Another year, another book list

book-xmas-tree

Unlike previous years, I didn’t complete all the books below cover-to-cover. Instead, for most books I just picked a few chapters to read, and learn as much as possible. There are some good ones though (i.e. I finished the whole book) … and you can tell how the state of my mind changed, along the year, with the reading sequence.

  1. The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
  2. Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes (TED Books)
  3. The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work
  4. The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback
  5. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
  6. Getting There: A Book of Mentors
  7. With Her Eyes (Short Stories by Liu Cixin Book 11)
  8. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
  9. TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking
  10. Magicians of the Gods: Sequel to the International Bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods
  11. The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks
  12. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
  13. Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice

And there are a few I have yet to start … hope I can finish those in early 2017.

  1. Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today’s Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves
  2. The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
  3. The Art of Startup Fundraising: Pitching Investors, Negotiating the Deal, and Everything Else Entrepreneurs Need to Know
  4. Hard Landing: The Epic Contest for Power and Profits That Plunged the Airlines into Chaos
  5. From Big Data to Big Profits: Success with Data and Analytics
  6. Actionable Gamification – Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards
  7. Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within

Pick a few from above to read, and tell me which one(s) you like most.

Have a great Year of Reading ahead !!

Happy Chinese New Year – The Year of Snake

According to the world famous astrologer (i.e. Mr. Internet the Great), this year of Snake is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary for one to achieve what set out to create. In addition, the year has ability to read complicated situation quickly in a controlled manner which is good for business.

Wish you all happiness and prosperity in the Year of Snake !

image002

Life in the fast lane

Once in a while I have nothing to blog.

No more Kindle posts, no more photographs or camera gears, no more gadgets and of course, no more cloud computing stuff (guys and gals, we are tired of keep talking about cloud computing, by someone who have not implemented any cloud computing platform before).

I suppose I can also write something about SoMoLo (or SoLoMo … whatever you like it) apps, something about Liquid Newsroom Project, something about the latest Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco, or even why my iPhone 4 battery runs out faster with iOS 5.0.1; still, my mind is blank.

Then I finally find out the reason this morning … if something is really important to blog, I will tweet it, Facebook it, Google+ it … but if something is not that really important to blog, I will just leave it aside – till one day, I forget all about it.

Technology and mobility do not make us more productive, it just make our life run faster – without any goal.

“Life in the fast lane, surely make you lose your mind.” – Eagles

That’s what matters to me …

No, Apple II was not my first personal computer, it was the Commodore 64.

No, iPod was not my first portable music player, it was a Aiwa portable tape player.

No, Macbook Pro was not my first laptop computer, it was a Toshiba Portégé.

No, iPhone was not my first smartphone, it was Dopod C730.

No, iPad was not my first tablet, it was Amazon Kindle.

And no, Steve Jobs was not my first idol, my dad is.

But just imagine the modern days without Jobs, Apple II, iPod, MacBook, iPhone and iPad. And imagine the days without mouse, GUI, touch screen gesture …

Remembering the man who behind all these, and who made “IT” stands for “Innovation, Transformation”.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” – Steve Jobs

Hang on

One of my favorite quotes about achieving something great is from Thomas Edison –

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Indeed, I’ve seen many many smart, hardworking and capable people failed to achieve anything just because they decided to give up instead of hanging on.

If you’re a professional tennis player (of course, 99% of you are not), and if you have a chance to reach the final of Wimbledon (99.9999% of you will not), then you will see an inscrption above the entryway, before you enter the Center Court:

If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same

These two lines are extracted from Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”; but in fact, the other few verses of the same poem pretty much described the same thing about hanging on:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”

So, if you’ve been fed up with everything you see, got tired by the work day after day, felt hopeless after countless trying, or no one is willing to give you a hand … think again, and tell yourself “Don’t give up, never ever give up.”.

Don’t give up, because you know you can adapt to this crude world, because you will be full of power again the very next day, because you can make a dent to the universe one day and because someone around you will eventually help.

Hold on to what you believe; and hang on to your dream.
It’s never over, unless you give up.

Hanging_x.jpg

Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional

I learnt this proverb for quite sometime, but not really appreciate the meaning behind it until three years ago … In year 2007 today I started the 49 days treatment of a serious heart disease, and every now and then I still ask myself whether it was just a dream or something really happened (for those who are fans of the movie Inception, you understand what I’m talking about).

Guess it will probably take me ages to accept such event really has taken place, even though I can see the 10-inches scar on my chest every day. And it will also take me a long time to complete the self-healing, in other words, to truely believe that I have recovered – such that I shall not treat myself as a patience / victim anymore.

The self-healing process has taken such a long time, I reckon, is probably because the six, seven weeks of treatment in the hospital was so painful, so disturbing and so discouraging that I wondered it would never end. However, with the support from family members, friends, colleagues and of course the doctors, nurses and staff in the hospital; I managed to complete the treatment in seven weeks.

Granted, it was painful, but I also learnt that suffering was optional – you need a positive mindset to go thru all the hurdles in life. So, be thankful to every sunrise, sunset and live your life to its fullest.

照片背後 – 背影

印象中爸爸一向都是一個沉默寡言的人,小時候沒有多少機會跟他說話。只有從媽媽口中知道爸爸少年才來到香港,由不懂廣東話,變了滿口廣東話,再學好英語,上工專,成為一位電機工程師。

為了家庭,每晚就只見他努力地在家中做公司帶回來的工作,默默地在建築的藍圖上劃,劃,劃。記得讀書時他也從沒有罵我們一句,即使考試成績有多差,他都只會說:”供書教學是我們做父母的責任,讀好書是你的責任,下次努力一點吧。”

為了我們,我知道他放棄了很多嗜好,只能夠在發黃的照片中知道他喜歡跳舞,吹口琴。但當唱音機播出 The Platters,Johnny Mathis 的歌曲的時候,他就會閉上眼睛,就像返回了他年青的時候,陶醉地欣賞。

從來不知道爸爸如何可以籌錢供我往海外讀書,但在我離開香港前爸爸還買了一台單鏡反光機給我。。。自始我就覺得好好攝影就是對爸爸的一個交代。就在上飛機前一晚,爸爸還帶我上了太平山頂。兩父子無言的看著美麗的維多利亞港,我就知道爸爸想我讀好書,畢業後回來他身邊。

多年前有一天,爸爸說他的頭很痛,當晚他就被送入醫院。跟著就是差不多一年的與死神搏鬥。已經記不起有多少次的開腦手術,但他也捱過了。奇蹟地,爸爸的腦溢血沒有帶來很大的後遺症,還可以行動自如。只是有一塊頭蓋骨不能再放回原位,自此他就喜歡戴帽子,也不喜歡拍照。另外就是說話比較吃力了一點,不喜歡說話的他,變得更沉默了。

就從那一件事開始,我喜歡拍攝爸爸的背影。