Thursday, December 4, 2008


Yesterday, I read the last words of Lo Hwei Yen. She is a Singaporean victim of the Mumbai terrorist attack. Her last words with her husband were she loved him. Her last words with her three closest friends were I love you all.

Sense from:
Straits Times 3 Dec 2008

What I observed:
Love is the most important thing to her as she chose to use her final moments to express them.

This supports the research results of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. She is the world’s expert on people’s attitudes about death and dying. She summarized a life of research in three simple questions. When people look back upon their lives, she found, they ask three questions that determine their sense of whether it was meaningfull:
  1. Did I give and receive love?
  2. Did I become all I can be?
  3. Did I leave the planet a little better?
Richard Leider, David Shapiro
Page 78
ISBN: 1-57675-103-1

When Ms Lo has no time to do all three, she did the most important one.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bare usefull tool

David Weekly shares his experience about how he builds his company.
  1. Put bare usefull tool into users' hand.
  2. Assume they want to help you.
  3. Listen to them.
  4. Find out how and why they are using the tool?
  5. Find out what sort of language are they using to describe how they use the tool.
  6. Find out how they present the tool to someone.
  7. Help them say it in their own language.
David Weekly of PBWiki
STIRR Founder Hacks I

Monday, November 3, 2008

5 ways to mental wellbeing

Five ways to mental wellbeing

1. Connect
With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

2. Be active
Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

3. Take notice
Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the World around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

4. Keep learning
Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.

5. Give
Do something nice for a friend or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself and your happiness, as linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

Sense from:
Executive Summary
Government Office for Science, United Kingdom
Page 23

Friday, October 24, 2008

Vu ja de

What is vu ja de?

The vu ja de mentality is seeing the same old thing in new ways. If deja vu is the feeling that you have had an experience before even though it is brand new then vu ja de is what happens when you feel and act as if an experience ( or an object ) is brand-new even if you have had it ( or seen it ) hundreds of times.

Weird ideas that work
Page 11
Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 0743212126

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Toy Sharing

Yesterday, I meet up with 2 kids ( above 50 years old ). Kid JH was telling Kid R, I like to show off my toys. He boot up his notebook, show Kid R his blog, show web sites he goes to...

What I observed:
  1. We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. By George Bernard Shaw
  2. Toys that are build for sharing gets shared.
This leads me to thinking:
We should play to stop growing old.
Shift thinking from Jim Collin's build to last to build to share.
We should build toys that allow sharing.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ideo cross-pollination practices

I am scanning through the book - ten faces of innovation. What interest me is how the author’s company - Ideo cultivates cross-pollination. I rephrase and reorganize their practices along the human resource process.

Ideo cross-pollination practices


  • Hire people with diverse backgrounds.
  • Hire people across cultures and geographies.

Work Assignment

  • Do diverse projects.


  • Share knowledge within the company.
  • Learn from people outside the company.
  • Learn from clients.
  • Design environments for people to meet accidental or impromptu.

Sense from:
Tom Kelly & Jonathan Littman
Page 72 to 74
Currency Doubleday
ISBN: 0385512074

1. Show and tell
Whenever Ideo groups get together, we enjoy a hearty show and tell. In the early days of the firm, that meant sharing fresh insights or new technologies during Monday morning meetings, when the entire company sat on the floor of my brother’s office. The firm has gotten a lot bigger since then ( and David’s office got a bit smaller ), so show and tell happens either face to face within smaller design groups or electronically across the firm via email or our intranet-based sharing systems. The Ideo Tech Box, a collection of hundreds of promising technologies for potential application to our work, is a systematic approach to collecting and sharing what we know. Show-and-tell is partly serendipity, often resulting from an accidental discovery or surprise, so it doesn’t always relate to projects the firm is actively working on right now. But it is always about something either new to the World or newly reinvented and is a source of continuous renewal built into the work practices of the organization.

2. Hire lots of people with diverse backgrounds
We’ve never looked at hiring as merely a process of addition or bringing in “more of the same.” If the recruiting task were to hire “another engineer just like Chris,” then the interview would be a simple matter of pattern recognition. We’re more likely to sift through the wide variety of applications looking for someone who will expand our talent pool or stretch the firm’s capabilities.

3. Stir the pot with space
As we’ll discuss in the Set Designer chapter, the company’s physical workspace can be a powerfull tool for advancing your strategic agenda. Grouping all your like-minded people into one floor or building makes sense if you want to emphasize solidarity in one discipline, but at Ideo, we believe there’s magic in cross-pollination and we support that belief with our use of space. We create lots of multi-disciplinary project rooms and leave ample space for “accidental” or impromptu meetings among people from disparate groups. We even make our staircases broad so that people can literally “meet halfway.”

4. Cross cultures and geographies
Ideo favours a cultural melting pot, seasoned with a steady mix of international flavours. No matter where you’re from or how patriotic you may be, I hope you’re willing to concede that there are more new ideas outside your country than inside. Importing new insights is always valuable. I’ve lost track of how many nationalities are represented in our firm, but a few years ago, our Boston office - just for fun - raised a flag for every country represented on their team. Last time I visited, there were eighteen flags hung, a pretty robust tally for an office of forty. And a well-bended international staff just seems to cross-pollinate naturally from other cultures.

5. Host a weekly “Know How” speakers’ series
Nearly every Thursday evening, a World-class thinker shows up to share their thoughts with us. Not only are their insights often fascinating ( Malcolm Gladwell on snap judgments, Howard Rheingold on smart mobs, Jeff Hawkins on the workings of the human brain ), but the shared buzz of many Ideo people seeing a speaker sets off a wave of discussions throughout the firm. Know How is a weekly burst of cross-pollination that keeps the thinking and the conversations continuously fresh.

6. Learn from visitors
My role at Ideo includes the chance to meet with a continuous stream of interesting people who travel long distances to visit us each year. Most are prospective clients who typically spend a couple of hours telling us about their industry, their company and their point of view. Over the years, I’ve participated in more than a thousand such meetings and I think of it as a form of postgraduate education. After each visit, I feel a little more up to date and attuned to current trends and dare I say it, just a little bit wiser for the experience.

7. Seek out diverse projects
There’s an old saying that a forty year career is sometimes the same year repeated forty times. Not at Ideo or at any other company with a culture of continuous learning. The broad range of our client work - spanning dozens of industries - means that we can cross-pollinate from one World to another.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bucky Intellect Triangle

I attended the mind of Buckminster Fuller's talk at Bucky Group last Saturday. The talk is conducted by Bucky Group member - Titus Yong. He shares what he seen at the Buckminster Fuller's exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

He also talks about what he thinks about how Buckminster Fuller thinks. I recall what he says and express it in a diagram.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The future of advertising

Hal Varian, Google's chief economist sees the future of advertising as:
  1. Performance measurement of advertising as the biggest need in advertising.
  2. TV advertising as the biggest opportunity.
  3. Marketing is the new finance.
  4. Agencies that embrace quantitative tools and ad platform will prosper.
Brian Morrissey
AdWeek 2 Jun 2008

Amplified Individuals

Amplified individuals are the super heroes of organizations in the future. They embraced new tools, applications, practices and social media.

They have 9 super powers.

1. Mobbability
The ability to work in large groups.
A talent for organizing and collaborating with many people simultaneously.

2. Influency The ability to be persuasive in multiple social contexts and media spaces.
An understanding that each context and space requires a different persuasive strategy and technique.

3. Ping Quotient
Measures your responsiveness to other people’s requests for engagement.
Your propensity and ability to reach out to others in a network.

4. Protovation
Fearless innovation in rapid, iterative cycles.

5. Open Authorship
Creating content for public consumption and modification.

6. Multi-Capitalism
Fluency in working with different capitals, e.g., natural, intellectual, social and financial.

7. Longbroading
Thinking in terms of higher level systems, cycles, the big picture.

8. Signal / Noise Management
Filtering meaningful information, patterns, and commonalities from massively-multiple streams of data.

9. Cooperation Radar
The ability to sense almost intuitively who would make the best collaborators on a particular task.

Amplified individuals, amplified organizations
NLab social networks conference 2008

According to Jane McGonigal, there should be 10 super powers instead of 9. The 10th is emergensight, the ability to prepare for and handle surprising results and complexity.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Intuitive Future Wisdom

I like to introduce my idea of intuitive future wisdom.

Intuitive future wisdom is a kind of feeling that a person that one don’t understand now will give one wisdom if one makes efforts to learn from him or her.

The funny part is how can one feels that one can learn from him or her when one don’t even understand them. I don’t have an answer yet. Let’s make this an enquiry and find it out together. My current guess is the greatness of their work.

I had this feeling about 8 years ago when I was introduce to the works of Buckminster Fuller by a friend of mine - Joo Hock. Thanks Joo Hock. I still don’t understand almost all his works except his personal efforts in learning. I am still trying to learn from him.

One person that is alive that makes me feel the intuitive future wisdom feeling is Kevin Kelly. I feel I can learn a lot from him but I don’t seem to understand his ideas now.

The usefulness of this idea for me is that I use it to understand why I am willing to keep learning from someone that I might not understand after 8 years. When I come across a person to learn from, I ask myself, do I have the intuitive future wisdom feeling? If yes, I will invest the efforts to learn from him or her.

Who have made you feel the intuitive future wisdom feeling?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Michael Gelb and meditation

Found Michael Gelb mentioning meditation in his book – how to think like Leonardo da Vinci.
Listen for silence
Practice listening for the spaces between sounds – the pauses in a friend’s conversation or your favourite music and the silences between the notes in the song of a bluebird. Make silence a theme for a day and record your observations in your notebook. Do you have access to a place of complete silence, away from the humming of machines? Try to find such a place. How does it feel to be in a place of complete quiet?
Practice Silence
Experience with a day of silence. For a whole day, don’t talk, just listen. It is best to spend your silent day out in nature, walking in the woods, hiking in the mountains or strolling by the sea. Immerse yourself in nature’s sounds. This “verbal fasting” strengthens your ability to listen deeply and is wonderfully refreshing for your spirit.
Michael Gelb
Page 113 & 114
Delacorte Press
ISBN: 0385323816

Sunday, August 3, 2008

T Talents

I like to introduce my idea of T Talents.

They are curious people who have deep expertise in one subject matter ( the vertical leg of the T ) and board interest in one or many other subject matters ( the horizontal part of the T ). For example, a friend of mine - Joo Hock is an expert in hairdressing, he also have interests in training, community management, events management, singing…

The T Talents idea is a shorten version of Ideo's T-shaped people idea. It is like using to shorten a long web address to a short one. T-shaped people are people who are so inquisitive about the World that they are willing to try to do what you do. They have a principle skill that describes the vertical leg of the T – they might be mechanical engineers or industrial designers. But they are so empathetic that they can branch out into others skills, such as anthropology and do them as well. They are able to explore insights from many different perspectives and recognize patterns of behaviour that point to a universal human need.

I share the same view that we need T Talents in the future with Steve Mills of IBM.

The following paragraphs are taken from his thought leadership paper.

In the past and to a great degree, the present - the workforce is dominated by two kinds of people:

  1. Business generalists with broad horizontal understanding of the business issues affecting their area.
  2. Hands-on implementation specialists or people with narrow but deep expertise in a specific, often technical, area.

The future of business demands a new breed of knowledge worker: the T-shaped person who combines broad understanding of business processes ( the top, horizontal part of the T ) with deep practical execution in a specific functional area ( the bottom, vertical part of the T ). People who share the same understanding of the business process ( top of the T ) can team with colleagues with different I-shaped specialties ( bottom of the T ) to cover the waterfront of a business need without losing that common vocabulary and understanding of their shared business objective.

Friday, August 1, 2008

9 characteristics of innovative people

What are the characteristics of innovative people?

Sense from:
You and Creativity
Don Fabun
Kaiser Aluminum News 25

A propensity for greater awareness which makes a person more readily attuned to the subtleties of various sensations and impressions. Eric Fromm writes, "Creativity is the ability to see ( or be aware ) and to respond".

Questioning Attitude
An inquisitiveness, probably imprinted in early home training that encourages seeking new and original answers.

Broad Education
An approach to learning instilled from a liberal education that puts a premium on questions rather than answers and rewards curiosity rather than rote learning and conformity.

Asymmetrical Thinking
The ability to find an original kind of order in disorder as opposed to symmetrical thinking that balances everything out in some logical way. "The creative personality is unique in that during the initial stages he prefers the chaotic and disorderly and tends to reject what has already been systematized". Ralph J. Hallman

Personal Courage
A disregard for failure derived from a concern, not for what others think, but what one thinks of oneself. "They seemed to be less afraid of what other people would say or demand or laugh at ... Perhaps more important, however, was their lack of fear of their own insides, of their own impulses, emotions, thoughts". Abraham Maslow

Sustained Curiosity
A capacity for childlike wonder carried into adult life that generates a style of endless questioning, even of the most personally cherished ideas. Eric Fromm: "Children still have the capacity to be puzzled... But once they are through the process of education, most people lose the capacity of wondering, of being surprised. They feel that they ought to know everything, and hence that it is a sign of ignorance to be surprised or puzzled by anything".

Time Control
Instead of being bound by time, deadlines and schedules, creative individuals use time as a resource - morning, noon and night - years, decades - whatever it takes, unbound by the clock.

The unswerving desire to do something, whatever it may be and whatever the obstacles to doing it.

Willingness to work
The willingness to continue to pursue a project endlessly, in working hours and so - called free hours, over whatever time might be required. Roger Sessions said, "Inspiration, then, is the impulse which sets creation in movement; it is also the energy which keeps it going".

Friday, July 25, 2008

Corporate open learning resource

What did I observe?
Customers don’t just buy products and services from corporations. They also learn from them. They don’t just learn things that will benefit the corporations’ sales. For example, if they learn how to protect their love ones by buying life insurance, they might buy life insurance from AIA who offers them a free seminar on financial planning.

They also learn things which will not help coporations’ sales. For example, when they watch a video on personal development at Talks@Google, they don’t use Google more.

It will be interesting to see:
Will more corporations release their in house learning resources to the public?
Will customers prefer to buy from corpoations that they have learned from versus those that they did not?

What do I called this observation?
Corporate open learning resource

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Conversation Triangle

One of my favorite pass times is meeting up with friends to chat about ideas that I discovered. As I observed what I do during these discussions, I discovered that I basically behaved in 3 ways:

  1. I broaden the idea.
  2. I deepen the understanding of the idea.
  3. I connect the idea to another idea.

I came up with a diagram to show how I behaved in these discussions.

Conversation Triangle 0.1

I name the diagram the Conversation Triangle.

It consists of 4 points

  1. I = Idea
  2. B = Broaden Idea
  3. C = Connected Idea
  4. D = Deepen Understanding

6 relationships

  1. IB = Action of broadening the idea
  2. IC = Action of connecting the idea to another idea
  3. ID = Action of deepening the understanding of the idea
  4. BC = Action of connecting the broaden idea to another idea
  5. BD = Action of deepening the understanding of the broaden idea
  6. CD = Action of deepening the understanding of the idea that was connected to

Monday, June 16, 2008

Starbucks customer innovation

What I read?
Starbucks have started a web site to collect suggestions from customers.
Where did I read it from?
Jeff Jarvis
BusinessWeek 15 Apr 2008
What sense did I make out of it?
Companies are experimenting to connect closer to customers. They are beginning to understand that customers can help them to innovate.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Whole Earth Catalog legacy

One of the things I observe on remarkable people like Buckminster Fuller ( Bucky ) is that they influence people with their ideas. Their ideas can through time lag become artifacts ( products ), services or improved versions of the ideas.

Bucky have inspired Stewart Brand to create the Whole Earth Catalog ( WEC ). It is a catalog of learning resources for an individual to take his own initiate to do his own learning. I recently watched a video ( 1hr 46 mins ) on the legacy of the Whole Earth Catalog.

What I found interesting in the video:

  1. The impact of the WEC is that it created a culture of learning through making.
  2. The WEC change Kevin Kelly's life as he realize that he did not need to go to collage after reading the catalog.
  3. Stewart Brand was inspired by Bucky to create WEC as a tool to enable people to create change.

What did you found interesting in the video?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Yosemite Photos

Date: 22 Apr 2008
Place: Yosemite National Park, CA, United States
Experience: mountains, trees, water falls, wild life, area of outstanding beauty

San Francisco Photos

Date: 19 - 29 Apr 2008
Place: around San Francisco, CA, United States
Experience: Interesting

Portland Photos

Date: 16 - 19 Apr 2008
Place: Portland, OR, United States
Experience: bookshops, cafes, parks, river, hanging out, walking

Seattle Photos

Date: 8 - 10 and 14 - 16 Apr 2008
Place: around Seattle, WA, United States
Experience: Beautifull

Victoria Photos

Date: 10 - 14 Apr 2008
Place: around Victoria, BC, Canada
Experience: accessible, natural, beautifull city

Friday, March 14, 2008

Randy Pausch last lecture

What let's you get to achieve your dreams?
  1. Parents, friends, teachers, mentors, colleagues and students.
  2. Have fun.
  3. Never lose the child-like wonder.
  4. Help others.
  5. Loyalty is a two way street.
  6. Never give up.
  7. Get people to help you.
  8. You can’t get there alone.
  9. I believe in Karma.
  10. Tell the truth.
  11. Be earnest.
  12. Apologize when you screw up.
  13. Focus on others, not yourself.
  14. Brick walls let us show our dedication.
  15. Don’t bail, the best gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap.
  16. Get a feedback loop and listen to it.
  17. Show gratitude.
  18. Don’t complain, just work harder.
  19. Be good at something. It makes you valuable.
  20. Work hard.
  21. Find the best in everybody, no matter how long you have to wait for them to show it.
  22. Be prepared. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.
Randy Pausch's last lecture
Randy Pausch
Video 1:03 to 1:24
Slides 102 to 140

Monday, February 25, 2008

Paulo Coelho and meditation

Found Paulo Coelho mentioning meditation in his manual of the warrior of light.

The warrior of light needs time to himself. And he uses that time for rest, contemplation and contact with the Soul of the World. Even in the midst of a battle, he manages to meditate.

Occasionally, the warrior sits down, relaxes and lets everything that is happening around him continue to happen. He looks at the World as a spectator, he does not try to add to it or take away from it, he merely surrenders unresistingly to the moment of life.

Little by little, everything that complicated begins to become simple. And the warrior is glad.

What is a warrior of light?
A warrior of light is someone capable of:
understanding the miracle of life
fighting to the last for something he believes in

Paulo Coelho
Page 183 & 184
ISBN: 0007156324

Friday, February 22, 2008

All the World's roads lead to the heart

I am currently reading Paulo Coelho's manual of the warrior of light. He is the author of the alchemist. The book is like a Brazilian version of the Chinese art of war. I like to share 2 pages in the book that I found interesting.

All the World's roads lead to the heart of the warrior; he plunges unhesitatingly into the river of passions always flowing through his life.

The warrior knows that he is free to choose his desires and he makes these decisions with courage, detachment and sometimes with just a touch of madness.

He embraces his passions and enjoys them intensely. He knows that there is no need to renounce the pleasures of conquest; they are part of life and bring joy to all those who participate in them.

But he never loses sight of those things that last or of the strong bonds that are forged over time.

A warrior can distinguish between the transient and the enduring.

What is a warrior of light?
A warrior of light is someone capable of understanding the miracle of life and fighting to the last for something he believes in.

Manual of the warrior of light

Page 4 & 5
ISBN: 0007156324

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Schools kill creativity

Education systems are educating children out of their creative capacities. Sir Ken Robinson urges us to rethink the fundamental principles on which we're educating our children.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

See what we can't see

Recently Rochele told me a story. When Columbus ships came to America, the Native Indians could not see them coming. They thought their ships will clouds.

After reflecting on this story, I came to understand that we cannot see something that we do not know. If I am a Native Indian, how can I see ships when there are no ships in my World? How can we see what we don't know? How can we see what we can't see?

John Naisbitt says discoveries grow out of something that is already there. Ripe apples had always fallen to the ground but Isaac Newton saw "the deeper meaning." The Earth has always circled the sun but Copernicus and Galileo observed the evidence and make the connections. Geniuses often build on details that many people can spot but can't connect.

There are things we can see but others can't. There are things that others can see but we can't. Let's help each other to see what both of us can’t.

The John Naisbitt paragraph is taken from page 42 of his book - Mindset.