Pretotype – Inspired by Alberto Savoia

Yutong sent me the prototype book by Alberto Savoia. In the first page I saw this quote:

Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn once said: “If you are not embar- rassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

Very nicely said. Thanks Yutong.

Obviously, anything that sounds right must be put into context, and the tough part is, the author often ignore that part, and only tell you the conclusion. Just as the “Little Horse Crossing the River” story, the Ox, and the squirrel told completely different idea but they forgot to tell the horse that the depth of the river was relative to THEIR heights.

Let me put a little context to what Reid Hoffman said.

That means, it has to be 1) very easy to release. 2) very easy to change, 3) free to try out.

You cannot use the philosophy on hardware product (Well, I am still thinking about the iPhone 1.0 case), and you cannot use it on something too expensive to try. Image you asked your user to buy a $1000 product that is really not ready, and you expect the customers to buy it again few months later. (Well, iPhone 1.0 case?)

I am still thinking about the other context Reid Hoffman didn’t tell in the simple sentence.

Here is the link:

Video Like:



There is a section in the book The Consolations of Phylosiphy covering the topic of Epicureanism. May spend some time to understand it.

We setup Sonos system at home. Good speaker with an iPhone type of system in it.

And Wendy fell in love with the new Kindle.


Long Long Road Ahead – G40

G40 is the code for Shanghai – Shaanxi National Expressway. It starts from Shanghai and run about 1500 km and goes from about 31.23°N, 121.5°E to 34.27°N, 108.9°E. That is almost one time zone difference (15 degree).

It is pretty handy to get back to Wendy’s home town Nanyang from Shanghai. Along the way, we started from G42 and went across G15 and G2 in Shanghai, G25 and G3 in Nanjing, G35 in the middle of no where and G45 near east of Xinyang, G4 at Xinyang and finally G55 in Nanyang. That is basically the traverse of the China National Highway System.

This shows the benefit of consistent naming convention. You just need to follow on route to get to somewhere far away. Just keep driving and driving.

It also replace the original G312, just as I-40 replaced US66, the story Cars was telling. We have the same feeling. The exit to G313 was everywhere along the road. G312 goes right across the towns while G40 just bypass them.

Why We Like Hotels

We finally arrived at hotel at Nanjing, after 7 hours of driving. “We love hotels” Wendy and I agreed, not to mention our little hotel lover, Yifan. He just started to run around and play with all kinds of things.

Here is the question: why we love hotels?

It is empty. There are drawers but nothing in it. There are enumertable number of items even in the washroom: soap, shampoo, lotion, tooth brush. There are desks, but basically nothing is readable on it. There are TV – yes. If they remove the TV, it can bring more sense of emptiness.

Emptiness brings peace in mind. There are so little options and you put all the pressure above a solid umbrella: I am travelling and I cannot do things. I am at hotel!

The emptiness, to an extend of boredom and loneliness is a perfect emotional status for our busy life.

Besides emptiness, it also provide cleanness. Even the most picky full time housewife cannot create the cleanness comparable to hotels. The towels are always folded as a flower and the cups are always covered with a nice while paper cover. Everything is in order – at least at the moment when you step into the room.

Understanding the reason, we actually have the hope to recreate the experience somewhere and some time in the other part of our lives.

PS: one problem – a mobile or iPad will completely destroy the wonderful status.