Is What You Have, Not What Others Have

Is What You Have, Not What Others Have

I know I haven’t post in a while, quite a long. But new projects and work load took most of my time. Be sincere, you were happy while having a break from me, don’t lie.

Bad news are, I promise writing more, in Chinese. You want to smash my head, but trust me, its not for the gallery, its simply because I have a Chinese language Band C level exam test. And that would put me in the dark for a while…so I proceed to shut up and talk about today’s post.

I recently saw a video of my nephews that reminded me of something. Something very simple but valuable.

I keep hearing people everywhere saying ‘I want to’, ‘I would like to’, ‘If I had’. Some dream about achieving things but others fall into a desire of having without really knowing ‘why’. [I know why I want my test, and its not to hang it on a wall to take dust].

When talking with clients, many say ‘we still can’t do that because we don’t have’ and then follows either one of these: funds / time / staff and other resources. Then is when I remind them what they have. Then an infinite horizon of opportunities pop-up and turns out that what they though necessary becomes a superficial layer and sometimes an unnecessary layer.

A recent event were I was looking for a light box accessory reminded me of this:

It’s what you have, not what others have, that makes you stronger.

I was looking for a light box and then I found one for US$250. Instead of buying it I just made it myself recycling stuff I have at home -except for the lights (US$14).

I used my tool box, went to the drugstore, search, use my brain, and after trial and error, I made it. I made it! And I saved US$236 on a thing I was considering buying. Best part is not only the money I saved but how I learned about electric circuits and how that’s helping me on other ongoing projects.

Sure, quality might not be as great, it doesn’t fold and it doesn’t look fancy at all -rather chessy- but the thing is I don’t need any of that.

Ok, so cardboard does not make you stronger than the rest but knowing what your skills and resources are is a tremendous lesson you can learn from and have fun with.

Sounds simple and obvious, as a Chinese idiom says 知易行難 (zhī yì xíng nán, easy to understand but difficult to do) but nowadays you just have to take a walk to let yourself be surprised on how many ‘inventions’ and products are out there sold providing ‘smart solutions’ which are completely unnecessary. Unless you are a lazy ass and don’t know which alternatives are still available to waste your money.

And this proves again what a wisdom person once said: ‘Its not the tool what makes the man, its how he uses it’. Which brought to my mind a video.

I know its a terrible way to finish the post, but I couldn’t help but sharing with you something it made me laugh.

Have a nice day!

Why The Best Strategy Is No Strategy

Yup.

I went to Taichung for the weekend and met there with a good friend.

We met and walked near Nova’s mall, the park and had some Taiwanese dessert. I know, it sounds sissy like a 13th-year old-school girl plan, but if you’ve met Taiwanese man, you’ll know they don’t usually meet for a beer during the afternoon. Plus I like those plans.

Anyways, we were talking about many things -his next holiday trip, Barcelona’s vs P.S.G. scandalous match, and swang by crossculture relationships. Then he started telling me about his future plans, not only with his girlfriend but specially about his work.

He told me what he had in mind for the next three years. He summed it very well, and I was surprised how he even covered many details, nonetheless he was looking like a mixture of confidence but doubtfuly shitiness. He is worried because he’s not sure how it will all work out.

Of course, its normal he is a melting pot of feelings. What it stopped me in my trunks was how he could be that sure about what he was looking for his future.

It surprised me how he put himself on a pile of -shitty- planning and strategies to get his goal.

You may think I’m the one being too naive or foolish, isn’t it?

Maybe.

I understand the importance of planning and a clear objective, but
I also understand how easy it is that your plan falls a part or blows away easily. Sure, you can say that’s because I didn’t do my ‘homework’ well, but that’s not the reason. No matter how many backups or plan B’s you have, there is always something that can influence or endanger your strategy. Third party forces not under lur control. Then what we’re up for?

The best strategy, is no strategy.

‘WTF?…’ I heard murmuring in the back?

Yeah, no strategy.

After all we are not descendats of machines, are we?

That doesn’t imply ignoring the agenda to be met, but it does mean to do things at your bestest.

Can we keep aspirations? yes!
Desires? yup.
Joyfullness? Hell, yeah!

Terminator mode? no, please.

I got plans, things to learn, things to share, people to meet and an ass to move quicker, but doing them under the ‘tick-tack’ seconds of the clock as the only measure of the outcome will not make it any better.

So what better than knowing your oneself’s flaws, virtues and get out there?

I planned to work in Singapore and Shanghai, and even it become true not turned out as I expected. Basically because there are things that can’t be anticipated.

I came to Taiwan planning to stay no longer than 6 months or 1 year to learn the language. Here I’am, 3 years later, very happy and unexpectatly being able to not only ‘speak’ the language, but even appearing on TV, working, meeting wonderful people and forging life friendship bonds with them. And after all, feeling like home, a a place +13,000 km away from my homecountry.

A Church Does Better Marketing Than You

Early this week Gianny and I were meeting after a while. We met at Jingmei’s district, near the night market. And then we bump into this building.

Jingmei’s church, March 2017, valentinoliver.com ©

Seems a mall but it’s not, it’s a church! Ok, that’s not that impressive, but it’s not all.

People at mass time, singing and praying while watching the projector’s screen, March 2017, valentinoliver.com ©

The people inside were at mass time and using a projector! You can read ‘Jesus loves me‘ 「耶穌愛你」(in blue font) on the screen. Despite my surprise about them using such an advanced equipment, that’s not -as marketer hypers say- the ‘disruption’.

‘Jesus Loves You’ book store, expecting to expand over Apple’s stores, March 2017, valentinoliver.com ©

So this is a freaking book store next to the church entrance. Although I’m not affiliated to catholicism or christianize, I really admire how a millennial religion is pushing boundaries to rejuvenate its image and the way they use to predicate their endangered religion in today’s science and skeptic world.

Moreover, serving themselves with marketing techniques. And by that I refer to that book store full of religion-related items.

That’s good merchandising.

Good lesson to be learned, and not from Nike this time.

Never it’s too late to start.

Bravo.

Strategy It’s Everywhere: Champions League

First, I’m going to talk about football BUT I promise the ending can help you, at least to not miss good chances.

About 2 days ago F.C. Barcelona and P.S.G. (Paris Saint Germain) -two of the legendary European football teams- played a match. To be specific, the ‘Round of 16’ of the Champions League competition.

At this stage of the competition there are two games to be played: each one in each team’s stadium. Game 1 was in Paris:  P.S.G. vs. F.C.Barcelona, where the second team shamefully lose 4-0.

4-0!! That’s embarrassing.

Anyways, Game 2 was played this week in Barcelona: F.C.Barcelona vs. P.S.G. And besides Barça fans and the media made the typical show of pressing and motivation to foster Barça’s self-esteem to achieve the impossible, most of the people already knew how difficult it is to reassemble a 4-0. Specially if you laid Champions League history results over the table and observe there is not even a single team that had reassemble such a dispair result in such a tough competition.

The match day arrived, and people gathered, cheered, screamed. Barça was on its way, scored 3 goals but then P.S.G. scored one goal that felt as a ice bucket.

Only after 88 mins. of the game being played (total game lasts 90 mins.) the 4th goal went up in the score for Barça. But things don’t end here. To pass to the next round you not only have to win the game, you have to score more goals than your opponent.

By that time the score was F.C.Barcelona 4 vs. P.S.G. 6

Then, within the scramble of the time left 2 more goals where scored by Barça!! Completely insane.

Crazy result of the F.C.Barcelona vs. P.S.G.

Ok, I’m not going to talk more about if it was a glorious feat done by  Barça, neither show you a video of the highlights or praise F.C.Barcelona. That’s what everyone is doing, isn’t it?

Instead I’ld like to rise a little question to you.


‘What if P.S.G. didn’t show up for the match?’


Well, the answer is, according to the competition rules, it will be considered as a lost game for P.S.G. giving 3 goals to the local team: F.C.B 3 vs. P.S.G. 0

And that means, as you are thinking, P.S.G. could pass to the next round without even flying out of Paris, just not showing up for the game.

Again strategy, is everywhere. Knowing how to wisely use the resources cannot only avoid wasting them and your time, but even let you win the match.

Fly, If You Dare To…

EHang 184 © drone at CES Las Vegas, last January 2017

Let me introduce you the eHang 184 drone that was presented last January. If you take a close look, it’s not just a regular drone. Well it flies yes, but not only that, two people can fly in it.

If that didn’t sound impressive enough, the ‘little gadget’ its AAV, which means its piloted remotely. Last news are, it will be out on the streets of Dubai as a taxi service soon! Crazy eh?

What I like the most of all its the fact EHang managed to made the drone completely e-fueled, which is a very notorious aspect since most environmentally friendly vehicles are ground transportation.

I Want To Be An Entrepre-hypster

How many have you heard saying they want to be entrepreneurs? And how many really have a good reason to stand their point?

We live in an era were Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and other uncountable number of people have been, and still are, a reference for many today. The influence of these people its so strong that a word representing a specific group of people willing to take over a business opportunity/risk has become a trend. People and some media use the term entrepreneur in their LinkedIn titles, book titles, websites, etc. It has become an aspirational status. Another trend more, as it was some years ago, making cupcakes or now leaving long beards with short haircut and some random geometrical shape tattoo that not even has a meaning, but its just part of another trend.

The concept has been prostitued. Yes it went that far.

Anyone who opens a lemonade stand on the street calls himself an entrepreneur. And even technically it may be correct, for me it just sounds bollocks.

 

Everyone wants to know how to become rich, how you make money, travel, acquire expensive possesions, travel around the world, and so on. Shortly, they aspire to have pockets filled with money while resting their fat ass on their cabrio. And many think that comes being a Silicon Valley tech superstar or a greedy ass tycoon. But first they think they have to turn into an entrepreneur.

Delusional people.

Many think being the boss, allows them to wake up late, work at home, travel, eat feasts, etc. Most fall for the razzle-dazzle but ignore conscious or unconsciously, being the boss means you will be working more hours than the 7-11 next to their home. It’s not handwork, its you need to move your ass or you’re out. A simple rule:

no client = no business = no profit = no salary = no food / rent = get ready to beg at the church

Being an entrepreneur shouldn’t be the goal. Making sure you’re in a good team with good management and a clear goal should be. So I don’t really care about all this hype. I know I look like Wally [Waldo] with my glasses, I have a beard and live in a country many know nothing about it -besides being a wonderful place- but I can assure you I was wearing all those before all this it even started. And I know that’s a hipster answer too, but that’s being part of me since I fart, and as far as I know that are not very hipster maneers.

The Mysterious Mainland Chinese Consumer

konami.com ©

The People’s Republic of China, and extensive and vast land where many companies obsessively have their sight put on as it was a massive cake waiting to be ‘shared’ under the attentive and hunger sight of corporations, and mid-small businesses.

But how big is that cake? And how many know ‘when’ and ‘how’ to take their piece? Those are completely different questions, not many can’t answer.

When it comes to the Mainland, first thoughts are -rich, new economic super-power, high potential and business opportunities. While all those are true at some degree not everything behind it, is a mine full of gold. I’m not going to spoil anyone’s dreams but focussing only on the opportunities, is as dumb as only focussing on the risks. So being aware can save you from bitter experiences no matter if you are eBay, Uber, Mattel or Revlon. And I know everything can be a lesson from which you can learn, but think about telling the CEO the hundreds of million dollar investments are all gone through the WC tube.


Business success in your country, not necessarily means success in China.

 


Is it necessary a big investment? Are Mainland Chinese that different? Are there ‘unseeing’ laws that regulate commercial business? Was it the right time to enter the market? What happened to those who run away?

None of those are statements, but if they had being asked by those companies, perhaps their outcome had had brighten their business outcomes in Mainland China.

Leaving aside spending capacity, demographics and other blah blah, there is one thing on top. And that is today’s unshakable fact that Chinese are increasingly fickle. This means that in between the time you feel like farting and the actual fart bursts out, people’s consuming behavior already changed. (Hoping that, clearly illustrates the situation).

And this is where all the game begins. If not check the automotive industry, FMCG or the apparel sector.

Robotization vol.2

You never know who will serve you the next big mac…, teefury.com ©

Last week I wrote a post in Chinese talking about robotization. But the interesting part is I recently saw two articles, both of them recently published as well.

Both of them talk about robotization, however one treats it as a threat and the other one, well, also announce it as a threaten too.

Its outrageously dramatic, since in the article a statement can be read: ‘half of all jobs in Japan could be performed by robots by 2035‘. Which is like saying to today’s Japanese teens ‘Hey, you know what, we don’t need you anymore. By 2035 half of our country will be run by terminator’s and robocop’s cousins and the other half will be in their 90’s sitting and shitting in their diapers. Sorry.’

It sounds pretty scary. Also after you see this.

About a decade ago a client of mine had a nice guy which I’mfriend with that was actually doing that job and now ‘seems’ a sort of modern-shaped-vacume cleaner can do the job. Well, saying that would mean ignoring the fact that machine can meet the my client’s mate whole job description which even seems attractive in the financial side, it would not be precise at all.

Truth is, robots are more efficient and cost effective than humans in many tasks, but reality is they are still very limited at this point. Sure, the humble 54 year old Mr. Sato that worked for 30+ years in a factory in Nagoya will most probably lose his job as the Bob working in Michigan who’s role never got over line assembling supervisor, but most people are in different realities, times and age from those of Bob and Sato.

As opportunities fade out also appear, so getting the chance is not 100% in our control but being alert of what’s going around us its everyone’s duty.