Monthly Archives: May 2007

Info manager

…or maybe we call them PDA’s.  I don’t think we’ve gotten them to the point where it’s easy to store our constant ideas we generate and easily catalog them away for easy retrieval later on.  Like I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I was reading we have 60,000 thoughts daily (from I believe a book called “The Secret”).  A lot of those thoughts are wasted away since we can’t file them away anywhere for later retrieval.

While the PDA will probably morph into something more advanced and simple for us to place away those thoughts, we also need applications that probably can help us recall them visually as well.

Some web apps that we may consider also placing on PDA’s and perhaps could be good for retrieval as well are the following:

bubble-mind.com
kayuda.com
mindjet.com
mindomo.com
mindmeister.com

Whatever method we use, we should probably find some way to manage the many thoughts we have, the information that is nonstop throughout the web and the constant things that come at us daily including all the people we meet. We can probably leverage that to make more important decisions via wiser actions and more educated thoughts.

We really need these “info managers” not only for our personal lives, but very importantly for the workplace. I can imagine some device we carry around at work we plug into our desktops. Perhaps the laptop is serving the function to a considerable extent — like the tablet PC, but we’re still a ways away.

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Filed under Work tools

You gotta love my kids…

So, one of my kids wrote me an essay in my iBT level 1 class on the topic “People behave differently when they wear different clothes.  Do you agree that different clothes influence the way people behave? Use specific examples to support your answer. ”

He ended his essay with:

“Lastly, fitting, for example when I wear a tights, I feel discomfort. So I could easily anger.”

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Very obvious idea: MCF Consultants

Making computers faster (MCF) consultants — lots of computers slow down over time. There need to be computer consultants who know what causes the slowdown in PC’s. From viruses, to spyware to other things just eating away at the memory in our computers … help!!!!

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Too much information…

There’s so much I want to read. I just clicked on a Google Adsense link/advertisement to a story about how Asia is linked tightly with the Middle East. While perusing through the article, on the side of the article in Businessweek, there was a list of “Top emailed stories”. Well, that caught my eye & I started to click on articles. Of course, I surfed away from the original article and also I don’t have much time before I have my next meeting. So, I just thought, there’s gotta be a way to manage the information we want to read for later. I mean Since it’s from a magazine…chances are I may never see it again without wasting time looking for it again.

So we need:

Something to manage a list of things we want to read. It could list the title, source, places where I can get it later, date, date found, and a bibliography of the sources in the article (to help us gauge the quality of the article). I was reading something recently (I believe from the book “The Secret”) that we have 60,000 thoughts a day. 59,999 of these are getting thrown away because we don’t have something that can literally keep up with us. ^^

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Online Collaboration – spreadsheets and more…

So, I wish I had a way of just having all the different blogs/sites I’m working on feed into this one.  However, until I do, I will just have to trust I can remember and have the time to share what I’ve written on them on h – minus CDI’s site.

So, this has been a problem since the dawn of spreadsheets…how can we get multiple minds working on one spreadsheet that could benefit from multiple people placing their input into it.  Well, seveal entrepreneurs are attacking this one including a very familiar website which has a market cap of about $150 billion these days.

Let’s start with Google’s attempt at eating away at Microsoft’s Office group which accounts for a large amount of the revenues and profits at the Redmond based company.   Typing in http://docs.google.com into your browser will find you at a site which allows you to create, collaborate with others and keep your online word or spreadsheet documents.  I’ve used this on a limited basis because for some reason it’s a little slow to update the entries you make into the browser since it’s saving your entries constantly.  While it’s goog not to let you lose data, it’s a bit painful for the impatient like me.  However, it’s probably the main tool I’ll use for collaboration on spreadsheets moving forward mainly because it is supported by acompany that probably will outlive the behemoth we call Microsoft.

The next several websites also do something similar, if not identical to what the Docs subsection of Google does. However, I have no idea how long they will be in existence due to how much financing power is backing them. Currently Web 2.0 has launched thousands of websites due to many backers believing in this iteration of the Internet. The new products are attempting to make it easier for the every day consumer to take advantage of the Web.

I was about to use www.goffice.com before going to the Docs section of Google, but like I said, I don’t know how long this website along with several of the ones following will last. A site called Go2Web20, the Complete Web 2.0 Directory, is where I found this guy. The site tells us this about the site: It’s a “Web based office suite with presentation, desktop publishing, word processing, and spreadsheet functionality. Offers immediate output of documents to PDF format for tangible takeaway and printability.”

Go2 provides us another entry here at the url www.numsum.com. “Num Sum is a web site that brings you online, simple, sharable web spreadsheets. In other words, you can now create social spreadsheets. All you need to join in is a modern web browser. Track your records, lists and data online, Share with everybody or with just your close friends and Connect with folks who have similar interests” according to Go2.

Xcellery combines the power of Excel with the internet. It allows to share and edit your Excel spreadsheets online. Xcellery eliminates the need to resend new versions to your collaborators in consolidating changes securely for you. For none-Excel users Xcellery also provides a powerful browser- based AJAX editor.”

A company called Peepel tells us about themselves: Peepel is a unique approach to online applications, allowing multiple applications to run in the same window. Users can open as many applications as they wish in multiple resizable PeepelWindows within the one browser window.

PeepelWindows are not pop-ups and can be resized, moved, stacked or cascaded. Peepel is in early stages at the moment, but keep an eye out for tight integration between all the applications. There are File Sharing, Collaboration, Contact Management, Browser and Template capabilities on the site.

Numbler is “the web based spreadsheet that enables instantaneous collaboration with anyone on your project team. With Numbler multiple users can work with a spreadsheet, view changes in real time, and discuss changes.”

www.edigrid.com may have been down at the time I wanted to evaluate them…but it may be dead as well. Give it a try & see if they’re still around. They are supposedly “an online spreadsheet featuring real-time-update and extensive collaboration features.”

If what they say is true on the site, I should of placed this following site first, but since it’s the last one in the list on Go2’s site, it’s going to stay here until I decide otherwise. 😉  SmartSheet.com supposedly “is flexible and familiar like a spreadsheet, but is the only organizational tool designed to help you organize and track your work. It’s an online service that allows teams to create lists of activities and tasks, share them online and update them via e-mail. We are built on an open-source stack and have created our own AJAX toolkit for the rich user interface.” However, with all this great stuff, comes with a cost. You can use the free version giving you 5 spreadsheets and a test to try it out, but be ready to shell out as much as $149/month for the service. At the same time, it starts as low as $25/mo though.

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Filed under Entrepreneurial life, Great sites

Online Collaboration – spreadsheets & more…

So, this has been a problem since the dawn of spreadsheets – how can we get multiple minds working on one spreadsheet that could benefit from multiple people placing their input into it. Well, seveal entrepreneurs are attacking this one including a very familiar website which has a market cap of about $150 billion these days.

Let’s start with Google’s attempt at eating away at Microsoft’s Office group which accounts for a large amount of the revenues and profits at the Redmond based company.   Typing in http://docs.google.com into your browser will find you at a site which allows you to create, collaborate with others and keep your online word or spreadsheet documents.  I’ve used this on a limited basis because for some reason it’s a little slow to update the entries you make into the browser since it’s saving your entries constantly.  While it’s goog not to let you lose data, it’s a bit painful for the impatient like me.  However, it’s probably the main tool I’ll use for collaboration on spreadsheets moving forward mainly because it is supported by acompany that probably will outlive the behemoth we call Microsoft.

The next several websites also do something similar, if not identical to what the Docs subsection of Google does. However, I have no idea how long they will be in existence due to how much financing power is backing them. Currently Web 2.0 has launched thousands of websites due to many backers believing in this iteration of the Internet. The new products are attempting to make it easier for the every day consumer to take advantage of the Web.

I was about to use www.goffice.com before going to the Docs section of Google, but like I said, I don’t know how long this website along with several of the ones following will last. A site called Go2Web20, the Complete Web 2.0 Directory, is where I found this guy. The site tells us this about the site: It’s a “Web based office suite with presentation, desktop publishing, word processing, and spreadsheet functionality. Offers immediate output of documents to PDF format for tangible takeaway and printability.”

Go2 provides us another entry here at the url www.numsum.com. “Num Sum is a web site that brings you online, simple, sharable web spreadsheets. In other words, you can now create social spreadsheets. All you need to join in is a modern web browser. Track your records, lists and data online, Share with everybody or with just your close friends and Connect with folks who have similar interests” according to Go2.

Xcellery combines the power of Excel with the internet. It allows to share and edit your Excel spreadsheets online. Xcellery eliminates the need to resend new versions to your collaborators in consolidating changes securely for you. For none-Excel users Xcellery also provides a powerful browser- based AJAX editor.”

A company called Peepel tells us about themselves: Peepel is a unique approach to online applications, allowing multiple applications to run in the same window. Users can open as many applications as they wish in multiple resizable PeepelWindows within the one browser window.

PeepelWindows are not pop-ups and can be resized, moved, stacked or cascaded. Peepel is in early stages at the moment, but keep an eye out for tight integration between all the applications. There are File Sharing, Collaboration, Contact Management, Browser and Template capabilities on the site.

Numbler is “the web based spreadsheet that enables instantaneous collaboration with anyone on your project team. With Numbler multiple users can work with a spreadsheet, view changes in real time, and discuss changes.”

www.edigrid.com may have been down at the time I wanted to evaluate them…but it may be dead as well. Give it a try & see if they’re still around. They are supposedly “an online spreadsheet featuring real-time-update and extensive collaboration features.”

If what they say is true on the site, I should of placed this following site first, but since it’s the last one in the list on Go2’s site, it’s going to stay here until I decide otherwise. 😉  SmartSheet.com supposedly “is flexible and familiar like a spreadsheet, but is the only organizational tool designed to help you organize and track your work. It’s an online service that allows teams to create lists of activities and tasks, share them online and update them via e-mail. We are built on an open-source stack and have created our own AJAX toolkit for the rich user interface.” However, with all this great stuff, comes with a cost. You can use the free version giving you 5 spreadsheets and a test to try it out, but be ready to shell out as much as $149/month for the service. At the same time, it starts as low as $25/mo though.

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The 3 F’s in Korea…

It shouldn’t have been any more special than any other Sunday today, but I realized that on this relatively “profound Sunday” there are definitely 3 prominent focuses Korean people place in their lives.  They are, in no special order:

1) Food

Instead of saying “How are you?” in Korea, many people will ask you if you’ve eaten today?  It’s more of a question addressing your health.  Koreans love their health & the health of their loved ones.

Today, I also was reminded of how important eating is in Korean society.  I went to a wedding today.  The first thing we did after getting off the bus shortly before the 1p ceremony was turn in our tickets to the Wedding hall staff and chow down on the buffet.  I wish I had a bigger appetite since they did have a bit of good food available. The big surprise though for the day definitely was that it was “before the ceremony.”  We could of booked before even watching the groom and bride take their vows.  Then again, maybe we didn’t get our tickets until we paid our “dues” or gifts at the front desks.  Koreans don’t mind money either.  Typically, instead of wedding gifts, Koreans bring an envelope of cash and drop it off at either the groom’s or the bride’s designated table where they collect your money & record it.  It is sketched in stone how generous or frugal you were with their gift on this momentous day.

2) Fashion

The whole place was well dressed.  Koreans enjoy and appreciate their fashion.  However, I don’t know if this falls under “fashion” or under “vanity”, but since we’re talking about “f’s” today, I decided to place it under fashion.

Anyway, in front of me were definitely the friends of the young groom and bride.  All these well dressed and groomed young 20 somethings were giggling and having a good time.  The girls typically pulled out their makeup mirrors or whatever you call them to check on their faces — that was no surprise.  However, when the guy who definitely seemed to care about his hair almost as much as the groom did today pulled out one of these makeup cases/mirrors and started to powder his face.  He appeared to be heterosexual given that his girlfriend was right next to him.  However, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen that in my life.  I know there are metrosexuals out there in life, but is this classified as “metro?”  Well, that’s my first witnessing of a metro, if that’s the case…

3) Fun

I can’t get the dang driver of my Korean made cell phone to load the photos and a great video I have of the 6+ bus ride back home.  However, the people in the bus (most of them between their mid 40’s and mid 50’s) were rocking the bus (literally) by jumping up and down and dancing to the 8 million decibel Korean music from the 70’s with a discotechqe beat to it.  Usually, it’s the older folks telling the younger ones to calm down and relax, but this 6+ hour bus ride was one of the longest in my life — not because of the time, but because 80% of the 6+ hours was spent trying to find a way to sleep through all the ruckus or create earplugs out of toilet paper to drown out the noise — not much luck, let’s just say.  I haven’t been this annoyed watching people dance…part of the reason of course was because several crushed my feet with their dancing, some of them accidentally smacked me in the head  and a few “friendly ladies” kept rubbing their butts up against my back while getting their “groove on.” 

Two other “f’s” get honorable mention as well.  The first is “family.”  Koreans really have a great sense of “family” and we should include “friends” in this too.  They love and cherish their fellow Korean.  The treat them with the highest regard and should be credited with having some of the biggest hearts out their in the world.  I do have to admit, sometimes it seems like they go above and beyond to prove it or show it, but down deep, there is really a deep sense of love for their friends and family. 

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Filed under Korea life, Random thoughts

Task manager

Looks like a free task manager which may be able to solve some task needs…will have to give this a try soon.  www.hitask.com

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Filed under Other interesting cos

O2

A pretty simple idea, but in many polluted cities, people suck in Carbon Monoxide and other unhealthy gases.  What they need is what hospitals give people who have been stuck in smokey conditions over an extended period of time: oxygen.  We live for oxygen.  Just like water, we need oxygen to survive.

Well,  before we had bottled water, people were probably saying the same thing about bottled water.  People were probably also saying it was a stupid idea to bottle up something we could access so easily from our own pipes.  Well, we know over time, that the pollutants and chemicals in our water supply encourage us now to drink more bottled water and motivate us to also filter the water that comes from the tap.

Currently, it’s expensive to bottle up and sell oxygen, but someone needs to economize it & eventually produce a common man’s (person’s) sized bottle of fresh air. We could probably get recyclable canisters. As popular “natural food stores” become more popular like “Whole Foods”, we will have bigger distribution points to sell these products. People will pay almost anything to stay and become more healthy. Our planet will only become more unhealthy & so the demand and need for this will only grow.

My wonderful girlfriend said that Tokyo has already done something like this, but I know that Seoul has not & I also know that Seoul is incredibly polluted. I can guarantee this would do well up there if marketed well.

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Filed under Health Products, Undeveloped ideas

Globalization

From Lee Iaccoca’s recent book titled “Where have all the leaders gone?”:

…something former astronaut Buzz Aldrin shared with Iacocca:

“Question: What is the truest definition of Globalization?

Answer: Princess Diana’s death

Question: How come?

Answer: An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French tunnel, driving a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who was drunk on Scotch whiskey, followed closely by Italian Paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles, treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines. This is posted by an American, using Bill Gate’s technology, and you’re probably reading this on a computer that uses Taiwanese chips and a Korean monitor, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by Indian lorry-drivers, hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen, and trucked to you by Mexican illegals. That, my friend is Globalization!

I’m not trying to make light of Princess Diana’s death. But it kind of makes your head spin to consider how interconnected the world has become.”

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Globalization

From Lee Iaccoca’s recent book titled “Where have all the leaders gone?”:

…something former astronaut Buzz Aldrin shared with Iacocca:

“Question: What is the truest definition of Globalization?

Answer: Princess Diana’s death

Question: How come?

Answer: An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French tunnel, driving a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who was drunk on Scotch whiskey, followed closely by Italian Paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles, treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines. This is posted by an American, using Bill Gate’s technology, and you’re probably reading this on a computer that uses Taiwanese chips and a Korean monitor, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by Indian lorry-drivers, hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen, and trucked to you by Mexican illegals. That, my friend is Globalization!

I’m not trying to make light of Princess Diana’s death. But it kind of makes your head spin to consider how interconnected the world has become.”

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Filed under Globalization, Random thoughts

2 things LinkedIn.com should have…

A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) service would be a perfect service for LinkedIn.com Many people search out others to help them in business, but for proprieters or people who are trying to start a business, one of the main issues that they are concerned about is the protection of their idea. However, without knowing much about the “new contacts” people gain from the site, an NDA would be perfect for “strangers” to overcome the fear that one would have in sharing these new ideas. LinkedIn.com may become the new hotbed for future FaceBook.com’s, YouTube.com’s , etc.  After they implement this feature, I hope they throw a few bones my way, but I doubt they will…nevertheless, I felt the need to speak up.  An email to their help center probably would have less impact.

The second thing they definitely need is a search function which allows you to find services like the one aforementioned. Not only should LinkedIn.com have this service, but so should every Social Network including FaceBook.com, MySpace.com and Friendster.com. Most people don’t even know what’s available and it’s too complicated or not easy enough for people to find the services that are available. There should also be some interface that makes it easy to see what is free & what is not. There should be demos as well for people to understand some of these services.

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Filed under Ideas for current companies

Becoming idealistic again…

   For a while there, I was feeling like I was going down the path of cynicism and becoming more conservative as many before me have.  We start out more liberal and idealistic when we are younger and become more cynical and conservative after being knocked down constantly by events in life.

A good example of how we become accepting of many of the terrible things in life is written well by John Perkins in his book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man:”

“…For me it conjures the image of a soldier. In the beginning, he is naive. He may question the morality of killing other people, but mostly he has to deal with his own fear, has to focus on survival. AFter he kills his first enemy, he is overwhelmed with emotions. He may wonder about the family of the dead man and feel a sense of remorse. But as time goes on and he participates in more battles, kills more people, he becomes hardened. He is transformed into a professional soldier.”

I feel like I was really going down this path of becoming a professional soldier. However, I’ve realized that I don’t have to & I’m not going to. I’m going to jump the ranks of the typical and become one of the special unless something mysteriously stops me on the way. There are too many people in this world who simply just accept the conditions of reality…it takes a bit of effort to truly overcome our daily habits & the ease of just letting things continue to be problems. I don’t want to just sit by and watch…

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Creating a company is relatively simple

Kevin O’ Connor’s advice:

In the fall of my first year at Doubleclick, I was lucky enough to be promoted before my 1 year anniversary. Not only did I gain confidence from the promotion, but I started to feel more comfortable with my new environment in New York. Growing up in Seattle, New York was definitely a more harsh environment, but I started to get used to it. My confidence led me to email the CEO at the company at the time and ask him if he would be my mentor. I love the concept of mentors and wish there were more in the world & thought maybe there was an off chance he would say yes.

Well, I knew the chances of him saying “yes” were slim. And when he replied, I wasn’t surprised when he said “no.” However, my coworkers were surprised he even replied. I was slightly impressed as well that he would read my email & get back to me in such a prompt fashion. What was even more surprising at the time was that he said he would buy me lunch despite not being able to be my mentor. I thought it was a fair deal.

About a week later, we met up and walked to a favorite place of his for lunch. The conversation was really uncomfortable for me because I was this lowly “Sr. Quality Assurance Engineer” and he was the CEO. He also spoke in this manner that was unusual for me. It may have been the fact that I was nervous as well, but for some reason every time he responded to any of my questions, it was delayed by like 10 to 15 seconds. Since the meeting was a bit awkward, I kept on asking a 2nd question before he answered my initial question. He would then interupt me in the middle of my follow up question & answer. It was definitely an uneasy meeting.

Nevertheless, I walked away from it with two pieces of advice I will never forget. First, I asked him if he read any interesting publications on a regular basis. He responded that he didn’t for the most part, but he did like one author he read in the past. He mentioned that Ayn Rand’s books Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. He explained that the books emphasized concepts like “laissez-faire” capitalism and that she was a proponent of it. The books preached through the stories that gov’t had limited function and should only serve to protect individual rights. While I haven’t had the chance to read through the books, I felt like the basic truths these books provided society were probably right. From my 15 years in business from Media to Consumer Goods Management to Education then Internet Commerce & Marketing to Sales and a combination of all of them in my most recent capacity, I’ve found that the free market is probably one of the best systems to provide the best to the most in society.

The second idea he shared was very simple. I asked how did you create the company now or how do you create companies? My interest in this question came from my own deep hearted interest in creating my own organization. He said it was remarkably straightforward: think of a problem in society and fix the problem as best as you can. I thought at the time, this is too elementary and it had to be more complex. Well, 7 years later, his point resonates in all that I’ve done. It is pretty simple and that’s even the same basic tenet that Larry Page and Sergey Brin thought when they created Google. I was reading their paper on building Google & at the time, it read as simply an essay responding to the simple problem that search engines weren’t good at really returning what users want.

We now see what that simple solution did to line Page & Brin’s pockets. The same thing happened when a certain young man named William Gates thought computers didn’t need to be so complex when being used. Again, we saw the benefit of that idea…

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Filed under Entrepreneurship

My next million dollar idea

Well, I’ve shared this with one friend in the mobile phone industry & if he doesn’t get back to me soon, I’m just going to publish the idea here.  However, there’s an idea I just came up with the other day that will solve a huge problem that many of us have in terms of urgency and our cell phones.  If I ever invent this one, I will guarantee it will at least produce a million dollars in profit & at least 10 or more million in gross profits.  Come back later for more on this…

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Filed under Undeveloped ideas