Brief History of the BeijingMan
DIVE INTO MY PERSONAL INFO AND EXPERIENCES
I was raised in Finland. My mother Irja Kippo (maiden name Waris, roots in France) was born in Katajanokka, Helsinki, capital of Finland. Her father Emil Armas Waris served as Chief of Machines in steam icebreaker Tarmo, now in Maritime Museum of Finland.
My father Lennart Kippo was born in Vyborg (Viipuri). He was the youngest of seven brothers of Aleksander and Aina Kippo (maiden name Forsblom, her language was Swedish). Back then Vyborg was the major Finnish business city.
Lennart was many things: boxer, actor, dancer, business builder, movie maker, marketing professional, and a real adventurer. He met my mother Irja in Vyborg. WW2 started and late 1939 their young family was evacuated from Vyborg with only a few bags and a 2-year old son, my eldest brother Raimo. Later, two sisters and another brother until finally the last kid popped into reality - that was me.
At 8 Months
I was attacked by a black bird while napping outdoors. Hospitalised but recovered and soon ok.
At 4 Years
My earliest memory. It was Christmas, tens of gift boxes for me (!), Santa Claus, Christmas tree, singing.
At 6 Years
Violin and two weekly lessons begun. To school when I was 6 years 8 months, exciting day. Boy chorus became fun for many years. Märklin trains and Mecano construction toys, and a bicycle.
The day when JFK died I sensed my father's nervousness about what might be ahead, as he had experienced WW2, wounded in battle.
At 9 Years
Busy times. The first media interview for Finnish TV at Hanko water carrousel during Regatta sailing holidays (Hanko is the most southern point of Finland, good beaches). Violin lessons and intensive training and later I joined a classical orchestra. I saw a satellite crossing the night sky at low, probably Telstar. My path crossed with Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's as he was touring Finland after returning from outer space by Vostok 1. If you are going to be at all, then be the first, Gagarin used to say.
At 10 Years
Won a prize to visit candy factory in Valimotie, Helsinki. A lot of fresh candies. Then, comic books, wooden labyrinth game and biking were important. And Boy Scouts and K-carting. Happy times.
At 12 Years
A snake bite during summer camp in lake Finland. Two bite holes on my left hand. High fever, medicine, and back to play. I went several summer camps, one of them was Partaharju near Pieksämäki.
At 13 Years
Car driving begins. Summertime, Hanko holidays, red Opel Record Coupe with 105 hp engine. A pillow onto drivers seat, sombrero onto my head, and go. Father Lennart sat beside and gave directions. I drove around Hanko, a sleepy Finnish seaside town. I remember Lennart saying Now more speed, make sure you get over those railroads, then turn left... to the main boulevard. And we laughed.
At 15 Years
Played speedy but romantic Spanische Weisen by Arthur Seybold, Op. 164 by violin at matiné. Full year training of it, big audience, good applaud, and news. I also got my first computer experience during training course. We remotely used Asea and Brown Boveri's (a Swiss-Swedish conglomerate later ABB) mainframe computer in Sweden by Teletype terminal and BASIC programming language. With school class I made a 3-day sightseeing trip to Leningrad which was later renamed to Petersburg.
Then, I needed to balance the discipline of the classical music. The Beatles broke the rules. I hitchhiked to Paris for some independence during summer holiday. First night in Paris at Arc de Triumf. Lazy times under Eiffel Tower, green grass at that time. Nights by Seine River Pont du Carrousel. Invited to a cruise trip around Seine islands Île de la Cité and Île St.-Louis, by a private super boat. All fine.
From summer jobs during school holidays. I worked as bicycle courier, car repair, park care, and with traffic signs. I salted thousands pork legs with a salt gun. A hard month at brick factory. Railroad works. And I packed Luxor stereos one month in Motala factory in Sweden. Finally, my VW Beetle 1200 was aquarius blue, registration plate BC-674.
Movies, music, readings, judo, aikido, photographing. I developed b/w paper photos, imagined with French cinema.
Classic books, especially Victor Hugo's Les Misérables and Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. Mad Magazine was fun, and we had some mad adventures like climbing up tall radio masts, or train rooftop trips... popular activities in any country with strong rhythm of four seasons. Emerson, Lake & Palmer LP record Tarkus served my imagination, then Kraftwerk, Jarre, Pink Floyd and Zappa, and many others.
In Finland military service is compulsory, every man has to do it, women can volunteer to join. My military service took about one year. My military technology was anti-aircraft systems. Not overly physical, just about learning the guns, some missile systems and command procedures. Brapp, brapp, brapp... the earth vibrated during our guns shooting trainings. My team was good, we managed to take the flying target down and I got rewarded by Lohtajan Risti.
RESERVE OFFICE SCHOOL
I experienced military training in Reserve Officer School in Hamina, also known as RUK.
In RUK I learned the importance of concentration, focus and results. My anti-aircraft battery is tactically independent, fast moving, has support embedded. No hesitation.
For me RUK's group competition called Kirkkojärven Marssi was an easy exercise. At the time my 12-minute Cooper Test result was 3460 meters. For me marching in parade was short-term fun with music and audience. For me celebration lunch or dinner, and there were many, meant delicious smoked salmon and opportunity to enjoy live music, usually Sibelius Karelia Suite by a professional brass band. Now I am an air defense Lieutenant, reserve officer in the Finnish Army, in reserve just like most Finnish men are. Seriously, it all was more fun than bad.
After graduating from business institute I studied information technology in Tampere University. Later I did MBA in China. My focus areas are business development by partnerships, market making and product fit, and business in Mainland China.
Company trainings: in all about 12 months of trainings and courses on specific topics, mostly abroad.
1. Nokia Corp. Finland - Computer Center
TECHNOLOGY ADVENTURES FROM MAINFRAMES TO PCs
With 4000m^2 the computer hall in Nokia's Kilo-TK Computer Center was the leader. My first computer was General Electric 635, GE-635 with GCOS3 operating system. It was not just any computer but a mainframe, super machine GE-635, the same which was used by NASA's Kennedy Space Center for the launch process for Apollo moon rockets. My relation with GE-635 was first rational, then towards emotional.
When managing GE-635's capacities, master mode and slave mode, it felt nearly human! And I dug into its soul. Sometimes dreaming what would it be with Multics operating system, a MIT and GE project which actually led into smaller scale, Unix.
Left: GE-635 ferro magnetic core memory module.
For years I breathed purified and ionized air of 4000m^2 computer hall which was filled with mainframe computers, peripherals and network datanets.
GE-635 was based on transistor technology and 36-bit processor. It was about timesharing, batch applications, transaction processing, and rapid change, updates and development. And like today, success in information technology was about learning faster than the others. Some could solve problems almost naturally while others needed long courses and still couldn't find the shortest way.
Nokia's GE-635 got a lot of publicity, it was the greatest. Along with commercial business, GE-635 participated Moon rock isotope structure processing and chess competitions. For me GE-635 was an adventure and friend, my trip to Moon and beyond.
I joined Nokia Data Kilo-TK Computer Center. There Seppo Vuorinen and Heino Laine became my chiefs for several years. Good guys, good times.
Left: Nokia Data Kilo Computer Center manager Seppo Vuorinen operates at GE-635's console. I met Seppo in summer 2007, the man is champion.
Picture is from Salmisaari, Nokia's first computer center in Helsinki. Later it moved to new Kilo-TK Computer Center in Karaportti, Espoo, where everything was state-of-art.
CHEERS TO GE-635
When GE-635 was put down, I saved its door-sized Input/Output Controller panel (IOC) which is full of switches including Init & Boot. I also saved ferro-magnetic core memory modules and magnetic tape unit reels. Cheers to GE-635 and GCOS3, datanets, TSS, SNUMBs, and its commands
???Stats¶ ???Sieve¶ ???Hold¶ ???Tcall¶ ???Peek¶ ???Patch¶ ???Run all¶
FIRST EMAIL by GE-265
I sent my first email in 1982 by using GE-265 system, famous for being the first time sharing system. GE-265 had physically huge disc, one meter in diameter, with fixed read/write heads, already old system in 1982.
GE-265's messaging system was QuikComm. Before Internet, proprietary QuikComm system was in used in global level by MNCs and embassies. It had connectors to integrate other email systems (LAN servers, mini computers) into seemless global email flow. Support for message attachments varied. Was QuikComm expensive service? Depends, those were times when international telecom charges were monopolistic, sky high, but value of efficient information flow was understood.
GE-265 was a front-end into GE's global MarkIII network and services. In Finland it was hosted by Nokia, by us at Kilo-TK Computer Center. Nordic network center was located in Copenhagen, and Europe's super-center in Holland. Later GEIS provided new technology access point to separate location in Helsinki.
When Honeywell H66 mainframes, based on next level of technology compared to GE-635, introduced email capability, many understood that things will change. What will happen to post offices? Well, still there but the change has been big (think of digital music revolution; media revolution and rapid death of the print media; impact of cloud computing etc).
NOKIA CORP. - BANKING
During 1980-1990 Nokia Data developed banking software and some hardware into finest levels, in technical means.
Left: Marketing photo.
Major Finnish banks had databases and transaction applications in HoneyWell Bull mainframes (H66, DPS8, DPS88) serving Finland-wide online networks for bank branches.
Nokia Data was a technology, product and support partner for banks. At Nokia's computer center I became manager for Honeywell Bull dual system mainframe and network which was dedicated for development.
Later I was appointed product manager for Honeywell 66 and DPS8, DPS88 and DPS90 mainframes with next generation operating system GCOS8. It was time to leave Kilo-TK Computer Center and move to Helsinki, Keskuskatu office beside Ateneum Art Museum and Makkaratalo. There, mainframe configurators became sort of fun.
Nokia was strong with Gcos3/Gcos8 mainframes and computer centers. In Finland, installed base of these mainframes became 31 systems with 55 processors.
Left: Marketing photo.
After GCOS3 came GCOS8 with new architecture. Courses and product marketing meetings needed visits to Paris, Bull Gambetta, Bull Marne-la-Vallée and some other offices. All put together, I have stayed in Paris over half year. For me Paris was always great fun. Bonjour!
Frenchmen often have great thoughts and strategies but not all succeeds. Remember Minitel videotex online system, a web before the www. Many advanced ideas sourced from France but never got into international mainstream.
My work trips, I felt much like being on holidays. For me Paris for tens of times, and still is just a holiday. Weekends in Paris were special, mornings brief walk along boulevards, afternoons longer walks to parks and museums, evenings another Paris. I know persons who get stressed when in Paris, but not me. View from top of Tour Montparnasse skyscraper in central Paris (and everybody hated that building) was amazing.
I stayed often in Paris Holiday Inn Republique, old guillotine square, for their breakfast and location. Those were the times when bombs went off at the Tati clothing/textile store at Republique.
Once my hotel was on the other side of Seine River, near Pere Lachaise Cemetery at Boulevard de Menilmontant. There I found Frederic Chopin who's music belongs my favourites. Also there: Maria Callas, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf.
Left: Marketing photo.
MONEY MONEY MONEY
Finland was early to convert money into electrical format which would enable use of debit/credit cards and banking ATMs.
For several years I was involved in such projects with view on logical security. There is some difference between money in electrical format or just information about money. In such major change people's trust into money was high priority and a must to maintain. That meant data security.
IFIP. May 1983 I participated IFIP's First Security Conference, which took place in Stockholm. I went there together with Stefan Saari. Data security was then an exotic topic, and a 'billion dollar baby'. Reporter Vesa Santavuori interviewed us there for his article Computer Control Discussed in Stockholm, published May 19th, 1983 in Helsingin Sanomat.
THE FIRST DATA SECURITY SEMINAR IN FINLAND
HOW TO PROTECT THE MONEY IN ELECTRONIC FORMAT
Inspired by realities in computer centers and IFIP Security Conference in Stockholm I proposed Nokia to organize data security seminar in Finland. This was in 1983, over 30 years ago. My visionary Nokia chief Kari Kallio agreed with the idea and gave me the task to make it happen. I wanted the seminar to focus on logical security and not to include computer center physical security which at that time was much more in media. Suddenly everybody, from banking and industries to defense, were interested about data security.
Left: The first Data Security Seminar in Finland, Helsinki September 1983.
- Nokia NET Magazine, Feb-84
I went to Paris to meet Mr Harari who was one of the architects of Washington-Moscow hotline communications centers.
Mr Harari asked me about security interest in detail in Finland and information about potential participants. We went through the rapid IT developments in Finland. I wanted to fix his lecture topics, material, and the cost.
I returned to Helsinki with Mr Harari's acceptance to invitation to lecture for three days at Nokia's Data Security Seminar in Helsinki. We fixed the seminar date and place. Invitations were personal but we also had advertisements in Finnish business magazines, like Talouselämä (28/1983).
"Goal is to give participants a "key" to deep knowledge
in the rather new domain of their choice"
DATA SECURITY SEMINAR (3 days)
Nokia's Data Security Seminar was held in September 1983 at Hotel Inter-Continental, Mannerheimintie, Helsinki. Over 40 participants was more than expected for such a special topic. Nokia Data's director Kari Raski opened the seminar. First presentation about legal aspects was by Lauri Lehtimaja, later member of The Supreme Court of Finland. Next, a presentation by consultant Kari Liukkonen. Then Albert Harari started his 3-day lecturing about logical security.
Left: Speakers of the first Data Security Seminar in Finland, Helsinki September 1983.
- Nokia NET Magazine, Feb-84
Mr Harari's topics covered risks and security on databases, networks, directories, searches, internal/external threats, insider threats, cryptology and key management, methods for login control, resource access tables and profiles, risks in Boolean logic with databases, contingency planning, and much more.
Mr Harari broke taboos and had many example scenarios. Cloned bank office set up by former bank employees. Terrorists taking control, for which he used example of a missile launch site: how to get-prepared and protect, how to communicate with operators taken by terrorist and under the threat, advanced use of simulation to verify identity at the keyboard, methods for silent alarm for counter actions. An info package into the need.
Mr Harari gave development ideas to Finnish computer center managers in banks who had the new responsibility for the money in electrical format, and sensitive information. In banking, the goal was to maintain people's trust on the money in any situation, and to maintain privacy.
Finnish TV reported Data Security Seminar in prime news, Mr Harari and young-me were interviewed in Inter-Continental. Protecting the money in electronic format and towards cashless future became the news. February 1984 Nokia's NET Magazine published the article Learnings from the First Data Security Seminar better than expected.
Feedback by the participants was positive, more and ever deeper information was wanted. I had dinner with Mr Harari at Restaurant Mikado (then opposite to Stockmann) in Helsinki. He told those were busy times. He came to Helsinki from Argentina and after Helsinki was going to Paris where he was to give an interview related to Star Wars for French TV at Paris CDG Airport.
Harari's Data Security Seminar was a wake-up call and activated Finnish data security developments. Awareness about data security spread in Finland. A few years later Finland got start-up companies focusing on anti-virus protection with firewalls and other parts of data security with encryption. This was the start.
HLSUA - Honeywell Bull Large Scale Users' Association
Nokia represented Honeywell Bull mainframe systems to Finnish banks and major Finnish corporations, and delivered over 30 installations. Major partner was Bull Corp. in Paris. Computer center personnel wanted to learn best practices from each other. HLSUA, which was a global activity, became the key forum for sharing both technical and management issues.
For 9 years I joined HLSUA meetings in Finland and in Scandinavian level, sharing developments and computer center practices at Nokia.
My roles at HLSUA:
• 1982-1988 Secretary, Computer Center Security Committee
• 1980-1989 Member, Computer Center Management Committee
• 1980-1989 Member, Scandinavian Installation Committee
• 1987-1989 Intl. Coordinator, Computer Center Mngt Committee
Personnel in computer center needed continuously technical briefings, updates and courses. Other than computing technologies, I was happy to learn Kepner-Tregoe systematic processes for analytical thinking. Their problem analysis method was often needed, used and helpful. At some point I also took an English training package with native teachers from US, UK, and some other Europeans, for experiencing different accents.
COMPUTER CENTER WORKSHOPS
40 WORKSHOPS IN HELSINKI, 50 WORKSHOPS ABROAD
In 1980-1990 I visited over 20 major European computer centers, enterprises and governmental, for meetings and workshops. Continuous training and courses were needed for their personnels. Meetings with computer center managers and experts from other countries were needed for sharing the best practises and learnings.
Large mainframe systems were major investments, complicated and their operating system software less perfect. Managing exceptional/problem situations in professional way had to backed by knowledge and trained, learned. Optimising and productivity were the key phrases. Self-confidense of those new professionals who worked with these systems was challenged.
Glass-walled computer centers became touring targets for top management and their business partners. It happened that such a visitor group had stopped to watch mainframe systems though the glass wall. Suddenly a person on the other side, he hadn't noticed the visitors, dropped onto his knees and it looked like he was praying hands up in front of the mainframe. Someone from that visitor group asked:
- What is he doing now!?
Time pressure and process uncertainty? Anyway, a reason more why access to computer centers had to be limited to personnel only.
Left: Nokia Data's computer center in Kilo-TK, Espoo.
- More my photos below
I started to keep Gcos8 Operator Workshops in Nokia Information Technology Education Center (NITEC) in Helsinki for Finnish participants. I did over 40 workshops, 3 or 5 days each, in NITEC, in Helsinki.
Five days workshops, basic and advanced, became known. I begun to keep workshops abroad directly in banks, companies and state organizations, in their computer centers or at local Honeywell Bull training centers. Many of my workshops were international with participants from several countries. I enjoyed traveling and did in total 50 weeks workshops in 8 countries, mainly in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Baghdad.
My 5-day workshops were for Honeywell Bull mainframe installations with GCOS8 operating system. Key topics were how to operate mainframe systems effectively and how to manage exceptional situations and re-configuration. In every computer center there sometimes appeared situations which required complex re-configuration procedures. Better understanding gave computer center personnel self-confidense which was important when dealing with mainframes, to avoid 'paralysis'.
Demand for the workshops was more than I could handle. I did my last such workshop in 1990 in Denmark.
Once again I went abroad to run a week-long workshop, this time for a state organization. Computer center was deep underground in the city center. Very special place. When going there I felt like Maxwell Smart, through many doors, but no need to speak Swahili. The whole week I had a personal guard beside me, all the time. Twelve participants, first names only, no positions, no info about their roles. But they were interested to learn and understand. They did well the full week, it was fun. Be seeing you!
Left: Honeywell DPS 8/47.
- Brochure photo
DPS8/47 was the entry-level system (ELS-2) GCOS8 mainframe around 1980. It was used as a development system or dedicated application processor. Integration and microcoding made DPS8/47 (and DPS8/49) physically small, economical and lightweight.
During 1980-1988 Iran-Irak War I was several times invited to keep workshops in Baghdad. In 1980 head of Nokia's Education Center (later NITEC) sent me a message to ask if I was "ready and willing" to go Baghdad to help a French partner company, an important business partner for Nokia. I was even more, I was ready, curious and willing.
My first workshop trip to Baghdad was booked for September 1980. Flight ticket was ready, from Helsinki to Baghdad via Geneva and the luggage was packed. But the Iran-Iraq war started that very same day. Foreigners rushed out from Iraq by all means. My trip was canceled just two hours before its take-off at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.
The war had begun. Foreign companies and their foreign employees left Iraq in a hurry. But, I was told, at Paris HQs of Nokia's French partner company, the decision to leave from Iraq was delayed. The staying turned into business benefit, loyalty as "all the others had left Iraq".
The need was in place, preparations were done, and next it was a go. As it was war time, I got the invitation VISA from Iraq Embassy. My trips to Baghdad took two weeks at a time.
Flight from Paris to Saddam International Airport in Baghdad landed after midnight. I had car pick-up waiting. Driver, a frenchman (from Paris) took me to Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel, about 15 kms drive. Later in the morning he drove me to French partner company's office. Car windows were kept closed for burning sun and for dust. I didn't expect a holiday and was ready.
Left: Saddam International Airport, renamed Baghdad International Airport.
- Internet photo
Baghdad office of Nokia's French partner was like directly from Humphrey Bogart movie Casablanca. Our meeting was in a dusty-looking room with a few wooden desks. An extra large fan, or rather a propel, rotating slowly high in the ceiling.
In Baghdad I mainly worked in National Computer Center (NCC) and in Rafidain Bank Computer Center. Rafidain Bank had a new, modern computer center, Swiss construction, they said. NCC was in an old building not far from Hotel Al-Sadeer. Both centers had the latest Honeywell Bull large mainframe installations. NCC had a high capacity dual system. I met tens of people, did workshops for their personnel and systems optimizing.
I had pick-up from Hotel Al-Sadeer every morning, same driver, to and from and around.
Once when going to Baghdad I was probably the only traveler on that Iraq Airways flight from Paris to Baghdad. Many thoughts. After long flight an hour before landing, curtains were pulled down and all lights turned off. This was a security measure, followed by a lot of twists and turns before finally landing 2am at then new Saddam International Airport (later renamed Baghdad International Airport).
It was war time, entry to Iraq was by invitation VISA only, no tourists. Three checks at the airport and into Baghdad you go. Arrival was at night and around 4am I met my pick-up person who took me via famous airport expressway to Baghdad city. Some lights, very few cars.
Left: Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel in Baghdad.
- Internet photo
I stayed 2-week periods in Al-Sadeer, every time my room with view over this pool.
Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel is located near AliBaba Fountain and Hotel Sheraton at famous Firdos Square. When Sheraton got some hits by jets, Novotel felt safe. Personnel in Al-Sadeer Novotel was mainly from Filippines, India, and Sri Lanka. Persons at reception desk were Filipinos, lobby personnel was Tamils and pool attendants Sinhalese and Indian. Filipinos at reception always remembered to tell me about 1952 Miss Universe Armi Kuusela, a Finn who married Filipino businessman Virgilio Hilario.
Times in Baghdad Al-Sadeer were active. Every week a group of Armenian children came to swim and to have fun. I also experienced many kinds of celebrations and noisy events. Wedding parties, music, dancing, and decorated cars. Women making loud ululation tongue trill at late Baghdad night.
There were days when Baghdad was too hot for me. 30 mins at Al-Sadeer's pool side in +45C was an experience. There, I saw Al-Sadeer's tennis courts being built by Egyptian and Kurdistan workers. During the hottest weather the workers managed amazingly well. They dipped into water barrel to wet their loose trousers belt-level down for cooling. Iraqis told me that during the hot periods people don't sleep inside, they sleep on the roof top, right under the starry sky.
Sometimes sandstorms cut visibility to minimum and made the sun look like a small violet ball.
Hotel quests were mainly arms dealers. 30 rooms were all the time reserved to one major arms dealer group. Some other sales delegations acted in diciplined format inside the hotel. Represented products were full range from hand grenades to electronic upgrade kits to modernize the tanks, and beyond.
In the evenings restaurant and bar in Al-Sadeer Novotel were crowded with foreign experts, arms sellers, and UN personnel. Everyone came to Iraq by invitation VISA. Evenings in Al-Sadeer's restaurants was relaxed but sort of cautious.
Many were interested about what others were doing in Baghdad.
- What brings you to Baghdad?
- We build subways...
- I am from UN...
- “Why did you have to come to Baghdad? There are other places.”
Of course, nobody was willing to be open. Subway was a fun excuse.
Every night I had a dinner with Frenchmen. In the beginning of every dinner my French friends would make Filipino waitresses smiling and relaxed. Those dinners were fresh feedback sessions, for log/review. I, too, learned a lot during discussions. Beside the feedback, I focused on entrecôte (imported from France) and prime Bordeaux wines. I became Bordeaux wine 'expert' in Baghdad. Sometimes we went to nearby Sheraton.
Jets speeded in the sky and Iraqi troops with Russian made 23mm anti-aircraft guns were always ready. There were many, many guns in the city.
Left: March 9, 2005 attack, explosion and sniper fire on Baghdad Al-Sadeer Novotel Hotel.
- Internet photo
ACROSS THE RIVER TIGRIS
Many places in Baghdad became familiar: Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel and Hotel Sheraton near Shahid Mosque at Firdos Square (which got infamous 12 meters tall Saddam statue in 2002, pulled down in 2003), Saddun Street, Sook Market, Tupili Department Stores (empty, no goods for sale), antiques shops in Mansour, The Swords Gate and parade area, Unknown Soldier Monument, water pump houses and date farms at Tigris River.
Saddun Street was busy with people, shops had framed pictures of Saddam Hussein. Wall-sized president images in street corners, painted and mosaic images on walls.
Private exchange gave one dinar for one USD. I found hand made metal works and a Kurdistan carpet from Sook Market. No customers but it was an experience because noisy handcraft workshops made still products, and during the siesta workers rested on their work tables.
Iraqi men were in war, personnel in computer centers were mainly women. Some of them were called 'good Muslims', they wore traditional clothes. Some had western style clothing, some even miniskirts. Much of their work was to stand in given positions in glass-walled area. Some were engineers. Six days a week but only five hours per day, each day ending with system's power-off procedures, all done by 2pm. I had not seen such rule in any other computer center, expensive investments were usually kept 24/7 in production. By 2pm a line of light blue Buicks arrived to pick the computer center women and to drive them back to their villa areas. Wives of Saddam's military officers, I was told.
Left: AliBaba Fountain in Baghdad near Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel.
- Internet photo
I did many walk trips from Al-Sadeer to AliBaba Fountain to Firdos Square and Hotel Sheraton.
There was a Honeywell DPS6 mini system's (I was not involved on DPS6) software engineer, professional who had been a soldier in southern front. Every time when we met, he went through his war experiences. "The worst was not the war itself, or the lack of sleep, or lack of food, or the hot weather, snakes or the deads, or lot of deads..." The worst were mosquitos. He demonstrated the sound and flying, propelling, dancing around. He wrote notes onto his arms and hands which already were full of texts and numbers.
There was an engineer who had lost one eye. He had visited U.K. for operations and got the glass eye. Sometimes his political views were guite extreme which was exceptional, others never talked politics.
The Baghdad Observer was the only English language newspaper available. For more news I had this Sony shortwave receiver often at hotel's pool side. Listening radio was allowed only with earphones as Al-Sadeer Novotel was located near a mosk. That rule gave me time to write 'diary notes' of my experiences crisscrossing the River Tigris.
Once I was on way by Iraq Airways from Paris to Baghdad. At CDG Airport the plane was guarded with arms, less than ten passengers, long wait inside the plane. Finally information: four luggages which didn't belong to any passenger had been found. Every passanger needed to go out beside the plane to point own luggage. After clean-up it was take off and towards Baghdad.
I was asked for a meeting with high Officer. I went alone. When waiting outside his office, secretary who also was an interpreter, was visibly very nervous, shaken. I wondered why so, what was it going to be.
The office was wood panelled with luxurious furnishing. Walking towards I felt like in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, only was the office a bit shorter.
During our 30 minutes discussion the high Officer didn't say a word! Secretary spoke to me English, made questions. Then she spoke to high Officer, followed a period of silence, and she talked again to me. Did the high Officer control secretary's answers by eye contact? No earphones, no Google Glass back then. Surreal discussion ended with disagreement and I didn't exactly behave culturally correctly. I was asked something I was not prepared nor willing to do, and stood up to clarify my view. Memorable moment.
BAGHDAD PALACE IN DORA DORA
I was invited for dinner to Dora Dora beside river Tigris. My host came to pick me from Hotel Al Sadeer with his new VW Passat Brasili, made in Brazil. Driving to Dora Dora took around 20 minutes.
The palace was built in 1958, surrounded by park. It had probably some 20 halls and rooms. Palace entrance had high pillars, in front were three black limousines, one was a long new Cadillac. The old palace nearby had recently been converted for personnel housing. Not far, alongside the River Tigris was a fishing pond and water pump station which was needed for date tree farm around the palace.
I took few steps up and between the pillars, and entered into wide, some four meters high and 15 meters long hall. The palace and this hall were for receiving state guests. Floor bricks imported from Iran. Walls were covered with carpets, gifts and large photographs. On low tables were glassware and porcelain. Wooden cabinets with glass doors had metal works and arts. The gifts were from visiting heads of states and leaders. Among others, Eric Honecker of East Germany had been here in 1970, his gifts were porcelain. Idi Amin from Uganda had visited here, he was in a large group photo taken there.
After my host had introduced the palace and the hall, the double doors opened into dining hall. Persons who opened the doors did it like by invisible hand, I didn't see them, the doors opened when we approached them, a well prepared act to raise the mood.
Dining hall was smaller but same width as the main hall. One long table for about 25 persons. Windows, it was dark night already. The right side end of the long table had hot dishes, chicken, fruits and more, enough for six persons and we were just two. Many famous leaders must have dined at that table. I didn't notice any personnel. Moments of silence, and the evening was dark.
This palace belonged to the Sheik who was among top-5 of the country. My host was his youngest(?) son, he had been in Iraq-Iran war for three years and for that service he got Brazilian made VW Passat Brasili as compensation from the state. He was now on one year resting period, war holidays, working in the computer center. Reason for inviting me to dinner was related to issues in the computer center. A work dinner, but we didn't talk much. He had a question, a complex one, and I had an answer to that question. After dinner he drived me back to Hotel Al-Sadeer.
Before my trips to Baghdad, I didn't take time on learning their culture. Next day after visiting the palace I wished I had. In computer center a big meeting was organised for me. Speech. Then my host gave me a gift, a hand made silver candlestick for three candles with heart in the middle. He announced that this gift was from his father, the Sheik who belonged top-5 in Iraq and whom I never met. Big applaud.
Left: Silver candlestick which I received in Baghdad.
The candlestick was originally a state level gift to Iraq from Turkey. I saw three similar candlesticks in Dora Dora palace's state quest reception hall. I stopped at them and told my host how nice it was. The one I received, in picture, was one of those three.
I felt culturally unclear and wanted to give my host something. I had my new Sony Walkman, he had never used such. Inside was Jean-Michel Jarre's Magnetic Fields on tape. Standing beside me and we standing in front of all, he put earphones on and pressed play. His eyes begun rapid left-right moves. Event was over. Great moments.
AMMAN AIRPORT ROCKS
Once my Air France flight from Baghdad to Paris (then plane change to Helsinki) had a stop around 4am in Amman, Jordan, Queen Alia International Airport. Plane's announcement said one hour stop, allowed to briefly visit Amman Airport. I went to stretch, other travellers, there was a few only, stayed in plane.
Inside Amman Airport, behind a corner, group of aggressive, over eager night guards caught me. We didn't have a common language, it was deep night, no other people. They rapidly pointed their automatic guns towards me. One of them pushed his gun hard to my head, my nose! I pulled my head backwards eyes focusing on the gun's barrel. I probably looked like Chaplin, but this was not a movie. They pushed me against the wall, followed pushing and a quick beating until they let me dig the passport. You know how I felt when back in plane and flying towards Paris. Hammered. Next time to Amman I prefer daylight!
Landing to Paris CDG Airport never felt as good, but there was still long hours until back in Helsinki.
I was leaving the computer center for the last time. A lot of hand shakings and picture takings. Tears, even cries as we had spend much time together and shared interest on information technology. We had had a unique way to learn about each other and technology.
Oh yes, wait a minute Mister Postman
Wai-ai-ai-ait Mister Postman
Mister Postman look and see, oh yeah ...
Deliver the letter, the sooner the better ...
-- The Beatles
At war time, sending letters from Iraq to abroad was limited. Some had asked me earlier and I was non-political and pro-communication. But it was not so simple even after I had learnt the reasons. They probably took much bigger risk. I got a thick pack of letters to be mailed to their destinations once I was in Europe. Foolish excitement. But there is a 'mail pigeon' inside every man... and I checked every letter carefully.
But I hadn't left yet. Outer gate guards had earlier demonstrated me their trigger fingers by shooting around. Demonstrations were so effective that I didn't seriously consider making any sudden movements, like lifting my arm up to wave for bye-bye. But this time was different, the guards stopped me and smiled. They had a gift for me, a big box of local dates! I thanked and took it along. Dates, excellent dates! Amazing country, amazing people!
Later, at Paris CDG Airport I stamped and mailed over 20 letters while waiting for Finnair flight Paris-Helsinki, my 'mail pigeon' told me this was a right thing to do while non-political and pro-communication.
More missiles were used against Baghdad and visiting there became too dangerous. My last workshop with Iraqis was for safety reasons arranged in Amsterdam. It was a 3-week marathon workshop. Participants came from Baghdad and Mosul. They were not only from computer centres but included some university persons. For me that was heavy three weeks, in Hotel Sonesta Renaissance Amsterdam.
My period of workshops in Baghdad started as support for Nokia's French business partner who operated in Iraq, and ended over five years later in Amsterdam. The Frenchmen, my partners in Baghdad, were always very professional. Exciting times!
FIRST OWN PC - Nokia MikroMikko 4TT m336
It was late autumn 1987. Nokia had a computer factory in Karaportti, Espoo. My first own PC for home was Nokia MikroMikko 4TT m336, Intel 20MHz 80386 processor with math coprocessor 80387, 70Mb SCSI hard disc and DU146 14" VGA display. Grey mouse with Windows 1.01. When moving that grey mouse, it draw a line onto the screen - wow.
Left: Nokia MikroMikko 4TT.
- Brochure photo
Late autumn 1987 Nokia MikroMikko 4TT was a new model, and I picked mine directly from Nokia Data's factory in Karaportti, Espoo.
Nokia MikroMikko 4TT was a bonus for keeping one week-long workshop abroad. Sweet, since 4TT's list price was about half of a new Volkswagen Golf. I had asked for it, and thanks to visionary NITEC chief Kari Kallio, got what I wanted.
MikroMikko 4TT served me well. Those were the times when many who worked in IT begun to buy parts, put them together and, voila, built a PC, myself included.
- My PC is much faster than yours!
Only few productivity tools existed for Windows. That was the era of learning capabilities and emerging roles for PCs, LANs, servers and minis as dedicated application or productivity extensions to mainframes. We were only nearing the Internet era.
ENOUGH OF WORKSHOPS
In addition to Iraq, I did computer center workshops for 50 weeks in 8 countries during 8 years. Most often in Denmark, over 20 times time one-week international workshop, mainly at Domus Vista in Välby, Copenhagen. Danish workshops were organized by Bull, Mr Hans-Olof Lehnert, we had good times. My last workshop in Copenhagen was in 1990. These workshops were always accepted by Nokia as a 'side process' while I went through several professional roles not related to workshopping.
IN THE MEANTIME
NOT ONLY WORK - THERE WAS THE OTHER SIDE
• Danced Zorbas, but only once
• Saw President Urho Kekkonen in person
• Saw Prime Minister Golda Meir at Stockholm Grand Hotel
• Handshaked with The Hoff, David Hasselhoff aka 'Ritari Ässä'
• Took a night flight by British Trident aircraft
• Drove red Volvo P1800 'Simon Templar'
• Survived riding Suzuki muscle enduro bike for one year
• Slurped two raw eggs directly from the eggshell, twice
• Experienced Kenny Everett Show, several times
• Stopped thinking about jetpack after Segway (2001)
• Was fooled by Madrid taxi driver with fast-forward taximeter
• In Leningrad, Soviet Union,
dipped my hand into River Neva in the middle of the night. We were chain of three persons and pulled up a Russian man from icy Neva River, and it was my hand and his hand, as I was the reacher into Neva. Nothing much compared to a friend who had to convince his insurance company... after killing M-size snake with his saxophone in a Nairobi hotel room... for a new saxophone.
FIRST TRIP TO CHINA - HOLIDAY IN BEIJING
My holiday alternatives for Christmas in 1992 were Manila, Florida and Beijing. I joined to a teachers group to Beijing.
No cars in Beijing streets, very orderly goings. I was as curious about Chinese as they were about me, a foreigner.
For Christmas dinner I took taxi from my Gloria Plaza Hotel to Sheraton Hotel Great Wall. It was an old Lada, taxi driver had covered the speedometer with Mao's postcard picture. While driving he studied that picture more than the road ahead. I had a chance to wonder about Chinese mentality.
Left: In 1992 at Great Wall near Beijing. Day was windy and unbelievably cold, even for a Finn grown up with strong four seasons. For survival I had to buy that nikita hat before climbing up the wall.
In 1998, many China trips later, I would move to Beijing as an expat for Nokia Corporation. That would be my second time working for Nokia. But before that there were a few other companies.
2. General Electric Information Services, GEIS
BUSINESS SERVICES FOR MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS (MNCs)
GE Information Services, part of GE Corporation, and Nokia Corporation were business partners. Nokia also was a GEIS customer. I worked in Helsinki with GEIS technology and customers, a real opportunity to learn productivity and business processes.
We had great fun with Jack Welsh themes; empowerment, speed, stretch, and customer satisfaction. GEIS had three supercenters with top level technology for global email and applications for MNCs and governments. And this was before the Internet era.
before Internet era, that's what GE Information Service, sort of, was. GEIS had business communications and email connectors which linked most proprietary email systems. EDI services were the major backbone. And global applications from treasury management to mining and ship engine spare parts applications. GEIS apps were critical for many tens of Finnish MNCs.
We had special customers like World Economic Forum (WEF) and several embassy networks. GEIS delivered workstation apps with global communications. Some MNC customers used emails via satellite links. Slogan Information is your weapon No.1 was well understood. Good times, smart people and at the time the most advanced value-added services, which later were copied or re-invented by many others.
I enjoyed GEIS meetings and workshops in Rockville HQs in Maryland, in Switzerland, U.K., Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and of course in Helsinki. Once GEIS CEO interviewed a few persons about market directions and needs in Rockville and I was one of them.
I have landed/taken-off at famous Reagan National Airport in Wash D.C.
GE Information Services had strongly centralised control in Rockville. It could have done better in Europe if they understood more about European business culture mosaic and European approach. Customization, yes, but not enough flexibility for needs and markets outside the US.
Left: April 1992 Washington D.C.
This photo with President Ronald Reagan was taken in 2nd floor of Old Post Office Pavilion, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C.
In Washington D.C. I rested under Japanese sherry trees during their blossom. In National Gallery of Art I found works by my top favorites Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. In Smitsonian I found abstract expressionism bronze by Henry Moore, an effective escape into imagination.
We had a sales training session in Helsinki. Sales booster came from U.S. He acted as an aggressive beast, and we enjoyed being shocked before getting black in smoke sauna. Another workshop was held in Hotel Montreaux Palace in Switzerland, followed by Lake Geneva boat trip with a jazz band, from Château de Chillon. Yet another workshop was at Lago di Maggiore in Northern Italy, again perfect views and ultimate care. Arrangements of GE Information Services workshops were always top level.
3. ICL, International Computers Limited
PROJECTS: TELECOM, CONSULTING, QUALITY
ICL, International Computers Limited, is a famous British computer flagship which then joined to Fujitsu. At ICL in Helsinki I did f.ex. global network consulting project for ABB Corp. among others.
I was one of the builders of ICL's quality system SFS-ISO9001 (EN 29001) which got certified among the firsts in Finland. Quality system meant mapping the processes and auditing them, educative.
In Europe "quality" was based on ISO 9001 standard but in U.S. at GE Information Services the key measure was customer satisfaction.
- More effective, said GEIS VP to me in Rockville.
Personnel training in ICL in Finland was mainly based on sauna, sausages and beer. Well, there were some workshops about customer needs and sales process, and of course, some enterprise games.
4. TeamWARE Group
ROLE: INTERNATIONAL MARKETING AND ANALYST RELATIONS
TeamWARE, part of the Fujitsu/ICL corporate group, an international software company in Helsinki with innovative products. My role at TeamWARE was international marketing related to groupware products (office productivity suite) and Internet-Extranet-Intranet enablers.
LONDON. I did international marketing and was located some six months in Bracknell near London, for sales boost project in U.K. And I learned that funny driving on left.
Smart times. TeamWARE sponsored F1 team Jordan (later sold to become Force India). One of the key TeamWARE customers was the Metropolitan Police. We used famous actors for a serie of top management groupware shows. Actors read text from teleprompters which were placed behind the audience. Audience probably never noticed them. Result: very convincing and effective case shows.
A few days before midsummer in June 1995 I was sent to Munich for media interviews for three days. Interviews resulted articles by leading publications Computer Zeitung, Computer Reseller News, NetWorks, Computerwelt Österreich and Business Computing. Journalists made good questions, publicity was good for groupware and TeamWARE, and I had good times.
July 1995 I joined to banking security conference in Moscow. Flight Helsinki - Moscow was by Tupolev, my first and only so far. I was also the only foreigner with presentation in the conference. Event was organized by Rosincass - Russian Encashment Association, at Bankcentre Concern. All, some 300, Russian banks participated and meetings were held alongside the conference.
Closing party was about vodka, caviar and small apples. Physical security show was artistic and multitude of scenarios always ended with a kill. After the show a man came to me. He had darkened eyeglasses and four bodyguards around. He spoke Russian:
- What you presented... is the future of Russia
I thanked, we handshaked, he left.
- He is KGB, told my interpreter
I had vodka bottoms-up and an apple with many bankers. Vodka, no borscht.
Next morning I took taxi from Moscow Olympic Penta Renaissance Hotel to Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport. Bad traffic jam on the highway. Fluently, my Moscow taxi driver took center lane on wrong side of highway, driving against coming cars, flashing lights while speeding to the airport. Suicide roulette with our lives. Now I know it for sure, the time bends, Einstein was correct.
That Moscow taxi to the Sheremetyevo Airport was a new kind of experience. And payment became a small surprise, too. I had paid taxi at hotel before the ride by credit card, $61USD. Payment taken from my account was $81USD, number 6 had been altered to number 8.
At Sheremetyevo International Airport long lines of travelers. Passport Officer looks my passport, takes phone, speaks Russian, a traveler behind me translates: your VISA has expired.
Group of 'Officers with Great Hats' appeared, their leader says to me:
- Your VISA has expired
Complete silence, I tried:
- Mistake made in Helsinki, quick VISA for 3 days
Leading 'Officer with the Great Hat' looks my passport, then me, many times. We stare, no smiles, and time stops. After absolutely FOREVER the leading Officer says in Russian to Passport Officer:
- Let him go
Great decision! Traveler behind me laughed that I had almost won a weekend in Sheremetyevo's holding cell. But the Officer's decision was based on fact.
My Moscow was like a ballet, choreograph was theirs and I danced hard. Thank you Russia, it was good time in Moscow.
Email and eCommerce entered onto every desk. I represented TeamWARE Group in EEMA Association EEMA, then, was about business use of Internet, directories, email address formats, eCommerce in business and logical security. EEMA's head office was in Inkberrow near Birmingham, The Old Bull Pub in Inkberrow village was positively noisy! I was member of EEMA's
• Internet Committee
• Directory Committee
• User Committee, and
• International Events Planning Committee
I value TeamWARE's products, they compared well against Microsoft, Novell and other competition. After several private trips to China I had the idea: to unofficially release groupware package to rapidly developing China market, to build scale and user base, and charge later for new fully localised software versions.
I believe such China plan would have had a good chance to succeed. But there was not big thinking in TeamWARE, for them the growth market in China was too radical, and instead they tried and failed in mini-rules-based-Singapore. And Microsoft took the Chinese growth markets by allowing product to be copied in order to get paid later (MS got partly paid while TeamWARE got nothing).
In TeamWARE, organizational trainings were enterprise games and focused workshops. Once during a partner event, we snow-mobiled in Lapland. Cold fun! Some partners got a real icebreaker experience and were dressed into survival suits to float between ice blocks. TeamWARE invested heavily on information services and top analyst reports, which was very enjoyable, like champaign in Gogol's The Nose.
After having lived 10 years in Beijing, I found "TeamWARE's China copy" in Beijing. Similar set of products. Not surprising since I had already seen many copy-companies: company name and logo, business idea, products, web-site, even the whole physical office set-up of a Beijing-based foreign company with paintings and furnishing in detail, can get copied. If you knew what software tools the real TeamWARE had licensed, the copy would buy the same, easy.
TeamWARE's China copy was seeking partnership but the real TeamWARE showed no interest on seeking growth from Chinese markets. Truth is that some success stories have been created when a foreign enterprise had joined hands with its Chinese copy which has the motivation and acts as a market short cut with ready relations. Budweiser being one such.
5. Elisa Oyj - former HPY teleoperator
ROLE: PRODUCT MANAGEMENT FOR INTERNET SERVICES - 1 year
In 1997 I changed to telecom/mobile operator which was combination of past and new, and in need of modernization. They asked me to join and establish Product Management group for Internet service products for consumers, SMEs, enterprises and public sector, and that's what I did.
TAKING THE MARKET LEADERSHIP
Competent people into team. Roger G. Pineda was the key to define consumer product Kolumbus 1. Soon Elisa took consumer Internet market leadership from Sonera with 49FIM (8EUR) per month flat rate Internet package. Those were the times when Finland was "the most Internet country in the world". Those were the times of browsers, dial-up and ISDN.
I wanted to learn more about making a website. If I could do such, most others could, too. I wrote "Dreams Come True" website by using Microsoft Notepad. Need not to be Nobelist to create a simple blog.
In 1997-98 Internet services were about learning faster than the others. Everybody might not agree, but Internet then was pretty simple.
I was appointed as consultant to company's Internet business affairs in Germany. I was not really interested as I didn't see the company having required value-add. By then I had already decided to leave and not to take Germany. I had two alternatives. Contract with Sonera (now TeliaSonera), our main competitor. Contract paperwork had been done, it was ready for signing. Literally, at the final hour I changed direction, didn't sign to Sonera, but signed to Nokia China as my expat contract got approved. Soon after I had left, the company's Internet affairs in Germany collapsed.
Biggest challenge at Elisa was the strong can't-do-that attitude, symptom of their 'telephone association past'. The will to reach milestones and get results, X-factor, was missing. Progress was made in slow motion because markets offered low hanging berries, easy growth opportunities (Internet was popular), to be picked with new technology products. Company's business processes were not defined, enabling comfortable working style without pain of focused, targeted, results-oriented approach. Mismatch with the market speed and what does it needs to become the first.
Can't-do-that experience prepared me well for the next phase in China. Realities in mainland China had similar mentality troubles, the past conflicting with the progress.
NEW YORK AND BALTIMORE
My employment with this telecom operator was over in one year, shortest that I ever had. There were some positive points: results, good team and market leadership. And learning was supported. I enjoyed industry updates at Internet conferences in New York and Baltimore. Forward-looking meetings about coming cloud services in Gothenburg Sweden, very smart. And many interesting meetings with partners and foreign visitors.
During an organizational training I had to climb top of a high pole, to stand on small plate on top of that pole. Standing up there and watching trapeze bar meters away. Dare to jump trapeze over that gap! It was a fit process during Internet boom, the era of discontinuities, paradigm shift, crossing the chasm, laissez-faire, and building the bubble. My jump succeeded, almost too easy.
6. Founding Partner: OSCAL Company
VENTURE No.1 CHINA INFORMATION FOR NORDIC MNCs - 4 years
Helsinki 1994, I was working for TeamWARE Group. With some friends, not related to TeamWARE, we saw China rising and opening, and we became venture partners. We established the original OSCAL Company, name coming from Oy Scandinavian Chinese Affairs Ltd. This venture became success while it was ahead of the curve and too early for other companies but multinationals, MNCs. For SMEs and Startups the media atmosphere full of China's human rights, was causing denial of the China market.
Left: Meeting room flags.
In 1992 I was still working for TeamWARE Group, when a holiday trip to Beijing became my turning point regarding China. China's 'market economy' had started a few years earlier. I had a BigMac in China's first McDonalds, not far from TianAnMen Square, and the new spirit was visibly in place.
THE FIRST CHINA AGREEMENT
In 1994 OSCAL signed agreement under China's State Planning Committee in Beijing. Agreement was reached after two weeks of daily negotiations. We tapped into the core stream of Chinese information. Our partnership agreement was the first for the Chinese party. The second to reach similar agreement with them was Gartner Group. I witnessed and was part of China's opening at the very start.
It was then, when I got my Chinese name 启思博.
OSCAL SERVICES FOR MNCs
OSCAL China consulting got over 20 multinational corporate clients: Nokia, Kemira, Outokumpu and Rautaruukki from Finland, Ericsson from Sweden, Danfoss from Denmark, Telenor from Norway, and many smaller technology/ecotech companies. We got some clients even from Italy.
Partnership with China was rewarding. I learned about China's transition towards market economy, opportunities, and role of Guanxi and Treat.
Left: OSCAL 1996 China brochure.
'If you are willing to expand your business in China, you need to understand Guanxi'
Today OSCAL's message is still 100% valid, successful partnerships and sales in China are based on Guanxi, relations.
In 1995 public media focused on human rights, especially so in Sweden. But China was already attractive for multinational corporations. In China, MNCs used their resources to learn and utilize Guanxi. For SMEs the time was too early, and in most cases still is, because of China's business culture: lack of rule-of-law, need for strong Chinese industry expertize, difficulty of building image, and understanding their business strategies, and Guanxi.
OSCAL was an early bird mainland China business booster and did many China projects with MNCs. Megatrends Asia writer John Naisbitt proved to be right about China's rise and OSCAL team was inspired by his views. OSCAL became a prelude to my 15+ years period of business in Beijing. China was not a decision, but rather a voice inside, and that voice grew stronger.
7. Nokia Corp. China - Expat in Beijing
ROLE: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA - 7 years
By autumn 1998 I had over 110 work trips done from Helsinki to abroad, mainly Europe and U.S. I left Elisa (HPY), skipped offered position at Sonera, and returned to Nokia Corp as an expat in Beijing to help modernize China by mobile networks and phones. It was all about business development, from JV to critical market share projects (PrePaid and SMS), to search for Chinese talents, recruiting top resources, building new groups, coaching towards new. I worked together with mainland Chinese, at China Mobile, China Unicom, and with many partners. Projects, results, and fun.
My Nokia China period was planned for two years but it stretched to four contracts, to seven years. In China my total Nokia employment years clicked to 20. I learned Mandarin language, Chinese way of business, and Chinese mentality.
BEIJING HOME No.1 - Hua Qiao Cun
First it felt weird that home door has just a number, no name plate. Name and address are sensitive issues in China, maybe for reasons.
Left: My Beijing home No.1
in HuaQiaoCun, the famous Overseas Chinese Village.
From Autumn 1998 to May 2002, the first 3,5 years in China, my home was apartment A1601, 170m^2 on 16th floor in HuaQiaoCun.
At TianAnMen Square, take the main avenue towards east, it is the first apartment building with balconys on the main avenue side, just beside SciTech department store. This picture is taken from top floor of opposite CITIC building, the earliest international office building in Beijing and mainland China.
HuaQiaoCun was good if you wanted to see visiting world leaders. Every week car caravans passing by, President George W. Bush had over 70 cars. He stayed overnight opposite to HuaQiaoCun, the other side of the main avenue in International Club. President Clinton went to DiaoYuTai State Guest House which is more traditional but not a bad choice, neither.
HuaQiaoCun apartment building was built about 1986. It was the first building where foreigners were allowed to own an apartment in Beijing. House management's service was good. If I had any problems, 4-6 workers in blue clothing marched in to solve them, no wait. There were times when I felt that service at HuaQiaoCun was even too complete, tested it and it was so.
Beijing Old Railway Station was near. During the nights I could hear signaling sounds when trains were arranged for next day's schedule. Early mornings nearby army unit woke up and shouted during their morning exercise. I got used to it, homely.
Left: My Beijing home No.1
in HuaQiaoCun, the famous Overseas Chinese Village.
The house was famous because of life stories of some Chinese persons who lived there. Eastern gate, left, was built in 2000.
Community. Many neighbors were from Hong Kong, Singapore or early wealthy mainland Chinese. One imported alcohols, he had several Rolls Royces. Another business person went always with medical team with him. Some were sport stars, some in popular music. HuaQiaoCun community was sort of elite of those times.
BEIJING HOME No.2 - Yang Guang Dushi - Sun City
May 2002 I moved to Sun City, four 24-floor towers Yang Guang Dushi, in Xin ZhongJie street ('New Middle Road') near Workers' Stadium. My 11th floor apartment was then new, 201m^2, three bedrooms. Excellent layout and space, better than in HuaQiaoCun. Italian kitchen. Living room was six meters wide with Italian red marble floor, and with full width glass balcony.
During seven years in Sun City I got many good friends, both Chinese and foreign, mainly with business background.
Left: My Beijing home No.2
Some 200 companies were operating among Sun City's 800 apartments, for cheaper cost level than real offices offered. Apartment companies caused many troubles to families.
In addition, some Sun City company people had so strong "provincial mentality" that it forced to check from calendar which century we were living on (sorry, no details).
And yet, Sun City's house management didn't have a clue about house management. Mentality gap was huge. And still, LAN connection for Internet was always slow. All these troubles resulted gradually worsening living environment, where proactivity was unknown and slow reactivity was a norm. Repairing broken, dangerous slider in children's playground took a year. Rooftop 'hutong' homes begun to grow like a decease. Someone invented to begin to rent house cellars, some called them 'ant people'. The house developer's promises were not kept, and the house quality and style were lost. One apartment was rented to 50 men working as guards. The decision to leave Sun City was not difficult.
BEIJING HOME No.3 - Glory International Mansion - Guangcai Mansion
May 2010 I moved to Glory International Mansion near Worker's Stadium south gate. A real upgrade. Glory, i.e. Guangcai has four 31-floor high towers. French Culture Center is located in Tower-1, and Spanish Cervantes Institute opposite to Tower-2.
My home was 22nd floor apartment A in Tower-2, views to East and South over Beijing modern center area. 276m^2 space with excellent layout. Responsive and service-minded house management. Red, hidden panic buttons in every room to launch security group at the door in 180 seconds (tested). Four balconies. Gym, pools, and 2nd floor courtyard garden. Many good restaurants nearby, italian, taiwanese. Many neighbors became friends, both expats and Chinese.
Left: My Beijing home No.3
Guangcai Mansion (Glory)
From my living room I could see Workers Stadium, City Hotel, SanLiTun Soho, Pacific Century Place PCP, Edinburg Apartments, Fosun, CCTV Tower, even BTV Tower and WTC Towers, LG Towers, Ritan Park and old CITIC Building beside old Friendship Store, opposite to SciTech Department Store, China Life tower. Guangcai was home for ambassadors, a Chinese minister and several well-known western and Chinese business persons. Guangcai was my home for three good years. Excellent place, absolutely.
LEARNING MANDARIN CHINESE
I had one-on-one Mandarin studies for 4 years with linguistics Professor Qie JinShen - Qie LaoShi. He taught Mandarin to some Nokia China's managers, including company's president Folke Ahlbäck.
Qie Laoshi's experience and knowledge made Mandarin language studies and Chinese culture great fun, three times every week. He was often able to explain the Chinese thinking and reasons behind the actions and reactions. He had experienced China's change and had logical way to handle it to a foreigner. I hope he writes a book about his experiences and views.
Left: Professor Qie JinShen
Now I use Mandarin in semi-professional manner with friends, colleagues, business partners, and in situations like recruitment interviews. With customers my Mandarin is for speeches during the events, and Chinese proverbs can be used during ritual dinners. Understanding Mandarin is of course a great benefit.
I have many good Chinese friends in Beijing. Entrepreneurs, professionals, and some known by most Chinese. We had dinners with exotic dishes, and went events. I was asked to many birthday parties, several weddings, and one cremation and funeral. With Chinese friends I travelled to Beijing suburbs, many provinces and holidays in BeiDaiHe, Hainan, and Xi'an. With my Beijing friends I have had holidays in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and twice driving around mid-Europe.
Sometimes we brainstorm business opportunities, situations and developments, that has also lead into projects. In Beijing I was one of the three founders of a hitech company HappyHan, and we sold it forward.
It was a cold Chinese New Year, my friend asked for a show. That year fireworks were forbidden in Beijing, we drived an hour outside Beijing, DiYiCheng Culture Park. We were six persons in all. A large blue truck loaded full with firework boxes was waiting for us. Kind of dream, more fireworks than we could handle. Lit a box corner and it shot automatically. We asked truck drivers to join litting and we still couldn't do all fireworks!
NOKIA CHINA: TRIPLE+ GROWTH
MARKETING - MARKET SHARE - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
NOKIA CHINA - WORK ROLES
I consumed seven different business cards, roles related to strategy, business development, marketing, business management.
China's communism sort of ended when economic reform started in 1978. In 1998 Chinese people wanted to communicate and Nokia pushed voice and anonymous PrePaid voice, and then SMS texting. Since SMS was a new communication method, it faced resistance by mobile SOEs (China Unicom and China Mobile) and the system. Then, 'control' was the essential, all was seen through it, business was not rational in western way. In that big picture, I was excited to be a China change booster with PrePaid and SMS projects.
China continues to be under transition from planned economy towards market economy. Real change is limited onto surface, the mindset change will take a long time.
Nokia China's business nearly quadrupled during the years I worked for them:) If Nokia China were in Finland, alone it would have been the biggest company in the country. Of course, many persons contributed with their work: Nokia's products were fit to Chinese markets, sales channels were expanded to 3rd and 4th tier cities, major achievements. PrePaid and SMS were essential for Nokia China to grow in scale. Mobility was new, and Chinese consumers, businesses and mobile operators were all learning about it. Nokia China won Motorola in sold units and in value, and took No.1 position in Chinese mobility. Great moments.
1. Nokia Networks NET
2. Nokia Mobile Phones NMP
3. Nokia Mobile Phones NMP
4. Nokia Research Center NRC
Over seven years.
NOKIA CHINA - ORGANIZATIONAL TITLES
• Group Manager, Intelligent Networks Group, China
• Business Manager, Partnerships, China
• Senior Manager Market Development, China
• Senior Marketing Manager, China
• Business Development Manager, China
• Strategic Development Manager, China
• Head of Asian Mobile Applications Groups, Research Manager
MY CHINA PROJECTS AT NOKIA
Over seven years my focus was in market share, sales and business development. Projects helped Nokia China to reach the scale: JV Nokia-Neusoft, PrePaid launch to Chinese markets, SMS market making project, mobile applications projects, content, apps and technology partnerships, and talents into new functions/groups.
Projects in Nokia China took me to capitals of 18 Chinese provinces. Good meetings and lots of fun in provinces. I also went to meetings and events in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dallas Texas, and Brussels, Prague, Cannes, Barcelona and Helsinki (2-6 visits every year).
NOKIA CHINA: THE FIRST PREPAID SYSTEM PROJECT
WIDENING THE MOBILE USER BASE IN CHINA
Project took place in 1998-1999. This was my first project in China after moving to Beijing. I established Intelligent Networks (IN) Group. Good persons into team. PrePaid service is based on IN system which was delivered to Beijing Mobile's (BMCC) data center in XiDan district, for the trial process.
Left: PrePaid Project closure meeting May 13, 1999. Back, right.
China's first PrePaid system and service was ready. PrePaid Project took almost a year and ended with capabilities demo event to Beijing Mobile and Nokia China management.
PrePaid Project was fluent. My new China IN Group at Nokia held weekly meetings and seminars with Beijing Mobile's personnel. They had to do many decisions and choices to enable PrePaid service.
At Nokia my China IN Group processed every detail that Beijing Mobile asked or requested from us. We helped them to win their hesitation. Hundreds of choices, decisions, were difficult for Beijing Mobile personnel because their culture didn't tolerate mistakes. Impact must be understood. At Nokia, we worked under time pressure. I asked our specialists from Finland to help PrePaid service build-up, their support was essential for functional system.
Left: New PrePaid SIMcard package ready to use. PrePaid packages were distributed to China Mobile, Beijing Mobile and Nokia China management. I still have my original package with 300RMB valued SIMcard, unused.
Nokia's PrePaid system was strictly standards-based and Nokia was not willing to modify it to non-standard.
Chinese Huawei fulfilled the local PrePaid system requirements and took wide scale sales and deliveries in China. Also Siemens won major role in Chinese PrePaid with their tailor-made solution. But Nokia was the first with PrePaid service in China, and it's consulting/education work, this time, became major boost for competing mobile phone/network vendors. In mobile phones market everyone benefitted, Nokia maybe the most.
NOKIA CHINA: SMS MARKET-MAKING PROJECT
THEY SAID: SMS IS NEVER FOR CHINA
Activation of China's SMS text messaging business became my second project. The dream was to reach markets that didn't exist yet, i.e. market making. Project started in May 1999 and took 1,5 years till the end of 2000. Those times SMS was popular in Europe but not much known elsewhere.
Left: Meeting at China Mobile HQs in Beijing. Back, right.
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and China Mobile (CMCC) HQs made it clear to Nokia: “SMS is an European success story, SMS will never succeed in China” and often repeated "SMS is not for China" or stronger "SMS is never for China".
At the same time the emerging Chinese portals (Sohu.com, Sina.com, Netease.com, sport portals) were not interested about SMS texting. Instead, portals saw WAP based Internet browsing as new channel for their aggregated content.
Left: Testing SMS and WAP at Sohu.com in Beijing.
SMS Market-Making Project activated texting as the second mobile service after "voice" in China. Back then China had only 0,5 million internet users but already 10 million GSM mobile phone users.
Goal of SMS Market-Making Project was to initiate and activate ecosystem by training developers, by promoting partnerships between developers and portals, by training the portals, by technically linking internet into operators' mobile network, and by adding network elements for SMS service. One challenge was revenue sharing: operators wanted 100%, no less, of the SMS business. For China Mobile and China Unicom SMS meant more revenue from their fast growing subscriber base.
Marketing, partnerships, product management and business related issues and words were all new in emerging Chinese market economy. Chinese often interpreted and defined new business topics/words in their own way, which then took same extra time in communication.
These were 'unheard' topics in China in 2000
• Branding - Marketing - Segmentation
• MoU - Business Model - Partnership - Revenue Sharing
• IPR - Content - Ringtone
• Value-add - Win-Win principle - Empowerment
• Service product - Service product management - Flat rate
• Pre-launch procedures - After-launch procedures
• Launch - Press Release
• Feedback - Customer satisfaction
New Mandarin words invented. There were cases when Chinese needed to compose new words to describe above issues and new SMS services. Since Chinese organizations are big and China is as large as USA or Europe, a lot of confusion was the reality. Repetition of it all was a must.
Left: Exhibition photo.
We did roadshows to introduce mobile services and SMS service examples in 15 Chinese provinces. That's about half of China.
Roadshows took three months continuous traveling for meetings with China Mobile and China Unicom provincial headquarters. Every week trip to another Chinese province and capital city: presentations, MoU and signing, dinners. Also meetings with multimedia developers and multimedia-minded state representatives.
All were eager to learn technical part and work with new SMS services. Often their expectations were more on WAP browsing, but awareness and learning about SMS happened.
MoU time! I prepared a MoU document as a tool to introduce new terminology and business opportunities to provincial operators. We proposed to sign a 3-party MoU: operator, Nokia, and content/portal. With this Chinese operators became aware and wanted to understand new terms and service business, which were included in MoU document.
MoU topics needed presentations to clarify the meanings, and opened discussions for middleware and value-added services/APPs needs. Tens of 3-party MoUs were signed.
Connection between internet and mobile network was not simple decision since SMS text messaging was very new to both ministry and mobile operators. They where driven by control rather than rational business decisions. Finally trial connection was established and internet portals understood the SMS opportunity.
SMS Market-Making Project took 1,5 years, till the end of 2000. It achieved all the targets: Chinese got new way to communicate, and Nokia which had the best texting UI of all phones in the market, got more market share. SMS became a real sales boost and market share upgrade for Nokia China. Network infrastructure vendors benefited. SMS texting is now part of Chinese culture, major revenue source for Chinese dotcom portals and important revenue source for mobile operators.
"SMS is not for China" was the first reaction and didn't happen. Instead, big part of revenue for China Mobile and China Unicom comes now from SMS. Today the Chinese wouldn't accept life without daily SMSes. Project probably benefited from Finnish stubborn and often inflexible mind.
The whole SMS story here (into new tab).
NOKIA CHINA: MORE PROJECTS
TALENTS, PARTNERSHIPS, KOREA, PATENT
CHINA: EU-China Market Entry Project
Established EU-China project consortium of five organizations
- Project: Mobile VAS in China - Market Entry
- Project was approved and got finance from European Commission
- Project consortium build-up process
- Project meetings with European Commission reps, EU Embassy, Beijing
- Project plan meetings in Berlaymont building of EC, Brussels
CHINA: NRC Research Management & Projects
Nokia Research Center, Asian Mobile Applications Group Manager
- Three groups of Chinese researchers (master's, doctoral degrees)
- Resources in ten Chinese & international research projects
- Reorganizing the group structure
CHINA: Personal Navigation Project
Personal Navigation based on location based service, LBS
- Project was ordered by Nokia Ventures
- Location, maps, POIs, GPS, user interface evaluation
- China's map/GPS policy was still evolving
- Chinese LBS partners and requirements
CHINA: Strategy & Marketing, Sales Projects
Goal: Market share, sales to mobile operators
- Mobile VAS, middleware, new business models
- Consultative sales to provincial mobile operators HQs
- Province level sales projects: network infrastructure
- Presentations in 16 province capitals: meetings, seminars
- Presentations in conferences: PT/Expo Comm China, others
Left: Meeting with mobile operator in ZhengZhou city (10 million inhabitants), capital of Henan Province (100 million inhabitants). In the middle.
Nokia China was the main network infrastructure vendor for Henan Province. Large scale bidding projects were organized regularly. Size of our bidding team was often 20-30 persons.
CHINA: Patent Grant
My invention: Musical signature as pretone or ringtone
- 2004: Invention IPR reward by Nokia
- 2009: China Patent Grant No.03150198.2
- 2010: Patent Grant reward by Nokia
- Approved for global patenting by Nokia Patent Committee
- 2014: Very relevant but not yet utilised
CHINA: Talents Search & Recruitment
Goal: Find talents for new positions and groups, management
- From China Mobile, from competitors, and graduating students
- Several successful recruitments for management positions
- Established new groups and functions with Chinese
- Coaching of Chinese talents
CHINA: Business Partnerships
Goal: Search of win-win-win business
- Technology, applications, content
- Partnership meetings with over 120 Chinese companies
- Major portals with content aggregation (Sohu, Sina, Netease)
CHINA: Developer Cooperation
Goal: Activating China's mobile developer community
- Developers recruited into Forum Nokia programs
- Sample phones for testing SMS, WAP, games, content
- Lab services for end-to-end testing in HePingLi
- Promoting SMS at a time when WAP hype was reality
CHINA: University Cooperation
Goal: Mobility awareness and opportunities for university students
- Technical presentations at universities
- Mobile games contest for student groups
- Sample phones for testing the game apps/content
- Memberships in Nokia's developer program
- Beijing University of Aeronautical and Astronautical, BUAA
- Zhejiang University of Technology, ZJUT, Hangzhou
CHINA: ONL-Games into Mobile Phones
Goal: ONL-Games into 3G mobile with MMORPG extensions
- Essential project towards mobile gaming and smart phones
- Sensors into mobile handsets
- Project was aborted for finance reasons by Nokia NRC HQs
- 'Market size don't justify finance for extensions' - Wow!
Technology Exploration in South Korea
Goal: Korean technologies, apps, content, directions
- Several visits to Seoul, Hotel Renaissance, Gangnam-gu
- Meetings with local Nokia: experiences and views
- Meetings with ministry leaders
- Meetings with tech companies
- Meetings with apps developers (tens)
- Games market differences bw Korea, Japan and China
- To understand the different mindsets and requirements
- GSM test lab in Seoul for vendors, for developer support
CHINA: SMS Market-Making for Market Share
Goal: To enable and activate SMS text messaging in China
- Chinese dotcoms: partnership/training: SOHU.com, others
- China Mobile & Unicom: SMS boost roadshows in 15 provinces
- Over 20 MoUs signed with provincial mobile operators
- Chinese multimedia: partnerships for development
- Nokia's market share up, Nokia phones had the best SMS UI
CHINA: PrePaid Service for Market Share
Goal: To deliver China's first PrePaid Service/System
- PrePaid IN system to China Mobile in Beijing (BMCC)
- Setting up new China IN Group in Nokia
- China's first complete PrePaid SIMcard package
- To widen the mobile user base in China with PrePaid
- Boosting Nokia's infra sales and Nokia phones market share
CHINA: JV Process Nokia-Neusoft
Goal: Sales partnership, software development
- JV with China's No.1 software company Neusoft
- Licensed billing systems developer for operators
- Member in Nokia's JV team and JV process
- Evaluation meetings in Dalian, ZhengZhou and Beijing
Left: Dinner in Duck Head Restaurant, Beijing with NeuSoft JV partners. In the middle.
Duck heads are Chinese delicate. For foreigners eating duck heads is a ritual with fun.
Keeping up-to-date was, of course, crucial. Related to 3G networks and 3G phones, Chinese proposed 'voice-only' 3G phones for China's scale markets. Arguments were interesting. In Nokia China we had frequent updates about many new technologies like sensors, products, and tools & processes. I also did a custom MBA while in China.
NOKIA CHINA - MY BEIJING OFFICES
ACCEPT THE CHINESE MENTALITY
1. Factory 506 Office in JiangTaiLu, Beijing
2. GuoSiJuLeBo International Club Office, Beijing
3. HePingLi Office House-2 at North Ring-2, Beijing
4. Nokia Tower Office, PCP at GongTiBeiLu, Beijing
5. HePingLi Office House-1 at North Ring-2, Beijing
NOKIA FACTORY 506 OFFICE - JiangTaiLu, Beijing
This was my first office in China. Factory 506 is well known among beijingers for its historical contributions. Later it was transformed into offices and factories for several companies. Meeting rooms were traditionally furnished and had China-Finland mini flags to boost partnership spirits.
Industrial lunch was available at long dining hall, underground. Lunch rice with dishes were loaded onto compressed steel platform. Steel bows for soup. Dining hall had a unique industrial food smell, some couldn't handle it and went out-factory for lunch. Fish lunch at Factory 506 measured your real skills in eating.
Left: Factory 506 in Beijing. During lunch breaks the workers relaxed in Factory 506 park, around the White Horse statue. Loudspeakers played harmonious, dizzy music, sometimes 'Going Home' by Kenny G. which is a Chinese favorite.
In the afternoons Factory 506 office workers pushed keyboards aside. A colorful, hand made pillow was taken up from drawers, put onto work table, and forehead put onto pillow. A little nap. 30 minutes later keyboards continued clicking as usual. Forward leading position offered a surrealistic view, I wanted to join but never got that pillow.
Beijing JiangTaiLu and Factory 506 area didn't have many street lights. Evening dark offered a real jackbauer element when heading home. Taxis were not waiting at the gate (drivers were afraid in the dark), dusty walktrip in dark to bigger road was needed. Some friends lost their laptops, some got stabbed. Later JianTaiLu got lights and wide roads integrating it better into Beijing, and its reputation is now improving.
NOKIA INTERNATIONAL CLUB OFFICE - GuoSiJuLeBo, Beijing
Nokia China HQs was for long located in GuoSiJuLeBo, International Club, mix of old and newer buildings at main avenue. Nearby is CITIC Tower, the first foreign trade office building in Beijing (WTC came after it), Hotel St. Regis where President George W. Bush stayed when in Beijing, JianGuomenWai Diplomatic Residence block, and Ritan Park.
International Club is known as Chairman Mao's meeting place. They say that those times when people were passing it, they hardly dared to look at it. Now its buildings are for office and hotel use. Last time when I visited in old Chairman Mao's event hall, there were two tennis courts.
Nokia China HQs office in International Club was filled with small blue cubicles. Back then Nokia China's president was Folke Ahlbäck. Top rooms had traditional Chinese furnishing. Business was booming, more and more personnel was recruited. Lunch was served at ground floor in a small, windowless restaurant which offered a shoulder-to-shoulder lunching experience, but there were many restaurants nearby.
Left: International Club Office, blue building, in Beijing.
For me the office location was convenient as my home in HuaQiaoCun Overseas Chinese Village was just five minutes walk from it, at the other side of JianGuoMenWai Avenue, beside SciTech Department Store.
NOKIA HEPINGLI OFFICES - North Ring-2, Beijing
I was located two periods in Beijing HePingLi offices, internal codes HPL-1 and HPL-2. Offices were inside a gated area which had yet another, Chinese gated area within itself. Importantly, we were its protection. Usually Nokia's offices had harmonious working spirit, and my HPL-2 office was very harmonious with good working spirit. HPL-1 office was sometimes an exception.
Left: HePingLi Office HPL-1 in Beijing.
Cracks in HePingLi Office
HePing means heavenly peace but in HPL-1 office emotions often took control, resulting serious bursts. This is me being polite here. In HPL it happened that a person's ThinkPad's motherboard 'broke' and was replaced four times in a month. He needed to avoid project reporting. In HPL desperate defaming emails flew around in try to hide certain realities. In HPL a hidden sophisticated surveillance system pointing my desk was found by HQs Security Audit team. This raised questions why, how long, who, what next. Maybe a visual key-logger to get easy access into my encrypted data of the ThinkPad: international projects, reports, memos, plans, emails, contacts? Sorry, can't give details here.
In HPL-1 office I faced many serious threats. Company's HR was not able to support as they had already become over-localized and arrogant, actually causing competitiveness deficit. With some pretty serious problems I was left alone, no support. I call it 'over-localization' which can convert healthy multinational MNC into an Chinese SOE.
No surprise, in HPL-1 office building even toilets had galosh level overflow every afternoon. And more, once a thief was caught in the office but managed to escape and run into water channel in front of the main gate and drowned.
In HPL-1 office the corporate values like "Respect: treat others with trust and respect, communicate openly and honestly" were not understood. It was wild, bad apples were reality. Nokia China offices mainly had incredible local individuals who had ability to co-operate, and who were results-oriented. In all, I have huge respect for many of my Chinese team members.
NOKIA TOWER OFFICES - Pacific Century Place, Beijing
Nokia China HQs moved from GuoSiJuLeBo International Club to Nokia Tower Offices in Pacific Century Place (PCP). PCP was located at GongTiBeiLu Avenue near SanLiTun Village and Worker's Stadium. PCP also had offices for IBM and Boeing, many restaurants and Starbucks, and a major department store.
For several years my office was in PCP 18th floor. This was professionally interesting period when mobile data access was followed by emerging applications (limitations in phones). Marketing and Society Relations groups, and key account sales teams were in PCP. Back then Nokia China's president was Urpo Karjalainen.
Left: Nokia Tower Office, PCP, in Beijing.
After years in PCP office I moved to HePingLi office HPL-1 for Nokia Research Center.
BEIJING NOKIA MOVED TO XINGWANG
XingWang factory was opened in 2001. XingWang is located in Beijing South-East suburb, some 20 mins drive from Beijing WTC in the city. My office was not there but I visited XingWang for factory tours and a few times for meetings.
In 2012 only Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) was still in Beijing city at East Ring-2 GongYeJie Industrial Street which is the home for major Chinese state-owned corporations (SOEs).
Left: New Nokia handset factory in XingWang, Beijing in 2001.
TIME FOR NEW - BYE TO NOKIA CHINA END OF 2005
After seven years and seven different roles in Nokia China I didn't want to return Nokia in Helsinki. I left Nokia end 2005 and continued living in in Beijing with new venture ideas already in my mind.
SARS Outbreak in China - View from Beijing
2003 SPRING/SUMMER CLOSED BEIJING for 6 months
In 2003 SARS epidemic stopped supersized Beijing. Streets became empty, SARS took control of it all for several months.
I stayed in Beijing every day of the SARS epidemic. Empty streets were good for roller skating but the future looked uncertain. When skating around Beijing's modern blocks, thoughts were in what might it be next.
WORKING DURING SARS
Expats were first to receive credible information about SARS epidemic. Chinese personnel in Nokia's offices didn't react on foreign news or coffee discussions. For Chinese, the state-run CCTV was, and still is, the trusted source and it didn't report. My Chinese colleagues reacted strongly when they learned that some hospitals had been closed without explanation. The military hospital opposite to our office in Pacific Century Place (PCP) at GongTiBeiLu, was also closed without explanation, and caused a lot of discussions.
Left: TianAnMen Square, guards using KouZhao, Spring 2003.
SARS epidemic changed the way of office work. Many Chinese colleagues used all their holidays to avoid public transport and crowds. At workplace we had less and less meetings, no handshaking, more email. Later no meetings at all. Vitamin C drinks became popular and personal alcohol bottles for disinfecting hands.
More cleaning personnel arrived (probably few tens per floor). Doors and doorknobs, lifts and buttons, toilets, corridors, and work cubics were wiped several times daily with disinfectants. Air disinfection during non-office hours.
Western doctors gave us situation briefings: chemicals used in disinfectants would cause cancer and more deaths than SARS. We were between two fires. Nokia China top management sent the personnel daily SARS reports and safety information by email, very effective way to communicate at that situation. Many expat families who had children, left China.
It would have been nearly criminal to cough even once inside office. Going out for lunch stopped. Rumors flourished. SMS text messaging was used for harsh humor. Soon someone always knew a person who had died SARS. Any office which was known been visited by a SARS person, was closed for a few days for thorough disinfection, that happened in another Nokia office.
DAILY LIFE DURING SARS
When outdoors, most people used KouZhao, a mask. Taxi drivers, 70.000 taxis in Beijing, disinfected their cars frequently. They had white surgical KouZhaos and drove windows open in Beijing's cool spring weather. Gradually SARS cleared most traffic from Beijing and it felt like everything in Beijing had stopped.
Left: Scouting in Beijing with N95 level mask, KouZhao, Spring 2003.
Roadblocks sealed Beijingers inside Beijing from surrounding Hebei Province. Other cities informed that travelers from Beijing were not welcomed, instead would be quarantined for several weeks if coming in. There was no way out from Beijing. Even whole big apartments houses, if they had a SARS case, were quarantined, closed and isolated. Food was delivered to people inside by the government.
SARS stopped Beijingers from spitting and sneezing onto streets. Fines were high for such traditional behavior. TV programs made sure that people begun to understand that SARS was dangerous. Households filled their storages with rice, soya and drinks, then locked the door and wait.
SARS nurses got extra pay for their dangerous and heavy work. They had to wear multiple layers for protection, but still some got SARS and died. They were not allowed to go home between work periods. Nurses became society's heroes and content for TV.
Every day I saw ambulances speeding Beijing streets, inside the nurses wearing full white protection gear.
Heavy penalties were set for those who didn't obey new emergency rules, even the death penalty was informed.
Left: Everybody used KouZhao.
Empty Beijing streets were perfect for roller skating. Long trips were lonely business, like being inside a ghost movie.
When roller skating, sometimes a car passed, people inside wearing KouZhao, someone put arm out showing me thumb-up. When on roller skates, common surgical KouZhao was quite comfortable. More effective N95 mask by 3M (above) was easy to breathe when walking around but speaking with it became porridge.
During SARS peek times SanLiTun Bar Street (today's The Village) was almost empty. Restaurants DownTown and The Den (near the white City Hotel) had still many noisy expats. Surrounding areas of downtown Beijing were empty and silent.
WINNING THE SARS BATTLE
SARS epidemic was a surreal experience in capital Beijing. It took around four months, it got steadily worse. Finally I surrounded us all. There was time to think, and I tried hard with all I got, and there was just uncertaintity.
After slow start the Chinese apparatus stretched, improved, and handled SARS epidemic actually quite effectively. Control was tight but bearable. SARS was beaten, and soon faded away from people's memory. Spitting and sneezing in Beijing streets was soon restored as it was before.
BEIJING INCIDENTS THAT I EXPERIENCED
BEHIND THE WOODS THEY CAME
● 1999 May: bombing of Chinese embassy in Belgrade
- Angry demonstrations at U.S. Embassy area, going out was risky
- Foreigners became 'newzealanders' to avoid misunderstanding
● 2001 April: Lockheed EP-3 surveillance aircraft in Hainan
- Tensions against foreigners, taxi drivers didn't give a ride
- Foreign visitors left rapidly from the country
● 2003: SARS epidemic stopped Beijing for 4 months
- Many people learned to use KouZhao, mask
● 2004: Anti-Japanese riots: defeat in soccer cup
- Some streets messed up by riots
● 2005: Anti-Japanese riots: history and text books
- Some streets messed up by riots
● 2008: Tibet and Olympic Torch demonstrations
- Demonstrations in front of some big foreign shops
● 2012: Anti-Japanese riots: Diaoyu/Senkaku island
- Car owners removed brand badges from their Japanese cars
● 2012: TV host Yang Rui described expats as foreign trash
- Many foreigners experienced problems in Beijing
8. Founding Partner: HappyHan Company
VENTURE No.2 MOBILE INVENTIONS and EMBA SPICES - 3 years
It was 2006 and a lot of things kept me in Beijing. New ideas in the air with creative beijingers, and soon I became founding partner of a venture HappyHan Company. HappyHan Company became my second venture in 2006 in Beijing.
HappyHan combined mobile with a 'shocking' marketing concept. My heart was in marketing, not so much in technical side. I believe the marketing should define 'the product', rather than the engineering (which needed to be flexible).
HAPPYHAN COMPANY SOLD
HappyHan Company was a success. We sold it to Chinese internet business personality after three years, in 2009.
BEIJINGMAN BLOG AND LECTURING
During HappyHan Company period in Beijing I wrote China business articles (over 50 articles!) and this BeijingMan Blog. China Daily, the major English language newspaper wrote about a foreigner who managed to 'Crack the Guanxi Code'. Their article was about my 'Guanxi and Business in Mainland China' blog writing. For me it was a great surprise that China Daily approved something what was also a critical view about Mainland China business. My Guanxi article can be found in BeijingMan blog. It is still one of the top viewed articles in BeijingMan Blog.
I also lectured about China business mentality for some U.S. eMBA programs and met business visitors in Beijing for their China plans. And of course, took holidays in China and around Asia.
9. Teleste Corp. China - Chief Representative
HITECH CATV NETWORKS and BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT - 3 years
In 2010 I was invited as Chief Representative China to Teleste Corp., a major company which is listed in Nasdaq OMX, Helsinki. Teleste had already done 12 years business in Beijing with China. Teleste's Chinese personnel was experienced and professional. Their mainland business was well-established with long-term partnerships, good Guanxi capabilities and well defined sales process.
Left: FuHua Mansion Office Towers at Beijing East Ring-2, near Hotel Swissotel.
Teleste Representative Office in FuHua Mansion in Beijing was perfect location to receive partners and customers.
Teleste China operated mostly via partners, and had delivered over 100 cable TV networks for customers in 26 of 31 mainland Chinese provinces. While Teleste's Chinese competitors were trapped in no-brand, no-flagship low-margin sales, the foreign brand could still win a higher margin with higher quality products.
China has 31 provinces, like countries in the EU, which include
• 4 megacities: Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing
• 330 cities
• 2800 counties
• 680.000 villages
MARKET CHANGE OPENS OPPORTUNITY
During my 3-year period (2010 - 2012) at Teleste, Chinese cable TV network operators faced heavy consolidation. Provincial cable TV companies were established and ordered to take over the city and county level cable TV networks. New provincial level CATV companies combined even 100 smaller CATV companies into one. Consolidation process was tragic for all those organizations. it also had great impact on network vendors' relations-based sales process and their partners.
Market changed from over 3000 CATV companies into 31 large and influencial, provincial level state-owned CATV companies. We at Teleste managed that change pretty well by strong partner and joint venture approach. We needed some further product localization.
For me Teleste years were exciting sales and business development dilemmas. The market change was so fundamental that impact covered everything, and needed re-thinking and re-estimating.
• Company image, product difference
• Pre-bidding process
• Bidding process
• After-bidding process
• After-sales process
• Partner relations
• Customer relations
• Product approvals
• Society relations
JV SUCCESS REQUIRES MILESTONES WITH REWARDS IF REACHED
My first Chinese joint venture, a team process, was Nokia-Neusoft JV, it was more about software. Meetings were held in Shenyang, Dalian and Beijing. It was major team work and a learning process.
My second JV was for Teleste China. I received three manufacturing proposals from Chinese. First proposal came from major, well-known Chinese SOE. Second and third proposal included a provincial cable TV company. Proposals took two years to clear and negotiate. The major challenge was our own corporate HQs, as thinking there was not clear about where might be the next growth market. Seen from China, foreign HQs act slowly compared to China's aggressive rhythm. That often means lost opportunities. After the JV partner candidates got mapped, the 3-party structure got accepted. Meetings for it were held in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Lanzhou and Finland. Manufacturing JV was officially signed in April 2013 in Finland.
Teleste's China JV is now located in Gansu Province, Lanzhou New Area. Products, cable TV network elements, manufactured for the mainland Chinese markets.
In Chinese JV process the 'product' is important. But for success, relations and understanding everyone's personal agenda is even more important. This new JV for Teleste will need smart coordination by the HQs. To reach the scale, JV would benefit of a roadmapped approach with recognition of the achieved milestones.
I left Teleste China end of 2012.
10. EXPERIENCES - Chinese Way of Business
15 BEIJING YEARS: TO WIN YOU NEED PRODUCT & GUANXI
So far I have walked over 15 years in mainland Chinese shoes... When you come from rule-of-law society, China business experience can be surprising, China-West gap is still huge.
Left: Dalian city, Liaoning Province. Meeting at Neusoft's new software center. Nokia-Neusoft JV preparations. In the middle.
Mainland Chinese mentality is a mix of market economy (brand, marketing, PR, competition, career), Guanxi and treat, and the System with SOEs and old cultural elements.
How is Guanxi different than western system with influencers, linkedin, facebook, and lobbies, consultants, connections or networking? Guanxi is more, it includes exchange of favours. Guanxi may not quite be friendship but strong common intress and trust. Guanxi is the Chinese system which cures the information availability. It enables and leads into results in sales and partnerships. Learn about Guanxi and you might get results in China.
SOEs are 30% of China's economy, they buy via public biddings everything over one million RMB in value. Biddings are often scheduled for weekends. Think of you pre-bid approach, product fit, bidding judges, competitors, and after-bid process. Think of your meeting flow and strategies. Remember, bidding process is about Guanxi, Chinese fine art, sometimes serious, sometimes a ritual.
State-Owned Enterprise was looking for an accountant.
Hundreds of applications from China's best schools.
First candidate comes in.
- Interviewer: How much is 1+1?
- First candidate: 2
- Interviewer: Enough, next!
Second candidate comes in.
- Interviewer: How much is 1+1?
- Second candidate: 2
- Interviewer: Enough, next!
Third candidate comes in.
- Interviewer: How much is 1+1?
- Candidate looks around, stands up, closes the door, shuts the windows, goes to interviewer and whispers into his ear
How much you want it to be...
- Interviewer: You are The One
Modern business institutes in China know that Chinese business mentality is different and needs to be fixed for international business. They educate Chinese SOEs and future Chinese MNCs towards western rational way of business by MBA and eMBA programs. Guanxi might be in conflict with China's future role as a business power, or modern innovator.
In Nokia China I lived seven business cards during seven years of business development. There were times with working-hard spirit, passionate reach into the new, but also times of surprises and frustration.
Left: China business is a real learning process.
Conflict between western and Chinese way of business is a reality. Guanxi rules in mainland Chinese sales and partnerships.
Success stories of MNCs in China, like Nokia Corp. are many. Strong brand and products were helpful but Nokia also had resources to learn and manage Guanxi in mainland China. Society Relations were well managed, corporation was for long the biggest tax payer in Beijing. Why are Society Relations so important? For influence, for pre-information, for Guanxi & Treat, as well as recruitments and business travelings and expansion.
Success stories of western SMEs in China are rare. Many fail already when trying to enter into Chinese markets with their (at least in China) brandless products. I have many times heard foreign SMEs being called as 'innovation donators'.
Most foreign SMEs in China have trouble in finding an able partner. Some SMEs enter exclusive contracts without sales targets, becoming sidetracked. Some SMEs recruit key personnel without culture understanding, without understanding the impact into rest of the Chinese team. Many SMEs underestimate their local competition, brag about roadmap, only to be later surprised of Chinese ultra-fast learning capabilities. And most SMEs have no resources to learn realities of Guanxi in the sales or society level. And if SME had a Guanxi ability, it goes when that person leaves, and it all stops.
Success stories of western Startups in China are possible. Breakthrough needs faith partner with good Guanxi, to put pieces together. Since China is now leader in mobility, it can serve as 'proofing' market before roll-out to EU and U.S.
Difference under surface. It is the behavior of Chinese industries: bidding process, variations of product/component qualities with price effect, understanding of exclusivity, and more. Managing society relations. Difference on how foreign company should do marketing, PR and build image in China. Even when doing sales presentation to Chinese leaders or customers, the expectation is 'different', learn the presentation 'NOs' for different kind of participants. Managing the gift process could make positive difference. Then, how to motivate Chinese partners and your own personnel? What is Chinese team building method that brings results, not only the cost? Compared to all these, much talked issues of IPR, sample products, and reverse engineering, can be marginalized by using common sense.
In China you will need ability to make fast decisions with limited information, or your game is over.
Innovative tricks are common, and life in the West is not preparing well (or, not at all) for those situations. Business intelligence has local ways. Guanxi & Treat is the key success factor for results.
Foreign SMEs in China are seldom able to grow in pace with Chinese domestic markets. In Beijing I have seen many SMEs coming, being used, losing and fading away. Reasons vary but are related to wrong kind of partners, failed Chinese team building, arrogant behavior, slow response times by the HQs abroad, or thinking that Guanxi as past times behavior, just networking or business card level connections.
MAINLAND CHINA SUCCESS FACTORS
RESULTS BY UNDERSTANDING HOW CHINESE THINK AND DO
Success in mainland markets is not about how you hand your business card to Chinese customers. The real factors are deeper. My advice for achieving business results in China:
• Understand and take benefit of Guanxi, invest into it: asset
• Learn your industry's behavior, find Chinese insider expert
• Learn Chinese way in selling, buying, partnerships
• Find a Village Head to lead your team, build MoQi
• Recruit with fit to team
• Flexible 'agree and adjust' mindset
Sounds easy but how to do it? Most expats learn China by its surface during their few years stay. Chinese are not helpful for those interested to get deeper. They don't want a foreigner to put them into corner with detailed questions about Chinese sales process or Guanxi, or treat, or tricks. Expats will have to observe and crack the situations, combine fragmented information and draw conclusions, and learn possible tricks which often are innovative. Experiential learning will take time. When in China, take care of your China team in Chinese way, MoQi, and learn about Guanxi and treat, but let Chinese handle it.
Modern-looking Beijing creates illusions. The surface, and the different realities underneath. During the last decade Beijing has developed new surface. But beijingers have not changed. After WTO agreement and Olympic Games the Chinese way is still the same as it ever was. Material evolution, but you must plan carefully your business approach. During my times in Beijing I lost two BD colleagues, not Nokia employees.
CHANGED IN CHINA?
Since I grew up in one of the least corrupted countries, Finland, a rule-of-law society, what is the China impact? Over 15 years in Beijing helped to understand China. Business management and sales can be stressful and time consuming. Issues in China are not always straight and clear even if they look so on the surface. 'What you see is seldom what you get', trust crises, indirectness, sensitivity... have contributed to healthy skepticism, with over 15 China years I expanded my standard western perspective to full 360˚. Swimming in the Chinese water helps to understand how Chinese think and do.
China is it. Expand your perspective by scale, by opportunities, by linguistic challenge, and by complex operating environment which is in change.
In 2013, after over 15 years of work life in Beijing, I left Guangcai Mansion, Beijing and China, and moved back to Helsinki.
I wish good to China. BeijingMan Blog shares my China experiences, and views about goal-reaching enablers, and my pictures from Beijing.
11. Founding Partner: The New OSCAL Company
VENTURE No.3 CHINA TRADE, CHINA RISK MANAGEMENT - ongoing
Helsinki 2014, new, third venture: The New OSCAL Company Ltd. Focus on China trade and risk management consulting.
THE NEW OSCAL COMPANY and CHINA
Business arrows are: APPs and software systems; non-software product categories; OEM process management; Chinese partnerships which are strong and capable based on managed multidimensional and multilayered Guanxi, for enabling results.
THE NEW OSCAL COMPANY and EUROPE
Europe will be the main target for one New OSCAL business arrow. Deep knowledge consulting focuses in Chinese mentality, for strategic needs; for face-to-face meetings with Chinese; for conflict management situations; for results.
Left: Chinese Mentality, The New OSCAL document.
"Insider information has value for those who interface with China in political, economical and military co-operations, business partnerships, science and research collaborations.
"Chinese Mentality Workshop is now available for business planners and HR in MNCs, sales process owners and project managers, Startups with China focus, China analysts and consultants, media personnel, civil servants, and decision makers on China issues.
"Is your strategy right for Chinese mentality?
Insider information can help you to avoid and manage risks and achieve results in China
In 1994 China's opening was not much noticed by European companies. By offering high value China information to MNCs, the original OSCAL Company (founded 1994) was ahead of the curve. Now, 20 years later everybody is influenced by China's rise. Combination of 1) The System 2) Confucianism, and 3)The Market Economy is confusing and raises questions. Competing in China has become harder.
The New OSCAL Company (founded end-2013) introduces new level for success in China: understanding the Chinese mentality. Result counts. Interested, contact by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
12. Patents - Inventions - Research Groups
SOME RECENT - SOME ANCIENT
PATENT - 'The Frog to Kiss'
"PreTone for Ringtones" i.e. ID-Tone, approved by Nokia Patent Committee and Nokia Mobile Phones Patent Board.
• Nokia Invention IPR reward 2004
• Nokia Patent applications filed in U.S., Europe, China
• China Patent Grant February 18, 2009, NC31640
• China Patent No.03150198.2
• Patent defines musical signature and its use case
- Major companies have it: Intel, BMW, Nikon, Yamaha...
- Beethoven did his ID-Tone: ta-ta-ta-taa...
- Shostakovich defined his ID-tone: DSCH musical motif
- Future: you will also be recognized by your ID-Tone
At Nokia China, 2004 two inventions related to mobile applications for students, businesses and communities. New feature sets / usage pattern in Chinese and other Asian markets.
RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS in FINLAND
Publication: Henkilörekisterilaki ISBN 951-99945-8-0
- Related to Personnel Data Law and Information Management
- Published in Nokia Compus 1988 Kehitysryhmät
• Chairman Reijo Aarnio, Luottokontrolli Oy
• Secretary Esko Kippo, Nokia Corp.
• Kari Honkasalo, Puolustusvoimat
• Pekka Kärkkäinen, Luottokontrolli
• Pentti Lukkarinen, Verohallitus
• Seppo Niinioja, HPY (Elisa)
Publication: Computer Center Security ISBN 951-99580-2-9
- Published in Nokia Compus 1984 Tutkimusraportit
• Chairman Hannu Mattila, HOP Bank
• Secretary Esko Kippo, Nokia Corp.
• Markku Arminen, KOP Bank
• Lars Arnkil, SKOP Bank
• Risto Karstu, PSP Bank
• Kalevi Porkka, PSP Bank
13. BeijingMan Pictorial
DIVE INTO MY PERSONAL PICTORIAL
Above: Finland. My parents.
Upper photos - Mother
- Left: Irja Aune Kyllikki Waris, born in Katajanokka, Helsinki
- Middle: my grandfather Emil Waris, grandmother Matilda Waris
-- My grandfather Emil Waris served as Chief of Machines of steam icebreaker Tarmo now in Merikeskus Vellamo (museum), Kotka town
- Right: Irja 86 years in 2005
Lower photos - Father
- Left: Lennart Mikael Kippo, born in Vyborg (Viipuri) Finland
-- Lennart's 50-year portrait made by Sculptor Taimi Mäkinen
- Middle: Lennart in 1950s
- Right: Lennart 50-year birthday photo
Above-1: Finland. Father Lennart Mikael Kippo.
- Sometimes we disagreed, but no doubt, Lennart was my superhero
Lennart was the youngest of seven brothers. In his young years he was an actor and musician specializing on banjo, harmonica and singing. He travelled to U.K. and mid -Europe. During his military service he became top-3 boxer. When WW2 was ending, he got wounded, bomb fragment into knee. He decided to leave the war metal inside this knee to save leg from amputation. A "box" grew around the war metal and the knee recovered. Rest of his life Lennart did daily trainings and runs. Our dogs Jali-1 and Jali-2 were his running partners.
Left: Clay painting. Ø 20cm. Mother Irja liked this very much.
Lennart's hobby was old cars, he had two: Ford A Model 1929 and Ford Model A Cabriolet 1930, both refurbished as originals. Old cars were our summer fun. I drove with Lennart many old car parades around Finland. Great fun. I was also interested in old cars horn sounds and out-flipping turning signals.
For his work Lennart travelled to U.K., Germany, Denmark and Sweden. In 1962 Lennart and friends made a holiday trip to Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife, back then a lot of flight hours, probably arrangement from Stockholm. In Sweden his favourite for holidays was Visby town in Gotland island.
In Finland Lennart was friend with visiting foreign boxers, wrestlers, and musicians. We did summer trips with Gigette Marco Dance Orchestra from Barcelona. They visited our home. I had the honor to be their el-logo 'crazy'.
When TV was new, Lennart was on national TV in advertisements and traffic related programs. He championed marketing in many formats during 1950s and 1960s. Lennart was also a dancer: Tango, Latin-American Cha-Cha, Samba, Rumba and Paso Doble. He took the center point, it was his nature.
Left: Lobster Telephone.
- Internet photo
Salvador Dali's surrealistic 'Lobster Telephone' reminds me about our similar black telephone at home. It was made by Helsingin Puhelinteollisuus. For me our telephone then was a mystery with a crank, my 'lobster'. When 'lobster' rang in Lennart's office, it also could ring in our home, if set so. To call from home to office, just turn the crankshaft of the 'lobster' to signal in the office telephone. Our telephone number to home and office was 2839. I still have our 'lobster' telephone.
Above-2: Finland. That boy.
Lennart took advantage of opportunities created during the post-WW2 recovery; cars. He believed that transport would increase, people buy cars and need driving licenses. In 1950 he took loan to buy a car and to establish a driving school. Went as planned and his business was good. Soon a line of cars, always latest models and Turtle-waxed. Driving teachers had white shirts and tie.
Lennart's hobby was 16mm short films. He had small team and used sometimes actors. Films were about driving and racing, they became marketing for his driving school. These movies became classics:
• Mr. Rentola who did all wrong with his car
• Eläintarhanajot GP Racing with exciting Khachaturian Sabre Dance music
• Ruskeasanta Motocross world championship competition
-- I recorded background sounds by Uher tape recorder during the race
At home we often listened Take Five by Dave Brubeck Quartet, with smart drum solo by Joe Morello. The other side of that 78rpm record was Blue Rondo A La Turk. Piles of records and yellow, portable Philips AG 9149 record player in 1960.
Our Kippo Family Orchestra played at Karelia and Christmas events. I was the youngest member in our orchestra and didn't especially like evergreen kind of music we played. My best music times were classical violin duettos with brother Raimo. Raimo specialized on gypsy violin but played in symphonic orchestra, too.
Lennart enjoyed Western movies. One of his favorites became my childhood experience, High Noon (Gary Cooper/Grace Kelly), he took me to see it in movie theater. Courage and cowardice, how you finally face it alone. Maybe it shaped something in me, too. Gene Kelly became my role model with Singin' in the Rain and American in Paris. I learned to consume movies, the home made movies and tens of French cinema pearls.
Asko Kippo won Finland Carting silver when Keke Rosberg won the championship. Keke had Italian Parilla, Asko had Italian Comet. Later, 1982, Keke won Formula 1 championship. Meme was lightning-fast but too young to compete and busy with other hobbies...
Raimo Kippo, my eldest brother was actionee in Imatra GP for motobikes, Imatran Ajot. He was one of the race organisers and the race speaker for most of the Imatra GP races. He took many race wins in Finnish motocross in 250cc and 500cc classes. He competed championship level in car handling skills (Taitoajo SM) and ice racing (jäärata-ajot). Raimo also raced by F1 boats. Like his father Lennart, Raimo was a boxer, reaching Top-3 in Finland's youth boxing. Raimo had a wall covered by trophies.
Above-3: Finland. Chorus times.
Boy chorus was fun. Sometimes we sang with a men chorus. When singing together, it feels good even in the brain. I am in the middle of the front line, tall boy is Olli, good voice.
- One great song by us was Suomen Laulu (Fredrik Pacius)
Above-4: Finland. Motor sport.
Jim Clark, a Scotsman and Formula 1 champion and legend, my childhood idol. I took this photo in 1967 at Formula 2 race during drivers pre-race briefing in Keimola Ring near Helsinki. I also took photos of Dennes Hulme, Björn Waldegård and Curt Lincoln.
Giacomo Agostini from Italy was my motorbike GP racing idol. His 500cc MV Agusta had amazing speed and furious, unique sound at several Imatra GPs in Finland. Great racer and winner.
Above-5: Finland. Violin.
Violin was my main hobby for 10 years, from age 6 to 16. With my teacher Mr Kuusi I trained violin twice a week. At home the routine was to play violin two hours daily. Later I joined classical orchestra, weekly trainings. At 15 years I played above Spanische Weisen (Arie Spaniola) Op. 164 by Arthur Seybold (Germany 1868-1948) at matiné. Big audience, into newspaper. Great fun.
MY CLASSICAL MUSIC
No.1 Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
• Symphonies No.4 to No.15
• Violin Concerto No.1 Op.99 by Viktoria Mullova
• Cello Concerto No.1 Op.107 by Heinrich Schiff
• String Quartets No.4 to No.15 by Brodsky/Coull String Quartet
• Piano Concerto No.1 Op.34 by Evgeny Kissin
• Chamber Symphony Op.110a by Evgeny Kissin
• 24 Preludes and Fugues Op.87 by Tatiana Nikolaeva
No.2 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
• Symphony No.4 Op.36 "Fate"
• Symphony No.5 Op.64 "Life"
• Symphony No.6 Op.74 "Pathétique"
• Violin Concerto No.1 D Major Op.35
• Piano Concerto No.1 B Flat Minor Op.23
No.3 Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
• Violin Concerto No.1 D Minor Op.47 by Viktoria Mullova
• Karelia Suite Op.11
Glenn Gould and J.S. Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Leonard Bernstein, Georges Bizet, Johannes Brahms, Max Bruch, Frederic Chopin, Claude Debussy, Antonin Dvořák (Symphony No.9 Op.95 New World Symphony 4th movement Allegro con fuoco), Edward Elgar, Manuel de Falla, George Gershwin, Edvard Grieg, Franz Joseph Haydn, Gustav Holst, George Frideric Händel, Gyorgy Ligeti, Franz Liszt, Gustav Mahler, Felix Mendelssohn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Modest Mussorgsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Maurice Ravel, Gioachino Rossini, Pablo de Sarasate, Richard Wagner, Antonio Vivaldi
Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Kurt Weill
Above-6: Finland. Great, great junior years!
Names randomly into mind, Internet Salute to You!
Erkki Salo, Pekka Pelkonen, Markus Ruhala, Ilkka 'Eku' Ekman, Jorma 'Joppe' Sopanen, Veikko 'Veke' Kervinen, Jukka N, Urkka K, Repa M, R. Uuttu, Jammu P, Heikki N, Ari P, Roope V, Albert P, Noro N, Eero T. , Ääpnollaa A, Kurre L, Ilari H, Lasse T, Lars, Pena, Sauli Y, Linde L, Kari V, Kauko, Mikko, Olli, and more.
Above-7: Finland, Helsinki. Cool.
I started photographing with Canon TX body with Canon 28mm and 50mm prime lenses and Tokina 28-128mm zoom, and B/W equipments for dark room. This is one of those self-made photos, taken at Hämeenlinnantie in Kaivoksela, Helsinki. Photography was interesting, but my real 'school for imagination' was French cinema, tons of it, and father Lennart's 16mm short movies. But I still like to snap pictures.
MY POPULAR MUSIC
The Beatles, Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre, Cream, The Doors, King Crimson, Jimi Hendrix, The Mama's and The Papa's, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, Steppenwolf, James Brown, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, John McLaughlin and Shakti, Elvis Presley
Radio Luxembourg, Chubby Checker, Emerson Lake & Palmer, The Monkees, Bar-Kays, Jefferson Airplane, Fleetwood Mac, Otis Redding, Jethro Tull, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Kool & The Gang, Marvin Gaye, Scott McKenzie, Curtis Mayfield, David Byrne, Queen and Fred Mercury, Jose Feliciano, Kid Creole & the Coconuts, MC Hammer, Bryan Ferry, Jaco Pastorius, MJQ, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Santana, Manhattan Transfer, Fatboy Slim, Moby, Dieselboy, Sub Focus, Jeff Mills, Layo & Bushwacka, Satoshi Tomiie, John Peel ... and house, some DnB.
Above-8: Finland, Helsinki. Forward.
There was a period of time when I didn't care much about destination but going fast forward was a must. No fear. Then, short term direction had more meaning. But there was an element of discipline within me. Later that dicipline helped in analysis and problem solving, in focus and getting results, getting into new.
- This period of life... speed was essential
Above-9: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
Kilo-TK Computer Center - computer hall 4000m^2
• Right: mainframe computer systems and communication datanet systems
• Middle: operating consoles, mass storages, tape units, controllers
• Left: printers 1200/1600 lines per minute, 136 columns
• Page processing systems, PPS
• Microfilm system
• OCR reader, optical character recognition system
• Ionisation devices
• CO2 fire prevention system
• Media vault for tapes and disks
• Media eraser
• Side hall: material processing and customer service
• Side hall/2nd floor: hardware engineers / software engineers
• Ground floor: power generators, CO2 bottles
Kilo-TK Computer Center was my playground for 10 years. For some years my room was one of those yellow doors behind the glass wall. Several future IT influencers went through this "Nokia Data IT-university". Back then I found my IT courses in Tampere University sort of history lessons, assembler, not enough of IT in them.
Above-10: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
Mainframes and Datanets. Computer hall's fire prevention system was based on CO2 gas. Line of XXL-sized CO2 bottles were placed under the computer center on the ground floor with power generators.
Fire Prevention System ON and We Run!
Happened that the fire prevention system went on by operator mistake. CO2 gas bursted with loud whistle into computer hall through the layered floor. Whole computer hall got filled with CO2 gas in a few seconds. The system worked! Glass walled hall became white sugar cube. Not even Jamaican Bolt could run as fast as those who happened to be in the computer hall when this happened, I was one of them. Firemen worked for several hours to blow CO2 gas out of the building. It was noisy and exciting mistake, and also expensive.
Above-11: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
The Matrix, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) would have been excited:
- I fought it for a while but the machine got me
No.1 Fun Project - The Bank Cards Are Coming
Early bank cards (debit/credit cards) had a low density magnetic tape stripe. Some used magnesium powder with freon to visualize the binary recording, then captured it by tape, and revealed the binary structure by microfilm reader. Today's smart cards and chips are completely different technological level, no use for old methods.
No.2 Fun Project - How to Beat The Process
Nokia's monthly salary payments process had strong physical control and encryption. HR controllers were present all the time and every step of the process. The process felt arrogant and became target for many. It happened regularly. Encryption in use. Over-confident controllers. Serious business. But the way to penetrate was found, won by team act. Great actors, great fun. Winners never used that data. This was pure fun of winning those who believed in 100% protection but had only partial view into reality, and no understanding of alternative perspectives. 'How' will remain a secret. No harms done, just a confidence boost.
Above-12: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
It was great fun. Working here we felt sort of techno warriors, learn or die. We believed that Finland's massive forest industry could be challenged by new technologies. With imagination our curiosity took turns.
2001: A Space Odyssey, says the HAL:
- Will you stop, Dave. Stop, Dave, I'm afraid. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going, I can feel it, I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it...
Above-13: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
Software and all capacities in mainframe systems were frequently updated and the latest, new peripherals added. In Kilo-TK dial-up connections started with 110 'baud' modems made by Nokia, soon 300, 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600, 14,4K, 19,2Kbits/second... async/sync, multiplexors, X.25, X.400 messaging and X.500 directories... TCP/IP, Internet, and browsers.
- It was rapid development, happy to been there, within
Above-14: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
Kilo-TK Installed Systems
• Honeywell H66/60P Dual
• Honeywell H66/40
• Honeywell DPS8/70 Dual Gcos8
• Honeywell DPS8/49 Gcos8
• Honeywell DPS8/52 Gcos8
• Honeywell DPS8/52 Gcos8
• Honeywell Datanet systems
• GE-635 Gcos3
• GE-265 gateway for GE Information Services (GEIS) network
• Kleindienst OCR optical character recognition system
• Honeywell PPS Page Processing System
• Honeywell DPS6 mini systems
• Calma CAD system
• microfilming system
Above-15: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
• Left side, mainframe and datanet systems
• Middle, operating consoles, mass storages, tape units, controllers
• Right, printers PRT400/401, 1600 lines per minute, 136 columns
• Kilo-TK photos for my workshops by Canon AE-1, Canon 28mm
Kilo-TK Names randomly into mind, Internet Salute to You!
Eero Iso-Karvia, Heino Laine, Kari Kupiainen, Jorma Haakana, Kauko Häkkinen, Åke Hämäläinen, Stefan Saari, Tapio Raitio, Hannele Härkönen, Anja Karkkulainen, Mauri Jokiaho, Olli Heimo, Markku Huhdanmäki, Matti Partonen, Pekka Kiviharju, Björn Löfman, Olavi Aarnipuu, Seppo Vuorinen, Mauri Jokiaho, Heikki Sarso, Pentti Kanerva, Pekka Kärkkäinen, Jouni Kekäläinen, Pekka Kivi, Monica Heijari, Hannu Uusikivi, Matti Sierla, John Kraemer, Kyösti Mustalampi, Rauno Ravantti, Heikki Sipilä, Sulo Hänninen, Antero Kankkunen, Vuokko Serviranta, Esko Olkkonen, Raimo Gröhn, Antti Siltanen, Kari Ikonen, Jukka Pieviläinen, Ossi Eronen, Orasmaa, Timo Sonninen, Jukka Tapanila, Erkki Hjelt, Jorma Riekkinen, Antero Sulander, Risto Haarlaa, Jouko Paalosmaa, Kari Kallio, Olavi Heinonen, Erkki Paulin, Matti Hirvonen, Heikki Kutvonen, Kim Jäämeri, Tapani Puhakka, Taru Kuhanen, Leena Haapaniemi, Raimo Lemettilä, Martti Jussilainen, Timo Kanervo, Kalevi Vähäkangas, Kimmo Kurttila, Hilja at Kilo-TK Café and many more.
Above-16: Norway, Oslo.
Constitution Day Parade May 17th, 1992, from Karl Johans Gate towards Royal Palace.
- This meeting trip was just excellent
Above-17: Norway, Oslo.
The parade looked so good that I dived into it. Under Royal Palace Balcony I waved to Royal Family and they waved to me. I bin ein Norwegian!
- In the Hall of Mountain King ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-taaa...
Above-18: USA, New York.
- Sad view from WTC sightseeing floor
Above-19: France, Paris.
- Over 6 months in Paris: it's a great city!
Above-20: Spain, Barcelona.
- My Barcelona is the city of Gaudi & Gigette Marco Dance Orchestra
Above-21: Spain, Tenerife.
New Year 1993-1994 in Playa de las Teresitas beach in Canary Islands.
- African imported sand was perfect
- Teresitas Beach, will come back
And I went Teresitas Beach again February 2011
- After 17 years the beach looks the same
- It was raining, empty beach felt sad
Above-22: Switzerland, East of Montreux.
- Driving holidays at mountains and lakes, many times
Above-23: France, Paris.
- Bonjour! Tens of times in Paris, always good place to me
Above-24: Finland, Helsinki. My lady.
- The bridge connecting Lauttasaari to Kaskisaari
Above-25: Spain, Canaries. My lady.
- Whale watching trip was fun
Above-26: France, Paris. Business School.
HEC Paris (École des Hautes Études Commerciales) executive MBA graduation event June 18, 2008 in Paris.
- My lady was the top performer among 1200 EMBA students
- She graduated HEC EMBA masters degree with honours
- Financial Times ranks HEC Paris No.1 in Europe
Above-27: Finland, Helsinki.
- This old Muddy Fox bike was easy to ride with back wheel
- 2014 Giant with suspension fork and disk breaks is like a 'Lexus'
Above-28: Finland, Helsinki. The Dogs.
My best friend Bao, officially LongBao, in later life also known as Paavo. He is ChowChow, ancient Mongolian tiger hunter. Bao's papa was from U.S., mother from Sweden, and he life was in Finland.
With 45kg Bao was XL but in gym trim. Bao was not interested of being part of entertainment circles or pleasing activities. He had his own strong idea of life. I value Bao as a focused professor, a lot to learn from.
- Bao never managed to take a bite of a cat but his will was strong
Above-29: Finland, Helsinki. The Dogs.
- LongBao died September 1st, 2005 in Finland
THE DOGS - Remembered and never forgotten
• Jali-1, our wired-haired Dachshund, my childhood friend (✝1970)
• Jali-2, our short-haired Dachshund, brown, slim, run-run (✝1978)
• LongBao, our golden ChowChow, strong, focused, decider (✝2005)
• Aliman, friend's Afghan Hound, noble, aristocratic, beauty (✝)
• Oden, friend's wired-haired Dachshund, curious, courageous (✝)
• Taylor, friend's gray M-size power pack, thinking, calm, along
Above-30: USA, Washington D.C. Hirshhorn Museum.
Favorite bronze Three-Piece No.3 by Henry Moore (1898-1986).
- Simplified expression about a complex thought
Above-31: Germany. Autobahn. Downhill between Berlin and Munich.
- I never overspeed but sometimes drive like Fangio, or Jackson Pollock
- Volvo V70, music is Kraftwerk Autobahn, then TEE, soon arriving
- Ignoramus, Citius, Fortius, Maximus, Winnius, Glorius, Champagneus
MY CARS - Me-Amigo likes Sofa-on-the-Wheels
• VW 1200 Beetle: aquarius blue, register plate BC-674
• VW Golf: four new cars
• Opel: three new cars
• Saab: red, very fast even on snowy highway
• Beijing, three cars with driver, for 15 years
-- Chinese RedFlag, black, Audi 100 replica car
-- Chinese VW Passat, black
-- Chinese VW Passat, gray, backseat extended by 14cm
• Hertz: Benz, Volvo, Alfa, Audi, Renault, Nissan, Prius...
• Now: Lexus GS, silent, L on the logo means LOVE...
Above-32: Finland - Sweden.
- Helsinki-Stockholm-Helsinki voyage by Silja Line, summer fun
MY VIEW - How Nokia lost Mobility Leadership
After being in the front row of Internet, broadband and mobility, Finland and Nokia ended into back mirror.
1. Mobile operators in Finland couldn't develop a mobility vision. Short-term greed kept tariffs high. Text messaging became a money grab. Innovation didn't find channel to the market. But developer creativity never died, opportunities were found later with mobile games.
2. Long ago Nokia's user-interface dominated markets. It was good for text messaging. But with mobile phones you are only good as your latest products. Inside Nokia the critical views about UI, Symbian performance, lack of APIs and WiFi, specs difference between phone models got no management response. "More control points" won the radical rational thinking. In Nokia, MMS won, not email. Ideas and views by apps developers were listened but not taken, reacted. Mobile broadband was not utilized. 'Rewrite the rules' and mobility were only marketing phrases. Findings by Nokia Research Center didn't get into products. Nokia's high market share meant 'slow motion'. Individuals full of inspiration sinked into frustration.
3. In 2007 when iPhone was announced, every industry analyst understood it was a giant step. So did many Nokians. Apple and Google occupied mobility. Their innovations knocked Nokia's small screen feature phones into history. Nokia's management lost the big picture, and forgot to look for that rabbit for the smart phone.
Above-33: Spain, Madrid.
- Main avenue walk trip to Museo Nacional Del Prado, refreshing
Above-34: China, Beijing.
- Dog energy and adrenaline needed for results
Above-35: Thailand, Koh Samui, Hotel Royal Meridien.
Stiff, holiday just starting. Unbelievable views and dinners.
- A distant ship, smoke on the horizon...
Above-36: Italy, Rimini.
The Cattolica-Riccione-Rimini beach is some 20km long with 5000 hotels.
- Probably the best place for beach walking
Above-37: Italy, Rimini.
- 4-wheel biking before non-pizza dinner
Above-38: Thailand, Hua Hin, Hotel Sofitel.
- My lady takes full inbreath of stormy weather...
Above-39: Thailand, Hua Hin, Hotel Sofitel.
- Be it a storm!
Above-40: Italy, Madonna Di Campiglio, Dolomite Mountains.
- Hiking, 1000 meters below and far behind is Campiglio
Above-41: Italy, Madonna Di Campiglio, Dolomite Mountains.
- My lady is not afraid of high places
Above-42: Thailand, Hua Hin, Hotel Sofitel.
I was stressed. Relax, on holidays! But this time was different. Internet-connected monitoring devices were just found by Nokia security audit team in my Beijing office, raising questions. Two business developer friends had recently died in Beijing and some work friends stabbed and ThinkPads robbed. hard to smile during this holiday.
- Sofitel has good breakfast, sculpture park, and quik gekkos
Above-43: USA, Washington D.C. Capitol Hill.
Eight times to U.S.: New York, Washington D.C., Rockville (Maryland), Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles.
- And the beef was good
Above-44: USA, Washington D.C. Lincoln Memorial.
- Only simple thoughts... a man, finger in the dike, search machine, knowledge, gap, helium-3, wisdom, god speed, results
Above-45: Germany, Cochem Castle at River Mosel.
- Got a black magic Alfa, flied up German mountains
Above-46: Japan, Beppu city in Kyūshū Island.
- A flight to Oita Airport, then 'bukka' was happy
- In 1987 got my first own PC, Nokia MikroMikko 4TT m336
- Windows: I have had about 20 Windows PCs, ThinkPads
- Apple: I have had one PowerMac and four Apple notebooks
IN USE NOW
• Apple iPad Mini, 2014
• Apple MacBook Air 13" 4GB 256GB SSD, 2014 (several)
• Apple AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express
• Apple iPhone 5 (several)
• LaCie 2T discs, 64GB USBs, print, firewall
• Roland GW-8 Keyboard Workstation
• Roland HandSonic HPD-10 Hand Percussion
• Roland PM-10 Personal Monitor amplifier
• Sony PCM-M10 linear recorder
• Aker MR2800 voice amplifier
• Samsung and Panasonic Smart TVs 32" and 55"
• Nintendo Wii with balance board
• Philips Original Radio retro style
Above-47: Japan, Kumamoto Samurai Castle.
Memories of Judo and Aikido training sessions popped to my mind.
- If now, it would be skillset of Ninja, result counts
MY Espresso and LatteGEAR
• Espresso: La Spaziale MiniVivaldi S1, red
• Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario on-demand, grey
• Beans: Cellini, Cagliari Espresso Superoro, Caffe Piansa
Above-48: Vatican in Rome.
- This holiday I stayed in amazing Sorrento, Capri and Rome
MY PhotoGEAR - FILM
• 1975 Canon TX, 50mm lens, flash, B/W developing system
• 1976 Canon AE-1, Canon 28mm, Tokina 28-135mm
• 1988 Canon EOS-650, EF 35-70mm, databack, speedlite
MY PhotoGEAR - DIGITAL
• 1998 Kodak DC260 1,6 megapix, zoom
• 2000 Canon PowerShot G1 3,3 megapix, zoom
• 2002 Canon PowerShot G3 4 megapix, zoom
• 2004 Canon 20D 8,2 megapix, EF-S 17-85mm
• Now: Canon 40D 10,1 megapix (2008)
• Now: Canon Speedlite 580EX (2004)
• Now: Canon EF-S 10-22mm
• Now: Canon EF 70-200mm 2.8F
• Now: Apple iPhone 5
Above-49: Malaysia, Borneo, Kota Kinabalu, Hotel Shangri-La.
It was a hot day. I felt like an orangutan (they live in Borneo, the Indomalay word orangutan means 'Man of the Jungle'). At 6th floor Club they served brandy glasses filled full of Otard WSOP! Windy Sunset beach bar fun. The dinner and the sky.
- Who said no whites in my eyes!
• Calvados: Boulard X.O. for lazy afternoons
• Brandy: Courvoisier VSOP and X.O. always a good choice
• Whisky: Macallan Single Malt 18 years for rare momentos
• Gin: Hendrick's "It’s not for everyone" for Lifeboat Party!
• Vodka: Stolichnaya Elit for -18C snaps with blinis
• Rum: Bacardi Superior for Cuba-Libre times
• Anise: Ricard Pastis de Marseille for the hottest afternoons
• Wine: Bordeaux wines, Italian wines, always
• Champagne and Sparkling Wines: rose
• Beer: 1. Orval 2. Leffe 3. Duvel 4. Litovel
MY DrinkMOTTO - Inspired by L. Bollinger
"I only drink when I am happy and when I am sad.
Sometimes I drink when I am alone.
When I have company I consider a drink obligatory.
I trifle with drink if I am not in a hurry and drink when I am.
Otherwise I never touch the stuff unless I am thirsty."
Above-50: Spain, Gran Canaria. Hotel Riu Palace.
- Christmas day waves at Meloneras promenade
MY Abstract Art Favourites
• Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) paintings
-- The Deep, 1953; Summertime Number 9A, 1948
• Mark Rothko (1903-1970) paintings
-- No.1, 1957; White over Red, 1957; White Cloud Over Purple, 1957
• Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) paintings
-- Yellow Red Blue, 1925; Composition VI, 1913; Composition VII, 1913
• Henry Moore (1898-1986) bronze sculptures
-- Three-Piece No.3, 1968; Butterfly, 1985
Above-51: Japan, Okinawa. Mabuni.
The Battle of Okinawa happened here in Mabuni. Human loss was huge. Okinawa was the only Japanese island invaded by the U.S. Atomic bombs followed to end WW2. The Cornerstone of Peace monument in Mabuni has 200.000 names carved into stones, still adding names.
Okinawa island: Cape Manza cliffs at Onna Son. Shuri Castle of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. Gyokusendo Cave, deep and long. Southeast Botanical Gardens. Coral reefs by sightseeing sub. Kadena Air Base from viewing deck. Pineapple Park. Naminoue Shrine. The Cornerstone of Peace Monument. Sea food dinners.
EARTHQUAKE EXPERIENCE - Richter 7.0
- Time: Feb 27, 2010 at 5:30am
- Place: Japan, Okinawa, Naha city, Hotel Kariyushi room 1009, 10F
- Magnitude: Richter 7.0
Rapid, powerful horizontal motion of the building. While standing and pressing arms against vibrating corridor walls I thought the building can collapse any moment. Situation was extreme. Gradually, maybe after up to one minute, the enormous mambo-shake transformed into wide swinging, Danse Macabre. I feel now sort of earthquake survivor. Hotel Kariyushi is well designed, nothing happened to building or people inside.
Above-52: Finland, Turku. Kakola Prison.
This prison is a historical site. Cell tour took two hours.
• Prisoner cook took morning baths in big pot before adding powders
• Prisoner ripped off last pages of books, sold ending info to others
- About 80 physical books, now in storage room
- Classics, autobiographies, health, travelling, garden, business
- Cooking books in heavy use
MY Top-5 Books
• Nikolai Gogol (1809–52) The Nose (1836), other satires
• Victor Hugo (1802–85) Les Misérables (1862)
• Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–81) Crime and Punishment (1866)
• Guy de Maupassant (1850–93) short stories and novels
• Carl von Clausewitz (1780–1831) On War (1832)
Above-53: Switzerland, St. Gotthard Pass.
Between Lugano and Interlaken. New Toyota Prius, from Hertz, peeped for open safety belts, R-gear, doors, lights... while driving through the long Gotthard tunnel and not possible to stop.
- “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here!”
Above-54: Portugal, Madeira, Feb. 2014. Hotel Riu Palace.
- Dinners at Riu Palace were good, views in Madeira were excellent
- Over 10 years old Madeira wine fits for late nights!
MY Top-12 Movies - situation now
• An American in Paris (1951) Gene Kelly as Jerry Mulligan
• Singin' in the Rain (1952) Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood
• West Side Story (1961) George Chakiris as Bernardo
• 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Keir Dullea as Dave
• Coogan's Bluff (1968) Clint Eastwood as Coogan
• Payback (1999) Mel Gibson as Porter
• The Matrix (1999) Keanu Reeves as Neo
• Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) Arnold Schwarzenegger
• Collateral (2004) Tom Cruise as Vincent
• Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) by Wes Anderson, Fox voice G.Clooney
• Gravity (2013) Sandra Bullock as Ryan Stone
• The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort
Above-55: China, XiangHe near Beijing.
DiYiCheng Culture Park. For Chinese dragon means power.
- Two dragons play with a ball, ErLongXiDu
CHINA EXPERIENCES - Tricks & Thieves & Queens
Tax return. Beijing Tax Bureau called to verify a few details.
- We have collected too much tax, want to return it to you
- Well, you can just keep it
Why? Because call was a fake, from mobile phone, caller had "provincial" accent, belongs to basic category of Chinese tricks: to get your account number. Tax Bureau in China has probably never returned collected money.
Shopping Center in Beijing XiDan, 2nd floor, a fast food restaurant. A man behind snatched my wallet. He runs, I was faster. We fight, I hold his neck, want to wipe his feet. He desperately fights to escape. We danced. He throws my wallet, shouts Take, Take! I wanted him down. He takes something from jacket's pocket, didn't succeed. He dives out of his jacket and runs. Now, 100+ Chinese stand around me, silence, no-one came to help. I pick up my wallet. I check what was in thieve's black leather jacket pocket. I show the stiletto knife, click it open. No smiles, no reaction. Security with big hats arrive. They take the leather jacket and stiletto.
- Very courageous but this is gang work, how do you plan to get out alive?
Well, seen it in movies, I went up, down, taxi, changed taxi three times, took opposite directions. Run. Some real fast food.
Restaurant TGF Friday's in Beijing at eastern Ring-3. Dinner, a Chinese couple sits neighbour table, but soon leaving. That lady managed to snatch my wallet and 2500RMB in it through the 'fence'. They managed to escape. I am sure some of TGF Friday's personnel co-operated and protected thieves. They didn't do it the first time.
Restaurant in DiYiCheng Xiang He, dinner in 5-star hotel. Round table for eight persons, ordered a lot. When the bill came, a long list and two dishes which had never been served. Restaurant corrected the bill, a clumsy try. Did they overpay during G20 meeting in that same place?
Restaurant in KunMing city. After trip to Dian Lake a good dinner with a few beers. Forgot my Communicator to restaurant. Two waitresses run me up on street, my Communicator, and they absolutely refused extra tips! Queens of Kunming, Thank You!
Olympic Water Cube, New Year Concert December 30, 2008. Airport style security when going into that swimming hall. My lady's purse rolled through x-ray machine, in the other end a thief-woman snatched it into her big bag. We saw it, managed to take the purse out of thieve's big bag. She dived inside with flow of people. Security persons noticed nothing, the thief operated right under their noses. Olympic swimming pool had a water show synchronized with recorded Also Sprach Zarathustra. The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Vassily Sinaisky and 70 musicants did well that evening. After Elgar's Pomp and Circumstances a Chinese person, stranger, asked me what was that great music!
Above-56: China, Beijing. China Railway Museum.
- Left: General Zhu De's locomotive
- Between: BeijingMan
- Right: Chairman Mao ZeDong's locomotive
Above-57: China, Beijing. China Railway Museum.
- Test drive by Chairman Mao ZeDong's locomotive
Above-58: China, Beijing. Tank Museum China.
- Visited inside a battle tank
- Tested the spade once used by Chairman Mao ZeDong
- Had some tankTalk with uniformed guard
Above-59: China, Beijing. China Aviation Museum.
- This is Beriev Be-6 seaplane
- Find it at DaTangShan near XiaoTangShan north of Beijing
Above-60: China, Shanghai. WaiTan Bund at HuangPu River.
- Major mentality difference between Beijing and Shanghai
CHINA EXPERIENCES - Borderline funny things
• Farmers spread huge amount of rice on the road to dry it, in Beijing
• Early morning 100s of people walking back first in Beijing street
• People in train beat a person who used wrong toilet
• Friend rented out his apartment: bathtub & all stolen away
• Group of workers march, sing old revolutionary songs on street
• Chemicals sprayed onto trees, Christmas songs played as warning
• HangZhou taxi stopped empty highway at night to renegotiate price
• Dinner before deal signing, customer brought large wedding group
• Phone call during a meeting, she bended under table to talk it
• Grass was colored green, inspectors before Beijing Olympics
• Hospital ordered 6 weeks into bed, your bones are tofu!
• Artificial blossoming trees added among the real trees in park
• In shop, hot hair dryer used to remove product box tape cleanly
• "This door is bulletproof, inside betony!" Reality - styrofoam
• Buy an iPod: "Includes our Western or Chinese music database"
• Beijing Airport, bought Louis Royer WSOP cognac box, at home noticed the bottle had been opened, no use!
Above-61: China, Beijing Botanical Garden.
- They say, a large number enough of chimps with typewriters would have a chimp who will type out the complete work of Shakespeare...
- Hmm... not prepared to discuss the matter
Above-62: China, Sanya in Hainan. YaLong Bay Beach.
- This beach was hot
CHINA EXPERIENCES - Finding good food in Beijing
• Sams Club for meat, fruits, vegetables. Membership required
• Walmart for price/quality ratio
• Carrefour for cheaper products
• Metro for selections of EU products
• Jenny Lou and April Gourmet for cheese, wines, fresh bread
Above-63: China, Beijing.
- Salt group at work on GongTiBeiLu bridge
CHINA EXPERIENCES - Golden Pig Year 2007
Beijing got 170.000 babies. No lecturing, just two points:
1. Open-backed pants XiaoPiHai are common, not many babies use diapers. New apartment houses have private playgrounds but they are taken as public service by neighborhoods
2. New apartment houses mix homes and companies (SMEs, factories, service companies, offices) which don't want to pay for real office. For families those companies are 24/7 torture. Poor quality of construction and heavy use means regular repair works. Nothing can stop a three-month drilling project, even at night. Expat family with children should check house management very, very carefully, and consider villa
Above-64: China, Beijing. SARS Spring 2003.
- KouZhao, masks, marching at TianAnMen Square
- Spring 2003 SARS epidemic meant KouZhao, a mask, for everyone
Above-65: China, Beijing. SARS Spring 2003.
- At Workers Stadium North Gate, SARS and my KouZhao, mask
- Gentlemen, on your KouZhao! GodSpeed!
Above-66: China, Beijing. Pig Face dinner.
- Remember to be strong!
CHINA EXPERIENCES - Pig Face Dinner
A Beijing partner invited me to Pig Face Dinner, "no thanks" was not an alternative. We started with wine, my partner had a box of nine bottles of Chinese wine! Pig Face arrived with other dishes. Plastic gloves on. Pig Face was crispy but greasy. Restaurant had Pig Face home delivery service, Pig Face gift boxes and ISO9001 quality system certificate.
- Extra crispy, please!
Above-67: China, XiangHe near Beijing.
- Surfing by Qilin is better, you can keep the horse!
CHINA EXPERIENCES - A story told by a Beijinger
A Hong Kong journalist visited mainland Chinese hospital for an interview. She asked doctor how do they know when a mental patient has become healthy.
- Doctor: It's easy, we take patient to bath tube full of water. We give him two cups, a big one and a small one. Then we ask patient to empty the bath tube
- Journalist: I know, then, if the big cup is selected, he is healthy!
- Doctor: No, not that way. If he pulls up the plug, he is healthy
Above-68: China, Shanghai. A well trained chorus?
- No, a Telecom Conference, this is only 1/3 of the photo
- BeijingMan front line, third from left
CHINA EXPERIENCES - The best of Chinese Culture
When a Chinese man in western business suit sings Peking Opera. An unpredictable asset. Universal component in it, supports imagination.
Above-69: China, Xiamen. A RiverDance Group?
- No, this is May 17th Telecom Day celebration event with leaders!
- BeijingMan second from left
Above-70: China, Beijing. JinDingXuan Restaurant in HePingLi.
Dinner with professors and students from Beijing University of Aeronautical and Astronautical, BUAA.
CHINA EXPERIENCES - Exotic Foods & Chinese Cooking
Plastic chopsticks may save the forests, and with oily peanuts they can add to dinner experience. Use bamboo chopsticks for convenience and for grip. Using chopsticks and sharing dishes on big plates during flu seasons adds excitement. Some Chinese dishes require to spit/drop some of it out. Don't be shy.
Be strong! Instead of roast duck or lemon chicken you might end up eating Pig Face, or alive fish, intestines, snakes, scorpions, dog meat, goose heads, chicken feet, chicken stomach, insects or bugs, fish heads, duck tongues, pig ears, rats, or lamb brains. Or a turtle and the blood drink, for your long life.
Chinese like to agitate foreigners by telling how exotic food is good to 'your health'. Even if you are afraid, just take it, then leave it on plate, just not to touch it, plates get changed. Or, you can explain that your stomach is not feeling good, but then you risk being a foreigner in spotlight, and nobody believes your stomach story. If you eat exotics, make sure everybody sees, make it a big and noisy thing. Be a good foreigner. Be strong!
Chinese maotai (moutai) can provide everlasting memory. Chinese enjoy making foreigners drunken. They invent drinking rules for their advantage and say it's their tradition... In case you prefer water, get prepared and learn how to secretly add water or change your drink. China is about tricks, I have seen Chinese dinner guests doing the water trick. Foreigners can use tricks for their defence or even benefit.
Chinese cook with fire. They don't use exact measurements, temperatures, standards or numbers, it's in cook's fingertips, a little salt. Chinese food culture is not static, it changes with fashions. New things are added, like chili, imported to China 400 years ago, now in fundamental position. Globalization.
My favorite Chinese dishes: Beijing Duck, Lemon Chicken, Lao Beijing noodles with jam, cold noodles, black egg soup. Chinese don't share similar flexibility with the western kitchen. When abroad, Chinese often tell how they suffer if not getting familiar quik noodles, wantons or snacks.
Above-71: China, Beijing. DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse.
Banquet Hall in Building No.5 has 16 chairs with mini tables.
- Style for presidents and celebrities
Above-72: China, Beijing. Golden Lion Restaurant.
- This crew served us a good cabinet lunch
Above-73: China, Beijing. Hutongs.
Rich or poor, most ancient Beijing residents lived in hutongs. Fifty years ago Beijing had over 3000 hutongs. Modernization has erased most of them, less than 700 hutongs are said to be left. I scouted, some 1000 photos, BeiQiaoWan hutong area in ZhuShiKou and HuFangQiao hutong area, and more.
THE BOOK - Green Metropolis by David Owen (2009)
Green Metropolis has reference to BeijingMan's hutong photos at Beijing Hutongs Part-1 & Part-2 & Part-3
Above-74: China, Beijing. Imperial BeiHai Park.
- Get results by 'multi-dimensional/multi-layered Guanxi'
CHINA EXPERIENCES - Online Shopping
Popular. Select and order almost anything via the net. Fast, low cost delivery to the door when you want it, then payment approval on the net. Major companies have good products and service. Some factories are selling sub-quality products. Can find second hand products like air cleaners, sold via web as new. The worst case: to cancel a bad web deal you need receipt for product returning, and the seller may not give it, instead use tricks to make you tired, to get your money.
Above-75: China. Meeting and lunch, 2012.
PERSONS: Minister on the high chair my left; the Leader and Chairman; Mayor of a 3,5M city; CEO of electronics company; the Leader; advisors and assistants. After presentations and discussions we had here excellent local Merlot wine with well-cooked lamb neck.
- A good meeting, next steps agreed, towards results
CHINA EXPERIENCES - Business Stamps
Stamps are issued by Public Security Bureau after business registration process is completed. Both stamps are important and must be kept in trusted hands to control the stampings.
• Company Stamp with fixed internal blue ink
• Accounting Stamp aka Financial Stamp used with red ink pads
Above-76: Japan. Artists before the show.
Above-77: Japan. Dinner based on traditional menu.
Above-78: China, Beijing. Business dinner.
- Chestbumps? No.
- Fistbumps? No.
- GanBei, drain the glass? Yes!
Above-79: China, Beijing. China International Exhibition Center.
• Exhibitions, seminars, conferences, meetings, customers, quests
• Lunches, dinners, drinks, gifts, friendships
• Guanxi and Treat, partnerships and sales transactions
Above-80: China, Beijing.
- Focus on Chinese mentality, Guanxi and Chinese view of the world :)
FLIGHTS of my lifetime
From Helsinki to China 58 times by 2014
• 1992 first trip to Beijing, China
• 1994 first business in Beijing
• 1998 moved to Beijing for over 15 years period
• In China trips to 19 provinces and municipalities
• 2013 moved back to Helsinki, Finland
From Helsinki to EU, U.S. and others 135 times by 2014
• About 110 business trips
• About 25 holiday trips
Above-81: China, Beijing. RiTan Park.
CHINA EXPERIENCES - Recommended Restaurants
• Xiao Wang's Home Restaurant, RiTan Park, Beijing
• Lao Beijing (old Beijing) restaurants; waiters shout when you enter
Above-82: China, Beijing.
Fun with Sichuan waitresses in JinDingXuan Restaurant.
Above-83: China, Beijing. Capital Museum.
Chairman Mao ZeDong used this Microphone for announcing P.R. China. That was Oct. 1st 1949 at TianAnMen Rostroom in Beijing.
Above-84: Finland. Painting with subjects, at around 10 years of age.
MY Footprint - 33 Countries
• Finland: Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, Oulu
• Sweden: Stockholm, Gothenburg, Sundsvall, Motala, Karlskrona
• Norway: Oslo, Trondheim
• Denmark: Copenhagen, Odense, Frederikshavn, Helsingborg
• Germany: Munich, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg, Lindau
• Netherlands: Amsterdam, Volendam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven
• United Kingdom: London, Bracknell, Inkberrow, Felixstowe
• Belgium: Brussels, Antwerpen
• Czech Republic: Prague
• France: Paris, Nizza, Cannes, Lille, Strassburg
• Spain: Madrid, Barcelona, Mallorca, Tenerife, Gran Canaria
• Portugal: Madeira
• Switzerland: Zurich, Luzern, Geneve, Montreux, Locarno, Lugano
• Austria: Saltzburg, Innsbruck
• Italy: Rome, Milano, Venetsia, Rimini, Sorrento, Campiglio
• Vatican City
• San Marino
• Greece: Athens, Kos, Patmos, Crete
• Cyprus: Larnaca
• Viro: Tallinn
• Russia & Soviet Union: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vyborg
• United States: New York, Wash D.C., Baltimore, Dallas, L.A.
• Iraq: Baghdad
• Jordania: Amman
• Japan: Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Kunisaki, Okinawa, Naha
• South Korea: Seoul
• Thailand: Bangkok, Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Pattaya
• Malesia: Borneo, Kota Kinabalu
• Hong Kong
• P.R.China: Beijing plus 18 other provinces
MY Footprint in China - 19 Provinces and Municipalities
• Hefei 5M people, capital of Anhui Province 62M population
• Fuzhou 4M capital of Fujian Province 34M
• Guangzhou 10M capital of Guangdong Province 110M
• Haikou 0,6M capital of Hainan Province 8M
• Shijiazhuang 10M capital of Hebei Province 67M
• Zhengzhou 10M capital of Henan Province 100M
• Shenyang 10M capital of Liaoning Province 42M
• Xian 8M capital of Shaanxi Province 36M
• Jinan 7M capital of Shandong Province 90M
• Nanjing 7M capital of Jiangsu Province 77M
• Chengdu 10M capital of Sichuan Province 82M
• Kunming 4M capital of Yunnan Province 43M
• Hangzhou 6M capital of Zhejiang Province 46M
• Lanzhou 6M capital of Gansu Province 30M
• Beijing municipality, population 20M, 16.000 km^2
• Chongqing municipality, population 28M
• Shanghai municipality, population 22M
• Tianjin municipality, population 10M
• Hong Kong, population 7M
Above-85: Finland. Towards abstract, subjectless art.
This was my story...
- about a computer guy who became business developer
- he agrees with Kandinsky: everything starts with a dot
- he met many bright people, had exciting moments, got results
- he enjoyed Helsinki, Paris, Baghdad, Beijing, Wash D.C. ...
- and he never stopped being that happy computer guy
- right now he is at seaside, probably grilling some fish
© BeijingMan aka Kippo 2014