Many great inventions came from the west in the early days. Inventions, back then, were strongly acquainted with technology and the many ways of improving lives through machines and gadgets. Little do we know that the shift in creativity and innovation would arise in Asia so quickly and with more discoveries that simply shook the western world in this new era. Highlighting on technology alone, we would easily forget the very equipment that we use so very frequent, even literally carry in our hands, the USB drive and a little more about the USB drive inventor.
Succeeding abroad as a USB drive inventor
Also termed as flash drive, pen drive or thumb drive, this tiny gadget could be something that we once never thought could carry gigabytes of data, simply because of its sheer size. The evolution surprised most people due to the emergence of compact disc that we already game changing from the conventional cassettes.
Obviously, most eyes turn to the western part of the world as source of invention, but this time it was from Asia and particularly a man called Pua Khein Seng from Malaysia. Pua was coined the “father of pen drive” and was leading a Taiwan-based company Phison Engineering Corporation that took this invention under its wings and produced the flash memory technology in 2001. Yet till today, the USB drive has not changed its characteristics but only grew larger in capacity and usage. Miniature versions are now thriving in markets and perhaps soon an embedded USB drive version that could be inserted in humans to enhance human memory?
On the other side of the other side of the world, another Malaysian born fundamentalist on computer graphics is revolutionizing photography through light field technology. His name is Ren Ng, founder of Lytro camera. His magical product, Lytro, is the first consumer camera that records the entire light field and all the rays of light traveling in every direction through a scene, therefore producing an image greater in perspective compared to a flat 2D image. Watch him explain this technology in CNet Australia’s interview .
Ren emigrated from Malaysia to Australia at a tender age of 9 years old and later pursued his Ph.D in Stanford University on light field technology and soon to bring it to commercialization. Through those growing years, he raised approximately $50M and grew a team of over 80 people. He later step aside as CEO and stayed firm on his belief in innovating the product by assuming the role of an Executive Chairman. Hereon, he focuses on the vision, technology and strategy of the company moving forward.
What we could learn from Ren is to really pursue your passion and ensure that you do what you love working on every single day. Through his hobbies (rock climbing and photography), his observations took shape of what he believes make a photo really stand out; the story of the image itself.
Pua Khein Seng the USB drive inventor, however, took a steeper road at first, working part time during his studies in Taiwan to pay his way. Upon obtaining his Master’s Degree, he took on a research job offered by his Professor to develop memory controllers and soon the professor set up a company where he was key engineer. He then met several roadblocks like office politics, work permit issues and the stakeholders not honoring the investment value promised. Clinging to the principle of never backing down in the face of adversity, Pua and his friends chose to forge ahead with the new venture, raised NT$6 Million and soon Phison was on its way to success.
There could be much praise given to Asians that made success abroad and these two Malaysian born certainly made an everlasting difference. So hang on to that dream you always had and begin pursuing it. Live life!
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