Order and Chaos in a Company Culture

The society today upholds diversity as an absolute virtue. Diversity across educational backgrounds, race, ethnic group, gender, age is something we all pursue vigorously. It seems almost trivial to choose diversity over conformity or homogeneity in any discussion.

However, to put things into perspective, nature having evolved through millions, if not billions of years, may provide a slightly different view to this pro-diversity world. The balance and the timing of convergence and divergence play important roles in reaching the global optimum in any search space. The selection pressure from the environment acting as a converging force, offset by mutation from perturbation balancing as a diverging force are what make organisms so durable and adaptable to the ever-changing world we’re living in.

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CO2 Level and Unit Carbonomics

This scared me. I’m open to changes, but I also think a few million years of evolution has gotten human beings to be pretty good at surviving around the nature’s balancing point we have today.

We’ve been hearing about the rise of CO2 level for some time now, but I feel like we’ve actually gotten to a point where we may end up turning our planet into an inhabitable one. Living in the bay area, it’s hard to actually experience what it’s like to live in a harsh environment, but whenever I’m on a business trip to Korea/China, I definitely feel the air quality can and is killing lives already. The pollution is wide spread over a massive area and it’s very, very real.

Above and below photos of Seoul are only a few days apart. (September, 2016)

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New Jobs for VR Industry

I’m a big fan of VR. There’s a lot more things that need to be fixed before it becomes mainstream, but I can definitely see the value that will unlock for humankind in the distant future.

Here are few jobs I’d like to see for VR industry:

  • VR Schools/Teachers/Tutors: teachers that best leverage VR experience for learning
  • VR Trainers: a guided simulation of extreme sports, race cars, flight sims, martial arts for training
  • VR Real-Estate Agents: provides 3D tours of real-estates
  • VR Cafes: a place to hangout with friends supplemented with visual/aural experiences
  • VR Photographers: photographs nature and places in their real-scale through VR
  • VR Photo Studios: scans your face and body in 3D and give you a high-polygon model f yourself
  • VR Brands: creative products that you can harness in the VR that defies the limits of physics
  • VR Architects: 3D/nD space architects that also defies the limits of the real world
  • VR Pets: AI-powered pets that you can bring to any VR space
  • VR Artists: advanced form of media art that use spacial transitions

Can’t wait for the VR era to come. We’d still need to fix the display, audio, and input.

A Focused Culture

One thing I’ve noticed going through Y Combinator was how consistent were the messages repeated by the partners, the staffs, and the alumni network. As a startup founder, you should do two things: “write code and talk to users.” The more recent version is: “build product, talk to customers, and exercise” – which I think is a natural evolution, since YC funds a lot of non-software-only companies these days and the partners are getting a bit older. 😉

The entire message is around “Growth” and the way to get there is by writing code and talking to users. And stop doing anything else. Sounds simple, right?

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That Extra Bit of Focus

‘The path of least resistance leads to crooked rivers and crooked men.‘ — Henry David Thoreau

Like water, our attention flows in a frictionless world. Real-time updates on social media, constant push-notifications on our mobile phones, and so many entertaining contents devours our attention little by little.

Attention, like time, is really a limited resource, varying perhaps among individuals, but finite as a person. One app might fight for your attention from the other. If you place the Kindle icon next to your Facebook icon, I can bet the Facebook icon wins your touch nine out of ten.

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Where the Grass is Always Green

When I was eleven, my family moved to the United States, due to my father’s job working for the Korean government. I still remember my first ride from JFK to some urban parts of the New York city. Still a bit jet lagged, I was struck in awe looking at the graffitis on the streets of NYC. I’ve only seen graffitis from the movies and the sheer unfamiliarity of the view somehow got me scared and excited ambivalently.

Taking a bite of freshly baked extra cheese pizza was a pleasant surprise to my taste and grabbing the oval-shaped ‘football’ for the first time got me all confused.

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West vs East: Low-context vs high-context cultures.

Edward T. Hall presented in his 1976 book Beyond Culture, the terms high-context culture and low-context culture. The key difference between the two is the tendency to use high-context or high-conceptual messages with fewer words, among in-groups who shares similar experiences and backgrounds compared to the low-context societies.

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A simple example would be China/Japan/Korea compared to United States. Things are much more implicit, conceptual, intuitive, and are relationships-focused than the idea, discussions, and explicit expressions in the listed Asian countries.

This affects not only how emails are written, how negotiations take place, but to the extent of how companies and brands evolve into greater scale.

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