Friday, March 30, 2007

The Google story

I am on vacation this week. One of the best ways to spend time is to read, and another is to go to gym.

So I bought The Google Story, written by David A. Vise. It is a quite readable book, describing the whole set-up process for Google, one of the world's most creative companies. I found several things I didn't know about Google from the book.

(1) You could use Google to search on mobile phones. (Is that right? anyone having experience?)

(2) Larry and Sergey, the two founders, was running out of cash at some time and even were refused by a certain amount of companies to sell Google. (wow, if someone bought it at that time, would the world be different now?)

(3) Googler's conveniences: on-site laundry, hair styling, a car wash, day care, fitness facilities with personal trainers, a professional masseuse, beach volleyball, bean bag chairs, even dog. ( You know what it makes me thinking: socialism-type companies, or better......)

(4) The two fournders were also reluctant to hire an outsider as CEO, and even fought with Google's ventural capital investors on the hiring. And Eric Schmidt is one of the last getting good luck, though being tested and kidded around for several rounds. (wow, I thought it was the two founders who admitted they are short of management practices, hence hiring an outside professinal instead)

Just finished the first nine chapter, and the company becomes vivid to me.

Monday, March 19, 2007

More Investment education, or more trust to the government?

I've been reading an investor education book published by People's Bank of China, the nation's central bank. It is like a finance knowledge ABC book, not very hard but a bit interesting. I brought it from Beijing to Hong Kong, and read it just for leisure. The book's purpose is to let the common people understand the financial market better.

I remember both Premier Wen Jiabao and central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said publicly that they hope investors, especiall retail investors, could be much more educated. They should understand the risks in the capital market and be cautious in putting money in.

Speaking of this, I remember when I talked to a Beijing friend who is a fun in buying stocks and funs. If he, or his wife, or his parents, has some extra money, he will be more than happy to buy stocks, or funds, or even properties. He told me: "trust the government, it is more powerful than you could imagine."

If investors all act like him, why they would be bother to be educated????

Thursday, March 15, 2007

buying online articles

I don't ususally buy online articles. but when there is something good, I don't mind to try.

One day when I was looking for some job-related topics, I found a research report with the brief sounds very interesting. Unfortunately, the website said it will charge me two yuan on my mobile. Just two yuan for a story, it worths, isn't it? So I sent a SMS to a number it speficied, and was waiting for the reply, under the introduction. However, nothing happened, not even a short reply saying if it was successful. I don't have time to check if I was charge of two yuan, but the experience, with no reply, was really annoying.

The service providers in China should have a good future, but currently with the monopoly of China Mobile and China Unicom, the SPs chose to build a good relation with the two, instead of building a good relation with the customers. However, customers should be a more important source to decide if the SPs' business should develop big. Until now, many SPs are just reaping a quick profit, which made them locate in the worse and worse market condition.

"Customers are always the God", while the shops are only a complimentary, not necessary. Many small restaurants are also having a good business in China, though they are not that fabulous as big ones. That's called diversification, and it applies to the mobile industry, too.

Amy's busy busy days

It's been very busy for the past ten days. I am in Beijing, meeting a lot of different people, senior government officials, businessmen and enterpreneurs. Getting up at six is not one of my strength, and it makes the life those days quite terrible. Luckily, it came to the end and I will be back Hong Kong very soon.

I especially like talking to enterpreneurs, the group of people very candid and frank. I remember one billionaire told me about the government capital granted to support the rural development. "Only 20 percent of the money could be received by the farmers, while the other 80 percent is spent on building nice offices of local government, repaying loans as well as eating and drinking by officials." Those words are very true, but not many people dare to speak it publicly. Now he raised some proposal to the central government avoid those misuse of funds.

Those enterpreneurs are the first group to benefit from the economic reform policy, and you could say a few of them may have some bad behaviors just as you read from media everyday. But some others are becoming more and more responsbile on the society development, and they have become a power to balance with the government. and they are likely to have stronger voice.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Beijing is snowing today

Beijing has one of the most beautiful views today. It is snowing. Viewing from the window of my apartment, the rooftops are fully covered by the white snow. It was quite cold today, even below zero in the evening. However, the air is very refreshing. I just love it. Don't get surprised that I am still in Beijing. I guess I almost fell in love with this city. (though I love Hong Kong, too)

Pity didn't take pictures today. Let me try tomorrow if the snow doesn't melt.

some business opportunities in the BJ subway

The subway in BJ has the largest network among all mainland cities, I guess. What people normall do in the subway?

From my experience in Hong Kong where subway covering much smaller area than Beijing, I usually read the news from my mobile phones via GPRS. I use CSL service now, and I could enjoy the news channle, including Reuters and Dow Jones for free. Though the content is much more limited compared to the wires terminal version, it is a good resource to spend the time and learn new things.

In Beijing, seems many people read newspaper or send messages in the subways. However, if some service providers could serve the passengers free or charged mobile content, such as e-newspaper, e-game. etc, when they get onto the train, it will attract many passengers as well as advertisers, and more efficient than sending the content to someone who are working in the office or sleeping in the home. It will also be more diversified than the TV carrying advertisements all the time on the trains.

However, the problem is the mobile network doesn't really cover the BJ subway very well. sometimes when you call, the signal suddenly disappears, friends told me. So here is the tricky, don't hang off immediately, hold on for another one to five minutes with patience and the call will go through again.(hope the other party has the patience too) . The cut off of the signal will be a bad experience for passengers, but there must be a way to solve the problem some day.

Kind of like location-based service, but should be more professional and legal.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I want some good tea

The best Chinese tea has Chinese tea: different taste after several round of drinking. But seems people nowadays already used to the quick tea, such as Lipton Yellow Tea. After one round of drinking, the teabag remains no taste at all. Is there a way to create teabag with really good tea and different rounds of taste as well?