I came across this illustration named “the forbidden city” (figure 1) recently, which was an interesting allusion to Germany’s ruling to allow its cities to ban diesel vehicles, except for those that meet the Euro 6 emission standard, in restricted areas. The Euro 6 standard is an European emission standard that sets limits for exhaust emissions such as carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, etc, emitted by new vehicles manufactured in the European Union (EU).
The first European emission standard, Euro 1, was introduced in 1992, which was amended with stricter limits as time went by. The latest Euro 6 standard was adopted in 2014. The illustration tells the story of a forbidden city, where the blue vehicle, an Euro 6 automobile, is allowed in the city, and the red one, an Euro 5 vehicle, is banned. This points to Hamburg, the first German city that banned diesel vehicles that failed to meet the Euro 6 standard from entering some of its busy roads. More German cities will follow suit. Stuttgart will ban diesel vehicles of the Euro 4 or older standards from 2019. Frankfurt was obliged to implement the same ban on Euro 4 or older standards vehicles from February 2019, and a stricter ban on Euro 5 as well from September next year.
As more countries are on their ways to ban fossil fuel vehicles, more environmentally-friendly vehicles such as electric ones are the future. The road may be bumpier for some countries, but hopefully that leads to greener and more sustainable societies.
Along my entrepreneurial journey there are moments I reflect upon the work I do and the people I meet. And I think about the values I uphold in getting along with different people, like business partners, friends, colleagues, clients, competitors and so on. There are still a lot of things to learn.
The other day I met Mr Po Chung, co-founder of DHL. We had a nice gathering with other friends. Mr Chung truly is a role model to learn from. And on his name card I came across this uplifting message:
Mr Chung has retired and is still passing on his belief. It bears 3 essential values in conducting oneself and one’s business that can be summarised with 3Cs: competencies, character and caring. It’s always something to remember.
I’ve been wondering why my iPhone battery drains so fast as It dies on me quite often. My friend said it had to do with my incorrect charging patterns. My friend said I should charge my phone when the battery’s about 20% rather than when it’s almost empty or rather full at 80 or 90%. And a battery needs to be fully charged to 100%. This sounds plausible and may be the common practice of most people. But a little research on the Internet just revealed that most of us, or at least my friend and I, do charge our phones wrong.
According to several websites, charging a phone from a low battery level (under 20%) to 100% in one go is one of the practices that shorten the battery lifespan because “a high voltage stresses the battery”. It turns out that charging a phone battery several times throughout the day from around 30~50% to 80% is most desirable. That means several short charging sessions a day rather than a long heavy one optimises the battery performance. So should I start charging my phone bit by bit whenever I can? Let me try and see how it goes.
Before each business trip, I plan out the meetings and prepare for them with the support of my very nice colleagues. One of the biggest challenges is to select an appropriate gift for the host.
This is something I have to learn from my friends in Japan. They always come up with nice gift ideas with nice packages, among which I like most is this:
A delicately packed Japanese sweets box from “嘉ぎ”, which is located inside the Nakanoshima Festival Tower, opposite to Conrad Osaka. There are 6 Japanese flavours of the 嘉ぎ biscuits, namely matcha, roasted green tea, soy sauce, ginger, sake and roasted soybean. The sweets taste delicious and the Japanese style reminds me of my friends. That’s what makes it a good present: something that brings back the people and memories.