Allen Zhang, creator and President of WeChat, gave a rare speech called “Scheming” in a company meeting yesterday. He mentioned that the current problem with most Internet companies now is the obsession of user acquisition through devious schemes, citing examples such as the “Don’t make me (users) think” approach.
User acquisition will no longer rely on humans but machines. He raised JinRiTouTiao, an AI-powered news aggregator app owned by Bytedance who is recently rumoured to rival WeChat with a new messaging app. Users will no longer want a platform, but a tool that makes an impact on their everyday lives. Focus on your customers, not competitors. If there comes a day WeChat falls behind, it must be due to the lack of understanding about our customers, not competitors. Be dedicated to your customers and not design “schemes” to lure users. What WeChat strives to do every day is to treat our users as sincere friends.
He ended his speech with a quote by Jeff Bezos: “Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice.”
AI can be smarter, but we can choose to be kinder.