Monday, May 31, 2010

China and the Chinese Market is gaining 25% web presence rapidly

Of the Top 100 websites released by DoubleClick (Google) AdPlanner 1000, there are 25 websites with Chinese-language content, followed by Japanese, Russian and Korean. Though English is still the dominant language on the Internet, the Chinese Language or the China Market is a force not to be ignored. If we didn’t use it or don’t know about it, it doesn’t mean it is not there. They have their own Chinese version of Google, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Messenger, PayPal and etc, and all had made it to the top 100 websites.

8 - (Web Portals)
9 - (Email & Messaging)
11 - (Web Portals)
15 - (Web Portals)
16 - (Shopping)
17 - (Entertainment)
19 - (Video Clips & Movie Downloads)
21 - (Web Portals)
28 - (Photo & Video Sharing)
33 - (Online Communities)
36 - (Online Directories)
38 - (TV Programs)
46 - (Web Portals)
47 - (Multimedia Content)
52 - (Multimedia Content)
55 - (News & Current Events)
62 - (Management & Corporate Operations)
68 - (Web Services)
70 - (Social Networks)
82 - (Banking & Personal Finance)
88 - (News & Current Events)
90 - (Mobile Phones)
92 - (Online Games)
97 - (Hardware)
98 - (Roleplaying Games)

The Edge just published an article about Hong Leong Asia's (listed in Singapore) business in China producing refrigerator, diesel engine, plastic bottle and etc. Though the profit margin for each refrigerator is about RMB100 (RM 48), but it could sell between 30-35 million units per year, equivalent to RMB 3,000,000,000 (RM 1.44 Billion).

We all know China is growing fast (already the 3rd largest economy) and have the potential to be world biggest economy by GDP in times to come. Though we might have heard a lot, but we have not quite felt the impact (for those outside of china or not in touch with the Chinese language).

But we all know, the Chinese or China market is something that we couldn't and shouldn’t ignore. For Software Marker and Web Company out there either big or small, maybe it’s about time we look beyond English language.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Never be to busy for life

Most of the time, we are so busy until we are not quite sure what are we doing, or why are we doing it. For example, we might have a very busy and demanding job until we have no time to think why work there in the first place. Is the job fun or satisfying, or we are in just for the desperate need of money? Is it inline with our life objective, or do we know what we wanted to do?

Let’s say there is a hard labor who earns RM 600 by doing odd jobs at the construction site. Does he think of ways to improve his life, or he is just too busy working and coping with a difficult life. Will he consider taking night classes to move on to a white collar job, or would he think about starting a small business such as Nasi Lemak stall. Let’s say he succeeded in making his life better and now able to earn RM 1500 per month, will he be satisfied or try to be better? Maybe he could try to get a part-time diploma or degree in hope on landing on a better job, or expand his Nasi Lemak stall into a restaurant. If he manage to double or triple is income, will he try harder again to improve his quality of life again?

In real life, most of the hard labors will probably remain a hard labor for the rest of their life, as they don’t know what else they can do or they have no time or money to venture further. We can come up with a thousand reasons not to do something, but we just need one reason to do something. So there will always be hard labors who manage to improve their life, and fewer who succeed into greater heights which impress most of us.

Sometimes we tell other that we have 10 years experience in doing something. Do we think about did we gain 10 years of experience learning new things, or did we repeat the first year 10 times? Most of the time, we learn something new when there are changes, such as when we switch team, project, department or job. If we are afraid of change, then it’s less likely that we would learn something new.

Why is this important? Rather trapping ourselves in the infinite loop of being busy forever, I think we need to take a step bank to rethink about the things we are doing. Is this capable of bringing me to where I want to be in the future, or I need to change?

In my work in educating children, I found it to be cruel to tell a child that they can’t read, write, count, sing, play music instrument, draw or use a computer. Even though I know some of them really sucks or hopeless in doing certain things, we as educator should not deny their rights or kill their dream in doing something. We can only try and encourage them, and let things take place; we don’t have to add a stab to the already cruel and realistic world. A child always say he wanted to be Datuk, Prime Minister or Town Council (too many political news for the children). I just tell him what he need to do in order to become one.

As such, I don’t think we like people telling us that we can’t do something, such as being we can’t be a singer or a millionaire. Though many dreams are fallen every time, but we do need to hang on a certain dream (or hope) to move forward. The property prices in Malaysia is growing like no body business, and few years down the road middle class white collar worker could only afford some cheap apartment (no luxury condominium or terrace link house). Anything which looks nice today easily cost RM 500,000 to a few millions, which are beyond my reach at the moment. If I wanted to own one of these babies, I would need to rethink about my work and my life. If I wanted to change my life, I need to change. If I tell myself that I could not own this forever, it would just be too depressing to bear.

Take a step back, and rethink what you had thought of before. It's like a new year resolution which we had forgotten about.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Kathy Sierra: To Create Awesome Users

Basically is about a paradigm shift from creating a awesome product to actually help your user to become awesome. It's a bit lengthy, but it's good:
  • Rather than trying to be awesome in terms of your product, service or company, the real secret is helping your user to be awesome
  • Help your user to be better at their passion
  • We gave colourful and user friendly sales brochure when we try them sell them something; yet we gave them not so useful black and white manual when we actually sold them something
  • Rather than trying to sell them a camera lense, teach them how to capture cool waterfall motion effects which require a special lens.
  • If I teach them that, people who buy from Nikon would buy from Canon too. People tend to have a stronger emotional attachment to those actually trying to help them to be better
  • Don't make a better [X], make a better [user of X]
  • Blog, Tweet, Teach your users to be better
  • What the brain care about? Nice things, Cute things, Funny things. Talk to the brain, not the mind.
  • Focus on what the user does, not what you do
  • Write document which focus on 80/20 rules. Show them the 10 cool things which the user can do.
  • Make the right thing easy to do, wrong think hard to do
  • Element of Fun Learning: Thrill, Discovery, Challenge, Self-expression, Social, Novelty, Sensory
  • Shift away from "I Suck" to "Okay, it's nice" to "I'm really good at this"
  • Add the "WTF?" button to measure how frustrated your user are
  • Upgrade: make sure you upgrade does not make your user feel dumb again
  • Upgrade: make sure it can still do the one thing it's suppose to do easily

Monday, May 03, 2010

Ice Kacang Puppy Love (初恋红豆冰)

I thought this would be a simple and happy love story, but it turns out to be fairly complicated; which is true in a certain sense, as sometimes love is not as simple or comical as shown on movie.

I still like Ice Kacang because its “depth” do interest me. Ice Kacang is about the “love” engagement between Botak (Ah Niu) and Fighting Fish. It had a few interesting characters around such as the comical bully Ma Ling Fan (by Gary Chow), the weirdo girl Bali Peng who like Botak, the White Knight singer who keep delaying his singing career (by Victor Wong), Botak brother who couldn’t make up his mind to open a new coffee shop in the city and Botak sister who dares to go for the one she love (unlike her brother). It is complex as the love interest of all these people somehow cross path (physically at a cross road). Then again, there is a lot of story and characters which we could relate to.

Ah Niu is a very shy boy, who fails to tell his love interest his real feelings, until the very end. Somehow, he retreated again when he had his last chance when Fighting Fish is going away for study; he was knock down twice when he tries to give chase, and still didn’t do it when he finally caught up with her. He loves her in his subtle and introverts ways, drawing her portraits, listening to her and protecting her whenever he can. Then again, it’s so difficult for his feelings to leave his mouth. Sometimes we guys just need to boost up the courage for 1 second to make the eternal change in our life. The feelings might be true, but it does not translate into a lifetime relationship without words.

Botak’s brother is good at making coffee, but he did not dare to venture out because he felt less confident about the defect on his leg (also influenced by his father). One day Fighting Fish told him, “Making coffee is about using your hand, not your leg.” A lot of time our dream is stopped by something totally irrelevant, we just have to see through it. The White Knight is a singer who keep on delaying his dream, as he sees no urgency in it until he witness the death of an uncle who waited to win lottery in order bring his wife to here from China (he win lottery in the end, but died immediately).

There is something about human relationship which bothers me. We can be very close with someone where they are the sky and earth to us at that point of time; yet we “forgotten” about them years down the road. Though we didn’t really forgotten about them, but we didn’t keep in touch with them anymore and we could not be as close as we used to be (gone are the good old days). Something or someone will fill the gap, and we have to move on and serving them only in our memories. Perhaps this is how things meant to be, but I still feel sadden by this.