WAB Featured Club: PongPlanet 6th Anniversary
(by Bruce Liu)
According to Business Insider, 99.7% of all business in the US are small businesses (less than 100 employees). Twenty percent of them fail in the first year, 30% in year two, and 50% by the fifth year.
Congrats to PongPlanet for reaching their 6th anniversary. It’s a milestone for the sport of table tennis in the Bay Area. It is also a true story of American Dream. A teenager literately brought nothing but a ping pong racket to the U.S. and has become a successful business owner and a dad. It’s an inspiring story!
James Guo, aka Guo Xi, came to the U.S. in late 2005 after the BASOC (Bay Area Sport Organization Committee), lead by CEO Anne Cribbs and assisted by Dennis Davis, secured the bid for the 2007 Stanford World Junior Championships. It was the beginning of an era. The influx of young professional players and coaches since have changed the sport in the U.S. forever.
James had been a professional player since before he became a teenager. He attended a table tennis school unlike the majority of the kids in China. He understood the importance of education. While coaching full-time, he completed his GED requirements in the U.S. While some people in the U.S. may take education for granted, it was no small feat.
Of course, James most impressive accomplishment is being a dad. He is happily married with a child. PongPlanet is not just surviving — with the addition of James’ new partner John Tuiasosopo, they are thriving. The 6th Anniversary was marked by a fun event with food, drinks, prizes, and a tournament. We expect to see many more anniversary events in the years to come.
Happy Birthday PongPlanet!
Photos of the PongPlanet 6th Anniversary Event: