Monthly Review of April, 2017

What you do everyday more than what you do once in a while.

Welcome to the NO. 17 Edition of

THE REVIEW ARMY

April — High Intensity, Good Outcomes

April is a bit intense for me, comparing with the past 3 months of 2017. On work, I take more responsibility and finally feel on track as a product manager. I also start to create tasks for myself as well as organize a meeting or a small team.

On relationship, I make a lot of new friends through couch surfing. I’m also been invited to some events and introduced to some other people. I went to Guangzhou, and also Beijing at the end of the month, have some really nice conversations with old friends, as well as some delicious food.

I keep writing my 1,000-day product journey on Medium and LinkedIn, which is getting more and more attention. Every day I have some recommendations and new followers.

But as I said at the very beginning, I do this for being one of the best product manager in this world as fast as possible, even no one is reading my bullshit, I have to prove it to myself.


What I’m Reading

I haven’t finish any books in April. But I started reading the original English version of Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

I bought this book about a year ago, and I never have courage to start this thick and brain burning book. I’ve just finished the first 100 pages, and it is awesome.

Daniel has a unique way of simplifying complicating theory into familiar examples. Given the easy name to super long term in psychology to help readers understand what he’s trying to explain.


What I’m Doing

1. Work at a startup

After a 3-day national holiday at the beginning of this month, following my first presentation of work report in the past 3 months. I officially become an employee of this startup.

I didn’t prepare that much for the presentation, but it ended up to be really good. At least I can feel it. There’re not challenging questions, only one asked me

How much effort does the work take your personal capacity in the past 3 months?

I said 50%. Then I take more and more responsibility in every project. I used to have only one page, like 10 tasks on JIRA page. Last month, there’re 3 pages, and not including the tasks I created for myself.

It’s actually hard to say how much the work take your personal capacity. It might takes me 60%, 80%, but I don’t want to live a normal life, I want to have an utmost life. So there’s no limits, most people don’t know where their ceiling is, and they just follow other paths and believe this is it.

I believe I can always break the record if you push yourself hard enough, just like an olympic athlete, looking for better, faster, higher results.

2. Couchsurfing

sorry for the commercial, but I do get so much from this platform…

I host 4 people and surf once in total in April. Starting this month with a national holiday, I host a couch surfer from Korea, but working at a tech media in Shanghai. Her courage of pursuing the life she wants really powers me up, and inspire me to move to different countries working, living as well as learning cultures and languages.

Then I also went visiting Shenzhen with a girl from Guangzhou, her smile and positive attitude really makes that holiday the happiest one since I moved to Shenzhen.

Then I host the big guy from Guangzhou, Mahid 雷锋, also known as Forbes 30 UNDER 30 Asia. He’s originally from UK and then moved to Guangzhou about a year ago. He gave his good paid job at E&Y, in his words,

I would regret not pursuing something I want when I get old.

He bought me a ticket for a local startup grind event in Shenzhen, and we had a great time mingling and discussing about relationships and what’s a better way to manage them. He also gave me a GMIC (Global Mobile Internet Conference) Silver ticket, which worth 500 USD. That’s why I decided to visit Beijing at the end of this month.

Wangjing SOHO

And when I was in Beijing, I stayed with a Malaysian girl who works in Beijing a a pre school teacher. She kindly take fully advantage of her current apartment, and host surfers as many as she could. You can stay as long as you want, just like a hostel, but it’s for free.

I’m curious, because when we were having conversation, she also mentioned that she need to save money for the next trip, for her master degree and keep exploring the world. I don’t know why she doesn’t put the extra bedroom on Airbnb.

And this is her reply:

In respond to your question, my intention of hosting people, in your word, for free, was with the thought ‘what comes around, goes around’.
Putting self in travellers’ shoes, what do I concerns the most when I travel to a country where I don’t speak their language, Google has been blocked, and hard to find a place to stay because most hostels are not legalized to accept foreigners aka passport holder. I could use a place something like my current place. All I’ve doing now is within my abilities. I enjoyed companions and stories, its a win win!
The most precious thing in life isn’t thing. Money indeed is important (when it comes to purchasing flight ticket or emergency) but that isn’t everything.

I appreciate her attitude towards life. Given the same situation, I might just airbnb the room and host couchsurfers only when room is avaliable.

2. Startup events and conference

After I moved to Shenzhen, I haven’t put efforts in finding local tech/startup events. Because I think I need to take time practicing my craft first, before I’m prepared and know what connections I really need, and go to events with a more specific purpose.

This is how to avoid shallow talk that does not provide you any value at all.

As for the GMIC event in Beijing, I go there without purpose consciously. I consider this trip and event as a way to relax and get out of my super occupied work in April.

So far I think it works well for me. Now I’m actually on the flight back to Shenzhen, and I’m amped to get back and start working tomorrow. (I cannot stay at the same place for too long, especially under high pressure and intensity)

4. Learning Cantonese through music

In the past 20 days, I’ve been constantly listening to Cantonese music and practice at home. It is really similar to Mandarin, but using different parts of your throat and technique of your tongue to pronounce.

I learn a new song every week and record it with some KTV app.

5. Vlog | Do you really want to do it?

When I was traveling to Guangzhou, I recorded every parts of it starting from 6AM in the morning. But when I put the video footages together, I found it’s hard to put them into a complete and meaningful story.

There’s not enough conversations and interactions with the audience, it’s just me shooting some random places. They may be beautiful, but cannot be a good story.

Me: Do I really want to make videos?
Me: Yes.
Me: Do I really want to make vlogs?
Me: Probably not.

I can start with short videos, creating compact good story and beautiful cinematic scenes.


What I’m Thinking

it’s tinder, hah…

Yesterday, I downloaded Tinder on my cellphone and sign up for a new user for the fist time. Not to hook up but really want to know why are so many people on this platform, even most people consider here as a place to find casual sex, plus, you need a VPN to login in in China. (It’s not easy, which means the Chinese users on this app may also be different.)

Fun part is, I randomly came across 2 friends within 50 swipes. Even I’m not from Beijing, just traveling here.😂

Then I had a lunch with one of them, and ask her some deep questions about her feeling and how she’s using the app. We ended up having a really weird idea: to meet 10 people from Tinder, TanTan探探(Chinese Tinder), Rugu如故 these 3 apps based on first looking impression social apps, and see what are people ’s real need on this platform, and how these apps satisfy their needs in different ways.

So you might find me on these platform since today, but don’t be surprise, swipe right.🙂


Yes, I finish this monthly review on an airplane before the arrival. See you next month!


“What you do everyday more than what you do once in a while.”

Warm Regards,
Zake