Dale F., Dec 17, 2018 : Hi friends, Today marks the fifth anniversary of OnePlus – and what a journey we’ve shared so far. When OnePlus was created in 2013, our small team had one goal in mind: to share the best technology with the world. Back then, we felt unhappy with the Android smartphones we saw on the market – so we decided to create something better; something we’d be proud to use ourselves. As the years have gone by, our small team has grown. We’ve gone from a few people to over a thousand, and with each new year comes new experiences, new challenges, and new memories. But no matter what happens in the future, we’ll never forget our past. Through forum posts, videos and keynote speeches, we’ve seen the OnePlus story through the eyes of our founders, @Pete and @Carl. Being a new member of the OnePlus family but a long-time OnePlus fan, however, I was dying to get more information about life at OnePlus in its earliest days. So, at the OnePlus 5th Anniversary party this weekend, I tracked down and chatted with a selection of the company's longest-serving employees, who were more than happy to share their journeys with us. Mingyu Zheng (@Mingyu), Product Manager. Joined OnePlus: December 2013. I was the first employee to join the global team at OnePlus – I even helped set up our community forums! I was here when our office was still just a concrete shell. Before the heating system was installed, we’d sit working at our desks wearing blankets to keep warm. As a member of the small team that helped launch the OnePlus One, I recall the morning that a special delivery arrived at the office. After spending months working late into the night, our initial OnePlus One prototypes had finally arrived. We eagerly removed the prototypes from the box and passed them around. It wasn’t until after a few moments of admiring them that a colleague remarked, "Where are the speaker grilles?". One of the first OnePlus One prototypes. Notice anything unusual? Image credit: Michael Sharanda We burst out laughing and crying at the same time. It turned out that the manufacturing team hadn’t drilled the speaker grilles into the prototypes’ frames, so we had to order new ones. When you work so hard on perfecting the tiny details, a misstep like that can really get you down. Even though it was disappointing, all we could do was see the funny side and try to move on. Today, we still run into small issues like that one, and we still deal with them the same way – by staying positive and trying to learn something from the experience. Even though OnePlus is now a huge global company, deep down we’re still just that group of people pulling together to put out the best product we can. But now, we have a heating system! David Sanmartin (@David S.), Head of Marketing. Joined OnePlus: February 2014. I started around the same time as @Mingyu and I can confirm her heating story! The company had just moved into the current building way ahead of its completion, so we started basically working in an unfinished office. I thought to myself, "What have I done? Is this the startup life?". Luckily, I stuck around long enough to see that it was worth it. I think we've got a long way to go before we can call ourselves "one of the big players", but the turn-key moment of OnePlus was the launch of the OnePlus One. Before that, in the eyes of the press, we were simply making bold claims about this amazing product of ours. It wasn’t until our community and the media held the OnePlus One in their hands that they realized that we were serious. A chilly meeting takes place before OnePlus' heating system was installed. Great hat, Carl! For the launch of the OnePlus 2, we did a small media event in San Francisco. In order to show sample devices to reporters, we had to flash them with the latest software and add some apps so the reporters could take pictures and interact with them. A week before the launch I flashed each of the devices manually. I don't remember how many exactly, but it was definitely more than 40. In fact, if you watch the four-year anniversary video on YouTube, you can see me sitting on the floor of the office flashing the phones. Once we landed in the USA, a colleague and I spent the night in our hotel setting up a bunch of devices with apps and Google accounts, as we had the media event the next day. Ritij Khuran (@Ritij Khurana), Media Buying Specialist. Joined OnePlus: September 2015. I remember the time right after the OnePlus 2 launch. Amazon used to do a lot of our marketing and it put up a lot of billboards for us. In November 2016, we put up one of our own billboards for the first time at Bangalore airport. I went to the airport at night when the workers were putting the billboard up and I stayed there till it was complete. When the billboard was finally finished, I was filled with pride as I looked at it. That was the day I felt OnePlus as a brand had arrived and was here to stay. Then there was the time when we first put a full-page newspaper ad in the Times of India. I remember this was for the OnePlus 3T. I woke up at 4:30 am that morning to check the newspaper for the ad. Vikas, general manager of the India region, took a copy of the newspaper to China to show it to everyone, and @Carl put a picture of it up on his Instagram account. I couldn't have felt prouder. Carl proudly displays an ad for the OnePlus 3T in the Times of India. My favorite OnePlus memory, however, is from a week before the OnePlus 5 launch. It was the Friday night before the launch, and everyone was almost ready to go home. That Sunday, India were playing Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy Final (a huge cricket event that only comes up once every 4 years - it's like the Indian Super Bowl). I was super convinced that OnePlus should be involved in the event, and I had a lengthy discussion with Vikas about including a teaser video for the OnePlus 5 during this event. I then prepared a presentation and Emily spoke to Carl and Pete night about it later that night. By that point, it was way past midnight in China, but Carl and Pete both agreed to my plan. The video was a success, and it was one of the highlights of the year for our marketing efforts. The fact that Carl and Pete replied so late at night just showed how much every employee’s opinion is valued at OnePlus and how open the founders are in terms of their availability to us. Lin Yuan (@DTONE), Design Project Manager. Joined OnePlus: December 2013. My job interview was basically a quick chat on the phone with Carl, as the team back then was tiny compared with today. Now, OnePlus employs around 1000 people. This is what makes it funny when I remember that Carl once said to us, “Wow, the company is growing so quickly – we have almost 50 employees now!”. In the OnePlus One days, as the team was so small, we were working about 12 hours a day, six days a week. So much hard work was involved, but it was worth every moment once we saw the finished product. It was really satisfying to see something we spent so much time to create finally come to life, especially as people seemed to love it so much. Team members strike a pose with Pete and Carl in the early days. My favorite OnePlus memory has to be from my first week here. I was sitting at my computer working on the Never Settle logo, and a colleague I’d never met before came over to give me some advice on how it should look. After he finished speaking, I looked up and said to him, “Who are you?” You can imagine how embarrassed I felt when he replied, “Pete Lau.” Sorry, @Pete! Speaking of Pete, he’s a very hands-on person. People might imagine a CEO of a huge company to just be in boardroom meetings all day, never engaging with employees. But Pete is involved in every stage of product development. It’s normal to see him chatting with colleagues around the office and offering them his input. And I think it’s safe to say that every employee recognizes him – especially me! David Yang (@David Y.), Community Manager. Joined OnePlus: May 2014. I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with the OnePlus community for almost five years now. During those years, there have been countless beautiful memories when it comes to interacting with our community members. The ones that have touched me the most have been and always will be talking with our community members face-to-face. Thanks to my amazing job at OnePlus, I’ve been given many chances to go abroad to fan meet-up events, which help me better learn from our community friends. I had so much fun at our Australia meet-ups, at our first global moderator event, at the Hamburg and San Francisco Open Ears Forums, and at our London and New York City launch parties. I remember discussing with @cdnfarmer that each of us live thousands of miles apart but we were sitting together having breakfast and chatting. The OnePlus community is such a magical thing. Community members and OnePlus colleagues gather for dinner ahead of the OnePlus 6 launch event in London. Our community connects so many amazing people across the world, and OnePlus is truly a company that listens to its community’s feedback. In fact, we recently sent out samples of our new OnePlus Explorer Backpack to our community accessories testing group. Based on their feedback, we changed the design, which also meant we had to postpone the sale date. This proves how valuable our community of users is to us. What's YOUR OnePlus story? We’ve shared our memories, and now it’s time to share yours. From the excitement of receiving a OnePlus One invite to the thrill of seeing the smooth lines of the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition for the first time, what’s your favorite OnePlus moment? Let us know below and we'll award you with a special OnePlus 5th Anniversary forum badge! As we celebrate this special day at OnePlus, we’d like to end by saying one last thing to our community: thank you. You’ve been there alongside us throughout this adventure and we couldn’t have made it without you. Just imagine what we will achieve together in the NEXT five years. Never Settle.