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fanatical/[fə'nætikəl]/ a. 狂热的, 盲信的...

Career Is Lifetime long “事业是终生的事"

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“Career Is Lifetime long”

--Interview with an Investment Banker “事业是终生的事”——投资银行家专访



Zhao Wei: I have heard that you took a very active part in the Silicon Valley boom. After the burst of Dot-com bubble, how do you think the future of IT industry?

Carleton Ruthling: I was fortunate to help a company called @Home Network grow. This was an important company since it started the broadband revolution that eventually spread around the world. Recall at that time you could only get broadband service from the telephone company, e.g. getting a T1 line which would cost you $3,000/month. We offered a similar service using cable modems partnering with the cable companies for only $39/month, so consumers loved it but the phone companies saw us a threat. By the time I left the company in early 2000, our subscribers swelled to 4 million which produced $2.4 billion in annual revenue.

Despite some of the bizarre and doomed to failure companies that most people are aware of, there were some very good companies that were born, e.g. Yahoo, Ebay, Paypal... and good products. One of those was broadband. I do not think there will be another boom like we had before. The IT industry will grow and continue to offer better services and products to consumers and businesses for less money. Technology will likely return to the way it used to be where technology and the engineers who developed the technology will be less important than the sales department, business department, legal department, etc. I suggest only go into IT if you enjoy it and not to get rich quick. But if you enjoy it, then, by all means go for it.

Zhao: Now you are working as an investment banker, how about your current work?

Carleton Ruthling: For over a year and a half I have joined with two other investment bankers and we provide financial advisory services in Asia via a company named Constellation Resources. We focus on the media and communications sector as our knowledge for these areas is our strength. Most of our work is in Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. More recently we have had more business coming from China mainland, especially in the cable TV and online services areas.

Zhao: Many young people are seeking for the most flourishing and the most potential industry nowadays. Could you give them some advice?

Carleton Ruthling: Probably many of your readers would like to know the answer to this question so they can study and work in those areas. I have two responses. First, a career is lifetime long and generally areas are only “flourishing” for a few years. Since everyone is trying to figure out what will be hot, most people come to the same conclusion and the area that once was hot is now crowded with many folks all chasing the “hot” area. The Internet was hot for about 4 years. People abandoned their careers as lawyers, doctors, accountants to go into the Internet. And when it was no longer viable, many of them got stuck and had to restart their careers. Second, it is far better to pursue an area that you are interested in and motivated by. If you have an interest in the area, then, you naturally will work harder and do a better job and thus be more successful. There is another side effect also: you will enjoy your work.

Zhao: Could you talk about your life in Beijing? Which aspect, the ancient or the modern one of Beijing, is most attractive to you?

Carleton Ruthling: I’ve been in Beijing for 3 years. I enjoy Beijing very much. Yes, the modern development is attractive, but I think what I like is the ancient aspect of Beijing. That’s one part. The other part is that Beijing is the natural reflections of every culture in China. It can represent all the China. And also, China has been growing so quickly, not just its building. Think back 7 years ago, during the winter time, which kind of vegetable did you have? I remember it only had winter cabbages, right? Now, you can get any kind of vegetables that you can imagine. The fundamental things are also going on. If you took somebody 6 years ago and put him in today, he will be shocked. But in other countries in the world, 6 years would not have many changes. I’m very interested to watch the changes in Beijing.

  赵巍:我听说在硅谷鼎盛时期你曾相当活跃地参与其中。在网络泡沫破灭后,你认为IT行业的前景会怎样?

罗凯:我非常幸运地帮助了一家名为Home Network的公司成长起来。这是一家很重要的公司,因为它掀起了最终波及全世界的宽带革命。回想当时,人们只能从电话公司获得宽带服务,比如,要获得T1专线的宽带服务就需要每个月支付3000美元。而我们与电缆公司合作,运用有线调制解调器提供类似的宽带服务,每月只收取39美元,因此客户非常欢迎,但电话公司却视我们为威胁。当我2000年初离开这个公司的时候,我们的订购客户达到了400万,年收入24亿美元。

尽管大多数人知道有些新奇的公司注定要失败,但还是诞生了一些优秀的公司,如雅虎、Ebay(网上拍卖)、Paypal(在线付款)等,以及许多优异的产品,宽带就是其中之一。我认为IT行业不会再像以前那样兴旺。IT行业将会发展,不断地为顾客和企业提供更好、更廉价的服务和产品。技术的重要性可能会恢复到以前那样:技术以及开发技术的人员不及销售部门、商业运作部门及法律部门等那么重要。如果你喜欢IT行业,而且不是为了很快致富,那我就建议你去干这行。不过,你要是喜欢这个行业,那就得全身心地投入。

赵:你现在是位投资银行家,能说说你现在的工作吗?

罗凯:一年半以前,我与两位投资银行家组建了一家名为星际资源的公司,在亚洲提供金融顾问服务。我们的重点在媒体及通信领域,因为对于这些领域的认识是我们的强项。我们大部分工作集中在韩国、香港和新加坡。最近我们有了更多来自中国大陆的业务,尤其在有线电视和网络服务领域。

赵:现在,很多年轻人都在寻找最繁荣而且最具潜力的行业。你能给他们一些建议吗?

罗凯:或许你们的许多读者想知道这个问题的答案,这样他们就能在那些领域学习和工作。我有两点要说的。首先,一个人的事业是终生的事,而一般来说,那些领域只会繁荣几年。因为每个人都在设法找出热门领域,最后大多数人的想法都是相同的;那个过去曾是热门的领域,现在挤满了那些追逐“热门”领域的人。网络红火了大约4年。人们抛弃了他们原来的职业,如律师、医生、会计师,而投身于网络行业。当网络风光不再时,很多人就遇到麻烦了,他们不得不重操原来的职业。其次,追求一个你喜欢并能给你动力的领域将是一个更好的选择。如果你对一个领域感兴趣,自然就会更努力地工作,工作就会做得更好,这样,就能取得较多的成就。还有一个附带的好处就是,你将从工作中得到乐趣。

赵:你能谈谈在北京的生活吗?是北京古老的一面还是现代的一面最吸引你?

罗凯:我来北京已经3年了。我非常喜欢北京。是的,北京的现代发展很吸引人,但是我认为我喜欢的是北京古老的一面。这是一部分。另一部分是因为北京很自然地反映了中国各种文化。它可以代表整个中国。而且,中国发展得非常快,这不仅是建筑方面。想一想7年前,冬天的时候吃什么菜?我记得只有冬储大白菜,对吧?现在,你可以吃到任何你想得出来的菜。基础建设也在进行当中。如果你把一个6年前的人放到今天,他会大吃一惊。而在世界上的其他国家,6年不会有多大的变化。我非常乐意看到北京的这些变化。
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