Zhang suddenly become a product manager!

article/方堃

one of the most recent rumours that sohu become the focus of public opinion. Rumors of zhang is working with multiple private contact and considering privatisation, the news media exposure. After shanda, focus, privatization once again become a hot spot, but the protagonist into a sohu.

although sohu denied for privatisation rumors, but highly undervalued sohu idea for privatization of still become the focus of the people at that time the discussion topic. Zhang after a year’s retreat, again also be pushed to the front desk of public opinion.

to tencent technology, according to people familiar with the despite official denied, but not unfounded rumours of sohu privatisation. Zhang has considered the possibility of privatization, and had frequent contact with more people in the capital. But in the end concludes: sohu temporarily is not suitable for privatisation.

the source told tencent, sohu at present is not suitable for the privatisation of the reason is not unable to raise enough private capital, but the sohu video with sogou two pieces of the business is still burning money, if use a lot of money for privatisation, both business will be unsustainable. The source stressed that at this stage is not suitable for privatisation, sohu instead of sohu don’t want to privatisation.

capital operation may just have been zhang comeback after long consideration, in the short term, he needs to bring some changes sohu. For a long time to come, the company has always been a market-oriented company, the product is not the company’s core, mainly by the strong ability of marketing promotion, and guide users to use. Now the company is to reverse the market-oriented mechanism, and focusing on product level.

zhang

Missed opportunities in

a year ago, zhang choosing retreat, sohu group while continue in marketing and pr levels remain high, but it is still difficult to mask the veteran Internet company in a number of missed opportunities in the field of facts.

in portal sohu in 2009 the first launched social networking products “white society”, but did not make good use of the product first mover advantage, finally ended in failure.

after sina and tencent weibo rapid rise, the veteran Internet company also launched the first time sohu weibo, to highlight the importance of microblog business with sohu determination, zhang except at specified sohu weibo responsible person, also take the initiative to call themselves in the entertainment circle of friends invited them open sohu weibo.

at the moment, between Beijing and Shanghai on the streets of bus body is filled with pictures of celebrities with “sohu weibo to see my” advertising information, sohu announced in the busco advertising investment is “tens of millions of yuan” order of magnitude. On the other hand, a large number of advertising has not improve sohu weibo conversion, stars to also have no to sohu weibo user activity could be improved to help.

in addition to similar business behind rivals, in recent years the rapid loss of talent began to haunt.

zhang is the prophet of domestic Internet, the illuminati in SNS heyday, when he saw the video business in the future prospects for wide width, but old men to koo also saw the business outlook, and he led his team’s core backbone collective resignation, established the youku and set up the hill. Today by integrating tudou youku has already become a leader in the field of network video, only by the market value of a video business more than with search, video, sohu portal business group.

when Charles had regrets, sohu or wrong time to market, or because they had no hold on, always miss the opportunity, but others on the basis of sohu played a “deep”.

in the past few years, the company had missed out on instant messaging, search, video, social networking opportunities, and those businesses that take out each individual can make a market value than sohu shares of the listed company.

“about two years ago, I think I’m wrong, but you don’t have the means to overcome. As a result, I will always be in a state of nervous when I work, so I say I can’t work with the team, must to solve my problem.” Zhang recently in an interview, he tried to go to America to find a psychological doctor, a lot of reading spiritual books, at the same time try to find the cause of anxiety in the Oriental philosophy.

ignore Wall Street

a person close to zhang talked about the change of zhang, said zhang in front of the closed undervalued sohu’s share price on the one hand show disdain to Wall Street, on the other hand, he think highly of Wall Street’s attitude to sohu.

a long time in the past, sohu adopt the way of carrying skyer after the promotion of a product, if not achieve the desired effect will be cut off at once, in addition to the video business, promoting strategic level few projects is to cater to Wall Street, a move but also because such a move to sohu missed a lot of other opportunities to the Internet.

retreat before and after the return of zhang think sohu to Wall Street had before. A can reflect zhang mentality are the details of the changes: August 15, 2012, had just attended drama awards zhang listened to team a brief report and then left in a hurry, go before him to sohu video CEO Deng Ye said, she has already adapted to sleep early to bed and early to rise, must now go back to rest, hope that the team are back early to rest, do not over of work can be done up early the next day. Due to time difference, zhang rest time is nasdaq open tray.

“he mentality more relaxed now.” The other summarize zhang mentality change, said in the internal meeting, zhang has repeatedly stressed the need to focus on improving product quality and user experience level, need not too care about the capital market.

new changes of sohu

after customs zhang began to bring some changes himself with sohu.

in his retreat for a year, domestic Internet has produced a new pattern of change, of the weibo in profit bottleneck, micro letter received the first domestic mobile Internet a ticket, 360 into the search field and beyond sogou within a very short time.

when Charles recently in an interview about his mentality change: “my goal is to make more money before, must oneself more worse. If you see I was li beyond them, including my bottom out business people do a lot of anger in my heart, but now I don’t have these feelings. I feel now is quite good, the Internet need to push from generation to generation, I finished the earliest that a push, or even original to promote China’s Internet. So then, have stronger people to unceasingly, or more fortunate people to do it.”

meanwhile, sohu really have no past a pledge for the first halma, zhang in public even admitted that sohu microblogging development difficult.

change not only in the aspect of external publicity. Confirmed to tencent technology has a number of insiders, sohu began to change the state of the past anything, start small ones on resources.

the first is to change of portal business, such as sina, netease, the portal will still have to get the PC as the main product page, sohu started to advantage resources focused on sohu news based on android and iOS platform on the client side.

“in the mobile client news update quantity is the PC for 3 to 5 times, update every day now focused on the mobile end.” A sohu insider told tencent technology, at the same time, Liu Chun began in late 2011 as sohu web editor, since then, he began to adjust sohu net, the introduction of a number of traditional media, at the same time all kinds of festival activities to enhance the influence. These changes have been effective, in the past, sohu portal business advertisers are mainly concentrated in the field of automobile, real estate, the portal after these adjustments, the current has been drawn to the rapid consumption category of advertisers to advertise.

“I strongly recommend the sohu news client, we spent a lot of effort in doing this kind of product, you can feel the sincerity of sohu in use.” Meet at a press conference at the end of 2012, zhang made the remarks to the media. Compared with the past, there is no competition for the first slogan, instead of zhang repeatedly emphasize sincerity and intentions.

“sohu and sina, netease, compared to the first generation of the Internet’s biggest feature is Charles (zhang English name) a very decentralization. Sina and mid-level managers leave, is nothing more than to other companies continue to do professional managers, but is not the same as the sohu, sohu in work a few years, will be able to learn how to consider a problem from the Angle of the boss and do things, that in the other’s first generation of Internet companies is to learn.” A sohu interior middle told tencent technology. In his eyes, our, victor koo to entrepreneurship and success, with work experience in sohu and zhang decentralization are inseparable.

now, the decentralization system is experiencing a change. In sohu’s video business, zhang also started to participate more in management.

“Charles now often feedback some opinions for our products, we also can according to his feedback for the adjustment of the product.” Sohu video insiders said.

Challenge

although after customs zhang brought sohu changes, these changes are already in the portal business produced results, but in the video and its search business is still in a stage of burn, the company as a whole is still depends on have split and independent public swimming transfusion is still a fact of life.

although 360 with baidu in the search market has been in full scale operation, but another fact is that nots allow to ignore, market share, in 360 and baidu are squeezing sogou which made sogou next growth face enormous pressure, also forced it to recruit for more space.

on the other hand, sohu video is still under sohu group of blood transfusion. , according to sohu video copyright purchase cost of $50 million in 2012, the budget for 2013 is expected to increase to $80 million. Now the business still have a chance of short-term profit. Zhang had earlier told tencent technology, sohu video still needs to be 12 months to make a profit.

although after customs zhang in portal business change brings obvious benefit, swimming but sohu group rely on blood, and blood transfusion to its video and the pattern of the search business is still rather than before the retreat. How to search and video business profit as soon as possible, will be zhang a major challenge in the future.

source: tencent technology