Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Back to China

Alright, finally I will leave to Beijing tomorrow and plan to stay in Beijing and my hometown for about three weeks in total. So the post here may not be as frequent as before. So excited to go back to check what's going on in Beijing and in China as a whole...

I wish you my dear reader a great holiday and vacation!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Entrepreneurship in China

Today, I got the following from Pacific Epoch, a leading English market intelligence research company based in China.


I. Venture News

ATTACK OF THE CLONES 21 Dec 2007 - There was famous joke in the 1990s that C2C stands not for "Consumer to Consumer," but for "Copy to China." When I look at China's internet industry today, I realize that this is still very much the reality.

I do not want focus on the old story about how sohu.com (NASDAQ: SOHU) began its website with the ¡°sohoo.com¡± domain name and pretty much attempted to clone the look and feel of Yahoo.com (NADDAQ: YHOO). Instead, I'll focus on the Web 2.0 space. Now that Facebook has become arguably the most trendy internet website in the world, hundreds of Facebook clones have sprung up in China in the past year. In fact, some of these entrepreneurs have copied Facebook not once, but twice! Below is a quote from the blog of Elias Glenn, one of our analysts who covers emerging media companies in China.

Wang Xing, the Chinese entrepreneur known for cloning popular overseas Web 2.0 sites in China, has recently launched his newest C2C (copy-to-China) site. After starting Xiaonei.com (a Facebook copy which he sold to Oak Pacific Interactive) Wang founded Twitter knockoff Fanfou. I guess Wang decided to stick with what works, because he has recently started up ANOTHER Facebook clone: Hainei.com The design and layout of Hainei is an almost exact copy of Facebook, just like Xiaonei was. Hainei does seem to be targeting a larger audience than Xiaonei - Xiaonei means "on campus" and is still only open to college kids; Hainei means country- or worldwide. I keep thinking it has got to be some kind of joke, but if Wang is able to sell two Facebook copycat sites before Facebook itself gets acquired, he will be the one laughing the hardest. Wang has got to be one of the most intrepid characters in China's Internet industry - I really do need to meet him.

I actually know Wang Xing. I met him at an industry gathering, and found him to be a really smart entrepreneur. After becoming his "friend" on his website, Hainei.com, I have learned that Hainei.com already has attracted more than 10,000 registered users since its launch two months ago.

Although some companies like Hainei.com might "Copy to China" and implement Western businesses here, others take it even a step further and copy domestic Chinese market leaders. For example, the number of clones of Yesppg.com (an e-commerce company that sells about 1 million RMB of men¡¯s shirt every day) skyrocketed in 2007. Yesppg.com competition now includes Vancl, founded by former Joyo CEO Chen Nian, and Bono founded by former Yahoo China CEO Tianjian.

I have asked some of these entrepreneurs why they are copying existing businesses instead of starting something new and different. The resounding answer was that investors are more likely to invest in businesses they both understand and have proven success stories.

Perhaps this is true, and perhaps copying the market leader also enables the investors to have a more certain exit strategy. Just think about how many Focus Media (NASDAQ: FMCN) clones have been bought by Focus Media. Last week, the company purchased Cgen for $US 168M in cash and up to $US 180M in stock. Exit stories like this encourage other entrepreneurs to copy market leaders instead of innovating.

The New Year is upon us and it is time for all of us to take a break from our 80 hour work weeks. Perhaps over the holiday we all can spend some time thinking about investment ideas for 2008 that are actually new innovations and are not merely clones of someone else's creativity and hard work.

Frances Du
Partner, JL McGregor & Company

There is one way that you create startup to please potential investor so that we can have Baidu (Google in China), Sohu/Sina(Yahoo in China), Dangdang/Joyo (Amazon in China) and the list can go on and on. And it's very true that "that investors are more likely to invest in businesses they both understand and have proven success stories."

Not to claim I am smarter, I do think this what hinders why China cannot stand for its innovation. Rather, we stands for our ability to manufacture or reengineer or copy. It's a quick way to make money to copy those models, esp. if you also have a sound resume including universities or companies that investors trust as well such as Harvard and IBM. As my professor said in the "entrepreneurial financing" class at Babson: "..reduce the perceived risk.."

The investors put money into those clone startups clearly have a strong business acumen but also indirectly are HURTING the real innovative ideas that may emerge in China. And the success stories of those clone startups and entrepreneurs will also "discourage" other Chinese would-be entrepreneurs to put effort to develop creative and innovative Chinese business models, something that investors without a sound Chinese business and social background may not get it.

There is easy money. There is hard money. Overall China is suffering a "short-sight" mania. Who cares about tomorrow? Who cares about long-term thing? Who cares about things may have a long-term impact such as environment?

If China really wants to match the creativity and innovation development at US, please devote the effort towards "local" innovation. Otherwise, the introduction of VC in China will be very similar to the introduction of stock market in China decades ago. We had the domestic stock market but we didn't have the foundation underneath it such as American legal system and fully empowered security regulation watchdog. It's like we have the top of Pyramid which is most noticeable from far away but lack the base. How stable this pyramid could be? Today, while the Chinese domestic stock market had been greatly improved, I see the Chinese VC industry is repeat the same "mistake". Yes, we have government regulation of VC and its partnership structure. We have tens of, if not hundreds of, local and oversea VC firms. But what are we lacking? We are lacking the true spirit of VC/Startup movement in the US. The system, courage and spirit that honors and support true innovation.

It takes decades for Chinese stock market to work hard to build fundemental blocks. I hope it would take shorter for the startup way.

Technorati Tags    

Travel related event I would like to attend

 Social Media Strategies for Travel 2008
CRM in Travel USA 2008

Both organized by www.eyefortravel.com

Technorati Tags    

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Marketing Research vs. Market Research

One of my research  paper at Babson is about the recommended marketing research practice for startup planning. Along my research, an interesting question is about the difference between "marketing research" and "market research". Following are a few explanations I found online:

From "Branding & Marketing" Blog:

Marketing research is sort of a communication link between company and customers, market and environment: marketing research generates and gives company information to help companies make better marketing strategies and plans.

Market research (compared to marketing research) is the part of marketing research that is about researching the market place (customer needs, competition, opportunities, changes in the marketplace).

From MarketingTeacher.com:

Market research and marketing research are often confused. 'Market' research is simply research into a specific market. It is a very narrow concept. 'Marketing' research is much broader. It not only includes 'market' research, but also areas such as research into new products, or modes of distribution such as via the Internet.

From QuickMBA.com:

Marketing Research vs. Market Research

These terms often are used interchangeably, but technically there is a difference.

Market research deals specifically with the gathering of information about a market's size and trends. Marketing research covers a wider range of activities. While it may involve market research, marketing research is a more general systematic process that can be applied to a variety of marketing problems.

From Marketing Planet:

  • Should you require qualified data on your own offer (product and services) or your current customers, then the marketing research will apply.
  • Should you require more information on the market situation, non current customers or linked offers (competitive or substitutes) you’d direct your research to market research.
Finally, via Wikipedia:

Market research
Marketing research

After all, I think the "Marketing Planet" explanation makes most sense from literacy perspective: Marketing is a verb that defines an action and is taken by businesses so more like from inside. Market is a noun that defines a part of the whole society that shares certain common characteristics.  Practically, the "Marketing Teacher" one makes sense as to do "marketing research", you have to have market research information first.

Technorati Tags     ,

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Business Plan Competition

Next Wed I will be in Beijing. After 2 years away from the fastest growing economy in the world. Had read so many news about China. Good, Bad, Positive, Negative. Finally I can see it through my own eyes.

But never really a vacation. My travel startup also reached a critical point. MB and I decided to totally focus on our alpha version development and business plan writing. The former will greatly help us to do 1) fund raising; 2)key feature testing and 3) business development. It's such a pain to explain our flash based application. Who can really get the picture about iPhone before seeing one? It's understandablly difficult to imagine something conceptually. The latter will allow us to enter a few business plaln competition. It's good since we only need to prepare business plan once and could do free marketing for us. The 3 we are going to attend are:

2008 University of San Francisco International Business Plan Competition

2008 NECINA Brown Rudnick Business Plan Contest

The Rice Business Plan Competition

Moot Corp Competition from UT Austin maybe another option.

All in all, the take is when you resource is tight, both time and money, then please allocate to the most important thing for a startup. Clearly your product as in most case.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ottawa trip and Amazon Kindle

Such a (weird) feeling but I realize I don't have a website that I feel I belong to at this moment. I am thinking maybe dealsea.com is one because I am trying to buy a laptop at a good deal. I think wenxuecity.com with those whatever news is one that makes me feel relaxed. I think military.china.com is one to do the same. I used to read techcrunch.com everyday then I deleted it from my RSS a few weeks ago.

This moment reminds me the fact I never really devoted myself to any sport club. Be it NBA or Italian/English soccer club. I just want to watch the best play that takes either my time or my money. I would enjoy a great game between Arsenal and Manchest United or Lakers vs. Mavericks.  But there are three things I devote to: my Chinese passport, startup and my simple friendship with others.

Now a side line. I was reading the 01/2008 issue of Esquire this morning and it has a few great interview with Bob Dylan, Johnny Depp etc. Then I saw the postcard insert that "persuade" me to subscribe for $10/12 issues. Btw, my current subscription of Esquire is a $3/12 issue promotion from Amazon.com. Why should I pay? 1) the stories are good but not non-replaceable;2)advertising pages account for a big part of the magazine? If Amazon Kindle can embrace features like those:

1.integrating user review/recommendation from amazon.com to it;
2.let user exchange e-book for a limited time with friend (like iTune allows you to burn a song to CD for 5 times)
3.let reader doing web 2.0 features such as adding user review, rating a book/article, voting for/against easily
4.let user access email via Spring wireless network!
5.let user manage SMS via Spring network!

After all, not sure if already in Amazon's future plan for Kindle but please make it a lighter-than-laptop, wireless-enabled super PDA! In this way, I may buy a Kindle to replace my Dell X51 PDA rather than an Apple iTouch!

Technorati Tags     ,,,

Monday, December 10, 2007

Life without Google - Part 1

Finally my final was over and I can back to my normal life including blogging, twitteringand riliking(yeah, I know the name of my new startup will become a verb too just like Google did)..


One interesting thing I am experimenting now is to have an Internet life without Google. Why? I just bought a new Compaq laptop for my cousin in China at a very good price and playing with it now. It has Yahoo! everywhere: In the desktop search bar and in the default IE tool bar. So I think "ok.Let me play with Yahoo for awhile to see really how it is since everything/everyone is almost moving to Google. Let me do something different." Actually, I am a long time yahoo mail user so I knew yahoo pretty well. Also had met a good friend of mine via Yahooo classified (sadly, yahoo totally changed it afterwards...)



Let's see how it goes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fwd: [svcef] Fw: Announcement: Returned Oversea Chinese Scholars Entrepreneur Week 2007

--- huaqiang wu <wuhuaqiang@yahoo.com> wrote:

> To: svcef@yahoogroups.com
> From: huaqiang wu <wuhuaqiang@yahoo.com>
> Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2007 15:56:28 -0800 (PST)
> Subject: [svcef] Fw: Announcement: Returned Oversea
> Chinese Scholars Entrepreneur Week 2007
> Dear Friends:
> This is a fantastic event organized by All-China
> Youth Federation (Quan Guo Qing Lian). People joined
> the event has benefited a lot from the event.
> Please consider this event seriously! All cost
> inside China including transportation, hotel and
> meals are covered by organizer. But you must RSVP
> now. Deadline is Nov. 26th.
> Dec. 20: Registration in Beijing;
> Dec. 21-22: Events in Beijing:
> Dec. 23-26: Events in Yunnan Lijiang
> If you are interested in this event, you need
> register to Huaqiang Wu as soon as possible. Please
> fill in the form and send email to wu.huaqiang@
> gmail.com .
> If you cannot read the Chinese in the email,
> please check the attached announcement word file.
> Thanks
> Huaqiang Wu
> President, Silicon Valley Tsinghua Network
> 650-906-9048
> Wu。
> 谢谢!
> 硅谷清华è"ç½'
> ç"µè¯ï¼š650-906-9048
> --------------
> 硅谷清华è"ç½':
> 一、活动时间及地点
> 二、活动主题
> 创新创业、报效祖国
> 三、活动主要安æŽ'
4、部å§"æ&lsqauo;œè®¿ã€‚æ&lsqauo;œè®¿æœ‰å…³éƒ¨å§",并请有关部门负责人及部分高校、ç§'ç "院所å'Œå¤§åž&lsqauo;企业负责人ä»&lsqauo;绍有关情况å'Œæ"¿ç­–。
> 四、组织方式及参加人å'˜
ç"±å„海外学人社团组团参加。参加活动的代表要求是在国外ç§'ç "院所、高等院校å'Œå¤§åž&lsqauo;企业等地方工作并取得较大成绩的海外学人代表或国外高等院校åº"届毕业的博士ç"Ÿï¼Œå¹´é¾„原则上在45岁以ä¸&lsqauo;。
> äº"、有关äº&lsqauo;宜
请于11月26日将贵会《参加"2007海外学人回国创业å'¨"活动人å'˜åå•ã€&lsqauo;å'Œã€Šå‚加"2007海外学人回国创业å'¨"的回执ã€&lsqauo;通过ç"µå­é‚®ç®±ä¼ ç»™æˆ'们。
> ä¸"此致函,请予æ"¯æŒã€‚
> 中华全国é'å¹´è"合会秘书处
> 二â—&lsqauo;â—&lsqauo;七年十一月二十二日

FW: [Entrepreneurs] Launch a Web Startup Company Today!

Harvard College Entrepreneurship Forum


To subscribe or unsubscribe to this mailing list, visit http://lists.hcs.harvard.edu/mailman/listinfo/entrepreneurs

Had been an event on a different topic before. Quite interest to sit with people with totally different background.
Li Hong MBA Class of 2008  Babson College  Cell:508-333-3616  Skype: cefs99 http://www.linkedin.com/in/lihong

From: entrepreneurs-bounces@lists.hcs.harvard.edu on behalf of Tommy Li
Sent: Tue 11/27/2007 3:44 PM
To: entrepreneurs@lists.hcs.harvard.edu
Subject: [Entrepreneurs] Launch a Web Startup Company Today!

Launch a Web Startup Company Today!

Get the tools you need this Saturday (12/1) to make your web startup idea a reality.
Hosted by HDOT and HCEF.

Saturday December 1st
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Fong Auditorium in Bolyston Hall

Finale Deserts will be served!

We will discuss in depth:
  • whole process of starting a web-based company
  • how to set up your own website
  • how successful companies are making money from their sites
  • the basic tools for web development including HTML, PHP, MySQL, Flash, and more
No previous background necessary!

Please RSVP to ruoguli@fas.harvard.edu in order to be guaranteed a spot at the seminar.
This event is co-sponsored by the Harvard Distribution of Technology
and the Harvard College Entrepreneurship Forum (www.harvardentrepreneurship.org).

FW: ENET's Entrepreneurial Minute Opportunity

From: ENET [mailto:kathleen@ballos.com]
Sent: Tue 11/27/2007 3:06 PM
To: Hong, Li
Subject: ENET's Entrepreneurial Minute Opportunity

ENET's Entrepreneurial Minute Opportunity - Fostering Growth in Early Stage Companies

Are you raising capital?  Building your Board?  Developing a business plan?  Launching a new product?  Seeking a beta site?

New in its second year, The Entrepreneurial Minute, (eMinute) is an innovative program by the Boston Entrepreneurs' Network designed to help early stage companies overcome the challenges of growing a successful business.  The eMinute opportunity provides early stage companies with a forum to present their business challenge directly to angel investors, venture capital firms, service providers and potential partners in attendance at ENET's monthly networking meetings.  eMinutes are also included in the following month's eMinute "email blast", providing additional publicity  to over 1700 members of our database.

eMinute Presenters at the next ENET Meeting Tuesday, December 4, 2007:

Fluxgen:  Steve Grovo, VP Sales/Marketing

Cover4Me:  Laila Partridge, CEO

TextTelevision:  Dennis Downey, Founder

The eMinutes from our November 2007 meeting appear later in this message.  Page down and learn about:

Speeding Bullet



You do not need to be an ENET or IEEE member to benefit from eMinute!

Previous presenters have said this about their eMinute experiences:

"The Entrepreneurial Minute was, from a business development perspective, the most productive five minutes of my career!" - Jay Johnson, CEO, Synersoft, www.synersoft.com

"The eMinute was a great opportunity to get our message out to a diverse audience, and I am grateful to the Boston ENET for making it possible!" - Ray Deck, President, Element55: Automatic Time Capture.

How it Works.   Each month, one to three entrepreneurs will be selected to give a 1-minute (250 words) overview of their concept and business challenge.  Send your application summary in today to be included in an upcoming program.  How to apply:

www.boston-enet.org/eminute.html   Entrepreneurs will be prescreened by ENET prior to presenting.

The next ENET meeting is Tuesday, December 4, at the Bay Colony Corporate Center, 1100 Winter Street, Waltham, MA.  The topic is "Protecting and Leveraging Intellectual Property".  More information is available at the ENET website:  www.boston-enet.org

Previous eMinutes from November 2007

Ed Berliner, Speeding Bullet

Speeding Bullet Media Group has offices in both Massachusetts and Florida, locally in Quincy, MA.  Ed Berliner has over 25 years as a media veteran in TV, radio, Internet and production.  The management team has over 100 years combined experience in all phases of media production and syndication.  Target market is regional/national/global, producing the world's first web site dedicated to news/sports coverage utilizing video and audio only.

www.speedingbulletnetwork.com feeds the growing desire for multi-media programming available via the Internet.  Regional coverage with correspondents is not available on any other site.  Varied reports/original programming/viewer interaction is not available on any other site.  Research indicates increasing sponsorship dollars on Internet programming with falling numbers on traditional TV and radio.

The only challenge at this point is marketing.  Our plan involves guerilla marketing with links provided by other established web sites, using YouTube and MySpace popularity to our advantage and at no cost.  Investor funds will be used for staff, technical (Internet) delivery, webmaster, hiring of national sales staff (commission basis) and limited marketing dollars.  Web site is already produced and prepared to launch with limited content October 8th.  Negotiations are already underway with ad sales firms.  There are already agreements in place for marketing with other sites, negotiations with additional sites continues.

SBMG seeks first stage investment of no more than $500,000 in small incremental stages.  Entire investment number may never be reached.  Sales and marketing backgrounds/firms would be helpful but not immediate.  Investor/partnership ownership shares to be negotiated.

LimeAll is a website aimed at helping its users refresh their relationships, friendships and letting them stay fresh and warm through its unique and innovative services.

Meeta Aggarwal, founder of LimeAll

LimeAll is aimed at helping people solve the problem of staying in touch, giving a personal feel to their communications conveniently, taking them into a new era of greetings, reminders, invitations and photos sharing.  Our services are extremely unique, innovative and include blended versions of calls, videos and photos.

Our suite of services would allow users to dedicate and play self-recorded messages followed by a song on a friend's phone, create and share musical photo albums that can be played with a personalized message and song in the background, receive birthday reminders on their phones, preset call and video greetings that would be sent automatically on a friend's birthday, send personalized invitations by uploading a video or a photo album with a personalized message and song playing in the background.  Response of our beta users has been extremely overwhelming.  We have planned several upgrades to all the existing services as well as new services like greetings on TV and mobile phones.

While conceptualizing LimeAll we have taken special care of providing only value adding services.  We have already obtained provisional patents for these services.  We have already developed a prototype you can visit at www.LimeAll.com

Our most likely exit strategy is to be acquired by one of the large business software companies, like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.

We are seeking $500,000 of funding to continue to development, enhance infrastructure, payment of legal fees, publicity and promotion.

Meeta Aggarwal
Founder of LimeAll
17 Newcastle Drive
Nashua, NH  03060
Phone: 603-438-8479

Paul Martin, CEO of Software Startup, SpaceMAX based in Newton, Massachusetts

Designed to help planners maximize the value and use of space, SpaceMAX solves the problem of lost productivity suffered by both client and AEC professionals that result from unclear conveyance of requirements and expectations.

When the goal is to reconfigure current space to accommodate changing needs; to maximize workflow and throughput; to reduce "internal commuting" of personnel within a campus; or to track and manage assets across diverse spaces, SpaceMAX provides the solution.

SpaceMAX gives users an easy and clear way to specify needed space and any special needs of how spaces should interact before AEC or CAD specialists get involved.  Many AEC professionals "specialize" in particular industries because of the need to "understand" their clients' business.  SpaceMAX helps these professionals by facilitating a more direct planning phase and helping ensure a more profitable project.

SpaceMAX allows the user to optimize workflow, space-use cost effectiveness, to evaluate changes and what-if scenarios in a framework of quick-collaboration and helps organizations manage physical assets by location.

SpaceMAX has recently been used in two medical center layout planning projects and in a small commercial property management setting.  The recent story about the group of unofficial residents in Providence Place Mall illuminate just one case where information about space and who is using it and for what purpose can sometimes get lost.

We are looking for customers and approximately $500,000 in angel financing to bolster operations, sales and marketing.  We are found at:  www.spacemaxlogic.com

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Who you are - For Asians in America

Young Asians in America come in many forms. Below are the major categories. Most Asians can fit into multiple groups. For example,
Rice-boys can also be Fobs and many Tabs are Fobulous. The only groups that are never part of another group are the Twinkies and the Asian-Americans. Claim your Fobbiness! When you see your Asian friend, greet them with "Wassup Fob!" And if your Asian friend says something ridiculous, say "Fob please!" Of course, when a non-Asian calls you a Fob, that is grounds for a fight. Ahahaha...

The categories below are to be taken lightheartedly, its just for fun.
Read, recognize, laugh, and EXPLOIT.

 - Besides your nationality, there is little to distinguish you from white people
 - Your significant other is not Asian and never has been
 - You have few Asian friends, if any
 - You are embarrassed at family events because you cannot speak your language and everyone has to switch to English to communicate with you
 - You have no idea that the other types of Asians on this list even exist
 - You think Hello Kitty is dumb and do not know what Sanrio is
 - You are the only Asian on this list that does not know what Bubble Tea is
 - You drive a Ford or some other domestic car and if you drive a Honda, it
 is stock

 - You claim yourself as Asian, but real Asians think you're whitewashed and non-Asians see you as a foreigner. You fit in nowhere
 - You have heard of Bubble Tea but have never actually had any
 - You are confused about your cultural identity and express this frustration through spoken word performances at your college
 - You read A. magazine and think it's great
 - You do not know who Leon, Aaron, Sammi, Hikki, or Kangta are
 - You are only vaguely aware of the other Asians below

 Fob (Fresh Off tha Boat)
 - You were not born in America
 - You know who Leon, Aaron, Sammi, Hikki, and Kangta are. In fact, you have seen them at Atlantic City or Las Vegas recently
 - You speak your native language fluently and so do all your friends
 - You do not have any non-Asian friends
 - Your parents do not speak any English
 - When you speak English, you like to make everything plural
 - You get extremely good grades in school
 - You cannot dance
 - Your fashion sense comes from whatever country you're from and you incorporate nothing from American fashion into your wardrobe

 - Your command of the English language is minimal and you don't care
 - You like dim sum chicken feet
 - You do not own a single CD, VCD, Video game, or DVD that isn't bootlegged
 - Your only hangout is Chinatown
 - All the lights in your house are fluorescent
 - You dry your cloths outside your window
 - You need a haircut
 - You either smell like cigarettes or food

 - You are an Asian-American or Twinkie who has recently "awoken"
 - You have a newly found fetish of Asian girls/boys
 - You have taken the Asian Studies course at college
 - You are trying to learn as much as possible about your culture to make up for your lifetime of trying to be white (Twinkie ; Banana) or Black (Chigger; Thousand year old egg)
 - If you are lucky, you will grow to become Fobulous

 Gangsta Fob
 - You have shot another Asian
 - Your favorite hangout is a pool hall
 - When you talk, you sound like a cross between a Fob and an urban black kid
 - Your hair looks silly, but no one will tell you because you'll shoot them
 - You have a serious gambling problem
 - You are a Rice-boy, but your mods are cheap and are never painted to match the rest of your car
 - No one tells you your rice ride looks cheap because you'll shoot them
 - You want to have a Tab girlfriend, but can only get Hoochie Tabs

 Tab (Trendy Asian Bitch)
 - You shop at A/X, Bebe, Banana Republic and Club Monaco
 - You only wear black and will occasionally wear white to "mix it up"
 - You do not weigh more than 105 lbs
 - You have never paid for dinner at a restaurant in your life
 - Platform heels are your favorite
 - You are a makeup expert, in fact, you appear completely flawless
 - You do not smile in public
 - You are the object of desire of all Asian men and you know it
 - You smoke
 - Your cell phone is completely customized
 - On the inside flip of your cell phone is a sticker picture of you and your man
 - Somewhere in your purse is a Sanrio item
 - You only date Asian and will only date a boy with a nice car
 - You are often seen with Rice-boys
 - You never travel alone. You are either in the company of other Tabs or your Rice-boy boyfriend

 Hoochie Tab
 - You are an import car model
 - Your boobs are not real
 - There are naked pictures of you floating around on the internet  somewhere
 - Stiletto heels are your favorite
 - Your role models are Francine Dee and Kaila Yu
 - Your boyfriend is a Gangsta Fob
 - You cheat on your boyfriend
 - Unlike most Asians, you do not do well in school

 - You drive an Asian import. Usually a Honda or Acura
 - Your souped up car (known as a Rice-ride or Rice-rocket) is unrecognizable from its original stock form
 - Your exhaust pipe is big enough for your head to fit in
 - The spoiler on your car looks like it was made by Boeing
 - The interior of your car also looks like it was designed by Boeing
 - You always drive like you are racing someone
 - You are not afraid of dying in a crash, but you are afraid of speed  bumps and parking lot on-ramps
 - The only other person besides yourself who can sit in your car is your 105 lbs Tab girlfriend. If anyone else sits in your car, the entire bottom of it will be touching the ground
 - Even though your car is a Honda, it goes faster and is worth more than a Lotus Esprit
 - If you drive a Civic, your dream car is a Supra. If you drive a Supra, your dream car is a Skyline (which you can never have). Poor Rice-boy.

 - You speak perfect English and you are fluent in your native language
 - You have Asian friends as well as non-Asian friends
 - You listen to Asian pop as well as American music
 - You are equally aware of both popular American culture and Asian pop culture
 - You are a good dancer
 - You date Asian by choice even though you could rock the opposite sex of any other race
 - You are a good designer and have superior Html skills
 - For you, FOB stands for Fabulous Oriental Being
 - You have lots of Asian pride

Friday, November 23, 2007

How to thinking? Go broader first before going deeper

Financial Times Chinese has a good article about the importance of a broad knowledge. The title is "Forget focus, celebrate breadth" You can find the Chinese versino here.

As the name implies, you are suggested to have a broad knowledge first. I totally agree. Again, Chinese has a old sayinga about the best way to build your knowledge "Broad and extensive first, then go profound and in-depth". Based on my experience, I had developed a "theory" to prove it.

We all know that the brain works as a network. Many interconnected cells that may form many different type of sub-networks that interconnected naturally and magically to form the brain. It's a networked intelligence. Scientist already proved that by focus on different type of study/knowledge, different part of the brain/sub-networks can have a better development or more active. That means stronger interconnection within the subnetwork.

So by having a braoader knwoledge, more subnetworks or more parts of your brain can be developed. Now here is the cool part. I think anytime you read something or heard something from someone else, this "new" knowledge will hit your brain like a bullet going through many networks. The more network this bullett can hit, the more "reaction" will happen between thsi new knowledge and your existing one. A perfect chain reaction. I think that's why research also proved that the more messy a person's office/house is, the more reactive/innovative this person will be. Why? a broader knowledge and more broad network his brain may have, though the network maybe quite light (not deep knowledge), but this person can generate more new ideas because of his broader brain.

Think. Read.

I believe my creativity benefited a lot a lot from my reading of the Can Kao XIao Xi, a great newspaper in China that has broad international news, in my junior high school and senior high school year. I like reading every page of the newspaper, till today. I think every piece of reading or knowledge is useful,  it's just a m ateter of time about when you may use this knowledge. Building your arsenal now by reading extensively...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

First "client" from Bitwine

I had joined an online expert website quite some time ago, it's called
Bitwine where people can setup profile at areas they have expertise
with. They can also setup a price tag for their time like a Lawyer
did. I almost totally forgot this one till this morning I got an email
from BitWine telling me there is a client(individual) wants to talk
about startup issue with me. Cool. Will see how it goes. Seems the
traffic has kicked in to Bitwine now?

Li Hong
MBA Class of 2008
Babson College
Skype: cefs99


Monday, November 19, 2007

FW: [Entrepreneurs] Interested in expanding your entrepreneurialventure to France?

Harvard College Entrepreneurship Forum


To subscribe or unsubscribe to this mailing list, visit http://lists.hcs.harvard.edu/mailman/listinfo/entrepreneurs

*Are you considering or currently starting a technology venture?** Think
global. *

The fiercely competitive global technology market is a challenge to any
entrepreneur, and the key to success is being able to internationalize your
vision and activities at an early stage. *France's Young Entrepreneurs
Initiative* can help you achieve your goal through *a free, personalized,
one stop service*.

France is evolving quickly and now offers significant advantages to
innovators and entrepreneurs

- World class R&D labs and business hubs ready to partner with technology

- Highly skilled workforce and labour costs 20% to 50% lower than in the US

- Fertile, productive business environment - advantages and benefits for

- Access to European R&D partners projects,funding and markets

US-based entrepreneurs selected to participate in the Young Entrepreneurs
Initiative will benefit from mentoring, funding and a networking program to
help them *study the feasibility of setting up* their venture *in France, *the
stepping stone to Europe.

The Young Entrepreneurs Initiative (YEi) offers one stop access to :

*- Mentoring and $US600k funding*

- A network of successful entrepreneurs

- Lead customers and business clusters

- Business Angels, VC groups, and grants for high tech startups

- Technology clusters and shared platforms

- Incubators and local venture ecosystems

*To apply* for the YEi Program (until November 30th) , please visit:

The Young Entrepreneurs Initiative is *a non for profit program* managed by
the Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Alternative Micro Venture Capital Fund

While initially plan to write my thought of an investment opportunity I had seen after talking with an MBA classmate who is working on her blog, I will postpone to yesterday to hold my pledge to go to sleep at 12pm. Clearly, it's 12:03 now.

A bunch of things you my dear reader may find interesting:
The strategic studies Institute,

has a very good monthly email to give you some good articles to read. I found this website by accident and find it's very good source to understand how Americans thinking and especially what's their view of China, Asian and other international topics. I have to admit I am impressed by the openess of US government as a whole. Even though they haven't open CIA yet..

Should you change your job?

This is a Chinese article at the Chinese edition of Financial Times, one of my most favorite financial news website. I put WSJ behind it because WSJ Chinese is merely a high-quality Chinese translation of their English edition. FT Chinese has much more original content produced by their Chinese employee. Very impressive.

That article is a  young freelancer's series of articles talking about the life of China's "Generation Y" or post-80's ( borned after 1980 in China). ANd this article is talking about should you change job frequently. Her conclusion is not. But I have a bit more to add on.

1. If you do not want to start your company, do NOT change your job. Assume you had chosen your first job right.
Sun zhengyao had worked in HP Taiwan for 25 years before being promoted to President of HP China. Forget about his IQ/record etc, how many people you can find in HP Asian that can speak Chinese and worked for 25 years?

2. If you do need to change job, figure out what's the SINGLE m ost important thing you want from your career?
Many asked me before should I take this offer? Should I go to work for Oracle China while I am working for IBM Chian now? Understand what you really want then decision making is a very easy thing. Sadly, many people spent even whole life try to figure out what they want...

A few more good websites that I read everyday ,or plan to:

Techcrunch, best blog tracking new startup and trends of the Internet industry
Donews, Chinese version of Techcrunch 
Hotelmarketing, you may heard my current startup is an online travel startup
Mass High Tech, if you living in Boston area

Because I read Mass High Tech, I find this event may be cool for you:

The Capital Network (TCN) Financing Roundtable for December

G'night. 12:25. Better than yesterday.

Technorati Tags     ,,,,,,,,,,

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Building your online identity!

I am  struggling to keep a daily post. But hey, at least I am doing a couple of post at Twitter. Check my twitter page !

So talking about twitter. It's really a trend about how to build your personal Internet presence or Online Identity. Just like the public profile at LinkedIn, my twitter is just another public presence of my activity online. Same for facebook profile, myspace profile etc. While many Internet users may still think it has nothing to do with them as long as they can continue reading, they are missing a big favor Internet can do for them.

Since Internet can help us reaching billions of people all over the world, we all have the very reason to find out who this XYZ person really is. And every HR manager also wants to find out what else can we learn about the candidate except his/her resume before we offer an interview? We may all remember the WSJ story about a person lost the interview opportunity after HR people find his drunk photo in facebook. Dangerous, is it?

But, if you manage Internet well, it can give you many advantage. People always have a better feeling if can find some information about the other they are going to meet. Now if the guy can seemy LinkedIn profile first, I am very sure they will feel very comfortable to meet me. Imaging the feeling if you cannot find anything about someone you are going to meet, in the pre-Internet era. How do you feel?

Also since no matter what, others may write some thing about you online, like your classmate or your colleagues. And very likely they may only describe a part of you, be it positive or negative. So why dont you try to control your own identiy?

Do it. As quickly As possible. And after I updated my linkedin profile using the famous Kawasaki's tips, I will start building my profile in China now. Yep, I need it.

Technorati Tags     ,,,,,,

Friday, November 09, 2007

Studentbusinesses.com - National Business Idea Competition

The $1000 National Business Idea Competition
Are you an entrepreneurially-minded student at a top university? Have you considered
launching a startup based on one of your own ideas?
StudentBusinesses.com, an online resource for the most promising entrepreneurial
university students across the country, is launching The National Business Idea
Competition – as a prelude to its larger-scale National Business Plan Competition
expected to be launched in 2008.
The $1000 National Business Idea competition will allow entrepreneurial students at
select universities across the country to submit 250-word descriptions of various
startup ideas, which will in turn be considered for a cash prize. Participants need not
be working on their startup at present in order to join, although current entrepreneurs
are especially invited.
Each student may submit up to five business ideas to be considered in the
competition, which will be hosted directly through StudentBusinesses.com.
Participants in the competition will automatically become members of
StudentBusinesses.com at no cost, and will thus become eligible to enter the largerscale
StudentBusinesses.com National Business Plan Competition in 2008.
Summary (see complete Rules on next page):
To enter the contest, students and alumni who meet the Eligibility requirements (see
next page) must submit a brief application for membership at
www.StudentBusinesses.com. Upon acceptance as a member, they will have the
opportunity to create a profile and to post a description of their business ideas in the
“Idea Bullpen” section of the website. All entries of less than 250 words that are
submitted before January 15, 2008 will be considered in the $1000 National Business
Idea Competition, and the winners will be announced on January 30, 2008. The
larger-scale National Business Plan Competition is expected to launch shortly
thereafter, and all participants in the Business Idea Competition will be automatically
eligible to participate. Entry is free.
StudentBusinesses.com connects the most promising student entrepreneurs across
the country with a unique set of resources and people who can help them succeed –
including professionals, investors, advisors, and other entrepreneurs. The site was
founded in 2007 by two Harvard students. Its Board of Advisors includes Bob Higgins
(Managing Partner at Highland Capital), Tom Harrison (CEO of Omnicom Group’s
Diversified Agency Services, the largest holding group of marketing companies in the
world), Trey Grayson (Secretary of State of Kentucky), and Janak Joshi (Boston-based
venture financier).
 This event is open to currently enrolled university students and alumni who
graduated in 2003 or thereafter from a university currently listed on
StudentBusinesses.com. (StudentBusinesses.com reserves the right to require
confirmation of eligibility. Participants must be at least 18 years of age.)
 To enter the competition, participants must be accepted as members of
StudentBusinesses.com. This requires visiting www.StudentBusinesses.com,
submitting a brief application indicating one’s reason for being interested in
entrepreneurship, and completing a full profile in either the “Businesses in the
Game” or the “Students on the Roster” section of StudentBusinesses.com.
 Acceptance as a member of StudentBusinesses.com is determined by the site’s
administrators, in accordance with its standard membership policy. For more
information, go to http://www.studentbusinesses.com/apply.php
a. Entry to the National Business Idea Competition is free.
b. To enter the competition you must satisfy the above “Eligibility” requirements,
which include completing an application and profile for, and being accepted as a
student member in, www.StudentBusinesses.com. Student membership is free.
c. After acceptance, you may submit up to five separate business ideas in the
“Ideas in the Bullpen” section of the site. Each business idea will be considered
separately and must be posted as a separate entry in “Ideas in the Bullpen.”
d. To be considered in the competition, business ideas must be described in 250
words or less. StudentBusinesses.com does not provide confidential treatment for
submitted ideas and reserves the right to republish and disseminate any and all
e. The competition will be open until January 15th, and eligible participants may edit
their submissions at any time prior to January 15th. The winners will be
announced on January 30, 2008.
f. There will be one winner and one runner-up. The winner will receive a $750 cash
prize, and the runner-up will receive a $250 cash prize. Winners are responsible
for any taxes due.
g. To enter the competition, you must become a member of the site by creating a
full profile for yourself in either the “Businesses in the Game” or the “Students on
the Roster” section of the site.
h. Winners will be selected on the basis of (i) quality of their business idea, (ii)
clarity of writing, and (iii) interest and dialogue generated about their idea in the
“Ideas in the Bullpen” section of StudentBusinesses.com. Ideas will be judged by
StudentBusinesses.com administrators in conjunction with one or more members
of the StudentBusinesses.com Advisory Board. StudentBusinesses.com
administrators will exercise sole discretion in selecting winner according to these

Blogged with Flock

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Post from bentley dinner room

Reading a post of Georgia leader declared national emergency after riot police fire tear gas at protest in today's NY Times, I recall reading Georgia 's ad at recent WSJ about welcoming oversea investors.

You never know what gonna happen. Embracing the uncertainty.

MBA Class of 2008
Babson College
Skype: cefs99

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Corporate structure for my next startup

This is my envision for the corporate structure that I want to deploy in my next start-up:


The principle is to be simple, fair and make sense.


1.only 5 levels: junior, senior, manager, director, executives

different level represents different expertise in different area but all same pay for people at same level. So an engineer-background employee can still earn the same salary as director if his expertise in his area, say Database management, is equivalent to the director in management area. So anyone has his/her desirable career path in the desirable area. Too many bad story about an engineer promoted to tech manager but failed miserably. 

Also this mean anyone can try different position. A director at sales could try to do R&D work but after evaluation by R&D group, she may have to start as a junior employee in R&D group with junior level salary. However, this type of cross-group experience should be required for director and executive level employee


2. Anyone wants to do a start-up will receive investment (time/resource/money) from the company. This is the best investment opportunity as we know each other much better than with an outsider. This also creates more opportunity for other existing employee to experience new challenges/opportunities.


3. Collaboration will be the king.

Blogged with Flock

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Why so many web 2.0 startup?

Another thing popuped in my mind about why more and more smaller startups are emerging in the US I think, is due to the continuous pressure of outsourcing. As two computer programmer in a local IT firm in somehwere at New England and reading the successful outsourcing deals everyday expanding from Fortune 500 to SMEs via site like odesk.com. how do you feel? The best asset is your programming skills so best leverage it would be start a company, right? Be more specific, a software company needs lots of sales skills. Internet! Aha!

Babson Social Eship Event - 11/14/07

-----Original Message-----
From: Ross, Andrea
Sent: Tue 11/6/2007 10:44 AM
To: Ross, Andrea
Subject: Social Eship Event - 11/14/07

Social Entrepreneurship: 

Doing Well, While Doing Good

Babson Energy and Environment Club, Net Impact at Babson College, and the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, Sponsored by Mark Donohue (B'88)

When: Wednesday,

November 14, 2007,

5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

Where: Olin Auditorium, Olin Graduate School of Business, Babson College.

Click here for directions <http://www3.babson.edu/visiting/>

Format: A conversation between successful social entrepreneurs followed by Q&A from the audience.

Why attend: Learn about current trends in Social entrepreneurship.

        Wayne Silby, founder and Chairman of Calvert Funds, the $10 billion investment management pioneer noted for its early leadership in socially responsible investment, and Mark Donohue (B'88), Managing Partner and Chairman of Expansion Capital Partners, LLC, a leading Clean Technology venture capital firm, discuss the current state of Social Entrepreneurship, Cleantech and more.

Topics to be covered include:

·         The story of the world's largest Social Investment Fund

·         The Clean Technology Megatrend and its impact on global sustainability

·         Grameen Bank and Micro-credit lending

·         Corporate Social Responsibility in China

·        Sovereign emerging powers of wealth: Abu Dhabi, China, Saudi Arabia, etc., what does this mean for sustainability?


About Wayne Silby

D. Wayne Silby is Founding Chairman of the Calvert Funds, a $10 billion investment management group noted for their leadership in the area of socially responsible investment. He also serves as President of Calvert Social Investment Fund and supervises its private equity activities. In addition, he is also the Co-Chair of Calvert Foundation, a $100m investment intermediary that directs capital into communities.

He was also the co-founder of the Social Venture Network, a group of socially oriented entrepreneurs and investors and of Calvert Social Venture Partners, one of the first socially oriented venture capital funds, as well as the Emerging Europe Fund for Sustainable Investment, a $60m OPIC private equity fund focused on Central Europe. He chairs the China Committee of Grameen Foundation, on whose board he also serves, and serves on the board of the Grameen Technology Council which addresses issues of the digital divide. Wayne received his BSE from the Wharton School of Finance, and his JD from Georgetown University.

About Mark Donohue

Mark is the Managing Partner and Chairman of Expansion Capital Partners, LLC, a leading pioneer in Cleantech venture capital. He has been a serial entrepreneur for over 20 years and has depth of management and operating experience in many industries. Mark is also a Babson undergraduate from 1988 and has served on the Board of Overseers for four years. Mark serves as Chairman of the Board for two of Expansion Capital's portfolio companies: SensorTran and World Energy Labs. He is the past Chair of the Membership Committee of the Social Venture Network, which is the leading US organization of socially responsible entrepreneurs. In 1994, Mark founded and funded Babson's first Forum on Socially Responsible Business. Mark serves on the Advisory Board of the Cleantech Venture Network, the leading data provider and conference organizer for Cleantech venture capitalists, for which Expansion Capital was the only venture capital "Founding Investor." Over the years, Mark has been involved in numerous social enterprises and non-profits, including serving as a Trustee for America's oldest interfaith educational organization, his involvement in Bioneers, the Threshold Foundation, the Rainforest Action Network and the Investor Circle. More recently, he is active in developing Babson's Institute for Social Entrepreneurship and a Babson Chair in Clean Technology Management & Entrepreneurship.



Sunday, November 04, 2007

5 Tipsfor entrepreneur from Henry Engelhardt

Just read this story from an old WSJ. Quite interesting:

5 Tips from Henry Engelhardt for Finding a Niche in a Mature Industry:

1. Go where they're not - don't fight superior competition directly on day one
2. Don't spend money if you can help it
3. Employ people with intellect and great attitudes over those with lots of experience
4. Learn your business by doig not from reading reports
5. Always take lunch.

Henry is founder and CEO of Admiral Group, a car insurer sells coverage over its phone and Internet since 1993. Following is the story from WSJ. (Shhhhh...)

Managing: How Admiral Group built lucrative niche --- U.K. insurer targets specific consumers with fleet of brands

By Ian McDonald
926 words
10 September 2007
(Copyright (c) 2007, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)
Henry Engelhardt's speech pattern -- part Chicago, part Cardiff, Wales -- is as distinctive as his approach to car insurance.
Mr. Engelhardt, an American who attended business school in France and has long worked outside the U.S., is chief executive of Admiral Group PLC. He co-founded the Cardiff-based car insurer, which sells coverage over the phone and the Internet, in 1993.
Mr. Engelhardt borrows ideas from consumer marketers selling cosmetics or shampoo -- targeting specific customers with a fleet of brands. Entering a crowded, competitive market dominated by brokers, Admiral focused on selling directly to customers others shunned: young, urban drivers. Now, Admiral has brands focused on women, commercial vehicles, low-claims drivers and online buyers.
The company employs a different financial strategy from most peers, passing off much of its policies' risks to deep-pocketed reinsurers. This allows Admiral to sell ample numbers of policies without keeping heaps of money in the bank to back them up.
For the first half, Admiral reported profit rose 25%, to GBP 60.2 million ($122.1 million). Revenue after reinsurance costs totaled about GBP 178 million. The company's shares, about 15% of which are owned by Mr. Engelhardt, are up more than 24% over the past 12 months.
How did this executive who stays up late to watch the Chicago Cubs on television carve out a lucrative niche in a mature business? Excerpts of an interview with him follow:
WSJ: What was your initial impression of the the U.K. car-insurance business?
Mr. Engelhardt: At first I thought, "Car insurance? How boring." Then I found out the U.K. insurance market is fascinating and one where counterintuitive thinking pays off. Customers are generally very rational and willing to consider new ideas, but many companies stick with the status quo.
In the U.K., 70% of consumers shop for motor insurance every year. That figure is 20% or less in the U.S. and most other big insurance markets. That creates a big opportunity for someone who is willing to take a fresh look at the business.
WSJ: What have you done differently?
Mr. Engelhardt: There have been a lot of basic things we've done that were totally new in the U.K. One was a free phone line. There were other little things, like comment forms. We asked customers what they thought. All of that seemed pretty standard to us, but it wasn't happening in U.K. motor insurance.
WSJ: How did you start picking market niches?
Mr. Engelhardt: When we started in 1993, the other phone-based companies had gone for the good-driver market. We knew we couldn't compete there. We had to go where they weren't, and that was younger drivers. Brokers were getting about 15% in commissions. So, a premium of GBP 1,000 a year meant paying GBP 150 to the broker. We saw that if we could select good risks among those customers without paying brokers, we could have a big cost advantage.
WSJ: That led to other targeted brands?
Mr. Engelhardt: Yes, and that targeting started because we weren't car-insurance people. We started out with Admiral for younger people in 1993. We added Diamond in 1997, focusing on women, who really responded to that. And we launched Elephant.co.uk in 2000 for people who wanted to use the Internet.
If you said to the people at L'Oreal or Procter & Gamble that we do multibranding, they'd yawn. Look at shampoos in [U.K. pharmacy chain] Boots and you'll see yards of different types. But look at the back and they're all from P&G and Unilever.
WSJ: Every car insurer has decades of accident data. How can you get an edge at underwriting?
Mr. Engelhardt: We ask about 30 questions, compared with about 22 or 23 for our competitors. That might not sound like much, but it actually makes a huge difference. You need that extra information if you want to be better at risk selection. Some of these extra questions have to do with second drivers, for instance. We might sort second drivers by gender, occupation and years they've held a license.
WSJ: You're expanding in Europe. How is that going?
Mr. Engelhardt: Our business [in Spain] started last year and is a telephone and Internet business. We have more than 16,000 customers now. Germany is a work in progress. We hope to launch late this year or early next year. It will be Italy next, in 2008 sometime.
WSJ: How do you choose your markets?
Mr. Engelhardt: Our international expansion is based on a simple premise: The Internet is an unstoppable force. The 21-year-old in [Peoria, Illinois] and the 21-year-old in Bonn are both using the Internet for virtually everything. We know a lot about it and we know how to do it.
WSJ: Do you think you'll be in the U.S. in five years?
Mr. Engelhardt: I hope so, yes. In 2009 we are looking at opening in France or the U.S. The upside of the U.S. market is that it's huge. The downside is that it's 50 different markets [due to state-by-state regulation]. But it does give us the opportunity to pick and choose among states if we like.

Technorati Tags     ,,,,,,,

Friday, November 02, 2007

Wits, Sparkes, from Tarun Talk

I am a talk-talk person and always realized I had some "wit" words when I was discussing interesting topics with others or some sparkles when I was pitching my idea/startup to others. This afternoon I had a long conversatino with a first year, again an Indian (Gee, I am surrounded by Indians), and realized I learned a lot as well:

1. Two criteria to determine how to launch your first startup:
- does this startup add value to current users' life?
- can you do it yourself?

Does this startup add value? The most challenging task for any startup is always sales. My 2nd startup totalled failed on sales. But there is a shortcut. If your product or service could solve a real problem, the more serious this problem is for the customers, the less sales effort you need to make. For example, imagine how an India-based tutor website conquered the US market? American highschool students have a strong need yet too expensive to hire a local tutor or too difficult to find a qualified one. So how? This Indian website cleverly solved this problem by providing Internet-based real-time one-to-one tutor service. No sales effort needed (well, some if you count in Google Adword) since students are behave like this startup's salesperson to spread the message to every classmate.

Can you do it yourslf? As your first startup, you have no credibility (most of the time, unless you had been VP of Oracle then you shouldn't read my blog here) to attract investor nor partners easily. So the bottom line is can you do it yourself? You is the core asset of this potential startup. Here programmers have a clear advantage against others. Even if you are a experienced scintest from Phifzer, you cannot afford the $1M lab which is necessary for any drug development. So make sure you can do it. Otherwise, doesn't matter how promising the idea is.

2. Remember, "A good idea" and "A good idea for yourself" are two very different concept.
Sure I know launching a solar power equipment manufacture in Africa or build a nuclear power plant on the Moon is really good idea by many means. But, not good for myself. Why? back the above point, I cannot do it by myself.

3. The best advice for the first startup? Just do it.
Without doing it, you will never get the experience no matter how many entrepreneurs' exciting books/stories you had read, how many entrepreneurship classes/seminars you may take. The best way to improve your oral English is to speak. The best way to start your own venture is to do one. If you follow the above points, you can easily identify one opportunity. And because the bottom line is you do it yourself, even it failed (with negative cash flow),you can still afford the "failure".

4. Income has a way more broad meaning.

Your first startup may fail but your income may not be negative. Why? because income is more than salary or cash flow. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, may not be able to take a dime from Wikipedia because this website has no revenue except some donations. But because of the success of Wikipedia, Jimmy's income from it may worth $10M if not more than. Talk to any potential IT investor, Jimmy may get the investment he needs.

5. Never follow the rules. Other's rules.
There are two type of rules in the world. Rules that require us should respect everyone regardless his or her skin color or race or wealth. This is social rules and we should respect. There are other rules as well that always people take them for granted as if those rules  are the same as "social rules". For example, every sedan has four wheels or the tea pot has a round bottom. These are NOT social rules. Those actually always mean business opportunities for entrepreneurs. If everyone believe the only way to buy book is from a bookstore near the street, we won't have Amazon today. But back to 20 years ago, everyone may tell you bookstore is the ONLY place to buy a book. Open your eyes. Business opportunity is all around.

We all heard Fortune 500's vision such as "we want to be the most respectable company in the world" or "we give shareholder's return the highest priority". It's wrong. Vision should be as practical as every employee's daily job. When a CEO never respect a worker in his corporate's warehouse as much as his investor, this company will never become the most respectable company in the world. Many  may challenge Google's vision "Do not devil". But this is very practical.

7. The importance of Internet.
It's that Internet smashed the concept of geography and time. An Indian restaurant in Mumbai may never think of competition with a Chinese restaurant in Beijing. But at website like Yelp.com or Tripadvisor,com, these two restaurants may compete directly when people search for average rating of restaurant in Beijing and Mumbai. Time. Amazon's Web Archive project stores the home page of many website in past 5 to 10 years. and Internet allows global companies work 24 hours a day with offices at different timezone. Internet allows my current startup hired one Russian and one Argentian developer on my demo version.

8. The value of your startup.
I want to emphasize on this. In the just finished Babson Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum, I had attended a panel about "technology entrepreneurship" where an alumni who is working for Monospace, a mobile based social networking site, siad this "....The most loyal and active users are from low social classes..." This striked me so much at that time and during this convesation with Tarun, I realized fully what does that mean.

For example, "untouchable" in Indian may never have the chance to touch a computer nor Internet either due to the price nor their social classes. But with mobile phone, they may also enjoy the same (mostly) effect as other elite class. "Yeah, I can have a firend in the US! even though I may never be able to afford an international ticket to US". This is an inspiring moment I believe. It will diminish the belief that "yes, I am a lower class people" when the individual can enjoy the same as others.

As a side topic, I believe the "untouchable" social class is just as ridiculous as the once-existed racial discrimination in South Africa. And I believe the popularity of

Technorati Tags     ,,