Sam Lin - cruising through life with tech

Sam Lin, CEO of NetTasking Inc, is focused on educating the market on IT infrastructure management solutions and how enterprises can increase their productivity and business availability through such applications.

Sam LinSam Lin started out in the Hong Kong IT industry some 18 years back when he founded his own company reselling IBM and Compaq personal computers. He was only 19 years old then. Now, as chairman, CEO, and co-founder of NetTasking Inc, Lin is focusing on educating the market on IT infrastructure management solutions and how enterprises can increase their productivity and business availability through such applications.

The beauty of the digital age is that it is open and is not parochial at all, Lin says. All mindsets can survive. Asians, in particular, are "highly adaptable" creatures and will go far in this dynamic climate, he believes. Liu Chuanzhi (Legend's chairman) is a man he especially admires, although Lin is quick to clarify that he holds none of Liu's political ambitions. Below are excerpts of his interview with ZDNet Asia.

Do you think technology isolates people or brings people closer together?
There is no doubt that technology has replaced some human tasks/ functions, such as taking over the place of bank tellers behind counters with ATM machines. However, the convenience it brings greatly outweighs the human factor. Technology has definitely closed the gap between human beings in many cases. With digital imaging technology, you can quickly scan a picture of your family and send it to your relatives who are living abroad, just at a click of your finger to keep them updated of the latest developments at home.

Has the birth of the Internet helped or hampered your way of life?
Given the choice to choose again, I will still go for the Internet. It has improved my life greatly. Communications is a lot easier and it has brought with it convenience. Internet banking is one Internet tool that I cannot do without these days. Not only do I not have to go to the bank, I can also act on investment decisions quicker.

Which aspect(s) of the Asian culture do you think makes for a good or bad business edge in the global IT market?
Asians, I feel, are at large, highly adaptive and flexible. With the world “fast shrinking” and the different working teams more closely bound with the boom of the Internet, this very aspect of the Asian culture becomes very important. Being highly adaptive and flexible sees that Asian leaders at the helm of organizations open to change and willing to change to suit the fast changing environment. From a customer’s perspective, this is a much desired attribute.

What wouldn’t you compromise on when it comes to doing business?
Integrity, integrity and integrity. This is key in doing business. While we strive to excel in the industry, it is important that we do not undercut the competition through unscrupulous means. I believe in creating win/win businesses for all parties especially for our partners and customers. It should never be the case of gaining an upper hand at the expense of our partners.

Is there a role model whom you look up to?
Mr Liu Chuanzhi, chairman of Legend Holdings Limited. He is an entrepreneur at heart, having taken Legend from a brand name associated with the small and medium sized enterprises to become the most successful company in China. However, I see him only as a business role model. I have none of his political ambitions.

Is there anything you would have done differently if given the choice?
Probably not!

What do you do to de-stress?
I play golf to de-stress. Besides being able to get in touch with nature at the greens, I will also be able to get my regular dosage of exercises.

Which gadget is on your most wanted list?
An all-in-one GPS/cell phone/Palm Pilot/smart card embedded platform. All these are currently running on disparate platforms. You can imagine the time involved and the number of devices I have in my bag! Let me know if there is such a thing!

What is your most prized possession?
My three dogs. They are the three living creatures at home that do not talk back at me.

Which Web sites do you visit most often?
www.nettasking.com, www.pgatour.com, www.cnn.com.

Do you have a favorite Net acronym?
WYSIWYG! (What you see is what you get.)

More about People: Managing Asia.

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