Posts tagged: vietnamese

What the case of Flappy Bird means to me, personally

By , February 12, 2014 10:56 am


The case is a validation of the notion that success is stochastic, or in other word more random than we want to believe.

Procint for success, believed by many, is not as random. It takes decades of resilience, self-improvement and blind hope.


The opposite, unfortunately, is not true. Years of hard work and wishful thinking don’t necessarily guarantee success.


In my humbly short career of investment management, I’ve lost count of the times being humiliated by entrepreneurs. But this fanatical case of bootstrap is doubtlessly a prodigious insult.


The worlds beyond Blizzard, Square-Enix, Valve and EA is a vast uncharted and barbaric universe.


Nobody can really be certain about j-u-s-t a KPI. Right, the analyst is left alone in the jungle again, helpless.

Vietnamese user behavior on forums

By , November 4, 2012 10:51 am

This is a repost from a discussion with my friends on Facebook.

  1. Forums still account for 65% online activities in Vietnam. Sources: two internet market research teams and their figures seem to match.
  2. Forum allows or even promotes anonymity which many East Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese) users prefer.
  3. Forum is content-focused so posters on forums feel they can blend in the crowd, a behavior collectivistic Vietnamese prefer.
  4. Some vertical forums are very deep: on mon & baby care, Otofun on vehicles, vOz on IT and gossip… Deep: quality of content, online ad inventory, and engagement of respective communities.

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.

Why Twitter never took off in Vietnam

By , December 23, 2011 11:38 am
  1. Vietnamese users like colorful, emotional, right-brain products. Twitter is analytical, left-brain. Right-brain: Tumblr, daily life, emotional messages, visual.
  2. Vietnamese users are unfamiliar with Follow, and have no incentive to learn the concept.
  3. Twitter is individualistic while Vietnamese in general are collectivistic.
  4. Vietnamese users haven’t had the need to follow influencers. In fact, many social influencers are not tech-savvy. Early Twitter adopters are geeks and online marketers who are not appealing to mass users.
  5. Vietnamese sentences are longer than those of English, on average.
  6. Early adopters started to use Twitter in 2007-2008 when smartphones were costly to mass users. When smartphones are much cheaper now, Vietnam Twitter is deserted. Also, it took too long for to roll out SMS service.
  7. Twitter offers no gamification.

Would Weibo clones do any better than the wave of dead Twitter clones in 2008? We’ll see.

Google Strategic Opportunities in Vietnam, and their observable strategic moves

By , May 25, 2009 7:45 pm

Quick note: Micro-status-updating in Vietnam

By , March 24, 2009 11:25 am

Twitter-like services have 2 usages: status update and micro-blogging.

1. As I clearly stated in my previous slide, it’s safe to drop the term “micro-blog” for discussions in Vietnamese context. That leaves status updates which is a highly desirable feature among Vietnamese users.

2. I gave a wow to LinkHay’s blast collection feature. My impression that it was a Twitter clones killer.

3. A closer glance into Ola Me reveals that it is more than a Twitter clone

  • ASAO, the company behind Ola, has the capability to build alliance(s) that offer SMS incentive to users
  • Which means values to users are tangible and can be quantified
  • And the differentiation is in terms of quality of Service, more than that of Product

4. Two channels to keep track of Twitter usage growth in Vietnam: the Facebook group ‘Twitter Community in Vietnam’ and the Twitter account @twitvietnam.

In terms of (relatively) measurable quality, check out the Grader’s list.

The Vietnamese online industry, the 20-trillion prediction and its Environment

By , March 14, 2009 11:02 pm

Mr. Le Hong Minh’s prediction that the Vietnamese online industry has the potential to enjoy 20 trillion dong revenues has stirred up the discussion among somewhat weary players in the past weeks. The dominant reaction, from my observation, is disbelief in such a huge number.

This short note of mine contributes to the research side of the topic, by not directly concluding the feasibility of the prediction, but by raising awareness of the environment in which the statement was made.

The 3 elements of the prediction

Mr. Minh took the reported number of Internet users by VNNIC of 20 million as the base. Then he predicted that the number would grow by 15% per annum, which constitutes the rate.

A little calculation gives us 40 million: 20m * (1 + 15%) 5 ~ 40m

From there, he gave a rough estimation that if one person would spend VND 500,000 per year, the market would easily be 20 trillion.

From this result, I have these questions:

1. Is the base a precise estimate?

While being the officially published figure, the number twenty million is questioned by some that it might not correctly reflect the true amount.

Duplications might be counted. For example, a person goes online from his company’s workstation, then goes online on his laptop at an Internet cafe during an appointment, then goes online from his PC at home. If for some reasons the internet connection breaks down while he has important documents to send, he may go to an Internet service. At least 4 occurrences might have been recorded. The recorded number increases if he goes to multiple Internet cafes.

2. From where do we have 15% per annum?

The users that contribute to the growth can be roughly grouped into:

  1. Younger people growing up to be able to use the Internet
  2. Adults from big cities learning to use the Internet
  3. Users from farther provinces across Vietnam

Among these, each user from (2) has the greatest buying power compared to each user from other groups.

3. What will be the percentage of the monetizable?

To avoid complexity, we temporarily accept the 20 million figure.

Ratio of market penetration = number of monetizable users / total number of Internet users

Not all users can be monetized on. Not all new users in the following years can be monetized on.

If the total number of users can grow by 15% each year, how will the number of monetizable users grow?

The Environment

Of course, the companies operating in the industry are not separable from the environment they are in. Their possibilities of success also depend on:

The legal infrastructure

How complete will the laws for e-commerce be by 2014?

The technical infrastructure

How ready is the technical infrastructure of companies for e-commerce transactions and online games?

Internet bandwidth? Websites’ load and stress capabilities? Security?

Roles of participants

It is also important to pay attention to the role of participants in this topic.

Mr. Minh’s role is not that of an analyst, or a journalist, or a blogger. He was the Chairman of VinaGame, an entity that would benefit from any possitive information released and any buzz viralled.

Mr. Minh’s statement may have generated the following effects:

  • Created a buzz in the industry at the beginning of a hard year. More than that, it was a buzz that virals.
  • Motivated some of his staff, IT professionals, IT students and online enthusiasts.


This encapsulates some questions I raise in reaction to this prediction. I’m pretty confident I will be able to collect more data to answer some of them by near future. Meanwhile, some questions, nevertheless, needn’t answers.

How have you received this information? What role did you take?

What questions are you having? What arguments do you want to put forward?

Twitter – from Cloning to Localizing for Vietnam Market: A Visual Step-by-step Guide

By , February 14, 2009 1:35 am

The Wisdom Yahoo! has been equipping Vietnamese users with

By , February 1, 2009 4:31 pm


“Yahoo!” almost equals “Internet” in Vietnam.

Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! 360 and Flickr are the four products that lead the market. While Yahoo!’s email market share has slowly been sucked up by Google, all four of them are still dominating. We also talk about Yahoo! 360 Plus and Yahoo! Profile here and there but these 2 shall be covered later.

What’s good about it? The good thing is that the majority of Vietnamese Internet users share the same type of knowledge offered by Yahoo! products.

…which I call Foundation Wisdom.

These might be very obvious and basic. However, I want to list them in a clear manner to reuse them as premise for further brainstorms and discussions.

Foundation Wisdom

1. Free

Just don’t underestimate this point. My director in his fifties was amazed by the fact that there are so many good software for free (he was mentioning Facebook) and my father hadn’t believed in a free thing before I explained how new advertising worked to him.

Now that the younger users (GenY) are used to having things for free.

2. Tolerance to ads

Wow a good thing. They don’t mind seeing ads on their Yahoo! 360 pages or Yahoo! Messenger, so won’t moan about advertisements flying on new sites.

3. Simplicity in achieving a goal

Product makers shouldn’t confuse simplicity in achieving a goal with simplicity in design. We are familiar with praising Google and Apple’s simplicity in design, but what I’m discussing is how simple it is for users to achieve a goal when using your service, especially for the first time.

What is the goal with Yahoo! 360? Write blog entries, read updates, comment, write quick comments. And that’s all. 360 makes it simple for them by offering simple features.

4. Customization

Users love design customization offered in Yahoo! 360 and wishes to see that in any other site.

5. Concepts

Guest book

Users are used to using guest book (or quick comment in 360) as the communication channel.

Confusion: blog and social network

I bet many users are confused between a blogging platform and a social network if they ever care.

Confusion: add friend, follow and subscribe

Many users wouldn’t bother distinguishing “add friend”, “follow” or “subscribe”. 360 offers “add friend” and “subscribe”. 360plus offers “follow” and “subscribe”.


Users are accustomed to writing testimonials for one another. While the initial intention of testimonial is to recommend good attributes of the recommended, many have used this feature to simply express their fondness toward one another.

But nevertheless, they’re familiar with this concept anyway.


Status has always been offered by Yahoo! Messenger. But it takes off with Yahoo! 360 blast. Users don’t only update their status on the blast but utilize it for many short contents: quotes, life philosophy, messages…

It’s a good thing that creativity is encouraged.


Yahoo! 360 allows media embed and it is a great thing that this rather advanced feature has become known by users.

6. Language

Users are used to a set of languages in Yahoo! products.

i.e. “Quick comment”, not “Wall” or “Scrapbook”. “Testimonial”, not “Recommendation”.

7. Contents

Personal and emotional

Many Vietnamese users use 360 for personal purpose and chiefly write about their emotions and relationships.

Page view

Many write for page views and use page views as the only metric to measure success of contents.

Celebrity gossips

Some of the hottest blogs in Vietnamese attribute to hot news that center celebrity gossips, sex-related topics.

Briefly, how to take advantage of this

1. User education doesn’t have to start from scratch

Make use of their current knowledge. Build your education on that.

You can even set an ego gift for your customers. Make them feel like after using your service, their level of technological insights has been improved. This, firstly, makes them feel good about themselves. Next, imagine your users proudly educate others about a new service and become a guru in their friends’ eyes. This further boosts their satisfaction.

2. Make it simple for users to achieve their goal

Good, no need to throw advanced features to users in the first launch. What needs done is the core feature(s) that bring(s) most values to users.

Rule of thumb: users’ patience toward complexity proportionates to the value of the goal to them.

3. Colorful design and profile layout customization

Colorful design is a must. And being colorful is not mutual exclusive to simplicity.

While customization is not relevant to some types of services such as social news, it’s recommended to provide the ability to customize one’s profile.

4. Language

Exploit the set of language from legacy Yahoo! products.

5. Concepts

Exploit the set of concepts from legacy Yahoo! products. If you have to introduce new concepts, find way to introduce it with the language users are familiar with.

6. Make it personal and emotional

7. Don’t (have to) host contents, but be a platform to spread contents

Good is embed exists. Better is users are familiar with it.

What it means here is that you don’t have to host original contents, but need to build platforms that media can be embedded in and focus on how to allow such contents to be spread on by your service.

Three sexy types of Social Networking Sites: Ego-Centric, Relationship-Centric and Content-Centric

By , December 11, 2008 1:37 am

3 major types of Social Networking Sites

Bibliography: TanNg, Vài gợi ý cho người dùng mạng xã hôi ở Việt nam

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