The business model is simple enough – take something interesting but out of reach. Give people a bird’s eye view of it, literally. And fame and fortune follow.
That, in brief, is the remarkable story of Beijing FlyCam, an aerial photography firm that struck it rich thanks to the determination of a couple of Beijingers to turn their hobby of flying model aircraft into a money spinner.
Beijing FlyCam’s owes its big break in no small part to Zhang Biqing, a doctor of Chinese traditional medicine who built an illegal rooftop structure so audacious that it captured the world’s attention.
The bizarre villa covered the entire roof of a 26-storey building in the upscale Park View residential compound in Beijing. It featured fake rocks and real grass and trees – all arranged to look like a mountain in the style of a classical Chinese painting.