Good Economics for Hard Times

“There is a reason for this. Most third-world cities lack the infrastructure they need to serve their population. According to a recent report, India alone needs 4.5 trillion US dollars in infrastructure investment between 2016 and 2040”- p73

“Making matters worse,….city planners who resist building dense neighborhoods of high-rises for the middle class, aiming instead for a “garden city.”56 India, for example, imposes draconian limits on how high buildings can be, much stricter than what is found in Paris, New York, or Singapore. “-p74

“…network connections, of which the family is a specific example, are designed to solve specific problems, but it does not mean they promote the general social good. It turns out, for example, that parents who worry about being abandoned in old age may strategically underinvest in the education of their children to make sure they do not have the option of moving to the city. ”-p77

“The status quo, the outcome of letting things be, serves as a natural benchmark. Any loss relative to that benchmark is particularly painful. This concept was named loss aversion by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky….Since their original work, a vast literature has demonstrated the existence of loss aversion and its ability to explain many apparently strange behaviors. For example, most people pay a huge premium on their home insurance plans to get a low deductible.67 This allows them to avoid that painful moment when, after some accident has damaged their house, they have to pay a large sum out of pocket (the high deductible). By comparison, the fact that they may be paying a lot extra now (to get the policy with the low deductible) is painless because they will never discover if it was a mistake. The same logic also explains why gullible buyers often end up with outrageously expensive “extended warranties.” In essence, loss aversion makes us extremely worried about any risk, even small, that is a consequence of our active choice. Migration, unless everyone else is doing it, is one of these active choices, and a big one; it is easy to imagine many will be chary of trying….Finally, failure in migration is something people take personally.”-p85

“The fear of failure is a substantial disincentive for embarking on a risky adventure. Many people prefer not to try.

“And if it is important to hold on to a certain self-image, then it also makes sense to burnish it. We do this actively by filtering out negative information…. Another option is to simply avoid taking actions that have at least some chance of rebounding badly on us. If I cross the road to avoid passing by a beggar, I won’t have to reveal to myself that I lack generosity. A good student may fail to study for an exam in order to have a ready-made excuse that will preserve his perception of being intelligent, should he not do well.”-p88

“There is also a long tradition in developing countries of governments using price and tax policies to benefit the urban sector at the cost of the rural.Some countries banned exports of farm products to keep prices where urban consumers wanted them. A by-product of these policies was to make agriculture unprofitable, encouraging people to leave their farms. Of course, these policies hurt the poorest people in the economy, the small farmers and the landless laborers, who may not have had the wherewithal to move…Mobility (internal and international) is a key channel through which standards of living can even out across regions and countries, and regional economic ups and downs can be absorbed. If workers move, they will take advantage of new opportunities and leave regions hit by economic adversity. This is how an economy can absorb crises and adapt to structural transformation.”-p100

How Google Works-Eric Schmidt /Jonathan Rosenberg

Don’t be evil.

-Messiness is a virtue.

-Stay in the office to communicate with your teammates, get away to be alone.

-Say yes as often as possible because it starts thing, it leads to new knowledge and new experience.

-Say “fun” instead of “fine!!!”

-The dress code is “you must wear something”.

-“We’ll figure it out” is a plan good enough.

-It’s always better to be the hedgehog knowing one big thing rather than the fox knowing many things, even you don’t know what that big thing is. In the 90s, Google works on one and only one thing-making the best search engine which is fast, accurate, ease of of use, comprehensiveness, freshness.

-Being open results in faster and greater growth of the industry. Being open means sharing more intellectual properties and research results and giving users East access to your platform. It also means world leading level classes available to all who has the basic technology to get access to the internet.

-We make it easy for users to leave us so that we win them by merits.

-Being open except for we are working on a fast growing new field that is fairly competitive. Google bought Android and decided to make it open while iOS choose to keep it closed. Both work.

-Don’t mind competition. If you focus only on your competitions, you can never create anything truly innovative.

-Great companies do the following: solve a problem in a innovated way; improve and spread that technology fast; grow upon a good product.

-Be a learning animal so you can stay forever young;)

-Set aside your prejudice and judgement when you walk into the door.

-If I open your browser, what would I understand about you that doesn’t show on your resume?

-Who you work with is more important than who you work for.

-We make position for the smart creatives to keep them. Do the right for the people, make the organization to adjust.

-If you love them, let them go after trying your best to keep them: listen to them; help them to recharge and make your commitment, ask them the elevator pitch and ask them to stay if the pitch is not good enough for us to invest; if the emotional attachment is still there, react quickly to adjust; if she really wants to go, let her go.

-Firing sucks.

-The best way to avoid firing is to avoid picking the wrong ones.

-Those who enjoys firing are afraid.

-The sexiest job involves in statistics. Take it! Learn how the right data crunched the right way will help you to improve fast.

-The best way to get ahead in a field is to know more about it. In order to know more, you need to read more. People complain about they don’t that’s the time. But it’s really just they aren’t making it a priority to learn as much as they can about their business.

-Combine passion to contribution.

-Blame Sergey! He felt hopeless about there when others were willingly to try. (and there’s a C*TV joke you don’t wanna miss out here… shhhhh)

-Make fewer decisions.

-Meet everyday for the very very important issues.

-If you want to change people’s behavior, you need to touch their heart instead of wining the argument.

-Spend 80% of your time in 80% of your revenue. You have to spend most of your time in your core business, and you have to love it.

-Internet is a tool, a mean, a method, all those successful companies are using internet to reimagining existing industries.

-In this world, information is hoarded as a mean of control and power. Most managers still think like those Soviet-era bureaucrats: Their job is to parse information and distribute it sparingly, because obviously you can’t trust those young rabble-rousers on the lower floors with the information keys to the company’s kingdom. But the Soviet Union collapsed, and while such a parsimonious approach to spreading information may have been successful when people were hired to work, in the Internet Century you hire people to think.

-Bill Gates in 1999: “Power comes not from knowledge kept but from knowledge shared. A company’s values and reward system should reflect that idea.”

-Always know the details and always know the truth; and create an environment safe enough for others to tell so.

-As the leader you need to hear the bad news. Allow people to share and communicate together by having a weekly company meeting called TGIF where everyone can talk about issues and problems. Everyone can submit questions via Dory, the question gets voted the most will be brought up in the next TGIF.

-Make your communication interesting and insightful. Make an argument or highlight to make things you want to communicate relevant to your team.

-Effective communication cannot be 100% outsourced. It needs to be authentic.

-Say yes to all forms of communications.

-Invest as little as possible when working on a new project that essentially benefit the end user but may hurt the revenue. Analyze the impact. When you bring it out as a product, it should be a finance decision based on sound data, and we will make the right choice.

-Focus on the user and the rest will follow.

-The users are those who uses the product and the customers are those who purchase the ad service. There are rarely conflicts between these two but when there is, we lean to the users.

-I sold Motorola to Lenovo cuz it’s not focused on a good product but having a tons of mediocre products instead.

-Think big. Set goals that are sound different but easy to accomplish. Objectives should make all steps measurable.

-Never worry about competition because it’s the fastest way to become a mediocrity.

-70, 20, 10 rule: 70% of the resource goes to 70% of the core products; 20% of the resource goes to merging projects; and 10% of the resource goes to the crazy ideas.

-Larry wants to digitize literally all books exiting in the world and hoping that when the day universal translation is available, users will be able to learning anything from anywhere. So he starts to take pictures of each page of a book and see how long and how much resource it’ll take to digitize a book and evaluate whether the project is feasible. This is the story of G Books.

-You have to run by ideas not hierarchies. The best idea must win, otherwise good people won’t stay.

-Trust people on making decisions!

-20% Time: hire good people and leave them alone. Allow them 20% of the time to do works doesn’t directly related to their work.

-Soft launch. When the product prove it’s a success, market it, market it hard and proudly, like G Home.

-Fail well. Learn from your failure. Any failure should yield to some technical and marketing insights and help to inform the next effort.

-Ask the hardest question.

-Ask what COULD change in your industry in the next 5 years. What could the company do to disrupt its own business?

-Computers and humans help each other to become better.

-Some young smart creatives may work on the next thing that may render G irrelevant. After all no business wins forever. Someone may find this chilly, but we find this inspiring.

After credit surprise

Smart Contact Lens that can monitor the wearer’s glucose level by measuring glucose in her tears. Spare your blood, spare your pain. 😉

The world is rushing restlessly and ruthlessly in a dark tunnel, but baby my baby, you are ahead of the plastic army, being the first one whispering to me, that there’s light at the end of it.

Homework 2

It happened in a roll in two days, your apologize and her pictures.

That was a a picture being retweeted for too many times, by all of us. I tease that Hollywood just has to have one love story resemblant to One Day every year to grab the attention of their academically inexperienced audience. And that has always been my least favorite movie. It is even not a love story. But the picture she repost, again, reminds me of it, so does your dismayed emoji at the end of a sentence with a negative modal verb.

Time passes in linear sequence. That’s how we perceive it. But it’s such a relative thing when I say every time I see you, I feel my love to the whole world deepened. The progress is not linear. It is jumpy, consists of ups and downs, highlights and dark spots. I do miss everything I left by My ocean, as time pass by, however, I start to go back to the ocean more and more. The violent song of the sea, the fierce crush of each wave on the shore, the damp morning air recharging every pour on my skin. I closed my eyes and felt summer in the winter, on my hair, my eyelids and each of my eye lash. Flower blossoming in February, all restaurants and cafes already put up roses and candles. Aisles in the groceries are decorated by heart shaped cookies, red and pink balloons, cards with sweet words, and stuffed bears hugging chocolate boxes.

Everything is planned, yet none fell into the original plan. How beautiful and trustworthy the reality is. How wrong Neil and so many great writers are when they talk about this world even if they are telling the truth.

One day before my leaving, the two socks just made this world the worst place exactly the same way the Sherlock T-shirt made it the best three years ago. It is hard to believe this world is always the same one, it is just that one tiny dot the tiny neutron like dust in this universe has the ability to change it all.

Lennox could put up a fake look at the end thus is no end, but there is no second Marlowe to turn the possibility into reality. People say it’ll get easier if you experience this for too many times. Well now I could ensure you it does get easier but also more complicated, much more complicated. Emotionally the old cushion still works, maybe a bit mending would do the job, but things doesn’t happen for no reason. It is harder to do the reasoning and persuasion. When people are more experienced, their hearts and mind get tougher to be convinced. Only logic has a chance and when it fails it puts an end to the whole task. Looking at the flesh and blood splashing is easier than dealing with this kind of silent conciliation.

The time is so close and approaching in a way that I could do nothing to stop. I was looking forward to this moment for so long but never expect it coming as such. Where would I go, what would I do, what would we talk about when we don’t mention my past? I even don’t know how to get around the lake, the wind, the street lights, the brick boxes…Suddenly I’m an orphan again, though I don’t feel it that way.


Will you be mad at me if… Your tone is so different from mine when we talk about the exact same thing. I told instead of asking, though I was the one want a negative answer badly. So I said no, so I told you the exact opposite and I thought this is the best answer simply because it once was your answer. But what if I say yes? What if I say I am so mad and so sad and so desperate and I want a definite answer and I want you to elaborate every ripple and storm once touched or swiped your heart?

But I’m not the orphan I thought I’d be there. It is still my home, a home that no one else in this world ever understood. I see the kind of love so persistent that it leads to an eternity where everything collapsing and converging and fading away. I tried to put on a serious face, but all I could say to the lake is I love you. That conversation didn’t last long, like all of our invalid conversations about relationship. True, I’m a reckless one. So you lead this to a point that I feel if I don’t do something as a pay off, I’d owe it too much to clean my debt. Bad credit is the very beginning sign of a break up, don’t you agree?

Your best friends put on a magnet sign on the wall, welcoming me to their sweet hotel home. That’s the moment I got so confused about whether you brought this to me or you are all gifts from the city. You are different. They are different. I’d love to keep working on my homework, but why I feel myself graduated without submitting the most important piece?


What’s her major? This is non-political.


It’s been two years and this story is still one of the best two in my life. I’m grateful that every time I look back, I still see the door your opened for me wide open. Look how far I’ve come this way, in this world. I see you are well, and I’m grateful for that too.

The Touch


I send this to the doctor, he asked me, “Is the heart better?” Well, I think it is, because it has the brain. It will always get better, and it will always have the courage to go for what it wants without being afraid of getting hurt because and as long as it has the brain.