Jeff Chen – CEO and Founder
The story of Maxthon and its CEO and founder Jeff Chen is, in many respects, the story of modern China.
Jeff Chen was born in the waning years of China’s Cultural Revolution when the nation was still a closed, agrarian economy. Then, as now, the majority of China’s population lived outside major cities like Beijing, as did Chen with his sister and parents, who were factory workers. Chen watched with great interest as China compressed centuries into decades to become the second largest economy in the world. The rapid flow of change greatly influenced him, inspiring Chen at a very young age to start tinkering with software and computers.
China’s rapid changes presented opportunities, certainly to make money and successful products; but, more importantly, the changes instilled in Chen a sense of responsibility to create quality in products, people and industrial philosophy. Not just to ‘make,’ but to improve.
In his words, “Our philosophy is very simple: We want to make the best products to provide the best experience to users. That is what motivated me 10 years ago when I was dissatisfied with the browsing experience then available and found ways to improve it. Over the years, this philosophy has been adopted in every development process and throughout the company, and it will always continue so that we can provide people with the best possible experience for browsing the Web.”
“Now, as we consider how people connect to the web: using multiple devices at many different points in the day from many places, we are building out our cloud browsers to respond to this new need.”
Chen’s dissatisfaction with browsers led him to tinkering with MyIE. At the time, Chen was a recent graduate from the Beijing Institute of Technology with a degree in engineering. Working for $150 a month at the National University of Singapore, he was writing program code for optical character recognition systems by day and trying to find ways to improve MyIE by night.
When the original creator of MyIE abandoned the project in 2002, Chen took over the main job of coding the browser, along with the help of others who, like Chen, simply wanted a better way to browse the Web than Internet Explorer provided. What started as a sideline hobby soon dominated his days and evenings. Chen issued nightly builds of MyIE to a growing community that he cultivated. He listened to what they had to say and responded. This set the tone for all future Maxthon projects. The outcome was a totally new web browser. To distinguish the ever-improving browser from the original one, Chen called it MyIE2.
Soon thereafter, Chen quit his day job to devote all his energy to the browser, which he renamed Maxthon in 2005. (‘Maxthon’ was a suggestion from a member of the community based in Ireland.) For a while, Chen lived on the donations and micropayments from users grateful for My IE2 – which made it easier for them to surf the Web faster and more easily. Chen’s goal then and now was to connect the world with a browser, to create something truly global and without borders.
Chen is a classic example of the inventor-as-entrepreneur, someone who sees a need—in this case the need for a better browser—and creates a solution. Such people are at the heart of technological revolutions, individuals who create the products they want, with innovations that consumers value, and realign an entire industry.
In Chen’s view, the need today centers around seamless browsing. Browsing the Web is something nearly all people do, nearly every day on multiple devices. The browser of today needs to meet that need to make the
process easier and more seamless. Enter Maxthon’s newest product: Maxthon Cloud Browser, available on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices. Now, seamless browsing is no longer just a concept.
Today, Maxthon is used by more than 100 million people in 140 countries around the globe and is growing in every country. For this international community of users, Chen’s commitment to providing the best user experience is a point of respect and distinction. Chen continues to lead Maxthon to new milestones, building award-winning, transformative products and services that earn Maxthon an ever growing and loyal user base, as well as the distinction of being one of the first companies in modern China to go global.
January 2013 | Contact Tarah Beaven | Landis Communications Inc. for Maxthon Ltd | firstname.lastname@example.org Page of