OOB to Take a Pause

OOB (Out of Blogging) today, and maybe (maybe not) tomorrow. I am not feeling well these days, after caught in the rain last night, and my stomach does not feel good. I am going bed now, and hope to take a short (no longer than two days) in blogging.

P.S. Shanghai is really cold now, seriously.

Shanghai is Coooold

If you are coming to Shanghai these days, be aware that Shanghai is really cold. It rains (for many days), and the temperature drops to 8°C. Today, we turned on warm air-con for the first time this winter.

So bring rain coat, and bring warm cloths with you if you plan to visit Shanghai.

At 6:30 PM, it rained, and there were no taxi at all on street. I tried to call taxi reservation hotline, for example, 62580000 for Jinjiang, and 968222 for Dazhong. It simply does not work. It is always busy line. After about 10 minutes, I got through and not surprisingly, they don’t have any taxi available. The whole city seems to stop working for me. Wendy waited for a taxi for about one hour before she got one.

Winter comes, and people’s life should get tougher in Shanghai.

Ashamed? No

I saw comments on my previous entry Lining Up for Metro?. I saw the same thing, but I feel the different way.

Seeing the bad things in China does not affect my proud of my nationality. There must be optimistic people within a country to try everything he/she can to help, or make progress (no matter how small it is). A real confident nation, just like a confident person, should not shy away from facing the bad things.

For example, history is part of the identity of a country. By facing the history, no matter it is good or bad ,demostrates the confidence of the country. It is the same for the bad things.

I feel bad about people’s misbehavior, but I don’t feel bad to be part of the people here. Just because I care, I write, and I bring the topic. I hope more people care about what is going on, and encourage people to write about it and talk about it.

Meeting Place: Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

This is the meeting place: Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

The only propose for this entry is to write down something to describe a venue – a cafe shop, that I can send the URL of this page to others so I don’t need to describe the location every time I make an appointment.

Location:

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf,

1F, 666 Fuzhou Road

福州路666号一楼香啡缤咖啡馆

It is at the corner of Fuzhou Road, and Yunnan Road (福州路云南路路口). If you still have a sense of direction in the maze of streets, it is at east side of Yunan Road, and north side of Fuzhou Road (that is, the same side of Fuzhou Road as Raffles City, and opposite side of Yunnan Road).

Transportation

Taxi is the best way to get there. Just tell the taxi to stop at the corner of Fuzhou Road, and Yunnan Road (福州路云南路路口). It is in the People’s Square area, so it won’t be more than 20 RMB to get there from anywhere in the downtown.

If you take Metro, go to the People’s Square Station of either Metro Line #1 or Line #2 (it is the same station), and use exit #2. You will be at Raffles City, and the coffee shop is just 100 meters away.

Lining Up for Metro?

Yesterday, at rush hours (6:30 PM), I waited at the Shanghai Metro #1 People’s Square Station. On the rear doors of the Metro, I noticed that people started to line up – there are two lines of people for the gate, and each line has more than 15 people, that makes the lines cross the platform and even near the other side of the platform.

No one was there to help maintain the order. The lines just formed by themselves. When the metro train came, people get off board from the middle – also formed a line, and the two lines of people entered one by one.

I was amazed by what I saw, because:

First, people started to respect orders,

Second, I didn’t see it in the last few years in Shanghai Metro. At least not to this extend that 15+ people forming a straight line.

I even wondered whether I am in Shanghai Metro. Lining up for Metro is the basic practices in many cities but not in Shanghai yet.

I am happy to see that started to happen. Although it is the only time, and they are just at several doors (other doors in the middle part were still at a mess), but it is progress.

Transition in China

When I was asked about the keyword for current China, I choose the word Transition.

Current China is about the old and the new co-exist. When the old system collapse, and the new system is not well established, it is the period of transition. People say bad things about China (poor, no rules, low moral), and people say good things about China also (prosperity, development, huge market), they are all partly true, but not complete. China is just in the transition period. The old and the new conflict with each other, compromise with each other, and finally mixed with each other, until a new order is established.

That is what I felt from small things like lining up. It takes time for this “rare” occasion to appear, but based on my experience, if the first “rare” occasion appears, after 5 to 7 years, it will be the standard.

I am looking forward to a better Shanghai Metro in 2011 or later.

Zhaoxiang Outlets

Shanghai has its own outlets. To be exact, there are many of them.

Last Sunday, we visited one of them in Zhaoxiang 赵巷.

If you ask me, I would say, it is very much the same as Gilroy Premium Outlets I visited in California. It has many stores, with the presence of major brands. Personally, I am more interested in Nike, Adidas, Levi’s…

The price is OK. It does not seem exactly like that in Gilroy, but pretty similar. Maybe the difference is tax – in U.S., all price is “pre-tax”, and in China, it is after-tax.

For example, Levi’s 501 jeans was like 29.99 USD in Levi’s factory store (seconds), and here, it is around 300-400 RMB. Nike shoes are from 390 – 590 RMB range, and in Gilroy, it is mainly like 25 – 35 USD.

To Get There

The location is like an outlets – I mean its location are very like the location of those outlets in U.S.

It is at Zhaoxiang/Sheshan 赵巷 佘山 exit of A9. Turn right and you will see the outlets just at the corner.

It is definitely a good place to buy genuine product. I feel some sense of the Xiang Yang Market there, but one is fake, and one is genuine.

Many People There

There is something completely different from the Gilroy Outlets – crowd. There are so many people there, and in one store, I even saw a big board with two sides. One side says:

“Welcome”

and the other said:

“Because there are too many people inside, now we are not accpeting new customers”.

OMG.

Update Update on Location November 28, 2006

The location is far from the downtown Shanghai. No Metro arrives there, or even close to it. It is 26 KM away from the People’s Square, and from my home, it is 45 KM, and takes about 30 – 40 minutes.

It is at the third or the forth exit of Shanghai to Huzhou 湖州 express way, A9. It seems the only way to get there is either by driving a car yourself, or taking tourism bus.

Location: 2888 Huqingping Hiway 沪青平公路2888号(嘉松中路5555 号)

Tel: +86-21-59756060

Bus:

Shanghai Tourism Bus #4: Shanghai Stadium – Chengjiaqiao (程家桥) – Xujing (徐泾) — Zhaoxiang Outlets 上海奥特莱斯站

Huqing Line 沪青专线, Huqingying Line 沪青盈专线: Puan Road (People’s Square) 普安路 — Chengjiaqiao (程家桥) — Xujing (徐泾)00 Fangjiayao/Shanghai Outlets(上海奥特莱斯)(6:00 – 22:00)

Huzhu Line 沪朱线: West Bus Station 西区汽车站 — Chengjiaqiao (程家桥) — Xujing (徐泾) — Fangjiayao 方家窑(上海奥特莱斯)

Shangzhu Line 上朱线: Shanghai South Railway Station (South Square) 上海南站南广场 — Chengjiaqiao (程家桥) — Xujing (徐泾) — Fangjiayao (Shanghai Outlets) 方家窑(上海奥特莱斯)

The Huqing Line and Huqingying Line start from the People’s Square, at the corner of Puan Road, and Jinling Road.

Short Note of 5 Days in Chaminade

This is a short note about my 5 days in Chaminade

First morning, I felt challenge/fear as never experienced before. I learnt to focus on something else, and do the right thing, instead of focusing on the environment. Afternoon session, it was all about listening. I never heard people put listening and discover together. I realize if we our thinking is 100%, face to face communication only can convey 5% of it. By listening well, people can discover more than the 5% (with suspending agenda, focus, ask open questions, reflectionÂ…)

On the Tuesday session, it was all about talking (in the formal term, Asserting or Inspiring). It is also the first time I heard people describe “Talking” as “Inspiring”. This is also the technique to convey more than the default 5% out of 100% of thought to another person. It is all about to have a statement, and say it in a concise, clear, and compelling way.

The beauty of the “listening – talking” or “discover – inspire” model is, it is about two way communication. If we can do it better for only one way, the two communications is much better.

The final orchestra tells me leadership is all about feeling instead of techniques. A group of people sit down together, and they can communicate without talking. It is more like a reflection of the nature of human being.

The solo and the chaos in the orchestra were amazing. By listening carefully, and react respectfully, people created a very special atmosphere that they can communicate and behave as one person.

To conclude, I appreciate everyone’s share and help me to share. It is OK to be vulnerable, and seek for help.

Chaminade in Santa Cruz

In the last week, the whole week, I didn’t take any pictures in Chaminade Hotel in Santa Cruz. The week was so intense that all my time, including nights were used up. I did manage to take severl photos (when it is not too dark outside). Here they are:

Chaminade seems to be a famous place. When I am back, Haisong told me he was also in the same hotel one week ago, for the Young Leader’s Forum (from National Committee of US. Chinese Relationship). How interesting that Haisong also jumped from the same pole as I did.

The Pole

Regarding the pole, it is a wooden pole about 10-20 meters high. People are required to climb onto the top of it and jump to touch the small ball. That needs a lot courage to do it. See some photos from the YLF (not me, or my group).

Image in courtesy of vishaan

Image in courtesy of vishaan

Image in courtesy of vishaan

Happy Thanksgivings

Today is Thanksgivings Day. This is not a popular holiday in China, but I love the concept to take a pause and start to think about people you should thank for.

Chasing Daylight

I am reading the book written by Eugene O’Kelly: Chasing Daylight.

It is a great book, and O’Kelly has a great story – a cruel but warm story. As CEO of KPMG, O’Kelly knew he only had 3 months of life, and wrote the great book. Maybe O’Kelly will be known not for his role as head of KPMG and his 30 years service to the company, instead, he will be known about this great book which inspired many people, including me.

Circles of Friends

On the page 105 of the book, O’Kelly drew a diagram about his friends that he need to unwind.

screen-circles.PNG

Image in courtesy of Eugene O’Kelly, and Amazon

I had hard time to recognize his handwritting, and finally I figured out the five layers of friends:

Outtermost circle: People who because of shared experience or shared passion.

Then: Business Associates

Then: Lifetime Friends

Then: Immediate Family

Then: Children

Then: Wife

O’Kelly spent about 3 weeks to say good-bye to the 1000+ friends in his outercircle. He spent enough paragraphs explain why he need to unwind all his relationships. He wanted to spend one more Perfect Moment with his friends and recall all the Perfect Moments he had with his friends. This is beautiful! He just touched the deepest and sweetest part of human nature – to cherish all the great experience, and to refresh the warmth from friendship.

On page 171, his wife asked him: “Are you prepared to leave me?”

“I think so,” he replied.

When I read about this, my heart is broken.

I would highly recommend everyone to read this book. It is not a big book. It helps to understand the meeting of life, and the value of relationship.

I have my Circles of Friends

I am also writing down a list of my relationship in my circles, and I am sure I also have 1000 friends. O’Kelly reminds me how long people get together is not a big issue, it is all about the great moment we had shared. After I create this list, I will look at each of the name and spend some serious time to recall the great time and the perfect moment we have. It must be a very enjoyable time.

Rumors after Rumors – Part II

From the first day of this blog, I tried to seperate my blogging world from my business world. This is the intention, although sometimes the two worlds run into each other. This does happen, since there is natural connection betwen the two worlds – it is all about me.

Rumors

I am happy that in the last two days, the rumors finally stopped, or a better way to describe it, “faded out from the homepage of major portal sites”. This let me rest for a while and describe to my readers (in the blogging world) about what happened (without concerning too much to my friends in the business world).

Here is how the rumor started.

On Nov 20, the second day I am back to Shanghai, Donews.com reported that Allan (CMO of Google Asia) will join Bo and me to startup a new eCommerce site, and I will quit Kijiji to join the company.

This is definitely a rumor, but I was still impressed about how the news was pickup by all major portals in China and various versions of the same report appeared everywhere in 24 hours.

When Sina.com, Sohu.com put the news to major locations, and some paper media picked up and printed it out, the rumor became a big rumor. Just now, when I searched about my name, there are 114 articles in Google News about this quitting stuff.

Later, Google confirmed Allan’s quit, and there came more buzz around it. Combined with other market speculations, market analysis got some interesting results. (Like in my previous post, I don’t want to quote or give links here).

Impact on Me

It does have some impact on me. The day when I posted my previous entry, I worked with media to decline the news and to explain about the strategy of Kijiji for the next year. After an in-depth interview with Sina went out, and some short report of the decline came out from Donews.com, and Sohu.com, the part about me was settled.

It is not a media crisis for me. Rumors are just rumors and it does not hurt.

I am Still with Kijiji, Happily

I am still with Kijiji, the start up within a big company. I am as passionate as I started it in China one and half years ago. I love the product, I love the concept and most importantly, I do enjoy the great team I have here, and the super talented people in the team. I am not quitting, for sure.

“The Rumor Values”

I got some phone calls, some SMS, one or two emails and many MSN Messenger chats. — I did want to change my MSN display name from “No Longer Happy New Year” to “Rumors….”, but it is only two months to the end of this behavior art work, I still kept my MSN Display name unchanged (for a year).

One of the most interesting SMS I got was from Rex. Rex said: “Jian Shuo, congratulations! You finally get some rumor value.”.

I replied: “What do you mean by rumor value?”

He said:

The rumor value is the value people get from creating, and spreading rumor about a person. Not very one has this kind of rumor value. So congratulations :-)

Well. This message comfortable me a lot. It is not completely a bad thing, anyway.

Back to What I Should Write on My Blog

After I posted a very short and blur-ed message on my blog the other day, I saw concerned reader “boycotting” the entry.

This is what I think about it.

It is MY blog anyway. Just as I thanked my reader in my wishes in my four year anniversary of this blog:

I wish I still have the freedom to choose topics that interest me most. Thanks for giving me the freedom to do that. I know the topics are not always interesting for everyone. Anyway, I am still the most important reader of this blog. Everything I write? at least it should look interesting to me.

Just as this case, when a banch of media are calling me, calling my PR agency to dig more details about the news, I cannot disclose anything about it before we done some communication (internally and externally). The best way, or the professional way is not to mention it, confirm it, or decline it (considering media need to be the first to report this, instead of a blog). This was the background. There are so many things in my life with tons of background information that I cannot convey to my readers.

The note is for me, personally. I want it to remind me after several years about this interesting event.

It is also for friends who care about me – to assure them I am doing well, and it may also to some journalists. :-)

However, it is NOT for my regular readers. This is the rare occasion my role as a public business person in the competitive market run into my role on this blog – as a normal person living in Shanghai, and to help visitors and expats in Shanghai to get more sense about the city, and to find some fun (sometimes).

People said it is OK to stop for one day or two. I am not so sure about it. For me, a blog is all about life, and it is like the pulse of heart-beat. I am a believer that at least by posting a “OOB (Out of Blogging)” let people know what is going on, and let myself about what happened that day, instead of a blank memory. Blogging is like exercise. If you quit for one day or two, it is not easy to pickup after two days – for me, blog is more like a habit, instead of professional writing. I am not worried about the blog being “quickly kicked out the blogosphere”. To be honest, I don’t care about blogosphere. The most important thing is all about me, and my life. My life continues with or without attention from “blogosphere”. It is the every happy day I have that matters. I value interaction, and I value good friends I got from the blog. There is nothing to do with popularity, or fame here.

P.S. I am NOT going to Google. Never thought about it. I was with Microsoft and saw the spirit when Microsoft undertook the hardest time (the DOJ case). It is all about how people react with difficulties that shapes a great company, instead of how people behave under glory and fame. I don’t like Google now. Just my 2 cents.

Disclaimer: The post is provided “AS IS”. It is just my personal view and does not represent the point of view of anyone else or any organization/company.