All posts by TriStrategist

China’s Internet+

Although the Internet found its footing in China much later than most of the western countries, with rapid progress only after the Trans-Pacific Fiber Optical Cable Network since 2000, China is striving to march to the next Chinese-characteristic Internet era in great stride. They call it “Internet +” phase, a notation announced by Premier Li Keqiang in Spring 2015 to integrate mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things with modern manufacturing to encourage the healthily development of e-Commerce.

Taobao mobile UI
Taobao mobile UI

Even today, besides mobile e-Commerce spearheaded by Alibaba Group and a few large players, the broad development of mobile internet in China has seen rapid attraction and growth, much faster than that in European or the US markets. It all started by realizing that the Internet development in China needs to fit in their own unique cultural environment. The current popular business model O2O (Online-to-Offline) – online order to offline delivery and services – can allow online consumer goods to be delivered within hours to the doorway, Uber-type personal shared rides to be called 24×7 within a few minutes in big cities, restaurant discount orders and reservation to be made on mobile minutes before arriving. Considering China’s size of population and geography, this kind of speed and efficiency are rare even in western countries.

WeChat Wallet Apps
WeChat Wallet Apps

The rapid development of mobile internet in China has been powered by the cloud computing. Every business area is a huge big data space. Although technology challenges remain in many areas, western-educated talents are recruited back to create new products and services everyday. It’s a global talent war at the moment.

The Internet has lowered the barriers of competition and flatten the field in almost every business corner. With the target of Internet+, the leapfrog development in China in certain areas may very well lead to future new growth patterns and another interesting era.

Counting the Change

Today besides the heads of the states for their job purposes, how many times can we allow ourselves physically to have an around-the-globe trip in a lifetime? Luckily TriStrategist has just completed such a chasing-the-sun journey after covering 20,000 miles (between latitude 45-55ºN) in 60 days, meeting all walks of global people, taking all modern transportation means, and painstakingly dealing with 4 currencies ($, £, € , ¥).

After putting away those interesting global change, TriStrategist has just started to reflect on this journey. The world is still diverse, but becoming more and more similar with the aids of modern technologies. Changes are everywhere yet at an uneven pace. TriStrategist may share more about the observation and learning from the trip gradually.

The Money-Value of Time and Time-Value of Money


We say, ‘Time is money.’ Very soon, we may also start saying ‘Money is time.’

Realizing or not, the perception of time changes when someone transfers from a full-time FTE job to a paid-by-hour income style. It promotes one to start asking him/herself if it’s worthwhile to do one thing vs. the other at a certain time. One may not want to waste their energy on tasks which can be done by others with fewer hours or lower hourly rate. However one’s money earned is directly proportional to the number of hours spent on the job specified.

One step further, if a man moves from a paid-by-hour job to a paid-by-completed-job income style, then he will likely think harder about how he can finish the same job with more efficiency – same amount of money earned but less time. He can then use the freed-up time to accomplish other things in life, either with family or on leisure. A happier and more productive individual may be in the making.

However in today’s business practices, we often project budget estimate or cost accounting by calculating resource man-hours, with very little consideration on the deeper meaning of productivity. Primarily out of the money-saving consideration, the money-value of a task is calculated by the average time of an average skill-level resource, which often yield mediocre results in terms of either the productivity or the morale. In these practices, the definition of “productivity” is often misplaced, as well as the understanding of the relationship of time and money. As a result, the society also moves backward in the value and meaning of a productive individual’s lifetime. With the new-age waves, these practice needs to be carefully re-evaluated.

In the new age (call it Disruptive Innovation Age, the Second Machine Age or any other catchy names), with the progress of today’s disrupted society where every past structure, social norm, business model is being challenged, the century-old concept of Time vs. Money should have no exceptions. For both individuals and businesses, calculating “Time Used” may take less significance than calculating “Time Freed”. Once that mindset is shifted, the concept of money, or cost , will in turn change dramatically.

A business is made up of individuals. The value of an individual is the hardest to calculate in money terms. There is no best formula. If a life can indeed be tracked by a sequential timeline in our scale of the world, then a few flashes of moments in life or career can prove a lot more valuable than any other period combined. Those most creative and productive moments can yield the largest values to the individual, to the business or to the society.

How to capture and calculate the money-value of those time moments will be one of most challenging questions to the future-minded leaders of any business. For an individual, how to free up oneself from endless money concerns in favor of more favorable conditions, e.g., more free time, relaxed mind, balanced life style, constant learning, etc., to create those precious moments, and to master the time-value of money instead, can be the toughest challenge in pursuing a truly productive life.

The Power of WeChat


WeChat
WeChat
A lightweight mobile app has become an indispensable tool and major media platform for millions of active users and businesses in China. That revolutionary tool today is called WeChat. Even the government agencies nowadays set up WeChat groups to communicate with its members.

Started in January 2011 by Tencent, within a few years, WeChat has reached 90% of smartphone users in China, 600 million active users per months, covered 200 countries in 20 languages. Its growth rate has far exceeded those of Facebook or Twitter. After entering India, within one year it reached 27% of the market share in its category.

WeChat Active Users by Q2-2015
WeChat Active Users by Q2-2015 (Click to enlarge)

Where does its power come from? TriStrategist thinks the following:

1. It fits the needs of today’s digital-driven, mobile-driven mass-media environment. It is easy to use, intuitive, fast and scalable. The simplicity of its interface focuses on the mass-media essentials and allows users to easily publish, link or forward contents.

2. It supports instant voice and video messages. No matter a 3-year-old girl or 90-year-old grandfather, once they open the WeChat app on their cell phones, they can start using it with fingers, their voices and phone cameras. No computer background is needed.

3. Outstanding performance. Once getting connected to WeChat, Worldwide users can find the speed and stability they need to support instant information sharing and communication. Messages, web articles, pictures, videos, music, emoticons, etc., the amount of data and information being exchanged daily through WeChat is amazing, yet all seem to be within the expectation of performance.

4. The straightforward features to support businesses and personal lifestyle choices. The power of communication is given to the users. It’s not only a networking platform, but also a combined entertainment, information sharing and lifestyle consumption facilitator.

WeChat has definitely made the chatting more powerful.

China Presentation- Cloud Computing and Positioning


The following slideshow video was from a presentation that TriStrategist delivered to the audiences in China on Cloud Computing and Positioning. These pages are in both English and Chinese.


For more on the related subjects, please read our blogs on:

  • Cloud Computing in China
  • The Positioning of Cloud Services – Part III

  • A Future World of Silence


    Silent Machine
    Silent Machine
    Today everywhere we travel, from the U.S. to Europe, we only need turn on WiFi and find a connection, in the air, on the train or bus, in the hotel or bar. The rest will all be similar: you find where you want to go, which tube, tram, or bus you need take, check the map online, walk to the nearest stop, purchase your ticket through the ticket machine, get on the unassisted tram or bus (except drivers still exist in present days), read the chart or listen to the radio for your stop, and then get off. You don’t need talk to anyone because they are all strangers. You don’t need ask for directions, because they barely know more than you do.

    Imagine such a future, everything is connected online. You call a driverless taxi to shuttle you to a train station or airport. You buy a cup of coffee or a piece of croissant through a vending machine. Your credit cards or mobile pay apps are accepted just the same. All buses or trains are unmanned. It is a silent world of WiFi and automation.

    No one needs to be present with you. No one cares if a human or alien standing next to you. You think you own thoughts, hear your own giggling, speak to yourself. You don’t need know or talk to anyone. The supermarkets or magazine stands are selling the same brands that you are very familiar with. The radio in the station sounds the same tone. You see silent buildings and landscape. Then you retreat back to you own home, similar to everyone else’s house – a silent world of WiFi and automation again.

    Every once a while, when you feel dreadful in the silence, you may think about traveling to some different world where you can still talk to a taxi driver or a street vendor, bargain a little, learn a few foreign terms, imitate some strange accents, and buy a piece of handmade local craft or artwork. Wouldn’t you feel wonderful? But be very careful, your next money-making idea could be, ‘how can I automate these people and things so that they can merger into my world’?

    Do you really want them to be in your world?

    A Constant Learning Journey for Life


    A Chinese saying puts it this way on one’s effective learning journey:

    “读万卷书,不如行万里路;行万里路,不如阅人无数;阅人无数,不如名师指路,名师指路不如自己去悟。”

    -“Reading thousands of books is no better than traveling thousands of miles; traveling thousands of miles, is no better than meeting thousands of people; meeting thousands of people, is no better than having a great teacher for guidance; having a great teacher, is no better than thinking through and realizing by oneself.”

    This is truly TriStrategist’s experience on this journey. From west coast to east coast, from home to hotels, from land to water, from the US to Europe and Asia, meeting all walks of people, viewing all types of terrains, observing all variances of local economy and culture, it’s a journey to appreciate the timeless wisdom of the past, to connect one’s present to the future, to seek changes within. Everyone is a student on this constant learning journey before he or she becomes a confident master of one’s own destiny.

    Travel Notice


    Dear Readers,

    Due to a recently decided around-the-world travel schedule from the US to Europe and China, TriStrategy’s blogs may become sporadic in the coming 2-3 months. We look forward to taking a better look at the international markets and then hope to share fresher views with you from our learning and observations through the journey.

    Thanks,

    TriStrategist

    The Basic Needs of A Modern Man

    Pic#1: Maslow's Hierarchy 2.0 ???
    Pic#1: Maslow’s Hierarchy 2.0 ???

    American psychologist Abraham Maslow’s 1943 theory of Hierarchy of Needs is well-known in many countries. Although in later years through his extended studies of diverse cultures, he tried to modify the highest tier from “Self-actualization” to “Self-transcendence” to encompass broader cultural influences, a recent humor with joking modifications of his Hierarchy from China is simply more illuminating. [See Pic#1 and Pic#2]

    Pic#1: Chinese Humor - Maslow's 2.0
    Pic#2: Chinese Humor – Maslow’s 2.0

    The humor in fact touches on some naked truth. Indeed the modern men need to be connected at all time and at all places. When food and drink are abundant, when comfortable life styles become a matter of fact, when we all feel fairly good about ourselves, when all leisured or non-leisured pursuits are mostly through various information systems and electronically connected conveniences, how could a contemporary person of today live without an online connection or an electronic device? It could only get more so in the days to come.

    However, what if one day we were pushed back to the very basics of living by the sheer forces of nature? Would anyone be ready for a cave man’s life style even just for a few days? Would those type of events change our perspectives about life and modern technologies? Would we be sufficiently equipped with some basic survival and humanistic skills that may be required under such rare yet totally possible circumstances? If not yet, we may need start thinking about these questions. Moreover, would we allow ourselves to be put into the category of robots or machine men too soon?

    The Legend of “Anti-hula Pair”

    There is such a saying in the U.S., “Behind every successful man, there is a capable woman.” This wisdom can be explained in Chinese sayings in a more straightforward way.

    People in China used to call “hula” (忽悠)someone (Flattering in non-sincere ways that can cause hallucinations in someone’s mind) as “Patting a horse’s butt” (拍马屁). Yet every once a while, they may accidentally reach to a true tiger’s butt instead. Another Chinese saying of “Never touch a tiger’s butt” (老虎的屁股摸不得)is self-explanatory. However even the tiger may start getting the hula-fever after a while because he simply needs doze off under all the hula noises. However what others may not know is that he may have a smart and tough tigress on ultra alert at that time, who will simply kick his butt to alert him.

    The same wisdom apples vice versa in gender.