Drawing of Street Views in Italy

I posted some drawings of churches before. Here is another series of street views.

This is a street view of Cannes, France. The only drawing in France.

Below: The mall near the Milano Duomo. There are many luxury stores there.

The square of Venezia – the building of a hotel.

This is the San Macro Plaza in Venezia. The tower is the symbolic sign of the city.

The San Macro Plaza – the most magnificent square in Europe.

Obviously, the drawing is in very simple form, and I didn’t spend enough time to really draw the scene. We were always on the go, and time was so limited.

THese are the river view of Firenze and Venezia.

Posted in Art

Shanghai’s Clear Sky

Shanghai these days is amazing! Look at the photos I took during the weekend. It is just amazing. I just cannot understand why Shanghai’s sky can be so blue and clean. I have never experienced Shanghai like this since I came here. Anyone has any idea?

Some joked that it is because of the wave of bankrupt of factories and fewer factories work. I seems to be a joke, but I started to suspect whether it is partly true.

Relief for Procrastinators

There are two persons in this world that helped me to gain peace in mind. Both them are alive, and not older too much than me, and ironically, both appear on the same day at the Cannes Lion to give lecture, which I both missed. They are Paul Graham, and Alain de Botton. I believe we share a lot of things in common – maybe all of us are ENFP in personality type; we all like writing; and we all love to think.

Read this article: Good and Bad Procrastination. Just Alain’s Consolation of Philosophy, the article gave me enough confidence to care less about shaving and laundry, which Wendy keep complaining 100 times a day.

Paul mentioned three form of procrastination: you could work on 1) nothing 2) less important thing, or 3) something more important.

That was a really good insight. As Paul explained himself before, beautiful theories are all short, simple, and lasting. This three-type classification is pretty simple, isn’t it? The common people do things but don’t know why and few have insight.

That’s the “absent-minded professor,” who forgets to shave, or eat, or even perhaps look where he’s going while he’s thinking about some interesting question. His mind is absent from the everyday world because it’s hard at work in another.

That gave me the relief to be a little bit at “absent-minded professor” mode – the type-C procrastinators.

I’ve wondered a lot about why startups are most productive at the very beginning, when they’re just a couple guys in an apartment. The main reason may be that there’s no one to interrupt them yet. In theory it’s good when the founders finally get enough money to hire people to do some of the work for them. But it may be better to be overworked than interrupted. Once you dilute a startup with ordinary office workers—with type-B procrastinators—the whole company starts to resonate at their frequency. They’re interrupt-driven, and soon you are too.

“It is better to overwork than interrupted”. It is very well said for startups.

We all need to get into a peace of mind where many people can concentrate to do the most important thing, instead of the overly used word – communication.

I Love New Hotmail Design

Saw the Weibo of Teach Liu Run and learnt the Outlook.com, a new interface for the old Hotmail.com. It was great. I love it much better than Hotmail.com or the even worth name Windows Live Mail.

What I love is, it cut all the things the end users don’t care. They cut, cut, cut, cut, cut to an extreme that only leaving a subject line, and a big area for people to write on. That is so cute. An application should behave this way.

There are many tradeoff, and I know it is so hard in big company like Microsoft, but at least I saw one product from Microsoft that is exciting – the first time in the last 10 years.

BTW, the Tab and send option consistent with Gmail is so nice.

Traveler’s Schedule

Paul Graham had another article back in 2009 about the Maker’s Schedule vs Manager’s Schedule.

That is a very good observation. “What you do changes very hour” is exactly why people complain the company is getting inefficient. People complaining about the meetings, but actually, they are not complaining the total time spent on meetings, they are complaining that the meetings cut their time into smaller chunk that does not work. Paul even went so far to claim that founders should resist, or at least postpone to become managers.

I wrote about What We can Learn from Travelers, and I listed some difference between a traveller and a resident. I should act one thing: Traveler always have a traveler’s schedule, which is very different from the daily routine of most of our lives. It is more like a manager’s schedule but more intense. They have limited time (few days for most people), and by definition, travel means to put as many, and as diversified things as possible into their schedule. They have to run by hours, and sometimes by 10 minutes.

For a business traveler, it is the same. It turned out that as traveler, it is so easy to have “speculative” meetings – the meetings with not expected output, and just drop by and say “hi”. That is so nicely fit into a business traveler’s schedule, just like a tourism drop by at the Milano Duomo and say hi to the church. However, it is so disastrous for some of the local people, especially the makers. We need to be aware of that.

That schedule works perfectly for a traveler, and that makes us exciting. We can accomplish much more (well, in terms of numbers, not total impact) than people running maker’s schedule. We need that, from time to time.