Keep Running to stay at the same place...
I have been taking the Firm strategy class quite seriously and one thing I have learnt and would like to implement is innovation. So, I thought I would get my class mates to start writing for this blog. This way it saves me time too...sinister!

There is no better way to start running than to run a marathon and kitmun my MBA classmate from Singapore ran the Hong Kong marathon.

The HK marathon took place on 12February with a record 40,000 runners taking part in various distances of the 10-year old event. Standing at the start line on that cool sunday at 8:15, the demands of the event and the fear of being able to cover the distance slowly started to sink in. You see, all the training hitherto had been on distances of 33k and below and after 3hours in a run, the thought of covering another 9-10k is quite a differnet thing altoghether.
Anyway on reflection, i have put together some of the most memorable parts of the event which I hope will make for interesting reading to those who are interested in taking up the sport or dare and sharing their own insights about running.

The most difficult part of the marathon was the training and the sacrifices that came with it. Now I know why completing a marathon is such a celebratory affair, it is because it marks the culmination of months of arduous physical and mental training,

Logging mileage was particularly difficult as I tried my best to cope with long solitary runs in the cold weather. Just the thought of the first few minutes of bone penetrating cold right now is already enough to send shivers down the spine.

Never underestimate the importance of support.
In Singapore, the communal lunacy of a bunch of hard-core runners getting up at 4am to run 30k, lended some semblance of normalcy but when you are running alone in the dark at 6.30 in Hong Kong and battling curious stares you know how much you miss your friends, and then the loneliness sets in ……., and the wild cheers that used to greet me when I returned last from a long run seemed just so far away….

Hence, it was a crazy uphill mental battle and when I stood at the start line on 12th Feb at Nathan Road, I experienced the ironic relief that it was the end of a very tough fight....

During the run
Unfamiliar territory.
I never ran the course but it was excruciatingly boring, logging miles on the open highway where roads seemed to stretch on forever....

We had to battle wind chills and harsh winds running loops over two suspension bridges (Tsing Ma and Ting Kau bridge). And then there were two tunnels (one under a mountain and one which went under the sea) where the pervading sense of claustrophobia looms like a dark cloud over you.

Crowd support was also non-existent as the course ran through closed highways and bridges and tunnels. So it was really the inner voice that pushed those legs......

Greatest moments: (actually it was finding Fatima after one and a half hours)
Chewing on a chunky kitkat given out at 30k….it was the most heavenly taste of chocolate ever and the sugar high that came from it was most comforting ….and of course finishing the race at my all-time (actually only run 2x before) personal best (i had to double check that it was indeed 4:16) !

Worst moments
The agony of confronting a long steep ascent up a highway after emerging and climbing out of the Western Tunnel at the 36k mark, and the mental battle to put one feet infront of the other to slowly climb up the highway.

The frustration with my perceived timing when I noticed volunteers removing the traffic cones off the road and preparing the ready the road for traffic again created that feeling of defeat.
(read nine rules of surviving a marathon)


Google of the Future.....

Here is an article on some scenarios of what google might be like in a few years.

The picture is created by a smart software that uses google images and makes a montage with it. If you want to know more, click on the pic.


You want Moore? You can only get half .... says Demi Moore!!

" processing power of microchips will double every 18 months." - Moore's law

The S curve is used to depict how innovative technology takes time to "take off". This can be related to an intreresting theory by Bhaskar Chakravorti, a Harvard lecturer, the theory states...

"Technology's impact in the market will most likely proceed at only half the speed predicted by Moore." - That's demi-Moore's Law'

The rate of adoption of technology lags behind the pace of the actual technological advances because players on the demand side and the supply side are sitting on the fence and waiting to see what other players will do.


Follow up on the post about my trip to China...

This is from the CIO.com site:

If you search for “Tiananmen,” you get peaceful photos of the Beijing square -- but if you search for common misspellings like "Tienanmen," "Tianenmen," or "Tiananman," you get photos of tanks.”

Now if they would just set that little “Did you mean” feature to suggest other ways not to correctly spell what you are looking for.


Our trip to Stanley...

Its amazing what one can do with technology, this was a color picture, now in retro mode.

We are pravin, anna, thomas and me.


The Land of the not so Free but the home of the Prosperous

I wish I could say that I am writing this blog entry from Shenzhen, China, but when I tried I could not open my blog page. “Blocked !!”, that’s the first thought that came to mind. And then I thought, “heyyyyy, I wanted to write something positive about China, and even then I was blocked from doing it”.

Now back in HK, and feeling empowered, I am writing my own series on China, the not so forbidden land.

Taxis and Economic growth
Traveling around Shenzhen there is a distinct grayness in the sky, but if you look past the smog you can actually smell prosperity in the air. Someone once told me about a test to measure prosperity and economic growth. No, it’s not a complex model to do with the GDP or Per capita income, but something as simple as looking into taxis and seeing if they are full. I was advised, “If you find it difficult to get a cab, you should be happy, because that means the economy is doing well”. I have come to agree, because I see that in HK and I saw it in Shenzhen. It’s amazing how theories can be simplified into something that one can actually feel in practical life.

Catapulted by Capitunism
For sometime now I have been trying to coin a term for the kind of govt. that exists in China. Undoubtedly communist, yet committed capitalists, I think the best I have come up with is Capitunist. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Capitunism is catapulting China forward and Shenzhen is a good example. Its economy is growing between 20-25% a year and has reached $35 bn. My Chinese friends tell me that this kind of development in cities is due to the govt. policy to reward mayors and the type to push for higher and higher growth. This growth then results in them being promoted sooner, even out of turn. Hmm…let me think, does this not sound like a private company - reward for results! While I was in Shenzhen I visited the largest seaport in the province, it was in a place called YanTian, literally meaning salt fields. And I was told that there were salt fields there a few years back. A board on the highway read, “This port contributes to China’s economic development”. Enterprise with Focus!

“Democracy” on Google
There was one thing I wanted to do when I went to China, type democracy into google and get blocked. I don’t know why I had that urge, but I think it’s got to do with the fact that I hail from the largest democracy on the planet, when something is taken away from you, only then do you realize the value of what you have…

…I hope we use this supposed “freedom” we have for the purpose of prosperity, because China is definitely using the supposed lack of “freedom” for sustained growth of its nation and its people.