Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Beer, speech input and typing...

Forgot to mention the bet wtih Sergey during the beer last week. We had a bet what is faster for human to communicate information out: speak or type on the keyboard. I voted absolutely for speak. Sergey thought otherwise.

We had a test. For a roughly 120-words paragraph from the beloved "Innovator's Solution" book, it took 35 seconds for Sergey to read it all out. The typing? It was only half-way thru after 1 minute and 5 seconds.

Ok, this further proved my theory. It's much easier for human to use speech to communicate out. Well, this is well-known. Child starts to speak when they are 2 or 3 years old. They started to read/write around age of 5?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Customer Interviews Yesterday

I phone-interviewed three customers yesterday. It was fun. I totally botched on the first interview;), oops. It seems to be not a very good idea to just read the questionnaire. Everyone is different;). Changed strategy after first interview and I let the interviewee go anywhere they'd like to explore and I only slightly guide to them to where it's more relevant to our product.

It turned out to be really helpful. They not only welcomed our service but also suggested things to look for, ideal use cases (oops, is this too techie?) and potential other market segments. And, also the important features they think.

Such a fun learning process. 3 down, 20 more to go;). Hopefully, my marketing team can take on a few next week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

the SDM Networking session

The SDM networking session turned out to be really good. Met a whole bunch of interesting people. As usual and as a great host, Yoav was there. It's always good to see Sam. Too bad that he's moving to Shanghai. I probably should set him up with all my friends in shanghai.

Finally, I met Ilana, who was one of the first SDM blogger (at least I think). Really fun, intelligent women. Oh, and really... beautiful. Ok, enough compliments. Ilana, this is my blog.

Liked the nerd-test and couldn't believe Ilana scored 94. Sam must have made it up. To run this in SDM08, I definitely vote for Jeremy, heck, who else.

Met a few SDM09 people too. Thomas, Mario, Dan. Welcome aboard.

Too bad I can't make it tomorrow.

Last thing, Helen actually did something useful today: She gave everyone the name tag, which turned out to be really useful.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Beer with Sergey and business idea

I had a quick beer with Sergey at muddy today and some really interesting talk. We actually worked out a really good business case for big firms for the start-up thing I am trying to pull here. Let's see if I can put it into reality.

Thanks, Sergey, you are the man!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yet another funny google ads...

Google seems wasn't aware about the whole story about "Joe the plumber" that's really hot these days. In this story at nytimes.com, below is the google ads.

hey, it got plumbers all right, but it's not really about plumbing, ok?

Today's ESD.36

Today's ESD.36, aka System Project management, is quite... useful. Two points really worth noting:

1. risk management: as mentioned by Prof. de Weck, as you become more and more senior, your role will evolve towards more and more risk management, such as technology, organizational, etc. See the chart below.
2. In the BAE Denver International Airport case, one category of risk, the organizational risk, was really highlighted. In the case, the chief engineer unfortunately died after the project started. This was painted as one of the key reason for the project's failure. The key lesson, in my view, is: whenever you have a star performer, it should raise a red flag to the project manager. The resignation of the star performer could be a devastating strike to the project. I guess this is a dilemma. On one hand, you always want a star performer. On the other hand, you also want there is someone ready to substitute the star performer. As Prof de Weck pointed out to me after class, a redundancy system should be built into the system for star performer role. This, of course, can be really difficult with real systems. In the BAE case, the city can argue that, unlike other public works project, DIA is a one time deal project, so they didn't have an existing redundancy system. BAE, in theory, should have cautioned this to the city...

(Source: ESD.36 System Project Management, Prof. Olivier L. de Weck, 2008)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Disruptive Innovation

I have been reading Christensen's books (Innovator's dilemma and solution). Well, I should have read them in spring. I think it's required reading for tech strategy. Anyway, I am reading for technology based business innovation ESD.57. Awesome books. On the one hand, this book is written for the big executives. On the other hand, it's also a perfect book for start-up. The two key theme, low-end disruption and new market disruption, are very true. Of course, this is not 100% new. It is natural strategy for a start-up to go into a market where there is no competitor. However, the book systematically explains why big firms fall to recognize disruptive innovation.

Strongly, strongly recommended.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Laughable Google Ads

I got some laughable Google Ads in my gmail today. We are talking what to choose for the ESD.36. As suggested by Prof, our target is a project with the delays with A380 and B787. A lot of Boeing and Airbus surfaced in the email. Google then suggested a whole bunch of travel ads, such as Private Jet in 10 hours. However, I give some merits to google for recommending some pilot jobs with Singapore Air.

Here's the screenshot:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Gmail integration with Google Calendar...

Hmm, not sure when it came out, I noticed gmail's integration with google calendar. Hmm, something we wanted to do. See picture below.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kicked off Speech Training...

It seems I have finally kicked off the speech training on the small SDM cluster. Too bad I cannot use those free athena machines. It appears the job can finish in a month.

Too bad the SDM cluster thing doesn't seem to quite catch on with the SDMers. I guess no one has the need. I really hoped the resource can be shared with the other SDM projects.