Google Wave users are socialising in Hong Kong

google wave

I was invited by Vinko to join a Wave conversation with “all” of the, 50 (that we know of) Google Wave users located in Hong Kong. It turned out to be a massive wave with blips and stuff. Most people, including myself, probably doesn’t know how to best use it. Honestly, I find it pretty slow and not easy to use. To me, it feels like an improved version of real time forum. In fact, I think Tangler actually had a good attempt at this. If you strip away the Wave philosophies and compare the application features, there aren’t really much breakthrough.

If you are wondering, I still cannot send out invites yet. But HK Wave users are forming groups and socialising on Facebook. You may be able to find some invites there 🙂

Hong Kong Wave Users Facebook Group:

Google Wave Hong Kong User Group

Google Wave Hong Kong User Group


I am planting a tree

Starting a business is easy, keeping the spirit and not giving up is the difficult part. I’ve seen this repeating in many other entrepreneurial articles – “hard work, never give up and believe in yourself”. I actually heard of this analogy speaking to another entrepreneur last year. Starting a business is like planting a tree. At the beginning it is very hard to convince other people what you’re doing. It is risky. Who would believe a seed will become a tree?

It is alot of hard work and requires preparation as well. Market research is like looking for a the right environment for your type of tree. You need to understand your species and hopefully have experience planting one before. You can’t just plant a right next to a big tree, obviously it’ll be too competitive for you to survive. It needs to be on new ground that no one has tried before. The result is slow, but it is rewarding.

So next time when other people asks me, I can tell them I’m planting a tree.

Are you an outlier?

Recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s new book – ‘Outliers’ on the flight to HK. He’s answered some of the questions I’ve been asking myself. How do genuises become so successful. Apart from hardwork, alot of it has to do with doing the right things at the right time.

He started his argument saying basically, there’s no geniuses, yes even Mozart was not a genius. He proposed a 10,000 hours rule where anyone can become an expert if they spend that amount of hours in a particular subject.

Then there’s the proof of born at the right time, e.g. Hockey players are born early of the year, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are both born in 1955, Majority of successful lawyers were born in 1930s, and 1890s Americans are at the top of the World’s rich list.

He also showed examples high IQ != success. Particularly the smartest person in US, Chris Langan, with IQ > 195, had a hard life because of this surrounding circumstances. Imagination and practical intelligence are both under valued in assessing our children’s performance.

Cultural values and spoken language are also factors of success in the big picture. Western culture is more assertive where’s Asians are more authoritative. This could lead to disastrous situations like why Korean airline had more accidents than others.

This book has given me some ideas how to raise my child in the future. I am lucky enough to have exposure to both west and east, there’s huge opportunities. I have had similar ideas previously about being successful is not just about IQ or working hard. I need to exploit my surroundings and be at the right place at the right time. That is why I chose to come back to HK, not many people can speak fluent English, Cantonese and Mandarin and know that is what they should exploiting. Having a HK ID card is also a huge advantage, HK citizens can go to China freely and while keeping dual citizenship. Chinese mainlander would have to give up their Chinese citizenships. Taiwanese couldn’t even have direct flight to China until now. Westerners need to update their visas now and again. In fact, HK businessmen have long been doing business in China because of this advantage. Therefore I suggest people find out what their real assets are, its not just about hardwork and skills. Alot of successful stories make sense as an after fact, the key is to execute the right plan when other’s don’t know about it yet.

Anyway I dug up some videos of Chris Langan as well, and read up abit on his theory of everything. Its interesting how he attempts to combine psychology and science together. If something cannot be explained by science doesn’t mean it cannot be explained. Cognition was a main factor of a beginning to the Universe.

I work on the web

I work on the web, and have been for many years. Ever since I dialed to the internet with my 14.4k modem in high school, I fell in love with the web.

Back in the days, I coded HTML in notepad using nested tables layout, kept refreshing my netscape browser to check my changes. When Flash was the new cool thing, I started hacking flash’s actionscript when it didn’t have script editor.

And then I got into server side programming. Coldfusion at work, PHP at home. Developing a CMS was a prerequisite for every web design companies. I also did abit of research into the semantic web as my final year project at University.

After getting sick of programming in Flash (it’s so buggy) and building yet another CMS, I got into front end development. CSS, web standards, tableless XHTML, accessibility were all the new buzz words. Consulting in HTML development could be a profession, thanks to IE and the browser war.

Then came the era of web2.0. Ajax was the new must have feature in all web apps. So I started building hard core ajax apps, tested painfully in all browsers and joined an online storage startup (let’s not talk about that). I almost stopped programming entirely and just wanted to stay away from browser compatibility issues. Usability consulting seemed to be a more satisfying job.

One day, I heard about this new MVC framework called Ruby on Rails. I wasn’t too interested at first, as I’ve seen too many not-so-user-friendly MVC attempts. I spent sometime building a little app, I was enlightened. Since then I’ve been fullly indulged with ruby and building web apps again.

Then, Steve Jobs announced a new device – iPhone. That has changed the mobile applications and mobile internet game completely. Occasionally, I dream about what I could do with the iPhone.

Now as an entrepreneur, I’ve started a ruby on rails software development company and we’ve developed our own product Ankoder. Since youtube was proven to be successful, future of videos will be huge. Bandwidth speed will be much faster, cost will be lower, people would like to take their media to many other devices. We’re hoping we can lower the barrier of entry for small companies to ride this next wave.

Very cool Bruce Lee viral advertisement from Nokia

RoRCraft - ruby ninjas

Bruce Lee has always been an idol for many young man all over the world, I’m one of them. These videos from Nokia certainly are cool enough for me to forward around. We’ve also adopted Bruce Lee as our little ad to represent our kungfu perfectionist approach to ruby web development. “Martial Arts is a way to truly express one self” – Bruce Lee. “Be water my friend” 🙂

So many events on November 15 weekend.

Nov 15, seems to be a popular date for conferences. I will probably be going to “The Big Question” in Taiwan Taipei. Since we’re building a social network site for them. It’ll be good to see how much Taiwan has changed since the last time was there as a kid in 1988. Since the election of President Ma, the China-Taiwan relationship has gotten closer and more open. There’s certainly alot of potential between the two but its also a threat to Hong Kong as a middleman. I hope to find some insight for myself.

The Big Question

These are the other event’s going on at the same time:
HK Ruby on Rails users meetup
HK Startup Association
Rails Camp Australia in Adelaide.
Barcamp Sydney

Back from honeymoon.


I’m back from my long honeymoon and wedding reception world tour. Actually I was back two weeks ago, I’ve just got back on track with my emails and blogging. Taking 6 weeks away from the internet world is a good break. Happy times are always too short. We had a very fun wedding day. The days leading up to the wedding were _stressful_, I’m sure anyone that has gone through the same deal would understand. Thank you to all the friends and family, everyone has been very helpful with our wedding. Everything went pretty smoothly despite the roller coaster weather.

We had two receptions after Sydney, one in HK and one in Manila. We had alot of Chinese banquets! First stop was Hong Kong, then Japan for 2 weeks and Philippines for 1.5 weeks. We took about 30gb worth of videos…. I’m still processing those 🙂 There’s been some interesting (embarassing) experiences.. I would tell you in person.

rex @miyajima


Which twitter client do you use?

I’ve just managed to jailbreak my old iphone to 2.0 today and found there’s quite a few twitter clients out there competing. Which one of these do you use? TwitterFon seems quite nice to me but they are all too similar.

Have a vote for:

From the people that I’m following, it seems twitterific is the winner. Are there anymore out there? A desktop gadget? or anyone use twitter with adium ?

2 weeks left before my big day.

Can’t believe it is finally happening. Organising a wedding is definitely not easy (when you try to work and have a life at the same time). It reminds me of the Uni days when I’m rushing to finish projects before the deadlines. Its going alright so far, hopefully it’ll be a happy day for everyone.

We took some pre-wedding photos, just thought I’ll share with you. Since we announced our engagement on the web as well. These are taken by our lovely photographers at Fotoexpresssion.

Rex + Lesley

Getting things done.

Finally I squeezed some time to finish reading “getting things done” by David Allen. When I first heard of this book 1-2 years ago, I thought to myself I already knew how to manage my time, so I wasn’t very keen to spend time learning about this. Since then, my nature of work has changed from full time programming to managing my new startup venture. I need some new inspiration to how to manage my time properly. This book did give some advice, but in my opinion it is not the very complete.

My view on time management is all about priorities, do the things that needs to be done and skip doing the things that can be deferred. It is this constant deferring of things that puts stress on the person while trying to keep these tasks in the brain. This book’s main point is to find a system that you trust and rely on and off load all the to do items from your brain to this system. It has similar idea to extreme programming concepts with TDD and story cards which also tries to take the stress out of the developer. There’s mentions of 43 folders – having 12 months + 31 days folders – which holds memos for future references. I personally don’t think it is that helpful for me unless I have a secretary managing it.

To practise this concept, the book’s website has some recommendation for some GTD software, but I haven’t found anything that suits me and that I feel has fully grasped the concept in the book. One thing I hate about most todo list software is that after checking the task as complete, it’ll almost always keep that item in the list rather than removing it. Why isnt there a simple to-do list that keeps track of the todo item while not cluttering the interface.

Another thing that I felt was missing from the book was how to deal with interruptions. He basically said knowledge workers should be able to deal with interruptions and prioritising their time themselves. I feel that if there wasn’t interruptions that stuff up our planning, we probably wont be seeking solutions for time management. I’ll like to see someone explaining the dynamics of interruptions and how to deal with them efficiently.