Baidu enters Vietnam

By , September 17, 2011 3:43 am

CafeF1 reports Baidu has launched 2 sites in Vietnamese language:

The portal and Q&A service

This is part of the localization of Baidu’s existing services to other international markets. Baidu also recruits PM in Vietnam.

I like the portal.

  • It’s neat
  • It lists the sites that I benefit from knowing
  • Lots of white spaces, few images
  • Large and pleasant font (Tahoma?). BTW I hate Times & Arial
  • In terms of information, I prefer it to and (sorry Guy)
  • In terms of customization it is nowhere near and though
  • The concern is if I use VNI Vietnamese typing method, the URL messes up

So in short, nice attempt.

The Q&A service will have to compete with Yahoo! Answers. Also, is preparing to launch.

The challenge Baidu has in Vietnam is probably public relations.

Traces of Gerontocracy

By , September 16, 2011 9:05 am

While Android is struggling on tablet screen, Microsoft launches the tablet-friendly Windows 8.

EA returns to the spotlight.

How many characters are required for a popular sentence

By , September 16, 2011 4:45 am

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog: English – 43 characters
Con cáo nâu nhanh nhẹn nhảy qua chú chó lười biếng: Vietnamese – 50 characters
敏捷的棕色狐狸跃过懒狗: simplified Chinese – 11 characters

Twitter sucks.

Self-reminding notes – part 1

By , September 15, 2011 4:11 am
  1. Ego is best shown through results
  2. Say I’ll be working for another 35 years. A hypothetically good track along 34 years has nothing to guarantee I’ll succeed in the 35th
  3. 35 years ~ 7 crises. I’m being optimistic
  4. Fail early
  5. Once you verify you have mastered one skill, quickly move on to learning new skills. Over-relying on a narrow set of strengths is self-destruct
  6. Among a few things that stain permanently, bad academic record is one, ethical misconduct is another
  7. When you think you are young enough to know "the new economy", look for evidence of gerontocracy
  8. When you win, there is no guarantee that you will be heard. But when you lose, your good stories at best look like lame excuses
  9. Appropriate duration to feel good about yourself after a feat is 2 miliseconds. Things move fast
  10. There are more polite people on earth than you think; I’m talking about compliments you have received
  11. The quasi-philosophical question "am I living or am I merely existing?" is pointless because existing in the market is already an extreme luck
  12. Only do devil’s advocate in small groups in controlled environments. 100% you are misunderstood then ill-interpreted otherwise.

Groupon: perfectly healthy, good cash flow, and well on the track

By , September 2, 2011 10:16 am


  • Spent $263 million in 2010 and $208 million in Q1 2011 for marketing. Source: Groupon’s S-1 IPO Filing to SEC
  • Spent $203 million in 2010 for acquisitions
  • To generate net loss of $413 million in 2010 and $113 million in 2011 costs marketing selling administration management acquisition international expansion overhead

It can be profitable TODAY if it decides to

  1. Cut down marketing activities and rely on word-of-mouth
  2. Stop international expansion
  3. Net income would immediately be approximately $381 million, EPS $1.63

However, the scenario is purely hypothetical because international business is already larger than its NA revenue. sources of revenue north america international global worldwide

Additionally, cash flow looks good

  • $7 million free cash flow
  • $209 million in cash
  • $82 million in accounts receivable while trade credit is $519 million, or 6 times receivables

In terms of numbers, the current cash flow statement is perfectly healthy.

What’s worth the discussion is innovation in business model to generate supreme profits and create barriers to entry.

A technical note: my sensitivity analysis points out the factor that affects valuation the most is market performance. valuation market performance risk premium

Vietnamese netizens and consumers

By , September 2, 2011 7:48 am
  1. Vietnamese prefer anonymity and love to use pseudonym, like those from Japan and Korea
  2. 65% online communities are still built on (vbb) forums
  3. The physical distance between real connections is short people can meet one another in less than half an hour. Online?
  4. Majority of business is done through old school channels, not online
  5. Content-centric may be more welcome than relationship-centric. A lot of people don’t know what to do when they login social networks except for playing social games.
  6. Heavy herd behavior. All we need is a few influencers
  7. Monetizable segment: young urban female with disposable income from the rising middle-class. This matches with global Groupon customer profile
  8. Vietnamese love discounts. Source: Nielsen => Groupon
  9. Vietnamese love spending for F&B, entertainment, education, children. Source: Mastercard, Euromonitor

euromonitor vietnamese spending

Mobile Platforms Market Share, update August 2011

By , September 1, 2011 3:13 am

mobile platform market share comscore

List of Funds and Funds Management firms in Vietnam, updated March 2011

By , August 31, 2011 1:16 pm

Click here to view the lists.

How to use 3G on Blackberry Torch 9800 OS6 without using BIS/BES

By , August 31, 2011 10:59 am
  1. From home screen, select "Setup"

    blackberry os6 setup options icon

  2. Select "Options"
  3. Select "Advanced System Settings"

    blackberry os6 advanced system settings

  4. Select "TCP IP"

    blackberry os6 tcp ip

  5. Enter APN details

    blackberry apn

    Service Viettel Mobifone Vinaphone
    APN v-internet m-wap m3-world
    Username for APN leave blank mms mms
    Password for APN leave blank mms mms
  6. Go back to "Advanced System Settings"
  7. Select "Service Book"

    blackberry os6 service book

  8. Press Alt+SBEB
  9. The phone should display the message "Legacy SB Restore Enabled"

    blackberry os6 legacy sb restore enabled

  10. Click here or here to download the service book
  11. Open Blackberry Desktop Manager
  12. Select Devices \ Restore…

    blackberry desktop manager restore service book

  13. Browse to the folder where you store the downloaded service book
  14. Click Restore
  15. Activate data package with your carrier. For example, for Mobifone you would:
    1. Send SMS with content "DATA ON" to 999
    2. Send SMS with content "DK <name of data package>" to 999. Names of data packages can be found here

There you go. Enjoy the service.

Reading: Social Gaming

By , August 31, 2011 9:36 am

Social Gaming Research 30.6.11 by Clipperton

Social Game Mechanics

A list of Social Game Providers

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