Friday, 25 January 2008

Book review: 我是黎智英 (I am Lei Chi-Ying)

This is an autobiography about an entrepreneur who immigrated to Hong Kong at the age of 12 by himself and started with one HK dollar.  He is now worth 500 million USD.

I bought this book while I was in Taiwan, while craving for biographies.  The book was really interesting to me because he had no education nor money.  He literally started from the ground up working in the factory while still a child.  Here are some of the things I learned.

Mr. Lei believes that simplicity and focus is key to a successful business.  I believe that this notion can be applied to general decision making and how we go through life.  Furthermore, to focus on something means to love something else less.  This is the price we pay for focus.  What are our priorities and does our allocation of resources (time, money, etc...) really reflect that?  I'm working on this.

On the topic of creativity, Mr. Lei believes it is the combination of knowledge, experience, problem, and humility.  He believes that the problem serves as a trigger for our minds to form creative ideas from our past knowledge and experiences, acquired with open mindedness that comes from humility.  This implies that our creative minds are limited by what we have experienced.  As such, to be creative means to see more, and embrace more perspectives with an open mind.  Travel, read, and talk to others.  These will have long term effects.

These were the things I found most enlightening.  Although Mr. Lei can sometimes be vulgar, he has many valid points.  I recommend this book.  (feel free to borrow it from me)

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