Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 27 - A photo of last summer.

Spring Lake.

2010-06-21 Spring Lake 081

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 25 - A photo of a night you loved.

Project graduation. That was a very very fun night. Just nice, good old clean fun.

2009-06-24 Graduation 044

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 23 - A photo of your friend as a baby.

Yeah, if I don’t have my own baby picture, it’d be kind of creepy if I had a friend's baby picture, no?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 21 - A photo of you standing up.

This is incredibly odd.

Well, I’m standing up… this wasn’t very specific.

2010-08-16 Taichung 040

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 17, 2010

I’m currently on a train to New York City for two days at Barclay Capital’s Wall Street Scholars Finance and Operations Boot Camp. Quite frankly, I am incredibly excited despite the fact that I have no idea what to expect. I applied to this program because I wanted to have the opportunity to learn about Wall Street fields outside of investment banking or sales and trading, the two career choices I have myself mostly aligned towards. A big reason I want to end up in one of those two fields is because of the amount of information and exposure I have to them. Whenever there are networking events or panel events, it seems that those two dominate. This program I’m going to gives me a chance to look outside of these two for something else I could potentially be interested in. It’s always exciting and an honor to be accepted by programs such as this, considering how selective they typically are. Hopefully it’ll be a good time, and it gives me a chance to get out of BC, something I’m just always dying to do. Even though I’m actually skipping an exam for this program and I have another exam next Monday that I’ll be studying for over the weekend, I just feel much more relaxed. Oh and this also means I get to spend two nights in New York City!!! I’ll be staying at NYU tonight and Barclays actually got me a room at the Crowne Plaza Times Square for tomorrow night. Definitely very, very cool. So basically this trip is perfect: I get to see high school friends, meet new people at the program, network and put myself in an even better position career-wise, learn about investment banks and the financial world, attend my fried Wall Street event, spend two nights in NYC, eat chicken and rice, go home for my dad’s birthday, get away from BC… The list goes on and on and on. I’m loving it! I will no doubt write about how the program goes.

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So like I mentioned a few days ago, I attended Harvard Business School’s Cyberposium on Saturday. Cyberposium is an annual event that HBS hosts (typically for MBAs) to make students aware of how technology is impacting the business world. The speakers who were there included one of AOL’s production executive, CEO of Pandora, ex-CEO of VMWare, and CEO of HTC (Peter Chou). They each did a keynote talking about their respective companies and their perspective on where technology is heading to. Besides the keynotes, there were several panel discussions, mostly led by CEOs of startups or venture capitalists. I went to discussions on location based technologies, mobile advertising, eCommerce, and cloud computing. They were definitely all incredibly interesting. I took notes on pretty much everything, but naturally as I’m writing this I don’t have them with me… Here are just some of the key things I picked up:

  • The internet is completely going consumer based. Everything is about the consumer, consumer, consumer. Every single one of the keynote speakers and panelists stressed how the internet is all about the consumer. What this means mostly is that the internet is going more and more towards the direction of feeding personalized information to a user. Pandora is a pretty obvious example in that by telling the website what songs you enjoy, it will suggest others that you would probably enjoy also, and on and on and on. This is going to be true about all web content, if it isn’t mostly already. For example, when you open up your home page, it will probably have a bunch of information on it (articles, videos, etc.) that are suggested to you based on stuff that you have done in the past. Seems pretty simple and obvious, but it’s also incredibly fascinating how much this has changed in the past five years or so. I still remember when Geocities was a big thing. And everyone used AOL that opened up to the same home page. There was no user-computer interaction and no user feedback at all. It was completely one sided.
  • Technology is going mobile. Peter Chou (who I briefly talked to and shook hands with, by the way. So cool!) kept talking about his vision of the cell phone as the ultimate personal device. It will more or less replace the personal computer because no one will really have a need for it anymore. I certainly do agree that smart phones will become so powerful that we can do the majority of our daily tasks on it (I’m sure the amount of web content accessed through phones will quickly overtake that of desktops). But that it will completely render laptops useless? I disagree with that. While ultimate portability, packed with enough CPU to run a full operating system, is awesome, I still believe that there are [portable] tasks that would be much preferable on a full size computer. Would anyone really want to be taking notes in class or in a meeting on a smart phone? It just doesn’t seem reasonable.
  • Shocking fact: mobile advertisements are 2 to 6 times more effective than PC advertisements. The mobile advertisement industry is exploding with the likes of Google buying Admob, Apple buying Quanta, etc. My guess is that because mobile devices are so much more personal, it is much easier to advertise something relevant directly at the user.
  • The use of location based technology in advertising is heading towards an insane direction too. The guy from (I believe) Foursquare doing the panel discussions talked about how they’re looking for wards to pointing people at specific local discounts using location based technology on a person’s smartphone.  If a person is in a neighborhood, the phone will throw at them advertisements of deals or discounts in the area. Obviously there’s also the whole mayor deal where if a person becomes the mayor of a store, the store will often offer perks, such as skipping lines or free parking or a free cup of coffee. To me, this is stuff that seems almost video game-like. It’s basically the immersion of an online game into real life. Very intriguing.
  • eCommerce has changed a huge amount over the past few years as well. It was eBay and Amazon at first with a pretty simple and straightforward business model. But now, models such as group buy (Groupon, BuyWithMe, Gilt, etc.), rental models (Rent the Runway), and personalized sales models are completely changing the way people buy things online. There’s obviously a lot of competition involved but that only fuels the change and trying to gain that competitive edge.
  • I never noticed prior to this event how many startups trying to break into some kind of Web 2.0 business there are. It’s almost scary. Simply the number of firms that were represented at the symposium were pretty overwhelming. But then I came home, did some research on startups and venture capitalists, and realized that the number of startups is just completely absurd. Firms are being funded hundreds of millions upon hundreds of millions of dollars to feed into this industry.
  • This event led me to several questions and conclusions. On a personal level, I would definitely have an interest in working for a startup in the future; I wouldn’t know if I want to be on the VC side or the actual firm side. It’s definitely something I would look into down the road, but probably not at the start of my career. But then I come to this thought: Is this just another 2000’s internet bubble? Are people feeding into this hype a bit to much? I personally think it is because the competition is so enormous and there are so many firms offering so many different services. But I think that (especially considering how people are stressing consumer personalization) people are going to want all of their content and all of their services coming from one hub. Basically something where I turn on my computer or my smartphone and everything I want to see in right there. No need for individual apps. If all of these firms do succeed, can you imagine how fragmented everything would be? At this point, my opinion is that Google and Facebook are the two firms that are going to dominate pretty much everything all of these startups are trying to achieve in some way or another. This duopoly would fuel insane competition, pushing innovation, while the people get what they want. But that’s just my opinion. And who really cares about my opinion.

Ideas and innovation fuels growth. And we are in a time when we desperately need growth. Our economy has been very stagnant for a few years now while emerging markets are taking over economically. I think that radical and quick technological such as these may be beneficial to the country.

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I started another blog called Take Me To Wall Street as a way for me to keep track of all the things that I learn about finance. I think what I’m going to do is whenever I have time, I’ll simply write a post highlighting a certain term or a certain technique. The one thing that I’m having trouble with now is putting everything I learn from finance classes and accounting classes and math classes and readings from The Journal and online readings together. There’s a lot of information and I feel that if I can regurgitate what I take in back at this blog, it’ll help me to become more successful and achieve some of my goals.

Day 18 - A photo of one of your classes.

I’m pretty sure the only class pictures I have are from high school. So here’s the last day of high school…

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 17 - A photo of a favorite vacation.

Has to be Italy and there’s no doubt about it. What a wonderful time.

2009-07-01 Rome 095

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

Ahh no time to blog!

I’ve been feeling increasingly overwhelmed lately. I get the feeling that I’m not doing well at much and that I’m falling behind on everything regardless of how much effort I put into it. The fact that I have no idea what is feeding into this feeling just makes it worse. Sighhhh.

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Okay, no time for this now, but next time I’m going to be writing about my experience at Cyberposium, a technology-business symposium at Harvard Business School this past weekend.

Day 16 - A photo of you at the last party you went to.

What kind of party?

Birthday dinner party…

Or… this kind of party…??

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 15 - A photo of you and someone you love.

I told Ruth I’ll always love her (as a friend, of course, don’t worry Jamie) in her yearbook at the end of senior year. And it apparently makes her cry every time she reads it. =)

2010-10-16 Lifehouse Concert 010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 14 - A photo of one of your favorite family members.

This one is…bizarre.

Iono. My brother maybe? Since he’s closest to me in age? Haha.

2009-12-25 Christmas Day 052

I guess I could also go with my aunt who has always been amazing to me and who I think is absolutely awesome.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 12 - A photo of you.

Again?

This would be me pretending to be a pro-snowboarder. I can totally pull it off.

2010-01-06 Epic Ski Trip 021

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 11 - A photo of your favorite film(s).

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Love love love love love this movie. Very inspirational.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 7 - A photo of someone you love.

Wups. I think I had missed this one. So going backwards!

My mother!

2010-08-12 Tainan 021

Day 10 - A photo of you as a baby.

I unfortunately do not have a picture of myself as a baby with me at school. Sorry.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 6 - A photo that makes you laugh.

Hahaha. This was my first year in marching band, sophomore year, at Rutgers Stadium.

Me and Ruth

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 5 - A photo of you.

Italy trip last year. On top of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. I’ll be back there one day. Italy is too nice not to visit again.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 4 - A photo of the last place you went on holidays.

I’m going to interpret “on holidays” as “vacation.” Sunset in Taipei from this past summer. So pretty.

2010-08-18 Taipei 110

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

November 1, 2010- Pareto Principle and Random Thoughts

I came across an article talking about the 80-20 rule recently and it caught my attention. I had seen it before, but I didn’t’ really think much about it. Basically, the principle says that about 80% of the outcomes of an actions comes from 20% of your inputs. One of the striking examples is that the top 20% of the population owns 80% of the population’s wealth, and the more obvious 20% of your customers contribute 80% of your revenue. On a less macro level, it basically translates to: 20% of the activities we partake in is contributing towards 80% of our accomplishments.

That got me thinking: am I stretching myself out to thin? I’m constantly running around, attending seminars and info sessions to learn as much as I can. But even if I do learn this stuff, is it even worth it? There’s a very good chance the stuff I’m learning will never be of any use to me. So does that mean I should erase all that stuff from my schedule and focus on my 20% even if I actually enjoy it? Or maybe this is my 20%…

This is my new dilemma. I’ve spent the past few days thinking a lot about this, trying to find that 20 that is my real passion. I feel like with the internet making information so accessible, it’s so hard to just focus on one thing. A good amount of my day is spent reading the news, from financial news to tech new to even politics. I like having that knowledge and understanding of what’s going on in the world, but to what avail? Being surrounded, bombarded even, by all these sources of information is really overwhelming at times, and maybe it’s time to start streamlining these sources. The world is so fast paced now that it’s hard to slow things down and grasp the few really meaningful things.

Here’s a great article about the 80-20 rule I found after learning about it: What Is The 80/20 Rule And Why It Will Change Your Life

Anyway, my question to the few of you who read this: if you were to live life by the 80/20 principle, what would be your 20?

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The end of the article I linked to above concluded by talking about fear and how fear restrains people from really doing great things.

The biggest factor that stops most people from chasing their dreams and working towards their real goals is fear.

[Snip]

Don’t let fear be the reason for not achieving your goals. Stop, reassess your real passions, remove the money equation long enough so you can think without worrying about finances, and make plans to move towards your 80/20 lifestyle activities. Maximize what you are good at. Find the activities that produce the most results for you and your business and put your energy where the big rewards are.

Not that I didn’t know this already, but reading that quote made me realize that if anything, my downfall is going to come from not being able to delve into uncertainty. I like it when everything just goes according to plan. I set a goal. I figure out a path. Work my way down that path. Reach goal. But I’m starting to understand that hard work is only going to contribute so much towards making that happen. At points, I’m going to have to start deviating from that path because of some obstacle, and I need to get rid of the self-imposed wall keeping me on the path rather than try to shove my way through the obstacle.

It makes me nervous, but as my goals get greater and more involved, it’s probably the way I have to go.

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I should go to one of those self-improvement classes. There are so many things wrong with the way I look at life and people. It could probably do me some good.

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I wish I was more creative. It’s hard to be innovative when I lack creativity. And it’d be really nice if I could come up with some innovative ideas right now. New ways to tackle an old problem.

Day 2 - A photo of yourself from a year ago.

Columbus Day reunion at Rutgers last year. Good times.

Day 12 - A photo of you.

Again?

This would be me pretending to be a pro-snowboarder. I can totally pull it off.

2010-01-06 Epic Ski Trip 021