Spotlight: William Wang, Vizio
As told to Ryan Mccarthy
Industry Leader: Computers & Electronics
Three-Year Growth: 4,056.9%
After a company reaches a certain size, fast growth becomes impossible to sustain. Someone should tell William Wang, because Vizio had revenue of $1.9 billion last year and still had its best three-year growth yet.
Mother's occupation: Homemaker
Father's occupation: Sales and management for a cable and wire manufacturer in Taiwan
Hometown: Born in Taipei; moved to Hawaii and then Huntington Beach, California
Previous jobs: In 1990, founded MAG Innovision, a computer monitor manufacturer, which was sold in 1998. In 2000, founded Princeton Digital, which made LCD monitors and was sold in 2002.
Its origins: Before Vizio, the big flat-screen makers sold TVs for several thousand dollars and aimed them only at the rich. We went after a middle-income market. In 2007, we added clients like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), Circuit City (NYSE:CC), and Kmart. And for the first time, we launched a major advertising campaign. We spent almost $30 million. That's still small compared to our competitors, but the industry has started to look at us as competition -- which is really a compliment.
How I Work
Where I get my inspiration: I'm a geek. I've loved cool electronics gear since I was a kid. I was the first to have a beeper, the first to have a cell phone. I'm constantly thinking about issues related to our products or thinking of ideas for new products.
What I lose sleep over: Nothing
The best part of my job: Creating is the most fun part of my job. I leave most of the operational challenges to my team. I'm constantly thinking of coming up with new technology. We outsource a lot of our manufacturing all over the world, so I'm in constant contact with chip companies and LCD module manufacturers. We're the brain, and they're the knowledge base.
The worst part of my job: I can't name one.
My last vacation: This year, I've already taken seven trips to Asia, so a vacation to me is a weekend at home.
We can't grow revenue at 700 percent every year, but that's not necessarily the only thing I'm going after. We're in a position to grow our brand very quickly. We want to prove to the industry that we're the best out there.