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TechInAsia: 7 Major Challenges Holding Back Tech Ecosystems Across Asia

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Great article on Tech In Asia

1. “Asian internet businesses typically focus on home markets”

2. “Monetization is an uphill battle for many entrepreneurs”

3. “Online payment channels are fragmented and under-developed, hindering business”

4. “There is global demand for Asian content and platforms, but few entrepreneurs are thinking globally”

5. “Asia’s market for tech talent is being fought over globally”

6. “A culture of collaboration is slowly replacing suspicion in Asia”

7. “Internet regulation is on the rise”

You can download the full report (as a PDF) from the Economist Intelligence Unit here.

Read more on Tech In Asia and follow their Facebook.

Instagram推出影片上載功能

Introducing Video on Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.

其他重要內容

  1. It’s no accident Facebook made Instagram’s new videos exactly as long as a television commercial
  2. Instagram Video Vs. Vine: What’s The Difference?
  3. Instagram Launches 15-Second Video Sharing Feature, With 13 Filters And Editing
  4. Instagram finally gets video: is 15 seconds too much? (hands-on)
  5. Facebook launches new Instagram video stabilization feature ‘Cinema’

Breaking: LinkedIn Forget To Pay For Domain Renewal

When I trying to visit LinkedIn this morning as usual, this screen come out…

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It seems like LinkedIn DNS has been hijacked, here’s an update from berg

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LinkedIn just got DNS hijacked, and for the last hour or so, all of your traffic has been sent to a network hosted by this company [confluence-networks.com]. And they don’t require SSL, so if you tried to visit, your browser sent your long-lived session cookies in plaintext.

Check out the latest official announce from LinkedIn’s twitter account:

Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 11.43.21 AM

印象中,Facebook 推出新產品的 Track Record 不太理想。無論係 Graph Search,還是係 Facebook home,以 Facebook 的雄厚實力而言,至今 User Acquisition 的成績實在不及格。

換上 Instagram,表面上係不同的兩個 Internet Brand,內裡其實係同一家公司,結果又如點?

大家好快就知,因為這兩日,Instagram 好可能會推出短片產品,發佈地點係 Facebook 總部:

  • The new video product is something that the service said it was planning to do for two years now.
  • In a sense, video on Instagram is not a complete surprise. After the rise of products like Viddy and Socialcam last summer, many have expected some sort of mobile video offering from either Facebook or Instagram.
  • Facebook has gone after competitors in the past with varying degrees of success. Poke has been a spectacular flop. Same with the Quora-like Facebook Questions, and the very Foursquare-ish Facebook Places.
  • In other words, just because Facebook is aping your product, doesn’t mean you’re gonna get crushed.

read more on AllthingsD

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Sundar Pichai

SVP, Chrome and Apps, Google

Can’t it be confusing having two operating systems?

It’s a world of multiple screens, smart displays, with tons of low-cost computing, with big sensors built into devices. At Google we ask how to bring together something seamless and beautiful and intuitive across all these screens. The picture may look different a year or two from from now, but in the short term, we have Android and we have Chrome, and we are not changing course.

As Android’s new head, what do you see as the biggest challenge?

I see huge opportunity, because it is just shocking how much of the world doesn’t have access to computing. In his book Eric [Schmidt] talks about the next 5 billion [the people on earth who aren’t connected to the internet who soon will be]. That’s genuinely true and it excites me.

What does that mean when a company like Facebook comes out with Home, which changes that experience?

To Mark [Zuckerberg], people are the center of everything. I take a slightly different approach. I think life is multifaceted: people are a huge part of it, but not the center and be-all of everything.

Talk about Samsung..

Historically the industry has had long stable structures. Look at Microsoft and Intel. They were very codependent on one another, but it served both of them well. When I look at where computing needs to go, we need innovation in displays, in batteries. Samsung is a world leader in those technologies.

Finally, you had a pretty full plate with Chrome and Apps, and now you’re handling the world’s biggest phone platform in addition. How are you managing?

I have a secret project which adds four hours every day to the 24 hours we have. There’s a bit of time travel involved.

source: http://www.wired.com/business/2013/05/exclusive-sundar-pichai-reveals-his-plans-for-android/

剛發佈的Q1業績,顯示Facebook跟去年同期相比,用戶有所增長,MAU和DAU增加到1.1B及665M。

明眼人都知道,任何互聯網業務的用戶有增長是空話,因為如果一個網站用戶連「淨增長都做不到」,根本已是死亡的先兆,什麼投資價值都不用再談了。

從下圖可以看見,Facebook的增長速度實際上已經減慢和下跌中了:

FBGR1

AllThingsD: Daily active users as a percentage of monthly active users — usually a good sign of how engaged users are — is very slowly yet very steadily on the rise, at about 60 percent compared to 55 percent since Q1 of 2011.

Mark Zuckerberg 在回答 Instagram 策略的時候,亦將「增長」放於比「廣告」更優先的位置,箇中原因很明顯了吧~

Techcrunch: CEO Mark Zuckerberg said today during the company’s Q1 earnings call. Adding ads could end up stunting Instagram’s rapid growth. He said, more than once during the call, that Instagram is currently growing at a faster rate than FB did at the same age, and it now has 100 million users.

facebook-q113a

Facebook Q1 業績公佈:

  1. Hit $1.46 billion in revenue up 38% from Q1 2012, beating Wall Street estimates of sales of $1.44 billion.
  2. FB reported earnings of $1.06 billion for the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per shared missed estimates, staying flat at $0.12
  3. Net income was up 7% to $219 million, versus $205 million a year ago.
  4. The amount of its 1.11 billion monthly users that returned daily, 665 million, was slightly better than last quarter.
  5. The percentage of Facebook’s total ad revenue that came from mobile surged to 30%, up from 23% last quarter.

重點:App Install Ads(Facebook推銷)

  • Facebook App Install Ads were the star of Facebook’s earnings call.
  • 3800 developers used the ads to drive over 25 million installs.
  • 40% of the top 100 iOS and Android app developers bought these ads in the last week of Q1 alone.
  • App Commerce to monetize traffics and communities.

人事變動:

  • Chief Accounting Officer David Spillane is leaving the company. Spillane had been the company’s revenue controller since 2008, overseeing growth and IPO. He is getting replaced by Jas Athwal effective May 10.

收入來源

  • Revenue from advertising was $1.25 billion, representing 85% of total revenue and a 43% increase from the same quarter last year.
  • Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 30% of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2013.
  • Payments (像 Zynga 社交遊戲那樣的 In-app purchase) and other fees revenue was $213 million for the first quarter of 2013.

最大疑問 ─ 產品

  • Facebook Home first 5 days download: 500,000 only
  • Graph Search 普及和使用情況?

20ceb9f

 

Meg Whitman

CEO at Hewlett-Packard

One of the first things I did was tear down the fence and move all of our executives into cubicles. 

You can improve your company’s infrastructure and roll out multiple plans from headquarters, but you won’t make progress unless you win the hearts and minds of your people. 

Not shying away from tough problems, and increasing levels of communication at all levels of the business, is critical to ensuring that we can drive our strategy and operate as one, unified company.

crowley-2

Dennis Crowley

CEO of Foursquare

I think there are a lot of people that think we don’t know how to generate revenue, that we aren’t generating revenue. This is wrong… We’ve been building merchant tools all along. We’ve seen revenue growth every month, and March was our biggest revenue month so far.

We’re signing six-figure deals with national merchants. We’ve already got a million merchants claiming their business page — we can just say ‘Would you like to spend $50, $100 dollars to drive X number people into your store?” These aren’t just ad impressions they’re paying for. We only count when we actually bring people into your store.

重要內容

  1. Here Is How Foursquare Plans On Turning Your Life Into Ads
  2. Foursquare redesigns web listing pages for its 50M site visitors after Explore usage doubles in 2 months

Ryan Holmes:對MBA說不的3個理由

1ad0d0d

 

Ryan Holmes

CEO at HootSuite

1. MBAs no longer make sense financially. 

MBA students in 2012 paid 62 percent more in fees compared to those in 2005. A two-year MBA at an established school like Harvard or Columbia may well cost you around $150,000.

2. MBAs are no longer the best way to network.

Now, anyone can connect with people all over the world using professional social networking sites like LinkedIn. Even Facebook and Twitter are proving to be tools for connecting with valuable allies and business partners.

3. MBAs are not as exclusive or prestigious anymore.

It’s just that the degree no longer offers the same value it once did. The new business landscape—thanks in part to the Internet and social media—grants innovative, entrepreneurial and ambitious people all sorts of new opportunities, without the degrees.

 

scoble
Robert Scoble
Rackspace’s startup liaison officer helps small teams have a huge impact with cloud computing technology.

1. I will never live a day of my life from now on without it (or a competitor). It’s that significant. 

2. The success of this totally depends on price. Each audience I asked at the end of my presentations “who would buy this?” As the price got down to $200 literally every hand went up. At $500 a few hands went up. This was consistent, whether talking with students, or more mainstream, older audiences.

3. Nearly everyone had an emotional outburst of “wow” or “amazing” or “that’s crazy” or “stunning.” 

4. At NextWeb 50 people surrounded me and wouldn’t let me leave until they had a chance at trying them. I haven’t seen that kind of product angst at a conference for a while. This happened to me all week long, it is just crazy.

5. Most of the privacy concerns I had before coming to Germany just didn’t show up. I was shocked by how few negative reactions I got (only one, where an audience member said he wouldn’t talk to me with them on). Funny, someone asked me to try them in a bathroom (I had them aimed up at that time and refused).

6. There is a total generational gap that I found. The older people said they would use them, probably, but were far more skeptical, or, at minimum, less passionate about the fact that these are the future, than the 13-21-year-olds I met.

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Eric Schmidt:

“I think it’s fantastic — I love it,” Schmidt said. “This is what open source is about. Open source is open source. It’s experimentation, it’s creativity. … I think it’s one of the main reasons that Android is doing so well right now. And it took some guts to do it.”

重要文章:

  1. Google’s Next Group of Gadgets Will Blow You Away, Says Eric Schmidt
  2. Google chairman Eric Schmidt on Facebook Home: ‘I love it’

facebook-home1

在 Google Play Store 上的 Facebook Home 軟件,只有少量的 Android 手機獲支援,而且限於局部的地區和國家。為此,MoDaCo 創辦人 Paul O’Brien 提出了破解方法,避開 Facebook Home 的 Checking,讓較進階的用戶,也可以安裝到 Facebook Home(此安裝涉及風險,後果自負):

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On an unsupported device? No option to activate Facebook Home? Don’t worry, I have you covered! I’ve patched the Facebook application to remove the device check. You need to uninstall your existing Facebook, Messenger and Home applications (necessary because the patched versions are re-signed), then install the patched Facebook main app (katana) – DOWNLOAD (ROMraid), the patched Messenger app (orca) – DOWNLOAD (ROMraid) and the patched Home app – DOWNLOAD (ROMraid). Sign in and in the Facebook application’s ‘Settings’ menu the Facebook Home option should appear for you!

http://www.modaco.com/topic/361924-facebook-home-download-including-patched-apk-version/#entry2113130

重要文章

  1. Here’s How To Get Facebook Home Running On Nearly Any Android Device
  2. The second coming of Facebook

尹思哲:Facebook Home 負評如潮

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部分用戶可以在 Google Play 下載,撰文這刻,只有約5萬用戶下載(我的HTC和ThinkPad Tablet也不支援)。不過,心水情的用戶,如果望望 Play Store 的用戶評分,就會看見「1星」負評佔了大多數。

重要文章

  1. Hours in, Facebook Home suffering from poor Google Play reviews as 48% of users award it 1 star
  2. Facebook’s Latest Home Commercial Is Just The Right Amount Of Weird
  3. Facebook Home available to download on select Android devices

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同樣是世界頂級公司,Facebook同Apple最大的分別,除了是Steve Jobs本人不會出現於廣告裡頭(雖然成個idea基本上都由他來決定)之外,在品味和格調上亦大不相同。而有趣的是,香港人最近兩日也可在黃金時段看見手機App的廣告(Line),如果也能在TVB看到Facebook這支騎呢廣告就好了~

重要文章

  1. Hours in, Facebook Home suffering from poor Google Play reviews as 48% of users award it 1 star
  2. Facebook’s Latest Home Commercial Is Just The Right Amount Of Weird
  3. Facebook Home available to download on select Android devices

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尹思哲

5招提高社交營銷的流動經驗

現在廣告業界裡的「新人類」,幾乎每一個都已知道和奉行 SOLOMO 策略,即Social、Local/Loyalty和Mobile,但如何令社交營銷更能適應智能手機,實際上還是有一定的技巧。

1. 贊助故事(Sponsored Story)要鎖定手機甪戶為目標

2. 跟用戶互動時產生的電郵,確保是支援手機的responsive design。工具方面,可以用MailChimp

jb-mailchimp-mobile-marketing

3. 想盡辦法,將用戶的手機整合到任何其他渠道的宣傳。

4. 設計乎合手機介面的FB App。

jb-ss-phone-generosity

5. 記得在不同平台、型號手機上做足測試。

Digg終於被收購

Techcrunch: Digg Sold To LinkedIn AND The Washington Post And Betaworks

Digg的終局用「落泊」形容不為過:

以總額約1600萬美元出售,其中LinkedIn付300-400萬美元,主要目標是多項專利,例如「Click a button to vote up a story.」

Washington Post付出1200萬買入Digg團隊。其餘物資,包括Domain, Code, Data 和 Traffic,由Betaworks以50-80萬美元「執平貨」買入。

2004年創辦,作為第一代社交網絡,曾吒叱一時,影響力一時無量。奈何,技術力和轉航力不足,敵不過數之不盡的後起競爭對手,尤其是Twitter和Facebook堀起之後,近年影響力大減。得到如此結局,其實也不算意外。

社交遊戲撤出Facebook

你感覺到Facebook遊戲的熱潮正在減退嗎?數據告知,Facebook遊戲熱潮正在減退,甚至衰退 ﹣﹣ 不少社交遊戲商正在密謀「撤資」,縮減對Facebook的依賴,逃到iOS、Android等平台去。

或許,大家依然見同事或朋友,每天如常在某個Facebook遊戲遊盪三四個小時,或許仍然收到來自朋友們的遊戲邀請和升級消息。然而,那只限於玩Zynga遊戲的朋友!

Facebook和Zynga之間達成了協議,在Facebook「個人新聞」(Newsfeed)出現的遊戲資訊,以後只會顯示Zynga一家公司,其他非Zynga的遊戲產品,已經通通絕跡於Newsfeed!達成協議之後,Facebook在社交遊戲的收入不跌反升,來自Zynga的收入佔整體百分之十二。其他非Zynga遊戲商,沒錯是可以繼續營運,但免費宣傳渠道被Facebook沒收了,他們可以選擇「付費」繼續使用,或者在許可的情況下,逐漸撤出Facebook。

Facebook為什麼要這麼做?第一,Facebook挑選了實力最強的Zynga,助其雄霸社交遊戲市場,為自己換來穩定的短期收入(協議至2015年)。第二,Facebook認為大量社交遊戲資訊,直接影響使用經驗,不加以控制,有可能連累Facebook其他核心業務。最後,也是最長遠的一個原因:Facebook要建立可接續的商業模式,計劃開發類似Google
Adwords之類的即時競價交易中心,希望廣告客戶出價爭取Facebook的廣告位置和不同的廣告類型。以Facebook的規模,當然有條件做,因而計劃的第一步,是建立「付費」使用平台的使用習慣。試想,如果建立一個Facebook應用程式,或開發一個Facebook遊戲,便可以免費享用Facebook最珍貴的宣傳資源,即使建了交易中心,屆時還會有人光顧嗎?

Facebook有今天的規模,很大程度上,是拜當日的免費開放,吸引開發者在Facebook推出遊戲、應用程式所賜。功成之後,尤其上市後,環境有變,策略上要盡快建立收入模式,這是無可厚非。從來要賺大錢,朋友總會少。

2012年6月23日刊於蘋果日報

image

Facebook adds comment editing, angels sing
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Venturebeat/~3/oecfDWXlb0c

Facebook Acquires Facial Recognition Technology Company Face.com For Nearly $60 Million

Facebook捐1000萬比慈善機構,原因係,佢哋比5個會員控告,係推出「Sponsored Story」既時候,係無知會、無比會員拒絕選擇、又唔同會員分享收入既情況之下,將會員既Like動態,發佈係其他人既Newsfeed。

結果,Facebook同意捐1000萬比慈善團體,了咗件事。又一次證明:樹大招風。

Facebook to Pay $10 Million to Charity to Settle Ad Lawsuit – AllThingsD.

DrJim看法,我同意,沒有異議。

重點在於,在純互聯網或流動收入未穩之際,如果本身,並唔係Facebook那種「未來」概念,就必須開拓實際收入,起碼有現金流,最好收支平衡。

另,從9gag的成功經驗,再次再次證明,有條件去矽谷的年輕人,請立即買機票。如果怕人生路不熟,我可以介紹朋友幫你。

老占手記 – 日日更新: 從facebook上市看香港搞網站的困局.

教育的未來

從今年開始,由哈佛和麻省理工合資建立的EdX,將開始向全球學生提供網上課程,並在課程完成時安排測驗,向合格的學生發放證書。負責人表明,這項目用以分析及研究網上教學方法,以及幫助開發課程材料。一個投資6000萬美元的項目,只為研究和分析?真的那麼簡單?

在範式轉移的衝擊之下,不少行業都要面對轉型數碼的壓力,然而,教育可能是壓力最少的一個行業。壓力最少,不代表教育沒有改善的空間,只是教育行業的收入非常穩定,公營學校不用多說,即使是私營的商業機構,至少不用面對由範式轉移扶起的什麼超級對手,例如YouTube。規模最大的互聯網公司,似乎暫時未有 打算踏足教育,縱使Steve Jobs曾經表明要革新美國的教育,Apple的iTunesU依然未有大成。換言之,教育並不像報業或電影業,有急切轉型的需要。

不過,既然blogging的出現,為寫文章的人帶來機會,替出版業帶來危機和商機,YouTube也同樣顛覆了不下於一個行業,世上怎可能沒有人專注做教育的創新?

當然有,在矽谷就有不少針對教育的Startup,有的專門替大學發展網上學位,有的專注於教材,有的是網上學習平台,形形式式,想得出都有,它們大部分都有中小型的注資,只是都沒有像 Instagram和Pinterest獲得巨額注資。這現像可以理解,因為在轉型速度較慢的行業,要得到那些追求高增長的資金是很難。

老朋友Indie,在牛津讀心理學回來,有大學講師不做,借網上教學平台Udemy,開辦針對本地的副學士學生的網上課程,我覺得是極高難度的動作,因為網上學習的氣氛不濃,需求是個問題。我不敢否定任何網上學習的功效,只是如何令學生意識到網上學習(或主動學習)的好處?看過Udemy和EdX之後,我發現兩者很相似:大量教學視頻,利用互聯網的特性,加入即時測驗及教師可以即時回饋學生,我深信這是教育的未來,問題是,這個未來究竟有多遠?

2012年5月5日刊於蘋果日報

Facebook 即將上市,NYT 當年這樣評論 Facebook 的未來

Consider Facebook, the popular but financially unproven social network, which is reportedly being valued by investors at up to $15 billion. That is nearly half the value of Yahoo, a company with 38 times the number of employees and, based on estimates of Facebook’s income, 32 times the revenue.

-New York Times (2007)

Facebook即將上市,MG Siegler – Techcrunch Blogger兼CrunchFund創辦人之一,將07年NYT的報導翻出來,恥笑。

或者係NYT記者黑仔,揀了Yahoo!同Facebook比較,以Yahoo!的業績,反證Facebook被高估,試圖說明,泡沬再次於矽谷出現。

相信NYT記者當日無法相像,時至今日,Yahoo!市值已不足190億,至於Facebook,亦將以逾千億市值IPO。

過去幾年,世界變得好快。

重點是,即使到今日,NYT記者的論點 “Facebook is financially unproven”,其實依然成立。

Silicon Valley’s math is getting fuzzy again (parislemon)

傳聞HTC同Facebook合作,起新平台。若果屬實,基本大勢力分佈:

陣營1:Apple
陣營2:Google + Samsung
陣營3:Microsoft + Nokia
陣營4:Facebook + HTC

其餘RIM、Sony、LG… 只會繼續積弱,直至game over。

HTC, Facebook jointly developing smartphone, say sources.

Zynga 佔了 Facebook 15% 收入, 主要收入來源,仍舊是廣告,虛擬代幣。

Zynga 佔了 Facebook 15% 收入

自然不用立23條

「當修訂三讀通過後,政府要對付滋事份子,用版權條例就夠,自然無須再立23條,到時梁特可以宣佈成功爭取放棄23條立法,這不是德政是什麼?」

香港的版權條例修訂,是要對付二次創作,例如網上惡搞改圖。當大部分港人仍然糊里糊塗,未知發生何事,修訂有望獲得三讀通過之際,卻發生了一件事,間接證明版權條例的修訂,絕對是一項德政。

由五位香港年輕人創辦的平台9GAG,在全球大受歡迎,尤其歐洲和東南亞。9GAG現時的全球網站排名,已超越像Techcrunch、Mashable甚至華盛頓郵報等大網站,又得到美國頂尖風投基金垂青,注資280萬美元。而重點是,9GAG的主要內容,正正是二次創作的惡搞改圖。

須知道,9GAG創辦時,基地在香港,產品於本地推出,用戶卻甚少。後來五位創辦人遠走他方,前往矽谷學藝,練得一身好武功,在那個時候,9GAG才正式起飛,身價百倍。政府修訂版權條例,動用警隊的力量,將民事變刑事,是決心「點醒」香港年輕人,與其浪費光陰惡搞政府官員,不如學習9GAG前往西方矽谷取經,是用心良苦。

況且,在眼下新時代,不論搞一次創作,還是二次創作,香港市場太細,怎也做不大,政府有責任帶領業界,開拓海外市場,趕絕本地創作空間,迫使年輕人放眼世界,是破釜沈舟之法,是政府的份內事。

少數的香港網民,大駡版權條例修訂是「23條的斬件」,實在不明白政府背後的心思,更加不明白,修了版權條例,自然不用再立23條。

幾乎所有的日常用品,大部分都有版權,例如滿街的民建聯街板、政府的飛龍標誌、官方宣傳品,幾乎每個香港人,都有影相手機,都會玩Facebook,隨街影相再放上Facebook,試問怎會找不到一兩件版權物品?在大家的Facebook上找到證據,警察就可以立即拉人,是提高效率的表現。

當修訂三讀通過後,政府要對付滋事份子,用版權條例就夠,自然無須再立23條,到時梁特可以宣佈成功爭取放棄23條立法,這不是德政是什麼?

2012年4月21日刊於蘋果日報

9gag

Zuckerberg和哥倫布

「參與互聯網創業的冒險者,可以分為「有條件親自探險」及「沒有條件親自探險」兩種。所謂條件,包括免於債務的經濟自由,免於家庭負擔的個人自由,免於其他事業責任的自由,以及基本於互聯網行業縱橫必備的技術及視野。」

Facebook 買 Instagram,大部份人看到10億美元的收購價,我在意的,是又一個冒險家的傳奇。明明是互聯網創業,為什麼要叫冒險家?因為,歷史給哥倫布的評價,也是冒險家。

於哥倫布身處的大航海時代,冒險家是個尊稱,但當世界上幾乎每一片土地已被人類征服,冒險家骨子裡的愛探險基因,自然會替他們找到新的戰場。來到 Steve Jobs、Mark Zuckerberg 這一代,他們挑選了電腦和互聯網,作為要征服的瀚洋。結果,兩人也像大航海時代的冒險家一樣,為舊世界的人民,建立了一個全新的世界,令人不惜改變原來的生活模式,擁抱以蘋果產品和 Facebook 為中心的新生活,而且縱使 Steve Jobs 已經離世,這新舊生活交替的速度,卻沒有一刻慢下來過。

自從踏足互聯網創業圈子,我發現,參與互聯網創業的冒險者,可以分為「有條件親自探險」及「沒有條件親自探險」兩種。所謂條件,包括免於債務的經濟自由,免於家庭負擔的個人自由,免於其他事業責任的自由,以及基本於互聯網行業縱橫必備的技術及視野。以上幾項,可以解釋,為何未畢業的大學生最有條件創業,為何許多成功創辦人,取得巨大成就之時,仍然是30歲不出頭。

然而,單單有條件,還是不夠。因為包括 Zuckerberg 本身,幾乎所有互聯網創業者,都有籌錢的經驗。即使當年的哥倫布,亦要到處遊說多年,才於1492年,得到西班牙女王伊莎貝拉一世的資助。可見只要有本事,就有機會籌錢,由本來沒有條件,變成有條件。

相反,許多有條件的人,都沒有成為航海冒險家。哥倫布能征服蒼茫的大西洋,找到新世界,靠的是信念和勇氣,鑑古知今,箇中的道理,似乎是千古不變。

2012年4月14日刊於蘋果日報

富而不淫的朱克伯格

計劃上市的 facebook,是很好的財富管理教材。中國人有句說話,富貴不能淫,所謂淫,所指不是淫褻,而是發達以後,不要迷失志向,從而被金錢摧毀生活。有趣的是,最能活出這話的卻是西人。

上市後, Mark Zuckerberg(朱克伯格)的身家將達 240億美元,足夠他買下 Bill Gates的豪華大宅、 Paul Allen的最大遊艇、麥拿倫全線 F1跑車系列、空中巴士 A380、波音 787 Dreamliner、幾幅畢卡索真迹、兩個東南亞私人小島嶼、一隊洛杉磯湖人再加一架太空穿梭機,都只能夠用其身家約 15%。但着慣牛仔褲波鞋的 Zuckerberg不願意過奢華的生活,否則,他一早可以全身而退,將公司賣掉。要知近幾年,他已不只一次推掉 Google及 Microsoft等收購。

而這趟上市,相信絕非 Zuckerberg情願,因上市後,要向小股東交代,還有定期財報,要專注做好產品,肯定比現時更加艱巨。只不過,公司不少員工坐擁 stock option, Zuckerberg自己不愛財,不代表員工們不想套現發達,像劉邦打了江山,做了皇帝,個人願望得以實現,但將領手足們,個個有份出力,主觀願望是裂土封候,劉邦就算千萬個不情願,豈容他不分封嗎?實情也是不由得 Zuckerberg不上市。

在最近一次電視訪問中, Zuckerberg表示 Steve Jobs從來沒有要向他買下 facebook, Jobs了解他,知道他絕不肯賣。

這兩個有錢人,一老一嫩,竟可以惺惺相惜,原因是有共鳴,都不願意被金錢迷惑意志及摧毀生活。東方世界的古老智慧,卻由西方富豪發揚光大。

如果 Zuckerberg是東方人,生於香港,他的怪獸父母會用盡方法阻止他輟學,港女拖友會逼他放棄創業加入投資銀行做高薪厚職,當然他會反抗,而最好的抗爭方法是買張單程機票離開這個已死的城市

2011年12月3日刊於蘋果日報

白色的面書

最近 Google推出新社交服務 Google+,別說有甚麼功能,第一時間就被中國政府封阻了。跟 facebook一樣,但凡揭露真相的,都不適宜進入中國市場。

幸甚,香港是唯一可以用 Google+和 facebook的中國城市,我滿心歡喜地試試看。很可惜,基本上是個白色的 facebook,完全沒有新意。就介面而言,可以說九成似足 facebook,以 Google之名,實在情何以堪?

Google經過 Wave和 Buzz的失敗,仍屢敗屢戰,這個產品我用了兩天,覺得他們想直接搶 facebook市場,感覺就像,你已有一個電郵地址,就不可以再開一個嗎?一個公用,一個私用。以後 facebook的就公用, Google+就私用,反正你所有的私隱都存放在 Gmail,有事情只想讓小圈子幾個老友知道,就用 Google+。

香港這地方,互聯網在硬件上似乎很前 衞,實情在軟件方面落後了幾個世代,別說超英趕美,連跟國際標準接軌都接不上。在這種土壤之上, Google縱有強大的技術,也沒有普及的位置。事實上,香港市場細,使用者質素低,而且城市正在逐步「大陸化」。財來自北方,入鄉要隨俗,港星們開微博不玩 Twitter,在中國擺明被禁的 Google+,自然是恍如有毒食品般沒有吸引力。在這裏,惟有 facebook可以打破這規律,在某方面,證明有其實力。

說到底,其創辦人亦要帶同華裔女朋友親自訪華,跟百度的李彥宏共晉政治午餐,朱克伯格現正計劃二度訪華,打開中國這塊肥沃的市場。 facebook席捲全球,用戶人數猶勝國家,結果在富裕世界,創辦人成了最年輕富豪,受萬人眼紅;在第三世界,網站化身反政府最強武器,救黎民於水深火熱。

唯獨香港,沒有幾人知道「朱克伯格」,卻有聲勢浩大的反政府力量,於 facebook經營得有聲有色,不知就裏的老外,還以為這裏是第三世界。

《2011年7月2日刊於蘋果日報》

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