Just days ahead of next week’s OnePlus 2 announcement, co-founder Carl Pei sat down with The Wall Street Journal to discuss the company’s place in the mobile market. He revealed a lot about OnePlus’ overall strategy (relying on consumer sales for operating capital), and how he sees the company competing against the likes of Apple and Samsung (by being disruptive; not becoming complacent).

But perhaps the most interesting part of the interview is when Pei reveals actual sales numbers, which the company typically doesn’t discuss. Across 35 countries, OnePlus has sold more than 1.5 million smartphones since the One launched early last year. That might not sound like very many—and it isn’t compared to some of its contemporaries—but given the circumstances, it’s a great start.

OnePlus started from nothing last year and relied on word of mouth to grow its fanbase rather than spending millions on marketing. Additionally, it endured an awful invite system, a public breakup with Cyanogen Mod, and some controversial contests. But even with the odds stacked against it, OnePlus persevered, and is ready to introduce the next flagship killer.

The impression I get from reading Pei’s interview with WSJ is that he’s incredibly driven and passionate about OnePlus, and wants to make the best device possible for consumers. That kind of determination will be needed as the company readies is next smartphone, which will come with its own set of challenges this year.

Can OnePlus continue to succeed in an incredibly competitive market? Pei thinks so. But don’t just take his word for it. Wait and see what the OnePlus 2 has to offer when it’s officially unveiled next week.