Monthly Archives: June 2011

I Bought Myself a MacBook Air

I passed by Apple Store in downtown Palo Alto, and bought myself a MackBook Air 13” 256G notebook. I have been a fun of iPhone, and want to continue my explore to other Mac product. I wanted to buy iPad 2 initially, but at second thought, I may use a laptop more frequently iPad – a physical keyboard is the key to me.

Sense of Relief

I am currently a proud Apple user. How strange it is if you put this into perspective – I have been working in Microsoft for 7 years. It is not politically right to use Apple product, or Linux product. Now I am a big fan of PHP, Linux, cheap scalable servers, and enjoys Apple. Of cause, for search, Google.

That is an interesting topic about how much a person should bear the identity of his/her company. Not working for Microsoft actually gives me freedom to try different things, and holds, well, hopefully, more balanced view.

For a person who work for a company, but enjoy using its competitors’ product, shall I admire his/her openness, and wisdom, or shall I blame him for less of ownership, or don’t have passion needed to improve a product?

Which is the right way to go? I find it hard to answer.

Humanity is Optimist-ism

It is human’s basic need to feel part of something, to belong to something bigger than him/herself. That is maybe the source why so many people like the product, and uses the product of his/her own company only. That is very nature. I would assume that the “narrowness” of people who stay in one environment, and the “fake sense of confidence” (things like both side of a football match believes “We will definitely win”) are very key to humanity. People always over-estimate him/herself’s ability, and over estimate how likely to win for his/her own team/company/country, or others, you name it.

For example, if you ask people about how good looking they are, and rate it from 1 to 10, with 5 as average. I believe the surveyed average should be above 5, which won’t be true. Over-optimistic!

Ask people about how much chance they may break a leg? The ratio should be lower than actual.

Ask people how well they can do math? The same thing, the surveyed average should be higher than average. Over-optimistic!

I am happy that I am not over-optimistic to Microsoft product today, but I don’t feel about not-being-so 6 years ago.

MacBook Air

Well. I will keep the box unopen, and try it out later tomorrow night.

God is Favorable to People in Bay Area

I am here for few days. The bay area is always nice – sunny (except yesterday, when it rained a lot). The view of the bay area seems to be very stable, at least for a visitor like me. I don’t see new buildings, and I don’t see too much changes, event the name of the shops on the University Ave, in Palo Alto.

The change of this place is all about the inside. The up and down of companies, the shift of talent from one to another (like to Google, and to Facebook), and the sentiment of financial marketing all change greatly, and that changes (part of) the world. You just don’t see it from the buildings, and environment.

The whole area is a nice place to be in. I haven’t been to many places. I am familiar with Redmond/Seattle area, and I know bay area well. Visited New York once, and some other cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego. So far, nothing is like San Francisco and bay area – the weather, the spread out of the city, and even the traffic. I love the bay area most.

The God seems to be very favorable to this area. Not many places (at least based on my limited travel experience) has the best of a lot of aspects. Just to name a few.

  • Good weather
  • Sea, sea shore, and beach!
  • Bay that you can sail.
  • Lakes
  • Mountains
  • Wine (Napa)
  • Hi-tech companies, and great job opportunities (Silicon Valley!)
  • Financial center (San Francisco, kind of)
  • Good location with easy access to the world (port, west coast to connect to Asia, in the middle of west coast shoreline)
  • Diversified culture

Don’t Trust Travel Agencies

I need to change my flight back to China earlier.

I called ctrip, where I booked the flight (I should do a better job in getting around them). Their term:

Sorry. We cannot do it since it is international flight. You have to give up your back leg, and book a new ticket. If you just change the date, you need to pay 1500 RMB change fee. Let me check what a single trip ticket from San Francisco to Shanghai is. That can be very expensive

Well. I decided not to change, but later, I thought of American Airline, the carrier. I called them, and they said:

Everything has been changed as you wish. BTW, since there is a change in the price of your new route, we are giving $400 back to you

Hmm… For the same question, maybe we need to try different channels.

Hello from SFO

Hello, I am here, stayed at Foster City, CA this time.

The trip was long. I transferred at Los Angeles International Airport via American Airlines. I didn’t write it before, but I really like San Francisco over Los Angeles, and I enjoy SFO much better than LAX.

Los Angeles

Interestingly, my impression of Los Angeles was all about being hungry. The last time I did the trip with Wendy from the south up to LA on I-5, the only reason we took exist at the downtown was, we were so hungry because we didn’t have lunch and it was 3:30 PM. So LA has been a place to eat when we are hungry. Later, when we spent the last night at LAX, it was the same. We wanted to have dinner, and since we stayed near LAX airport, we took the shuttle to the airport hoping to get some thing to eat. Again, to our disappointment, most terminals won’t open for people who are not traveling.

Over-night Flight

So far, I like the schedule of AA182, over UA858. The flight leaves Shanghai on 9:45p, and arrives at LAX at 1830p. The flight was a long one but since it overlaps with the sleeping time of my body, I happily fell asleep all the way until one hour before arrival. The long flight became invisible for me. If there is a chance, I will choose this flight the next time – flying at night, and arriving at night.

New Things

Shanghai to San Francisco has been a routine route for me, and by changing a flight (well, I was forced to because of late booking), and changing an airline, changing a time, I experienced something new. New things makes people happy (well, at least for the ENFP like myself). Looking forward to seeing new things in the future.

Time to sleep. Good night.

I am Going to Sillicon Valley

I am checking my Checklist for US Trip I prepared a long time ago. Interestingly, I found around July 1 is the most frequently traveled date I have for US trip. This time, since I booked later than I should, UA858, the flight I don’t enjoy too much, was fully booked. So I am trying a new airline – America Airlines. The departure time is as late as 21:45 so I deferred to packing till now, which is 5:00 PM already.

So, my friends in the bay area, shoot me an email at jianshuo at hotmail dot com if you want to meet up. My schedule is pretty packed, but I am always willing to spend time with passionate people in the bay area, even at the cost of my sleep time.

Surround Yourself with Passionate People

I first read this sentence in Zen Habits. Leo, the writer of the blog, is obviously a passionate person.

I had a good conversation with Ann in Starbucks at Liangyang area. From time to time, I meet with people like her, and get excited myself, even when talking about my own stuff. For example, Bob Kagel is one of them. When talking with him, well, to be more exact, to be talking to him, and with him listening and asking questions, you get passionate about what you are doing. That is a magic. He once mentioned that the less control you seek, the more powerful you are. It is that type of passionate people. Mark Zurkerburg is another type of passionate people that you don’t feel it when you talk with him. He is so shy, just like Ben of MovableType. But that type of person also impress me a lot by how “insistent” he is for certain things, which he has passion in.

Pattern #1 – Passionate People

In VC world, there is a term of “Pattern Recognition”. People don’t know future, but the successful pattern repeats itself, all the time. The type of feeling I have when talking with great people has emerge as a pattern, that I can recognize.

I often talk with people that I believe has great skill, or with high titles. But I don’t recognize the pattern, and I just feel it may be waste of time in the future, if I do not feel the passion from them about what they are doing.

When I do the reflection, I feel Yifan, and many other children are very passionate people themselves. He is passionate to stepping into water after rain, and he is so passionate to cars, and tracks. That is also a pattern, that can be recognized in adult – as passionate as a child.

Remember that pattern, and repeat that pattern in the future, just as we did in the Design Pattern in computer programs. I need to prioritize my life around spending time with passionate people.

P.S. You can’t discover new lands until you have courage to lose sight of the shore…

IKEA Beicai Store Photos

Yifan wanted to visit IKEA, so we went there, the new store, which is opening on June 23, 2011. Here are the photos.

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Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang on iPhone 4

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Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang on iPhone 4

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Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang on iPhone 4

shanghai.ikea-parking.jpg

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang on iPhone 4

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Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang on iPhone 4

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Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang on iPhone 4

The store is bigger than the current IKEA Xujiahui Store. At least it has three stories. The parking area is better, and with better transportation system – the Middle Ring Road provides even better access for bigger areas in Shanghai, and I hope the nearby road can avoid the traffic jam IKEA Xujiahui Store brought to the area.

Excercise Make People Happy

One rule I learnt from blogging was, you have to enjoy the process of writing it, not the result of have something written. For the exercise, it is the same thing. Keeping fit is the goal, and being healthy is the destination, but you have to enjoy doing that, and that is the only way we can keep doing it for a long time.

I did some swim today. Good…

The picture shows the swimming pool of Dahua Jinxiu Holiday Hotel near my home. They offer 80 RMB (14 USD) single entry ticket. I hate to buy monthly or annual card for sports since I don’t leverage it well. Highly recommended for people living around.

BTW, I am 73.4 kg today. Looking forward to lose some weight, and get fitter.

P.S. I want to share a great article to CEOs and Tech Directors of Auren Hoffman (another YLFer): The Power of Great People (why “good enough” won’t cut it). It is a pity that we just saw a great engineer who finally chose to go to Baidu. Well. Keep working hard to find more like him.

Chongming via Shanghai Yangtze Bridge and Tunnel

I visited Chongming with Wendy and Yifan today, so I experienced the Island and the Shanghai Yangtze Bridge and Tunnel. Both are great.

Shanghai Yangtze Bridge and Tunnel

This is another Mega Project in China. The whole project is 25 km long, with 16 km bridge (9 km bridge and the rest are land road), and 9 km of tunnel.

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Cost

It cost 50 RMB single way to use the bridge and tunnel. That is about 100 RMB fee to visit Chongming each time. The bridge and tunnel integrate the island to be part of Shanghai.

Closer to Shanghai

Recently, Chongming gives me the feeling of Hainan Island – blue sky, green lands, and good road infrastructure. Since the construction of the island is not strictly controlled, the island is still in good shape.

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Driving Direction

At the north end of the S20 (Outer Ring Road), turn to the G40, and the tunnel is right at the starting point of G40 (Shanghai – Xi’an Expressway). The other side of the G40 is connected to G1501 (the Rural Ring Road or formally A30). To get to that point is closer than Pudong Airport for me.

It appears to me that I may visit Chongming very often in the future. It is just a better alternative other than Hangzhou/Suzhou for people in Shanghai.

IKEA Beicai Store to Open on June 23, 2011

After visiting the crowded IKEA Xujiahui Store, I am happy to learn that the IKEA Beicai Store will officially open on June 23, 2011.

The BeicaiStore is just 4 km away from my home. The store is basically the same size of the Xujiahui store, and has a equally good location – at the intersection of Hunan Highway and the Middle Ring Road. I am looking forward to visiting the store as soon as it opens. (Well, even for the first day, it is expected to be crowded, based on my experience of the opening of the Xuhui store).

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Image courtesy of IKEA official site

Location:


View Larger Map

IKEA’s success in China showed the strong growth of the domestic market. It also shows the return of being patience. IKEA started as a small store, and then planned and built the larger one. Then, it started to build the current Beicai store from 2006. At that time, the Xujiahui store was still pretty empty. Half of the parking lots had not been used. With the long term view, and operation like a startup, IKEA finally win big in this raising market.

IKEA, Xujiahui Store Shanghai is Crowded

Wendy, Yifan and I visited IKEA this afternoon, or to be more exact, attempted to visit IKEA but failed because of the crowd.

Below is the picture of the people lining up at the 30 counters, to pay for their items. Yifan and I got an ice cream each and left.

Small IKEA! Expensive IKEA!

About 15 years ago, when IKEA just opened its first store in Shanghai, it was a very small one at the first and second floor of an office building near its current Xujiahui Store. At that time, everything seems so expensive to me (as a college student). They WERE expensive. The Billy Bookcases cost a big portion of my first month salary in 1999, and now, it cut its price to half, due to increase of its sale volume, and maybe change of supplier.

Read more stories about me and IKEA here.

Rain Drops

Look at this rain drops on the window – just like the default iPhone desktop. It is raining heavily now!

OK. That’s it. Yifan is scream and pulling me out to walk in the rain. Well. Good idea. We are going.

People Don’t Obey Rule Set by Others

It is about 11 pm now, and the people are still gathering outside on the Jinzun Road. They have surrounded 7 policemen for few hours tonight.

The Road

The road outside our residential area is a small street leading to the river side. It is a branch road for people in this area only. Due to the parking space limitation, many people park their cars on the both sides of the street. There are about 100 cars there every night. Since there is no through traffic, and the security level in that area was pretty good, people feel comfortable doing that. This peaceful use of the road parking has been lasting from the day one the road was built – about few years ago.

Parking Violation Ticket

This afternoon, two police car came, and started to stick parking violation ticket on the window of all the cars. They were stopped by angry drivers and residents half way before the issued tickets to all the cars. Then more and more people gathered and didn’t want to let the policemen go.

The Argument

I didn’t spent time there so I don’t know the exact arguments, but I assume that people don’t feel comfortable paying 200 RMB fine for each of the cars. I don’t know how the issue will be finally resolved.

This is one of the typical samples of the conflicts between the people, and the police, or the government. It goes back to the root of the question: “Who define the rules”.

People don’t want to obey rules that they have no idea how it is set. Just like the street parking. I would vote to allow street parking on this road, if given a chance, but the rule has always been “No parking at any time”.

Meanwhile, the rule is not enforced anyway, for few years. Practically, people don’t have the right to ask the rule to be enforced. Another example is the parking on the pedestrian – making walking on the pedestrian from my home to shopping center like going through a parking lot. No one care about it, and people don’t have a right to ask the rule to be enforced.

So, the situation is, the police arbitrarily decide the rule and whether to enforce the law. The gives people the impression that Chinese don’t want to obey rules. The matter of fact is, Chinese, as any other nation, don’t want to obey rules that are set by others.

My Hope

My hope will be, the people living in the area can openly discuss and democratically decide whether street parking on this street is allowed or not. Then the police will be held responsible for the execution of the rule. That is how this small street should be governed.

Yifan is 4 Years Old

Haha! Yifan is 4 years today! The family celebrated the birthday for the young man.

Happy Birthday, Yifan!

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In the last four years, Yifan brought so much joy to the family. I just realized that it is the children that the parents owe a lot, not the other way around. Thanks for being the source of happy (and angry, and trouble some time) for us.

Yifan got a small strawberry birthday cake, four balloons (which he loves a lot), and a lot of food he likes. He also got red bag from grandparents. When he saw the 100 RMB note from the envelop, he was very happy and screamed:

Look at the change I got!