Met James McGregor, former Beijing bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal and author of One Billion Customers: LessonsFrom the Front Lines of Doing Business in China. Awesome guy (I rather hang out with a reporter than a supermodel) who worked with with my step-sister in the late 80s and who is now a major expert on China markets and economic issues. He uses Lenovo as a key example of a China brand going global. He made one observation that hit me after watching the magnificent opening ceremonies — the history of China from the ancient discovery of paper, the press, the compass, on to the exploration of space …. skipped right over the revolution, the Great Leap Forward, The Cultural Revolution. As he put it, “There were no men in Mao jackets to be seen in the Bird’s Nest.”
I did get an amazing opportunity to see the future of China’s leadership — art and business — at a wild party at the Commune at the Great Wall. An architectural showplace in a valley behind the Wall where leading Asian architects each designed a showcase example of residential architecture. No pictures as it was dark, but i have been there before in the day time and the work is stunning. The party was crazy. i won’t drop names (cough Quincy Jones, cough Rupert Murdoch), but the young people I met, all of whom were in the internet media business from advertising to search, social media to application development, were incredibly smart and engaged.
I have my first event to catch at 9 am with a customer — beach volleyball — and heeding the sage observation of the great Charlie Clapp (silver medal, US Men’s 8+, 1984) that “nothing important happens after midnight”, hired a car to drive me the hour long trip back to my hotel for five hours of sleep.
food of the day: I ate cold lungs in hot pepper sauce. And they were good.
news of the day: the terrible attack on an American visitor was widely reported throughout Beijing and definitely cast a shadow on an otherwise exuberant day following the opening ceremonies. “Deranged” say it best.
uniform update: eased into it yesterday with the shirt (tucked into khakis). No visor (there will never be a visor). Today, no uniform. Going to the beach volleyball so I have on the Nantucket red preppy shorts and a polo shirt. Dave+uniform=fail.