing quality services to strengthen its market position in the evolving global cloud market. Continued technology and service innovations will be an important part of that.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Bellevue?
The greater Seattle area is the “city of cloud”, which provides a favorable business environment for many tech startup entrepreneurs. The maturity of the cloud ecosystem in the U.S. does offer great opportunities for tech startups. I’m happy to see the many tech startups in the market today. Each startup is different and unique in terms of the products and services it brings to market. The very same applies to BaishanCloud.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
For anyone venturing out for startups, it is important to fully understand the market demand and how you will position yourself in the entire cloud ecosystem. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses well and understanding your competition before jumping in will significantly help reduce your time to market and minimize potential risks of failure. Another important aspect for startups is to assemble the right team with the right people.