OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei continues to be one of the most interesting people in the mobile tech world, and his latest idea on how to improve his growing company is a typically unusual one. In a blog post, Pei has openly asked for a job at Samsung as an intern. Why would the man behind OnePlus want to go and work for a rival, in such a lowly position? Simple: to learn how it operates, and put similar principles into action.
What brought this on? Pei writes at length about the challenge OnePlus faces with meeting demand for its smartphones, and the logistics of building and shipping them around the world. He talks about Samsung’s success over its 77 year life, and how he, “can’t help but admire their operations.” He goes on to say that while the industry is evolving, there is room for newcomers like OnePlus to exist alongside the old guard like Samsung, and learn from each other too.
“So, Samsung, today I have a proposal for you: let me be your intern. Seriously.” Pei says he wants to learn about how to scale, run, and manage a successful, global mobile business in his new role. In return, Pei suggests an intern swap situation, where a Samsung executive can join OnePlus and see how it works.
Pei founded OnePlus back in 2013, and in recent interviews has shown not only how committed he is to the company, but also his eccentric ways, which include keeping everything he owns in a suitcase, his month-to-month Airbnb living situation, and the decision to travel everywhere locally by Uber cab. He has also said how important it is to show your personality if you want to build a loyal fanbase, something he does well through the company’s forums, events like the VR OnePlus 2 launch, and stunts like this one.
Will anything come of Pei’s proposal? While the OnePlus boss will inevitably learn more as an intern at Samsung — provided he’s not just tasked with filing and getting the coffee — the Samsung executive may pick up some useful tips from a young, dynamic startup that has quickly built up a strong fanbase, which could help the company emerge from its recent, mega-corp funk.
For now though, its Samsung’s move.