23 - Meet "Jim", a Chinese "internet street vendor" selling likes on social media

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“I knew it was an empty threat. First of all, it’s cross borders, how are you going to sue me? You don’t even know who I am.”

Today’s guest goes by “Jim” and considers himself to be a “street vendor on the internet”. What he means by that, is that often times street vendors aren’t legal or licensed to sell food on the street corner.

Despite their questionable legal status, often times these vendors are good people who are just trying to scrape out a living, taking just a little money here & there where they can find it.

Jim considers himself to be the internet equivalent of this – running a small business that’s not exactly “approved of” but that allows him to use his tech “hacking” skillset to take just a little bit of money away from the internet giants.

Currently his business is selling his services to individuals who want to get ahead on social media platforms, buying fake stats there to help them accelerate their presence. Is it life-changing tech? Not really. Does it help him earn enough money so he doesn’t have to take a job with insane hours, making massive profits for someone else? Yes.

So let’s hear why Jim does what he does and take a peak behind the scenes of a ‘gray-hat’ internet business that you might be okay with or hate, based on what he’s doing to social media.

In this episode:
+ Why he left China to study on the West Coast of the US
+ Why he feels that not being a great student, not going to an Ivy League school actually helped him
+ Hacking at tech since he was a kid
+ How being online was a privelage growing up in China
+ Stealing his neighbors phone identity to go online when his parents couldn’t afford it
+ As a techy Chinese, what he thinks of Jian Yang from Silicon Valley
+ The C2C model, aka Copy to China business model
+ China as internet business model innovators
+ Fighting against fake lawsuits from competitors only to end up in a ddos war that took out both sites
+ How the startup exit model in China is more about being bought by Tencent or Alibaba
+ Taking VC money in China, benefits & risks
+ Leveraging tech loopholes for social media attention

Sadly no links for Jim as he wanted to use a pseudonym to protect himself and his business interests, past & present.


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