Nook strong, Barnes & Noble weak

By , August 9, 2011 6:38 pm

Nook might be a good product, but the business behind is questionable:

  1. Obsolete mortar and brick model
  2. Despite strong Nook sale, Barnes & Noble is getting closer to bankruptcy and no-one is willing to buy them
  3. Nook differentiates itself from Amazon Kindle by providing tablet-like services, which consumes big and unfocused investment

I’m not sure BKS will survive for long to support it.

We don’t go to news, news finds us

By , August 9, 2011 6:36 pm

It doesn’t look good on social-news, social-bookmarking sites:

  1. RIP Digg
  2. Yahoo! puts Delicious on sale for rumored $5m and the deal was reportedly bargain down to $1m
  3. Reddit is still strong but there are signs of attrition
  4. My stake: StumbleUpon may go on because it is slightly different from the rest


  • Shift to consume news on social media
  • Shift from topic-led to influencer-led: we are less interested in following interesting topics and more in following interesting people
  • Paradigm shift: we will no longer go to news, relevant news finds us. How does machines know what is relevant to us? By two things: data mining and people know who what interest us

Let’s just face it, Digg is so 2007 and even if it might still be a cash cow, future doesn’t look good.

Investor sentiment and communities

By , August 9, 2011 6:35 pm

Investor sentiment can be measured by data mining information from stock communities.

A sentiment index can even be calculated.

Correlation between expressed personal view with the index can be attributed to reputation. The gravest pitfall of this approach, however, is myopia of the crowd. It takes time for contrarians’ view to be realized.

To cheat the MBTI psychometrics test

By , August 9, 2011 6:34 pm

MBTI is the most popular psychometrics test by recruiters.

One of the reasons why it is widely adopted is it is easy to understand, train (by consultants), communicate, and test.


  • Put people into 16 boxes, ignoring the complexity and obscurity of human
  • Over-dependence on preset criteria
  • Bypassing possible innovation ignited by a different individual

Another issue is MBTI is also one of the easiest to cheat. What I mean by "cheating" is when the test-taker consciously alter his/her answers to match what he/she guesses would be sought after for the job. Cheating also works with other systems like Big Five, 16PF.

I am not aware of a better solution; this is to alert of possible pit falls.

Self-fulfilling prophecy?

By , August 9, 2011 6:33 pm

I bought a pair of pricey shoes.

Because they are pricey I take care of them more carefully.

I feel like they are more durable than my other less costly pairs.

Are the shoes really more durable or are they more durable because I care more for them?

Stock Return Forecast – Theory and Empirical Evidence

By , August 9, 2011 6:32 pm


By , August 9, 2011 6:26 pm

  1. All writers desperately try to sell their ideas and/or stories. Buy the ideas, not their megalomania.
  2. Lots of superheroes fiction disguise as autobiography and self-help
  3. A fair product with darn good marketing may sell better than a good product. Same for books
  4. Sometimes a product sells because of political intends. Same for books
  5. Many clueless media dung beetles, without anything more meaningful to do, try to promote gaming devices (e.g. iPad) as book readers
  6. If you don’t have time and/or money for books, stop watching porns
  7. Don’t believe those who claim you can’t learn from books. They’re either hiding good resources or leading you to doom
  8. A book always sells for a reason, not necessarily a good/relevant cause
  9. A few reclusive writers can’t talk. At all. Read them don’t watch them.
  10. Write on books. Color them. Hi-light them. Books are to use, not to put on display
  11. Many writers are philosophasters
  12. Get-rich-quick almost always sells. As if
  13. Most books are results of the publisher’s editing & marketing teams as much as the original author’s
  14. Authors try to appear deep by quoting randomly at chapters’ beginnings
  15. Introverts spend more time writing, most suck in speaking about what they write
  16. Writers should stink busy writing

Why you should dumb Twitter for Google+

By , August 9, 2011 6:22 pm

Why you should dumb Twitter for Google+

  1. No artificial 140 limit
  2. Rich media
  3. You can edit your posts after posting
  4. More privacy settings
  5. All new Android phones will have Google+ built in
  6. Twitter is hopeless

By the way, my Google+ profile is

Experience of Groupon deals hunting

By , August 9, 2011 6:21 pm
  1. Always check terms and conditions:
    • The branches the voucher applies
    • The items the voucher applies
    • The dates the voucher applies

    • Maximum number of vouchers per bill
    • Takeaway or dine-in
    • Tax inclusive?
    • Receipt issuance?
    • Are there other more interesting promotions running at the stores than this Groupon deal?
    • Travel deals: tickets? tour guides? meals? distance? services?
    • Buffet: time limit?
  2. Ask for menu. Check the normal prices. Plan your usual consumption and buy the right amount of vouchers
  3. Use the comment feature to ask questions
  4. If the comment feature is not provided or unresponsive, call the merchants to ask questions
  5. Search for reviews from other sites
  6. Be aware that products and services are different
  7. Use the voucher as early as you can when the staff are still excited about having customers (via Quyen Ngo)
  8. Don’t believe the photos and the copywriters
  9. Book in advance to make sure they are ready to serve you

Happy deal hunting

inCard – why you wanna use it

By , August 9, 2011 6:21 pm

inCard is the new service offered by (a top Groupon clone in Vietnam).

Here are why you wanna use it:

  1. One card – multiple merchants
  2. Less pressure to use the vouchers. Most vouchers have time limit of 2-3 months. If you’re busy, you may rush to use the 2-month voucher when it expires. The inCard is valid for 1 year and I feel much less pressure in using it. Furthermore, being able to use it in multiple merchants also gives me much less pressure.
  3. One card => less weight, less space in your wallet
  4. Spontaneous. Sometime you hang out without planning ahead. Having a card in your wallet/purse give you multiple options where to go
  5. Status. The card is well-designed and makes you appear VIP when you hand the card to the waitress

Breakeven chart:

Do you spend less than VND1m ($50) per year for hanging out?

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