In your paper, discuss how Jean Francois De La Perouse described life in Alta California (he calls it “New California”). How does he describe the Spanish, the Natives of California, the priests, and the mission system? What does he say about them? Does De La Perouse seem conflicted in his observations? Be sure to support your arguments by adding direct evidence from the reading.
this essay is based on the book, Life in a California mission: the journals of Jean Francois De La Perouse
William discovered that Internet companies could use the money that was pouring in to damage offline competitors, often by acquiring them or their key people. “They can hire away all of the talent that you have. The biggest weapon is the money they have. At one point, they could have hired away my entire management.” Other possible threats came from online companies acquiring an old economy trading company, or from offline companies like Japanese trading companies or local sourcing firms that could partner with a dot-com and become a competitor overnight. William hinted that the Swire & Maclaine acquisition was a defensive move to preempt acquisitions by new economy companies. William gave his view of the Internet revolution: I started off saying that the Internet is just another technology that affects the way information is transferred and people communicate with each other. It has a very dramatic impact, more dramatic than the fax. But for me it’s yet another in a series of technological changes that affects our business that we have to be keenly aware of. It may be the most important change until now, but it is probably not the last. According to Victor, The Internet is a revolutionary technology, but new technology is nevertheless still technology. Li & Fung always has been aggressive in adopting new technologies. When the telephone came along, my grandfather was shocked. When the fax came around, the technology changed our turnaround time into just days. With Internet technology, now we get answers within hours. When broadband and WAP comes online, there will be even less lag. “Bubble In” Once the Fungs determined that Li & Fung needed an e-commerce strategy, the remaining question was how and in what shape it would emerge, how specifically e-commerce would eventually add value to Li & Fung, and whether it would use the existing IT department of 60 or absorb a new team of “entrepreneurs.” Victor felt strongly that their e-commerce strategy should come from within the company, not outsourced as the intra- and extranets were, or as he phrased it, “bubble in, not bubble out.” According to Victor, only if the solution was an internal one could he be certain that “the technology would pervade the entire Li & Fung organization.” Neither did Victor care to start a brand-new entity separate from the parent: I’m not interested in starting a dot-com division, getting a high valuation with, a $13 million cash flow, and then spinning it off. I want Li & Fung to be around for another 100 years, not just 5 or 15. To start a pure Internet division is as equally absurd as starting a fax division, a division that exclusively uses faxes. To better grasp the fundamentals of embarking on a new IT venture, Li & Fung added two new technical directors to its board, one a technology company CEO, the other an academic. According to William: The one thing certain about our business is that it will be constantly changing, so we need to install a mechanism for monitoring external environmental changes that impact our business. We decided a long time ago that we were an information and knowledge-based services company, so anything to do with information technology is crucial to us. We keep up with what’s happening with board members who can help us scan the horizon. Enter Castling In 1997, Michael Hsieh (HBS ’84), president of LF International Inc., Li & Fung’s venture capital arm and 15-year Li & Fung veteran, received a telephone call from John Suh (HBS ’97), CEO of Castling Group, an Internet start-up company that, like the chess move allows you to defend your king and simultaneously position your rook for attack, used the Internet to both defend the offline, old economy companies against online companies’ threat to their markets while simultaneously extending their own online presence. The two met in San Francisco to discuss how a focused combination of technology and supply chain reform could transform retail. Hsieh, well aware that Li & Fung was working on its own e-commerce strategy, noted: As a VC, I see numerous business plans that say that with Li & Fung behind an online exchange, we create significant value and therefore offer you 5 percent if you join us. However most of the plans do not make sense. They offer very little value and the founders lack either industry or technology expertise. John had the right blend of technology and business sense, the right mix of right and left brain. Like the Fungs, Hsieh favored a “bubble in” approach. He compared outsourcing e-commerce implementation to a third-party consultant for a $10 million fee as “putting the fox in the chicken coop.” It created a risky dependency on outsiders, particularly if future design changes were required and also provided outsiders with proprietary information, strategy, and the entire business model. Finally, Hsieh remarked: “As a venture capitalist, I always have to think about the strength of the management team and what could go wrong with the venture. Can they deliver? Do they know the industry? Is this a credible business proposition? What if there is a negative reaction?” By late 1999, the time was right to act on their initial meeting. Hsieh commented that “both the evolution of Castling from B2C to B2B and Li & Fung’s needs complemented each other nicely; John had a real appreciation for the supply chain and a record for building successful e-commerce models.” In December 1999 Hsieh joined Castling’s board and LF International invested in Castling. They subsequently co-invested in an initial round of financing for lifung.com, and Castling committed key managerial staff to lifung.com. Suh described Li & Fung as “the perfect strategic partner. They have an entrepreneurial philosophy rooted at the core of their system. They’ve got an aggressive and visionary leaders>