Unusual Strong Typhoon in Macau

Climate change becomes a popular reason in my friend circles when it comes to unpredictable weather situation.

I was about to leave for the conference in Macau this morning, chairing a session related to smart city development.  Just before I had my feet out of the door I realised that today’s conference was called off due to the hoisting of typhoon signal numbered 8 (which I was told as unusual.). Fortunately, we grabbed the chance yesterday to meet with overseas visitors.  Otherwise, we could have wasted this wonderful opportunity to learn from them.

Anyhow, I managed to spend time with my local friends to catch up and relax a bit Mandarin Oriental Macau.  With still a question in mind though, why would it be No.8 when it was fairly calm and there was almost no rain!?


澳門罕見颱風

每次出現不尋常的天氣事件,總激起我朋友間對全球暖化的討論,也是罕見天氣事件最常被歸究的原因。

今天早上我原本要在澳門出席會議,負責主持會上一個關於智慧城市發展的環節。但我在出門以前就被告知會議取消了,因為8號風球正生效,幸好我們在前一天已和外國的與會者見面,不然就要浪費向他們學習的機會了。

縱使今天看來不太順利,我還是和當地的朋友在澳門文華東方酒店聚舊,度過愉悅的下午。但我很不解,為甚麼外邊看來如此平靜且只有微雨會懸掛8號風球?

WTA Hong Kong 2016

Andrew called me out of the blue inviting to watch a live tennis match together.   I had not seen my uni buddy, also my best man, for ages.  Without asking who would be playing, I happily accepted his invitation and looked forward to catching up.

It was a fairly warm Saturday afternoon.  After having lunch at a nearby hotel in Causeway Bay, I met Andrew at the entrance of the stadium.  We looked at each other and said coincidentally that there were not much changes showing on our faces, despite that we knew it was not true.  We chat about our recent lives, jobs, his kid and car, etc. and were enjoying the easy and relaxing time.

The matches were fantastic, in particular, Caroline Wozniacki vs Jelena Jankovic.  Of course I gave my full support to Caroline. At the end, she won the championship of this tournament in Hong Kong.  I hope I can see her more in the future.


香港網球公開賽2016

老朋友Andrew突然打來約我一起看網球賽,他是我大學同學,也是我最好的朋友,實在太久不見了,所以即使不知道哪些選手出賽,我仍欣然答應赴約,期待聚舊。

當天是個和暖的星期六下午,在銅鑼灣一間酒店吃過午飯後,我和Andrew約在球場門口見面。一見面我們不約而同地說彼此看來沒有太大分別,雖然我們都知道那不可能是真的。我們聊起近況,關於生活、工作、他的孩子和車等等,天南地北,相談甚歡。

比賽十分精彩,特別是卡露蓮·禾絲妮雅琪(Caroline Wozniacki)對耶萊娜·珍高域(Jelena Jankovic),我當然全力支持卡露蓮。她最後也贏得了香港公開賽的冠軍。希望將來有更多機會看她比賽。

 

Baidu SEO

In a progress meeting with the China team, our general manager was complaining about the low visibility of the product website in Baidu.  She said our competitors managed to get theirs ranked first on the first page when certain keywords were entered, and this led to negative impacts to our frontline sales work.

According to Alexa, as of 4 Oct 2016, Baidu.com ranks No.1 in China, and No.4 globally. (See http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/baidu.com), with over 75% market share in terms of search requests (according to Analysys).  It is thus not hard to imagine, many of our customers in China tend to look up baidu for price comparison and background check.

Improving visibility and ranking for our website became one of the key tasks in the short term.  After the meeting, our digital marketing team kick-started a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) campaign, doing three things:

  1. identified keywords and researched their current status on baidu.com
  2. developed specific SEO strategies using our in-house framework, fine-tuned to Chinese based search engine and started building it up accordingly
  3. revamped our website and updated the contents regularly

With some luck, I believe, within two weeks, more than 70% of our identified keywords appeared on the first three pages in Baidu.  20% of them even appeared No.1!

Lessons learned:

  • Chinese keywords are different from English counterparts
  • People tend to search model number rather than brand, for example, “iPhone 7” rather than “Apple”
  • Good SEO can outperform Ad buy

Happy to hear from you on your SEO stories.


百度搜尋引擎優化

和內地同事開進度會議時,經理投訴我們的產品網頁在百度的可見度太低,她說搜索關鍵字眼時我們競爭對手的網站在第一頁頭幾項就出現了,對我們的前線銷售工作造成負面影響。

根據Alexa排名,直至2016年10月4日,百度是全球排行第四、中國排行第一的搜索引擎(詳見http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/baidu.com),並就搜索要求而言百度具75%市場佔有率(根據易觀),所以不難想像我們大部分在內地的顧客都會用百度比較價格和進行背景調查。

可見提高我們網站的可見度和排行相當重要,亦是當務之急。進度會議後我們的數位行銷同事立即着手搜尋引擎優化(Search Engine Optimisation,簡稱SEO)的項目,側重以下三點︰

  1. 辨認出與我們公司、產品、服務相關的關鍵字眼,並在百度上搜索相關狀況

  2. 使用我們的內部框架訂立特定的搜尋引擎優化策略,並向中文搜索引擎微調,循此方向進行構建

  3. 重整我們的網站,定期更新內容

兩星期內,逾70%我們辨出的關鍵字眼出現在百度搜索的首三頁中,兩成更登上第一!

得到的教訓︰

  • 中文的關鍵字眼和英文的不一樣

  • 大部分人傾向搜索產品型號多於牌子,如搜「iPhone7」而非「蘋果」

  • 優化搜尋引擎比在網頁登廣告更有用

你也有相似的關於優化搜尋引擎的經歷嗎?

 

3 things to make your day easy

Every CEO has a busy schedule and wants to have either more time a day or a super assistant.  Without either?  My mentor advises me to start early and write up a to-do list before everyone else enters the office.  Sometimes this works perfectly.  A lot more times, the list becomes so long that stress builds up and kill my day.

One of the things I have started learning recently is to restrict myself to have 3 things in mind every day.  Don’t get me wrong.  This does not mean I only do 3 tasks, but 3 major groups of stuff that I should be caring of in mind.  This helps me judge what I should or should not do.  To be precise, this approach helps me to say no to a lot of things that either do not fall into any categories of these 3 things or may have negative impacts in accomplishing them.

So what are these three things?

1. Delegate my to-do list

Before, like many others, I sometimes did not feel like what I should do as there appeared so many things that were of high priority.  The situation became worse when there were ad hoc stuff coming up, ad hoc phone calls, ad hoc problems to solve, etc. It was so hard to focus with such distractions.   Now, I delegate my to-do list to my executive assistant, and sit down with her every week to plan out together the priorities and ensure there are some spare time as contingency.   When I have new ideas and something I want to do, I ask my assistant to have it included on my to-do list.  For the rest of the time, I can just sit back and let my assistant advise me what I should do in a given time.  I can devote totally myself on the tasks themselves without worrying what to do next by when.  How wonderful the peace of mind this is giving me!

2. Forget my calendar

Everyday, I receive on average 10 appointment invitations.  The time spans range from like this afternoon to some time next year.  Some invitations come with fixed date, time and venue.  A lot more of them are tentative, subject to changes.  It takes up a lot of time and human memory to handle.  Some friends of mine use 2 monitors at their workspace.  One for working, the other for calendar showing meetings and appointments.  Some use laptop computers and tablets.  I tried similar approaches, too.  In any case, the idea is to make it easier to manage the schedule.  Some lucky ones rely on their very smart assistant to check the calendar and advise their availability.  I found this approach still demanding me to make, not necessarily at the right moment, the judgement and decision.  What I do now instead is to totally forget my calendar, and rely completely on my assistant to manage it.  Of course, my assistant and I have common understandings on how to handle and prioritise.  So, I do not need an extra monitor to show calendar, and I am not interrupted to think about whether I should or am available to attend an appointment when I am working very hard on something that I am paid to do to grow the company.

3. Create Time for Myself

When I first brought up this idea to my assistant, she was very surprised on what she had heard.  She asked whether this would create time for her too!  I explained to her how important it was to me to bring myself joyfulness from work.  Yes, I know, I work when I work.  But how many times I had new initiatives that I would like to move forward but had to stop due to absence of time!  If I were to have more time, I could have done that. Creating extra time for myself makes me happy!  Of course, if I can squeeze a few hours to enjoy music and sunshine by the pool or beach, that would be perfect!

Of these three things, after all, I am still in the process of learning to live with them. While I find a lot of fine-tuning essential, I trust there will be many interesting stories down the road.  Would love to share with you here when time comes.  Have a happy day!


三個小貼士讓你輕鬆有效地工作

每個繁忙的CEO都想有額外時間或是一個超級秘書。如果兩樣也沒有,我的導師建議我早點開始規劃一天,在大家回到辦公室前寫好一張要完成的工作列表。這樣有時很有用,但更多時候列表太長為我造成無形壓力,讓我在戰戰兢兢中度過一天。

慢慢地我學會把每天要做的的事限制在三件之內,但不要誤會我的意思,我不是指每天只做三個工作,而是謹記三個類別的工作。這幫我判斷出應做和不應做的事,並專注在最要緊的工作上。換句話說,清單讓我向許多不屬於該三個類別的工作說不,避免把時間花在對當下工作沒有幫助的事上。

這三項是甚麼呢?

1. 交託要辦的
我以前和許多人一樣不認為要分應做和不應做的事,因為許多事看來都十分重要,尤其當臨時要務和會議等等接踵而來,要即時處理就更讓我分神。現在,我會把要辦的事交託給我的執行助理,每星期共同計劃工作的優先次序,並預留時間處理緊急情況。當新的想法萌芽或有想做的事,我總叫理助記在清單中。其餘的時間,我只需等候助理的吩咐叮囑我當刻要完成的事即可,我可無後顧之憂地專注在當下的工作中,無需顧慮接下來的工作和下一個期限。這為我減少了不少煩惱。

2. 忘記我的月曆
我平均每天收到十個左右的會議邀請,早至當天下午,晚至下年,部分有指定的日期、時間和地點,更多的只是暫定的會議,隨時可以更改,林林總總要記下那麼多的會議頗為吃力。我有些朋友會在辦公室用兩個電腦屏幕方便記日程,一個用來工作,一個是記錄會議的月曆,有些人則使用平板電腦或筆記型電腦來提示日程,我也試過類似方法,做法大同小異,但目的都是可以更容易掌握工作日程。有些朋友則較幸運,可以依賴他們的助理幫他們查看日程,並提醒他們。但對我而言,這樣還是需要我在非必要的時間判斷和決定事情的優先次序,所以我現在能完全忘記我的月歷,交由我的助理幫我管理。當然,我的助理和我有共識如何處理和決定事情的優先次序。所以我不需要多一個屏幕提醒我日程,可以專注埋頭苦幹,而不被瑣碎的事打擾。

3. 留些時間給自己
當我向助手提出這個想法時,她顯得很震驚,還問我那這樣她也會有多些時間嗎?我就向她解釋雖然工作時工作,但從工作中得到快樂對我來說是相當重要的,但每當我有新想法欲付諸實行時,總是因為時間不夠而不得不擱置,如果我有更多時間就能做了,所以我相信留些時間給自己會讓我快樂。如能擠出一兩個小時聽聽音樂,或到泳池或海灘享受陽光就更好了!

對於這三件事,我還在學習中,仍需時間適應,但相信在未來會為我帶來不少樂趣,以後有機會再跟大家分享!希望你有個愉快的一天!