March 8, 2010 – Google and Quintana

OK, here we go.  A night of adjusting to the new time zone, everyone is settled into the Hilton, who got to keep the rubber ducky in your room?  Today we begin with your experience with Jared Smith at Google, Ben Danielson at Quintana, and Tian Tan?  What did you learn today (more than the tiles are slippery in front of the Google sign)?  How do today’s activities give you a new perspective of your western ways (more than how cute the panda hats are)?  How do you expect that your future interactions in international settings will be changed by today’s experience?  Compare Jared Smith’s viewpoints with those of Ben Danielson’s?

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29 Responses to “March 8, 2010 – Google and Quintana”

  1. Orlando Says:

    Here are some of my notes from Jared Smith’s presentation at Google

    • Calibrate all experiences with 40 years. Your career is like a marathon, not a sprint.
    • Breakfast continuum = what makes you lose sleep the night before. Put your problems in perspective with the really big issues.
    • Google was made by engineers for engineers. Give them a project and they love to work on it. E.g., after the earthquake, in 24 hours they had new code to search the site and in 48 hours they had satellites pointed at the damaged areas.
    • Emotions come from within. Manage people’s emotions.
    • Care, but don’t care too much.
    • You get what you reflect. Smile and say thank you to people because nobody else does.
    • Certainty is a sign of a closed mind. When you are certain that you are right, you stop listening to others.
    • You will have good bosses and bad bosses.
    • Most everything around us is noise, learn to tune it out. E.g., grandpa who stopped worrying about the daily news.
    • Looking ahead induces patience. E.g., when engineers come up with a bad project, don’t kill it immediately. Let them figure out that their idea is a bad one themselves. Otherwise, they will resent your killing of the project. Smart people will figure out themselves that the project isn’t any good.
    • Youth is fleeting. Just look at how you dressed 10 years ago.
    • Work should be fun.
    • Follow contrarian thinking. Look for new perspectives. E.g., google ads.
    • Put users first, customer satisfaction is #1.
    • No tailgating. Lead, do not follow. Project managers shouldn’t spend all of their energy talking about the competition.
    • Lead from details. Get down and dirty with the details, be a part of the actual work. Managers should be up to date on how to do all aspects of the job. If not, they become people who just repackage information and communicate it up the line.
    • Wisdom of groups. Consensus based group decisions are better than individual
    • Use data as your compass. Measure and publish your data. “You got data, we’ll use data. You got opinions, we’ll use mine.”
    • Feed winners, starve losers. E.g, google earth, gmail.
    • Ideas are fragile. Don’t jump on them too quickly. “I don’t want to be the one who breaks the eggs.”
    • Think in scale. E.g., google books, google street view
    • It’s alright be boe quirky, passionate, and opinionated. Don’t try to change people’s personality.
    • Integrated nodes. There should be total communication and sharing between nodes. There are no country/language specific problems. Try to share information for all other applications.
    • Management is expensive, so hire people who can manage themselves and that way you will invest less in management.
    • Trust employees. No intellectual property rights issues. That will increase trust.
    • Google is an advertising business. Targeted adds are data driven. E.g, searches even include relevant data like location, weather, time.

  2. Anthony Jen Says:

    It soon turned out that we might be one of last groups visiting Google China as they are 99.99% sure to close their search business in China. This visit, coupled with presentation given by Quintana, is a live lesson on how business is different in China.

    Business professionals of my generation have 2 choices: be the status quo or be creative and enjoy risk/growth. While you can do either in pretty much anywhere in the world, to succeed in China, you’d better be in the latter category.

  3. Scott Eberle Says:

    I think my biggest take away from today was from Jared Smith at Google. It had nothing to do with relationships when doing business in China or the similarities and differences but rather a more internal perspective on my own job hunt. The perspectives he gave were insightful and thought provoking for me, one in particular “your career is a marathon” has flipped the way I am looking at my job search. I have been focusing on the best job I can find with the best title and highest pay ignoring the future benefits that this job could spring board me towards during my 30+ years in my career. I began to rethink my goals and aspirations and did a 180 on some positions I was considering. It’s funny how I didn’t come to this realization until I was on the other side of the world in a foreign environment, I guess it just made me take a step back and put everything into perspective.

  4. Shelli Dunigan Says:

    Visiting Google China was the highlight of today. Not only was it interesting to learn so much about the company and what it’s like to work in the Chinese business environment, but it was also refreshing to hear Jared Smith’s perspectives on life and work. “The Breakfast Continuum” concept reinforces my personal perspective on life and was nice to know that someone so successful and worldly is still able to hold that mindset. Also, I become more and more convinced that Google would be an incredible company to work for, in the US or outside. Their focus on ensuring the well-being and work/life balance of their employees, is something that seems so simple and yet so few companies take the same approach.

    Post-trip thoughts: It’s been particularly interesting to compare our experience visiting the company with the headlines in the China Daily paper throughout the course of our trip. On Sunday 3/21, the news stated that a source from Google said that on Monday, the company will announce which parts of their operations will close down in China. After visiting the company, I am even more invested in keeping up with the news in China.

  5. Leslie Farish Says:

    What a great way to kick off China Global 2010 with a trip to Google China! While I was expecting to sit through a couple of hours of chatter on technical terminology, cloud computing, paid search, and the like, I was surprised to have the opportunity to hear such candid and honest life wisdown from a man who could have easily filled two hours with discussion on both Google’s and his own impressive achievements. The quote that stuck with me for the day was centered around Jared’s message that when you think about work, think about what matters. “What is missing breakfast once because you are nervous about a presentation at work compared to losing your only child?” This was Jared’s perspective on life and work, and it really made me realize what it must feel like to be a parent of one child in China and how much that child means to an otherwise childless family. It also made me realize that making sacrifices at work or feeling badly for missing a meal or a fun event because of something that is stressing me out is nominal when you think about the worry that a parent feels over losing their one child. Work is important, but family is much, much more important and as Americans, sometimes we forget this critical message.

    Two additional takeaways that resonated with me were the importance of staying open minded and continuing to serve the consumer in order to achieve success. Google is only now looking at ways of making Google Earth a money making business. It all started with one guy who thought consumers would find an application “cool,” and so the company jumped at the opportunity. And the consumers loved it! Don’t let those moments slip you by or you might miss out on an opportunity for creative genius! Serve the customer first, and the money will come later.

  6. Nori Harada Says:

    I enjoyed the presentation of both companies. Since I was and will be in the finance industry, I would have little chance to visit a top tier high-tech company like Google. So I really appreciated this opportunity given by global connection trip. Talks from Quintana were also very interesting especially how they do business in Chinese market. Drinking culture that they mentioned reminded me of old Japanese corporate culture which was similar to that of China. After all, this might be a part of Asian culture.

  7. Robson Marchetti Says:

    Wonderful visit to Google!! We were pleased by Mr. Jared Smith’s speech and his perspective of a long term career and different objectives related to that. Luckily he met Steve at the lobby and decided to guide us thru his years of experience and commitment with Google. I really hope that he can accomplish his personal objectives after leaving the company.

    Main lesson: life is a chess game between professional and personal life.

  8. Jennifer Woods Says:

    I enjoyed our visit to Google. Jared Smith shared a wealth of knowledge. I appreciate a lot of it now, but I feel these nuggets of wisdom will resonate even stronger as I progress in my career. I think the biggest takeaway I have from the Google visit is that the company tends to focus on making their users happy. Develop tools users will love. Then figure out how to monetize it. Their culture is one of trust and passion.

    I also enjoyed listening to Ben Danielson at Quintana group give his honest perspective on the social aspect of business in addition to learning more about operating a private equity firm in China. I thought it was interesting how he talked about how you must be willing to have a minority stake because of control fears.

    Seeing people relax and have fun at Tian Tan was pretty cool. Seeing the people dancing and singing, the chess games, and the toys – it was all fun! The “architectural phenomenon” (i.e. the echo hall and the “telephone” wall) were neat as well. I am amazed at the attention to detail and the time and effort it took to build these structures that last for years!

    The main takeaways from today: success in business is centered more around relationships and establishing trust than it is in providing a really awesome good/service. Other nuggets of wisdom I took away: The key to success in China is learning the “unwritten” social business rules. “Possible is elastic”. “You control your own happiness”

  9. Ben Ryan Says:

    I really enjoyed the “life career lessons” we received from Jared Smith’s presentation at Google, thank you Orlando for putting your notes up. A lot of what he said resonated with beliefs I already held like not sweating the small stuff and looking at the big picture, or getting what you reflect. But some of what he had to say really made me think such as not killing ideas or projects to quickly and instead letting the drivers of those ideas realize themselves that the project won’t work, don’t concentrate on following your competition, or avoiding becoming a simple middle man of information to pass up the line by keeping up to date with the details.

    While I felt like I got a lot of good personal advice from Jared, I felt that the presentation by Ben with Quintana really gave some good insight into how the business world in China is evolving. His presentation was much more work driven compared to Jared’s and what especially struck me was how he described the Chinese people he works with. When asked about doing business in a communist country he almost laughed at the comment saying these are the most capitalist people he’s ever known. Everyone has their own side projects in addition to their day job, and everybody’s “wheeling & dealing” all the time. I seem to recall him also saying something along the lines that the old American Dream is quickly becoming the China Dream. Those comments in addition to witnessing the incredible growth we saw everywhere we went really made me see with my own eyes that the explosion of the Chinese economy I keep hearing about is no joke.

  10. Edyth Adedeji Says:

    Visit to Google was of particular interest to me mostly because I’ve always seen Google as one of those superstar companies and ever since their systems were hacked, I thought it would make for a great story to visit and get their perspective. Learning about nugget size life lessons from Jared Smith was great. It seems like most people like to use company visits to sell their company and how great it is to work there so having an experience business professional share lessons he’s learned or experienced gave a really good perspective. My favorite lessons would have to be not sweating the small stuff and putting todays worries on a scale of the hurt from missing breakfast to the hurt of losing an only child. This continuum should help to minimize our every day worries that truly are not significant.
    The Quintana presentation gave a look at what it takes and means to invest and work in businesses in China. I learned that it is critical to build relationships more so in China than in the U.S., the amount of alcohol that is expected to be consumed in order for people to trust you. The biggest take away is realizing that people don’t invest with fundamentals in mind. For example, investors will overpay for something in hopes to sell it or IPO before it goes bust. Or that everyone is in the process of investing in anything because the FDI in China has been growing to the point that almost every business has been appreciating in China.
    Our trip to Tian Tan (Temple of heaven was great). It was our first exposure to true Chinese architecture – including seeing the wall of echo, the temple where the emperor prayed for good harvest, the meaning behind the 3 layers (Heaven, Earth, Man), the emperors spot where his voice resounded and he could host any events. Also seeing people playing games, singing and exercising in the park was relaxing almost like a confirmation that people are similar regardless of what they look like, what language they speak or where they live.

  11. Adam Staley Says:

    In what was easily my favorite PowerPoint of the trip, Jared Smith showed how to best use the medium (one idea per slide, limited bullets, mostly visual) while effectively diving beyond tactics to a deeper intellectual level about business.

    While there were a lot of tremendous takeaways from this well thought-out presentation, I will most remember Jared’s quote “certainty is a sign of a closed mind.” It really resonated with me based on my past experience in the working world and thought it was striking for a person in his position, as a business decision maker, to understand this virtue. In the past, the business leaders I’ve worked with, as thought leaders getting paid to make the tough decisions, felt it was their duty to think and act decisively with little room for reflection or reassessment. This lead to repeated failures to revisit decisions to see if they were, indeed, in the best interest of the project or company. This close-minded mindset caused more problems than I could possibly discuss on this blog post and it was really refreshing to see Jared, as a senior manager, speak about this concept, which at its core, reflects humility and retrospection.

  12. Eugenie Lum Says:

    Jared’s career lessons struck me most out of the Google visit. A big thank you to Orlando for taking notes!!
    “Lead from details. Get down and dirty with the details, be a part of the actual work. Managers should be up to date on how to do all aspects of the job. If not, they become people who just repackage information and communicate it up the line.” This turned out to be one of my favorite statements.
    From my past working experience working in Asia, I’ve seen many managers compiling their subordinates’ ideas and presented them to get credits. Many managers just don’t think of out of the box because organizations don’t appreciate those mind sets. The term “efficiency” has killed many creative ideas and great ways of doing things. Google does things differently because it knows that only managers with hands-on experience can get the best out of each project!
    I truly hope that Asian companies can learn from western company’s footstep by allowing more creativity and flexibility to get things done.

    Quintana’s presentation was also an interesting one. Ben kept telling us that you have know how to drink in order to build network and relationship with your Chinese clients! I’m also surprised when he brought out the phenomenon about how open-minded the Chinese Government Officials are in China. China has truly changed after 1980’s when President Deng open its door to the world! Athough China still calls themselves “Communist”, but they’re also now “Capitalist”. My Global trip to China has shown me that when it comes to economics, the dividing line among the world’s nations is no longer between capitalism and communism. For China, capitalism doesn’t require democracy, an interesting phenomenon!

  13. Daniel Harrison Says:

    I was impressed that Jared Smith was able to share his wisdom with us in such spontaneous fashion. It was certainly a much more personal talk than I was expecting from a senior person representing a firm at the leading edge of internet technology. Since its founding, Google has been known for its counterintuitive thinking, so perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised by the different style of Jared compared with the corporate-speak I am used to hearing. It was interesting that he was due to leave Google within a month to go back to a family-run business. I think that anyone in his position would be tempted to reflect on the last ten years of their professional life and contemplate what truely is important.
    I am writing this recap on March 28th, and the days since our visit have been particularly tumultuous for Google China. It is possible that a number of the employees that we saw at work in the offices will now be searching for new jobs. Google’s problems in China are not going to derail this internet juggernaut, but they are symptomatic of a company that sometimes runs before it can walk. Jared noted that Google often develops ideas before it knows how to make money off of them, and this approach can land them in trouble with incumbent powers; whether it’s Viacom, book publishers or even the Chinese government.

  14. Jeff Harbach Says:

    What a way to start off our adventure in China…with Google China! Despite being the focus of so much media and global attention, they were gracious enough to let us come for a visit. It was awesome to see a bit of the Google culture infused into the heart of Beijing, China (Exhibit A shows 4 Google employees playing pool during a break in their work day. Not sure how many Chinese companies would encourage that).

    Jared Smith’s presentation was fantastic. Adam Staley and I agreed that Jared did a masterful job with his ppt presentation (very few words, but very powerful slides supported by in-depth discussion and multiple takeaways). I really liked some of the points that were already mentioned (the “marathon” and “certainty” quotes were particular favorites), but one that wasn’t mentioned was “Impossible is elastic. Push back!” I loved that one. I love Google’s mission and culture, and seeing how both exist in China was truly remarkable.

    As for Quintana, it was interesting to hear how that are going to start raising an RMB fund, but unfortunately I was still a bit on a high from Google.

  15. Lindsay Conant Says:

    I thought the presentation by Ben Danielson from Quintana shed an interesting light on doing business in China. He touched on the social aspect of doing business and the emphasis of drinking to establish and enhance relationships with business partners. A job applicant during the interview process might even be asked if he drinks as it is a job requirement – something completely different than the U.S. Since relationships are important factors in doing business together, I thought it was very interesting that companies may not choose a supplier with the lower price but would instead choose the company they have an established and trusting relationship. Also, businesses do not enter into long-term contracts because if inputs rise or something changes, companies will just not abide by the contract – an interesting concept in how companies operate. I wonder how these business elements will change over time.

  16. Ian Vaisman Says:

    Our first day in China proved to be one of the most exciting ones. First thing in the morning we visited Google headquarters. I think most of us had this visit marked in our calendars due to the current events that had transpired between the Chinese government and Google. I was gladly surprised that the Chinese headquarters resembled the freedom and culture of Google as a company. The way they take care of their human capital its one of the reasons I think the company is at the forefront of the tech industry. All sorts of entertainments were available to employees, from Foosball tables to a Nintendo Wii.

    As mentioned above Jared Smith’s presentation was really insightful and well designed. It definitely reminded me of a visit to EA headquarters from earlier this year. In both cases the executives were more interested in leaving us with some career and life advice than promoting a company that is already well known.

    Quintana’s presentation was completely different. Ben Danielson took time to explain how his company operates in China, and I found this tremendously valuable since I don’t have much experience with private equity and venture capital. The discussion about the long-term sustainability of coal and the effects of mining and using natural resources on the environment was enlightening. I particularly got interested when we learned about how important it is to have good ties with the government in China to do business, and honestly wasn’t surprised when he kept using the phrase “grey areas” to describe many of the business dealings. It was also on this presentation that we learned about the importance and preponderance of drinking in the Chinese business environment. It wouldn’t be the last time we heard about this practice.

    I can’t finish this blog without writing about my birthday dinner. Ten of us went to Beijing Dadong restaurant. Widely regarded as the best place in town to have roasted duck, we shared 5 full ducks, and the highlight of the night was having the cooks slice the ducks for us tableside. Great day in Beijing, and great night as well!

  17. Heidi Says:

    I think it was very fitting for our first company visit in China to be at Google. Of course, we were all aware of the controversy with Google’s search engine prior to our visit. In fact we were specifically told not to ask anything “controversial” during our meeting with them. Prior to our visit I thought we may be visiting a working environment that was very different then the Google we all know well in the states – there would be tight security and a much less fun atmosphere. I was definitely wrong. Yes, we did all have to sign in with the front security guard, but we were amicably greeted by the Google staff and given a tour of the office. It turns out Google China was exactly like it is in the US, or at least how my dear friend Sarah Motley describes it! What a great company visit to start off our China business school adventure. We had a top notch speaker that gave some of the best advice I’ve heard in a speech in a long time. I want to comment on may favorite line: Lead from the details. I’ve experienced many managers in my past that could or could not do this well. The ones I was most confident in were those that could get down and dirty when it was required, which motivated me to become the same kind of manager.

    Ditto on the 5 ducks!!! That was a fun lazy susan meal!!

  18. Juan Carlos Vallarino Says:

    It was great to start this amazing trip with a visit to Google China. Jared Smith’s presentation was totally different from what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed listening to his lessons on life and insightful comments. My favorite comment was “Certainty is a sign of a closed mind. When you are certain that you are right, you stop listening to others”. I think this is a key take-away as usually we concentrate on getting our points across to others and we fail to realize that sometimes we become wiser while we listen.

    Listening to Ben Danielson from Quintana made me realize how similar the Chinese business culture is to that of Latin America, where we also value relationships above all things. Similar to China, in order to win a deal or a contract in Latin America from your competition, the deciding factor might be how many lunches or dinners you’ve had with your client, and the relationship you develop outside of the office. It was impressive to see how two cultures located so far away can share similar values!!

  19. Joel Goering Says:

    As many have already commented, the highlight of our first full day in China was definitely the visit to Google China. One of the things I found most interesting was the apparent preservation of the “Google culture” – fun, relaxed, and creative – in a different country environment. Having just completed Professor Dierking’s “Leading People and Organizations” class during the first half of the semester – where we learned about the vital connection between treating employees well and achieving high performance – it was clear that Google had internalized this wisdom and had been able to implement it even in a foreign context.

    Jared Smith told us about the “fix it” technique, in which anyone in the company – from janitors on up to senior executives – can make suggestions on how to improve company operations, processes, or strategy. We witnessed employees playing pool, eating company-provided snacks, and using the weight room. There was a lot of colorful decor in the office, as well. Paying attention to these types of things can be a real competitive advantage because they boost morale and retention, increase productivity, and foster creativity – happier employees are more likely to give the company their best work. For a high-tech innovative company like Google that depends on employee creativity to drive results, attention to this “soft” aspect of business is absolutely critical.

  20. Jason Trkovsky Says:

    Google was certainly a highlight of the trip for me. Not necessarily because of all the controversy surrounding Google in China and that we may be one of the last groups to visit before the doors are closed, but because of the perspective Jared gave on career and life, particularly that those two things should not be mutually exclusive. As someone who considers himself to have landed a dream job not only for the ideal role but with a high-tech company, Jared’s advice will no doubt help me manage and keep things in perspective as I advance in my career. He did an incredible job articulating concepts of keeping daily, trivial events in perspective as well as managing people’s emotions. I feel these concepts are seldom if ever conveyed in any classes, so it was extremely valuable to get this additional education.

  21. Killian Lapeyre Says:

    Google was an extraordinary visit. As we walked through their office, I kept thinking about their working environment (Billiards, Foosball, unlimited free snacks, toys on desks). I kept thinking what other industries and corporate cultures can this work in? Does this kind of culture hold up after a company goes through a little financial distress?

    The presentation we received was quite unexpected. Jared gave us life lessons and career advice. I’ve received lectures with this purpose countless times and usually there repetitious and not very insightful. Jared’s presentation drove home to key points for me (1) Put your problems in perspective and (2) your career is a marathon not a sprint. From that presentation, it was easy to understand why Jared was one of the top guys at Google China.

    From Quintana, I was shocked to hear two things about Private Equity in China (1) debt is only available to PE transactions after a deal is closed (hence all deals are initially financed w/ 100% equity), and (2) PE firms are comfortable with the government owning majority positions and PE firms rarely strive to change that. The Quintana presentation got me thinking about why debt financing isn’t more prevalent in China and is there an opportunity there?

  22. Esteban Salazar Says:

    I want to elaborate on one of the bullet points that Orlando mentioned above. This one and his story blew me away.

    Lesson: Don’t sweat the small stuff.

    One of my colleagues called me over the weekend because he was a nervous wreck. He was doing a presentation the following Monday and he sent the deck out to the sr. executives on Friday night so they could review it. He then realized he had made a mistake and inserted the wrong number on one of the slides. He couldn’t sleep all weekend. His stomach was in knots.
    Now there is a spectrum of how badly your stomach can hurt. You know that feeling when you don’t have time for breakfast and by late morning you stomach is just hurting and twisting. My colluegue’s stomach hurt more than that. That’s one end of the spectrum.
    Then… Imagine loosing your only child. That’s the other end.
    It happened here just a couple of years ago. Those are children. This is from the 2009 earthquake that happened in shanghi when over 20 schools collapsed . (shows graphic picture of children buried underneath rubble- also, think of China’s “one-child” policy).
    The Little stuff… my colleague’s mistake on his PowerPoint… Just don’t matter. In life and at work, you need to become a better gauge of what really matters.

  23. Dorothy Says:

    I am glad Jared’s words of wisdom have been captured for posterity’s sake. Profound life lessons is not exactly what I expected to take away from a trip to Google China, but what a pleasant surprise. Every one of his points was one worth taking a moment to think about. From his breakfast continuum point of not sweating the small stuff to his “care, but not that much”, he imparted a glimpse into the professional world (again) I was not expecting. In the middle of the MBA program where your next job seems like a gigantic deal, it served as a nice reminder to maintain perspective.
    I especially appreciated his honesty about the important things in his life…and it wasn’t his job at Google. His focus on family and friends and the courage to follow that, even walking away from what seems like one of the coolest jobs on Earth, is sobering. And an incredible reminder about what you’re going to remember when you leave here.

  24. Patrick O'Berry Says:

    I think today we saw the difference between a ‘typical’ MBA company visit and a visit where the company is clearly engaged in the conversation. When we first got there, we were shuffled into small rooms to get the ‘Google China’ presentation when Jared Smith, who manages the product development for Google China, called us all back and gave us a great perspective on life, both at Google and in terms of your personal development. He had clearly done a lot of soul searching (I’m guessing sparked by Google’s current situation in China) about the right way to approach business and a career and had some interesting perspectives on what really matters. For me, it solidified my decision to pursue my internship this coming summer with a company I was passionate about with an environment and a balance I value.

    On the flipside, Ben Danielson from Quintana summed business in China down to “everyone is trying to make a buck” and “if you want to do business here, you better be able to drink.” Clearly there was a lot more to it that than, and he provided a lot of interesting insight on VC and business creation in China, but we definitely got two extremely different presentations today.

  25. Will Bridges Says:

    The timeliness of our Google visit was very serendipitous. I felt a little nervous walking in, as if the whole place was going to be raided by Chinese officials at any moment. We were so fortunate to hear from Jared Smith, and his candidness with us made it apparent that change was still very much in the air. He gave us, not only an insightful look into Google China, but also an introspective lesson on our careers and lives ahead. I even got to present the group gift to him!

    Ben from Quintana was a character. He gave us a no-frills take on the private equity market in China, as well as on life as an ex-pat. I was surprised to hear about how fast the market was moving and the goodwill that Chinese and American firms have for one another.

  26. Kylia Cunningham Says:

    Google China was the perfect way to kick-off our Beijing visit. Not only were we able to explore an international operation of the most popular US companies, we were able to learn life lessons from someone that has led a very interesting career. I really enjoyed hearing about Google’s corporate philosophies. I found it particularly of note that they focus on how to improve the user experience and then later look for ways to monetize their efforts. I was amazed at the commitment they have for delivering customer value.

    During lunch on this day I came to realize the difficulty of not knowing the native language. A few of us tried to order food at the nearby mall Food Republic. However, we could not figure out the non-cash/credit card payment system. We didn’t even have the opportunity to address the issue of figuring out what to order. After our failed attempt, we opted to join the group at a different eatery. On a later visit with Eugenie, we were able to figure out that you needed to purchase a card with points in order to buy food.

    The afternoon Quintana panel gave us a chance to get the inside scoop on what it is like for an American company to gain a foothold in China.

  27. Liz Eppler Says:

    The Google presentation was definitely my favorite of the entire trip. One of my favorite quotes was, “If you have data, we’ll use data. If you have an opinion, we’ll use mine!” That simple phrase has been something I have lived by, but never was able to put it into such simple words. The whole presentation was like that – he said many thing I have believed in, but was never able to say so eloquently. The next business that Jared Smith works for will benefit greatly from having someone like him.

    Quintana gave us a different perspective of business in China. He was the first (and not the last) to tell us that China is one of the most capitalist countries in the world. He said that every Chinese citizen that works at Quintana also has a side business, which definitely seems to hold true in hindsight.

  28. Paulo Martin Says:

    Since me and some other people in the group arrived a day earlier we had the chance to be more rested to face the snow and cold weather in the starting day of activities.

    The visit to Google was great. To be able to see live everything that we hear and read on Newspaper and TV live it’s priceless. And on top of that to learn from Jared and take those life lessons with us just made everything even better.

    What impressed me the most about the Quintana presentation was how honest and direct Ben Danielson about the challenges he faces in doing his work in China.

    Overall I can’t say I was surprised. I was expecting to find a whole diferent situation regarding ways of doing business than the one we are used to in the western world and that was exactly what happened. Nevertheless having two diferent perspectives, one more personal and other more professional, on those differences was a huge addition to everything we saw and experienced.

    And what better way to finish our day than to have the first contact with the chinese culture and day to day life through our visit to Tian Tan. I think the best thing about a trip to a new place is to have the opportunity to see what people do in their dat-to-day life and interact with them.

  29. Margaret Cheng Says:

    My first and favorite company visit in China was to Google, where one of the executives shared with us his work and life take-aways. I took note of ones I liked and then elaborated.

    + The breakfast continuum: On the lesser end of the scale of things that could go awry, you can compare bad events to missing breakfast. The misstep lends itself to an unpleasant morning, maybe an upset stomach and requires you to re-juggle your schedule to bring yourself back to pace. On the other end of the continuum is the pain of losing your only child. The purpose of the scale is to give you perspective on the magnitude of your reaction.

    + Certainty is a sign of a closed mind: Bad bosses and employees are almost always too certain.

    + You get what you reflect: This helps you choose to be positive or negative, selfish or kind.

    + Care, but not too much: Caring is good. Caring too much can lead to burnout, resentment, alienation, and lack of perspective.

    + Patience is the ability to look ahead: If you can recognize that the future is important, you act with care now.

    + There is no consensus without dissent: True agreement on an issue requires a series of disagreements on the sub-issues.

    + Feed the winners; starve the losers: Shutting down a project or operation because it fails to bring in its expected reward can so greatly reduce the morale of your employees. If you are working with smart people, they will just as quickly discover the worth of the project on their own. As long as you allow them the ability to reallocate their time, energy, and resources, the losing project will eventually starve itself without the loss of morale.

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