Author Archives: Jian Shuo Wang

jswang@microsoft.com Still Available

I sent an email to jswang@microsoft.com, my old email at Microsoft.

Can you receive this mail?

This was my email alias many years ago.

Jian Shuo Wang

Very soon, I got mail like this:
postmaster@microsoft.com
to me

mail.microsoft.com rejected your message to the following email addresses:

jswang@microsoft.com (jswang@microsoft.com)

mail.microsoft.com gave this error:
User unknown

The email address you entered couldn’t be found. Please check the recipient’s email address and try to resend the message. If the problem continues, please contact your helpdesk.

Diagnostic information for administrators:

Generating server: BY2FFO11HUB004.mail.protection.outlook.com

 

Bingo! My email address is still not occupied by someone else. Just for the record, I checked just because we were at a Microsoft gather, and some conversation inspired my curiosity.

 

Knowledge vs Resources from Friends

Mr. Systrom, now 29, offered this as a parable for the roomful of would-be entrepreneurs who came to hear him talk at Stanford last spring: in the intensely competitive start-up scene here, success is as much about who you know as what you know. “Make sure to spend some time after the talk getting to know the people around you,” he told his audience.

 He is right in both China and US. But in the valley, although people provide connections, most people provide knowledge and advice, just as Adam D’Anglo did for Instagram, but in China, people generally expect resources.

Some of My Old Photos

I took a lot of photos with people I met, and many of them are good friends, but I never spent the time to organize them in a good way. Here is my attempt to make it happen.

Sanjeev Singh and Jian Shuo Wang. January 18, 2012 at Facebook Office in Melon Park, CA. Sanjeev was creator of Google Mail, and FriendFeed.com. I visited Sanjeev in Facebook after FriendFeed.com was acquired by Facebook, and had wonderful lunch together in the newly opened cafe.

Jack Ma, President of Alibaba.com. September 30, 2011 at Stanford University, CA. We attended China 2.0 Conference by Stanford University and Jack delivered closing speech after my pannel. We met briefly at the backstage.

Paul Halen, former China Director of National Security Council of White House. Taken in  Oct 29, 2011 in Xi’an when we went to Karaoke together.

Jan Berris, VP of National Committee on US-CHina Relationships (NCUSCR). Taken on December 1, 2007 in Nanjing during the Young Leader’s Forum. Jan participated US-China relationship building from leading the US Ping-Pong team to visit China in 1971, and brought Jet Li to US.

Zhu Tong and Jian Shuo. November 2007 in Nanjing, China. Rose Zhu served as interpreter of Zhu Rongji and Jiang Zemin.

With Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, and currently CEO of HP. Taken on March 28, 2005 in Shanghai, China. Worked with Meg for about two months in Shanghai during the summer of 2005.

With Mark Zuckerburg, founder and CEO of Facebook. February 25, 2010, in Facebook, Palo Alto, CA. Mark hosted me when I visited Facebook office with Matt Colher.

Photo with Prof. Tan when I delivered speech on September 21, 2010 at Computer Department, National University of Singapore.

With Zhang Jie, president of Shanghai Jiao Tong University on October 3, 2011, in San Jose, CA.

Group photo of few day gathering Young Leaders Forum gathering in 2007. Among them are Christopher Cassidy, astronaut of NASA and visited space station; Matt Isler, Colonel of USA Air Force with a squadron of F-15C airplane. etc…

New Generation of Tech media in China

I am trying to collect a list of interesting media that is raising these years, and it is very different from the last generation. It is typically created by an experienced media industry person, but jumped out of the old framework. Here is the starting and I will keep updating the list.

  1. The Founder by former Chief Editor of China Entrepreneur editor Niu Wenwen
  2. Huxiu.com by former chief executive of China Entrepreneur editor Li Min
  3. TechNode by Lu Gang
  4. PingWest Just saw this morning. Chief Editor of CBNWeekly, editor Thomas Luo
  5. 36kr

 

10 Year Anniversary of Blogging

Today is the 10th anniversary of my blogging.

Starting from Sept 11, 2002, with my first blog, I have been blogging for ten years. I cannot believe it! Ten year doing one thing everyday seems crazy for anyone, and I am surprised I am that crazy guy.

However, the bad news is, I realized that I am not as calm and as peaceful as 10 years ago. With the increase of age, and increase of responsibility, it is harder and harder to sit down at the desk, and write something. Email flys in; mobile rings; Weibo checking; Yifan calls…. More importantly, within my mind, thousands of things flying to different directions. I heard something  this morning: with the increase of age, especially after 35, there are too many distraction that few can stay calm and concentrated. It needs a lot meditation and understanding of what is important than the younger time. I believe I may entered another stage of life after 10 years of blogging. Look at the frequency, topic, and depth of the blog entries I wrote in the last three years, and I can clearly see the path of the declination in frequency, decrease in interestingness, and decrease in depth. I am full aware of it, and I know it is the competition of attention for me. The competition just get stronger when I am connected to more, and it is the time to cut something from my life.

Look at the simple life of Yifan, and I know days are long for him. There are a lot I can learn from Yifan – to keep focused and keep doing the important things.

That will be the word for my next 10 years of blogging.

 

IP Only

I created my first plugin when I created my CEO Blog. The problem is obvious: I am going to have a CEO blog where I can share my thoughts with the team frequently. I tried to write a different blog, and I found it is just impossible to maintain two. So I decided to put it on to my own personal blog.

Although most of the articles are public in nature, I do have something that I hope to disclose to the general public later. I don’t want to have complicated OAuth based verification. A simple IP based restriction is good enough. There is no simple solution so I wrote one myself.

Here is the ZIP of the plugin: http://home.wangjianshuo.com/wordpresscn/wp-content/plugins/iponly/iponly.zip

You can download it, modify it, and do whatever you want. There are many hard code in the system – I never blame developers for doing dirty hacks when the time is limited, but we do need to polish it from time to time.

I promise to add all the hard code to options, and create an admin panel for it, in the next version.

 

I Won’t Drive to Hangzhou Again

I am back from Hangzhou, and I would say, I will never drive to Hangzhou again.

Hangzhou is only 45 minutes away via high-speed rail, and the transportation to and back the railway station is so simple for me, and the only bottle neck is to get to hotel from the Hangzhou railway station. It takes for ever to build the metro in Hangzhou. Despite that, I should enjoy the relaxed time in Hangzhou via taxi, or local cars, not driving. I am very tired after the long trip.

 

Language Matters

For some reason, I enjoy learning languages, no matter it is the language of daily life sense, or computer sense.

I can read and write in:

  1. Chinese
  2. English
  3. C/C++
  4. Java (a little bit)
  5. JavaScript (Not to compare it with Hax)
  6. PHP
  7. ASP/VB/VBScript
  8. C#
  9. Propositional Logic
  10. Mathematics

I am looking forward to learn more. Some language I started a little bit (but I put some serious effort behind) are:

  1. Italian
  2. German
  3. Python
  4. Perl
  5. Lisp
  6. Objective C
  7. Japanese

I found how hard it is to maintain two blogs at the same time, one in English, and the other in Chinese. I found I tend to write in Chinese for long enough before switching to English, and vice versa. It is the same in programing languages. To switch from PHP to Python really took me some time these days.

Language is an expression of thoughts. But it cannot be separated from thoughts. I realized when I think of issues in startup, and technology world, I tend to use English in my mind, and when I think of feelings, mathematics, and local matters, of cause my preferred language is Chinese. When I write anything related with web, PHP is still by far the most natural choice for me, but for algorithm, I still prefer C (not even C++). I never liked Java. Never.

Because I swing between languages in daily life, I started to observe the impact of language on my thoughts. Some very long sentences can be easily constructed in English, but not in Chinese. But the spirit of many things can be so concise and precious in Chinese. I just like to use them interchangeably. I also use many English word in my Chinese, just like HTML inside PHP. Because there are many definition and history origins for certain word. For example, Hacker is a well defined world in startup world in English (I mean startup world, and the word hacker sounds scary for normal people who speaks English), but the 黑客 does not translate. I have to stick to that word, even in Chinese.

I hope I can continue to learn more language (Did I mention that I got 900 in the entrance exam for universities in 1995? The score range from 100 to 900). I learn

(sort (1, 4, 2, 3) #'<)

in LISP, and I feel I am a better CEO today when I talk with Joanna. I said:

A company is a sort function, and you have to decide what the second parameter is.

Maybe only LISP programmers can understand what I am talking about.

Aircraft Spotting at Hongqiao Airport

I am not a professional aircraft spotter, but I am also amazed by the scene of an aircraft roars and lands at airports.

The best place to do it I know is at G318 (at K16+). It is easy to find if you follow the 沪青平 highway and you will be guided by the big noise of the aircrafts.

There are lines of this, and flushing one after another, creating a guiding line toward the runway.

Below are some of the photos I took today. Enjoy the big flying machine!

 

Reading Good Code

I read some code by FriendFeed guys. They are great. The Tornado code is neat. You can take a look here:

https://github.com/facebook/tornado

One of the test I ask my developer is, do you feel comfortable to open source your code. If they do, they are pretty in good shape.

ISO 8601

I am genuinely interested in numbers, and specs. I must be the strange person in other people’s mind, but I am just so excited to see things like numbers. For example:

1. CVC 22651

When travelling in California, I really love the CVC 22651 printed on the TOW AWAY plate, and traced to the following document: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22651.htm

2. ISO 8601

The smart guys want to solve a problem of how to represent date across the world (both west and east and both computer or human). So they invented something like:

2012-08-20T13:09:16+08:00

and they call it ISO 8601 format.

3. RFC 2616

Maybe one of the most important RFC. It uses just 4 digits to express that. If you are curious, it is:

Hypertext Transfer Protocol — HTTP/1.1

http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2616.txt

The RFC has been there for 30 years, so I was pretty shocked to know there did exist an RFC 1: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc0001

4. 200030

This is pretty simple: the post code of the area I am moving around. I love the idea of postal code, but the way it is presented in China is not so up-to-date. The postal code of US seems more interesting, for example, 94301, or Singapore, where they assign a post code for every building.

5. Other random numbers

The more universal numbers are most interesting for me. For example, the ISBN numbers (isbn:0375420827 for the Art of travel), the mobile phone numbers (13916146826 for me), or even PNR.

Why I am so interested in these numbers? I am still puzzled and don’t have an answer. Maybe that is the inborn instinct of an engineer?

Notes of Hiring is Obsolete

Here goes my notes on Hiring is Obsolete.

Wisdom comes from facts. Everything is getting cheaper. (Computer of the same power? Automated services?) Cost of startup should only be people.

(Nerds have better things to do) => (Nerds are unpopular)

 

if( (Undergraduates are Undervalued) == true)

invest(undergradutes());

 

if((Smart people speaks stupid things) == true)

dont_ignore_people_do_stupid_things();

 

value = people_to_user();

compensation = company_estimate();

compensation = average(values);

 

assert(difficulty(valuing work) > 80%);

 

class bigcompany :

def __init__():

protect_mode = on;

 

def product_development() :

while(1):

improve();

release();

 

We really want to spend the money outside the company on marketing (throw the dollars to a anonymous guy you know will do bad seems wiser to give it to the best people in the company. Why?

Founders run engineering directly, and the rest …

The cage is open. There is no limitation. Blogging is possible in 1995, but people don’t write too much until 2001. It just took 6 years for people to realize the cage is open.

The older you are, the most risk you can take.

 

Elastic Search Solved a Problem

{
  "ok" : true,
  "status" : 200,
  "name" : "Gardener",
  "version" : {
    "number" : "0.19.8",
    "snapshot_build" : false
  },
  "tagline" : "You Know, for Search"
}

These lines of response from Elastic Search at http://localhost:9200 seems so nice. I smiled when I saw this response, and I said to my self: “Hack! Those guys at elastic search really solved a problem.

They defined a problem in their statements, and they solved the problem. Doing a lot of things should be easier and easier  – that is the thoughts of typical hacker. Why should I even need to download something to my server to run search? I may further ask the question. I believe some hacker out there will solve this problem.

You know, for Search

So, we build a web site or an application and want to add search to it, and then it hits us: getting search working is hard. We want our search solution to be fast, we want a painless setup and a completely free search schema, we want to be able to index data simply using JSON over HTTP, we want our search server to be always available, we want to be able to start with one machine and scale to hundreds, we want real-time search, we want simple multi-tenancy, and we want a solution that isbuilt for the cloud.

“This should be easier”, we declared, “and cool, bonsai cool”.

elasticsearch aims to solve all these problems and more. It is an Open Source (Apache 2), Distributed, RESTful, Search Engine built on top of Apache Lucene.

Company

Any company started with an observed problem in this world, and people in the company get excited about solving that problem. If they solve that problem, they created something people want, just like those guys created elastic search, which is what I and Xiaopai wanted.

If you create something people want, you are likely to be fine. People will take care of the monetization problems and others easier than creating something people want. I saw a good model in Elastic Search.

Value of Technology

New ways of doing things, like elastic search takes JSON as input and output, and adapted schema free, and NOSQL type of approach is new way to do search, and that works very well for me.

It is the technology that makes this world better (well, among many other great things), and I am happy to be still back to the technology world.

 

Bad Programmer Destroys Wealth

After code review, I understood why people say bad programmers destroy wealth. Their productivity is less than 0, which means they are creating bugs and drag the team to fix it. I consistently saw really bad and buggy code here and there, by one programmer who is not at our company. But the code there is guaranteed to be bad, and buggy. Interestingly, bad programmers are very productive if you measure by lines of code they created. So identify them! Early!