[Interview] Pei-fu Hsieh, CEO of Easy Taxi Taiwan

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2013/11/11 by lingdecklee

[The following is an interview done on Pei-fu Hsieh, CEO of Easy Taxi Taiwan, with authorization for publishing on the personal blog of Start Jeffrey Up and the FB pages of Entrepreneurs Society of Taiwan (EST) and Plus8.]

 

About Easy Taxi:

image

1. When was it established in Taiwan?

September this year.  It was first established in Brazil in 2011 and is now the world’s leading mobile taxi app present in 18 countries.

2. How many people on the team right now?

Currently, we have 12 people on our team.  Since the business is growing rapidly, we are on a constant look out for talents that are young, energetic and passionate with startups.

3. What is its business model?

It’s a taxi hailing app that connects passengers directly to drivers via smartphones.  The goal is to change Taiwanese’s taxi calling behavior.  Instead of paying for phone calls, they can use our app to get a taxi hassle-free.

4. Who are its main target audience?

Essentially anyone who takes taxis in Taipei.  This service is especially useful to those who do not want to wait for taxis out in the street but instead enjoy waiting for a taxi in the comfort of his/her home or office.  The key differentiation with most taxi calling services in Taiwan is that Easy Taxi enables you to track the taxi real-time moving towards you!

5. What value does it bring or what problem does it solve?

The value proposition is straight-forward: download/open the Easy Taxi app, available for iOS, Android and the new BlackBerry devices, confirm your pickup point and order your cab with the press of a button. In seconds you’ll receive confirmation of the name, photo and car model/plate of your driver, and will be able to follow the vehicle’s location in real-time as it approaches you.

About Pei-fu Hsieh:

photo from berkeley brochure

1. What brings you back to Taiwan, after being so many years away from this home country of yours?

I think this is a once in a life-time opportunity to connect Taiwan to the rest of the world and participate in the new era of on-demand economy via Easy Taxi.  As gorgeous as Taiwan is, its links internationally are relatively limited.  By founding Easy Taxi in Taiwan, I believe we can move Taiwan one step closer to the global stage.

2. Who inspires you the most to make you who you are right now?

Malcom Gladwell.  Honestly, I don’t know him well, but I’ve read all of his books.  Outliers and Tipping Point really stood out to change my perspectives.  Everything happens for a reason.  Cases such as why switching from Korean to English helped to reduce air accidents for Korean Air and why horse ranchers are forced to be more aggressive than rice farmers truly inspired me to dig deep and understand the underlying causes or reasons for issues.

3. What do you see as the challenges facing startups in Taiwan?

I will cover this in more detail during my presentation on November 13.  In short, I think the biggest challenge is the risk-averse mentality.  People are afraid to fail.  Which is perfectly reasonable, but startups are about trying to solve problems with new solutions.  If you are afraid to fail, you’d never be willing to try anything new.

4. What opportunities do you see in Taiwan?

Again, this will be shared on November 13. In essence, I believe Taiwan has a good foundation for startup opportunities. The overall level of high education, developed economy, robust chips and equipment manufacturing capabilities, high smartphone and social media penetration can drive and fuel the growth of industries such as mobile apps, e-commerce, gaming and mobile devices.

5. What advice would you give to entrepreneurs in Taiwan?

Build a team that you love being around with for a mission that makes you excited to wake up every single morning and regret having to retire to bed at night.

 

[Pei-fu will be our speaker at the upcoming EST event on November 13: EST Speaker Night + EASY TAXI Launch. Join us and listen to his startup stories!]

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