unstructured thinking, structured execution

A longer post to come, but this little mantra keeps popping into my head, "unstructured thinking, structured execution" and I want to scribble it down. It's my goal for personal and professional development and maybe a significant issue in thinking about US-China business opportunities and opportunities. Certainly thinking about the different educational systems and talent pools, the unstructured-structured dichotomy or fissure comes to mind.

April 12, 2007 at 04:16 PM in China, Personal | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Frederator on Venture Voice

Venture Voice is consistently one of my favorite pod-listens. Usually insightful, but almost always entertaining. Last week's interview with Fred Seibert of Frederator Studios and Next New Network had Fred talk about his three simple criteria for work:

  1. Can I have fun
  2. Can I make money
  3. Can I stand the people I'm working with

"I figure if I can get 2 of 3 at any given time, I'm doing really well..."

Funny because it's true.

February 7, 2007 at 11:18 PM in Personal | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

make a hole with a gun perpendicular...

Back nearly a week now and it's really struck me how much harder it's been to come back to Shanghai this time for Angie (and Spence too, though it was his first time). Being nearly a hemisphere away from loved ones can really wear you down sometimes.

While we've been busy with work and getting unpacked and resettled after being away for so long, we really do need to dive back in to seeing some of our dear friends around town here. We're due for some reminders of the "externalities" that are keeping us here.

February 7, 2007 at 10:58 PM in Personal | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

another widget

Over on the sidebar, I've added another new widget today: shared files from Box.net. I took the extreme liberty to subject you all to an old MP3 from my past life which you can, ahem, find out more about here.

Hey, we have a stub on Wikipedia too!

January 27, 2007 at 09:51 PM in Personal, This Blog | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SKAC update

So the Foundation had a wonderful response to our scholarship in this our first year. Something like four times the number of applicants we were expecting!

Now the arduous task of giving each one a fair consideration. So many worthy students. Just wish we had more than one scholarship to give out.

One thing that struck me though was the cultural and netiquette gap between me and the students. I'm working on a longer post for the Foundation blog with some pointers for these young people about how to be a bit more, er, formal or professional when applying for a scholarship. Ang heard me vent a few times, but simple things were neglected like taking into account that a real live person will be receiving your email and deciding whether you would be a good ambassador for their cause.

Hope I don't come off as too preachy. Can't avoid sounding like the old guy that I am.

December 20, 2006 at 10:07 AM in Personal | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Curling up with TED

So about two weeks ago I blew out Ang's computer by filling it with movies, TV shows and about 2000 pictures of our little six month old. Damn, the usability of BTs!

She's covered by AppleCare, but we want to bring it back to the States later this month for service from the source. So our routine of winding down at the end of the day with the latest Daily Show or Colbert Report had to be replaced.

Lately it's been watching the great TED Talks video podcasts that are available here or at the iTunes Store. 20 minutes a talk - just the right size - and a bit of a proxy for our listening to Fresh Air on NPR too. Some hits and some misses, but generally intellectually stimulating and entertaining. Great production value too - nice editing and great camera angles. Maybe it'd be nice to have a side by side with the presenters' slides always up, but all in all I can't complain.

And to top all, Tony Robbins' talk about needs became one of the central, unifying themes to a class I taught on Managing People in China at the IEDE business school.

Highly recommended!

December 15, 2006 at 10:23 PM in Personal | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

joe hisashi

Ang and I just got back from a night out at the beautiful Shanghai Grand Theatre listening to Joe Hisashi lead the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. A whole lotta fun. Music from Miyazaki and Beat Takeshi movies.

I loved him playing Summer, the theme from Kikujiro, as a piano solo. Made me miss Dad, in a moving, reassuring way that reminded me of how lucky I was to have had him as long as I did. Angie's favorite was the second encore which wasn't listed in the program, wait for it... the theme from Totoro!

We liked it so much, we even bought the cd they were selling. Imagine that, buying a legal cd here in Shanghai!

December 15, 2006 at 10:23 PM in Personal | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

seven again

ESPN.com - COLUMNIST - Wojciechowski: Meeee-chigan's magical voice

Listening to Bob Ufer, I'm seven years old again, listening to WJR with Dad.

Dad was the biggest Michigan fan I've ever known - he was so proud that three of his kids went to Ann Arbor, but I think went back further than that. Of course, Dad like all Michigan fans of that era had a Ufer impression. And now, it's Dad doing Ufer that I remember even more than Ufer himself. This week, with all of the hype leading up to Michigan-Ohio State on Saturday, I'm sure Dad would be a seven year old again too.

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November 15, 2006 at 10:11 AM in Personal | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SKAC Foundation update

Couple new posts over at the Foundation set up to honor my mom and my dad's memory.  Tomorrow is the anniversary of the accident and we'll be officially announcing the scholarship then.

Look for another post with the announcement, but you can get a head start on the application here.

Please pass this along to eligible students, and if you're looking for a charity to give to, please consider SKAC.


October 10, 2006 at 05:22 PM in Personal | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

five years

Five years ago today, Angie and I got up early on a quiet Tuesday morning to go vote in the mayoral primary before work. From our place on 6th and 2nd we walked downtown to the polling center at the local elementary school on Essex. On our way home we stopped by Bulgin Waffles for breakfast. Someone popped into the shop and said that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. All of us couldn't believe it and the guy at the counter turned up the radio to catch the news...

The rest of the day is a blur accented by vivid memories that pop out from the haze. Walking out towards Stuyvesant to pick up Jack, the high school kid I was mentoring. Staring in disbelief as we watched everything happen on our tv. Ang and me just holding each other and trying to take in the magnitude of what was happening. Going down the street to buy a pizza for Jack, his friends and parents who couldn't make it back to Queens. Seeing people covered in ash and dust struggle their way up the avenues...

But in the end we were really lucky. No one we were close to was lost that day. And so what has come to overwhelm the memories of that day are the memories of that week: Strangers helping each other. Firefighters and construction workers from all over the country coming to help look for survivors. Ang and me at the Javits Center. Helping friends look for word about co-workers at the Armory. The strange silence of Broadway. The bomb scare in our office building. Hearing from friends they couldn't take it and were leaving the city. A vigil at Union Square. A unwavering belief that America would bounce back and still be that somewhat flawed beacon to the rest of the world...

Ang and I moved about two months later.

I'd been offered a great new opportunity at the company I was working for and they needed me at HQ in Santa Clara. Part of me feels like I never got to really mourn with the rest of New York. Never got to get over it the way that I imagine others who were there to share that process with others did.

And so going back now, as we have several times, NYC still is a place that isn't quite healed for me. Sure the city bounced back, and it's still got a vibrancy and energy that even Shanghai doesn't always match. But there is and maybe always will be a place in my heart that is filled with sadness for the city that I moved to when I was 21, the city were I squandered my youth, that, like me, lost a foolhardy innocence that day in September.

September 11, 2006 at 08:33 AM in Personal | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack