Author Archives: Alex Duncan

I spend 3 weeks a year waiting for websites to load

For the past 6 months I have been losing 2-3 hours per week in productivity and this time it’s not due to my hideous, world beating, ability to procrastinate. It’s due to the chronic state of the internet in China.

Why can’t more people do everything?

When it comes to building websites I’m constantly surprised and a little disappointed by the number of people I meet who are only really capable in one or two of the key skill areas and whose knowledge of the other areas is at best vague. I just don’t understand why or how these people think that is good enough.

Maybe I’m not as strong as I thought I was

coffee, muffin and panini in starbucks

After 10 days in 大连 (Dalian) eating almost only Chinese food this morning I snapped. At 7am I got on my bike determined to find something a little more homely. I’ve always liked to think I’m the sort of person who if it came to it could live in a forest quite happily surviving on nuts an berries a bit like Ray Meers and Bear Grylls do. After this mornings Starbucks quest I’m starting to question this conceited notion.

Inspirational People

On Friday we had the first ‘founders stories’ session and heard the two co-founders from another team tell their very personal stories of how the came to be doing what they’re doing. I’m obviously not at liberty to share other people’s stories, suffice to say it was a fascinating session and gave me deeper respect for the two people in question.


Survey Time

My mentors are always telling me about the danger of assumptions. So to try and get some real user insights I’ve spent the past couple of days assembling this survey.

I Bought a Bike


fter only 3 days in 大连 (Dalian) the withdrawal symptoms from not riding my bike were simply too great and I had to go and buy myself a bike. Early on Sunday morning I took a tram into the centre of town, typed “bike shop” into Google maps on my phone and made a beeline for the nearest store.

What is McDonald’s Strategy in China?


Just what is the big M up to in China. In a reversal of their US fortunes they lag far behind their rival KFC largely due to the fact that Chinese people prefer fried Chicken to Beef Burgers. On one hand they are adapting to Chinese consumers, in 2009 McDonald’s introduced a couple of new chicken options which rapidly became some of their most popular items. On the other hand their stores seem to be undergoing some kind of wolf in sheep’s clothing cum Starbucks knock off transformation and there are clear signs it’s not really working.

How did I end up here? Part 1

I sometimes experience a sense of disbelief when I take a step back and look at my life. What the heck am I doing? Living in China, trying to build a company in the fashion industry… How did it come to this? At what point did any of this seem like a good idea If [...]

A New Phase : Expect More Blog Posts

I’ve just arrived in Dalian (大连) in the north of China to take part in a program that will give me a huge boost towards realising my dreams. The opening presentation was a mix of teasers of exciting things to come and gentle warnings about what is expected of me. One warning in particular struck [...]

Addicted to My Tracks

Just last week I downloaded Google’s My Tracks app for android and I’ve been addicted ever since. Every time I get on my bike to go anywhere in Shanghai I open the app, click record and it tracks my every move giving me great data on my speed, elevation and ride time.