James LaLondeCo-founder at Yodo1, Professor at UIBE, Author of “The Tao of Startups”


James LaLonde

Co-founder at Yodo1, Professor at UIBE, Author of “The Tao of Startups”

James started his career as an early employee of Microsoft Japan and led the subsidiary’s rise to the first billion-dollar revenue subsidiary of a software company in history. After his nearly 15 year corporate career which culminated in a role as CEO of a NASDAQ listed software company, James decided to become an entrepreneur and started RTM Asia.  Currently based in Beijing, James has co-founded two companies in China in the last 5 years. The first, Yodo1, is now the largest private publisher of mobile phone games in China. The second, yoli, is the innovative new way to learn English or Mandarin all in WeChat; bringing the study anywhere, anytime Uber-style model to language learning. A lifelong lover of people, culture, languages, reading and writing; James has published a best-selling business book in Japanese and writes regular articles in Chinese for his own WeChat account and other media.

In his own words: 

I start with great ideas, mold them, bring teams together, build MVPs and start companies. I believe in doing the hard stuff first. I believe in rolling my sleeves up, learning every day and giving young, talented people an opportunity to excel. I bring 5 core beliefs to each startup I am involved with: 1) the power or asking “why?” questions; 2) the necessity of mental representations for deep learning; 3) the importance of learning by doing (using the best methods available); 4) The role of shared goals and the process of creating them and executing to them; and 5) the importance building and nurturing a strong and scalable company culture from day one.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, I led sales organizations responsible for generating over $3.0 billion dollars in revenue for US IT companies such as Microsoft, McAfee, Brocade Communications Systems, Chinadotcom, CDC Software, and EDS. In that time, I established 212 distribution partnerships and closed 98 OEM contracts with a minimum value of $1 million each. Opened more than 90 offices in foreign countries. Hired and managed over 2,950 employees. Made 5 acquisitions of software and mobile gaming companies. Co-founded and operated 3 companies, including VC-funded Yodo1, self-funded yoli and the Belt and Road Advisory.

I believe you have to go places and meet people to really make things happen. I get around. I have lived and worked outside the US for nearly 20 years (mainly Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai) and logged more than 10,000,000 miles in air travel

I am an avid reader (averaging 200+ books a year since I was 7 years old) and I love studying languages. I published a best selling business book in Japanese that is now in its 14th printing. My newest book is available in English, Chinese and Japanese. And I currently write a blog on WeChat, search for 这感觉就像未来. I love people. I enjoy learning from them, talking to them in their native language and experiencing their culture. 

Favorite quote: “Be so good they can’t ignore you” – Steve Martin