Dear Seth, I wonder, what did you learn when you were 21 that might have made you who you are now?

This is a big shout-out to thank you for being such an inspiring figure.
2010 has been a year of change and thrills so far, with your consistent urge to just "ship it!" at the back of my head.

Ever since you called on us to take leadership, be different and do remarkable things, I have transformed my birthday celebration from an occasion of debauchery to an occasion of discourse; inviting a series of speakers to deliver lightning-talks on the topic "What I wish I knew when I was 22?" (inspired by Tina Seelig) on my 22th birthday. See You gave me the audacity to organise this just one week before the day of the celebration, and ask people who have went on Time
magazines, built multiple companies from start-up to listing, etc. to grace the occasion. *Can I haz ze honour of meezing you in personz soon pleasez*?

You said that I don't have enough time to be unhappy and mediocre. So I went ahead to apply for Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations despite the 24-hour deadline for application and hefty expenses involved (for a student), composing essay-length answers to a tedious application over coffee, and staying up till 2am Singaporean time to heed an interview call from Boston... You said that people who succeed are those who persevere, persevere, persevere through the dip, so I did. And I got into the Entrepreneurship panel.

Thank you for being borne into the world and making it better just by staying true to yourself, your ideas, and your work.

You have changed the life of a shy Chinese girl who was borne into a family of farmers in rural Hainan; now her footsteps are all over Singapore, she hopes that soon her footsteps will be all over the world.

Have a very happy birthday.


What Every Good Marketer Knows: * Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk. * Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand. * Your best customers are worth far more than your average customers. * Share of wallet is easier, more profitable and ultimately more effective a measure than share of market. * Marketing begins before the product is created. * Advertising is just a symptom, a tactic. Marketing is about far more than that. * Low price is a great way to sell a commodity. That's not marketing, though, that's efficiency. * Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing * encourages the right sort of conversations. * Products that are remarkable get talked about. * Marketing is the way your people answer the phone, the typesetting on your bills and your returns policy. * You can't fool all the people, not even most of the time. And people, once unfooled, talk about the experience. * If you are marketing from a fairly static annual budget, you're viewing marketing as an expense. Good marketers * realize that it is an investment. * People don't buy what they need. They buy what they want. * You're not in charge. And your prospects don't care about you. * What people want is the extra, the emotional bonus they get when they buy something they love. * Business to business marketing is just marketing to consumers who happen to have a corporation to pay for what they * buy. * Traditional ways of interrupting consumers (TV ads, trade show booths, junk mail) are losing their cost-effectiveness. * At the same time, new ways of spreading ideas (blogs, permission-based RSS information, consumer fan clubs) are * quickly proving how well they work. * People all over the world, and of every income level, respond to marketing that promises and delivers basic human * wants. * Good marketers tell a story. * People are selfish, lazy, uninformed and impatient. Start with that and you'll be pleasantly surprised by what you find. * Marketing that works is marketing that people choose to notice. * Effective stories match the worldview of the people you are telling the story to. * Choose your customers. Fire the ones that hurt your ability to deliver the right story to the others. * A product for everyone rarely reaches much of anyone. * Living and breathing an authentic story is the best way to survive in a conversation-rich world. * Marketers are responsible for the side effects their products cause. * Reminding the consumer of a story they know and trust is a powerful shortcut. * Good marketers measure. * Marketing is not an emergency. It's a planned, thoughtful exercise that started a long time ago and doesn't end until * you're done. * One disappointed customer is worth ten delighted ones. * In the googleworld, the best in the world wins more often, and wins more. * Most marketers create good enough and then quit. Greatest beats good enough every time. * There are more rich people than ever before, and they demand to be treated differently. * Organizations that manage to deal directly with their end users have an asset for the future. * You can game the social media in the short run, but not for long. * You market when you hire and when you fire. You market when you call tech support and you market every time you * send a memo. * Blogging makes you a better marketer because it teaches you humility in your writing. Obviously, knowing what to do is very, very different than actually doing it.