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HONG KONG (CNN) -- Allan Wong has proven you can successfully turn a hobby into a billion dollar business. His passion for technology and the potential power of the microchip led to the birth of VTech in 1976. Today the Hong Kong-based firm is among the world's largest makers of cordless phones and electronic educational toys. It employs more than 20,000 people and has extensive production facilities just across the border in China. CNN's Andrew Stevens asked Wong what he has learned over the past 30 years transforming VTech from a start-up into a global player.
Wong: You don't go into business to make money. You need to love your business and you need to have passion and you need to really want to make a difference in people's lives. And making money is a by product not the sole purpose.
Stevens: What are the key important issues in your company, indeed, in any growing company do you think?
Wong: The key is to create innovative products that our customers want and this is the key! And this is the underlying success factors of our company and I believe any company. And in order to do that you really have to understand the market, your customers and also understand the type of technology that is suitable to be used in our products.
Stevens: Your gut feeling, intuition. How accurate and how reliable is it? Have you ever been told no we shouldn't develop something but you have had that feeling that you should? Has that happened to you?
Wong: Many many times. In our company we regard gut feel as a means of creating products. It doesn't mean you do gut feel and that is it! After you have actually identified the products with your intuition you go ahead and verify that with facts and figures. We do go out and do market research based on that product but you need the intuition and gut feel to create that product first. Sales people can only tell you what is selling at this point in time. They cannot tell you two years from now what will be the product.
Stevens: Do you think as a rule Allan, do entrepreneurs make good bosses of big companies?
Wong: A lot of textbooks tells you that this isn't. I think the important thing is that entrepreneurs need to know their role very well. In my case, I am an engineer and actually very hands. My strength is that over the last 30 years, the experience in identifying what type of products customers want and what technology is really mature enough to be used in the products.
Stevens: So as someone who founded the company did you find it difficult to delegate decision making to other people?
Wong: Over the years we have transformed ourselves from what we call a "Chinese style," when we are small of course its a top down type management but gradually we have to rely on talented people and in VTech we have actually built a place where talented people really come together. I am still quite hands on but I have learned over the years to really, you should be focusing on the real important issues in your company and leave some of the other issues to some more talented people.