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Terrence Lui
Googler, Former Startup Founder , Technology Geek, Husband, Sports Fan, Runner
Googler, Former Startup Founder , Technology Geek, Husband, Sports Fan, Runner


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Why I Think Football Will be Irrelevant in 25 years

I, like most Americans, love watching Football.  I find it to be a near-perfect blend of strategy, athleticism, and drama.  That said, I've thought for a long time that within my lifetime, the interest in football will significantly wane to the point where it is like Boxing in today.  

People often forget that boxing used to be the biggest, most watched sport around.  When Muhhamed Ali was at his prime very few people would have said that you wouldn't even know who the Heavyweight champion was 30 years later.  I certainly don't, do you?

Chris Borland, who just had an outstanding rookie season for the 49ers, just called it quits.  He did this after 1 year.  A year he didn't even get diagnosed for a concussion.  After talking with experts and enough former players, he decided that it just wasn't worth the risk.  He is giving up potentially millions of dollars because he is that worried about continuous hits to the head. 

And I think he is absolutely right to do this.

We are just starting to understand the long term effects of this and the data starting to come out doesn't look good.  I know there is no way, despite the fact I love the sport, that I would let my child participate in football.  There are just too many alternatives and the risk is just too great for me to feel comfortable.  Even if I thought my child was a football prodigy and guaranteed to make millions of dollars, I still wouldn't allow it.  You quickly find that money can't buy you anything and good health really doesn't have a price.  

I think more and more people will start to think like this.  I think as a society we will discover that we don't like this tradeoff and we won't feel comfortable with others risking their lives for our entertainment.  

Do you think football will start to fade or do you think, given its overwhelming popularity it will remain the juggernaut that it is?
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Has Amazon Lost It's Way

The other day, Amazon announced earnings which a lot of people cheered because they actually made a profit. Many saw this as perhaps the actual turning point where Amazon stopped "investing" in the future and actually started taking profits.  This would finally justify the infinite PE that the stock now currently enjoys.  

Of course, this would probably be not so great for consumers.  While I won't comment on if I actually think this is what is happening, I have noticed a substantial erosion in my mind whether or not Amazon is my go to place to buy things.  

To be clear, I was and still am a big fan of Amazon.  I am probably Amazon's perfect customer as I have a tendency to buy big ticket items from them as well as the small little everyday things I need.  

But buying on Amazon is no longer a slam dunk for me.  I have found that prices are not nearly as competitive as it used to be.  I find that I can actually buy from local retailers at similar if not better prices on A LOT of items.  

But something I saw yesterday on Amazon has me really worried.  I had previously bought this item on Amazon and was trying to recommend it to a friend.  But take a close look at the listing.  You can see that by default, there is a 3rd party seller listed.  But you can also see on the right hand side that Amazon also sells it. 

I've seen this in the past where either the 3rd party has a cheaper price and/or Amazon doesn't have it in stock, but that is not the case here.  I checked, Amazon has it in stock.  So why are they recommending to me to buy from this 3rd party at a higher price?

The only reason I can come up with is that selling from 3rd parties has a higher margin for them.  As the buyer, I'm getting a worse price and probably worse service and a worse return policy.  So what benefit am I getting from this?  Amazon has always been about putting the customer first but this is clearly Amazon putting Amazon first.   

This would support the idea that Amazon is ready to turn the dial and start making money.  All companies eventually have to do this, but not sure if I agree this is going to benefit Amazon in the long run. 

What do you think?  Are you still as loyal to Amazon as you always have been?  Have you seen similar things happening?  Do you think Amazon can stay Amazon if it starts to go down this path?
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Unintentional Jab

I recently stayed at a hotel and saw this sign on how to connect to the wi-fi.  

What amused me was the last sentence

"Try to access web pages in your browser that you normally don't visit, such as"

I would have to agree, I'm sure that is pretty effective if you need a site that is probably accessible but you never go to.  
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Which Will Be The Fastest?

I recently decided to get a new phone and with it a new cell provider.  I had been on Sprint for the last year.  Overall, I wasn't impressed with Sprint.  Coverage was definitely lacking.  I would often compare it to my wife at the same time, who has Verizon, and it is probably of no surprise that she often had signal when I had none. 

So I ordered a new Nexus 6.  I'll write my thoughts up on that later, but yeah, its gigantic but overall a pretty nice phone.  I am going with T-mobile as my service.  Was a little hesitant at first but than I did some research on sites like and it seems that in the Bay Area T-Mobile gets good marks.

Since I had phones with 3 of the 4 major carriers in my house, I decided to run a little speed test.  The results are in the picture below.  I was kind of surprised by the result.  

From left to right you have T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon.  Now please take this with a grain of salt.  This is one test in one location and not at all representative of  service overall but still, interesting data point.  T-mobile is the fastest but what was more surprising to me was Verizon being so slow.  Overall, really no complaints with Verizon's coverage around town and like I said, clearly better than Sprint.  It will be interesting for me to see how T-mobile generally compares with Verizon as we travel around.  So far, just this weekend, I would say it is comparing quite favorably so I'm optimistic. 

Anybody else have similar coverage stories to share?
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Let's Get Low

Because today feels like a Friday and this actually made me laugh I leave you with this dog who's ears are better dancers than most people out there.

Happy early #fidofriday  and I hope everyone has an awesome Thanksgiving.  I know I'll be thankful for my wonderful dog and those like him, what will you be thankful for?
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Lost Dog

Found this super cute dog wandering around my Santa Clara neighborhood.  No tags but clearly someone's pet.  Looked to be in really good shape and very well trained.  I think I know which house was his, since he seemed drawn to a particular house, but nobody was home.  Left a note, so I hope they call, but probably going to have to take him to the local shelter if I don't hear form them soon.  

Whenever I see dogs running loose without an owner, I usually pull over to see if I can get them.  This is actually the first time the dog just came right up to me and came with me.  What do you do when you see a stray dog running around?
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To the Left, To the Left

Sometimes #Autoawesome isn't so awesome unless you consider the Tokyo skyline doing a little dance awesome.  On second thought, maybe that is pretty awesome ...
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Message to the Younger You

Like a lot of people, I often think back to my younger days and ask myself what type of advice I would give to myself.  This isn't so much about regrets, as I honestly wouldn't want my life to change from what it is now, as much as it is I just wish my path to get here was a little bit easier.  

If I were to give my Mid-twenties year old self some advice it would probably look a little like

*  Understand that there is no perfect job
*  Take more risk
*  Don't waste time with some people; they just aren't worth it.
*  Don't be so rigid.  Life is rarely that black and white.  
*  Immediately go and look up +Liz Lui.  She is the answer to almost all your problems.  

Of course, that wisdom would be lost on my younger self.  However, I often wonder what advice my mid-forties self would give me, my mid-thirties self.  Same problem would probably apply.  Without having lived through it I probably would ignore my own advice.  But I'm interested in what my older friends out there would say. 

If you could give the younger you some advice what would it be?   I'm particularly interested in things you wish you could tell your Mid-thirties version but advice for all ages is welcomed.  
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Could You Do It?

Not going to lie, when i read the headline on what this kid did, I didn't think it was that impressive until I actually watched it and realized how little time he had to do it all.  Pretty cool too that he had a broken finger and still managed to pull it off.  

College Soccer Player Wins $10k in Tuition by Hitting Halfcourt Shot
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I Dream of Jiro's

On my trip to Japan, i was able to dine at Sukiyabashi Jiro in Ginza. This restaurant was made famous thanks to the documentary, "Jiro Dreams of Sushi".

Let's get one thing out of the way really quickly.  Easily the best Sushi meal I have ever had and I have had quite a few from really good restaurants.  This is the second 3 star Michelin restaurant I've been too (French Laundry being the other) so I have some basis for comparison when it comes to fine dining which I will get to later.  The question everybody wants to ask is, "Is it worth it?"  and that is really hard to answer because it depends on a lot of different factors.  I definitely think it is but also think its a valid viewpoint that it isn't.  Details at the end. 

First, getting a reservation.  Many have told me they had a hard or impossible time getting a reservation.  I was able to secure one at a prime time, Friday 7:00 PM without much of a problem.  What was my secret?  I had my hotel's concierge do it.  I don't know the details of what they did, but for $28 they took care of it all.  You have to plan to make the reservation the first day of the month before you plan on going.  I think it helped that I had a native Japanese speaker place it, that there was a known place I would be staying at, and I suspect someone went physically down there to actually make the reservation.  

My biggest fear going in was that I speak very little Japanese and it was my understanding there was no English spoken at the restaurant.  I was also afraid of being the only non-Japanese there.  Anybody scared about this should probably not be.  There were at least two people at the restaurant who spoke excellent English, the receptionist and one of the chefs.  I suspect that this was not the case earlier but the movie probably brought in so many tourists that it made it necessary.  When I dined, there were only 3 other guest and none of them were Japanese.  

Most of the other complaints I read I feel were pretty unwarranted.  Common themes are that the meal feels rushed and that the restaurant wasn't polite.  I honestly think people went in with the wrong expectation.  Yes, the meal ends quickly.  30 minutes for the fish and then you are escorted to the tables to partake in dessert.  But this honestly seemed fine to me and the pace felt natural.  I ate a piece and got another.  I didn't feel like I had to scarf it down.  The lady next to me actually decided not to finish all of hers and it really wasn't a big deal.  The purists will tell you that sushi has to be eaten right after it is made and this is why, to get the best experience, it is going to feel rushed.  Also, Jiro doesn't engage in small talk.  Probably in part because he only speaks Japanese but probably more importantly is that he is laser focused.  Do you want the best sushi you ever had or do you want polite chit-chat?  I want the former and yes, I do think one can affect the other. 

Besides, the food, you know what was the best part?  I got to see it all in action.  Seriously.  You go to other restaurants, and you have no idea who is making your food.  Not the case here.  I flew 5000 miles to go to this restaurant and I know for a fact that this 90 year old master prepared my meal.  Got to see it first hand and the results were fantastic. 

So I'm not going to go into all details. If you want them, let me know in the comments.  The highlights. 

* Each piece was good and probably the best I have had of that type of item. 
* Only thing I didn't care for was the Mantis Shrip.  Never had it before.  It wasn't awful.  Just wasn't good. 
* The Uni was acceptable.  That is saying something since I hate Uni. 
* Best piece?  Probably the broiled Prawn which surprises me since I'm usually a fish guy
* You know how the make a big deal about how long it takes to master Tamago?  Seriously.  You can tell.  I don't care for Tamago normally but I honestly can't begin to tell you how good Jiro's Tamago is. 
* All of the fish was ridiculously fresh and practically melted in your mouth.  

So the final verdict. was it worth it?  For me absolutely!  However, keep this in mind.  The final cost of the meal is about $325 a person.  I can afford this but completely understand how this is a considerable amount of money.  Given the "rushed" atmosphere I really think it depends if you can feel OK spending that much money for a meal that last under 30 minutes.  A decent sushi dinner probably cost you in the neighborhood of $40-$60 a person so is this 5x better?  Very few things are that way.  It certainly is better but not that outrageously so.  So if "value" is a big thing for you, than yeah, this isn't going to be your cup of tea.  In fact, I went to several conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Tokyo for 1/10 the price and I was fairly satisfied there.  None were as good as Jiro's but I definitely didn't feel like was much worse off.  

Hopefully you find this entertaining or helpful.  As always, if you have any comments or questions, please let me know below.  
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