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Ping Fu on entrepreneurship and the resilience of the human spirit

Sarah Gardner Jan 4, 2013
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Ping Fu on entrepreneurship and the resilience of the human spirit

Sarah Gardner Jan 4, 2013
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It was announced yesterday that 3D printer manufacturer 3D Systems had acquired Geomagic, a software firm that makes the software that drives them. Tech entrepreneur Ping Fu is the CEO of Geomagic, but don’t confuse her with some silver spoon-toting heir to a family business. In fact, Fu’s path to success almost seems like the plot of an Ayn Rand novel, a story she tells in her new memoir “Bend Not Break.”

Born in communist China, and raised during the Cultural Revolution, Fu lived an incredibly hard life. Charged with raising her little sister as a girl, never formally educated, raped, imprisoned, and ultimately on the run from her country of birth, she eventually landed in America with a three-word vocabulary: “hello,” “thank you” and “help.”

But the lessons of her youth proved to be fuel for her success in tech. First of all, she says, you have to learn who you are authentically and why you want to do what you’re trying to do.

“I learned a lot about self-learning, and I learned a lot about adopting to changes, and I’ve had to have a lot of resilience,” says Fu. “All of those things…are the qualities of successful entrepreneurs.”

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