Ping Fu, author of Bend, Not Break, founder and CEO of Geomagic, and incoming Chief Strategy Officer at 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD ) , tells of her journey from being a penniless newcomer to the United States, to an incredibly successful CEO.
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Bend, Not Break Website: www.bendnotbreak.com
Brendan Byrnes: You were actually deported to the United States at the age of 25 and you came here with $80 and you knew 3 English words. How do you go from that to, first of all, being a successful software programmer and then starting such a successful company in Geomagic? How did you do that?
Ping Fu: When I came to the United States I had to find a new life. I happened to pick computer science as my field of study. It was a new field and it provided me a lot of opportunities. But the journey of my life showed me that behind every closed door there is a lot of opportunity. It seemed as if life slammed the door on my face.
I didn't want to come to the United States but I was deported. I didn't speak the language and so I couldn't study literature so I studied computer science. If I didn't do that then I couldn't have started the business. But there are some trades that I learned or maybe overdeveloped through my lifetime that was very helpful for starting a business. For example, self-learning and because I didn't go to school and I over developed my skill of self-learning. Adaptability to change that's another skill set that is incredibly important for entrepreneurship. Enduring difficulties and so resilience is another characteristic that a successful entrepreneur has.