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Showing posts from March, 2007

Mountain Climbing Concept of Building a Strong and Productive Workplace

I had a new inspiration for building the team, thanks to the book "First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently".

Barely, finishing the first chapters, I am already putting this to use and feeling I can really make a difference and improve the team morale and productivities.

The greatest assets to any company is the people. So , building a strong team is the key to make the company successful.

Amazingly, there is excerpt of the book on the first chapter. So, you will get want I mean.

I like the mountain climbing concept as described in the book. It makes it so simple . Yes! We should focus to improving ourselves on the base camp and Camp 1 first. Do not talk about the mission, understanding company objectivies, those high level things if the base camp is not strong.

My Favourite 4 E's

In his book "Straight from the Guts", Jack Welch, the legendary former CEO of General Electric, had laid out 4 E's that are important to a leader or manager or even employee.

Energy. Leaders with tremendous personal energy.
Energize. Those who energize teams, and don't intimidate them.
Edge. Someone with a competitive edge and a will to win.
Execution. Those leaders who have a track record of getting results

I still haven't finished reading this book actually. :). It got a bit complicated at the end but overall is a very good story. Jack Welch is definitely an exceptional leader, being able to bring drastic changes to a company as big as GE , stopping bureaucracy, and being able to persist in his pursue despite labelled as neurotic. Only few men in this planet can do that. Anyway, it is unfortunate that he cannot maintain his first marriage. I guessed with his hectic schedules (mine is already too hectic considering I only managing less than 20 people), this is the sa…

11 things you will not learn in school

This is the excerpt from the book "Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can't Read, Write, or Add" by Charles Sykes, But there were some rumors (I actually received email for this) that it was from Bill Gates during one of his speech. However, these are really the few things some grown-ups have not learnt also.
RULE 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

RULE 2: The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world expects you to accomplish BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

RULE 3: You will NOT make $40,000.00/year fresh out of high school. And you won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you EARN both.

RULE 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He won't have tenure.

RULE 5: Flipping burgers is NOT beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping - they called it OPPORTUNITY!

RULE 6: If you mess up,it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine …

Marketing and Innovation

In today product demo to our technical team, there are more people in the team that has put on their thinking cap and really challenge the product. It is a great sight to see as mostly technical people are always considered as geeks and never really think about marketing.

I came from technical background myself and still love technical works. However, I also find great passions in product management and marketing. I do believe, technical people can do a great product management and marketing jobs as well. From Bill Gates, Steve Job , Larry and Sergey , they all do geeks proud! They started very small and get VERY BIG. They create dreams and their dreams changed the world.

From Peter Drucker's famous quote in The Practice of Management
The business enterprise has two - and only two - basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.

There are so much more to learn and there is absolutely no boundary!

Law of Navigation: Anyone Can Steer the Ship, But It Takes a Leader to Chart the Course

From the Book "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" by John Maxwell, the story that depict this law is what I remember the most and it really hit me hard. It brings me to think about my responsibilities of planning for the team. And planning is not just putting all the activities down and saying who do what, it is making sure everything is alright and meeting the objectives/end result (sometimes not only short-term, but long-term). It is really a tough job. There is also no clear measurement on this whether you have done well or not, whether you have lead well. Wrong decisions and mistakes cost the lost of money, and energy and it affects the morale of the people.

For myself, I think there are still a lot of rooms for me to improve. And so is everybody else. Being able to get the total high level picture and drilling to details, making sure everything is covered, thought through , no loopholes, no misunderstanding, no mistakes - all these require gigantic efforts. A lot of …

Good Requirements should be Implementation free.

I noticed that many times when the requirements are communicated to us, it tends to tell us the "solution" or "how it should be implemented", rather than really what are the problems customers want to be solved, what they are facing, and what they are currently doing about them.Hopefully, the requirement gathering process can be enhanced. Most of the people in the our team are able to come out with solutions (great one!!!) given the problems. This is what we are training ourselves to be - to find great solutions to problems. And this is what we work hard for!!!!!Implementation free. The requirement states what is required, not how the requirement should be met. A requirement statement should not reflect a design or implementation nor should it describe an operation. However, the treatment of interface requirements is generally an exception. Got from this site -

Just some food for thought!

Starbucks Experiences

Photo Courtesy of

First of all, I am a Coffee Lover! I cannot live without coffee.Recently, I began to notice that I was visiting Starbucks more often than its competitors . In fact , it is like 10 times to 1. ( Coffee Bean, Gloria Jean, San Francisco) . Honestly speaking, I prefer San Francisco's and Coffee Bean's coffee more than Starbuck. But why am I choosing to go to Starbucks - the answer is, it is the most convenient. Just less than 3 km from my house, there is a Starbucks. Everywhere I go, every shopping malls I visit, I see Starbucks. It is like San Francisco , Coffee Bean and Gloria Jean is fading...into unknown. Some more , just noticed that 2 of the Gloria Jean's shop has been closed down. San Francisco seems never have any new stores . Anyway, I love to go to Starbucks to do my work or even blogging. It kinda has a culture that welcome you to go there and do your work with your notebook, sits there for hours (my record is up to 5 hours). It also pr…

Using website to generate business for you

1. Be a customer ourselves first
If we are selling any product, we should be the first customers to really use the product for us to understand the painful or pleasant experience. From there, we also know how to enhance the product (if we are building the product on our own) or look for another products to sell If the product really sucks.

2. Keep your website up-to-date
A good website need to be constantly updated and the contents are fresh. A outdated website does not really look too professional and customers will not trust the information. One indication is the announcements and news in the website, which should be updated constantly. Not good to show the latest news in the website is last year January.

3. Constant communication with current and potential customers through newsletter, mailing list, announcements/promotion, etc.
A good website should collect and build up their mailing list and constantly communicate to this list, sending information on promotions, news, etc. that can pr…

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Relationship With Your Spouse

Inspired by The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership written by John Maxwell, I decided to try my luck to write The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Relationship with Your Spouse. Would want to make the title simpler, like The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Love but Love is very general and what I would want to touch is the love between you and your other half.

To start, you need to think about relationship with your spouse as something beautiful, something unique for just the two of you. Each of you are unique in your own way. You can be two very different persons in certain things, and can be very similar in same ways. How you two intertwine with each others in a world full of obstacles and temptations? How you two learn to compromise, accept and respect each others despite your differences? How you two can live happily ever after?That is what I am going (or try) to tell you in the 21 Laws. :) . Let's get started!P/S : I am not really a pro in this matter. I just got inspired by one of the animation …

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Relationship With Your Spouse. Rule No. 1: Laws of True Self

Show your true self to the one you love, for only your true lovers will love you as what you really are, not what you will pretend to be.Everyone also has weaknesses that are hidden to the outside world. One primary reason for people to hide is the fear of rejection. Only when you are brave enough to show your true self, then you are ready to be loved.

In front of others, you can be elegant, knowledgable, and pretty.....:)

In fact, you may be a plain Janes (same person)....maybe without the make-up, the nice clothes, the contact lenses.

And at times, you can be quite "ugly" and "disgusting"........:)

But, you have to show it all . Be brave, be spontaneous and be yourself! Your spouse (or meant to be) will love you as you are!

Knowing yourself and acknowledging your weaknesses is the first step to improve yourself and be a better person.

Importance of SMART Monitoring on Data

Today, we have an incident where our customer sent us 20,000 ++ files to our server and this caused the disk space and DB tablespace to be full. This also affected other customers and we used up around 2 manpower to recover the problem.

In fact, only around 200 files are expected from this customer per day. The number reached 20K because of some issues that either happened at customer's system or our software problem.


If our system is SMART enough, it should flag out a warning because 200 vs. 20,000 is HUGE difference - almost 100 times the original numbers.

If we are SMART enough, we should develop the system that is SMART enough the flag out the warning and prevent the headache and the lost of 2 man-days,and lost of focus.

If we are SMART enough, we should also LEARN from this incidents and do something to prevent this.

That's if we are SMART enough. :)

Footnote: Actually, it is not we are not SMART enough, we just do not have the time and energy to do that. But then, we a…