Why? Visa from Guangzhou

I renewed my visa to the USA. When I got my visa, it prints:

Issuing Post Name: Guangzhou

That comes with a small incident during the submission. When I filled my DS-160 form, I naturally put Shanghai as the application city, but the form was rejected after we sent the passport along with the application. I was instructed to change the port from Shanghai to Guangzhou. No reason was given.

Well. Fine. As along as I can get my visa done, I don’t really care about it, although I feel that US Embassy may owe me an explanation of why. In a sense of justice, actually they don’t owe me anything, but as a customer, or “whomever concerned”, I am curious enough to feel certain that they owe it.

A Company’s Service

I am trying to understand the rules and service Baixing provides to our customers. There are so many things like this strange port stuff here. There are many rules that the end users don’t understand at all, but we don’t offer an explanation. Users may be very frustrated because of that. Yes. They have what they want done, but they are not satisfied, maybe just because curiosity, not to mention many who cannot have their things done.

We should not only do our business, but to face the “why”s in people’s mind and help to answer it. We owe it.

Baixing Office Pictures in May 2012

At weekend, I am staying in the office of Baixing.com and took some photos of the empty workspace. After moving to this building (Haoran High-Tech Building on the campus of Shanghai Jiaotong University) for 5 years and move to the 2nd floor for half years, the office is finally fully opened. We occupied the first half and expanded to the second half recently.  People often ask me what the office look like. Now, let me give you a tour.

This is the new logo wall:

The hall way with few meetings rooms.

Looking from north to south, the main office area.

The drawing of the wall – it is the work of one night.

The photo of the whole company in Vietnam, an putting in the winter of the last year.

The free drinks, wines, and beers. I don’t really understand the tradition that people don’t drink beer or wine during working time. Why not?

iMac! There are plenty of them in the office.

Another one, and the big earphone! We hope the find the right balance between communication (open space, and sitting near each other), and privacy (the right to be quiet and not interrupted often).

The sofa near the window.

A corner in the office.

Again, the other angel, from deep inside the office and looking to the door.

What to have a tour yourself, feel free to let me know, and let’s have coffee together!

P.S. This is the first post after I completely migrated the blog to WordPress system.

7 Year Anniversary of Baixing

It is an exciting day. Looking back of the 7 years, I cannot imagine how I can be luckier to have a group of really talented, committed, and passionate friends to work on this. 7 years is not a short period of time. That is almost 1/7 of one’s entire working life. This group of people stayed with each other, hand in hand, and marching forward – to change the world.

Back to University

We had a nice university recruiting event tonight at the East China Science and Technology University. It is successful because the company is well presented, and the Q&A section was good. If any of you have missed the event, you can simply contact us with your resume at eduhr@baixing.com, and I am looking forward to hear from you.

Here are some random notes of today. (As Paul suggested, some times to spend time to record the random note is helpful to relax, and get more unstructured inspiration. I added, the other way to do that is just to draw – follow what you see, and don’t care what is drawn on the paper).

Shanghai is raining today. I drove from SJTU to BEA Tower at Lujiazui. Shanghai’s traffic is generally bad, and it causes delay, but it is still reasonable, most of the time. A lot of times, things changes faster than you imagine, and I cannot believe Shanghai’s traffic is still under control these days.

Baixing is Moving to New Office

From Monday, majority of the company will move into a new office on the second floor of the building we are in – the Haoran High Tech Building inside the Shanghai Jiaotong University Xuhui Campus. It has been 4 and half years since we moved into the building’s 18th floor.

The new office is much bigger, more beautiful, and more energetic. Thanks to Hua and Jia and many people to make it happen. Here are some photos of the finished area. The other half is under reservation, and will be ready in few months.

Here is the overview of the office, with few lines of long tables. We love long tables, since we are able to share the same space with more people and people get closer. We love intimacy. We enjoy being close to each other. We would rather leave another big area wide open, and we want to get squeezed together. Being close means you are able to over-hear more conversation than far way from each other. Being close means you feel you are working in a team. Being close means you are able to form small groups of task-force easier.

The view outside the window. There are many big trees, and there are one of the biggest mall in downtown Shanghai. You may not know it. This is the first university in China, and the core part of the university – just like Harvard Square to Harvard. The building with red roof was built in the year of 1898 – the Middle House. The library and the surrounding areas were built in 1910s, exactly 100 years ago. I enjoy being intimate with history. Many important events in the recent China history happened exactly in the mall outside the window.

The new phone system.

For my new and old friends, you are invited to visit our new offices. Shall we have a community center open to our users?

Office Renovation Started

We are starting to design our new office, and obviously, we have great ideas about what the new office environment should look like. Here are some of my note, and I would love my readers to share some insights about what is important for an Internet company office.

  • There should be combined relax corner with sofa, foods, books and business oriented meeting rooms.
  • There will be as many places to write on, to stick notes on as possible, since whiteboards, glass boards, and writable walls inviting and engaging people discussion.
  • A very clean office with well managed facility.
  • The best view of windows should be reserved for as many people as possible. That means, offices and meeting rooms should be built at places without window, and leave the view of window to people. I hate offices with offices for upper management at window and squeeze people with cubicles in the middle.
  • Walls should be either be whiteboard, or decorated with wall painting. Avoid white walls.
  • Put drinking machines in central location, and build environments to allow people to interact around the drinking machine. The same for the door to the rest room. Because drinking machine, and the rest room hall ways are two places people get to so frequently, where communication happens.
  • Encourage people to decorate their own office space with photos.
  • Design paths in the office to allow the design of one clear “main street” where people can gather and greet each other during the work.
  • Put important metrics at most dominate places, say, the entrance so people can see it easily everyday.
  • Lighting is always important to make an office comfortable.
  • There must be a “mixer” area, to balance the natural groups of people – people tend to communicate with people around them, with rare chance to talk with others in other corner. If there is space to allow people from different corner to participate in one activity – like print machine, or breakfast table, that will help communication a lot.
  • Use as many places as possible to increase the internal brand awareness of the company brand, and the brand of individual product – to make it “famous” brand at least within the office with posters, and videos.

Anything else?

Baixing’s First TV Commerical

I’d like to share with you the first TV Commercial of Baixing.

Hope you enjoy it. I enjoy the process of creating the clip with elements of Shanghai architect, the traditional pop-corn machine, and the quick disappearing refrigerator.

No matter what we do, we want to do it with confidence, professionalism, and a sense of hummer.

If you see it on TV, please let me know. :-)

Baixing Recruiting Event in SJTU

SJTU = Shanghai Jiaotong University.

Baixing.com will hold a recruiting event in Shanghai Jiaotong University tomorrow night at 6:30 PM at Tiesheng Building (铁生馆).

I am very excited to get back to Jiaotong University, where I studied between 1995 to 1999.

If any of you knows anyone in Jiaotong University or other nearby university who are interested in positions in Baixing (http://jobs.baixing.com), please direct them to the event tomorrow. I will be speaking there, and am more than willing to chat with people there.

Baixing Classified

    Become a Baixing User

    Happy Children Day.

    A good news. If you are not using Baixing (one of the largest online classified sites and my company), you should do it now.

    Using this link to post an ad today, and you can get 25 RMB worth of coupon. You can buy some interesting service like “refresh” on Baixing.com. Hope you enjoy the free gift.

    I am Hiring an Assistant

    I tend to separate my professional life (as CEO of one of the largest classified sites in China), and my blogging life separate. You typically see a person behind this blog, not a CEO. This entry is a rare exception, because I do need some help from my readers.

    Simply put it, I am hiring an executive assistant. The job posting is here on Baixing.com. Obviously, you need to be able to read Chinese to apply for this position, so I didn’t provide translation. General introduction about Baixing is here, with other opening positions.

    Besides the formal job description I posted (I wrote that myself), here are some personal notes about this job.

    First of all, this person is my personal assistant, with the goal to help me to get organized, and save time. When I routinely need to interview job candidates, travel in China and in the States, and prepare all type of documents for journalists, government, board meetings, I need someone to help me take care of it. I am a person with strong passion for happiness, vision, inspiration, but not good at keeping myself organized, and feel bored about routines, and details. I know myself, and now is the point that I need a personal assistant on this.

    Second, this role is critical for the success of the company. To run a company is a fine art, and we need to make every details right. The office setting, the culture, the outing, meetings, gifts, and celebration events all add up to the final result. This role help to create a great company. There is a nice office with splendid view (and a small garden on the 18th floor facing Xujiahui villa area) for you to exercise your creativity, and imagination. There are all kinds of events that you will organize (FYI, our next company outing are very likely to be in Japan). There are sports events every week that you may enjoy planning and participating yourself. We need this person to be a star of the company to energize people, and making people as productive as they can. It is exciting, and (well, I want you to be well prepared) very challenging.

    Finally, Just in case you are wondering, we pay very well. The number of people we serve divided by number of our 20 people means, everyone single of us is serving millions of users daily. This role is backing everyone in the team, and we know the value, and we pay for that value.

    If you are interested in this position, please send your resume to shhr@baixing.com. Please include wangjianshuo in your title, so it can get my personal attention. We will send written test (don’t worry, just two questions) to selected candidates, and arrange interview if you pass the written test. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Although we hold a high bar for this job, the reason I am still posting this blog is, we still haven’t find the right person yet. Maybe you are exactly who we are looking for.

    Looking forward to hearing you, and I hope I have the honor to work with you.

    8.8 mm

    This is a show of the annual dinner at the beginning of this week.

    Here is the transcript in Chinese.

    For people who don’t understand Chinese, it is an exaggerated show imitating whose on the TV commercial selling things in Chinese TV stations.













    男:我们来看一看市场上的置顶服务报价,就这边,这是国外的。 再看一看我们国内的。国内的报价要比国外的还要高诶!










    My Identity in Community

    I am participating in the Baixing community heavily, but not using my own identity – the CEO of the company. I am trying to build the community feeling from a normal community member. I am struggling in my thoughts whether I should use an ID like jianshuo in community, and let people know that I am the person (CEO) of the site, and the person to contact if they find anything wrong.

    I wrote about the Real Human’s Voice Behind the Internet (Chinese) more than 4 years ago. I was basically arguing the current Internet is full of people with real identity. “No one knows you are a dog on Internet” is no longer cool. People need human voice behind each website. I am obvious a good candidate for that human voice. Should I jump out and tell people that the person’s identity who post most reply in the community, and doing customer service work?

    I am planning to do it gradually in the next few weeks. What is your thoughts?

    Phone Works Better than Email

    How silly it is. I finally decided to recover my oldest ebay account with ID jianshuo.

    That was an account created 7 years ago, and suspended 5 years ago. I submitted the online request. As expected, nothing happened – no reply – after few weeks.

    Then I gave them a call: +1866-643-2959. It worked very well. They promised to send the activation email to my new email address.

    Phone works better than email, always for large companies.

    P.S. How embarrassing! A former eBay director still need to call the call center to have account released from a suspension 5 years ago.

    Communication is Key to Any Success

    Once again, it is proved the importance of communication in our team.

    Communication is a very very very important thing in a team, and we need to make sure the trust are maintained among everyone, and information is freely available to everyone. That is key to the success of anything.

    To make something work is an art. It includes many factors that multiply by each other. It is hard to say which is the most important one, but communication is definitely a factor that can easily get to a lower score, which affect the people, and thus affecting many things.

    Always remember, that communication is the key to any success – both personal and professional.