Jan 7

My time at this recent startup company will soon over.  We had the best people with lot of money and trying to change the health care industry using latest web 2.0 technologies and features.  However, we always been lacking is a clear vision and business model.  After close to 200 millions and many layoff later, the company is sold to another one for probably 25 cents on the dollars with the hope that the combined company will have a better future.  The final business model coming down to CPM (ads model). The company is no longer a health company but a content company.   So in the end, it is about money.  If you don’t have a business model to make money, you won’t last no matter how many smart people you have and how much money you have.  I never regret that I worked for this company.  In the end, I have learned a lot.  The journey was wonderful no matter what the destination is.

Dec 27

I just read this article http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/24/opinion/24friedman.html?_r=1 from NY times.  It talks about how we as a nation has fallen behind so much. We are all GM.  It is so true.  We should admit that we are in crisis, not just financial crisis but a intellectual and behavioral crisis.   We wasted so much energy and investments on the wrong priority.  It is time to change our priority and invest in the right priority.  We all need to rethink and reinvent ourselves.

Jun 11

Layoff is part of business cycle that everyone of us have to deal with. For upper management who decided the layoff, the key is to make sure you do it quick and deep enough so that you don’t have to do a second, third, fourth round in next few months. For the middle managers who didn’t get laid off, the key is to be nice to the employees who get laid off and give them whatever support they have. For employee who get laid off, the key is to realize that it is not you, it is business. A business that couldn’t afford to have you anymore. You should take this as an opportunity to move on to better or greater thing. Remember the only constant in life is change.

Feb 1

One of my good developers resigned to day.  I asked her about the reason of leaving.  She told me that she wanted a more stable company and the company that we are working for is high stake, high risk and she doesn’t really know if it will last.  I asked her if there is any other reason such as work environment, job satisfaction and salary.  She told me no.  As a manager, I can do what I can to improve the work environment, job satisfaction and salary.  There is one thing that I can’t promise is if a startup will success or not.  So I can’t really do something for her.   Software development is all about getting and keeping good developers.  A lot of people want to put emphasis on process.  However, software development is not a factory process even a lot of people want it to be.  It is a creative, research and learning process.  It needs people who are creative, able to learn and explore and attach new problems.  My question for the day is how do you keep good people?: