Creative Engineer and Technology Entrepreneur Turns to Folders
Henry Hon, David’s youngest brother, came to the USA from Hong Kong with his family when he was eight years old. Due to the financial hardships of a family just arrived in the “New World” in the early 1960s, Henry began working as a paperboy, selling and delivering newspapers and giving all of the money he earned to his mom, who was raising four boys as a single working parent. This was the humble beginning of living the American dream: Henry continued delivering newspapers until he got into college. He got a break with a computer programming opportunity, and that is how he funded his college expenses and education. He is thankful for a system and society that provided the opportunity for the son of a poor immigrant family to graduate from the University of California at Berkeley, one of the top universities of the world, with a degree in Industrial Engineering and Operation Research.
Teaming up with two of his other brothers in their computer software and insurance companies, Henry not only continued in software and technology, but cut his teeth as a business person, learning the art of sales and marketing. Just a few years after graduation, his income ballooned, which allowed him to readily support David’s budding ideas for a folding bike.
From California Energy Conservation to a Bicycle Factory in Taiwan
While David was busy working out the first patents for his visionary folding bicycle in the early 80s, Henry was making money – and, as the main supporter of the enterprise, invested over $100,000 to file patents, build prototypes, and get the business started. As intent on energy conservation and environmental impact as David, Henry was also an avid cyclist… until first his prized Peugeot P10, and then the all-chrome Bianchi to replace it, were both stolen. He thought that a full performance folding bike that he could take with him would certainly solve that problem! He took over the logistics of opening DAHON’s first factory in Taiwan, and joined the company full-time in 1983.
Innovations in Computer Science Earn Henry Patents, too
Henry’s responsibility as Executive Vice President of DAHON was to start-up marketing and sales in the USA. Due to the strong initial resistance against folding bikes among traditional bicycle channels, Henry had to come up with many creative ways to market and sell the all-new DAHON folding bikes. He first created a buzz in the market by working with major upscale catalogues, then produced a self-sustaining direct TV advertisement which built momentum nationwide, and finally targeted the major RV and marine chain retailers for national distribution. Seeing the untapped market for folding bicycles opening, the bike dealers started to stock and service DAHON folding bikes. With DAHON on track for steady worldwide growth in 1989, Henry left DAHON to pick up once again on his former interest in computer technology, and embarked on a few technology startups. Since then, Henry has been executive in companies advancing in chip level hardware products, in the important field of network security, and in Internet cloud computing. Along the way, he has been granted a few patents as the lead inventor, with three still pending. Currently, he is the lead investor and executive of Vyew.com, an engagement workspaces application.
30 Years a “Real McCoy” in Green Mobility
In 2010, Henry revved up activity for DAHON once again, strengthening management and forming new corporate strategies, now as Corporate VP and a company Director. His dedication to DAHON’s folding green mobility philosophy has increased and not lessened: like David, he is convinced that energy conservation is more necessary today than when he first began this mission more than thirty years ago. Adamant in practicing what he preaches, Henry, commutes routinely to and from the office on Vybe, his favorite DAHON folding bike: from home to the bus stop, folded on board bus and train, then unfolded to ride the last stretch to the office… Freedom unfolds!