Monday, September 08, 2008

Breakthrough of session with Ms Lien Siaou-Sze (ex vice president of HP Asia Pacific) and Mr. Richard Lim (co- founder of The Simply Group)

The following is from a talk by the above 2 important persons in 2006:

I think that we have heard from enough successful people to note that passion for what you do is the most important and it is to hear that again “live” from 2 very corporate people. After all, previously I learn that principle more from people who lead a more alternative path, like being an entrepreneur or a world changing figure like Che Guevara.

A little tease for me was that the speakers both mentioned that watching TV is a waste of time. It is definitely a very insignificant thing against the backdrop of all that was discussed, but it was remarkable to hear 2 persons who have achieved so much say so. As Richard Nixon said, “Television is the opiate of the modern society.”

Perhaps, another appealing insight was the analysis that Ms Lien did about how important it was to get an engineering degree as your first degree because it is easier to get the other types of degrees in the later part of your life (of course, doing an engineering degree myself helps! Ha-ha). Mr. Richard Lim's emphasis of having a corporate background before you strike out on your own also worth noting. He probably viewed that having a corporate background was important because this training gave him the framework as to how to run his business.

He did mention though that having a corporate culture is important UNLESS you are really a person with very extraordinary capabilities. I think this advice together with Ms Lien's advice of doing an
engineering degree as your first degree is really excellent advice for people who are keen on entrepreneurship after all the hype about it but don't have a core passion in their life.

As for myself, I think the greatest lesson that was reinforced to me in this whole period in China is human relations and building a strong team. Previously, I had this chance to meet with Isaac Mao – who is one of the top bloggers in China and run a venture capitalist business. To him and I think Mr. Frankie ( another venture capitalist) as well, the critical factor that determines whether to invest in a firm or not is not how good the idea, but how strong is the team of the firm.

Of course, Mr. Isaac Mao was using this reason to push why you should blog – to find people who share your passions because in his opinion, your unique idea is most probably not that “unique”. Of the so many people in the world, someone else must have thought of it as well, unless you have a “Newton” or “Einstein” idea. But hey! Two people thought evolution at the same time – Darwin and
Alfred Wallace.

Most importantly, as you progress through higher education, you also come to realise you can't do everything best. It is better to find someone who can do it better than you, after all, if you spend all
the time being the best in so many things, you definitely have no time to balance your life and you only live once.
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