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  Friday, January 20, 2006


We are all Makers of the Flag

Filed under: Gift of Story

happy family
/* This is a speech delivered by Franklin Knight Lane in June 14, 1914. 90 years after, it is still relevant and hopefully continues to give us inspiration and meaning. It shows that while we have different roles and aspirations, we all contribute to the community we are living today. I am also enclosing this as a sample of past eloquence which we should all continue to read and be inspired. */

This morning, as I passed in on the Land Office, the Flag dropped me a most cordial salutation, and from its rippling folds I heard it say: “Good Morning, Mr. Flag Maker.”

“I beg your pardon, Old Glory,”I said, “arent’you mistaken? I am not the president of the United States, nor a member of Congress, nor even a general in the army. I am only a government clerk.”

“I greet you again, Mr. Flag Maker, “replied the gay voice, “I know you well. You are the man who worked in the swelter of yesterday (more…)


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The Greater Legacy

Last week, some of my colleagues in the company and I visited a children center and try to bring some christmas cheers as well as donations. This particular center takes care of children from 8 to 18 years of age. The center is called TSF Child Center, TSF standing for Terre Sans Frontiere, which is French for World Without Boundaries. It is almost wholly sponsored by the foundation in France, and thus the name.

This center currently is equipped to handle about 50 children, and is run by a retired volunteer from the French Armed Forces, whose name was Gerard (more…)


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New English Words 2005

smileyThe American Dialect Society have formally reflected on new words introduced in 2005. Among them, “truthiness” which is he quality of stating concepts one wishes or believes rather to be true, rather than the facts itself.

Most useful word is “podcast” which is a digital feed containing audio or video files for downloading to an MP3 player.

Most creative words are “whale tail” which is the appearance of a thong above the waistband, (more…)


7:11:59 PM     comment []   trackback []

Four Star Toilets

beijing 3 star toiletI have been to China regularly over the last 10 years. Every visit always does not cease to amaze me. From a backward country 25 years ago, it has managed to become a roaring powerhouse. Visit their top 20 cities, and you can almost get a feeling that it looks as slick as any top Asian city. Moreover, every few months, you practically see the skyline changed.

One of the persistent things that they definitely need to improve are the toilets. A friend Beijing china 4 star toiletcommented that over ten years ago, you don’t need directions to go to a toilet. You only need your nose to smell your way to it. Surely, it has improved. One of the ways, as is done in a country who espoused processes on everything is to ‘grade’ the toilet, and hold it up to the grade standard.

Here we see that there are toilets that are graded 4 star ( internally I am sure that there are standards then that the people maintaining it will have to follow), and here are toilets that are graded 3 star. Maybe the best way to improve is to make the grade visible and make the people responsible hold it to that standard. Is that how we improve also all areas of our operations, including HR?


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  Saturday, January 14, 2006


HOw to Stay Young

Here’s one from Glendz on How to Stay Young:

1. Throw out nonessential numbers.

This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning.

Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. ”

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often … long and loud. Laugh until (more…)


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Gates Most Admired Business Leader

snowman business leaderA new global study conducted by Burson-Marsteller with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) names Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman and chief software architect, the world’s most admired business leader. The 2005 CEO Capital™ study asked more than 600 global business influentials in 65 countries to write in which CEO or chairman they admire most in the business world today. Complete story here….

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China No. 1 Exporter of Technology

The Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) announced that China has surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s No.1 exporter of tech gear. More in BusinessWeek….

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Why I Blog?

daffy duckA lot of us blog, and believe me, blogging takes a lot of energy and time, especially if you want to write something that is not just a rant, but have to research and think through about it carefully to make it actually worth the while of your readers.

Paul contemplates the issue of why people blog, and comes up (more…)


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Man’s Best Friend

A 7th Grader wrote that he thinks the computer has replaced the dog as man’s best friend. What do you know?? He could be right.

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Knowing what Happened

sherlock Holmes management detective
I am a fan of mysteries, and even went so far to assert that the management case can be treated like a whodunit puzzle. Here is a Sherlock Holmes story that illustrates how a person fails to understand what is happening, which is one of the first things a detective, and an entrepreneur should know.

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson were on a camping trip and in the middle of the night Holmes woke up and nudged the faithful Dr Watson. “Look up at the sky Watson and tell me (more…)


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Advice for Entrepreneurs

bugs bunny
Don’t start a business just because you think you will be good at it.
Don’t start a business just because other people think you will be good at it.
Start a business because that should be the one thing you want to do most in life.

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  Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I have always thought that humility was a virtue. When I saw this quote, I thought the person saying this was pulling my leg, but after some thought, I know he isn’t.

“Don’t be too humble. YOu are not that great yet.”

Come to think of it, I meet many persons who think that their ability is so better much than other people that they think they don’t have to go extra lengths to secure understanding or communication, or to market themselves on what they can do, or have done. They don’t aim to please, and they don’t ( in brutally frank words) give a damn to you as a customer, or as a colleague. They think their contribution, their work or their product is already so much superior than what others can do.

So you can read the advice as saying don’t. I think the road to success is (more…)


6:11:12 AM     comment []   trackback []

winning and losing in a tennis match, and a chess matchHere’s another Chinese folk story about a person who never admits to losing. While we recognize that this is sometimes an irritating trait, it could also be a trait that is vital to an entrepreneur’s success.

There was once a person who loved to play chess, and keeps asking people to play with him. However, people did not like to play with him because he never admits defeat.

One day, they decided they would teach him a lesson. So they assemble a huge crowd and an excellent chess player, (more…)


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  Monday, November 07, 2005



- Evian, that famous water brand, reads NAIVE when read backwards.

- If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren’t people from Holland called Holes?

- Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

- IF a person who plays the piano is called a pianist, a person who drives a racecar should be called a racist?

- If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

- Did you ever notice: When you put the two words “The” and “IRS” together it spells “THEIRS”?


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I just finished up the 75th anniversary issue of Fortune ( Sept 26, 2005). Its a great issue, and there are lot of things inside to share. Of course, as a businessman, and an avid writer, I particularly agree that ” Modern business is the greatest journalistic assignment in history.”

Here’s some more gems. ” Over the long run, the stock will behave itself. ” — Warren Buffet

We are not a family business, we are a family in business.” - heirs of Estee Lauder as they try to prove that the third generation family will do an even better job on managing the business.

What Thomas Friedman has accomplished ( author of ” The world is Flat”), is also what I aspire for. This is what somebody said of him, ” He is an intellectual entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship in the business world is about a guy who has the best idea and acts very quickly to get his product to market. He’s the equivalent of that.”

” The word Abracadabra is the only 11 letter word that you can type out on the left hand side of the keyboard” — this is according to Warren Buffett as told to Fortune writer, Carol Loomis.

Ask if Fortune practices sex discrimination, Wyndham Robertson, a former Fortune assistant managing editor is purportedly have said, ” We’d hire an orangutan if it could write.”

Here are also some interesting facts.”

The US Treasury has assets of $237 billion and liabilities of $4.4 trillion, as of Sept 2004.

The next frontier on making the cell phone sound better is to have louder speakers, and the way to do it is to see how to use the surface of the display screen as speaker.


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  Wednesday, October 12, 2005


The Management Case Study as a Whodunit

On a couple of times, I have had the satisfaction of being able to discern a case or a problem brought by some of my colleagues, and see the awe that they have on their faces. How was I able to discern and dissect the problem, and come up with a solution so neat, yet upon presentation, so obvious?

I think my ability to hone in an issue and organize as well as analyze the facts into a logical conclusion is the result of a lifelong passion and interest in whodunit (more…)


10:58:13 PM     comment []   trackback []

How IT Companies got their Names

I just received an interesting email which probably is being circulated. It shows the story behind how the IT companies got their names.

Included in the list was Adobe, Apache, Apple, Cisco, Google, Hotmail, HP, Lotus, Intel , Microsoft, Motorola, Oracle, Red Hat, SAP, Sony, Sun, Xerox and Yahoo got their names. I have read about other stories, or versions of it ( so we don’t know which is correct).

It is great to know that SUN was used to mean Stanford University Network, and that Motorola ( which started making radios for motor cars) was so named because the most popular radio company at that time was Victrola. Apache got its name because it was a ‘patchy’ server. Read on…. (more…)


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  Sunday, October 09, 2005


Moving Bizdrivenlife

I am now updating and moving to the new bizdrivenlife site here.

I will still maintain this site as a mirror site for some days and weeks, but most of my new posts will be at the new site.  In the next few days, I will also transfer the www.bizdrivenlife.net so that if you are using this as your marker, you will be redirected there.

If you are using my feedburner RSS to download my posts, which is as follows:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/ReflectionsOfABusiness-drivenLife, then I have redirected it to download from the new site, so you don't need to do anything.  However, if you are not downloading anything new, pls. go to my new site, and subscribe to the Feedburner RSS on the upper left corner of the blog.

I hope that by moving my blog into WordPress, I can be more flexible, and it will be easier for you to search, locate the information you want, as well as notice the better organization of the new site.

The same 8 subcategories will still be there, and I have taken also the liberty of transferring some of the top posts the last few weeks there.  My selected writings for the last one year is also there.

I am hoping with this new setup, I will be able to more easily communicate with you, and scale even better heights.

As usual, thank you for your support, and your comments are always welcome.

 


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  Thursday, October 06, 2005


TrainMan  (On Life )   (selected articles in bizdrivenlife compiled)

 

I was on a plane going over some movie selections when I chanced upon a really nice movie.  It is a Japanese movie called TrainMan, and some of my friends who know about it says that it is quite a popular movie that was just recently released.  They say this story come from a web board, then a book, then a play then a movie.  So it was a popular story that hit a lot of fans, especially the Japanese.

 

The movie stars Takayuki Yamada and Miki Nakatni.  Why am I talking about a movie?

 

Basically because the movie is about Information technology, and it highlights the changes in the ways we work and live because of technology, but at the end, it shows that with all the changes, we are still basically the same.

 

The movie revolves around a 22 year old single male, who is what you would call a computer geek.  He  has never dated anybody in his life, and he was content to spend his job as a computer engineer.  He would only have 2 hobbies – going to Akahibara ( Japan’s famous electronic and computer stores district) to look up computers and parts, and to spend his time in the internet, either browsing, or chatting.  He thought that would be his life.

 

Then one day, he saved a young woman from a drunk on the train on his way home, and he became attracted to her.  Not knowing what to do, he went to a chat board site, and started telling his story – basically, it was his outlet, and it was also a cry for help.  What should he do?  How can he develop a friendship with the girl.

 

From his post, he was able to tell his story, and he was able to make friends with about 9 people who come from different walks of life – a housewife, a househusband, a female professional, some single geeks, a businessman and others.  These group of people became his advisers, even though they did not know one another.  TrainMan is basically the call name that the actor put on when he sign to the web site.

 

So the story starts.  These informal group of advisers share their expertise and their advice, and of course, their advice basically stems from where they come from.  For instance, when TrainMan dated the girl, there were different interpretations on why the girl would insist that each pay his own during meals.  When the girl gave Trainman a gift of tea cups, there were different versions on what it meant.

 

So this group advises TrainMan, and help give him suggestions – on where to bring the girl for dates, on what kind of wine to order, on what to wear and others.

 

TrainMan also, as his relationship progresses found out what he has been missing – that while computers were great, and going to chat sites, and internet surfing and watching movies alone was enjoyable before, he began to find out that a meaningful friendship was actually something that was much much more.

 

At any rate, I think you basically can guess what happens at the end of the movie ( it is after all, a movie, right?), but it is quite an informative and entertaining romantic comedy, as well as a good glean on life that is now shaped by texting, and chatting.

 

At the end, with the successful relationship, his advisers started to think – if they were able, through giving Trainman courage, and advice, enable Trainman to make his life for the better, was there something else also for them?  Shouldn’t they also get out of their world, and start to forming relationships, instead of a life just chatting, and playing video games.

 

So some of his advisers started to gain courage.  Some started to sport new clothes, and new hairstyles.  Knowing the happiness that the success gave to RainMan, 3 sworn bachelors started to look at girls with new meaning.

 

At the end, it was both an entertaining and refreshing look on life. And for sure, there is more to life than facing the computer screen, even how if how real the virtualization makes it to be.

 

 

 


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