Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Master Bullshit Artist

I don't mean to mock my friends (and myself), but a good proportion of MBAs I've met so far are foobar.

The word 'analysis' should never be mixed up with spending five fifteen minutes considering a problem from different angles. MBAs somehow think they sound smarter and more like an expert when they use the word 'analysis' (when they really ought to use 'overview').

Staying up all night adding graphics and animations to a presentation is also retarded. That type of work should be minimal or left to an UI artist. It is good content that matters! And good content in most cases ought to be dumbed down into bullets that can be understood. Not by using words like incentivize, world-class, hedge, and synergism unless absolutely necessary.

Amazon is a great company.

Visiting FB

After my visit to the Facebook HQ today, I no longer plan on sending them my resume upon graduation.

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't think Facebook is a good company or anything, its just probably not where I want to be in a years time from now. Facebook is getting big -they are growing past startup stage.

I'm more interested in working somewhere smaller and faster. I can deal with the chaos and probably prefer environments where I can make a bigger difference.

I am now back to not planning to apply to any company.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ahhh life with youtube!!!

Going to see Slightly Stoopid and Snoop Dogg tonight...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

If you are in town when I am

Please let me know =D Would be awesome to catch up!

Hong Kong: sorry too late
San Francisco: Jul 23rd-31st
LA: Aug 1st-3rd
Vancouver: Aug 3rd, 4th, and 9th
Seattle: Aug 4th-8th
Toronto: Aug 9th-16th
Boston: Aug 16th-20th
NYC: Aug 20th-24th

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

So blank and so busy.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Home for a few days

Maybe I've been living in China for too long and I've got my goggles on, but Hong Kong is sexy.

I now see why Mainlanders adore this city. Crazy skyline, clear skies, good food, shopping, cleanliness, and civilized people. Sold.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Future of Management

Just when I'm starting to feel that business books are getting tired, I come across a new gem.
'The Future of Management' by Gary Hamel delves into the topic of management innovation. In a nutshell, the point of the read is that management innovation is often not only overlooked by managers, but also a key to being sustainably competitive.

Gary emphasizes that our continually (rapidly) changing world will continue to require breakthroughs in management. And to make his point clear, he points to how not-so-long-ago, companies have radically changed the way they are run and how employees are treated. This is exemplified by the small-med businesses in the early 20th century to Ford Motors Company to Google.

Management Innovation is both fun and challenging. I think the games/web industry is a great testbed for such experimenting. I would claim that being able to perform such experiments is a reason I am an entrepreneur.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Activision Blizzard stock: Video games can be too exciting

Q: What is your opinion on Activision Blizzard stock (ATVI)?

A: The idea of investing in Activision Blizzard probably popped into your head while flipping through your video-game collection.

Activision Blizzard publishes some of the most popular video games, including Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk and the acclaimed Call of Duty series. The company's Modern Warfare 2 war simulation, due out this year, is one of the most anticipated titles in years. It's a follow-up to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

ACTIVISION: The website
BLIZZARD: The website

Meanwhile, the company controls a number of online games, including Warcraft. Online games are attractive for video game publishers because users pay recurring fees to play and are extremely loyal. If you're interested in following video-game trends, you should check out's video-game community, Game Hunters at
FIND MORE STORIES IN: Activision | Activision Blizzard | Electronic Arts

Activision Blizzard management, led by industry vet Bobby Kotick, has shown it understands the ups and downs of the business. Activision during the current economic downturn has been the most steady of the major video-game publishers. Its market value of about $15 billion exceeds that of rival Electronic Arts (ERTS) at about $6.8 billion.

But does all this mean Activision is a good play for investors? To find out, I put the stock through the four tests considered at Ask Matt:

Step 1: Risk vs. reward. When you take a risk on a stock, you want to make sure you're properly rewarded. Downloading Activision's trading history back to 1993, we see the company generated an average annual compound rate of price appreciation of 31%. This is an extremely high return; the S&P 500 posted a 6.6% annual return in the same time frame, says

But here's the rub: If you owned Activision, you accepted higher risk — standard deviation — of 61 percentage points. That's much higher than the 15.1 percentage point risk of the S&P 500 during the period. So to get a 370% higher return you accepted 307% higher risk. But the risk-return is almost in balance.

Based on this measure, Activision is one of the few stocks to pass this test. While Activision is much riskier than the market, its incredible return justifies the extra risk.

Step 2: Measure the stock's discounted cash flow. Some investors decide if a stock is pricey by comparing its current price to the present value of its expected cash flows. It's a complicated analysis made simple with a system from NewConstructs. When I run Activision's stock, I find it's rated "dangerous." In other words, the stock is expensive relative to the cash the company is expected to generate over its lifetime.

Step 3: Compare the stock's current valuation to its historical range. BetterInvesting's Stock Selection Guide can normally help. But due to the recent merger of Activision and Blizzard, the software giant does not have reliable long-term historical information for this analysis.

Step 4: Check the company's financial health. Before investing in a company, you want to make sure it's in good financial shape. A quick way to check is to look at where it falls on the USA TODAY Stock Meter, which ranks stocks from conservative (1) to aggressive (5). Activision scores an aggressive 4.0 here. You can get a Stock Meter score for almost any stock by going to and putting the stock's ticker symbol or name into the Get a Quote box.

Bottom line: Just as Activision's games are for thrill seekers, the stock is, too. Investing in Activision shares will be filled with excitement, fear and suspense. It's definitely not a stock for someone looking for a slow-and-steady investment. Video games are a hit-driven business, and having a hot title one year can mean huge profits. Similarly, if the pipeline of hit games dries up, a video-game stock can suffer quickly.

As the current downturn shows, Activision's management knows better than anyone how to navigate the industry's vagaries. But as an investor, you need to be fully aware of the risk you're taking when buying Activision stock.

- Matt Kranz, financial markets reporter at USA TODAY

Dating a Banker Anonymous

Hilarious blog. This ought to be forwarded to all the exciting financiers I know.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Auto-Tune may be dead, but you wouldn't know it listening to LP by Discovery. A collaboration between Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend and Wes Miles of Ra Ra Riot, LP is an undeniably catchy effort, with unrepentantly sweet synth pop mixed with a little Auto-Tune R&B for good measure. Turn it up, hop in the pool, and bask in the sounds of summer. Standout Tracks: "Osaka Loop Line," "I Want You Back."

via Uncrate

Friday, July 10, 2009


23andme is such an awesome company. Soon enough, I'll dig into my pocket for $399 to give their high-density, custom genome scan a shot.

Health and Traits
Discover how your genes affect your health and whether they may play a role in your condition. Get information on 116 traits and diseases, including diabetes, breast cancer (BRCA), heart attack and Parkinson's disease, etc...

See your ancestors through a new lens with targeted views deep into your maternal and paternal (for men) lineages and a broad overview of your overall heritage.

Visit for more info.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Dark Night of the Soul is an album written by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse.


is a measure of the number of steps ahead of your opponents.

I never had put much thought into business strategy in the past. But the more I learn about the technology business, the more appealing it has become to me.

The thing about strategy in technology is that many of the constraints we are used to in other industries are insignificant. Rarely is technology or resources important. Look at Facebook, Youtube, Wikipedia, Twitter, and Alibaba. They are all revolutionary because of their strategy.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

People assume that because I work in the games industry, I am a hardcore gamer and video games are my passion.

The truth is you will rarely catch me playing games. I enjoy it as a form of entertainment (w/ friends) every so often, but you won't find me glued to my seat with a controller and bag of doritos in hand.

I am more interested in reading, playing an instrument, designing, or thinking about something else.


was great while it lasted.

But I am done with Wu, and preferably not coming back to live ever.

Update: 1:18am 7/9/09 - I just biked from Wu to CBD. I believe that was my official departure.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Facebook is now also blocked as of this afternoon. If it weren't that I am leaving China next week, I would make a big fuss about this.

I feel sorry for all my friends who are operating Facebook app startups in China. Seriously, what is the right thing to do with your office of 30-40 developers when something like this happens. There is no predictability as to when Facebook will be unblocked. In China, this can be tomorrow, next year, or forever.

Monday, July 06, 2009