See the future, be the change

Being entrepreneur is never easy, and the business world never stops changing. We say once you step into the entrepreneurial world, you can only go forward to follow your dream and constantly stay competitive in the changing global environment. It’s the lifelong learning and never-ending journey for entrepreneurs to pursue the goals and success.

Today we’re in digital age, and the digital economy has transformed the world with many growing tech companies. China-based ecommerce giant Alibaba hosted its biggest ever US event in Detroit last week. Including Jack Ma, Charlie Rose, David Abney, Lisa Ling and more featured speakers, about total 60 presenters and panelists from inside and outside of Alibaba talked about the China opportunity in front of a big crowd over 3000 entrepreneurs and SME owners across the North America. All is about how to source from China and sell to China with digital technologies and power.

The Internet, big data and mobile innovation….the fast-changing technology offers so much opportunities for the business to grow rapidly and globally. In the era of digital transformation, digitalization can be a powerful tool to win the world. We have so-called Big 5 of digital economy – Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and we also have so-called Big 7 tech companies that really control big data – Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. Digital is everything, and tech companies are literally leading the world.

Looking at now and the future, some businesses that master digital technologies are getting a big piece of cake in the market. As one of top tech companies in China, Alibaba manages multiple businesses and platforms for different markets, such as the consumer-to-consumer marketplace Taobao, the business-to-consumer T-mall, and the business-to-business Alibaba.com, plus digital media and entertainment, online banking and a cloud computing service, it’s all in one. Having been called as China’s Amazon, Alibaba identifies itself more like an ecosystem to be different from the Amazon model. Alibaba’s CMO Chris Tung said that unlike Amazon as shopping channel to make the profit margin, Alibaba services as a marketplace, a bridge between the seller and the buyer through consumer data. The chairman of Alibaba Jack Ma also differences the 2 companies: “Amazon is an ecommerce company, we are not. We help other companies become ecommerce companies.”

img_3134

Thinking of Alibaba as a combination of Google, Facebook and Amazon…” Tung made a point about Alibaba’s global popularity in many countries like Russia and Southeast Asia with a presence in some countries in Europe and South America. Recently a report was published about Chinese consumers and their online shopping habits. Some very interesting data is shown the online shopping differences between the west and China. In the west, people are more likely searching online sources and going different platforms for buying experience. And in China, people are more dominated with online exploring and discovering on 1 or 2 large platforms for shopping experience. With digital power and platforms, people go online for everything: education, trendy content, entertainment, shopping and sharing on social media. From the west to the east, living in digital environment with a digital-oriented lifestyle is now and future.

img_3099

Digital makes life easy, and also raises the challenges to be able to succeed in everyday life. To win or to lose, to succeed or to fail…the stories about entrepreneurship keep going around in the business world:

Today will be terrible, tomorrow even worse;
but the day after will be beautiful.
Most companies die tomorrow night.
~Jack Ma

The struggling business can be real, entrepreneurs need a digital strategy to empower their businesses, and keep up with technology for the future. Be digital, be the change, it’s now or never, just like the famous abstract of “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. 

From Amazon to Alibaba, from big companies to small business, digital is powerful and disrupting everything, digital transformation is now and future. On the past Gateway’17 event, Jack Ma presented the Chinese dream to US sellers about cross-border business opportunities in China, and closed his an hour long keynote talk with a compelling message:

Small companies will be the future…
Embrace the change, see the future,
change yourself, don’t miss the chance!

videotogif_gif

Advertisements

What design means to you

Design worth doing, ideas worth spreading.

TED annual conference kicks off today April 24 2017 in Vancouver Canada. Hundreds and thousands of artists, designers and storytellers gather again for a week of great talks about technology, entertainment and design.

People look at TED as a vast and mighty creative and design community. From the logo branding to stage designing, from the speaker lineup to global TED community, we have experienced a creative boom of all things designing and inspiring over the years. Checking out the programs and topics like future, mind, meaning and planet……reminds you that design has become everyday life, now it’s time to celebrate creativity and get inspiration by connecting to the community.

Architecture, technology and automobile……see, design is everything everywhere.

So, what’s design?

It’s a graphic image, a trendy concept car or a green building…In one word, design is a visual creation. The notable graphic designer Saul Bass said so: design is thinking made visual.

In design world, color, shape, image…everything is combined differently and freely with creative concept and practice. It can be one of a kind object, an unique creation or a practical making. And the process is the creation and construction with design thinking and solutions.

We say design is about making nice things, and people like pretty stuff and beautiful look. Creating something beautiful for viewing pleasure is primary idea of design concept. Many popular brands have a creative design for their innovative products and remarkable images, such as Google, Tesla cars, TED talks, Apple computers and iPhones etc. Visually speaking, design is all about creating and making things in style and originality.

BzmiWCTIUAA-eKF.jpg-large copy

As an art of creative thinking and visual making, design in business means innovative solution. For instance, good architecture is for a safe and comfort living by saving cost and making most of space, eco-fashion design is not only for dressing to kill and also for dressing to save the world with environmental purpose, as well as good branding design is easy to stand out with quality creation and original content. Making things easier and nicer, good design changes the way of our thinking and viewing the world.

Design matters.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication (~ Leonardo da Vinci). Color, culture, style and environment……ain’t we seen so much more in design? Kenya Hara, the Japanese graphic designer shows the notable design concept of tranquility and emptiness in his book Designing Design.

kenyahara15Less is more. Another great design is toilet paper by architect Shigeru Ban. He simply redesigned the round roll to a square core which becomes a nice package with the purpose of saving space and reducing the consumption.(@Designing Design)

kenyahara02Create, make, solve and change…design is solution, creativity and innovation. In the world of business and technology, there is boundless inspiration to be capable of creative thinking and visually speaking with the design thinking. Like Pablo Picasso quote: Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. If design mind is more about creative beauty and life, then design thinking is more about spirit and strategy of innovation for business.

Being a part of creative community, it’s like keeping up with constantly changing technology, looking for the solutions with curious minds, and being design thinker with a passion for research, making and solution. Whatever is green tech or digital media, the way of doing business can be very different with design thinking. Keep short and sweet: design for less, design for all.

Think big, think global. Open your mind, visualize the future with design thinking… Insights, outlook and impact, how much more we can do with design thinking for the global environment and a better future? Contributing to the solutions, presenting best practices and visions to the world , that’s the power of design!

IMG_4919

Beautiful Vancouver – English Bay

TED2017 is taking place this week. Every spring, the global TED community unites thousands of creative people all over the world for a week of conference filled with imagination, invention and inspiration.

Speaking design, the TED experience offers much more than talks with eye-catching visual design. The famous TED stage is designed with multi-functional platform for a custom theatre experience, ever noticed the big red logo on the stage along with huge screen in background to bring a visual impact of interactive talks. On the stage, color and light are everything. The overall visual look is made with the contrast between bright logo and dark stage, the balance of different levels of audience areas around the stage, and the spectacular impression of light and color for a theatrical image. All is to create and design a stylish environment for sharing ideas freely and visually to the world.

24755125689_7ed710d407_o-1

TED talk on VR. Photo by Marla Aufmuth / TED

The week-long TED2017 experience includes main stage program of ted talks, art exhibits and tech demos, dinners and parties in the city, and much more. As usual, the speaker lineup is impressive with researchers, business leaders and designers of different creative industries including some big names: tech giant Elon Musk, tennis icon Serena Williams, roboticist Marc Railbert and acclaimed healthcare reformer Atul Gawande.

During 5 days, total 50+ stage talks and 11 sessions bring the spotlight on curious minds and inspirational content including The Future us, Tales of Tomorrow, robotic and AI challenge, genomics and sustainable energy…The full program guide can be found here.

IMG_6128

Last year, the theme of TED conference was Dream, this year it’s The Future You. And the topics look quite exciting with futuristic artworks, sustainable designs, microsculpture series photography and ironman style flight system…..literally the future is now!

So inspiration comes with a big question, how do we thrive in a world full of change? Well, the world is full of surprises and possibilities. Our answer is to keep calm and be part of change, see the future coming and design it for a better place.

Make It Happen via Technology 

Spring has just arrived. Here are some new events and ideas happening in STEM* world. (*Science, technology, engineering and mathematics)

Apple turns 40 this year, time to celebrate the company’s many tech innovations and popular design over last four decades. Apple Spring event on Monday kicked off the celebration at its HQ, launched new iPhone SE and iPad Pro along with some updates of Apple TV and Watch.

img_4224

Meantime a new series of videos was published by Apple to show a powerful image of technology. A good start of new season?

Go big or go small

From small to extra-large screen, then from super plus size down to 4 inch only, Apple announced new iPhone SE and iPad Pro to catch plenty of eyes on small devices. When they were expected to make bigger and larger phones, Apple’s hardware is getting smaller with a change in high-end style. Good news for small phone lovers, iPhone SE comes with a cheaper price ever in the full iPhone lineup.

Apparently iPhone SE is not the next big thing, it’s the most notable downsized device at Apple family, or more looks like time-traveling budget model, what do you actually get with this smaller package? Apple debuted iPhone SE as the most powerful 4‑inch phone ever, unveiled it’s created and reinvented from the inside out such as A9 chip, M9 motion coprocessor, 12mp camera and photos. With their idea of a big step to small, it’s not only a small edition, also a powerful edition packed with latest technology.

Small is big, technology matters. Like it or hate it, guess what’s on the top of trending list again?

Design small to be powerful

Back to 5 years ago I got my first iPhone, since then I have been obsessed with many features of smartphone for videos, games and all kinds of apps. Once a friend said look why I carry around an oversized phone with giant screen everywhere, I actually use my phone more for calling, texting and pictures, don’t really do much on the phone, I’d rather go for iPad or computer with much better display.

A good point or not? Remember when iPhone 6 Plus just came out, people made fun of its huge size would reach the size of iPad mini one day. Speaking this game of size, I agree smart phone is still a phone in whatever fancy look. Not everyone loves big phone, I do like a phone small and light weight to fit in every pocket, good to be used by one hand comfortably, particularly it’s completely modern and powerful above standard.

Powerful tech fits all design. Small and tiny wearable devices are more and more on the trending list from smart watch to 3D virtual reality, these hand-held electronic technologies are worn on the body without taking any space in your bags, truly easy to carry on as part of body accessories. Making hand-sized phone with the very latest technology to fit in your pockets, it sounds an excellent tech solution to go back the basic and original idea: Bigger is better, small is powerful.

What to expect in tech world

Everyday technologies are transforming business, our life and the global community enormously and surprisingly. Making this world a better place, that somehow it’s our big expectation in technology and science.

Apple’s special event also featured corporate social messages as part of the keynote by releasing its policy in different areas including privacy and environment. Whether it’s a strategy or a vision, taking social and environmental responsibilities was never so expected for tech companies.

Technology drives the world moving fast, shapes our social life and culture thriving in a digital community. No doubt social media and digital technologies are playing huge impact in many different ways. Twitter just celebrated its 10 years anniversary. Ever imagined a small role of 140-character tweet makes huge influences in our world.

Make the history, change the world, sustain the environment, it’s all about technologies.