Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Orleans, a city above the lake

Sorry for not updating for long. I am in New Orleans, Louisiana for my spring break, doing a service learn trip to help local entrepreneurs. It's my first time in the city which was once flooded by so-called "man-made error". We visited the most serious flooded area and the broken defenses. The city is still in recover since the flood three years ago; however, a lot of people are coming back with the optimism to reconstruct this area. I am deeply impressed by this courage, and hope I could help them with my strength.

The famous Jackson Square

A very cool street show

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wall Street tumble

I got lucky or unlucky to be in the U.S. right now to experience a possible economy downturn. The once-prestigious investment bankers on the Street now become the cheap target for deep pocket buyers. Bear Stearns is one example. J.P. Morgan got a favorable deal of only $2 per share, and the whole street is going to wait to see who will be the next one.

It's interesting to watch CNN's Larry King show today when several "financial experts" were talking about how to invest money right now. One expert said people have to keep their money in the stock market in order to enjoy a longer-term return. However, confidence does matter a lot here. When one person said it is crisis, it is usually not; but when seventy percent of the people said this, it is going to be. What I cared most is how U.S. stock market will affect the global market. I have to admit that New York is still the center of the world, while Europe and Asia markets couldn't replace right now. China market including Shanghai and Hong Kong will behave the same way, though the fundamental is different. The consumer industry in China is still pretty strong, while a lot of companies are going to report strong earnings, such as China Mobile. It is necessary to realize it and take advantage of this good opportunity in the market.

Speaking of this, even Premier Wen said the economy this year is going to be tough. However, the liquidity is still high when we see central bank of China still raised the deposit reserve rate for banks to absorb the liquidity. It is a good year to relax and enjoy Olympics. Keep energy to work hard next year, my comrades :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

MII merger

This will be a big deal to China's Internet service as well as telecom industry.

"A new ministry of industry and information will be created to oversee the cellular phone industry previously under the Ministry of Information Industry. It will also regulate Web- based applications and Internet content, according to the plan. The ministry will combine responsibilities from the information industry ministry and the State Council Information Office."

From Bloomberg(the second last paragraph.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The online strength of female

Female doesn like Internet more. I never heard of Bloghim, but now I met two founders of Blogher.The website is a blog community for female, where you could find all information from fashion to relationship. The three founders met each other in a conference in 2004, and got this fantastic idea to do something only for female together. The business model is not new and based on advertisting, but I am sure a lot of consumer product advertisers like the specific demographic of the community. It's interesting to see how they evolve from small to big. More importantly, I found they are passionate towards blogging. One of them currently has six blogs.

Nowadays in the internet, the community is like a tribe where people could find the others with the same hobby. Advertisers love this, while the ads will be more focused and effective.

Speaking of this, I still think they should expand a little bit more international. The strategy has yet to come. When I introduced myself as a Chinese blogging for four years, one of the founders was surprised: "That must be really tough since all blogs are blocked in China?".

Well, it's not true, I answered. .

Monday, March 03, 2008

Everything is unlimited in wireless

I've been quite busy for the past two weeks. B-school is a place where you either choose to study to die, or have fun to die. I feel I am stuck in between. Mid-term was just done, while final term is on its way. Who told me I could have a two-year break? That's not true at all.

Back to serious topic. I got this gut feeling that everything is unlimited in wireless industry in U.S. these days. Customers already have the choice of unlimited data plan for quite a few years, and now suddenly the voice became unlimited plan as well. (remember when broadband usage changed from charging based on hours to unlimited monthly, now here is the same thing).

A wrap up from businessweek:

"On Feb 19, Verizon Wireless announced a new pricing plan that offers unlimited calling for $99.99 a month. Later, AT&T announced a similar plan, while T-Mobile went one better by including unlimited text messages for the same price. The move is a big change from the wireless model in which customers pay for limited buckets of minutes. It's the latest sign that carriers are viewing voice as a commodity and data service as the future growth opportunity."

However, mobile carriers still bear the bad reputation on not being creative in the data service. In fact, mobile should be just a platform like Internet, where everyone could freely create a website, and share information. Mobile carriers should be just like broadband service providers, where they couldn't control the content. It's all grassroot content works. We couldn't imagine Comcast create a facebook, while AT&T couldn't possible create a killer web app too. This new era encourages creativity from all the people, instead of monopoly.

I feel encouraged by this unlimited plan, because I know the era of mobile creativity is coming.