Kai Fu Lee: I need to follow my heart

Kai Fu Lee: I need to follow my heart

Summary: A friend (a native speaker) helped me translate (a bit roughly) a Chinese document written (thanks to Ed Frauenheim of news.com for the pointer) by Kai Fu Lee, the former Microsoft executive who signed on with Google to head its research labs in China, and is now at the center of a legal dispute between the two giants (with roots in different eras) over his defection from Redmond.

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TOPICS: Google
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kaifulee.jpgA friend (a native speaker) helped me translate (a bit roughly) a Chinese document written (thanks to Ed Frauenheim of news.com for the pointer) by Kai Fu Lee, the former Microsoft executive who signed on with Google to head its research labs in China, and is now at the center of a legal dispute between the two giants (with roots in different eras) over his defection from Redmond. Ed chronicles the ongoing controversy in his story, "Who in the world is Kai Fu Lee?."

In the letter, which appeared on a Web site he uses to stay in touch with his students, Lee explains his reasons for making the switch from Microsoft to Google, a company that Bill Gates and team view as major threat. It's clear from his writing that Google's next-generation technology, research culture, and notion of doing good in the world attracted the Lee, who is best know for his work on speech recognition and directing research labs.  

He doesn't explicitly say it, but he is divorcing Microsoft--the older, slower, more bureaucratic company--and following his heart, which led him to a new, younger company that is one of the leaders in delivering the new technology experience, unburdened by the past and hidden agendas.

Lee writes, "Microsoft is an outstanding company, and there are many things we can learn from it. But Google is a company that makes me feel a shock. The reason Google gives me a shock is the passion for creating a new generation of technology. I found treasures  in Google everywhere. The technology and products are way beyond just the search."

At the end of the letter, Lee gives his formula for why Google is his choice:

youth + freedom + transparency + new model + the general public’s benefit + belief in trust =  The Miracle of Google

He also wrote about bringing the Google culture to China and stimulate the computer science and engineering students there to "create more Google miracles." He concludes by expanding on the theme of his native China and Google:

"No matter how difficult, if you don’t follow your heart and insist on principles, how can suggest other people to do it. Therefore I made a very important choice. I have the right to make my choice. I choose Google, I choose China. I want to do influential things. In China, I can help the youth more and do more influential things. I want to make the best of my own efforts, and in Google I can learn the new creativity model and make myself better."

Topic: Google

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3 comments
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  • monopoly + flawed products + unethical = Microsoft

    Microsoft is bad for everyone.
    Microsoft is banning Freedom and democracy:
    http://www.forbes.com/business/feeds/afx/2005/06/12/afx2088585.html

    Only fools fall for Microsoft's Marketing and lies.
    IT-sys
  • more monopoly + flawed products + unethical = Microsoft

    However, there is a huge challenge to get this message more widely known. So many school and college students in western countries seem to be ignorant of the damage Microsoft has done, and continues to do, due to its monopoly + flawed products + unethical behavior.

    Meanwhile Microsoft continues its drive for absolute domination by locking-in a whole new generation for its proprietary music and video formats, just as it has shackled a previous generation with its Office file formats + proprietary variations to LDAP, Kerberos and so forth.

    Hence organizations such as AOL and Yahoo, instead of promoting MS audio and video formats, should be working together to support open standards. After all, why support an organization whose real intent is to put you out of business?
    interoperate
  • RE: Kai Fu Lee: I need to follow my heart

    I think the motivating force is nationalism in Kai-Fu Lee's case. This is an issue underwritten by the question of when China is going to be weaned off / wean itself off pirated IT goods. The eagerness to get a piece of the pie should be balanced with eagerness for honesty. Is Google 'youth culture, transparency and TRUST' really being honored here? It's not only the big guys involved here, but also the ordinary American. Meanwhile MS profits go into philanthropy on a large scale. Does anybody have a say on this? Because Gates is also active to lessen regulation of migrant workers in the U.S.
    Sally-Anne61