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Monthly Archives: March 2019

A man was carrying his backpack and ran into a kind person who offered him a ride on his truck.

In the truck, the man would not let down his backpack. When asked, the man replied. “Sir, you are so kind to give me a lift, how can I burden you by imposing my backpack on you?

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Close to my Chinese roots, my mother put in a lot of effort to find my Chinese name, it means the bell that rings at dawn because I was born pre-dawn. Embeded in my name is my mother’s hope for me. Wisdom, riches, beauty, fame, peace are the typical aspirations. Every Chinese knows this tradition, and in some families, we even choose characters that reveal your position in the family tree.

Yet when it comes to getting an English name, many Chinese/ Taiwanese / Hong Kong Chinese would choose names like Noodle, Rock etc and we puzzle at the quirkiness.

Not so, a young British girl. Beau Jessup. She is making more than $300,000 and funding her way through college by naming Chinese babies. As founder and CEO of Special Name, a website designed to provide Chinese parents with culturally appropriate English names for their babies.

How did she come up with the idea?

Jessup was inspired to start the business in 2015, when she was just 15. She has since named a total of 677,900.

Empathise- A chance encounter

Jessup was traveling with her father in China, when a business contact, a Mrs. Wang, asked for help in naming her three-year-old daughter.

Where are the pain-points?Constraints can be opportunities

“Due to language barriers and internet censorship in China, the ability to research English names can be limited, often resulting in unfortunate and sometimes comical selections”, Jessup noted.(Source: http://flip.it/BN0YJM)

Prototype: A minimally viable Idea

Back home, Jessup hired a freelance web developer to build a Chinese language website for the Chinese community. Meanwhile, in her spare time, she filled a database with more than 4,000 boys and girls names, attributing five characteristics that best represented that name, such as honesty and optimistism.

Ideate – create choices

The website uses algorithm to generate the names. It also allows collective decision making by encouraging users to share the three name suggestions with their friends and family via a direct link to Chinese messaging app WeChat on the site — to help them settle on their favorite and avoid any “cultural mistakes.”

Travel, Empathise, Talk to locals

Beau Jessup’s idea came about because she is a bridge to a diverse network. How many English speaking Chinese can do what she did? Many.

Sometimes, a simple idea is waiting to be discovered.

Go out and talk to people. Empathise with their constraints and see if you can help solve their problems in a win-win way.

Network for ideas

University of Chicago sociologist Ron Burt has referred to this sort of networking as bridging a gap between different social networks.

Burt studied 673 managers in a large U.S. electronics firm and found that those managers who had a broader network of contacts were consistently rated as generating more highly valued ideas.

Their access to diverse, often contradictory information and interpretations gives them an edge when it comes to spotting and developing good ideas.

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A friend who is holidaying in Northern Spain sent us photos of Bilbao’s sights and sensory experience. Truffle, wine, Iberian ham.

Google “Bilbao effect” – a phenomenon where cultural investment and iconic architecture provided an economic uplift for industrial cities in decline.

Is one building sufficient? Unlikely. Not just the Guggenheim museum alone. But it is a significant anchor point.

Are you thinking of reinventing yourself?

What is an iconic project to anchor your new narrative?
A new skill?
A new habit?
A new hope?

How is 2019 going to be different from 2018? Not just a new dress or a new car.

Dont pin on something physical. But on the intangible.

A new energy, a belief, a beginning.

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This morning, I visited Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome. I bought a one year pass which will expire in June 2019 and have yet to use it.

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Here I am, having a mini holiday in Japan, right here in Singapore. Sakuras are fresh and in full bloom. I came at 9am, no queue and was out by 930am.

The drive was just 10 mins from my home and enroute to work. When I texted my envious friends, they could not believe it.

Weakness can be a strength

Yes, Singapore is that small. Its tiny size is a weakness as well as a strength. All attractions are accessible. Just a mindset change away.

What resources are you underutilising?

🍍Just like my one year membership at Gardens by the Bay which I bought at $45 during a promotion.

🍍My “close distance” to the displays which are refreshed every month.

🍍Treating my Asian tiger mom as my best feedback coach. Undeniably she often has my interest at heart. (Her coaching fees are free.)

I’m reading “The Bullet Journal Method” by Ryder Carroll, creator of the bullet journal notebook.

He kept a journal! A Sketchbook! A to-do list all in one. Why? It was his method to be focussed because of his ADHD.

On Pinterest, I’m inspired by many BuJo (bullet journal) devotees. It combined my desire to sketch as well as my need to be organised.

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Read more about famous people who journal on his blog:
https://bulletjournal.com/blogs/bulletjournalist

What’s your weakness?
Don’t hide it. What’s your method to deal with it?

Perhaps its your answer to the next discovery.