Monday, May 30, 2005

The world spins some more and you're still in the same place

So I'm convocating. Yay. It's been five years. A while back, I had put this description of myself in my Friendster profile:
If you understand why Himura Kenshin acts the way he does when he's not in battle and when he is in battle, you will understand my psyche. Analyze Kenshin.
Is that still true? I have no idea anymore. I get the distinct impression that PakG1 in battle-mode and PakG1 in life-mode aren't too different anymore. Or maybe not. I'll let others decide. Like amcal when he's drunk. ;) /inside joke

OK, so let's get down to it. Robert Gregory Ji-Won Park was born to Christopher and Betty Park in Richmond General Hospital on October 11, 1982. He had extensive curiosity with Ivory soap bars, and remembers using them for building blocks when he was a toddler. Perhaps Lego was too dangerous at that age, due to the potential for choking. By age five, Robert had his career path lined out: by adulthood, he would have undergone the training necessary to first become a cowboy and then change careers to be a ninja after a few years of gunslinging in the Californian desert. Then he would learn the ancient arts of ninjitsu, stealthy swordplay, and running up walls. He would also model his fight style after Leonardo (the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle), until Naruto changed his goals at the ripe age of 22 (but we shall discuss that later).

Robert entered James Whiteside Elementary school, but everyone (including his parents) called him Bobby for as long as he could remember. So we shall refer to him as Bobby. Bobby's most complicated task in elementary school was in grade 3, when he and his friends tried to save the school's playground from a monsoon's rain by digging water tunnels throughout the sand. This was to divert the water to specially dug wells that could be used to store all the downpouring rain and stop the rest of the sand from getting absolutely mushy. This was a stupid effort as a couple of years later, the playground was demolished to build a bigger and better playground anyway. Bobby shall always remember his beloved teachers, especially Mr. Russell. Mr. Russel chose Bobby to be one of the fab five fifth graders that would not move on to the next teacher, but instead remain in Mr. Russell's class for special instruction for one more year. Bobby will remember with embarrassment how he couldn't finish the 100 multiplication table questions in under 2 minutes, while his counterpart, Michael Ng, did it in 2 minutes and 5 seconds. Bobby does relish with pride his performance at the Southarm Community Centre's floor hockey championships, where he became a key goal scorer with a quick release wrist shot. Bobby is no longer able to release such a nice shot. But Bobby was the only student to 100% on a grammar test in his grade 6/7 class; the entire class didn't like him that day.

The summer of 1994, after the Vancouver Canucks reached the Stanley Cup Finals and lost to the New York Rangers in Game 7, Bobby moved to Burnaby. This was after living in four different houses in Richmond (but never switching from James Whiteside Elementary). But since a commute to James Whiteside Elementary was very difficult from Burnaby, Bobby ended up enrolling at Montecito Elementary. There, Bobby joined the volleyball team and basketball team. Those were fun. Bobby also met Gabriel Lo there, who is now working in Europe for Microsoft. Bobby is sort of jealous. :) Bobby still has his certificate from graduating as the top seventh grader in all of Montecito Elementary. Then Bobby started to hit mediocrity.

In Burnaby North Secondary School, Bobby experienced many cool things. For example, he worked security for Night of Nations, an annual dinner and show put on by the students. Using the walkie talkies was very cool, and an experience that Bobby never had again until his volunteer experience backstage this year at the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society's annual gala event. Bobby also got to meet many cool people, including his current posse of AIE hopefuls and ABA castaways. He had lots of fun as one of the members of the Technology Leadership team and helping to organize the Miss Infinity Conference for female students interested in science. Winning the top award for the Social Studies Fair with Joel Atwater in grade 9 was also a plus. Bobby learned more about the Avro Arrow for the project than he needed to learn. Some of his other highlights included delivering a speech to a teacher conference on issues in the education system, being editor for the school newspaper, accidentally knocking Atwater into the ocean in the sailing club, being in Ms. Thompson's stats AP class, Ms. Graham's compsci AP class, and Ms. Frederickson's English AP class, the debating club, and incurring the wrath of a certain pretty girl by writing her a poem. And then there was the LAN party that became an ultimate failure. Time would fail me to tell of the band camp, the projects that always seemed to involve a camcorder, the math contests, the martial arts club, a sudden inspiration to join choir, Life Unlimited (our high school Christian club), sleeping in Jane Oh's backyard, losing a rented snowboard on the slopes of Blackcomb, sleeping on the floor of a restaurant in Beijing, China, walking rice fields in Suwon, South Korea, and seeing huge mountains around Karuizawa, Japan.

After Burnaby North Secondary, Bobby entered Simon Fraser University, where he promptly joined Campus Crusade for Christ, Korean Campus Mission, what was to become Asia Business Association, Altered Reality, and many other clubs. Originally intending to go for computing science, Bobby ended up finding his niche in Business Administration, with concentrations in Management Information Systems, Management Science, and Management and Organization Studies. Bobby had some very excellent profs and still speaks with some of them. Some other profs, Bobby never ever saw again. Bobby highly recommends Simon Fraser University. Being in Campus Crusade for Christ, Asia Business Association, Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship, Korean Campus Mission, and Business Administration Student Society provided Bobby with some of the best times of his life. He also made some great friends, including another girl to which he wrote a poem. This time, he did not incur the girl's wrath, but the girl ended up rejecting him anyway. But at least Bobby still speaks with this girl. During his days at SFU, Bobby became very interested in tennis, entrepreneurship, and even thought of going for law school. That is a plan that never fully materialized. However, Bobby did end up doing some pretty cool things, such as competing at the Manitoba International Marketing Competition, several Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship National Expositions, and SFU's own MIS-based case competition, CaseIT. Bobby also went on a national urban ministry and leadership development project with Campus Crusade for Christ in Toronto during the summer of 2001. That is still one of the best memories of Bobby's life. Christmas Conferences were also very cool.
Having graduated from Simon Fraser University, Bobby is will be convocating this week. That's right, folks. If you want to attend his convocation ceremony, please be at SFU's Convocation Mall at 9:45 AM. He will wish to take pictures with you.
On May 13, 2005, Bobby started working at a Canadian telco. He is now a business analyst and web application developer, though currently, he is working on a PC client application. That is all he will note about his new job because people have gotten fired for blogging small and irrelevant posts about their jobs (see Joyce Park and Friendster). But Bobby is enjoying his new job immensely, though it has taken a while to get familiar with the development platform. His co-workers are very cool and surprisingly young.
Bobby is also going on a trip to China in July with MSI, a non-profit professional services firm that seeks to help develop communities, health care, and the economy in various areas of China. Bobby is having a fundraising event for his trip on June 11, 2005 at Barnett Beach. You are invited to come and admission will be by donation, with donations being tax-deductable. This event will double as a graduation party for all those who graduated. It will be from 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM and will have Korean BBQ ribs, some hamburgers and hot dogs, soccer, Ultimate, and volleyball. If you cannot attend the BBQ, but would like to assist Bobby in preparing for this project in any way or would like updates on the project, please tell him.
So let's sing out that song from our high school grad days one more time, folks! :) And I hear Daniel scream, "I hate that song!!!" :D

Graduation (Friends Forever)
Vitamin C

And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives
Where we're gonna be when we turn 25
I keep thinking times will never change
Keep on thinking things will always be the same
But when we leave this year we won't be coming back
No more hanging out cause we're on a different track
And if you got something that you need to say
You better say it right now cause you don't have another day
Cause we're moving on and we can't slow down
These memories are playing like a film without sound
And I keep thinking of that night in June
I didn't know much of love
But it came too soon
And there was me and you
And then we got real blue
Stay at home talking on the telephone
We'd get so excited, we'd get so scared
Laughing at ourselves thinking life's not fair
And this is how it feels

[Chorus]
As we go on
We remember
All the times we
Had together
And as our lives change
Come Whatever
We will still be
Friends Forever

So if we get the big jobs
And we make the big money
When we look back now
Will our jokes still be funny?
Will we still remember everything we learned in school?
Still be trying to break every single rule
Will little brainy Bobby be the stockbroker man?
Will Heather find a job that won't interfere with her tan?
I keep, I keep thinking that it's not goodbye
Keep on thinking it's a time to fly
And this is how it feels

[Chorus]

La, la, la, la
Yeah, yeah, yeah
La, la, la, la
We will still be friends forever

Will we think about tomorrow like we think about now?
Can we survive it out there?
Can we make it somehow?
I guess I thought that this would never end
And suddenly it's like we're women and men
Will the past be a shadow that will follow us 'round?
Will these memories fade when I leave this town
I keep, I keep thinking that it's not goodbye
Keep on thinking it's a time to fly

[Chorus 3x]
So long, and thanks for all the fish.

He's baaack!

So yes, the answer is: I am still blogging. Wow, my one and only regular reader: 9race. Please visit her site. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside to give back to comments.

First off, Mary Rust has a website that you can visit. She is a regular member of the HCW forums and very cool. But she has this issue to which she is trying to draw attention. Quite a complicated story, but you can learn about some of it at her website.

Next, noni was asking me about www.studiotraffic.com, whether it was a scam. Well, some of these things are scams, others aren't. AllAdvantage definitely was not a scam (remember them?). But that company died because of major flaws in its business model. The revenue model could not scale to support the cost structure. Now whether StudioTraffic is just another scam, or an actual legit business that doesn't have a sound business model, I don't know. I did find an interesting forum thread about the site. The number of poorly formed arguments and ad hominem attacks in the thread is appalling. Some people shouldn't be allowed to post things on the Internet. ;) But the craziest thing I find about these ad schemes is that a company would have to be really stupid to advertise through them. The only thing the user base has in common is the desire to make easy money, you're not targeting your advertising at all, and you could well be even targeting your marketing at the wrong market segments. Your ROI on your marketing costs would most likely be negative. Well, their loss. And having attended a few pyramid type marketing things for the sake of a few friends, I think I can safely say that most of them have a cash flow problem. The cash flow analysis is a bit complicated, but they essentially all suffer from the same problem that killed AllAdvantage. Depending on the product, the pyramid scheme can either make the founder of the pyramid very rich or bankrupt. But those who are lower down on the pyramid definitely suffer from the cash flow issue no matter what happens, especially as the pyramid grows and saturates the market. If you ever consider joining one of these pyramid schemes, please do the proper financial and business analysis before joining. And if you're not capable of doing the analysis, get a friend who is capable to do it for you. Thanks. And whatever happened to putting in an honest day's work for an honest day's pay? The next time I hear the word residual income, I will scream. People who have to join pyramid schemes in order to make residual income do not deserve to be called entrepreneurs.

OK, third item. I'm convocating. Maybe I should have put this first? Bleh, I'll write a new post dedicated to this topic.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I Love Talking with Engineers

It's not often I can discuss the widespread implications of convergence, IPTV, the Long Tail, media storage changes, and compression codecs, and feel like I exercised my brain and learned something. You can only have this kind of idea exchange with the technical types. You need all kinds. Is it too arrogant to quote myself? ;)
Don't get me wrong, you need business people who are able to identify opportunities, markets, and make things work in the industry. Hey, that's why I exist. But they'll be able to do jack without the engineer/scientist at their side.
Definitely yeah. I was reminded of that tonight.

I still have work galore. Our next deadline for the TELUS New Ventures BC Competition is coming up soon, and I have a few interviews here and there this week. Plus, I'm helping to set up an alumni network for anyone who was involved in Campus Crusade across Canada. Lemme know. Andrew, this means you especially, since you're kinda not in Canada.

Perhaps I can blog next week? :)