He Yong

In the process of making an idea a reality, there are two crucial elements in play: people and money.


He Yong is the CEO of DeepBrain Chain. He was once enrolled in a Ph.D. program at East China Normal University and Chinese Academy of Sciences.

As an artificial intelligence expert, he holds the title of Innovation Character of the Shanghai computer industry. He started research on bitcoin and blockchain technology in 2014.

Proficient in product design and machine learning algorithms, he is the inventor of the intelligent semantic error correction engine used for much of game translation.

He Yong is among the first batch of entrepreneurs in the field of artificial intelligence in China. He has presided over the research and development of the first Chinese voice assistant, Smart 360, whose registered users exceeded 17 million, He also led the development of the world’s first artificial intelligence speakers half a year earlier than Amazon Echo. He also oversaw the development of the country’s first “cloud of the brain” system, DeepBrain. He led the DeepBrain Chain team to win an innovation and creativity award in ZhongGuancun’s Second Blockchain Competition in 2017.

Where did the idea for DeepBrain Chain come from?

Since 2012, I’ve been working in the artificial intelligence field building start-up companies. Time and time again I was faced with extremely high hardware costs associated with business development. I needed to think of a way to cut costs associated with the process and came up with blockchain technology integration as a solution. That is how DeepBrain Chain was born.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

When I’m not traveling, I get up at 6:30 a.m. everyday. Since the DeepBrain Chain team is global and across multiple time zones, I usually spend the first half hour of my day checking in on all progress that has been made. I get into the office around 9 a.m. where I then divide my time between meetings, welcoming visitors, and resolving daily issues.

There will always be tasks for me to handle so to stay organized I characterize them into two categories: “important and urgent” and “tasks that require in-depth reflection.” Most of my time is spent on the important and urgent issues, however I make time for all in-depth reflection on long term issues that impact future strategic planning.

How do you bring ideas to life?

In the process of making an idea a reality, there are two crucial elements in play: people and money. When you are looking to bring any business idea to life, you need to first find a suitable team that you trust to take on the task, then supply that team with the appropriate funds to do so. If you have both the people and money, the next step is to manage.Management will minimize risk.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, quantum computing and nanomedicine are trends that personally excite me. These technologies that will change our future are here now and allowing our generation to witness miracles never before seen in the history. Human society will inevitably change and it excites me to think that I can be part of that.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

To learn continuously and to think tirelessly. I have never stopped learning and never will.

What advice would you give your younger self?

If I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to spend more time mastering the English language. It plays a huge role day-to-day in my career and understanding it fully from a young age would have undoubtedly given me an advantage.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Our generation has the chance to achieve immortality for human beings.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Always be aware of how much money you have and remind yourself where you will take it, when managing funds. Additionally, you should always be willing to work and checking in on the frontline of strategic planning to make sure all company initiatives are implementable and achievable.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

I’ve dedicated much of my life to the field of artificial intelligence; even when it was unpopular and unfavored. That focus helped me to fully understand the industry and discover the areas of potential improvement. That is why I have DeepBrain Chain now and how it has grown into the leader it is today.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

The first company I founded, Ju Shang Intelligence, had to come to an end. I did the right thing at the wrong time.Though it was an excruciating experience, I learned from it.

How did I overcome the failure? I founded another AI company. I did the right thing at the right time. Every experience, good and bad, has led me to where I am today.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

WeChat is a must-have when working in China. We use it to communicate with teams globally and I would be at a loss without it.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology” by Ray Kurzweildepicts predictions of future technologies that help expand the horizon of the discussion of innovation.

What is your favorite quote?

Before Heaven lays a grand mission on a man, it will first distress him in the spirit and exhaust him in the body, causing him to suffer from hunger and poverty, and subverting every bit of his effort, with which to inspire his ambition, forge his endurance, and remedy his defects in capacity.