Archive for category Work

2017.06.27 Auf Wiedersehen

拖了快五年,今天终于从博世离职了。

其实从一开始就知道那样的环境不适合我,走终究是要走的,只是时间问题。但头两年的坚持是因为一份工作至少两年的原则;第三年的延期是对德国工作环境的幻想;第四年则是为了对得起自己的时间而拼命想做出一个项目(虽然最终还是给管理层拖死了);到了今年则是对公司彻底死心,熬到年终分红后就毅然提出离职了。我在给人力资源的反馈中写道

“… no clear strategy, nor commitment to whatever shortlived ‘strategies’; making decent products is clearly not the top priority.”

回想我2012年入职的时候,还是个对未来智能方案充满幻想的青年,也做过主动跟老板要工作做的“蠢事”。五年的光阴不仅慢慢耗尽我的冲劲,也慢慢抹平我在之前的工作积累起来的大量的自信心,有时甚至开始怀疑自己的能力,再不走就真的是温水煮青蛙了。

庆幸的是,在什么都慢的博世,离职程序倒是出乎意外的顺利。

Advertisements

Leave a comment

2017.04.20 Data Analytics and Optimization in Virtual Power Plant

Asking 10 Smart Energy guys what Virtual Power Plant is about, you will probably end up having 10 answers – all could be different but correct at the same time, seriously, legitimately, genuinely, correct.

To take the literal meaning of its name, VPP is just about having the power plants virtually displayed online. I am not a IT guy, I would guess there is nothing fancy about it. But that’s only the start of an entirely new evolution. What you do with the “digital copies” of the plants with all the “Big” data collected afterwards is in fact what defines virtual power plant. All kinds of the VPP derivatives, such as Asset Management, Demand Response, Micro-grid Management, Load Shedding, just to name a few, are the results coming out of this process. In here, Data Analytics and Optimization are 2 mostly used methodologies.

“Data Analytics” is less of a trouble to explain – anyone can bullshit in all sorts of directions and still manage to be right, it is simply too big a target to miss. Optimization, on the other hand, can be quite challenging to grasp its essence. It is often misunderstood, underestimated, or mixed up with the concept of Data Analytics. Don’t get me wrong: optimization is probably part of Data Science in academic terms thus shares the same umbrella with Data Analytics. But if we are to look at it in the perspectives of business use cases and project deliverables, I would rather distinguish these 2 terminologies right from the beginning.

It is quite difficult to explain with pure text, so I made a table here to help me doing comparison.

VPP DA OPT

, , ,

Leave a comment

2017.03.21 财务工作有什么乐趣

其实我是个工程师背景读金融现做物联网的伪财务,真正“被逼”做财务工作一共不到一年,当时负责某跨国制造公司代工业务 Finance & Accounting 部门的财务报告。

因为以前的工程师和产品顾问背景,我不太喜欢间接创造价值的工作,财务算一个,我mba主攻的金融算另一个。接触财务工作一段时间后,渐渐认识到自己认知上的错误,其实财务工作创造的价值绝对不比产品,销售,制造等来的少。

道理很简单,you can’t improve something that you don’t measure. 而财务就是这个 measurement.

在有报表之前,sourcing manager 牛逼能吹上天,“代工事业为公司每月节省成本几百千欧元”,我的报表显示最多几十千,于是高层一面给 sourcing 施压,一面重新考虑把一些产能带回自家工厂。

在有报表之前,我们不清楚到底哪个产品在成本上我们已经做到行业第一了,哪个产品公司内部还有潜力可挖,哪个产品我们应该放弃治疗直接交给供应商代工。

在有报表之前,我们能更好的审视之前投资的产能到底有没有达到项目经理申请资金时许诺的回报率,也间接的改善了公司项目批准的盲目性。

以上的例子都是实打实的价值创造,实打实的成就感,实打实的乐趣。

当然也实打实的得罪了一大波“遗老遗少”。但做财务的用数据说话,态度要坚定,出手要准狠。

需要声明的事,后来离职和以上的好坏都没关系。其实我还是比较喜欢讲究创造性的工作,而财务恰恰是不允许 creative accounting 的。

Leave a comment

2016.12.16 散伙照

不知下次该是何年何月我们四个才能再聚在一起。

DSC02865.jpg

, ,

Leave a comment

2016.10.30 白发

头发在近一两周里白了许多,30多岁的年纪虽已不能算少年白,但势头还是有点怕人。究其原因,还是工作上的困扰所致。

我不喜欢与懒人为伍,因从来都觉得大部分工作其实不需要太多智商,完全取决于态度。话虽这么说,其实自从工作以来替人擦屁股的事情我也绝对没少干,没其他原因,就是看不惯经手的东西经不好。

几个月前我被德国这边的老板经诱骗加威胁去负责一个烂摊子,被封为项目协调员后就一直扮演擦屁股的角色。项目经理,产品经理,质量管理,产品测试,产品文档,这些角色基本我都做过了,而且都是主导加主力。整个过程完全不开心,但基本上还在我的底线以上,想想忍一忍就过了。

但总有那么两三次,因为工作做的太过具体,暴露了某些同事和老板的问题,从而引来他们对我工作的诋毁,那我就不能忍了。可笑的是,我以事实的反驳总被冠以“没团队精神”的帽子。每每受到这样的待遇,我是撕破脸也要据理力争的,别看你是上级,在我眼中我们都是为公司打工的,没有谁离不了谁。

还有两个月,我现在是铁了心的要结束在德国工作了,可惜了我们的产品,看来是要被这群乌合之众拖死了。

Leave a comment

2016.10.14 The Robot

Everybody in the manufacturing industry knows how big the company Assobot is. It literally monopolises the assembly robotics business around the world. Yet, not many knew that Assobot has been secretly working on the Artificial Intelligence in the humanoid form factor since the beginning of this century. In fact, there have been at least 2 prototypes released in recent years. Why haven’t you seen any, you ask? Well, because they look just like the normal human beings.

All working in the AI industry, except the Marketing and Sales who don’t really know what AI means, would tell you that it is easy to make something looks like human, but almost impossible make it to think like one. Assobot knew it too (after 3 billions investment over more than half a decade). In the year of 2010, the head of Assobot Strategic R&D finally accepted the fact that it wouldn’t be possible to develop humanoid robot for all job functions. Instead, they would consider it a success if their robot is able to perform the easiest job without being spotted.

Yes, Assobot decided to make the robotic manager.

According to an insider who knows the product, Assobot has been partnering with some big MNCs to slowly replace their middle management with Assobot AI robot. “It’s really hard to notice the difference, but I know that they were code named Type-D and Type-M.”

As far as AI algorithm is concerned, the easiest way to impersonate a manager is to avoid any job, thus making the robot “immune to any business mistakes”. The design of Type-D (stands for “Dodger”) followed this principle. Its embedded intelligence focuses solely on generating excuses for a “No” answer. Unfortunately, the market didn’t really like it. Feedbacks from customers often described that “the presence of Type-D in the workplace gradually demotivates the team it manages.” Assobot urgently needed to improve its product.

The idea of enhancement came shortly from a senior manager within Assobot’s own HQ, during his regular toilet visit in a Wednesday afternoon. He didn’t suggest a radically different design. “Good manager empowers subordinates,” he rationalized, “why don’t we designed our robot in such a way that it always throw the questions back to its team members? We motivates the team while still taking no risk!” The board members, after spent a few seconds reflecting their own management style, quickly approved the proposal to make the Type-M (“Motivator”).

Type-M was an immediate success. Partly because the AI requirement is actually simpler than Type-D (how hard can it be to find different ways of saying “I honestly expect you to give me a solution”? or “I think you are fully capable of solving this problem alone”?), and partly because many human managers in fact act in exactly the same way!

,

Leave a comment

2016.09.25 The Talker

The Business Leader Association Handbook (BLAH) famously divided employees of the entire world into 2 types – those who can talk comfortably about things they have no idea about (the talker) and those who can’t (the doer). According to the Association, talkers are generally better for the managerial positions because “the unlimited supply of the seemingly useless speech is, in some rare cases, able to disorient the minds of their customers, and even more likely, able to trick the minds of their own management.”

Interestingly, due to their intrinsic inability to listen and observe, talkers are more likely to be attracted to their own kind, thus gradually and inevitably turning the whole management into a tons of colorful PowerPoints. “The expansion of talkers in the management positions around the globe”, as the Handbook pointed out in its 2011 Edition, “drastically expedited the development of Voice of Internet Protocol, which in turn made it financially even more possible to convert more talkers into managers”. (trivia of the day: the 2011 Edition is probably the second most sought-after copy throughout the history of BLAH publication, second only to the 2014 Edition which featured Sam Nablah as the new Macrosoft CEO on its cover)

While most of the inspired talker-to-be have to spend many years of their professional career perfecting their skills, some are simply born with it. The best talker I’ve personally worked with was so good at it that when he talks, his words form an invisible bubble which shelled him not only from the outside world but also from himself. He only needed 1 or 2 minutes to warm himself up before becoming completely free from any technical, commercial, physical and mathematical constraints to do business with. The only time I needed to wake him up was when we’re about to commit to things illegal.

With him, it had been extremely efficient for the company to pin-point to that 1% of the “target customer”, who are almost certainly another group of talkers and, with whom we could easily secure at least 20 more conference calls in the next 3 months without actually doing anything. That’s when I started to believe the Handbook, the VoIP technology that many of us take for granted nowadays, had been indeed fostered by the unsung talkers.

It was quite sad that 2 years later he chose to leave us to join a bigger MNC after realising that our company plans only to do business on Earth. I can’t imagine how disappointing he must have felt.

, ,

Leave a comment