“We use Google to find Naver”

In the last 7 days, Busan people only used Google to find Naver !

Ok, that’s not directly a Busan citizen who told me this. I used Google Trends to search the last keyword trend in Busan region.

What I found is that the only keyword (compared to other countries) is 네이버 which is the name of Naver.

What is Naver ?

Naver is the Google Killer in Republic of Korea. For what I know, nobody uses Google. Even my wife, in France, uses Naver to find places in Paris. Why ?

  1. the philosophy behind Naver is totaly different. It could be seen as a Yahoo-Google merge. Powerfull.
  2. the Korean alphabet (Hangul) makes it easy to see more info on the same page (more compact)
  3. Korean I met like to have more info on one page, they feel that Google’s homepage is empty. By the way, I read somewhere that Google changed it’s front page in Asia to make it more attractive and less empty. Question of design taste.
  4. there are more information coming for more blogging people. Because people blog more in Korea. They take pictures of food, of restaurant, addresses, tutorial on how to get refund from duty free… So specialized. There is a human response for everything compare to just machine keyword analysis.

What is Busan ?

Busan is the second largest city in Korea. This is where I went most of the time when I traveled in Korea. This is the city of my wife’s familiy.

Why are Busan People using Google to find Naver ?

Do you have an explanation ? I think it’s a statistics artifact.

How to stay zen during a presentation

I just finished Presentation Zen from the PMBA list (thanks to my local library).

A good coeincidence is that I just went to the Eclipse Day Paris (a tech conference about the Eclipse Platform on which I’m working). I had the occasion to see a lot of good speakers with interesting subjects doing very bad presentations.

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I just finished Presentation Zen from the PMBA list (thanks to my local library).

A good coincidence is that I also went to the Eclipse Day Paris (a tech conference about the Eclipse RCP Platform on which I’m working). I had the occasion to see a lot of good speakers with interesting subjects doing very bad presentations.

Don’t use slides, Powerpoint or Keynotes

Just use what you need. Could be slides. Slides are good as a tool.

Maybe you just need to give documents. Maybe just speak. Sometimes I wish I could mime my ideas.

This was a relief to see a recognized book confirm my thoughts on the subject : you don’t have to draw out your Powerpoint each time you want to speak to someone. Just like you don’t have to plan a meeting to work with other people.

A good example of this is the intervention of John Cleese at the World Creativity Festival. Do you see any slides ?

Why the visual support does not matter ? Because you tell a story. And people just love stories, not slides.

Lean how to tell a story (not with this book though)

The problem about Presentation Zen is that the author insists on telling a story but gives no clue about what a good story is.

Someday I’ll post about what makes a story interesting or not. In the meanwhile the important principle to know is : story is conflict. If there are no obstacles between the protagonist and his goal, there is no story.

To know how to tell a story read : La dramaturgie by Yves Lavandier.

By the way, this is why I don’t understand the purpose of SlideShare. A standalone presentation is not interesting. It should be coupled with Youtube for example. Then you have the slides and the interesting part : the story and the person telling the story. Not just slides.

Buy Pictures

I think the author is payed each times he quotes a certain stock photo site. In every page the site is mentioned. I won’t give the name here. But he has a point : put great pictures in your presentation.

The best is to put them full screen. Just get rid of page number and company logo. Use pictures. Like in a movie. You don’t see the name of the director on the bottom of each shot.

You don’t have to put pictures everywhere just to illustrate each word with a photo. This is a presentation not a rebus.

Here is the list of sites for free stock photos the author gives :

Never use cliparts again, but don’t use business images either ! People with bright smile, tie and shaking hands are my nightmare.

Read only 33% of this book

Because the author is good at presentations, not books. A lot of the pages seems to fill in the blank between good presentations examples.

You can find good examples also by searching videos of the great presenters.

The book was here to motivate me and formalize some ideas, not much.

Be bullet proof

A simple way to avoid bullets is to take each bullet and put it on a slides.

And instead of reviewing 7 bullets during 7 minutes. Just put 7 slides (with either a picture, a quote,…) and spend 1 minute on each slide.

Don’t listen to your teachers

If someday someone is looking at my old presentations, I’m gonna die. My teachers wanted me so bad to put crazy and useless stuff on my slides. And I listened to them !

Horrible stuffs like :

  • Page numbers on each slides. And you know why ? To help them criticize me after my presentation by referring to the page number. Just because they won’t listen to me, just note the problems by their pages !
  • Agenda, or plan of the presentation. WTF ?! This is not a document, it’s a presentation !

Go to a tech conference to see bad examples

I know why this book is called Presentation Zen : because to endure some of the presentations I saw yesterday you gotta be Zen and non-violent.

I heard a first speaker complaining about the lectern. He said “I feel less boring when I’m free of my movement”. How much I understand. This is what I felt when he was speaking. He seemed locked behind a microphone. What a shame.

Another speaker was really good, and I liked his story. But the slides looked like a philosophy homework of a 16 years old teenager : so predicatable and boring (A, A1, A2, A3, B, B1….) He told it himself  : “I’m not good at slides”.

For example this man told us a great story about the creation of BIRT and the strategy of Actuate to go Open Source in order to tackle competition. He finished the story by telling that employee of this company are really happy with the decision of the CEO to do that. And sometimes then buy him a tequila to thank him. A good idea could have been to go backward and beginning by putting a Glass of tequila full screen while telling the story.

A third one, was also aware of the problem on his slides but did’n changed a thing ! Strange to note that people know what wrong but don’t change. One of his slides included a huge diagram, impossible to read. And he knew it. He told us. So why keeping it ?

It’s my turn

And maybe I won’t use slides. I must report what I saw at the Eclipse Day. I think slides are not a good idea. Maybe I’m too afraid to fail after all I said…

And you ? What was the last great presentation you saw ? Was there slides ? Share any link here !

How to negotiate in Korean

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[Not in Personal MBA]

The book is called “Being successful with Asian people” (Réussir avec les asiatiques). I’ve read the general introduction about Asia and the chapter dedicated to Korea only.

Like the author says : those information should not be taken as rock solid. It’s a general trend about asian behaviour in negociation.

I wont give you all the details, only some aspects I remember. If your interested or curious, go read this book !

Do not loose your temper

Going crazy, thumping the table, throwing objects at you incompetent colleagues. Even if  you dream of doing it. Don’t.

Of course a few of this people exists. In France we say that they are “Terrible but fair” or “They know what they want”. I call them crazy.

But apart from this extreme, be careful with any sign of irritation or impatience. This will show your weakness. Sometimes Korean negotiating with you will wait for the last moment to answer your proposition. for example : 2 hours before your leave for they airport. Be patient.

Study the major religion of the country

After reading this book, my first interest is to read about Confusianism. The entire korean system is based upon this phylosophy.

Sometimes in my personal travels I didn’t get some aspect of the Korean behavior. And my Korean friend could not really explain. This is because it’s deep inside their mentality : respect of the eldest, notion of Face,…

Learn how to drink

One of my nightmare : being condamed to dring after work in Korea. If you don’t, be careful to have a good reason.

After emptying your shot-glass of Soju, pour the glass on top of your head to show that you finished it.

Of course I’m exaggerating, but Korea has a really high alcohol consuming rate.

The author says that you don’t have to be drunk, just being social.

Do your karaoke homework

Another social event when working with Korean is Karaoke (and food, but that’t all the time). Try to learn some song from your country.

My dream : learn by heart a 2NE1 song and a Bobby kim song to impress youngsters and hajumas. But unfortunately that’s not the kind of people you work with…


For our Korean friends : of course Korea is much more diverse than this article seems to show. And you Korean have a really good sense of humor, so you won’t be hurt, yes ?

My navigation system is trying to kill me

Have a look at the following picture.

Navigon and ViaMichelon

Now tell in which street I am: the first one on top and going to the one above ? Or the other way around ? (Think that you must look at the road while doing this of course.) For me it’s impossible.

The problem is : there is no universal convention to indicate going from a point to another. They could have used an arrow for example.

Also missing is the name of the city I’m in. I needed this information during a lot of occasions.

So before even thinking of putting TV on my GPS or Heads Up Display (which would rock !) : just make a good UI first.

Getting Things Done

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Nothing interesting here. Except for some advice or refeflections about self-management.

I went to the WHSmith library the other day. I was looking for some PBMA books to buy. It’s more expensive than amazon. So I took this book thinking it was the real “Getting Things Done”. But it was not the same…

Anyways I read it. Here is what I remember.

The book is divided into short chapters (what I like since I’ve been doing micro-reading lately). I read during breakfast, during a SVN Checkout, during a break…

It’s about managing your time. More than that : it’s about managing risks : if I forget to do this, what is the risk ? Should I do that before ? etc… Intersting approach to time management.

The most useful part is the one explaining this principle : never allow yourself to add something to your todo-list if you can do it NOW.

That’s what I did for this article. I was going for adding it to my todo-list. But I realized it would be easier to write it now quickly.

To quote Rework : Good enough is fine. Go for small victories.

Small articles are better than no article.

And you ? What are you reading lately ? Did you ever buy a book by mistake ?

Rework : Why this book is Evil!

This book made me love simplicity even more.

This book made me shorten  my todo list and act faster more often.

So why is it so Evil!  after all ?

Because we don’t like change. Change is horrible, especially in companies.

You should have seen the face of some people when they read on the back cover things like : ASAP is poison, meetings are toxic, fire the workaholics…

This book was written by guys who applied their own advices.

And it worked out pretty well for them. Many books of this style are just plain copy of consulting bullshit. But here it actually comes from real experience.

It should be noted that it’s a company based in the US. This means work laws are quite different from France.

Diagram : why it works

It’s actually not as controversial as it seems. Everything is based on one assumption : don’t try to win the world(Chapter “Why Grow?”).

Work your passion and nothing else. You can’t be Microsoft or Google. So stop trying.

Conclusion : it works b**ches !

For the first time I can really apply advices from a book. For the first time I feel lighter. It’s easy to read, to understand and to apply. This is the proof that it was hard to write.

Did you read it ?

Application « Notes » sur iPhone : pourquoi Apple a tout faux

Faire ressembler l’application « Notes » à un vrai carnet de note est une erreur.

La première fois que j’ai utilisé un iPad, j’ai lancé l’application Notes. Et avec le niveau de détail supérieur à l’iPhone je me suis rendu compte de toute la décoration qu’Apple a ajouté à son application : fond type papier, bordures en cuir, feuilles légèrement déchirées au bord…

Assez pour le faire ressembler à un vrai calepin. Mauvais.

La version française de cet article est sur ux-fr.