Meeting with Hong Kong's technology czar and other adventures . . .

I was a busy bee on Thursday. The day started slowly, I had trouble getting out of bed due to a 5am stop but by 11am I was up and running and heading down to Santa Clara a for a meeting with Hong Kong's technology czar Dr Robert Yang.
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor

I was a busy bee on Thursday. The day started slowly, I had trouble getting out of bed due to a 5am stop but by 11am I was up and running and heading down to Santa Clara a for a meeting with Hong Kong's technology czar Dr Robert Yang.

Boyd Fung, of the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office set it up and I'm glad he did, because I got an exclusive interview with one of Asia's top technology thought leaders.

I have to say, I'm amazed that the local mainstream media didn't show up to this event because they missed a great story.  Dr Yang is heading up a $1.5bn technology science park and this is not Xerox Parc, this is an institute headed by someone who knows how to make such things work.

Dr Yang used to head Taiwan's technology research initiatives for many years before being lured to do the same for Hong Kong. This is someone who knows how to make technology transfers viable and productive.

His benchmarks and metrics for measuring success are brutal. This is someone who can put together teams of researchers and have them produce jaw-dropping advanced technologies within seven months to a year.

Hong Kong is very serious about becoming the innovation front-end to the manufacturing behemoth of greater China. Check next week for an exclusive interview with Dr Yang.

. . .

Then I was off to Palo Alto, for a briefing on a hot new startup with a hot new product from a hotshot development team. Alas, you will have to wait until March 7th, but I have secured an exclusive beta test invite for my readers watch this space.

. . .

Since I was in Palo Alto, I wandered over to see if Ross Mayfield. CEO of SocialText was around. Ross, however, was taking a break from evangelizing the corporate wiki. I was told that Ross was celebrating his tenth wedding anniversary and was away in Las Vegas. I hope Ross got lucky -- but I've no idea if he is a gambling man.

. . .

I slipped through the rush hour on 280 back into San Francisco and it was a warm, sunny evening. I constantly catch myself, even after 21 years in Silicon Valley, at how dream-pinchingly gorgeous this part of the world can be.

I popped briefly back home and then back out again for a reception at the British Consultate -General's residence for a British company called Oxonica.

I was late arriving, and the British Consulate-General's residence at Presidio Terrace seemed unusually quiet from the outside. I decided not to ring the bell and pushed open the front door only to find myself walking smack dab into the middle of Martin Uden's introduction to Oxonica.

Martin Uden the British Consulate-General for San Francisco, being the consummate professional, immediately incorporated my blundering entrance into his introduction. I was a little flushed and flustered by the experience but I could not have wished for a better entrance ;-)

. . .

It was good to catch up with the team over at the British Consulate, and also with  Martin's better half Fiona, who admitted to still being a little star struck by the recent visit of Prince Charles. This was an excellent opportunity to mention my lunch with Prince Charles' father, the Duke Of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. It was several years ago when he was visiting Novell, which was an important supporter of his charity work. But that is a story for another time.

 . . .

It was also good to meet with Rachel Lawley, one of the vice consuls in the UK Trade and Investment team. Plus, I got to meet some of Melody Haller's Antenna Group team.

Rosalind Jackson, Serena Kwan, and Nathan Tinker--all from the Antenna Group were a delight. Smart, cultured, and tremendously good company. Serena, it turns out, shares my passion for chemistry, and Silicon Valley is ALL about chemistry, the chip industry is all about chemical engineering--just ask Gordon Moore and Andy Grove. (The chip industry has not met an element it doesnt like.)

Plus, their client, David Browning, CEO of Oxonica, I noticed was a real no nonsense hands-on type of guy who is rare in this part of the world but common in the UK.

. . .

Then I went home and wrote this.

I love my job. And as soon as I can figure out how to pay my family support, landlord, my tailor, my bar keep, taxi drivers, DSL, web hosting, domain-name-buying-addiction (now affecting my son), my gas-guzzling Audi Quattro, and pay for my editorial team . . . and my Trader Joe's bill--I will love my job even more :-)


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