Until recently, the name HTC meant little to consumers. Now the Taiwanese Google-phone maker is in the spotlight. Chairman and cofounder Cher Wang tells us about HTC’s culture and her biblically infused thinking.
HTC has suddenly become a prominent player in mobile technology. But this isn’t a new pursuit for you.
Thirteen years ago, when we started HTC, our focus was on how to make people’s lives easier through mobility and through not having to carry huge computers around. We wanted users to be able to talk to friends and relatives, read books, and access the Internet on one device. With our smartphones, we’ve started to see this vision come true, and that’s very exciting. But there are many things left to be done. Right now, it’s just the beginning.
Every day, we’re trying to find something new. We have labs that our employees can use to work on their own ideas, to brainstorm with a group, to test things. We encourage everybody to innovate–even people who don’t usually work in the labs.
We want to provide different types of people-centric devices to our users. Everybody wants a phone that meets their individual needs. We design our hardware and software to make our phones simple to use, with an interface that emphasizes email, social networking, and other parts of people’s personal lives. As a result, each device can be made unique to its user.
In the past, HTC made phones like the G-1 for T-Mobile and let its own brand take a backseat. That seems to be changing.
We really need end users to recognize us. It’s important to make our brand a household name that people associate with trust, quality, and empathy.
How does HTC’s ad slogan, “Quietly brilliant,” reflect the company’s culture?
Above all else, we believe in the importance of integrity–not only integrity to our customers but also integrity among our designers and integrity in how we treat our employees. We also believe in humility–admitting our own faults so we can change them. That humility, I think, is HTC’s culture.
Who’s your role model in business?
Maybe God? [Laughs]
I believe that God created the whole world, so He’s for sure very innovative. We live in this world, and we have to observe and understand it to protect our environment and make things more efficient.
You’ve spoken in the past about the importance of your faith in all aspects of your life. Is there a particular Bible verse you keep in mind when doing business?
“Humility before honor,” from Proverbs 15:33. What you have learned is never enough. You always have to learn more and work more to be able to satisfy the people around you–and your customers.