#11

Same as last month, a recommendation of a not-too-new book I read months ago – The Monk and the Riddle : The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur by Randy Komisar. A very interesting book about how one guy wanted to raise fund to set up a hypothetical web site – “Funeral.com”. All the guy wanted was to raise money, based on some superficial revenue projections, and get some quick money back. Eventually he had the site up and running not because of the money – he set up the site to provide grief support to the group of communities who have their beloved one passed away. And had the site renamed circleoflife.com .

The author is a master storyteller, the kind of guy you’d feel honored to share a bottle of wine with. And upon completing the book you will believe his conclusion: “When all is said and done, the journey is the reward.”

After all, it’s great if you’ve made billions on the journey, but the important thing is that you do something you can truly throw yourself into.

#10

How’s your Easter holiday ? I have a rather busy weekend as every hour or so, I surfed to our web site to see if anything went wrong – kinda like a part-time operator. It’s almost like part of my job at home already. In any case, thanks to those who worked in the weekend for the company to keep the system up and running, web page updated etc.

Obviously we have a very busy month as we rolled out many services. I aware that many of you worked late nights or even overnights to keep the tight project schedule on target. Thanks for all the hard works. For those lucky ones who don’t need to work late, please extend your hand to help. In nowadays’ economic climate, all of us need to work closely with all the team members to get the job done – it’s no longer a 9 to 5 job.

And more importantly, no matter how tough a problem is, we need to propose a solution to kill the problem. It is simply unacceptable to say “no” to a request but not proposing a solution. And it is also unacceptable to say “yes” to a request but not delivering.

+++

I will not recommend to you the two books I am reading, as I have not finished it (and those are pretty boring stuff). Anyway, there is an old book I think it’s excellent -“Only the Paranoid Survive” by Andrew Grove (the boss of Intel).

There is one chapter in the book that lingered in my mind for many years. Basically there was a time that Intel went through a very difficult time and Andrew Grove was going to be fired by the board of directors and replaced by a new chief. Andrew asked himself what would the new chief do the first day report to work. He reckoned the new chief would probably wrap up the Memory chip business and set up CPU business. He eventually decided to close all Memory Chip branches (a painful decision by that time) and set up the CPU lines to produce the 8086 CPUs for personal computers. The rest is history.

The lesson to me was every day we encountered numerous problems and we do not resolve the problem straightaway because of various reasons. Many of the reasons were justified by the project background, history, some environmental issues, and most of all, some beautified excuses. What we need however is to ask ourselves if one day someone picked up the mess, what would they do ? They would probably decisively take some actions and kill the problems. They would probably stop doing the wrong things and save cost.

So don’t give yourself any excuses, but ask yourself, what would you do if you can solve your own problem from a new staff’s point of view, then take the action.

+++

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.

~ Babe Ruth ~

#9

According to the horoscope, the year of horse is …

A lively and high-spirited year for all. Life will be hectic and punctuated with adventures. People will find themselves reckless, romantic and carefree. A definite time for advancement…

This will be a time when decision and projects will be incorporated at high speed and with efficiency. Action will be the key word. Everything is on the go and we should take care not to drive ourselves too hard. It will be a rewarding but exhaustive year.

+++

I am now reading “Tuesdays with Morrie“, a very touching book. You know, sometimes, you don’t want to read IT books at all. But just in case you want some, please let me know as Amazon.com just shipped me a few books about website usability and a few books about Pocket PC development.

+++

I did not have much time to watch movies during the CNY holiday except one – Lord of the Rings. In the movie, the little brave young man Frodo encountered many many difficulties and he said to himself:

Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened

Then the old, intelligent wizard Gandalf told Frodo (actually two times in the movie)

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.

Yes, sometimes we cannot choose what happened to us, but we can decide what
to do with the time that is given to us.

#7

Life is tough and rough, but tough time never lasts 🙂

+++

I recommended quite a lot of books before but there are two books I wish I have read those earlier. The first is Rich Dad, Poor Dad and the other is Jack: Straight from the Gut (Jack Welch story). Both of them changed the angle I see things a lot. If you have the time, grasp the books and I am sure, these worth the money and time.

+++

A few years ago at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100 yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a enjoyment to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one boy who stumbled on the asphalt, fell down over a couple of times and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy. They slowed down and looked back. They all turned around and went back. Every one of them. One girl with Down’s Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, “This will make it better.” All nine linked arms and walked across the finish line together.

Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes.

Why? Because deep down we know one thing �What matters most in life is more than winning for ourselves. What truly matters in life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.

#6

One of the books I am currently reading is “Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed” and it’s amazing. All designers shall buy it … 113 design guidelines and 50 websites get deconstructed and criticized. And for those who want something else, try “NetSlaves: True Tales of Working the Web“. A reality-check of the world-wide-web development.

+++

“Winning with teamwork demands a commitment to the cause, trust in teammates, and the adoption of a mind-set that puts the team first.”

#5

“Customer service is not a department – it is an attitude. And it is a little thing that makes a big different.”

+++

Be prepared to take up new work, and work in long & odd hours. We will do all these for one simple reason, to survive.

+++

Months ago I recommended you all about the book “Who moved my cheese ?“. Understand that not many of you are interested in reading after a long day. So let me just summarize the whole book in one sentence – Some are prepared for change and survived well, while others are surprised by it and have a difficult time.

+++

I have two this month :

  • “Snow flakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.”
  • “If you’re not riding the wave of change … you’ll find yourself beneath it.”