Monday, June 18, 2007


Well, I managed to catch my first case of traveler's illness since being here today and had to cancel our last meeting today. I also committed my first social faux pas the day we left Beijing. I had bought several items from the MIT Coop before leaving Cambridge to give as gifts for people helping us out with the interviews and survey. As everything is overpriced at the Coop this wasn't an easy task so one of the more inexpensive items I picked up was a couple of packs of MIT branded pencils. I gave these to 2 of the younger alumni association staff members and then only later found out that pencils are a really crappy gift in China where apparently pencils are extremely inexpensive. Oh well, you live and you learn.

We've been hearing some very funny analogies and sayings from some of the Chinese investors and entrepreneurs. I'll try to remember and recount some of them here. Probably the most ironic meeting we had was the day before we left Beijing when we met with a Haidan District government official who is also a Venture Capital investor! Again today we met with a VC firm that was initially funded by the government.