In response to Entrepreneur of the Year Award held at Chapman and presented to William Wang, the founder of Vizio.
Mr. Wang road to success was not without a few detours some of which challenged not only his perseverance and determination but also his ethical standards. When he started to have problems with his business in the nineties he did not walk away from the obligations to his creditors but he paid all of them off even though it cost him his business. Mr. Wang also shared that letting go some of his employees during the time of hardship for his company was the most difficult thing he did in his entire life.
It appears one of the main drivers of Mr. Wang’s success was his vision. He always stayed true to the main goal in mind to satisfy the end consumer and to deliver affordable high quality product. Back when first flat television sets hit the market, Mr. Wang knew that he can build one for much cheaper than the alternatives that were available at the time. So he put together a proposal and went to Japan to meet with managers from Panasonic. After waiting for several hours in one of the factories of Panasonic, the Panasonic executives finally met with him. His presentation was stopped 20 minutes into it and he was shown the door. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Mr. Wang went to build one of the most successful television brands in United States. Today Vizio has the largest market share in the United States for flat screen TV’s.
Innovation, affordable product and customer focus have been critical for Vizio’s success thus far. According to the Mr. Wang their next step is expanding their line into tablets and perhaps cell phones. The available TV content is also going to be very critical in the future, as fewer people are going to be watching regular cable networks. Mr. Wang believes that internet programming will dominate the future. Today Vizio is the leader of producing the Internet capable TV sets. I expect Vizio’s competitors make adjustments in their manufacturing strategy if they have not already to account for growing interest of watching TV programs over the internet.
William Wang was able to recognize the need, put together a strategy and execute it using his prior experience and contacts in the industry. These were critical factors of Vizio’s success, however I do not think any of this would have been possible without the passion that William Wang had to satisfy his customer base.