Showing posts from 2009

Merry X'mas 2009

My daughter has just turned 8 years old in December. Today it was the first time she has grown tall enough to be able sit in my car's back seat without a kid's car seat. She is also old enough for me to allow the car door to be opened from inside. This is really a very small thing but it is one of the best Christmas present to me. Merry Christmas to you all!

To-Do list for Strategic Management

One of the most daunting tasks to get organize to save time is to, ironically spend time to maintain a to-do list. The busier you get the less you want to spend time to maintain the to-do list. This is even more so for a senior executive who is responsible for so many areas within a company. There was a time, I couldn’t sleep because I feel like I have not done enough for the day. That’s because I could have a secure feeling about tomorrow and I feel that the big mission and strategy was never on track. (This is the second post I have made about To Do list. The last post " Time Management : My To-Do List System " I was showing how I organize my file into folders so I could survive without a highly complex to-do list system. The To-Do list excel I am covering here can go with the simple system as the last post was more like a simple filing structure. If you are into strategic thinking, this excel is can go well with the last post I have made.) We need (I needed) a simp
My mechanic told me, 'He couldn't repair my brakes, so he made my horn louder.' - Comedian, Steven Wright

Time Management - My To-Do List System.

Time Management is a common subject. Many books are written on this subject. Most of them stress more or less the same points. Personally I find that the most important element for successful time management is that you WANT to seriously manage your time. I believe most people who cannot manage their time properly are because of their emotion. Not the know how of how to manage time. People simple get carry away to do things without the concern of time. People simply do not exercise the discipline, pay the effort and commit to manage time because it means a lot of commitment and work. So ask yourselves frankly. If you manage your time poorly because you just want to do thing by impulse, no system will help you. However, if you are committed, than most systems or many simple ideas will help! For me, I have a very simple system. This is more like a "work place" system. I don't really apply it to my personal life (after work) cause my life outside of the office is very

I was ranked top 6th Hong Kong Twitter user.

I was just checking this blog's traffic couple of days ago and discovered that certain traffic was referred by a specialized Twitter Account crawler site. When I visit the site ( I realized that I was ranked the top 6 twitter users based in Hong Kong with the most followers. I have 6,524 followers as of now, 12:05am Sep 1, 2009 in Hong Kong local time. Click here to see the site. Before you read on, I like to say that I am NOT a Twitter Holic. You will know why in next paragraph! I don't remember exactly when but approximately couple of months ago I opened my twitter account using my real name . Before this account I have another one which focuses on investment, which has 3,449 followers. The investment account has been opened in around 10 months ago. I have only come to know Twitter only recently. I don't really follow twits as there are too many things to be done in my life. Following



How high was Hong Kong's Unemployment Rate?

Hong Kong's latest unemployment rate announced in Jul 2009 was 5.4% (seasonally adjusted). Given the current global economic condition, this number is likely to go up further. We all recall that Hong Kong's unemployment rate was the worst during the SARS outbreak period in 2003. How high was it? What's the maximum number of people unemployed and when? The answer: Unemployment rate max'ed 8.5% in Jun 2003. 308,000 people were unemployed in Aug 2003. It seems 5.4% is still a way to go to reach 8.5%. However, given the global nature of current econmic situation, the unemployment rate (or the worst of it unfortunately) seems to be rather long terms. I was talking to couple of economists in major bank and regulator sector recently, both of them were not positive. We will see as time unfolds. The following chart was plotted using data downloaded from the Census and Statistics Department of the Government of Hong Kong SAR. Feel free to use it for your reference.

Japan's unemploment rate 6 year high - 5.4%

Japan's unemplopyment for Jun 09 rose to 5.4%, which is six-year high. Jobless rate up from 5.2% in May is very close to post-World War II high of 5.5%. 830,000 more people are out of the job in Jun 09 compare to a year earlier. Media quoting market statistic of 43 job offers for every 100 Job seekers which is a record low. Japan's companies have just recovered from the Negative Balance Sheet recession and started to borrow and invest again in 2005. Despite in the worst time, Japan's companies have positive cashflow as they are amongst the best world in terms of production, quality and technologies. That's why they still had cashflow to pay off the debt, which as a result of asset devaluation after the bubble burst. In 2005, Japan companies started to borrow and reinvest again. That's why I believe that Japan was really in the recovery phase in 2005. Unfortunately, this new financial crisis in 2007 has casted a heavy shadow in the recovery. However, I sti

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and My Phone!

While Microsoft and Yahoo reached an agreement for a 10 years collaboration in the search market attacking Google’s root of business, Google has also launched Android and Chrome O/S to hit Microsoft’s root. Yahoo got stuck in between the two giants. To survive, it shares its existing and large market share of search user base and likely to focus on content based Online Advertising Campaign based business. Through this collaboration, we can categorize the three companies into two types: Software and Web Services bias – That would be Microsoft and Google. Content bias – That would be Yahoo! Why did I think so? The reason is simple. Yahoo cannot beat the other two in software. It’s role, right from the very beginning has been like a Portal to other information (they call themselves Content Aggregator). Search Engine is very much a software and AI challenge. Microsoft and Google seem to be much stronger on this. Operating System is even more obvious that it’s not the cup

Sustainable Living Standard

1st July 2009, we celebrate the anniversary of Hong Kong recturning to China. While there are many interest and political groups leveraging today to voice out their concern, I spent my time teaching my daughter the importance of green environment. Indeed when she grow up, she is going to live in an enviornment much worst than today if we at this generation don't act properly. China, as a rapidly growing econmy, is still very inefficient in using energy and other natural resources due to wasteful production techniques. China government is smart enough to know that. This is why we see a lot of policies addressing sustainable economic development. It means that we are no longer (or at least we are working on this direction) wasting our resources mindlessly. It also means that China needs to distribute the wealth of the nation development more evenly to all the people in the nation. Given the current burst of the US led economic system, China is also searching for a more balanced w

Pastel Painting to relax for tonight.

After a few days of rushing and running, I feel very tire. This is the kind of time where one can do some silly thing just to relax. Tonight I have chosen to do some silly painting. I wanted to expriment with oil pastels to see if I can simulate the affect of oil painting. Pastel is not meant for great details. Light color paint cannot cover another layer of darker color so it's not easy to add details such as lighting effect. It's really difficult to do so. I have also made a wrong choice of color tone for the mountains far in the background. Should have picked a blue / grey tone to enhance the feeling of distance for better layering affect. To simulate the great details such as the rocky edge of the mountain, I either have a super plan from from the start or I need a much bigger piece of paper. This painting is only a big bigger than A4 size. Not too successful but I am satisfied. It's really my second pastel painting in my life. Tonight will be a good night for slee

Painting with my daughter.

I have always like doodling as a kid. I have tried sketching a bit as a teenager. In my 20s’, every once in a while I couldn’t sleep and did not find anything meaningful to do so I did a few doodling again to have fun. But I was never a “professional” artist. In fact, statistically, before age of 40 I may have produced 0.25 piece of painting per year. I have always fancy being an artist but I always have other things to do. I have enjoyed drawing but it was quite a “waste of time” for me until my daughter came 7.5 years ago. When she started to ask me to draw with her, the meaning of drawing became so much different. There were emotions attached to each piece of drawing as I had to carry the role model to help my daughter to draw. Funny thing is that, often, my daughter went away to play with other things and I was left to do drawing on my own. I think my daughter is just an excuse for me to start drawing. Anyway, this is one of my drawing a few years ago. It’s no

The number one advice to win a job you have no experience what-so-ever!

I was in a seminar a few months ago sharing interview tips with a group of mature, not so competitive job seekers. Many of them were out of a job. Their skill sets that helped them to keep a job were no longer highly demanded in the job market. They needed to secure a job that they did not know if they are qualified or not. When they knew that I had changed industry and roles several times in my career, many of them asked what made my previous employer hired me when I was new and often did not possess the relevant experience and qualification. There were so many reasons I could think of but I wanted to say one point where it will apply to everybody. After a moment, I gave them the following point: I was bold. To say it more eloquently, I was confident about myself and took the initiative to take on the challenge. To say it more frankly, I wanted it bad enough that, like a naughty kid, I was willing to do whatever I could to secure the toy. Let’s put it this way, if you want to secu

4 Must-do to land a job in a tough time!

Time is tough these days if you are out of a job. My job is a manager for a job portal in Hong Kong. I have seen our web site’s job searching traffic and online job application skyrocketing as the Hong Kong’s Heng Seng Index plummeted starting at the end of 2007. Many job seekers asked me for advice to how to find jobs. There are many good advices to locate the jobs but what’s more important is that the job seeker must be internally ready for a tougher and leaner job environment. More people will be fighting for the rare jobs in the market. Landing a job means a tougher selection process. Landing a job means that you are more competitive and ready! How to be competitive and ready many job seekers asked? In a nutshell, you have to find yourself some meaningful and demonstrable projects to do which you will be able to leverage them to maintain and even improve your state of readiness. Yes it’s quite obvious. There is no quick fix except for the “presentation” part. Be More Knowle

6 reasons why Google Wave is likely to be successful.

Last week I was introducing Google Wave in an executive lunch to someone with an IT and Business Consultant background. He did not know of Google Wave until I introduced to him over the lunch (read my last blog post if you don't know Google Wave : Click Here ). After listening to me for a few minutes, he suddenly said that Google would not be successful in launching Google Wave. His immediate and raw reaction actually reinforces my post’s title "the most ambitious communication product by Google”. It is indeed ambitious. The chance of success for such a comprehensive product to be launched to the mass market is low; thus the description “ambitious” was craved into my blog post title. I am more positive becuase Google Wave fits the 6 characters that I have observed in the last decade from web applications that have made it big (at least once). I call them 6 Es. More will be covered in this post later. I am slightly more positive in this case, also, because I believe the ge

The most ambitious communication product by Google

In my previous blog post, I have written my opinion about Twitter and why it would be successful in making it big (read the post here ) becuase it is an Internet Communication application with an API for unlimited appliations to be developed on top. Today I have learned about another even more powerful and ambious product to be launched by Google. It will be one that embrace almost all forms of communications on Internet today that I can think of today. If you are the user of this product in future, consider it as if you are sitting in your own military headquarters controlling all communications on the IP based internet. You will use this product as your strategic and be-all communication control console. This is because you will use it to send and receive information like: e-mailing real time chatting, forum discussion, social networking, blogging, tweeting, photo sharing, video sharing, opinion and data collection, application sharing and collaboration and a lot more de

Twitter the new hot property on the web

Twitter is the latest hot property which is making to the top of talk list for the Gold Rush of Internet. People call it the "MicroBlogging" service. Frankly, I think it's NOT blogging at all. It's just a "text" based communication channel which allows users to freely connect or disconnect (by following and unfollowing) each other.  To me, it's the "SMS" of Internet.  Of course thanks to the power of Internet, this new "SMS" is born with the Yellow Pages to enable networking of people and businesses.  With 3G and mobile Internet access and rapidly development mobile internet device, Twitter is going to be "smater" SMS communication core that bridges all kinds of "newsfeed" across devices.  It will NOT be the ultimate content hosting platform like Blogger but it will be the "Carrier" that brings people to the ultimate content page, be it text, images or video. It has a lot of potential to be further d

Individual person wanting to start online business

My answer on Yahoo! Answer as the best answer for a person asking how to start a web site because he/she wanted to start some kind of business. He was asking such fundamental question like where to find web hosting company or even like how to do html. Everybody else was trying their best to give guides as simple as 1, 2 and 3. I told the guy that it's much better that he should go for a book or find someone else to help him to build the site. That was just the technical part. The Internet Marketing part is even more an "art" then "technology". On the SEO and traffic generation, he's much better off to get some serious coach rather expecting someone to help through Yahoo! Answer. No shame! There is nothing wrong with the beginner level question. It's the other people's guide on how to build the site that will very likely steer the guy into many wrong directions. Sometimes, being straight and honest to a beginner is a much better help than simple wa

All you need is a chance!

Watching her sing is truely remarkable. What's even more remarkable is her confident to stand infront of a big crowd with cynical eyes. At 47 and out of a job, Susan Boyle has got the talent. She will not let her other disadvantages move her a bit! Susan Boyle was training herself for all her life, in addition to her God given talent. Susan Boyle is ready when the chance does present itself. This is a story for all of us. Focus on your strength. Believe in yourself. Practice and polish yourself. When the chance comes, grab it and claim the glory. Don't give up. You will make it!

Free game for memorizing Times Table

My daughter is now learning to memorize the Times Table. I believe that this is so fundamental to math that we MUST memorize it deep within our brain. We should not rely on any visual aid or tag line or other tricky things to help to memorize quickly. It will only train the mind to take two steps to reach the answer. So I believe the question and the answer must be directly associated to produce speedy result for future calculation. So the best way is to test our children as many times so we can build the Times Table into their long term memory. I have been looking for an online game to help produce "a lot of test" in a controlled random way. I cannot find any after long time searching. So I thought it would be a good idea to make one myself. Here is the result. I would love to share it with the rest of the world. Click  here  to enjoy it!

Hong Kong = Fastest Economy - 15 years in a row.

Hong Kong ranks first as the 2009 Index of Economic Freedom for the 15th consecutive year by the U.S. Heritage Foundation. In details: 1. First in trade freedom, investment freedom and financial freedom. 2. Top 10 in business freedom, monetary freedom and property rights. Our strengths, according to the report: 1. Income and corporate tax rates were very competitive. 2. Overall all taxation was relatively small as a percentage of GDP. The top 10 on the 2009 index of Economic Freedom (and scores out of 100) Country Index Scores Hong Kong 90 Singapore 87.1 Australia 82.6 Ireland 82.2 New Zealand 82 US 80.7 Canada 80.5 Denmark 79.6 Switzerland 79.4 UK 79 Congratulation Hong Kong! Let's keep up our momentum. 2010 Index will be a challenge cause it will be including the impact of the financial crisis. We need to try our best.