Communication | Dominik Mayer – Products, Asia, Productivity

'This Is Small Talk Purgatory': What Tinder Taught Me About Love  

CJ Hauser in The Guardian:

But once I gave up on the banterers, my Tinder chats became uniform. The conversations read like a liturgy: where are you from, how do you like our weather, how old is your dog, what are your hobbies, what is your job, oh no an English teacher better watch my grammar winkyfacetongueoutfacenerdyglassesface. The conversations all seemed the same to me: pro forma, predictable, even robotic.

That’s when I realised that what I was doing amounted to a kind of Turing test.

Authentic Communication

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg:

And so if you always start from the position of: “This is what I believe. I don’t expect you to believe it, I don’t think you have to believe it, I’m not saying it’s true” you can actually always communicate authentically.

‘cause if you walk in the room – and this gets worse as you get more senior: “Here’s the answer.” You’re not giving anyone else any room to say anything.

And if you walk in the room and say: “I believe this. For this reason. What do you believe?” If you share your truth in that language, you give people room to […] communicate authentically.

Third Chance

I’ve tried twice but never got beyond two posts. With me being in Shanghai and twitter’s increasing popularity I’m thinking about giving it a third chance. Let’s try it for a few days.

No Hanzi on the Cell Phone

no hanzi on the cell phone

I get several of these messages per week. Mostly from China Mobile.

no hanzi on the cell phone

Perhaps I’ll get a new cell phone if I decide to stay longer.


Webware found phrasr, another tool that translates words into pictures.


China Mobile

Because you also pay when someone calls you, you’re unreachable if there’s no more money on the card. So I bought an update right away. It wasn’t that easy to tell the man what I wanted. We had no common language. As most Chinese he spoke neither English nor German and my Chinese is hardly existent. I ended up with this:

China Mobile card

And had no idea what to do. I called 13800138000 and switched to English but I still needed a “user pin number” which I don’t have. One hour after I had started – and only due to Chinese help – I finally had 48 Yuan on the card. I’d like to know where the missing 2 Yuan went.

Another Icon Language

Zlango claims to be “the universal icon language”. I’m sceptical. It reminds me of all those tiny little pictures in the Chinese books trying to point out how the sign for “horse” developed from the drawing of the animal.

A real problem is the fact that they have very few icons and I have to admit that I wouldn’t understand most of them. Another analogy to Chinese…