Chao Lam

Working on the next small things …

Archive for February 2006

And now for a different kind of next small thing…

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Hi friends,

On Monday Jan 23rd at 11:12am, we finally got to meet our baby daughter, Shuya. As proud parents, we can tell you that an ultrasound image does her no justice! Shuya came in at a petite but healthy full-term 4 lbs 11 ozs and 19.5 inches tall. Mother and daughter are doing fine. We returned home from Kaiser hospital last Thurs.

As you can imagine, Elaine has been feeding Shuya round the clock making us the latest harried parents. As a result, Shuya has been gaining weight at a good clip. Thank goodness Chao’s parents are here for another five weeks, cooking up a storm of delicious food, imparting invaluable parenting skills and helping take care of Shuya. Grandpa already says that Shuya is smart enough to order him around.

Thank you for all your kind wishes, helpful advice, generous gifts and loans. You can be sure we’re already putting them to good use. Elaine also thanks you for your prayers of a safe and easy delivery. As Shuya was breeched, Elaine had a pain-free Cesarean birth and wonderful care by the excellent staff at Kaiser.

Best wishes for a happy Chinese New Year!

Elaine, chao and Shuya

PS. Shuya Lam or 蓝曙雅 means first blue light of dawn.

If you’re not bored already, here are more Shuya piccies: for some context for true geeks, meta-Shuya pics:


Written by Chao

February 20, 2006 at 12:18 pm

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Internally, we have tried many different wikis in an effort to collaborate and get us literally on the same page. We have settled on PBWiki. It’s not the most feature-rich (twiki has a tonne of plugins) or popular (mediawiki has to win this just from wikipedia alone) wiki, but it’s extremely easy to use, and seems to have a sensibility that is very amenable to the way we work. They’re offering to double our file space, so here’s a token link-love to them. Thank you, PBWiki.

p.s. I do think their grassroots marketing campaign is brilliant and one we should learn from.

Written by Chao

February 6, 2006 at 12:05 am

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Ideas and Execution

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Tangentially related to VCs and disruption, Umair Haque has a thought-provoking post about ideas being more important than execution today. While I agree with his thesis that VCs are targets for disruption, I disagree with this specific. point. I think ideas and execution are reflexively bound as George Soros would say. Good execution results in the creation of good ideas which inspire even better execution in a virtuous cycle. That’s the thesis of NextSmallThings in any case – we shall see if this can be proven in our little world.

Written by Chao

February 5, 2006 at 11:56 pm

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VCs and the Wisdom of the Crowds

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Dave Winer released one of his famous mind bombs a couple of weeks ago, and the blogosphere has rightfully been abuzz about how VCs can be the next target for Christensen-style disruption. Many have remarked how VCs are needed much because startups require less capital and VC-rolodexes are less crucial in the internet/web/blog era. Others have noted that there have been publicly traded investment vehicles like meVC or even CMGI in the dotcom era.

However, I’m surprised that there hasn’t been much discussion about what I think is the most important insight Dave Winer has made: VCs are ultimately paid to analyze and identify startup’s with the biggest payoff. However, can users in aggregate (alaWisdom of the Crowds) be better predictors of which startups will do better?

I think it’s a very worthwhile avenue to investigate. Without boring (pun intended) into legal and regulatory details, perhaps it’s worth starting up a Digg-style website to rate Web2.0 companies?

Written by Chao

February 5, 2006 at 11:45 pm

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