Eddie Liu: Eddie Liu, a software engineer in Microsoft Shanghai, was frustrated about his career path. After graduating from Fudan University, one of the top universities in China, Eddie got a job at Microsoft Shanghai Development Center. He was one of thirty people who Microsoft selected from three thousand applicants. “That was in the years when the Internet had just started,” he said. “Studying computer science was considered the coolest thing.” After working at Microsoft Shanghai for two years, Eddie found himself in the wrong profession. He did not like being an engineer anymore. “Now young people want to do hot jobs,” he said. “People want to get into finance, logistics, energy, and communications. IT (information technology) is a little bit like yesterday’s fashion.” A brilliant young man, Eddie was a natural entrepreneur. He came from a poor family in Fujian, a southern province in China. As a child, he learned to make money by selling T-shirts. “I received 1 yuan ($0.15) for each shirt I sold,” Eddie said. “One day, I sold four hundred T-shirts!” He went on to tell me his wildest dream: “China produces about 50 percent of the world’s pork,” he said. “I want to start a farm to raise pigs and market the pork as a healthy and trendy food.” I could easily imagine him to be a Bill Gates if he had been born in America. However, the last time I checked his Facebook profile, Eddie was still with Microsoft Shanghai. In many people’s minds, working at Microsoft is probably the best job one could hope for. Yet Eddie Liu felt trapped.
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