Yu-kai’s Predictions for 2009

(A Dramatic Entrance Into the New Year)

Supposedly one of my talents is to consider a lot of variables and elements and see how they tie into the long-term big picture (I thank my chess training for that). I thought that may come useful to do one of those “New Year Predictions” kind of thing. I’ll admit, some of this is no-duh common sense, but that’s how a lot of the prediction’s I’ve seen are, so bear with me. Hopefully I have some kind of non-obvious insight:

1. In a recession economy, Green Collar Jobs will be the expanding field. I say this because all the resourceful parties are focusing on environmental sustainability, consumers are demanding green products, company employees are demanding their firm become socially responsible. The Government is working hard to use the Green Economy to boost up the other sectors. Venture Capitalists are putting money into Clean Tech, and Universities are putting in loads of research budget into it. When the earth is dying, green is one of those field that is recession free. Afterall, everyone can fulfill their childhood dreams of saving the world.

2. China will consolidate its economy while India will have a higher market penetration in the offshoring business. I have heard many experts from China that they are concerned that their economy is growing too fast without people being prepared for it in terms of growth infrastructure and cultural. The global recession will actually help them consolidate their economy and also let them shift their focus from exporting to their own 1.3 Billion consumers. India, on the other hand, is fully geared to become a larger service player to the US. Especially after outsourcing philosophies like “The World is Flat” and “The 4-Hour Workweek,” concepts like outsourcing your life will become predominant as people try to do things in cheaper ways.

3. Twitter will become mainstream and introduce a non-intrusive monetization method to test the waters with no difficulty. People who become prominent early on Twitter will get paid for it as consultants. There will be hundreds of Twitter Apps and Tools that are built while Twitter keeps its interface clean, and they might buy a few more of these apps/tools.

4. Virtual Worlds growth will slow down due to the recession, but will still become more and more dominant. Companies and Businesses will look further into how they can take advantage of Web3D as the next wave of Web 2.0. Its cheaper, more interactive, more fun, and more efficient.

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10 Useful Tips for Entrepreneurs and Startups

I know there are lots of these, but this one seems to have some new ideas to learn and absorb. I think its definitely worth a look.

In the FD Lifestyle way of phrasing it, it would be like this:

1. Watch your stats and stay close to the useful NPCs in town.
2. Watch your mineral flow. Make sure you have enough SCVs.
3. Establish a reputation on your server. Everyone will want to be your ally.
4. Be sociable during games. Chat often and be friendly to build trust.
5. Discuss ideas with your teammates. Maybe one will cover air with Corsairs while the other makes Carriers?
6. Adventure with those you can duel with. They help you recognize your weakness and improve it for you.
7. Specialize in something. Putting 1 skill point in sword technique, 1 in spear technique, and 1 in mace technique does not help you become strong when you can only use one weapon at a time. Be the best at what you do.
8. Know the exact skill points and units you need at each stage to conquer your opponents.
9. Put all your units to good use. Don’t have a single idling unit.
10. Be a Hardcore Gamer 🙂
11. You can only be a Hardcore Gamer if your partner supports gaming 🙂

Career Centers in most universities are crap

After I got my first speeding ticket ever in my life because I was unaware of being behind a speeding car (the cop stopped both cars), I found myself in the perfect mood to write something I am angry about. Apparently a person has more guts when his head is hot.

After thinking about what is grossly upsetting in society and has a large impact on peoples’ lives, I was reminded about the incompetencies of many university Career Centers that my friends and I have experienced.

University Career Centers hate it when others want learn about their performances

To start my story, I’ll begin with the study my company Future Delivery, which helps Gen-Ys find great careers, tried to do on Career Centers earlier 2008. In hopes that Career Centers would work with us and use our free tools to help students more efficiently, we contacted over 50 top university career centers, asking them if we could do a study on how well they help their students and potentially creating a ranking for them. Most of them ignored us, half a dozen of them politely rejected, one school responded with enthusiasm (will praise later), and some responded in a hostile manner.

While we were still contacting the career centers, we actually got a very upsetting call from the UCLA Career Center(sadly my Alma Mater). Yes, I’m calling you out UCLA, because I want you to be better. Instead of just demanding me to take this off, please improve your ways first. UCLA told us that they heard about what we are trying to do, and they are very angry. They said they were at a Pac-10 Career Center Conference (didn’t know those existed) and Future Delivery was brought up. All the schools were very upset about our “study” and said they would not let us do this.

So we told the UCLA Career Center that we just wanted to see how they are helping their students, and also will also talk to university students to see if they feel helped by the career center. We thought the career center might as well talk to us too and so they can promote all the positive things they do.

UCLA not only refused, they prohibited us from talking to the student body about it, claiming that “I don’t think what the students say about the Career Center is an accurate measurement of how we help the students.” I thought that was pretty ridiculous. What else is a good measurement? How much funding they get a year?

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A Revenue Model for Twitter

So in the past couple months, I have realized that I am fully capable of being completely addicted to Twitter. I have a tendency of thinking and doing too many things at once (like writing different things with both hands at the same time, and Hulahooping while doing DDR), and Twitter sort of appeals to my ADD tendencies, no sense of privacy, and the need to connect with the world. Twitter is pretty awesome.

Interestingly, Twitter only needs to build its core competency, while there are over 250 OTHER websites out there that help Twitter build more advanced features. There are sites that organize your friends, see your influence on twitter, use twitter on your desktop or phone, take pictures to twitter, see who you should follow, see what clients your friends use for twitter etc etc. Most sites need to cramp out their design while adding features that may or may not work. Twitter just keeps its constraints (the three principles of twitter: simplicity, constraint, and craftsmanship), and have the rest of the sites build its advanced features. I don’t think ANY other site out there has something like this.

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How to Compete Against Offshore Companies and Services?

Recently my company has been learning about Tim Ferris, the author of the 4-Hour Work Week. It talks about how one can outsource her life and business to others so they make the most out of their time. The concept is pretty simple: if you make $30/hr, then instead of doing 4 hours of mundane tasks yourself, you can do one hour of work, make $30, and pay 3 people with $10/hr. That way you did one hour of work, but you accomplished 4 hours of tasks. You now then have the rest of the three hours to do whatever you want (including make more money at your rate).

Our company is looking at ways to outsource and automate too. We want to do everything, but do everything only once (Robert Kiyosaki’s suggestion). Once we set up a system, we can slowly start to replace ourselves with someone who can learn how to do it. Michael Gerber often refers to this as “work on the business, not in the business.” We plan to build a money-making machine, and then automate it so we can develop more innovative stuff.

My company then decided to look at a few places overseas that offer offshoring services. Whew! Americans are going to be in trouble soon (if people don’t already think they are in big trouble from the financial crisis). Lets just say this very professional firm that has been operating for nine years with 180 engineers, who also happen to have built dozens of websites of large brand name firms that you have heard of in multiple countries. The keypoint: they charge 20% of what a service firm like this in the US would charge. Go figure.

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