Last Day of Feb

The last day of Feb. Here is the status of my life.

  • I am reading “The Search” by John Battelle. Thanks Xiaofeng for sharing the book with me. I have already covered the classic history of
  • I have another small book written by Robin Lee (Li Yan Hong), CEO of, back in 1999. At that time, Robin didn’t start Baidu yet. The preface of the book was Charles Zhang (Zhang Chao Yang), currently the CEO of There was very limited copy for that book. Hengge (boss of borrowed the book from me. This Monday, Larry Zou (CEO of got the book from Hengge and start to read it – the journey of a small booklet.
  • It is cold and raining. I hate the weather like this.
  • Published an article on Fashion Travel (Chinese version National Geographic) with my silly big face and mvm‘s
  • Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Kijiji. One year was not easy. There are too much moments in the 365 days. We will celebrate the event with a two-day training session.
  • was announced and attracted much buzz. That is the latest movement of decentralization of ecommerce on the Internet.
  • I am now a big fan of My Own Swordsman (武林外传). It is so funny – a TV play like Friends or Sex and City, but happened in ancient China.
  • Recently my productivity increased a lot, but also consuming too much brainpower, and I feel very tired recently.
  • Wendy is back from Seattle. I am happy about that.

Culture Differences – Part II

I went to a church in Pudong with in-laws this Sunday morning. I am not a Christian, but I found the religion service beneficial for me. It helped me to understand the life better, and also on cultural difference.

The pastor talked about difference between Chinese and Israel cultural. As put it by the minister of Israel, culture in Israel is all around the relationship between people and the God; in China, it is all about the relationship among people.

This echos the observation of “Deal-oriented v.s. Relationship-oriented” difference. It is too complicated a topic to discuss in blog, so let me spend time in ancient Chinese books like Tao (Dao).

Mashup Pictures

On March 17, there is an invitation only event called “Mashup China” in Nanjing (again, Mao, Isaac, 6e, Owen, me, etc) along with the Search Engine Strategy summit there. To prepare for the format of the small 7-person (may be 17?) event, I am looking at the pictures of Mashup Camp.

Image from Flickr, in courtesy of chachra

From the question, my question is, why there are so many guys from Microsoft attending the event? I saw the familiar black Microsoft ribbon.

The other event appeared in the Idea Factory China mail list is Carson Workshop

Cultural Differences Between China and America

The comment of mcgjcn mentioned a name R. R. Gesteland. I research the name in Google and found some interesting resources on cultural differences (like this, and this). In all the works, Norihiko Shimizu’s paper “Today’s Taboos may be gone tomorrow“, Tokyo Business, February 1995, p.51. is a very frequently quoted materials in all MBA courses on International Marketing, and Cross-culture business. It was comparasion between Japan and American. I found many of the points also applies to China.

Cultural Difference between Japanese and American Individual



A Culture of self-expression


A Culture of Self restrain

Clear expression of Joy and sorrow Ambiguous of joy and sorrow
Unequivocal expression of “Yes/No”. Equivocal expression of “Yes/No”.

Strong Personality Weak Personality
Priority of self-interest Priority of harmony with others

Source: Norihiko Shimizu’s paper “Today’s Taboos may be gone tomorrow“, Tokyo Business, February 1995, p.51.

Cultural Differences between Japanese and American Business

American Business Japanese Business
Game concept: Business is a game in pursuit of profits under the rules of laws and contracts Mutual trust-oriented business: business is based on trusting relationship among people rather than the rules of game
Efficiency-oriented and approximate accuracy simplicity, clarity, and quickness Highly precision-oriented and perfectionism-high dependency on human awareness
Easy layoffs, dismissals of employees, and selling of businesses Job security
Low mutual dependence between employers and employees High mutual dependence between employers and employees
Heavy dependence on machinery and technology, vs. Light dependence on human resources Heavy dependence on human resources

This comparision answered many of my questions on effeciency v.s. diversity, why the way of doing business is so different cross the two continents.

P.S. Isaac shared Flickr photos with tag Einstein with Idea Factory China. It is so interesting – I am amazed more that how people follows the rule so well.

Diversity, Consistency, and Efficiency – Part II

After the entry Diversity, Consistency, and Efficiency, many readers posted so great comments that I cannot help quoting it. (Quoting in full text is rare on this blog.)

Roger Chan commented:

Good points in your article above. Some other important factors I’d mention, to nurture the growth of companies like Google in Chinese cities:

1. Transparency, transparency, transparency. You *absolutely must* have transparency for a company to be successful and to attract wide-scale investment, that is, transparency in the management, transparency in the financial records, transparency in both successes and errors. Without transparency, investors will not trust your company and it will fail. This is why there must be intolerance for corruption in the Chinese companies and the government– this damages transparency and leads to mistrust by investors.

2. Innovation by the company with R&D. Research and development, translated into products, is the cornerstone of success in places like the USA’s Silicon Valley. This applies both to new products, as well as to Chinese cultural exports (such as films)– to reach the “big leagues,” you have to innovate your own products and come up with your own ideas, not copy those of others. As all the cheap knock-offs of Hollywood films in Hong Kong and Shanghai indicate, many smart Chinese people still spend too much time copying the ideas and culture of others, rather than innovating their own.

3. A more solid banking sector and stock market. Many other people have talked about this, but China’s banking sector does need reforms, and banks have to be smarter about their loans and avoid bad loans.

4. More partnerships between universities and companies to do the most innovative scientific and engineering work. I know that Chinese companies and university laboratories can be incredibly innovative– I’ve read Chinese scientific journals before (I can read the characters), and the work in there is as good or better than universities in the US. You need to increase the volume and output of this scientific work and increase the collaboration of university and corporate laboratories. To do this, increase both the number of trained scientists and the specialized journals in which they publish their ideas. Then encourage them to work together.

5. When you start up new scientific and engineering journals in China, the journals should be *in Chinese*, your native language. I heard an idea a while ago to start up a bunch of English-language journals in China, but this would be a total waste of time– it’s very difficult to write a scientific paper in a foreign tongue even if you’re very good at it, and 10 times faster to write a paper in your native language. For example, the Japanese started up a bunch of English-language journals in the early 1990s, but the editors and paper authors wound up wasting years of delay *even after the labs had finished their projects*, trying to nitpick the English composition while their competitors just published in their native Japanese (with the best papers being translated into other languages anyway). Your scientists would be wasting precious time mastering the fine points of English composition when they should be focusing on publishing their ideas in their native language. You have that luxury since you have 1.4 billion people and soon the most scientists and engineers in the world. It may be useful to have online versions of the journals in both the Chinese characters and in Romanized pinyin, which can help many non-Chinese read them; it’s easy to interconvert between them, a simple computer program can convert the characters to pinyin. (Millions of non-Chinese, including Europeans and Americans, can read pinyin well even as they’re still learning the characters.) As a bonus, millions of Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Singaporean, and even some Western and other scientists would soon publish their papers in the Chinese journals (since the Chinese characters and the language are extensively studied throughout East Asia). But the journals should be in Chinese to encourage efficient publication and communication. I emphasize this especially.

6. Strengthen your patents, trademarks, and copyrights system. This is very important– the countries with the most innovation and most successful companies (like Google) also have the most robust patent and trademarks systems, since this ensures that people are rewarded *financially* for their ideas. You have to have that sort of economic incentive to convince people to put in the hard work that creates a company like Google and makes it an economic enterprise. You have to reward them and also protect them from others who would just copy their ideas. China’s intellectual property laws are still too weak– you need to make them stronger.

7. Finally, stop buying up so many US Treasury bills, and instead focus all your surplus dollars from trade into development and infrastructure at home. Companies like Google, Hewlett-Packard and Dell require reliable roads and telephone lines to do business, which requires infrastructure investment by the local, state and federal governments in the USA. You in China earn many dollars from your trade with the US, but then you waste your profits by buying up US T-bills, on which you lose money as the US dollar falls. So, you are essentially giving away your hard labor and your products to the US for free! You should instead use your profits from exports to the US, to build up your own infrastructure and focus on development in China. This will make you a mature economy and able to start companies like Google, Microsoft and IBM. As long as you continue to send Chinese export profits (and savings) to the US in those T-bill purchases, China will continue to be a third-world country (and the US will try to impose tariffs on you as well). Instead, use your profits to build yourselves up at home. In the process, just allow the RMB currency to rise, *gradually*. A rapid renminbi rise would be dangerous, as it was for the yen in Japan in 1990. Instead, just gradually reduce your US T-bill purchases and diversify into buying Euros and yen so that the RMB gradually rises, then use your excess dollars (and other export currency profits) to invest in infrastructure at home and purchase of strategic resources. To have big and successful companies, you need to be focus more of your export profits at home.

mcgjcn added:

R. R. Gesteland said “One group of the world’s societies worships the clock and venerates their Filofaxes. The other group is more relaxed about time and scheduling, focusing instead on the people around them.”

U.S. as Rigid Time society value schedule and discipline… may lack of flexibility.

China as Fluid Time society value flexibility… may lack of efficiency/consistency.

Globalization is causing culture mix, but it takes time.

Just continue to add some points (again, random thoughts)

  • Consistency produces efficiency; efficiency produces quality. As Martin put it, quality, by nature, is consistency.
  • I cannot comment on whether efficiency (or in other word, lower cost) and quality (in other word, consistency) are two major competitive factors on global market. It is especially so with WTO (World Trade Organization), and free trading zones. We don’t know whether cost/quality combination will still work after 100 years, but at least, it is the current worldwide standard.
  • Whether the standard of the world will change from value/money/business driven to other fact driven? I have no idea and don’t see any sign yet.
  • China’s diversity has deep historical and culture reasons. Just as Gesteland put it, focusing on people instead of worship time/schedule is key China culture element.
  • Efficiency of thinking can be archived by mathematics. The quantitative thinking in western culture tend to convert all problems to number problems (from modern economics, to chemical, to (the extreme extend) computer). It is another effort to drive the common essence among different stuff, while in China, people keeps diversity as it is.
  • China will change, but very slowly. The world is also changing
  • Dennis Waitley said: “The only danger raised with adversity, mistaking the mistakes to yourself.” It is very true in current China – the economy problems do not 100% due to the current system/culture. Don’t mistake the mistakes.
  • Many business in China are flexible, but not consistent.
  • In the Business of Zhending Chicken case, it full respect diversity of users, but lose efficiency.
  • To survive in China, people from foreign countries need to put aside of criticism options, and learn the philosophy used here. To keep one’s finger crossed and pray for the change of China is not realised in short time
  • People power is one of the key weapon to fight against diversity.
  • By default, employees are different with each other. They are diversified and can handle diversified questions they face everyday. People don’t like well trained customer service representatives with U.S. standard, because lack of the human element. “Human element” is diversity (in particular, pleasant surprises). It is removed for consistency. However, this is exactly what customers in China expect – they always expect pleasant exceptions (the enemy of consistency).
  • Diversity is the reason of low efficiency.
  • People need to accept lower efficiency does not mean failure in China. Highest efficiency does not always mean success, especially in those industries requiring people-to-people interaction.
  • According to the book The Botany of Desire, a plant’s-eye view of the world, diversity is grand rule of the nature. Human’s effort to drive consistency will eventually fail (after several centuries). Single-type tomato in South Ireland has called half of the popular starving to death when one type of plant cannot resist a new virus. It may be true for huge international companies.
  • Conflict of culture (flexibility v.s. consistency, strategy v.s. ad-hoc, people v.s. system) will be ultimate question in the process of any internationalisation process.

Feel free to post the content or link to other forums, since I am really interested in this topic. Deep dig into the topic is worthwhile, since it helps to answer lots of questions people in both continents have.

Diversity, Consistency, and Efficiency

I have some point-of-views for diversity, consistency, efficiency, and the difference between China and U.S. It is just some random thought, without any systematic thinking…

  • When a company just went IPO (like Google), internationalization is the only way to keep up with the fast pace of Wall Street.
  • Internationalization is hard. It is harder than one can imagine.
  • In U.S., consistency across all the states, and across all the business, and people have been established. Consistency is the key to efficiency. Only when people can handle all the request in the same or very similar way, they can be efficient.
  • China is a diversified country. Difference between geographic locations, businesses is obvious.
  • No surprise when we see several people can run a huge business, because the shipping, payment, law, etc are pretty consistent. In China, the challenge is, there are so many banks that have different interfaces. The same bank has different system in each region. The business process varies greatly from company to company… etc.
  • I won’t say consistency is the only right way. Diversity is the essential part of the nature. The nature is diversity. Although the human effort to force consistency in recent several hundreds year worked, it may eventually fail.
  • Currently, at least in this century, the economy is designed that only the country with highest efficiency win. That is the biggest challenge for the process of globalization.
  • With WTO, China is unconvertible moving to be part of the global world. So it is critical for people in China to start to learn the international rules.
  • For people doing business in China, it is also critical to understand the difference, get insight about the culture. It does not make sense to complain the rule is not the same as other regions. This rule has been there for thousands of years.

Related: 20 Years of Professional Managers in China

ifuleuiycfi – I Really Admire You, Spammers

Recently, the admin tool of this site is very slow. I didn’t pay enough attention until it takes about several minutes to load a page in MovableType admin. I found out it was because of the comment spams.

The log shows I am almost 1000 junk comments every day. In the peak time (6:00 – 8:00 AM), there are more than 10 comment requests in every single minute.

MovableType have great anti-spam features. It blocked all of them, but it requires a lot of resources to handle that. The result is, the server is slower and slower. Lunarpages, the hosting company ever emailed me complaining my MT installation sometimes consumes about 40% of one CPU, out of 4 CPU they have for the server.

It seems to be a serious issue.

Changed the Script Name

I guess the spammers may try to post to the default installation of all the MT based blogs: /cgi-bin/mt/mt.cgi. I decided to change the default script name from mt-comments.cgi to something new. I choose the name of the script to a random name.


Then changed the configuration so it is now the new comment script. The name ifuleuiycfi of the scripts reads:

I Fu Le U If You Can Find It.

Fu Le means admire in Chinese

Spams Comes After Me

To be honest with you, I don’t think they will check the page for comment scripts before posting spams.

I was wrong, deadly wrong. Within one minute, a new comment spam appeared, using the new comment script. I did a rename, so the previous comment script does not exist already.


New spams keep coming. I’d like to say: “I really admire you guys, spammers”.

Since many of the URL ends with .ru, I guess it comes from Russia.

Changed to Javascript Code

The rule I set for anti-spam is, I don’t add additional work to people who comments. Quickly, I wrote a piece of code like this:

<form method=”post” action=””


onsubmit=”if (this.bakecookie.checked) rememberMe(this); s1=’http://home.wangjia’; s2=’‘; s3=’comments-ifuleuiycfi.cgi’; this.action = s1+s2+s3;”>

The form still direct the robots to mt-comments.cgi, which does not exist.

This time, the comment spams went away. I got only one spam in the last few days – obviously, this honest guy posted manually.

From the server log, mt-comments.cgi is really busy. A file not found error does not add as much burden to the server as a real comment.

So way to go, cheers, and jia you, those spam robots!

Review of Selected Demo by TechCrunch

Isaac shared a link to ideasfactorychina mail-list: TechCrunch » A Taste of DEMO 2006. I posted back my review of several demos. According to Michale, “70 companies gather at a hotel in Phoenix, Arizona to compete head on for our attention. $15,000 buys you 5 minutes in front of 700 people, and a chance to make history.” The fact of how expensive the 5 minutes is sounds interesting already.

Review of Selected Demo by TechCrunch

Credit: The demo was quoted from Michael Arrington‘s

Table of Content

Online Storage – Giving a URL to an object

I don’t know exactly how Zingee works. My guess is, it turn the client computer into a server, or use some kind of P2P technology. It is impossible for them to load the files into their web server, since they have don’t limit the size of the file.

The idea is simple. I am more interested in the idea to assign a URL to something that does not really exist on the server (in’s case, a file in users’ computer).

What if someone can assign a URL to physical object? For example, if someone can assign a URL to the lamp on my desk in my read room, I will be happy. Then I can click the URL and turn the lamp on or off. This requires some physical connector to the lamp from an Internet-enabled PC. We don’t have these kinds of device handy yet. So is smart to assign a URL to someone in an Internet connected PC.

Making Books – Combining a Traditional Business with a New Customer Base

In China, there are enough printing companies. In China, there are enough bloggers.

How to match the two can be a big business. The problem is, the entrance barrier is not that high – it is the common problem for many businesses that has huge demand. It is something like restaurant business.

They start with downloading software – a good way to turn visitors into customers. Since it is free to create the book, people will create the book. Since the book is ready, many people will pay to get it printed out.

Kaboodle – the secret of a piece of Javascript


Just as the Javascript code started a completely new world for social book mark, this small application starts with a piece of Javascript and help people to create their own pages.

The time from a standard Yahoo! Homepage to pages like this was greatly reduced with the spread of Google Adsense program. Now developers know, the more content they create, the more revenue they have. The rule of thumb is, the unique visitor number you have per day is the number of RMB you can get from AdSense program per year.

javascript:var _mg56v=’0.2′;



var d=document;var s;try







The site has more than just great idea. They are using AJAX in a very experienced way.

Kosmix – How did they know the categories?

How did they know the types of information they have? I believe they must have combined the vertical knowledge entered by human, and clustering technology.

P.S. Incomplete reported that Demo China will be held in Beijing this Sept.

P.S. Incomplete’s tag line about other resources is interesting:


Image in courtesy of Incomplete. (src)

A Blog is All About a Person

What happened to this blog? Why it is shifting away from its propose – a blog about “Events (in Shanghai) that affect my life (and others’)”? Why there is an entry as short as this one: Productivity Tips – Small Things in Strategic Way? It has nothing to do with Shanghai.

I believe this may be the question in many people’s mind. Let me explain why.

A Blog is All About a Person

I believe a blog is all about a person. It evolves as the person grows up (or old).

The focus of one person many shift along with the time and the responsibility he/she holds.

This year presents much more challenges to me that require me to be more productive than any year I have before. I have to lay out aggressive learning plans to catch up. I am happy that the responsibilities I have and the opportunities I need to catch up are much more than many people at my age. In short, the focus in my personal life shifted a lot.

Tools Shifted with the Owner

Blog is a powerful tool, as you may discover. I decided to use the tool more often to help me organize my knowledge, my activities, and my life. The decision is that I won’t shy away from putting something useful for me on to my PERSONAL blog although it is not about the topic I set at the very beginning.

The focus of the previous three years was on life in Shanghai. In the future, it will not change a lot. The only noticeable change will be, it is more focused on business in Shanghai.

Learning from a Person or from an Expert

Despite of many people’s expectation, I am not an expert in daily life in Shanghai. I am not the right person to tell people where to go out for dinner or buy good stuff (maybe Wendy is). What I did was just to share the little knowledge I know about the city, and it happened to be helpful to others. Just because I was not the expert, many practices are more useful since most of people have the taste of a non-expert. :-)

It is the same when I talk more about personal development, productivity, and business. To observe what one single normal person does in his/her one day may help you to get more information than a comprehensive statistic report from a professional research organization. That is why I think it is still of great value to share at this blog.

When I start to judge whether I should put it into my blog or just keep it as a Word document in my hard disk, I told myself: 1) Don’t treat the blog too seriously. You don’t have to take the responsibility of an editor of a portal or a national wide newspaper. 2) In case it happens to be useful to someone…

P.S. On Productivity

Personally, I found those two articles helped me a lot. I cleaned my mail box within 15 minutes, and give everyone the response they needed. Then I spent time to setup my Email Reference System. It was proven to be very helpful to me. The links happened to come from Microsoft website. I got email challenging me to promote MS product on a personal blog. Well. I proudly put the disclaimer that I was am EXMSFT, maybe the tips only helps those former Microsoft employees? Maybe.. ha-ha.

Update: Febuary 18, 2006

In the morning, I used 30 minutes to process all the back log in my company email folder and my hotmail folder. For the first time in my entire life with Hotmail (since 1996), my inbox of hotmail is empty. Small tips work wonderful for me. Now almost all the inbox in my email account (except Gmail one) is empty now. Good.

P.S. 2. Shanghai Snows

It snowed heavily from 10:00 to 12:30 in the morning. No wonder why recently Shanghai is so cold. It is preparing for the snow. I love snowing, but there is no way for Shanghai to have the snowy scene in Beijing or even in north China like Luoyang.

It is good. Good! Good!

Business of Zhending Chicken

This noon, we went to our favorite restaurant Zhengding Chicken (振鼎鸡) for lunch. It is famous for its chicken. It is a successful business, just like KFC for fried chicken.

Zhending Chicken meets the need of local market precisely, because people are very sensitive about cost and the value. They have some rules in their restaurant I feel strange.

Close The Business at Rush Hours

I remember the store at Tianlin closes at 6:00 PM. Many times we rushed to the store only to find out the store is closed. A server stands at the door and politely tell us: All chicken sold out.

It is the very few restaurant that I would keep my finger crossed on the way to there, hoping I can get permission to enter the store, for chickens.

Cold Coke or Not?

The price for cold coke and normal temperature coke are different. You have to pay 0.2 RMB more for the coke to be cold.

People clearly see the value that the coke is sold at a very low margin, that they cannot aford to pay for the refragerator to cold it.

Take out or sit in

The price for the chicken are cheaper if you take out. It is quite reasonable in Shanghai.

Estimated Price Only

When you order, say, one chicken, the server will charge you based on their estimation. The precise amount will come only after they choosed the chicken, weight it and calculated based on the weight.

Devils are in Details

Everything in Zhending Chicken pointed to the cost-saving direction. It is very cheap to have lunch in their restaurants compared to many local chicken stores. This is quite unique. I believe to do business in China, when we study MBA programs, we need to learn more from the practical local restaurants on how they control their cost and strike for operational excellency.

P.S. Long Google Search String

Today, I found someone reached my website using this long Google search string. I Fule U.

(intitle:blog | inurl:blog) unix | linux system=administrator | systems=administrator | system=administration | systems=administration network | networking | network=engineer -~jobs -~papers

20 Years of Professional Managers in China

The latest issue of Shanghai Managers featured “20 Years of Professional Managers” in Shanghai. The topic is good since the phenomenon of “20 year professional managers” is unique in China, and it involves many people just around us. The people and their stories told in the report are just like “manager sitting in the next cubicle” (just created this phase after “girl living next door”).

Professional Manager is Still Rare in China

The growth of the country’s economy benefits greatly from the abundance of labor (which many countries are lack of), and the huge talent pool, but it is not that abundant when we talk abou experienced professional managers.

If you look at the heads of multinational companies, you will find many of them are managers from Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore, for example, the management team in Microsoft, in Motorola, and eBay (as far as I know). There are not so many native professional managers if you consider the big base.

How come?

20 Years!

As stated in one article in this issue of Shanghai Managers, FESCO (Foreign Enterprise Services Co.) started the history of foreign enterprises in Shanghai.

This is very true.

When I worked for Microsoft, as all my colleagues in Shanghai, I was actually an employee of FESCO and dispatched to Microsoft. It is same for me now.

FESCO was setup just to help foreign companies to overcome the human resources barrier and many difficulties old system presented to a modern company. It was the only organization to select, hire, train and dispatch employees to the multinational companies. They did much more than that, like keeping the Dangan for its employees. Now it is not the only one, but still the most important one.

FESCO was setup in the year 1984 – 22 years ago. The first round of foreign companies entered China around that year. I remember HP, as one of the first big foreign enterprises in Shanghai, just celebrated their 20 years in China last year. I believe most foreign companies have presence in China (or re-entered China market) within the last 20 years.

The report described how difficult it was to find someone who can speak a foreign language, (more importantly) is willing to give up their state-owned enterprise secured job and join a foreign company. These employees are under management of a special police station. The station has two chief to ensure safety. The FESCO provide months of training to the employees to teach them how to use Fax machine and how to dress up.

It is unbelievable in nowadays, but it is so reasonable in 1984 when China just opened up after closed for half centaury. Thanks for the editors to refresh that piece of history for us.

Now, many of the employees in 1980’s grew up and become experienced managers. But the problem is, there are not enough senior people there, and those experienced managers are not senior enough to manage multi-national businesses.

Talents from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore

The last Hong Kong trip impressed me a lot. I saw how experienced managers in the International economy world are. As the generation of senior managers in China grew up to learn English (Oral English), learn those terms so new to them, and how to work in an intentional company, managers in other Chinese worlds like TW, HK and SG moved forward in faster pace. When first round of employees just became managers, people in other regions may have started to be exposed to international business that span across Asia region or global geography.

When businesses grow big enough and the management team is looking for a senior executive, when thousands of CEO positions are opened to the market, there are just not enough local executives filling into the pool. It is nature that candidates from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore stand out.

They have both insight about Chinese culture and business rules, and international experiences. They are fluent in both Chinese and English. They are in their 40’s to 60’s with enough experiences. The conclusion is, they are the ideal candidates.

How about the Next 20 Years?

20 Years Anniversary of Professional Manager in Shanghai (and in China) is a great milestone. I personally feel very excited to see how big the change it is in the last 20 years. When China moves to the next decades or two, when younger professional managers like my peers in Microsoft and eBay grow more senior and become more experienced, I believe there will be enough candidates to compete in the global market as a business leader.

The market needs more people who can speak both languages – not only Chinese and English, but also the local business language and the international business language. China can be a stronger country with all these small contribution of new generation of stronger professional managers.

Productivity Tips – 5 Wrong Beliefs

I found this tip from Microsoft website very useful for me.

5 Beliefs that Limit Productivity – And How to Overcome Them

1. There’s Too Much Information Coming at Me Too Fast

2. I Have to Keep Everything

3. Organization Cramps My Freedom and Creativity

4. There’s Not Enough Time in the Day!

5. It Takes Too Much Time to Get Productive

The answers are:

1. The volume of information is not an issue. The way we process it is.

2. By removing 85% of unused documents, you feel lighter, and easier.

3. Organizing helps you to have a big block of time to do creative things.

4. Time is not the issue. Decide what to do (and more importantly what not to do) with the given time is the issue.

5. We can save much more time than the time we spend to learn to be productive.

Also, to put my commitment into the task list is a great way to keep my commitment, which is a key area to work on.

I forwarded the page to my friends I know who is also working hard to improve the productivity.

P.S. Anyone has any idea of a new tab-browser named: Sleipnir 2.3? It seems to be popular in Japan. True?

Found a Piece of Old Video

At night, chatted about my previous years, and I was amazed by how far I have gone through during the last few years. There are many moving moment when I lost my way, when I got excited, and when I fall into the lowest side of my life. It is an interesting story.

Getting back to office, I found a piece of video I recorded before – 5 years ago. I believe at that time, I was working for eCommerce team in Microsoft.

Download file (60K in size)

Also found out a picture taken on May 20, 2002. How fast the time passes! It is already 3.5 years. This was in the middle a product.


Jian Shuo Wang at Asia Community

And this:


At product RTM (Release To Manufacture date

This was taken at May 31, 2004. This was the end of another product.

Yesteday, Xiaowen (the girl on the picture) dropped an email to us for the Yuanxiao Festival. It reminded us that it was already one and half years since this picture was taken… To many friends, we make plans that we must gather once every one year. For some, we even set to meet once every several years. It sounds ridiculous when we make commitment for so long a period of time, but time always runs much faster than we can imagine.

When I thought of some other old friend, I surprised myself: “What? We haven’t seen each other for a decade already!”

Tulip Wakes Up in my Garden

When I put the 17 tulip roots into the soil of my garden, and let “Tulip Sleeps in my Garden” on Nov 9, 2005, to be honest, I never really believed that they will come out. I have never plant Tulip before, and the soil in my garden is not good – I didn’t change the soil, so it is still not different from that on the construction site. Here is what I wrote on Nov 9, 2005.

I think Nov is just the right time to plant Tulip. We went to the flower and plants market at the Long Yang Road Metro Station (just about 200 meters south of the station), and got some roots of Tulip. I carefully put them into the soil and keep my finger crossed for good luck of the Tulips.

Hopefully, next Feb, they will grow up and have followers. I hope to share the picture of the Tulips in my garden about 4 months later.

To plant something is a pleasant experience. It brings me closer to the nature, and it helps me to learn planning better. Everything is going on so quickly, and becoming quicker and quicker, thus gives us the wrong image that we can speed up a lot of things. Plants and flowers are there to remind us silently, and gracefully that there are many things that you must be patient about. If I want nice flower next spring, I have to plant it now. If I want to get good business or personal life result, I need to plant now.

Guess what happened? Today, when Wendy’s friends visited us and I showed the Tulip site, pointed to the soil and repeated the story that I don’t really believe: “Hopefully, they will come out some time this month…”, I suddenly found something different there.

What a magic: they REALLY come out of soil!

See the pictures:







Privacy of Blogging

Yesterday night, we discussed about what to blog and what not to.

I found many bloggers treat blog as a private diary and wrote something that they will never tell anybody into the blog. I don’t think it is a good approach.

Blogging is NOT a private diary. Here are some suggestions on blogging:

1. Treat blog as a TOOL. Don’t do something you won’t do because of the tool, and don’t stop doing something you have already be doing because of blog.

2. Blog has to be useful. Useful blog for someone himself/herself may not be helpful to others. It is very common and I encourage people to blog even if it is not so helpful to others if it is helpful to himself. To be helpful to others may not always be helpful to himself. It is also common. In both cases, blogging has some value. If you found it neither helpful to yourself, nor helpful to others, it means the blog doesn’t have too much value, and I recommend you to give up and stop wasting time.

3. Blogging just for blogging? It is good to try new things by starting a blog. It is good. But if you don’t feel it fits your need in some way, the solution is simple: quit blogging, although it may seems cool, hip, fashionable for others.

4. Protect other’s privacy. Privacy is defined (by some source) as the right of not to be known. People can choose whatever he/she want to write about his/her own life, but don’t involve other people’s life. The rule of thumb I use is, ask for permission if you reveals the information for other persons. To tell people what you eat for last dinner is no problem – you can share whatever about yourself, but to share what the other person ate last night seems violating this person’s privacy.

BTW, exposing too much private life without any meaningful impact also does not make too much sense. Just my 2 cents on blogging.

P.S. Technical changes

I hate to fix technical problems now, but I spent about one hour to fulfill my commitment to my friends by fixing the problems they faced. I hosted blogs for other people, including mvm, my Chinese site, claire, elfe, and wendy. Due to the server move, I only successfully moved my Chinese site and mvm to and have to leave claire, elfe, and wendy on the old server. So to keep the URL unchanged, I did the following:

Under their folder at, upload file as blow:




RewriteEngine On

RewriteRule (^.*) mirror.php

name: mirror.php





$entryfile = $_SERVER[‘REQUEST_URI’];

$file = fopen (“$BLOG_MAIN_SITE$entryfile”, “r”);

if (!$file) {

echo “

Unable to open remote file.\n”;



while (!feof ($file)) {

$line = fgets ($file, 1024);

echo $line;




Job is done.

Meetup: MBA or Not, that is a Question

Afternoon, attended another group discussion: Shanghai IT Club.


Time: 2:00 – 4:00 PM

Venue: Old Library, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Topic: MBA 1.0 v.s. MBA 2.0


  • Flex
  • Kejin
  • Charles
  • Austin
  • Liangming
  • Huijian
  • Lijun
  • Laohua (host)
  • Yale
  • Run Liu
  • Li Jian
  • Jian Shuo Wang

    It is a biweekly gather that many ex-microsoft collegues gathers and exchange ideas.

    Below are some random note for the discussion.

    Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business

    MBA 1.5 year term

    Flex think very highly of Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business and rated CEIBS (China European International Business School).

    Link: MBA 2000 report from CKGSB

    Why MBA?

    Reason: Want to remove fear for unknown – want to get insight about how business runs.

    Funny Answer: “The more you know, the more fear you have.”

    Links: State of Fear.

    Reason: Many go to MBA to seek for some changes.

    Funny Answer: Uncertainty of the impact of MBA program – it is not prooved.

    Yale: What is happening around is us can be very classic MBA case study. So to treasure what we can access instead of going to MBA to check other company’s MBA.

    Shanghai Jiao Tong MBA

    Tuition: 70,000 RMB

    Duration: 2.5 year

    Time: 20 Hour per week

    Think very bad of the program – invested money and invest time but didn’t get that much from the program.

    Fengshui V.S. Financial Knowledge

  • Why not study Fengshui instead of Financial knowledge?

    On Fengshui: It seems people in Hong Kong, Taiwan trust in Fengshui more than people in mainland.

    Now I started to believe some pricinciple of Fengshui. It may be a science of usability + psychology that works very good for the land of China.

    “MBA enable me to have a common language with other business leaders” – Steven

    Street Smart v.s. Book Smart

    How useful is Knowledge:

    Daily life only requires primary school level of Chinese, and middle-school level of mathematics. Most actitivies can be handled by +-*/, not square root…

    Some argues: Management is not a science. It is an art.

    Some argues: Management can be a science.

    Simplification can be a great way to create a science. But simplication process requires a lot of conditions to be true for the process to work.

    Fudan MBA

    Students are weak groups in contrast with professors and the school.

    The school is only in charge of charging money, and the professor only looks for delivering the hours.

    MBA and EMBA now become very profitable business in China – Fudan and SJTU have very successful business. It seems to me that CKGSB (Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business) is treating MBA and EMBA programs very seriously by investing into every student. There is no profit for CKGSB…

    Disclaimer: This is just a meeting note that records the discussion and debat. I hope it does not start a controversal thread here. Take all the information as it is. No garentees of accuracy at all.

  • Meetup: Future Idea Foundry

    I am at the Future Idea Foundry at the Starbucks of Zhong Shan Park Station of Metro Line #2.

    – Sunny Sunday.

    – Starting from 10:00 AM.

    – Futurists gather to share ideas in Shanghai on regular bases.

    – Participants are limited under 7.


  • Isaac Mao
  • Michael Li
  • Zheng Xiaoyun
  • Jack Gu
  • Jian Shuo
  • Sun Yizhong
  • Bruce Wang
  • Sayonly


    3D Engine from – based on Firefox engine.

    # it is can be a very interesting idea to install an extension to Firefox to revert the homepage of and display it in a completely new way.

    On watching TV on Mobile phone – Early Adopting Geeks

    People get excited about the posibility of watching TV on mobile, but people will only enjoy watching TV when the screen is big enough, the speed is fast enough and fee is cheap enough. This is called Enjoy Doing or Being Able to Do.

    Mobile Internet – UA profile

    The current mobile instructure only allow mobile to connect to China Mobile or China Unicom gateway, and China Mobile has removed User-Agent header from the request. The result is, no SP (Service Provider) is aware of which equipment the user is using, wheather they accept WML or WAP… It is the starting point of a closed mobile internet in China. The workaround for it is to use client software to send the information back to server in other header, or directly embed it into the URL request.

    Links: Opera Mini, UCWeb, Opera Mini for Nokia 6670

    I just installed Opera Mini, but it does not work now. So I need to configure a little bit later. ERROR: You do not have a working network connection. Please visit with your desktop browser for instructios (error: 3.0.10:80)

    FON The funniest thing is, they have two types of people: selfish type and un-selfish time. The selfish type is called Microsoftie in their community. Oh my God!

    Mobile Social Network – Dodgeball

    Location based services – location based classified that allow users to post their location via SMS (check-in), and their friends/friends and friends are nearby. They were just bought by Google.

    Links: Dodgeball, Netomat.

    Social Filtering

    Editor filtering v.s. Social Filtering.


    1. User contribution

    2. Web 2.0 aim to kill middle man

    Middleman is killed, but the functions of middleman must be provided, but in a social way.

    Slashdot is a great social filtering example.

    Pandora – vertical industry search is more valuable

    Pandora – “Can you help me discover more music that I’ll like?”

    They created a engine to continously provide music and based on your own continous feedbacks, combined with other’s feedback.

    For example, Google is more focused on horizontal search, while industry based vertical search, such as source code search.

    Chinese Vertical = book review.

    Book review =

    Movie = = Movie

    More links

    The above meme was transmitted by


    Complex system -> Preferencial selection.