Sunday, November 23, 2008

met with Shashi

ok, this is just some doodling from my chat with Shashi last night, but some very, very important advices:
1. get the first check, don't be shy to ask for it. If you are doing work for them, you deserve to ask for it. Focus on the market.
2. Try to get a deal with voip providers and work on those leads.
3. offer something for free and charge for premium.
4. You will need someone on board full-time to get any creditability.

Man, friend is always important.

major milestone soon

We finally done with the speech training with very acceptable result. More training and improvements are obviously on the way. Training is really time consuming, every iteration takes 3-4 weeks to finish. This is important and encouraging. We will have a demo-able system in the matters of days.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mobile Monday yesterday

I went to Mobile Monday with Roger and also bumped into Ken Liu. Chatted quite a bit with Palle from RealCME ( I knew him from peHUB before). One thing he said that I totally agree is that, when you are getting started, you better focus on making sure money, the money that is real and focus on the people who is willing to pay.

Nice to see AssuredLabour, a thing founded by David Reich and another sloanie Matt Albrecht. I am still trying to remember if David was my TA for the sales class;). It's a nice eBay trust model applied to labor market.

Also chatted with guys from Cadio. A start-up for tracking your movement and give you location contextual ads, such as coupons. They claim there is nothing needs to be installed to the phone.

Friday, November 14, 2008

peHUB yesterday

I went to peHUB with a few Harvard friends last night. It was way more than what I hoped. Bumped a few VC's that I know before and collected a few more cards. Chatted with Luke Burns on the thing we are doing. Also chatted with Caleb Clark from Wind Jammer. Seems some traction there. The only thing I wish? I wish I had a proper business card, not my crappy sdm cards;).

Oh, went to Bertucci's for ice cream after (they claimed I was drunk, not suitable for driving and need ice cream for clean out the alcohol). Yum, no complains.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Took the Tunnel...

Shamely, I took the tunnel from E40 to building 7. To my argument, it's getting cold in this November of Boston;).

I haven't taken the tunnel since March. It sure was a fun experience to see those nuclear signs again ;).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Reading: "Who CEO's Succeed (and why they fail)"

An interesting article to read indeed. This is another angle to discuss organizational structure and the role of leaders. Summary highlights below:

1. Human brain ability limits the number of people human can possibly directly communicate at the same time. Academic studies show that "decision-making performance ... falls of rapidly as the group size grows beyond six", "human brain... cannot simultaneously retain and process more than about seven information chunks at once". Hence the optimal working group size is six or seven.
2. Skills from experience of working one size of group does not necessarily working with a different size of group.
3. A mid size group (10-30) is most naturally organized by consensus among all memebers, but also with a leader who facilitates the decision making process.
4. Large size group is dictatorship with clear leadership. However, the election of the leader is the channel of the voice for all group members.
5. A successful department manager does not necessarily make a good entrepreneur. Different skill set is needed. A good entrepreneur of small-mid size company not only do the real job, but also facilitates the decision-making of his/her board. He/she must be good at leading the board in the decision-making process.
6. In a large organization setting, manager's job is to make decision with his/her authorized power level and receive decision from upper level. He/she has less or no need to work with a board in the decision making process.

Hehe, this is also part of my ESD.34 homework.

Monday, November 3, 2008

An Interesting Customer Interview

I just finished a customer interview with Bijay Khadka, the manager of THE au Bon Pain right around the corner of Hayward and Main St.

It went unexpected;). I was researching for the telephony thing for the SMB sector. It turned out that it wasn't quite applicable to them. (They are not in the catering business and they only take a very small amount of order (<2%) through direct calls made to the phone of their store. Most phone orders for abp go to a call center which is managed by the upper company and then dispatched to the closest abp store which does catering). The interview ended up entrepreneurial and how to manage people.

A few key points to summarize:
1. If you want other people to do something, make sure you also do or follow it.
2. treat employee with respect. be friends.
3. treat the customer with respect and demand the employee to do the same.
4. hospitality is the key in running this competitive business.
5. manage people is most difficult problem.

Also interesting is that abp also has a sales/order projection system. It computes the projection of the stuff they will sell and reduce the waste of throwing them away.

Mr. Khadka is doing his MBA from some other b-school and he's being promoted to the business of another abp tomorrow. Congrats.

A new computer for the (SDM) cluster

I finally went out and bought a powerful computer for the speech training cluster. It's a 3.2Ghz/4GB RAM with a whopping 6MB L2 Cache. It sure will speed up the speech training process.