25 June 2012

Stage 4 Overcome Obstacles - Some Nuggets from I-Ching

It is not too often that our start-up progresses smoothly according to plan. There are obstacles on the way that we should and could avoid and some that we have to overcome or get freed from. We have 6 nuggets of advice from I-Ching covering litigation, danger, freedom, breakthrough, boxed-in and quake. 
The best strategy is to prevent a bad thing from happening. The next best thing is to overcome it once we are trapped in the bad situation. These are the two main strategies we can employed in six different situations that
I-Ching warns us about.

O1 #06 訟 Litigation -Preventing and Resolving
The best way to prevent litigation is to have a good contract. Some people do not even have a contract when they start their business or engage in any business activity. They either believe in trust or find such administrative tasks too tedious and unfruitful. While having a contract is no guarantee for a successful relationship or outcome, it serves to clarify understanding and serve as a basis from which further negotiation can be built upon.

One must spend good effort in coming out with a good contract. It must covers as many key scenarios as possibles. The least of which is to provide for exit and the settlement clauses. The advice from Ancient Chinese in doing business is 先小人后君子, that is to be details and even nasty in drawing up the contracts and then be like a gentleman in the execution of the contract.

In the unfortunate event that a legal is suite is needed, here are the additional advice: 
  1. settle as early possible. go for mediation and out of court settlement if possible. Entering into any legal process is going to take time and costs.
  2. build support, a strong network, and other evidences of strong integrity and reputation.
  3. get wise & fair judge. If there be any doubt about the judge, ask for a change.
  4. Uprightness is key to winning. Winning a court case on a bad footing is actually a lost. 
O2 #29 坎 The Pit of Danger - Be watchful & Righteous
The safe way of not falling into any man-hole is to watch out for them and to stay clear of them. Most conman are able to victimized people because they make use of their greed. Staying in the righteous path is sure way to prevent us to be conned. The types of traps that people can laid for us are best summarized in 3G of Gold, Glory and Girls (See O5 Boxed-In for more). 

I-Ching tells us any object can be used both way (yin-yang). A danger for us could be used as a protection to keep the enemy away as well. See if you can make use of threats as opportunities. Software virus is a nuisance for us but is a business opportunity for the virus software developers. Instrumentation to warn people of impending danger are good businesses too. 

Entrepreneurs minimize risks and only fools are blind risks takers.

O3 #40 解 Freed - Get Freed and Stay Freed
Freedom is about being freed from any bondage to do the good and righteous thing and thereby bringing blessings to all. Freedom is obtained by quick and decisive actions of breaking away and staying away from danger, bad influence and bad friends. It is about have clear thinking, seeking the interests of others, not showing off and forgiving others. Showing off one wealth or ability will attract unnecessary people to approach you for money and favors. Not forgiving others will just load you with bitterness. In business, especially start-ups, there will be many opportunities of encountering people that promises a lots and yet never deliver and even betraying you. You must be fast to learn the incidents, forgive them and move on with your life and business.  

O4 #43 夬 Breakthrough – Power with Caution
I advise young people to develop their strengths and outsource their weaknesses so that they can be champion. If we just concentrate on fixing our weaknesses, even if we succeed, we are just a mediocre average. Champions are built based on your strengths - the things that you like and do well easily. Doing things using your strengths will not only have excellent quality but will also energize you. 

But your strength comes with a caution. Do misuse or abuse it. Use it for doing good. Do not be proud. Do not be a show-off. Do not seek self-glory. Do not cross into other boundaries. Do not despise others. Don't try to do too much and to loose focus.

O5 #47 困 Boxed-In – Hope in Difficulty & Breaking Free
Being boxed-in and trapped is a bad situation to be in. The key is to have HOPE and work to break free. Rejoice in adverse circumstances. Don’t believe in the negative and discouraging messages. Maintain your positive attitudes. 
Here are the typical traps that will box you in:
  1. Darkness or ignorance or lack of knowledge or lies. Learn the truth. Get wisdom and break free.
  2. Pleasures. It is so easy to be lured away in pleasures. In Chinese Wisdom, using beauty is a famous strategy. 
  3. Stones and Thorns. The typical attack is to pressure and prosecute you. Give you lots of complains and troubles. Stay calm and solve the problem one by one. Don't panic.
  4. Riches.
  5. Power and Glory.
  6. Anxiety and Fear. 
O6 6 #51 震 Quake- Risk Management - Prepared & Recovery
Be prepare for worse and other unseen events, then you can have the peace of mind even when the disaster happens. 

Develop this mental alertness and do proper risk management – find critical factors, plan recovery, implement, test and review regularly. Be prepared for the eventuality. Remember to test and practice so that when the eventuality happen, everyone knows the right thing to do and do it quickly so as to minimize the damage. I-Ching even have a very contrasting of picture of the prepared one having laughter and the unprepared neighbor suffering because the disaster that has happened.

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Lim Liat (C) 25 June 2012

22 June 2012

Stage 3 Waiting for the Next Big Thing - Insights from I-Ching

Opportunity is only seen by those who are watching and seized by those that are well prepared. I-Ching shows us how to really wait. Waiting is not idling but a very busy and noisy affair. Sometime it is about taking cover and waiting for the dawn to break. Sometime it is picking the right focus to concentrate our resources and strength for the breakthrough. Here are the details...

"Eureka! Eureka!" (I found it!) only happened to those people who are looking for it. Many apples on people's heads, but only Newton discovered the law of gravity. It was simply because Newton was thinking about it. When Steve Jobs said he was waiting for the next big thing, I doubted that he was idly around. Many possibilities and scenarios of various kinds must have passed through his mind. He was looking for problems to solve. This 'waiting' for the right time business is not a quiet and idly time as I-Ching will show us. Here are three insights represented by 3 hexagrams.

W1 Wait for the Time Rightly - #05 需 Needs
Waiting begins with preparation and getting ready for the opportunity. The hexagram picture is clouds above the sky and you are waiting for the rain to come. Imagining that what you expect will happen and how should you get ready for it. There are a few scenarios that you have to play through. I-Ching tells us we begin at the vast wilderness. See Learning from I-Ching Part 10 5 需 Needs - Wait for the Right Time for the details. I-Ching warns us first of complains from our internal staff. They have been with us working and are discouraged and so make some noises. You must know how to encourage them to continue. You need to have fun and to celebrate small progress or successes to keep the morale high. As you get closer, there will be sabotages from the external. When the opportunity comes and you quickly move to seize the opportunity, you are to expect some 'blood-shed' of difficulty and challenges to overcome. But if you carry on and is able to overcome the challenges, then you are in for great success. 

W2 Wait for the Dawn - #36 明夷 Darkening
Waiting is also like watching in the night and waiting for the dawn to break. In the night, there is darkness and it is difficult to figure out what to do. Even so, I-Ching advice is to stay in the path of righteousness and integrity. We must be clear of the real unique value proposition that we are offering. We shall not take any short-cut or to be with like the others competitors that break the laws or harm the environment in order to provide cheaper offerings and still make profits. In the highly competitive business environment of today, the temptations to take short cut to make a profit to survive is very tempting. Many succumb to it. But such are not sustainable and the consequences could be costly. The milk powder poisoning affairs in China caused much problems and bad reputations for many China companies. I-Ching tells us to keep our integrity no matter what. We must also be careful not to pre-announce things. We should hide our strengths until the right time.
When we continue in integrity and strength, there will come a tipping point when our effort will result in great changes in the market or the situation we are in. The dawn has broken and the light begins to shine brightly on us!

W3 Wait & Move on Focused Strength - #39 蹇 Lame 
The title for the hexagram is "Lame", yet we still move on. Lame shows that we have weaknesses but we can still move on. How to do that? The answer are:

  1. wait for the right time .... when we have wind and other support that comes to us.
  2. focus our resources. Pick the right direction and the niche market where we can concentrate our resources to move to.
  3. get support, talents, and advice. Since we are weak, it is better to ask and get help. 
The principle is that despite our lameness, if we focus and get help, we can move on and accomplish much. Don't make lame excuses for not trying!

More teaching of the various hexagrams can be found in Manage Change with I-Ching (registration is required.)

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Lim Liat (C) 22 June 2012

Microsoft Surface Tablet - A Weak Defence

Do you think Microsoft Surface can surface? It is a bit late and yet without any killer attraction. Surface RT is a catching up game and Surface Pro is a competitor to itself Ultrabook. What do you think?
Will Microsoft be successful in its tablet war against Android and Apple ? It is fun and a good learning experience to predict the future. It tests our thinking framework. If our thinking framework is right, we should be able to predict the success or failure of the new offering. Even if our prediction turns out to be wrong, we can go back to our framework and make the necessary adjustments and updates so that we can be better the next time.

When in April 2010, HP bought over Palm WebOS for US$1.2B to enter into the smartphone and tablet market, I wrote a post in 3 May 2010 Smartphone Wars' New Force: Hewlett-Packard & Palm - Is that so? saying that it was not likely to be successful. In the post, I have a paragraph titled "When has putting two losers together makes a winner? ". HP surrendered one year later in Aug 2011. Last time, the two losers were Palm and HP. This time, will the two losers be Microsoft and Nokia? At present indications, it seems to be on the track of to be so.

Microsoft Surface Tablet
Firstly, the name 'Surface'. Do you like it? Is it signifying that they are coming to the surface to catch a breath of air after struggling against sinking for sometime? Many people think that this Window-8 OS is Nokia and Microsoft, at least for Nokia, last chance/bet, for survival.

MS Surface has two models, Surface-RT is to address the war against iPad and Android tablets, running on the same class of ARM processors using the Window-8 OS. Surface-Pro is the tablet version of the Intel-based processor and will run the PC based software. It is not new. It was the failed window PC tablet announced by Bill Gates about 10 years ago in new form factor.

So, Microsoft is trying to address or to protect two markets,
  1. Surface RT: the iPad and Android tablet market.
    In this market, PC based tablets have not been successful at all. So, Microsoft needs to have a new one to address this.
    The market reactions for the Metro interface and Consumer Review of the Window-8 have been mixed. Some like it and some hate it. This is not a good sign. We bought a window-7 HTC phone when it first comes out. We did not find anything great to keep it. In fact, we found then that it was released too early. Many software and character sets were not supported. We gave it away. Went back to buy iPhone and Galaxy Tab.  So, this defensive move by Microsoft and of Nokia, is not working well.
  2. Surface Pro: the PC users wanting a tablet form factor to replace their PC laptops. Users who felt the iPad and Android are not able to replace their PCs.

    In this market, Surface Pro is competing against itself, the Ultrabooks and the Apple Mac-Air. The war of Window OS vs iOS is clear. The market share of Mac is increasing, and Window PC is decreasing. Taking a look at the access statistics on this mind-value blog, you can see such a trend:

In the [All time] Pageviews, Windows has 75% vs Mac 11%.
In the latest [Month] Pageviews, Windows falls to 67% vs Mac 10%. If you just compare Window vs Mac, the share of the Mac has actually increased over Window.

A key and interesting trend is to the rise of Linux, iPhone, Android and iPad. This is clearly telling us that more and more people are using their phone and iPad/Tablets to access the internet.

I personally felt that the Cloud devices of phones, tablets and laptops and desktops will be polarize into two main categories:
  1. The Consumers and Light Business Users
    e.g. Business applications are delivered as an app on the phone or tablet. In this market, MS is definitely very behind and is playing catch-up with the Surface-RT. But I find no killer features for it either in the rational (cheaper, faster, better, safer, easier, robust), or emotional and social (cools, fashionable, status symbols), or significance (meaningful, pro-life, pro-environment) in the Surface-RT.

    We can sub-divide this into:
    1. Pure Consumers.
      Besides the basic internet access, email, facebook, etc. It is the availability of apps that drive this market. In this case, Apple and Android have a big lead over Microsoft.  
    2. Business Apps.
      There are many business applications running on Ms Servers and Desktops and if there be easy porting of applications to Surface-RT vs iPad or Android, then Surface-RT does stand a chance. But, the industry will come out with easy ports to iPad and Android as well.

      Look at this IDC worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker Chart

      If you are a developer, which platform will you choose?
      Definitely not Symbian or BlackBerry since they are declining. While window-phone is growing at 26.9%, the base is relatively small at about 3.3M units. Android is growing at 145% on a base of 90M units and Apple is growing at 89% on a base of 35M units. Do you see hope in Window-7/8 and of Nokia?
  2. The Professional Heavy Users:
    e.g. Developers, Financial Traders, Accountants, Engineers and Scientists whose work require multiple large monitors and heavy and extensive computation and visualization tasks.

    Is there a market for the Surface-Pro here? Will not an ultra-book be a better option. If I want something light and convenient, I will by the iPad/Android or even the Surface-RT. 
Clay-Christensen's Disruptive Innovation Theory warns incumbent enterprises to watch out for over-shotting customers needs and open up an opportunity for new disruptive entrants. Microsoft may have taken the advice to defend this low-end market. But it may be too late and too little (no killer value-vector proposition). Even for Intel, which has taken Clay's advice seriously to introduce the celerion chips to protect its low end processors market against AMD and other clones 10 years back, its future is of concern as well with the rise of the smartphone and tablets using its competitors' ARM based chip sets. The ARM chips produced by different chip makers like Samsung, TI etc are the dominate players here. With ARM 64 bit coming into the market, Intel own turf is under attack.

Not that Microsoft or Intel will not go away very soon but their influence will be greatly reduced and will not be like before. They may be pushed to the higher end business of the servers and infrastructure of the clouds which are nonetheless big markets.

Please share your valuable insights and opinions with us.

Lim Liat (C) 22 June 2012

On 18 July, Microsoft took $900 million charge to write off Surface tablets. See for example:
Microsoft writes off nearly $1B to account for Surface RT bomb ...

15 June 2012

Stage 2 Developing Your Business - Some Jewels from I-Ching

Once you get started, you need these 4 jewels to help you. They are Learning, Observation, Clarity of Fire and Do More with Less.

Once you start your business, unless have done it a few times already, you will be very busy trying to do many things. You will encounter many unexpected things. There is the pressure to quickly get your products and services out so that you can have customers and be paid. The wise entrepreneurs may make sure that he has committed potential customers first before he get started. It is important to stay calm and maintain a positive attitude. Obstacles and failures are to expected in any business. The key is to learn quickly and make the necessary changes. Here are some additional jewels from I-Ching. As usual, I will give the key points of the hexagram referred and additional wisdom can be found in looking up the relevant hexagram in Manage Change with I-Ching (registration is required).

Jewel 1 Learning - #04 蒙 Naive  - Copy to Improve
How can we learn and master a subject or skill quickly. I-Ching tells us to follow an example. We need to look for a master to teach us or a mentor to guide us. We look for the best model for us to copy and improve upon. This is not to teach us just to still others IP. It is telling us never to start from scratch but to learn from those who have already walked the path. We should stand on others shoulders and not their toes to reach higher. Some may call this process re-engineering. Learning is about making the strange familiar and innovation is about making the familiar strange.

Copy to learn and Innovate to be better.

Learning is only meaningful when we apply it. Learning should be endless and life-long. Learning is about discerning and improving so that we can be an expert. We should apply our learning for good and not for evil. We should also have the curiosity, purity, humility and boldness of a child to explore and learn. This leads us to the second Jewel of Observation.

Jewel 2 Observation - #20 观 Observation - Discover the Questions
The foundation of learning is observation. Sadly, it is a subject seldom if ever taught in school. Observation begins with exploration. We need to be objective. We need to explore in width and also study in depth. We don't just look at physical things but also social things. We observe to ask the questions what are happening, find out why are they happening, and how they are happening. We may later needs to experiment to confirm what we hypothesize about how and why it works. We observe well to discover the questions or problems. In school, we are given the questions and asked to find the answers. It is a good start but we need to go backward to learn about how to find the relevant questions. Having the right answer to the wrong question could be the failure of some start-ups.

Jewel 3 Clarity - #30离 Fire - Shine the Light
We observe well to get the light of clarity. When we have the answer, we need to explain our plan to others with clarity as well. We need to shine the light brightly so that others can see the paths and walk on them. In this hexagram, I-Ching did not specifically tell us how. Other hexagrams of I-Ching show us how. We can gain clarity and then by focus by being clear in our mission, vision and values. We set up measurement systems (See Control & Management Principles according to I-Ching). Shining the light also reveal the defects and other bad practices or influences. Those defects need to be taken care of.

Jewel 4 Give to Receive - #41 損 Decrease - Do More with Less
Business is like farming. We plant the seeds first and then harvest later. In fact, business practices can mimic farming practices. Business is then invest first and reap the rewards later. Hoarding of resources and sharing out is bad. Most people like to start or to join start-ups is because rewards and challenges are great those the risks are high. The success of the silicon valley start-ups have created millions of wealthy people.

We need to learn the concept of less could be more. Less wastage is more profits. Assets light is the key to flexibility and adaptability. Apple Inc outsource all its manufacturing and retain only the key parts.

Innovation is about doing more with less. You need to figure this out.

Start-ups have to compete with the much larger incumbents. They have more resources than the start-ups. Doing more with more could be their business practices and even formula for success. But for the start-up, you have do more with less. If you can't do that, then you are in for a failure.

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Previous: Stage 1 Start-Up and The Guidelines from I-Ching
Next:Stage 3 Waiting for the Next Big Thing - Insights from I-Ching

Lim Liat (C) 15 June 2012

13 June 2012

Stage 1 Start-Up and The Guidelines from I-Ching

Start a new business is a most worthy thing to do. It is difficult and so start with some good advice from I-Ching: Meaningful Mission, Follow & Adapt or Create A New Wave, Right Conduct for Execution and Do it with Passion.
Starting a business is a most worthy thing to do. Business is the real thing that creates the jobs and provides the real useful things either in products or services. Government fiscal policies of reducing taxes and monetary policies on increasing the money supply and reducing interest rates do not really create the jobs. They are indirect factors. But starting a business is not only difficult, it is also filled with risks. There is no guarantee that you will make a profit. There are much problems to overcome. Let me praise you if you want to start a new business. Here are some good advice from the Ancient Chinese Book of Change, the I-Ching.

S1 Start with a Meaningful Mission - #03 屯 Sprouting 
Firstly, you must decide what is the mission of your new business. What unique value does your business bring to your customers? i-Ching tells us to pick a meaningful and worthy mission. What are some worthy missions? Making the world a better place is one. Prolonging life and health are good. Protecting the environment is also good. Righting a wrong and relieving of suffering are good too. Some successful entrepreneurs tell us business is making meaning and not money. If you make meaning, money will follow you. If you just try to make money, you will soon loose your meaning and eventually also your money! The Bible in Proverbs 23:4-5 also tell us that if we focus on just seeking money, the money will take on wings and fly away. This advice is exactly the same on in P4 of 5 Principles for Success in Life According to Lao Zi!

I-Ching further advise us to get talents that share the same mission or vision as us. It warns that we may need to change our plan as we go along. Survey of the successful start-ups show us that only about one third follow that original plan A. Two thirds have to follow Plan B, C, or even a Z, practically something quite different.

I-Ching tells us that if after repeated attempts, we may need to prepare to quit and start all over again. Not many entrepreneurs make it on their first attempt. A professor define a start-up as one probing to find the right offering and business model for profit.

S2 Follow a Trend with Adaption & Contentment - #17 隨 Following
Depending on our capability and resources, we can choose to follow a trend or create new trend(see S3). We need to observe and study the market. A key skill that we need is Discernment. We must be able to discern the trend that is rising and sustainable. We must be able to discern the major from the minor. Not any new changes will last. We need to pick the right one. We can also be safe and pick the conventional ones. In which case, we need to know how to differentiate so that we will not end up in competing for low-margin business.

In any case, we must always be adaptable to change. We must be willing and be contented with making changes or sometime just waiting it out for the next big as Steve Jobs said when he came back to take charge of Apple  Inc.

A real entrepreneur should enjoy such challenges that start-up business brings.

S3 Create the Wave and Lead the Trend - #57 巽 Wind
If you have the foresight, insights and resources, you may want to create a new wave of disruption instead of following a trend as in S2. This is a more challenging task. Setting the Sail requires you to set the direction clearly and know how to set it rightly to catch the wind and sail off.

S4 Execution with Right Conduct - #10 履 Walk
Right execution is a key part of a successful start-up. Many start-ups have great visions but fail in execution. Right execution is about right conduct and positioning. Sustainable business is built on integrity and respect for staff, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. In this global world of diversities, we must appreciate the cultural differences and need to understand the right manners and conduct so that misunderstanding can be avoided and clear communications can be achieved. It also involves matching the right talents to the right positions and jobs. We must walk speedily but at the same time watch for pot-holes. There are many to trap us. Successful entrepreneurs don't just take risks, they try to minimize risks. They ask, survey, conduct experiment to find out more about the potential risks and try to minimize them. I-Ching also tells us to follow your heart. This is best discussed in the next guideline S5.

S5 Do it with Passion - #16 豫 Enjoying
You should enjoy what your are doing. Enthusiasm and passion gives the strength and creativity to outperform others. I-Ching warns us that true joy comes from doing the right things. Despite the temptations and pressures, never give in on your values and beliefs. I-Ching also warn us not to over-extend ourselves so as to harm our health. It also tells us to reflect on our progress and learn from it.

More advice can be found in the various hexagram mentioned here. For the details, please refer to Manage Change with I-Ching(registration is required).

I hope I have given you some food for thoughts for your new venture and I wish you the best for your success.

Previous:Relationship Building According to I-Ching
Next:Stage 2 Developing Your Business - Some Jewels from I-Ching

Lim Liat(C) 13 June 2012

08 June 2012

5 Principles for Success in Life According to Lao Zi

Lao Zi show us 5 principles for success & longevity. They are: follow nature's ways, always repay with love, start with the easy and small and then accumulate them up to greatness, do for worthiness and not for glory, be respectful and careful in life.

Lao Zi's Dao De Jing Chapter 63 gives us 5 principles for success in life. The mind map below gives us the full details.

Principle 1: Follows the Natural Order of Things
A key teaching of Lao Zi is to follow the natural order of things and never act against the natural order. Lao Zi called it "Non-Action" or more clearly explained as non-violating action. To make things to act against its nature, we need to continue to apply forces. When we release the force, the thing bounces back to its original nature. Such is the cause of stress and the cause of sickness. If we want to live a long and stress-free life, we need to follow the natural order. 

Another deeper understanding of 为 无为 is to act as if one has not acted. That means not to claim credits and glory for one's actions. 事无事 is to accomplish it as if one has not accomplished anything.  Chapter 9 功成身退,天之道. Accomplish and leave is the Way of Heaven.  味无味 Savor the taste as if one has not so that we may not be addicted to wanting more.

Extending this principle further, we will not do things for our selfish gains. Using equipment not according to its designed purpose is not proper use but abuse or misuse. The best flavors of food come from its original nature and freshness and not by adding artificial flavorings. Simplicity and sticking to its original purpose is the principle for stress-free and long life, whether of living things or of machines.

Principle 2: Always Repay Evil with Love - Because our nature is love.
We should not let external events distort our original righteous and good nature. We don't react but response rightly. When others are bad to us, we don't react negatively and be bad to them. Instead, we response according to the goodness in us. When others play out us out, we don't play them out. Instead, we keep our promises to them. Because, integrity, keeping promises, is our nature. We always keep our promises to those that are good to us and to those that are bad to us. We don't turn bad because others or the society is bad to us. This is exactly the teaching of the Bible in Matthew 5:44

Principle 3: Easy and Small Add to Greatness
Great and difficult projects are accomplished through accumulation of small steps and little efforts. To handle a difficult task, we start with the easy ones first. To handle big tasks, we start with the small ones first. We put the things in order, refine and optimize all the steps when the system is small and change is easy. When things are perfected, to scale up will be easy. Most people only want to do the big and important things and neglect the small and easy things. But problems come because of the little defects that no one wants to pay attention to. A series of small defects add up to a big one. An accident happens because of a series of small mistakes. Bible tells us that he that is faithful in little, shall be faithful in much. He that is dishonest in little shall be dishonest in much (Luke 16:10).

Principle 4: Do for the Purpose instead of Glory - The Greatest Effectiveness
The greatest effectiveness comes when we do according to the purpose or the meaningfulness of the task and be not concern about the rewards and glory. Intrinsic motivations of a worthy cause and self-actualization beats the extrinsic motivations of carrots and sticks. All great men and women in history did not spend their lives trying to gain glory and wealth. Glory comes later. Glory comes because of their dedication to the work of worthiness. In modern terms, don't work for money but work for worthiness. If you work only for money, the money will fly away and we will lose our health and life (Proverbs 23:4-5).

Principle 5: Be Respectful and Careful Always
Don't live life frivolously.  If we just make promises lightly, we will make many promises and seldom do we really fulfill them. This will result in a bad reputation for us, showing our lack of integrity. Instead, approach life with an attitude of respect and care and take things more seriously and carefully, always preparing against the worse, and we shall be at ease always. 

Dao De Jing is full of wisdom for us. 

What is even more surprising for me, as a Christian, is to find that, if we substitute the Dao (The Way) with Jesus Christ, then Dao De Jing reads like the Bible! Jesus is the fulfillment of the Dao in Lao Zi's Dao De Jing. You can see that Sinology and the Bible agrees on such principles of life and moral.

For more on Lao Zi, see 

Lim Liat (C) 8 June 2012