Design Bold’s Founder, Hung Dinh advises enterprises to quickly take the chance of COVID-19 for digitalisation

Content:Kien Tuong | 2020-05-22

“COVID-19 has put companies into a circumstance requiring working from home; thus, we should consider this as an opportunity to enhance operational systems with sustainable and long-term strategies, instead of only concentrating on using technology as a temporal substitute to overcome the “social distancing” period instantly,” Design Bold’s Founder claims that towards the hardness from COVID-10, what important is firms need to digitalise their activities as soon as possible.

These days, the whole world population, including Vietnamese people that have to stay at home and quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19; hence, working-from-home solutions are becoming more necessary than ever. Due to that, apps like Zoom, Cisco, Webex, Skype, etc. are turning into such vital tools for individuals, organisations, schools or even governments to study and work online.

In fact, COVID-19 has brought the attention to unpopular software and increased the numbers of their users significantly. The most obvious example is Zoom, it used to have less than 10 million uses per day in December 2019, now that number is more than 300 million. Besides, Houseparty app also has more than 50 million new users in a month.

With such high potentials, many technology “giants” have started developing their own tools. Lately, Facebook, the biggest social network in the world, has launched their first online conference feature named Messenger Room which can connect maximum 50 users at the same time and be used by computers, mobile devices even without a Facebook account.

According to statics from grand research organisations, after the COVID-19 period, the online conference will be one of the most promising industries that will grow substantially and become an essential element of companies in the future because of its convenience, speediness and economy.

In Vietnam, indeed, enterprises, organisations and individuals are still too dependent on solutions from overseas countries. About this, Mr Hung Dinh, founder of Design Bold, the designing platform helps users from amateurs to professionals to design many kinds of materials with simple operations, opined that Vietnam has a great potential in I.T. and can be able to use domestic solutions.

“Vietnam owns many tools supporting working from home, in particular, there is Zalo to organise video meetings; Base, 1Offfice for company management and Design Bold, Haravan, Ladipage, etc. for designing solutions,” Hung offers some evidence.

In regards to the founder, what Vietnam has done to deal with COVID-19 shows that capability of the I.T. systems in Vietnam. He also evaluates that companies with stable technology foundations immediately let their employees shift their working places from office to their own home.

Nonetheless, not every company can figure out rapidly. “When observing this in the Vietnam Remote Workforce, I can see that there are some certain strengths in the I.T. systems of Vietnam, but they are not equally distributed, there are some firms with such enhanced technology while there are some lacking digital skills and culture,” he comments.

Design Bold founder assesses that Vietnamese companies have many opportunities to launch telecommuting models. Howbeit, the technology industry needs support and collaboration from other enterprises to develop a manual ecosystem. For example, the website gathers all technology supporting packages to help other companies develop their technology systems. “Although it is just a short-term solution in the pandemic, this altruistic support demonstrates the potential of Vietnam technology development in the future, not in a classifying direction but in a way to grow together,” Hung shares.

Fast yet sustainable digital transformation.

Design Bold’s founder thinks that towards challenges from COVID-19, it is necessary to have a quick digital transformation but also companies need to be mindful about the risks.

“Instead of minding only about tools, the most important element is to change leaders’ ways of thinkings to alter the method of operating for each department so that the firms can run smoothly,” he says. “COVID-19 has put companies into a circumstance requiring working from home; thus, we should consider this as an opportunity to enhance operational systems with sustainable and long-term strategies, instead of only concentrating on using technology as a temporal substitute to overcome the “social distancing” period instantly.”

And the process of digital transformation needs the support, assistance and sharing resources as well as knowledge of different companies to overcome the upcoming challenges together because this will encourage the foundation which will actively trigger the digitalisation in Vietnam.

He thinks that in the circumstance that requires digitalisation like at the moment, there will be many firms risking their security and confidentiality while using telecommuting technology tools if there are no solutions in time.

For companies depending or using solutions from a third party or using social networks such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Zoom to work, Mr Hung thinks those are not safe environments. This founder explains, in the COVID-19 period, when every individual’s activities transfer from offline to online, the frequency of using smart devices to communicate will increase rapidly. This is a fruitful field for hackers to take advantages from consumers’ data and sell it to other parties.

For companies that are not using any third-party application, Design Bold’s founder still emphasises this is the opportunity for enterprises to take notices about security and confidentiality and they should take this issue seriously since company security and confidentiality are closely related to the security of every employee.

“Security can be a relevant and even challenging issue. But in a broader view, this is the opportunity for companies to reinforce many security measures so that if anything happens they will be immediately warned and solved,” Hung shares that this issue is one thing that before COVID-19, many firms did not take into consideration because most communicational activities are offline in the office.

The founder also states that security and confidentiality are the story of only companies, but every employee also needs to consider those issues of the company for their own sake. Especially in the COVID-19 period when companies are pretty vulnerable to any type of attacks, a small leak of confidentiality can lose companies’ billions dongs.

“Actually, when deciding to work from home, enterprises have trusted and put information security in the palm of employees’ hand. Thus, to have better security, first, the companies need to ensure their employees have a careful mindset in keeping personal information safe while taking responsibility for the whole companies’ confidentiality,” Hung advises.

According to this founder, when individuals are aware of the risk, the companies should have a specific guide for them to transfer their activities from offline to online safely. For example, with Facebook and email, there should be 2-step verification, or when working from home, they should limit their work at places with cameras, start using VPN and install software preventing malware, etc.

From the enterprises’ perspective, leaders need to ensure that the security progress is simple, clear and easy-to-understand, which should encourage communications so that employees can take part in and develop this progress. Besides, firms need to develop safe platforms for employees; for example, all employees’ devices are installed with security measures, etc.


Meet the Top 10 NTT Startup Challenge 2020 Finalists

Content:NTT | 2020-11-27

NTT Startup Challenge is back virtually for startups in Southeast Asia for the 4th year and announcing its Top 10 Finalists to pitch on the Final Day event. This event is undoubtedly an event that all startup enthusiasts around the world have been waiting to enjoy.

With the theme "Smart World through Digital Transformation", the NTT Startup Challenge 2020 will discuss how digital innovation changes the world for the better through pitching competitions and speaker sessions. This event's winners will get access to global investors, NTT investor networks, cash prizes, strategic collaborations, and other prizes.

Yasunori Kinebuchi, NTT Startup Challenge program founder, says, "We are excited to pivot this year's event into a virtual format, opening up to more outstanding startups in Southeast Asia. Since the commencement of registrations in September 2020, we have seen over 500 startup applicants from various verticals. These include Gaming, Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, Shipment & Delivery, Health-Tech, BioTech & MedTech, Edtech, E-Fitness, Salestech, CRM & Work Collaboration Tech, and E-commerce. Across this wide spectrum of industries, we look forward to fresh ideas and innovative business models. We hope that these ideas will inspire and accelerate the startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia."

As its main highlight, NTT Startup Challenge 2020 will feature the top 10 startup finalists from across Southeast Asia to present their startups on Final Day (November 25th, 2020) in front of a panel of judges from various backgrounds, including investors and business experts. Here are the top 10 finalists at NTT Challenge 2020:

1. Doctor On Call (Healthcare), from Malaysia. It is an online Medical Consultation via Chat, Video, or Phone Call connecting them to Drs through a virtual online platform.

2. Cashlez (FinTech), from Indonesia. It provides an online/ offline Payment Aggregation System for Retailers and Merchants.

3. HarukaEDU (Education), from Indonesia. It provides a turn-key solution to enable universities to offer quality online education with minimum investments and risk.

4. (Food), from Indonesia. It is a mobile-based grocery ordering and delivery platform.

5. Gorry Holdings (Healthcare), from Indonesia. It supports people living healthier, smartly, and sustainably.

6. Sales Candy (Sales), from Malaysia. It is a real-time lead management system that instantly routes to the salesperson's phone via its mobile app.

7. Block (Security), from Singapore and India. It focuses on harnessing the potential of Blockchain technology to counter growing Cybersecurity challenges in bold new ways.

8. JobHop (HR), from Vietnam. It connects reputable companies and the most suitable talents in SEA, starting with Vietnam.

9. Assemblr (AR), from Indonesia. It enables users to create an AR project or upload a custom 3D model from existing 3D software. Users can access & share AR content anytime, anywhere, seamlessly.

10. Simplify (Wi-Fi), from Malaysia. It is a peer-to-peer Internet sharing platform that allows you to sell your excess Wi-Fi or 4G mobile data to other Simplify users.

Last year, NTT Startup Challenge 2019 provided a cash prize of USD 10,000. The first winner was Nodeflux, the second winner was Modal Rakyat, and the third winner was AwanTunai. Also, Outside won the Panasonic Game Changer Catapult Award and Modal Rakyat won the Orange FAB Award. They can use the IT infrastructure for free by NTT.

This year’s finalists will present their startups in front of the respected judges and audience. Therefore, be one of the lucky witnesses in the selection of the three best startups this year. Register yourself to be one of the audience for the event; click here

About NTT Ltd.

NTT Ltd. is a leading global technology services company. Working with organizations around the world, we achieve business outcomes through intelligent technology solutions. For us, intelligent means data driven, connected, digital and secure. Our global assets and integrated ICT stack capabilities provide unique offerings in cloud-enabling networking, hybrid cloud, data centers, digital transformation, client experience, workplace and cybersecurity. As a global ICT provider, we employ more than 40,000 people in a diverse and dynamic workplace that spans 57 countries, trading in 73 countries and delivering services in over 200 countries and regions. Together we enable the connected future.

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Taking vitamins, consuming garlic, gargling saline, etc. are not the best ways to prevent infectious diseases. Should we strengthen our immune systems?

Content:Writer Le Thanh Hue | 2020-05-18

"The concept of immune system improvement does not have any scientific meaning." Professor Akiko Iwasaki pointed out, to have a robust immune system, we only need to get enough sleep, exercise frequently, have a balanced diet, and try not to be stressed out.

Nervously looking for approaches to prevent Covid-19, many people try to consume much food and medicament, such as vitamin C, garlic, saline in order to better their immune system. Those actions could backfire!!!

To understand this matter, we need to understand the context of our body which can be told as a story like this:

Our body is quite the same as a fully operating nation; All types of bacteria, viruses, risk factors are called the enemies trying to enter to sabotage the peaceful nation.

The serene nation needs to operate normally and stay balanced. In the border, there are border guards while in the core, the reconnaissance units are casually checking, monitoring the situation. Other combat units are practising to protect the country at all costs with the its capability.

Suddenly, you are worried and request to reinforce the maximum power of border guards. You activate the defence system even though the enemies have not passed the borderlines yet. Did not stop there, you bring all-new weapons: vitamin C, wine-soaked garlic, saline, etc. So all of the new weapons are activated even though your army does not need those. The whole system is chaotic, with many types of panic since they do not understand why they have to activate entirely. Imagine having an enormous armoury, but the soldiers are not trained to use them.

Meanwhile, the nation need funds to produce goods for the demand but now the funds are forced to use to prepare for the war that may never happen. But if the weapons are not used, the costs to demolish are even higher, not to mention it can pollute the environment and cause arson. Furthermore, seeing other nations fighting wars, you invest in buying atomic weapons and backfiring yourself because to store them, it costs too much money. In the worst case, it could cause radioactive contamination, or if you somehow let it activate itself, then you lose everything.

Akiko Iwasaki is a Professor of Department of Immunobiology and Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University (founded in 1701, Connecticut, Yale is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the United States of America, following Harvard University) states: In fact, the concept of immune system improvement does not have any scientific meaning.

The truth is our immune systems are born with a 3-layer defence system to prevent the infection of diseases.

  • The first layer is the anatomical barrier that does not let pathogens infect our body such as skin, respiration and mucous membranes, etc.
  • Once the virus passes the first layer, the body will trigger an "innate" immune response. This reaction includes many chemicals and existing cells to reinforce alarming and start being against any intruder.
  • When those are not enough, the body will initiate adaptive immune system. This system includes new cellulars and protein and antibodies which take several days or weeks to form. More importantly, adaptive immune system can only target specific diseases. For example, the cellular T which kills Covid-19, won't be able to do the same to flu or bacteria. Therefore, for the last infected cases, the activation of adaptive immune system happens slowly. Then, it is necessary to inject the vaccine into the body to let the body face weak or dead bacteria or just a part of the bacteria. This helps the body to target the right enemies when they appear again.

When our bodies start getting sick, we need medicine to suppress the immune system.

Let's have a look at the symptoms of a simple cold; there are body aches, fever, being dizzy, sneezing and having phlegm. Actually, those symptoms are not originated from the virus. Instead, it is our body activating on purpose: it is a part of the innate immune response.

All mucus and chemical reactions are parts of inflammation, which is the foundation of a healthy immune response. When the immune system generates too much cytokine, then the doctor will reduce the fever and improve its side effects which can even lead to death.

When we get a fever or an inflammation by allergy to allergens, etc. which can be harmless elements like flowers' pollen, cat hair, etc., doctors will let us have medicine to suppress the immune system.

As you can see, we do not need to strengthen our immune system if we live the way we do every day.

If you are sick, then you can come to the clinic or hospital so the doctor can examine and give you the best treatment. Therefore, improving the immune system by food or medicament does not really make sense

Is there any shortcut to have a robust immune system?

There are rumours on the internet that some medicine or super luxurious food or the habit of taking vitamin C, eating garlic, gargling saline, etc. can be the shortcuts to improve the immune system. Those can be really dangerous if we see the following research.


Vitamin C and other vitamin supplements usually do not take effects on a healthy human, and even leave some side effects.

Some research has found that the low amount of vitamin C can lead to the high risk of respiratory infection and more severe symptoms. However, vitamin C is also one of the main factors contributing to some autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis.

Vitamin C is known for strengthening the humans' immune system. The health effects of this antioxidant had always been a secret until the 2-Nobel-prize winner Linus Pauling was obsessed with its ability to cure a common cold.

After many years of researching this vitamin, he finally took 18,000 mg every day, which is 300 times more than the recommended amount today.

Nevertheless, there is no evidence supporting the reputation of vitamin C in helping us fight the common cold and other respiratory diseases.

A research in 2013 of Cochrane, a research organization that is famous for its integrity, found out that, for a fully grown human, after seeing the symptoms of a common cold, a high amount of vitamin C has prescribed as a treatment. It left no effects and did not ameliorate any symptoms of the cold.

Fact: The lack of any vitamin is not beneficial for the immune system. Vice versa, the abundance of vitamin also leads to some harms for the system.


An evaluation in 2015 showed that beneficial bacteria, a type of bacteria contained in food, drinks or medicine, has reduced the number of respiratory infection cases and improved them.

The researchers went into the conclusion that beneficial bacteria may give better results than placebo treatment. Still, they also stated that the quality of the existing evidence is deficient.

What they want to say is there is no evidence showing any bacteria can protect us from Covid-19.


In an inflammatory response, white blood cells relieved oxygen compounds that destroy bacteria, virus and prevent it from duplicating. This is a double-edged sword since it can harm even the healthy, beneficial cells, which can lead to cancer and ageing and impairing the immune system.

To prevent this, our body depends on antioxidants. Those chemicals can control the oxygen compounds and keep our healthy cells safe.

Therefore, we can increase the amount of these chemicals by consuming food. Fruit, vegetables and seasonings that have bright colours such as carrot, blueberry, eggplant, turmeric, etc. tend to contain more antioxidants since they have vivid pigments.

At the moment, there is an experiment on using antioxidants for people infected with COVID-19 to recover. Nevertheless, this is one in hundreds of researches in potential treatments for Covid-19 patients.

In fact, in many years of research, no one has ever found any evidence proving that high amounts of antioxidants can "strengthen" immune system or treat or prevent people from viruses.


Hippocrate, the father of medicine used to say: "Everyone has a doctor in him or her".

Marcus Aurelius, borned in 121, the king who was famous for his wiseness of the Roman Empire which was located from Syria to England, he was also the first historian. In his work of Stoic philosophy named "Meditationes", he wrote: "Mỗi khi bệnh ta phải nghĩ xem phải làm sao để tâm trí mình tránh xa mọi căng thẳng và vẫn sở hữu được trạng thái vui vẻ phù hợp. Đừng dại dột lắng nghe một cách hồ đồ trước lời thuyết giảng của những người không có hiểu biết (về y học)…"

Professor Akiko Iwasaki advised: "Don't use your blood money on controlling the immune system. Remember to: Sleep enough, do exercise, have a balanced diet and try not to be under pressure. If you cannot work on those, there is a way to make sure you have the immunity to certain kinds of diseases: vaccine.

Akiko Iwasaki is a Professor of Department of Immunobiology and Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University.

Nine motivational books for the after-Covid-19 period that you can't miss

Content:Donald Nguyen | 2020-08-09

Are you confident that you will have an income of 3,000 USD per month before the age of 30? According to the marketing and business training professional Dung Nguyen, reading not only helps you understand your self-value (for the office environment, 3000 dollars is a high milestone, and not so many people can do it) but also leads you to a context and a purpose with more instinctive feelings. This is necessary towards uncertain changes and big events in the upcoming time, after-Covid-19 period.

With 12 years of experience in the business, marketing and training industries, professional Dung Nguyen comes to an optimal format for young people to set the direction, determine, use the method to revive, change and achieve their success in any circumstance. Those pieces of advice are in nine recommended books that he has evaluated as a staff trainer with the action steps and influencers' stories of success.

"This list includes Vietnamese and translated books (there are some I recommend you to read the English edition) and some that do not have translated editions. The purpose of reading is to create a diverse approach; this list can apply to everyone, no matter their tastes." The expert suggested in the following order:

Learning to prepare, concentrate, and enjoy every moment.

1. "Mot doi nhu ke tim duong"

The book of professor Phan Van Truong is a small handbook about preparing for the journey of success. Still, the content is nothing like what to do in the 20s, what to do in 30s, what to do when becoming a leader for the first, etc. but in this book, he humbly redefines the meaning of success, audits and eliminates all nonsense and old-fashioned opinions about success. He jumps to the conclusion in the book that: the fate of everyone already possesses many preset crossroads.

My favorite chapter is the near-end chapter named "Kinh chieu hau". In that chapter, the author describes back in time the feelings in the age of 70 (at the moment), then back to the 60s, 50s to the year he was 20. Having been thought of his life all over again, he still found out his specific "stupid mistakes" of all the decades he lived and those did not happen only on the years of his 20s and 30s. But then time will help us realise what is actually essential and let us gain invaluable experiences in life.

The book is a perfect combination between the scientific and self-motivating attitude of the Western liberal arts education, with the vision of a wise man having a bit Eastern Taoism manner. The author's writing tone is so tender, humble and genuine that 400 pages are slightly passed just like an afternoon tea.

Googling for the background of Mr Truong, you will agree with me that he is one of the people standardising the success competence of Vietnamese in the global game (according to his achievements on a global scale.)

Equipping skills to adapt and making a breakthrough towards uncertain changes.

2. "21 lessons for 21st century"

The book from Yuval Noah Harari provides us with a situation of things happening and about to happen soon. Still with the attitude of "happiness internalisation", I think every one of us must know what is happening, the causes as well as the consequences of it, and most importantly: what we need to do to acclimate and change the situation to create a brighter future.

If "globalisation game" in the eyes of Phan Van Truong in his book is a significant and exciting competition (with the variety of business and culture all around the world), via Yuval's writing, it is, by default, a location that we need to understand and operate inside and have no chance to narrow it down. Many topics about 21st century (global warming, technology arms races,…) can only be turned and addressed by globalisation, not by the rivalry between countries or ethnic conflicts.

A concept that Yuval mentioned that I think it is relatable for young people who are and about to joining the labour force is "unemployable generations". They could be the young people who do not acquire enough information, vision and invest too much time into the skills that could be replaced and done better by machines. Or they could be the people at the end of their working-age (around 50s, 60s) who are stuck into the old-fashioned jobs that are no longer producing enough surplus to pay for an employee. Those people, or can be retrained with a lot of resources or worse, cannot be retrained (because their companies, countries are not able to provide the training or they just cannot acquire new skills). "It is not easy for a developing country to retrain millions of labours in the textile industry to become the knowledge workers for the artificial intelligence era," Yuval shares.

A late great man used to say: "the best way to help the victims is not to become one of them", thus, Yuval's advice is to equip yourself those two factors: proactive lifelong learning capacity and emotional resilience. He also emphasises, the latter element about emotions sometimes is even more important than the former because the process of self-reinventing with the amount of time becoming shorter and shorter (it could be from every ten or five years to every several months) can be really tiring and exhausting. In Vietnam and other Asian countries, we can quickly feel this fact via the hardness of college students studying different majors from their working fields. In the new century of technology, all of us will have to "study different majors" (to learn something completely different from what you have learned for the current jobs) and must not stop making an effort.

It is wasting if Yuval's works are only focused on the information and the details. His mindset and his interpretation are also another phenomenal factors that we should recognise and learn from. If you can spend some time watching his speech (on Ted Talks or Youtube), I am sure that you will agree with me.


Speaking of the "self-study" topic, I think I am quite lucky since this is like a unique ability of our Vietnamese people with many authors and books. My following suggested list is about "self-study" topic with different content from four authors. Two of them belong to the past (passed away), and two others are not too aged. Four titles (in chronological order) are:

3- Toi tu hoc - by Thu Giang, Nguyen Duy Can, first edition in 1961

4- Goc nhin Alan danh tang doanh nhan Viet trong the tran toan cau - by Alan Phan, first edition in 2015

5- Cam nang tu hoc IELTS - by Kien Tran, (2016-2017)

6- Thiet ke cuoc doi thinh vuong - by Thai Pham, (2020)

Four people, four vast sources of information, with four practical fields for the young from right now (English, business) to long term period (self-development, lifestyle). We read to understand and know the pattern of self-studying: there is, of course, the methods but individuals need to find their own ways, from little actions to get big lessons and see some big success/failure causing by the little problem. Yet, most importantly, self-study needs to be perceived as a priority, a mission for oneself, and a happy time that we can feel and proactively do it every day even without standard orders, without fancy degrees, but nothing can compare to self-study in terms of pride and impact.

We usually heard about the concept of a startup nation to which I think many countries follow the example of Israel to attempt. But for me, our country and population can just be "the nation of learning and self-studying", soon one day, we will not only become a startups country but also have such significant accomplishments.

Practising self-discipline, physical ability and resilience.

7. "What I talk about when I talk about running"

The book by Murakami is a bit "strange" title from a familiar author. This is the book based on real-life stories of him. It was first published in 2007 before the running trend has become popular in Vietnam (from 2016 until now). In the book, Murakami talks about the impact of running (a physical activity) on his personal and work life. (If you like to read about realisation about running, you can read Shoe Dog too, an autobiographical story of Phil Knight, the founder of Nike).

Murakami describes running that is not so fancy, sometimes even hostile to him. But he feels grateful for it because of the pain when running and benefits it brought him. Self-discipline, physical health and resilience are the foundation of any success. I like this book because it was written from the viewpoint of a senior (it was published when Murakami was 58) telling his experience to keep going when the miracles of youth were no longer there with him.

I am impressed the most with the quote: "If you're young and talented, it's like you have wings." But when you are no longer young, the best thing that every one of us can do is running. Running for your living value when you are not young anymore, requires a lot of efforts.

"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."

Investing in finances education for yourself

8. "Rich dad, poor dad" from Robert Kiyosaki.

Kiyosaki wrote: "In life, money is as common and necessary as air. But it is different in one aspect; we were not born with the ability to utilise money instinctively. Money and money-related issues are factors that we need to learn". He called that Financial IQ and emphasised that most educational systems in the world are not applying this perspective well in daily life.

Honestly, I have no idea how lucky I was when I had the chance to read this book quite early until one of my friends (who was born in 1997, major in business and really good at doing business) aggressively posted on Facebook that why he did not know this book sooner. He said that there are many concepts, ways of thinking and approaching that if he had known it sooner, he would have learned, worked and lived so differently. Thus, I have to note right away that I must not forget this book in my suggestions.

Like football games (or any game), there are concepts and rules that we have to know in the financial world. I like the way that Kiyosaki describes and explains intuitively basic concepts such as asset (things that make more money when you own) and liability (things that lose your money when you own), "three types of income" (active, investment, passive), "four kinds of jobs" (employee, self-employed, business owner, investor), etc. If you are in a country that has good welfares (as well as a high rate of progressive tax) like Western Europe, Canada, Australia then you don't have to consider this topic too much. But in Vietnam, a country belonging to the frontier market where threatens and opportunities always go together, an investment for financial self-education is necessary, in my opinion.

Thinking different

9. Predatory Thinking

Predatory Thinking from Dave Trott is a book that has a strange writing style (of Dave Trott). Dave Trott is a "freak" in the creative and advertising fields in England which is the cradle of contemporary advertisement. The book emphasises the attitude of "self-learn, self-experience and self-evaluate" but it also reminds us of something that is usually forgotten: Think different, since, in life, most people approach problems in similar logical ways (and successors keep going with the same ways, this fault is called "think in the box"). That also explains the title of the book "Predatory Thinking".

Think different, work differently and also express differently. In the world where more and more logical thinking mindsets, there are always positions for such rare, interesting people. I myself think that both English and Vietnamese editions are alluring in their own ways, if you can, you should read both.

#BookRecommended from marketing and training professional Dung Nguyen this episode helps you to evaluate who and where you are in the era of significant events and uncertain changes.

To conclude, how can we recognise people who brace and orient themselves well in the after-Covid19 world (and have a high chance of earning 3000 dollars per month before 30) after reading the suggestion booklist? We can summarise in 3 points:

- Understanding themselves and the times they are living

- Believing in self-study, self-development, having skills and motivation to do it.

- Understanding what is essential, "the rules" for each industry, knowing who to ask when in need for help and how to connect and attain that support.

Whether or not an entrepreneur starting with passion can achieve success?

Content:Vinh Thinh | 2020-04-18

Do you know which career will be the most likely to be chosen when online services and works become indispensable?

Based on technological and digital platforms, participants can earn income by sharing their passion for these platforms with a small niche market. Content creators and influencers (KOLs) are typical examples for that, or perhaps more simply, when people with significant numbers of followers post something on Instagram or Youtube, Tiktok, etc. to attract many more likes and views. These are new forms of work based on the "passion economy."

In Vietnam, the "passion economy" term is still a new concept. However, many people in the world embarked on this career and have had some success.

A few years ago, Squarespace, a founded website with the primary objective was to allow users to build their website with lower costs. This website was well-received, even became a source of inspiration for developing other similar platforms. Today, Squarespace is the choice of celebrities, photographers, writers, and other influencers.

Wix, a tool was built recently, even helping people create their website simpler by using "drag and drop", which everybody can do. This platform attracts lots of people to try it out and gets excellent evaluations.

In an upper level, we have Podia, Thinkific, Teachable, and Udemy; these platforms allow experts, who have professional knowledge, to establish personal "territories." In which, they can share information, do hourly consulting services, organize online courses, and, of course, turn their passions into livelihoods. There are also websites for many startups, undergraduates, and people who want to take off their careers with passion, etc. to learn pioneers' experiences.

According to chief economists as well as knowledgeable people, including Adam Davison, author of the famous "The Passion Economy" - this will be a career trend in the future, especially when online services and works are on the rise.

Except for foreign services, there are a few platforms for Passion Economy in Vietnam. LandedVibe is one of the few platforms which allow users to share whatever they have, from handmade goods, entrepreneurial stories, to life experiences, etc., opening the opportunities for millions of Vietnamese to join "the promised land" for startups and turn their passion into a potential business without significant seed capital.

Today, let’s meet startup Le Cao Tri, LandedVibe's CEO, and listen to his story behind the core technology applications which he figured out in the very beginning days, to see what "passionate people" have to trade-off for initial success.

To be a platform that focuses on user experiences, is there a difference between LandedVibe and e-commerce in terms of building ideas for product introduction, and selling nowadays?

LandedVibe is a startup company focusing on both product offerings and users' experiences. We considered following this business principle based on the two advantages we have: First of all, it is the background of the team cofounders and staff in product development. Besides, they came from different countries, exposed to different cultures, so they have a more flexible way to come up with an idea and operating model, and apply technology to each separate section.

Secondly, the platform that LandedVibe is building to optimize the experiences for users – "experience activities," which tend to be more "feelingly" than "physically." Advanced technology will help enhance and enrich these experiences, compared to a standard e-commerce website.

During the early phase, a Passion economy startup company like LandedVibe also has a lot of different from conventional e-commerce websites, mostly in customers' demands and in search results. For example, with an e-commerce website, shoppers will type in keywords about the product they want, look through the lists, and place an order.

However, in LandedVibe, searching is based more on people's feeling at that moment, there are no physical products on this platform, which will approach users differently. For instance, you are interested in "skateboarding," not only can you find anything about skateboarding, but also you can find other interests in the "new skills" category. Whether you are a skater, you can still reach a storehouse of ideas that you maybe need.

And to make sure users still reach what they want, LandedVibe staff had done various researches and searching trials to understand customers' desires before building a better search-and-replace filter.

How did you build that platform? What kind of technology that you adopted to it?

In 2008, I started LandedVibe myself as a personal preference project. Honestly, my very first lines of code to list fun-things-to-do for travelers and some friends in Chiangmai (Thailand), because I was there at that time.

I used the most accessible technology to build my project as fast as possible. I highly rated Laravel, VueJs, and Semantic UI, so I used them to begin with. One month after, my project was shifted to develop on Laravel Forge and online.

Were there any advantages and disadvantages when building the first platform? Can you tell about one advantage/disadvantage or the fondest memory when building LandedVibe?

It took one year to turn the idea into the actual platform, when I realized a growing demand for entertaining, discovering, learning, and studying. I expanded the platform not only for travelers but also for citizens.

I noticed many new demands for many new things at that time. And when the topic "Passion Economy" became more popular in 2018-2019, I decided to devote all my time and energy to building a platform with a priority of optimized interaction between people.

When implementing, this project also helped me touch the resources between "gig economy" and "professionals." This was a new challenge with the resources that lie in the middle. "Gig economy" slowly causes an imbalance in the ecosystem of labor markets, meanwhile "Professionals" gradually shift "nine to five"- a mundane job repeating over and over again to other flexible works.

Nevertheless, I acknowledged that Landedvibe has to face many difficulties. It was mainly the market reaction because of the too-new concept, many people have not understood yet, plus they have not recognized the demand for experiences in their cities.

When knowing LandedVibe, many people realized that their previous unconscious searching already has on this platform. Most people know and understand it takes time and specific, rational strategies and policies.

However, the fondest memory was also one of the difficulties initially, which was refused continuously by the investors, because they do not know what type of business to classify LandedVibe into. We were asked about problems and how to deal with it, but the early LandedVibe just answered: 50% was problem-solving, and 50% was a chance opening for tackling other people's problems. You are probably aware of what investors will say. They reasonably decline the new ideas which are not convincing enough for them to make a venture investment.

What is the difference in technology between LandedVibe and other platforms?

There are not many differences. LandedVibe can be called a market or a sharing economic base. And like other platforms, it also has essential criteria:

  • To deal with the problem of which came first, the chicken or the egg.
  • To balance providers and demands.
  • To find the products that are well suited to the current markets' needs and requirements as soon as possible.
  • Users can be both suppliers and purchasers.
  • To use a two-way review to increase interactions and prestige.

The only difference may be that LandedVibe finds an answer to thirst for knowledge about whatever subject in the world. For example, LandedVibe imitates the way Sportify divided topics based on emotional themes for searching, in order of searching based on hobbies. Of course, we are not sure whether this direction is right; maybe it needs a bit of time because the trading volumes of LandedVibe are not large enough to estimate.

Are there any advantages or disadvantages in host and content management? What kind of technology you and your coworkers use to make it easier? Can you tell us about some issues you have to deal with?

Host and content management is not an easy problem, especially in the beginning. LandedVibe chose to be a market supervisor to keep hosts and activities under the best control. Therefore, most of the time will be spent on contents and hosts verify in an attempt to enhance prestige.

However, LandedVibe expects to design a received process for host files and their activities on our platform, which makes the management becomes more relaxed. At this moment, we are not good enough to design automated technology, so we take advantage of human resources who were selected before.

When managing host, there are many problems, but mostly not too bad. For example, a host joined but not booking. After a while, he forgets about LandedVibe. But when he was booking again, he did not remember to answer.

Trong tương lai, anh sẽ đưa thêm những ý tưởng tính năng hoặc công nghệ mới nào vào sản phẩm của mình?

In the future, will you add more features or new technology into your products?

In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, LandedVibe decided to stop offline experiences and explore the online market, also called Online Vibes. The new format is promised to remove geographic boundaries to take skills outside their borders. People can set up a meeting online and sharing experiences, learning, entertaining, and other exciting things.

COVID-19 Pandemic - a fierce battle between humankind and mother nature

Content:Author Nguyen Truong | 2020-03-29

In light of the burgeoning outbreak of the coronavirus Covid-19 around the world and the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) has rung the alarm and announced this outbreak a global pandemic, what do experts have to comment about this event, especially with regards to Vietnam economy and the world as a whole? Writer Nguyen Truong had sat down and had an interview with Dr. Truong Van Phuoc, former Chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Committee, member of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Group, about the consequences that doomed the global economy after the biggest medical crisis the world ever had to encounter.

What will be the fate of humankind before the wrath of mother nature?

According to Dr. Truong Van Phuoc, the war that humanity is waging against the coronavirus, if put in juxtaposition, can be considered as a battle where humans must overcome the relentless nature. Our planet earth is facing a serious challenge, which is caused by a novel virus, now commonly known as Covid-19. As of March 19, 2020, hundreds of thousands of people were infected, and the number of casualties is remarkably hiking up to nearly ten thousand cases.

The history of the birth and evolution of mankind, according to many anthropological theories, has spanned several million years. Certainly, in such a long and profound process, mankind has had to fight countless of unending battles against atrocious natural factors to exclude them from standing on the verge of extinction. Even when humanity has advanced to a civilized era of the 21st century, where the presence of Industrial Revolution 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and many other achievements seem to affirm the thought that humankind has secured its hegemony over nature and become the governor of literally everything, the coronavirus pandemic now emerges and has us all sit down and rethink. The outbreak has marked its territory in nearly eighty percent of the Earth’s surface, and we have yet to find the vaccine for prevention.

No matter what happens, the pandemic will come to an end, and mankind will continue on the path that their ancestors underwent millions of years ago to make the earth a worthy place to live, not a place from which people fled.

"The question to ask is, after the pandemic is over, what are the lessons that humanity needs to learn? The lessons of state-level governance or the transnational issues that lay responsibility on institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO), for example. It seems that people until now still go after what nature, with all of its mysteries, is always ahead. ", Dr. Truong Van Phuoc said.

Adding a “fatal blow” to the world economy

It is worth talking about the Chinese economy first and foremost, not only because it is the country where the virus first broke out, but also because China is the second-largest economy in the world, and one of the most important strategic nodes of the global supply chain. When the epidemic broke out, most factories in China had to put up the shutters, which in turn disrupts the global supply chain. Many multinational companies that outsource parts or all of their production chains in China such as Hyundai of South Korea, BMW of Germany, Apple of America have to suspend part of the production due to the lack of components and semi-finished products supplied from the supply chain in China. The latest forecasts last week showed that China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate this year will fall drastically to 4.9%, even worse, 4.5% compared to the early 2020 forecast of 5.7%.

The most important pillar for global economic growth is the US economy, which has the largest GDP in the world of about 22 trillion US dollars. The economy of the country also suffered a lot of losses because all states have so far registered the existence of infected people with a total number of nearly 3,800, the death toll of over 70. Schools in the US were also closed until at least early April. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people do not participate in gatherings of more than 50 people. The United States has also shut down flights to European countries.

Besides, there have been more than 160 countries with confirmed cases of infection. In the wake of these events, many economic activities have been stalled or interrupted, and the cancellation of international flights continues to increase. Many entertainments, tourism, and recreational activities, which were once the mainstay of foreign spending attraction in many countries, now have to witness the scene of closure. Global gasoline prices have dropped by more than 50% by mid-March 2020, reflecting a sudden drop in demand as the world's production has largely come to a halt. As a result, many latest forecasts show that the world economy this year will increase by 2.4%, not achieving the initial forecast of 2.9%.

Vietnam and the post-crisis economy scenario

With respect to Vietnam, who shares an inland border of nearly 1400 km long with China, the impact of the coronavirus from Wuhan of China has been witnessed as early as January 2020, a few weeks before the Vietnamese traditional Lunar New Year. The impact gradually penetrated to Vietnam and exhibited its glaring in many aspects, firstly in the trading of agricultural products in many border provinces. During February and March 2020, this effect was rapidly increasing as the forecasts of a cessation of outbreaks in China are not taking place properly but are showing a severe tendency of acceleration. Not only Vietnam was taking its grave toll on the economy since a large amount of raw materials for production plants in Vietnam was imported from China, but many countries around the world who have established long-time trade relations with China also had to bear the brunt of the shutdown of trades and borders.

Vietnam has successfully contained phase 1 in the plan to cope with COVID-19 with 16 cases completely cured. But when the virus outstrips current containment to become a pandemic, the possibility of infection is very high. The flight from the UK to Vietnam on March 2nd brought Vietnam into the second phase of the battle against the epidemic, now the number of infected cases has reached 57. There are many predictions that Vietnam's GDP may decrease by 0.4% compared to that in normal conditions. Of course, this prediction greatly depends on when the world is in absolute control of the virus, and when Vietnam declared a radical containment of the infection.

Whether this desire will be realized in the middle of the year or get stalled until the end of the year depends on the coping methods and determination of the governments of countries involved in the epidemic. Regardless of the scenario, Vietnam's economy has been receiving a fatal blow. Firstly, it is because of the close proximity in terms of geographical location and many important multifaceted bilateral economic and trade relations between the two countries. On the other hand, Vietnam's economy has been deeply integrated and with the fact that over 160 countries have been caught up in a whirlwind of pandemic infection, Vietnam is experiencing a dire slump in its economy resulted from the interdependence among the nations.

But let’s look back on the history of Vietnam. It is always in the most severe moments in history comes the unparalleled resilience of the Vietnamese people. Recall the collapse of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries in the early 90s of the last century, with the Soviet Union dissolved in late 1991. At that time, the economy of Vietnam was hanging by a thread when support from fellow communist countries could no longer continue. By the indomitable will of the entire nation, we have stepped up to accelerate the innovation process started in 1986, to bring the country to transcend through many difficulties and challenges, to develop a prosperous Vietnam like today. At this point, our strength is that we are determined, without hesitation, to look directly at the inherent deficiencies of the economy to carry out the process that we have so far called "restructuring." That is what we call “in great danger will arise great opportunities”.

Different types of businesses of Vietnam, including individuals doing business in all industries and fields, face difficulties and damages. Consumption of products has slowed down, the service sector has shrunk in scale, tourism activities suffered heavy losses, import and export of the economy are likely to be greatly reduced ... These difficulties will be making businesses and vendors reduce revenue and thus profits, weakening the ability to repay loans, and lowering taxation and duty flow into the government budget.

What action should be taken to minimize "casualties" in the battle between men and nature?

Protecting the health and safety of people in this pandemic is the ultimate requirement of every request and policy. Positive outcomes in this fight against the epidemic will be an endless source of inspiration for our people, the business community, and the state apparatus. Unlike stage 1, where the source of infection is from East Asian countries, in this stage 2 against Covid-19, the main source of infection is supposedly from Europe. The decision of the Government to suspend entry for foreigners coming from or having gone through European countries within 14 days before the expected date of Vietnam is a timely and correct counter.

Implementing the isolation policy towards those having relations or in contact with the infected person has been carried out very resolutely and strongly. The regulations on universal health reporting that have been implemented nationwide so far will give state-owned health management agencies more information needed to handle epidemic prevention and provide timely solutions.

Regarding economic, financial, and monetary policies, many countries around the world have recently adopted new policies to contain the negative impact and facilitate the economic rebound. They use fiscal policies such as subsidies, tax deferral, tax reduction, etc, to mitigate burdens and accommodate those suffering losses. They also use strong monetary policies such as interest rate cuts, increasing market liquidity, and cut back on reserve ratio requirements. The seven largest central banks in the world have agreed to facilitate the exchange of the US dollar to provide capital to the global capital market if the financial market faces a shortage of money due to COVID-19.

In Vietnam, on March 4, the Prime Minister issued Directive 11 / CT-TTg focusing on urgent solutions to remove difficulties for production and business, ensuring social security to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially in this directive, there is a credit support package of about VND 250 trillion provided exclusively for commercial banks so that they can meet the demand of capital to continue production and business operation, restructure debts, reduce loan interest promptly. There are also support packages of around VND 30 trillion from the government budget to solve problems related to tax, duty, and fee exemptions, remove difficulties for the affected citizens and businesses. Those are immediate solutions to buffer against the negative impacts that the epidemic has on the economy. After the epidemic ends, the Government will take appropriate measures to compensate for the damage caused by the epidemic, regain growth momentum, ensure macroeconomic stability, and make the best effort to complete its socio-economic targets in 2020.