The Facts We Collect

What do we do with the facts we collect?

We hear this. Read that. Watch this. See that.

We have so many of them.

How many do we need? How much is enough? Too much? Just right?

What do we do with all these facts we collect?

Duncan Clark on Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built

Last night I went to a very cool event at the Yale Center Beijing to hear Duncan Clark talk about his new book, Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built.

Duncan is super charismatic and has us laughing through much of the evening. Some great questions by Eva Dou who kicked off the conversation with some excellent moderating.

For a little taste of what was talked about, here’s an article on the WSJ that Eva wrote two months ago just as the book was set to come out.

What I found most interesting was Duncan as a self-called economic historian and Eva introducing him as one of the go-to people for tech in China.

Duncan had just finished answering a question where he brought up the idea that Alibaba could be the counterpoint to Amazon in the emerging global platform wars.

I was curious, as an economic historian meets go-to-guy for the latest in tech, what are the economic moments of the past that Duncan references as he considers the future, especially in light of these global platform wars?


P.S. I have a GREAT photo that I’ll share whenever I have a moment to download from my phone.

Flag Day? Flag Day!

I always remember June 14th as Flag Day. It also happens to be my late Grandmother’s birthday.

Strawberry ice cream on the playground of Guilderland Elementary School is one of my favorite Flag Day memories.

But, here’s the thing I wonder. Flag Day is just one of these random days for celebration.

Nobody really celebrates Flag Day, do they?

But why not?

Life is worth celebrating, no?

Maybe we need more excuses like Flag Day.

What if you made up a holiday? What would you choose to celebrate? And how?

Can I host you at your place?

I had an interesting conversation with a guy yesterday who told me that wherever he goes, he acts as though he owns the place.

If it sounds like this guy’s ego needs it’s own room, let me offer you a different way of thinking about this philosophy.

Essentially, he believes that when he acts as if he owns wherever he is or whatever he’s using, he takes greater responsibility.

When he’s an owner, he takes greater care.

When he’s a host, he is more at ease and others are more at ease to.

Nothing is therefore strange. Nobody is a stranger. There is never “other”ing involved.

How does your life change when you act like you own everything rather than everything is owned by someone else?

“Thank you for your great presentation.”

I went to a book talk the other night. Before every question, just about every person said, “Thank you for your great presentation.”

Though I’m not opposed to praising people for their work, or extending as much positive feedback as possible, it felt like most people here said this because they were supposed to say it, as opposed to this being something they actually meant / felt.

I wonder, how each of these comment/questioners thought about this, as well as the speakers.

I’m also curious what else people could say that might provide value for themselves, as well as the person(s) they are directing their comments toward?