Vietnam e-Commerce 2012 updated

By , February 17, 2012 11:49 am

The treasure named real identity

By , February 11, 2012 7:07 pm
  • Real identities is the next treasure
  • Anything can plug in existing collection of real identities: advertising, market research, insurance, education, real estate, recruitment, pension, legal services, public services… ANYTHING!
  • The current most relevant interface/facade for an identity is a profile on a social network
  • Facebook owns probably the most powerful publicly-acknowledged identity database. Facebook’s real-time data mining has been scarily accurate.
  • Google knows what we search. Facebook knows what we share & whom we connect to.

In Vietnam:


Real identities

Convertible identities

Telecommunication carriers Registered subscribers Unregistered subscribers
Banks Customers, with transaction information N/A
e-Commerce & e-Payment services Customer accounts, with transaction informatio Off-site transactions
FPT ADSL subscribers
Tien Phong Bank customers
Readers of VnExpress & digital products
VNG 123mua & Zing Deal customers Gamers
Zing Me accounts
Zing News readers
VTC TV subscribers
Go accounts
VCCorp e-Commerce (including MuaChung) customers Readers of content products
Soha accounts

How to fully utilize the potential of identity? This is a decade-long strategy.

Microsoft’s Socl screenshots

By , February 6, 2012 12:36 pm
  • It is under FUSE lab
  • It works with Follow not Add Friend
  • The design is quite neat
  • Video parties is unique
  • However, because the product is still in lab, I suddenly feel it can be shut down anytime Microsoft finds it unattractive

Click here and here to download higher resolution.

RIP Zing Deal

By , February 2, 2012 12:24 pm

zing deal close end vng announcement

After, VNG decided to close Zing Deal.

How many more will die?

Disclosure: these are the deals I bought from these sites.





Living Social vs. Groupon: financials 2011

By , February 2, 2012 9:55 am

Source: Amazon K-10

Why retail for feature phones is more profitable than for smart phones

By , January 31, 2012 5:38 pm
  1. Smart phone vendors including Samsung, Sony, HTC, Motorola, LG, Dell, Asus, Acer, ZTE, Huawei compete on price, desperately trying to win market share from Apple. They leave the feature phone to the sole Nokia (plus some Asian brands)
  2. A smart phone is of high(er) value => buyers have the incentive to compare prices before buying.  I am assuming an elastic demand market, and one in which buyers are less restricted to carriers.
  3. Smart phones are attracting attention and coverage of mass and social media => buyers are better informed of prices. For example, I visit at least 5 websites to compare prices and asked numerous times on Facebook before buying my Samsung Galaxy Note.
  4. It’s not that feature phone buyers lack the money for smart phones, but they simply do not want the complexity of smart phones. This group is willing to pay $25-50 more for convenience (next-door shop) and guarantee (retail brand). Note that big retail brands like sells at premium compared to other chains.
  5. In fact, the feature phone buyers don’t even know or care that they are paying a premium. The common behavior is for a buyer to go to a shop and ask "I want a nice simple phone with camera and music player". The salesperson then guess the budget from the appearance of the buyer and start recommending ones that are most inline with with the retail’s inventory.

Photo: Nokia 6230i, my first feature phone

Facebook to file for IPO [updated continously]

By , January 27, 2012 7:18 pm

According to WSJ and Mashable, Facebook is raising $10 billion at valuation $100 billion. This is the largest Technology IPO in history.

With 2.5 billion shares outstanding, they stock may open around $40 per share.


This valuation would yield

P/S ~ 25

P/E ~ 67

Is $40 lucrative. One word: buy them all!

My personal forecast is that on the first trading day, the price will shoot to at least twice the opening price.

Compared to recent Groupon’s IPO, Facebook provides more liquidity: 10% (vs. 5%) ~ $10 billion ~ 250 million shares. Facebook doesn’t need the trick of limiting supply like Groupon did.

Why? Groupon has been facing fierce competition from Living Social, and the business model is clouded with concerns on sustainability. Facebook, on the other hand, dominates social network and even web skeleton. Facebook’s barrier to entry include products, communities, vision and management.

There is no question to short-term speculation on Facebook IPO.

My question is: what is Facebook doing with $10 billion it is raising. Apparently, liquidity for founders and investors is never the focus of Mark.


Note on speculation:

Whether you think Facebook is overpriced is irrelevant because even if it really is it will get even MORE overpriced.

Stating the stock is overpriced is NOT equivalent to a SELL recommendation because the stock might be MORE overpriced tomorrow.

In case no opportunity cost, whether a stock is overpriced is irrelevant as soon as you can find a buyer who is willing to buy higher than the price you paid for.

The failed projects I truly feel saddened about: Mixx, Twine,, Viewzi, gocnhin

By , January 24, 2012 5:40 pm

It was a Digg alternative, only with better design and user experience. It also ahead of Digg in offering channels.

Mixx was subsequently acquired by UberMedia and disappeared.

An alternative to Squidoo with a better design and user experience. Nevertheless, these are not unique selling points as Squidoo comes back and clone the design of Twine.

One of the two shortest URL shorteners (the other one being which had less attractive design). claimed it failed because the site couldn’t control the contents; many used the system and shorten malicious and abusive contents. Nevertheless, won Twitter endorsement.

A visual search engine that doesn’t run on Google. It couldn’t build up the data required for a search engine. Of course it is extremely hard to build the data close to that of Google. Bing costs Microsoft an arm and a leg. Plus, Bing goes vertical on product search. If not many people want visual aid in search, the unique selling point doesn’t pay off.

A Vietnamese content aggregator basing on information filtering and categorization. While online news is still number one Internet activity in Vietnam, maybe readers are not ready for, or even feel the need of, an aggregator that advanced.

The domain now points to, a more successful product founded by the same team.

Vietnam e-Commerce & e-Payment 2012 Outlook. Thương mại điện tử & thanh toán trực tuyến Việt 2012

By , January 22, 2012 6:09 am

Below is the Vietnamese version of my presentation at Open Consultant offline December 2011 on Vietnam e-Commerce Outlook in 2012.

Click here to read my English version. Please note that the English version is more updated.

Herding the meme crowd

By , January 21, 2012 8:14 pm

Blogging, micro-blogging, social news and top social networks (Facebook & Google+) have one prominent feature: followship. Followship is the key to extend our influence and authority on the Internet, namely, the more followers you have, the more widespread your information gets.

The rising power of memes has a different perspective. On the most notorious [I’m trollin’, problemo?] meme-sharing site and its Vietnamese clone, follow is not a celebrated feature. As far as my best guess goes, the weight of followship in the trending algorithm is neglectable. What determines the hotness is content that is good and more importantly, framed to match the community’s culture and expectation.

In this case, followship is only mental. Influence not tied to one specific piece of content is only extended to those who remember the poster’s ID. I would ex;pect this mental capability and attention to be limited in quantity.

So, instead of spending time and efforts to build followship on these sites, one can simply post one sensational story and rally the crowd to her own scheme. Template? Nescafé!

At least that’s the mechanical side. @goldscors makes a compelling statement: you can actually mobilize the attentive group (who appreciate your influence) into extending the influence. I would imagine the case as multi-tiered viral: get the elite to spark discussions favorable to you then fuel group-thinking among the rest. Of course, this is of significantly less power than followship and sharing (retweet in Twitter, reblog in Tumblr, submit in Digg).

Even this picture of mine is a meme attempt. Implying we regress is, for all practical purpose, an act of trolling.

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