Sunday, August 2, 2020

BloomReach

BloomReach INTRODUCTIONMartin: Hi. Today we are in  Mountain View  with BloomReach. Ashu, who are you and what do you do?Ashutosh: Im the CTO and co-founder of BloomReach.Martin: When did you start this company and what was the reason for starting it?Ashutosh: So we started BloomReach in late 2008 early 2009. The vision of the company was to actually make the web a lot more relevant and personalized to the people. So like, over the last 10 to 15 years, the amount content of the web has grown by leaps and bounds. The amount of content that is available is huge.And while Google and Facebook after all are trying to make it easy for people to navigate some of that web, what happens is once you leave these portals and land on an international website, whether its Walmart.com or eBay, or Amazon, or even New York Times, finding the content on these websites are huge challenge. The amount of content that exist in any of these websites is more than the entire web, what the entire web was in 1998. So na vigating to that piece of content is really-really hard. What we want to do is to make it very easy for people to find and discover what they are looking for. So we started the company with that vision in mind.Martin: So, Google would be the entry point, and then once people are on the websites automaticallyAshutosh: It could be anything. Today if you look at any,  to build a website, right. very small portion of the people, like 5 10% come directly, and the rest of the people will come either through a social network, through an email, through an affiliate campaign, through Google, through page search campaign, or any other channel.So, people are going to land from where ever, whatever channel they picked. So its not that much about, like what channel they are picking, right. But they are coming from outside, they may land on any individual page of the website and not necessarily the homepage. So, what can you do, what can you do, all you know about that person, from where theyre coming, how they are coming, why theyre coming, and from their past behavior, and you use all that information to see what on your website is the most relevant piece of content for that user at that time and the name of that whole thing.Martin: Understood. So what enabled yourself to start this company based on your professional background?Ashutosh: So what does it take to make this thing happen?One is, like, being at Google, like, they found out how people are navigating the web, what are the challenges that they are running into, what are the struggles they have, right. So that was one big area of pain thing for me.The second is, working at a company like Google, I had access to lots of data, allowed to their systems, so became an expert in that system.And third is, my PhD was in Machine Learning and Data Mining.So, at some level all these things came together, where I could process a large amount of data, to make sense of that data and then present it to the people.Martin: Okay. Great!BUSINESS MODEL OF BLOOMREACHMartin: Lets talk about the business model of BloomReach. As you said, the users come through different channels to the website and then what happens next?Ashutosh: So if you take any website, right, what you want to do is you want to bring people in, you want to keep the people in over there and you want them to come again. So, bring the people in, that is marketing, right.So one focus is, how can you make your marketing a lot more effective bringing more people in.The second, so what have done is, we work at the website to understand how they organize their content. Is their content getting crawled easily or not, is this content in the same language as how people are looking for that content. So for example, the way people will describe a product in Europe is different from the way the will describe it in the  US.But, now if youre reading the content for European audience but launching it in the  US, that wont work or vice versa, right. So you nee d to make sure that language is the same with how people are describing it. So we do a number of things to analyze content to make sure that it is really accessible by various, like either to social networks or search engines or anyone. So that is one focus on the marketing side.And the second thing is, that once you are on the website, the way you navigate the website, you use the navigation search for the website, you go look at it, you go to search pages over there. So we provide a SNAP solution which is Search Navigation and Personalization.And actually, our third product now which is on analytics. What it does is, it helps analyze all the content of a website and the user behavior and it will see whats working and whats not working and what you can do to improve it.So the business model for different products is different. It is the combination of the usage and the performance, like how much customers are using it and what theyre getting out of it.Martin: I totally understood t hat you have this kind of recommendation engine that youre trying to sell and then the analytical part.  Regarding the recommendation, is it that you have some kind of snippets that you just enter or you totally rearrange the whole website and categories, etc.?Ashutosh: It can be both. So depending upon the authentification and what our customers want and will they see the maximum value, it could be a small widget on their website or could be an entire landing page or a combination of both.Martin: And how did you find the first customer?Ashutosh: The initial first few customers are always these early adapters, and either through family and friends. So working with our investors, their relationships, through our personal relationships we found some customers. One of the questions that their value proposition has to be strong enough that even though they understand that a startup is a risky value proposition, but by working with a startup their value is going to be so large if it work s, then Im willing to give it a try.Martin: Can you tell us a little bit more on how the technology behind this works, especially  in terms of the recommendation? So what type of data sets are you taking into account?Ashutosh: Yes, absolutely. As I said, right. Theres a lot of data. So for the data, we look at 3 key sources of a data.One is, any customers that youre working with, we Google and crawl and mine all the data that exist on their website.Second, that is crucial about the data is that broader web. Just to give you a context of why that matters is, if you look at any product as an example, you call a product a certain thing because everyone else calls it that. But any name is meaningless. It is the context of the rest of the web that name become meaningful.  So by crawling the web, were able to understand and associate what each word means or each entity means. And then were able to relate the content of the website.And the third thing that we look at is the users behavior. That ultimately if you’re trying to satisfy the users, you really need to see whether they like certain things or they’re not liking it.And by bringing these 3 things together, the content of a website, understanding of that, understanding of the users behavior, understanding of the product, and then picking the right machine learning algorythms to learn on top of it and collaborative conditions, search and that allows the data processing.Martin: Regarding the analytics product that you are selling, what type of actionable advice can you give your customers based on these insights?Ashutosh: So if you take any website, I mean you guys have one for yourselves.One thing you decide is what to write.The second, once youve written it, have you written it correctly or not. Are you missing things or not, right.Once youve done that, then how you are organizing the content on the website? Are you getting the right users behavior from that or not, right. Are there gaps in the content that youve written?So, we actually give advice on all these things. What to write, how to write it, who to go after, how to lay out everything, so it really fits.What is the purpose of a website or any of these things is connecting the right user to the right piece of content. Its not about, shall I go with email or shall I go with SEO, shall I go with SEM, shall I do page search, shall I build the website, do I do that traffic, no. Our business, in your case, it is a set of articles, for a retailer a set of products, any of those things, right. First is you need to sort out your entry, so we can tell you what is performing, what is not performing, how you should go  sorting  it.Second is, we see youre writing an article. First I tell you, you should write on security, then within security what people are concerned about, how you should be describing that, then how should you be laying it out, to what audience you should be reaching out to, should you be reaching out to the people in a certain age group, certain demographics, or certain psychographics,  what will work, what works? And once youve done all that, what work, what tends to, and help you to predict whats going to happen tomorrow. So we do all of it.Martin: Can you tell us how the revenue model works?Ashutosh: For this product?Martin: For analytics and for the recommendation.Ashutosh: On analytics, it is a function of the amount of the content that people are searching and the amount of the users that we are processing. So, if a website has a large amount of content and a large amount of user base which are a lot more than, because the amount of processing that we have to do and analyze and storage and everything, is a function of that system.Around the recommendation and personalization, on that its a function of the usage, like how much are users getting, are they putting a lot of, are they putting on a few pages. Based on that I mean, it costs us percent to work there. And theres an element of how muc h value they are taking out of it as well.CORPORATE STRATEGYMartin: Lets talk about corporate strategies. What competitive advantage do you perceive of BloomReach over other companies?Ashutosh: So, I think I will expand that slightly more and I say that, as a startup, what is a competitive advantage and how do you build that over them. And theres number of things that you can do. One is when youre starting on day one, it is clearly technology and product. Your product that no one else has, so that is your competitive advantage. All your piece of technology that no one else has.So BloomReach, what we have done is a kind of tools with algorithms that are very-very unique. There are very-very few companies with a handful of people in the world who can do this kind of things. So that is one advantage that we have, that no one else has.The second thing is that, over time the amount of data that we have collected is unique to us. So the customer that we are working with, we have collected their data for the last one year or last 2 years, right. So we know a lot about whats going on. Our starting point is much better than anyone else. The network effect now that we are working with so many retailers as an example, our performance with the next retailer is so much better than it was with the first retailer, the first time. So big data advantage, network effect advantage.And third is, we have a large customer base that gives us the responsibility so that becomes a huge advantage. So you just have a huge footprint and now you can upsell more profitable thing to your customer base.MARKET DEVELOPMENTMartin: In terms of market development, one part of your business is related to SEO and SEM. Can you tell us a little bit more, what implications that your business model have on the total market of SEO and SEM because there are so many SEO agencies out there consulting websites how they should optimize the website and youre doing this somehow automized?Ashutosh: So what peopl e are doing is manually looking at small pieces of content and seeing what can be done over there. Now in that case, most of the time, because like how we can get around and get more traffic. As against as looking at like, why something needs to be done for SEO as an example. So if you have a website, but if you build it in a way that it can not be crawled, I mean that is a fundamental limitation of the way the content is consumed by different web search. So it is not really about SEO, its more around like the basic structure of the website. A simple way, say you have 5 pages, say you have 10 pages on your website. I can come with a link structure, and it will take 9  jumps  to get to the last page. Or if you have a website of a million pages, I can build a link structure with just empty links on our page so that we can get from any page to any page within like 5  jumps.Now, in a crawler based world, you need to make sure that the content is organized properly. Actually fundamental thing that has happened over the last 15 years is, if you go with any standard text book on marketing, it would be about how do you differentiate yourself, how do you stand out in the crowd. Make sense. But in a search based world, you need to me more part of the crowd than the stand out of the crowd. You can define everything that youre doing in a way that is different from how everyone else is calling. But guess what, people are searching based on how everyone else is calling and not how you are calling it. So you want to show up over there. So you need to be as similar to the crowd as possible as against as different from the crowd.So thats the opposite how marketing was in the past. So we are trying to solve those basic problems, which require a lot more data analysis and everything. So its neither competing with the agencies, so I mean, they have their place and they are doing a lot and they are helping. So if you are like, Okay this is the 5 categories that Im worried about, s hare it with the agencies, but if its more around like I want a website and make sure that is working well right over a million pages, no one can do it manually. That is where you need tools. And we have, thats where BloomReach come into place.Martin: Understood. So in terms of market development, you work at Google, what happens if Google enters a similar market like you do, because in addition to your data set, they have all the SEO or search engine data?  Is this some kind of viable threat that you are feeling or not?Ashutosh: I mean, Google has like 20 thousand engineers, sure they can do everything. And so, it is the case with any other company. But the customers that we involved are with, one is we know a lot more about them than anyone else would ever.So, this is a simple thing about, you don’t know what you don’t know. If theres a page that is not getting crawled, you just dont know that, theres nothing you can do about it. I mean, in our case, because we work very close ly with these enterprises, we know about that and we can work surfacing it.  So the amount of data and understanding that there is so much more the than anyone else.But then, if someone wants to get in this space, sure they can and then. But I think the competitive advantage that we have built over them, now we know, for example my customer. We know what has been going on on their website for the last 1.5 years, no one else does. So we will have that big advantage. So the starting point for anyone else would be much lower than ours.ADVICE TO ENTREPRENEURS FROM ASHUTOSH GARG In Mountain View, we meet CTO Cofounder of BloomReach, Ashutosh Garg. He shares his story of how he cofounded this startup and how the current business model works, as well as what the current plans are for near future, and some advice for young entrepreneurs.The transcription of the interview is uploaded below.INTRODUCTIONMartin: Hi. Today we are in  Mountain View  with BloomReach. Ashu, who are you and what do you do?Ashutosh: Im the CTO and co-founder of BloomReach.Martin: When did you start this company and what was the reason for starting it?Ashutosh: So we started BloomReach in late 2008 early 2009. The vision of the company was to actually make the web a lot more relevant and personalized to the people. So like, over the last 10 to 15 years, the amount content of the web has grown by leaps and bounds. The amount of content that is available is huge.And while Google and Facebook after all are trying to make it easy for people to navigate some of that web, what happens is once you leave these portals and land on an international website, whether its Walmart.com or eBay, or Amazon, or even New York Times, finding the content on these websites are huge challenge. The amount of content that exist in any of these websites is more than the entire web, what the entire web was in 1998. So navigating to that piece of content is really-really hard. What we want to do is to make it very easy for people to find and discover what they are looking for. So we started the company with that vision in mind.Martin: So, Google would be the entry point, and then once people are on the websites automaticallyAshutosh: It could be anything. Today if you look at any,  to build a website, right. very small portion of the people, like 5 10% come directly, and the rest of the people will come either through a social network, through an email, through an affiliate campaign, through Google, through page search campaign, or any other channel.So, people are going to land from where e ver, whatever channel they picked. So its not that much about, like what channel they are picking, right. But they are coming from outside, they may land on any individual page of the website and not necessarily the homepage. So, what can you do, what can you do, all you know about that person, from where theyre coming, how they are coming, why theyre coming, and from their past behavior, and you use all that information to see what on your website is the most relevant piece of content for that user at that time and the name of that whole thing.Martin: Understood. So what enabled yourself to start this company based on your professional background?Ashutosh: So what does it take to make this thing happen?One is, like, being at Google, like, they found out how people are navigating the web, what are the challenges that they are running into, what are the struggles they have, right. So that was one big area of pain thing for me.The second is, working at a company like Google, I had acc ess to lots of data, allowed to their systems, so became an expert in that system.And third is, my PhD was in Machine Learning and Data Mining.So, at some level all these things came together, where I could process a large amount of data, to make sense of that data and then present it to the people.Martin: Okay. Great!BUSINESS MODEL OF BLOOMREACHMartin: Lets talk about the business model of BloomReach. As you said, the users come through different channels to the website and then what happens next?Ashutosh: So if you take any website, right, what you want to do is you want to bring people in, you want to keep the people in over there and you want them to come again. So, bring the people in, that is marketing, right.So one focus is, how can you make your marketing a lot more effective bringing more people in.The second, so what have done is, we work at the website to understand how they organize their content. Is their content getting crawled easily or not, is this content in the sam e language as how people are looking for that content. So for example, the way people will describe a product in Europe is different from the way the will describe it in the  US.But, now if youre reading the content for European audience but launching it in the  US, that wont work or vice versa, right. So you need to make sure that language is the same with how people are describing it. So we do a number of things to analyze content to make sure that it is really accessible by various, like either to social networks or search engines or anyone. So that is one focus on the marketing side.And the second thing is, that once you are on the website, the way you navigate the website, you use the navigation search for the website, you go look at it, you go to search pages over there. So we provide a SNAP solution which is Search Navigation and Personalization.And actually, our third product now which is on analytics. What it does is, it helps analyze all the content of a website and the us er behavior and it will see whats working and whats not working and what you can do to improve it.So the business model for different products is different. It is the combination of the usage and the performance, like how much customers are using it and what theyre getting out of it.Martin: I totally understood that you have this kind of recommendation engine that youre trying to sell and then the analytical part.  Regarding the recommendation, is it that you have some kind of snippets that you just enter or you totally rearrange the whole website and categories, etc.?Ashutosh: It can be both. So depending upon the authentification and what our customers want and will they see the maximum value, it could be a small widget on their website or could be an entire landing page or a combination of both.Martin: And how did you find the first customer?Ashutosh: The initial first few customers are always these early adapters, and either through family and friends. So working with our invest ors, their relationships, through our personal relationships we found some customers. One of the questions that their value proposition has to be strong enough that even though they understand that a startup is a risky value proposition, but by working with a startup their value is going to be so large if it works, then Im willing to give it a try.Martin: Can you tell us a little bit more on how the technology behind this works, especially  in terms of the recommendation? So what type of data sets are you taking into account?Ashutosh: Yes, absolutely. As I said, right. Theres a lot of data. So for the data, we look at 3 key sources of a data.One is, any customers that youre working with, we Google and crawl and mine all the data that exist on their website.Second, that is crucial about the data is that broader web. Just to give you a context of why that matters is, if you look at any product as an example, you call a product a certain thing because everyone else calls it that. But a ny name is meaningless. It is the context of the rest of the web that name become meaningful.  So by crawling the web, were able to understand and associate what each word means or each entity means. And then were able to relate the content of the website.And the third thing that we look at is the users behavior. That ultimately if you’re trying to satisfy the users, you really need to see whether they like certain things or they’re not liking it.And by bringing these 3 things together, the content of a website, understanding of that, understanding of the users behavior, understanding of the product, and then picking the right machine learning algorythms to learn on top of it and collaborative conditions, search and that allows the data processing.Martin: Regarding the analytics product that you are selling, what type of actionable advice can you give your customers based on these insights?Ashutosh: So if you take any website, I mean you guys have one for yourselves.One thing yo u decide is what to write.The second, once youve written it, have you written it correctly or not. Are you missing things or not, right.Once youve done that, then how you are organizing the content on the website? Are you getting the right users behavior from that or not, right. Are there gaps in the content that youve written?So, we actually give advice on all these things. What to write, how to write it, who to go after, how to lay out everything, so it really fits.What is the purpose of a website or any of these things is connecting the right user to the right piece of content. Its not about, shall I go with email or shall I go with SEO, shall I go with SEM, shall I do page search, shall I build the website, do I do that traffic, no. Our business, in your case, it is a set of articles, for a retailer a set of products, any of those things, right. First is you need to sort out your entry, so we can tell you what is performing, what is not performing, how you should go  sorting  it .Second is, we see youre writing an article. First I tell you, you should write on security, then within security what people are concerned about, how you should be describing that, then how should you be laying it out, to what audience you should be reaching out to, should you be reaching out to the people in a certain age group, certain demographics, or certain psychographics,  what will work, what works? And once youve done all that, what work, what tends to, and help you to predict whats going to happen tomorrow. So we do all of it.Martin: Can you tell us how the revenue model works?Ashutosh: For this product?Martin: For analytics and for the recommendation.Ashutosh: On analytics, it is a function of the amount of the content that people are searching and the amount of the users that we are processing. So, if a website has a large amount of content and a large amount of user base which are a lot more than, because the amount of processing that we have to do and analyze and stora ge and everything, is a function of that system.Around the recommendation and personalization, on that its a function of the usage, like how much are users getting, are they putting a lot of, are they putting on a few pages. Based on that I mean, it costs us percent to work there. And theres an element of how much value they are taking out of it as well.CORPORATE STRATEGYMartin: Lets talk about corporate strategies. What competitive advantage do you perceive of BloomReach over other companies?Ashutosh: So, I think I will expand that slightly more and I say that, as a startup, what is a competitive advantage and how do you build that over them. And theres number of things that you can do. One is when youre starting on day one, it is clearly technology and product. Your product that no one else has, so that is your competitive advantage. All your piece of technology that no one else has.So BloomReach, what we have done is a kind of tools with algorithms that are very-very unique. Ther e are very-very few companies with a handful of people in the world who can do this kind of things. So that is one advantage that we have, that no one else has.The second thing is that, over time the amount of data that we have collected is unique to us. So the customer that we are working with, we have collected their data for the last one year or last 2 years, right. So we know a lot about whats going on. Our starting point is much better than anyone else. The network effect now that we are working with so many retailers as an example, our performance with the next retailer is so much better than it was with the first retailer, the first time. So big data advantage, network effect advantage.And third is, we have a large customer base that gives us the responsibility so that becomes a huge advantage. So you just have a huge footprint and now you can upsell more profitable thing to your customer base.MARKET DEVELOPMENTMartin: In terms of market development, one part of your business is related to SEO and SEM. Can you tell us a little bit more, what implications that your business model have on the total market of SEO and SEM because there are so many SEO agencies out there consulting websites how they should optimize the website and youre doing this somehow automized?Ashutosh: So what people are doing is manually looking at small pieces of content and seeing what can be done over there. Now in that case, most of the time, because like how we can get around and get more traffic. As against as looking at like, why something needs to be done for SEO as an example. So if you have a website, but if you build it in a way that it can not be crawled, I mean that is a fundamental limitation of the way the content is consumed by different web search. So it is not really about SEO, its more around like the basic structure of the website. A simple way, say you have 5 pages, say you have 10 pages on your website. I can come with a link structure, and it will take 9  jumps  to get to the last page. Or if you have a website of a million pages, I can build a link structure with just empty links on our page so that we can get from any page to any page within like 5  jumps.Now, in a crawler based world, you need to make sure that the content is organized properly. Actually fundamental thing that has happened over the last 15 years is, if you go with any standard text book on marketing, it would be about how do you differentiate yourself, how do you stand out in the crowd. Make sense. But in a search based world, you need to me more part of the crowd than the stand out of the crowd. You can define everything that youre doing in a way that is different from how everyone else is calling. But guess what, people are searching based on how everyone else is calling and not how you are calling it. So you want to show up over there. So you need to be as similar to the crowd as possible as against as different from the crowd.So thats the opposite how marketing was in the past. So we are trying to solve those basic problems, which require a lot more data analysis and everything. So its neither competing with the agencies, so I mean, they have their place and they are doing a lot and they are helping. So if you are like, Okay this is the 5 categories that Im worried about, share it with the agencies, but if its more around like I want a website and make sure that is working well right over a million pages, no one can do it manually. That is where you need tools. And we have, thats where BloomReach come into place.Martin: Understood. So in terms of market development, you work at Google, what happens if Google enters a similar market like you do, because in addition to your data set, they have all the SEO or search engine data?  Is this some kind of viable threat that you are feeling or not?Ashutosh: I mean, Google has like 20 thousand engineers, sure they can do everything. And so, it is the case with any other company. But the customers that w e involved are with, one is we know a lot more about them than anyone else would ever.So, this is a simple thing about, you don’t know what you don’t know. If theres a page that is not getting crawled, you just dont know that, theres nothing you can do about it. I mean, in our case, because we work very closely with these enterprises, we know about that and we can work surfacing it.  So the amount of data and understanding that there is so much more the than anyone else.But then, if someone wants to get in this space, sure they can and then. But I think the competitive advantage that we have built over them, now we know, for example my customer. We know what has been going on on their website for the last 1.5 years, no one else does. So we will have that big advantage. So the starting point for anyone else would be much lower than ours.ADVICE TO ENTREPRENEURS FROM ASHUTOSH GARGMartin: Imagine your little brother comes to you and says, Ashu I want to start a company. Maybe he liv es in  India. What would you recommend him? What should he do and what he shouldnt do?Ashutosh: Do it because youre passionate about something, don’t do it for money or dont do it for a quick outcome. I mean you are an entrepreneur yourself right? Im sure you guys have heard of a startup is a roller coaster ride.Martin: We also have written a post about that.Ashutosh: A startup being a roller coaster ride? And actually a startup is anything but a roller coaster ride. Its not a roller coaster ride. Working in a big company is a roller coaster ride. And let me explain what I mean by that.When you are in a roller coaster, you might be going at 50 miles an hour, 70 miles an hour in that roller coaster for 5 minutes. You know that at the end of 5 minutes the roller caster will stop. Youll be exactly where you sat, you have a harness around you, nothing is going to happen to you, you will get all the jerks, but youll be where you are. Nothing will change. The world will still be the sam e for you, right. Become me, you’ll be thrown around from one project to another, by the end of the month you will get a fat paycheck, thats it. Your check won’t go by more than 10 20 % next year. Thats it.A startup is like driving, you’re in the Bay area, like driving on a 101 and 150 miles an hour. Either youll be the first to reach your destination or you will die, nothing in between. Theres no harness, you dont control anything else on the road. If you succeed, you are the fastest one, youre just not there yet. That is what a startup is. So if you are ready for it.The other thing is that most people, I mean, I meet so many entrepreneurs, they are like, So what are you trying to do? Heres a good idea so Im working on it. Why? Because I want to build WhatsApp for this thing, I want to build Uber for this thing. Are you passionate about it? No, no, but this will have a huge market and customers want this. What are you passionate about? No, but I can make money through this t hing and the VCs are saying that this is a good idea. But have you give it a thought to what you want to do in life?And I think people missed out on that aspect. So you should have a reason why you want to do it, you should have passion behind it. Thats the key thing.Martin: When did you know that your passion is big data, machine learning and maybe search?Ashutosh: I have been doing this for the last 15 18 years. My PhD was in that, my undergrad thesis was in that, my master was in that. So it has been just over time. But the key passion is, how you make life easier for people. Thats starting way to go. And all these are different ways and baby steps you can take.Martin: What other advice would you give your little brother?Ashutosh: I mean this is tough work. You have to be ready to do everything. Like we were discussing earlier right, its not only about like, I like this piece of work or I don’t like this piece of work.You will have to do whatever is needed for you. You are the master in the office but you are also the janitor of the office. You just do everything. So thats one thing.Its a long journey.  You may have an exit in a year, you maybe successful right. You will die with that. And for the next 25 years right. So make sure that youre ready to make that commitment.Other thing is you need to make sure that you have enough support from your family, because in this race, for doing things and achieving our vision sometimes our family has to pay the price. And are they ready for it or not? Because once you are in, theres no looking back. You will have good days, you will have bad days. Are you ready for that?Martin: How did your family support you?Ashutosh: I was on vacation actually last weekend, which was probably the first vacation I took in 2 years. So that is one part of how they have to suffer from this.Martin: Not seeing you.Ashutosh: Not seeing you and youre not being there. But more importantly even when you are there, my wife kept asking me, so what are you thinking right now on the beach and not enjoying it. Do you mind if I quickly go and respond to that email or answer this thing. I mean, its a huge sacrifice. You are just not there for them.Martin: Ashu, thank you very much for your time! And next time you are thinking about starting a company, pick some idea that you are very passionate about. Thank you very much. Great! Thank you very much, Ashu.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Thomas Mill, English Philosopher And Social Reformer

John Stuart Mill, English philosopher and social reformer, one of the most influential figures of the nineteenth century, produced such large philosophical and literary output that we are able to apply many of his ideas and theories into everyday issues and topics. His writing includes a wide range of subjects in ethics, logic, religion, economics, current affairs, and social and political philosophy. His most significant writings include Principles of Political Economy, Utilitarianism, and The Subjection of Women. With strong influences from his father and his father s mentor, Jeremy Bentham, he adopted their ideologies and became a leading figure in utilitarianism. There’s no doubt that utilitarianism can shape public policy, but how affectively it can define moral principles in a universal scale remains a topic of debate. In a series of articles published in Fraser’s Magazine in 1861 John Mill introduced one of his key concepts: Utilitarianism. The theory of utility holds that â€Å"actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain and the privation of pleasure .† Actions are judged and condemned good or evil by their outcome. When an action brings the most happiness to the most people, with overall pleasure and little to no pain, said action becomes justified. Utilitarianism can easily be applied to certain issues such asShow MoreRelated Communism Essay2765 Words   |  12 Pageson Communism: A theory and system of social and political organization that was a major force in world politics for much of the 20th century. As a political movement, communism sought to overthrow capitalism through a workers’ revolution and establish a system in which property is owned by the community as a whole rather than by individuals. 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The advent of social networking and other media has transformed the way citizens interact and how businesses market, promote, and distribute their products globally. The same can be said for mass collaboration efforts occurring through digital, online technology for the development of new and innovative systems, products, and ideas. Both social networking and mass collaboration bring new power and influence to individuals acrossRead MoreOne Significant Change That Has Occurred in the World Between 1900 and 2005. Explain the Impact This Change Has Made on Our Lives and Why It Is an Important Change.163893 Words   |  656 Pagesperspectives on the past) Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-1-4399-0269-1 (cloth : alk. paper)—ISBN 978-1-4399-0270-7 (paper : alk. paper)—ISBN 978-1-4399-0271-4 (electronic) 1. History, Modern—20th century. 2. Twentieth century. 3. Social history—20th century. 4. World politics—20th century. I. Adas, Michael, 1943– II. American Historical Association. 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Monday, May 11, 2020

How to Split Strings in Ruby

Unless user input is a single word or number, that input will need to be split  or turned into a list of strings or numbers. For instance, if a program asks for your full name, including middle initial, it will first need to split that input into three separate strings before it can work with your individual first, middle and last name. This is achieved using the String#split method. How String#split Works In its most basic form, String#split takes a single argument: the field delimiter as a string. This delimiter will be removed from the output and an array of strings split on the delimiter will be returned. So, in the following example, assuming the user input their name correctly, you should receive a three-element Array from the split. #!/usr/bin/env rubyprint What is your full name? full_name gets.chompname full_name.split( )puts Your first name is #{name.first}puts Your last name is #{name.last} If we run this program and enter a name, well get some expected results. Also, note that name.first and name.last are coincidences. The name variable will be an Array, and those two method calls will be equivalent to name[0] and name[-1] respectively. $ ruby split.rbWhat is your full name? Michael C. MorinYour first name is MichaelYour last name is Morin However,  String#split is a bit smarter than youd think. If the argument to String#split is a string, it does indeed use that as the delimiter, but if the argument is a string with a single space (as we used), then it infers that you want to split on any amount of whitespace  and that you also want to remove any leading whitespace. So, if we were to give it some slightly malformed input such as Michael C. Morin (with extra spaces), then String#split would still do what is expected. However, thats the only special case when you pass a String as the first argument. Regular Expression Delimiters You can also pass a regular expression as the first argument. Here, String#split becomes a bit more flexible. We can also make our little name splitting code a bit smarter. We dont want the period at the end of the middle initial. We know its a middle initial, and the database wont want a period there, so we can remove it while we split. When String#split matches a regular expression, it does the same exact thing as if it had just matched a string delimiter: it takes it out of the output and splits it at that point. So, we can evolve our example a little bit: $ cat split.rb#!/usr/bin/env rubyprint What is your full name? full_name gets.chompname full_name.split(/\.?\s/)puts Your first name is #{name.first}puts Your middle initial is #{name[1]}puts Your last name is #{name.last} Default Record Separator Ruby is not really big on special variables that you might find in languages like Perl, but String#split does use one you need to be aware of. This is the default record separator variable, also known as $;. Its a global, something you dont often see in Ruby, so if you change it, it might affect other parts of the code—just be sure to change it back when finished. However, all this variable does is act as the default value for the first argument to String#split. By default, this variable seems to be set to nil. However, if String#splits first argument is nil, it will replace it with a single space string. Zero-Length Delimiters If the delimiter passed to String#split is a zero-length string or regular expression, then String#split will act a bit differently. It will remove nothing at all from the original string and split on every character. This essentially turns the string into an array of equal length containing only one-character strings, one for each character in the string. This can be useful for iterating over the string and was used in pre-1.9.x and pre-1.8.7 (which backported a number of features from 1.9.x) to iterate over characters in a string without worrying about breaking up multi-byte Unicode characters. However, if what you really want to do is iterate over a string, and youre using 1.8.7 or 1.9.x, you should probably use String#each_char instead. #!/usr/bin/env rubystr She turned me into a newt!str.split().each do|c| puts cend Limiting The Length of the Returned Array So back to our name parsing example, what if someone has a space in their last name? For instance, Dutch surnames can often begin with van (meaning of or from). We only really want a 3-element array, so we can use the second argument to String#split that we have so far ignored. The second argument is expected to be a Fixnum. If this argument is positive, at most, that many elements will be filled in the array. So in our case, we would want to pass 3 for this argument. #!/usr/bin/env rubyprint What is your full name? full_name gets.chompname full_name.split(/\.?\s/, 3)puts Your first name is #{name.first}puts Your middle initial is #{name[1]}puts Your last name is #{name.last} If we run this again and give it a Dutch name, it will act as expected. $ ruby split.rbWhat is your full name? Vincent Willem van GoghYour first name is VincentYour middle initial is WillemYour last name is van Gogh However, if this argument is negative (any negative number), then there will be no limit on the number of elements in the output array and any trailing delimiters will appear as zero-length strings at the end of the array. This is demonstrated in this IRB snippet: :001 this,is,a,test,,,,.split(,, -1) [this, is, a, test, , , , ]

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Online Dating Free Essays

Online Dating â€Å"Are you ready to find the love of your lifer, â€Å"Experience the difference†, â€Å"Someone special is already waiting for you† are all different things you might hear on an online dating commercial, but is it really as good as they say? According to a study conducted by the Washington Post and PC World not even 20% of the connections made on these websites turn into committed relationships. Conventional dating is much safer and efficient than online dating in finding someone one actually wants to be with. Online dating may seem easier than conventional dating, but is that actually true? When diving into the world of online dating one cannot be completely sure that they are actually talking to that person. We will write a custom essay sample on Online Dating or any similar topic only for you Order Now It could be someone acting as another person, or even a sex offender. Over 10% of all online dating users are considered to be sex offenders according to Reuters. Anyone can set up an online dating account whenever they please, and that can turn out to be dangerous because one never truly knows who they are connecting with. Conventional dating on the ther hand is usually much safer and there are multiple benefits to it that online dating doesn’t have. The obvious benefit to conventional dating is that one is with that person face to face. It is very difficult to lie about height, weight, and age if the conversation is face to face, unlike online dating. According to a study most men lie about their height, weight, and income while women usually lie about their weight, physical build, and age. The odds are that your date will not be lying about their physical appearance on a face to face date. How to cite Online Dating, Papers

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Problems and Solutions of Overcrowding in Modern Cities Essay Example

The Problems and Solutions of Overcrowding in Modern Cities Paper The aim of his essay is to discuss the potential problems and solutions in overcrowded cities. Housing problem is the first important issue Which needs to be solved as soon as possible. Modern cities have attracted huge newcomers to seek career opportunity and to fulfill their idealistic or dreams. The capacity Of city accommodation is crucial and thus the government has to develop more lands to build more houses to accommodate the rapidly increasing population. Obviously, it is a huge investment. Developed countries have ample funding to deal With it easily whereas, by contrast, developing countries Will eke out o reach the goal. Even the governments of poor countries are always short of money in house projects so that people have to pave their own way. That is why many cities have slums which are seriously overcrowded, causing other potential health and security problems. Traffic congestion is the second crucial problem in cosmopolitan cities, Beijing, as an evident example, traffic jams occur there nearly every day. The reason is that there are too many private cars in use. According to the report of Institution of China Industrial Research (2010), as to December 2010, there are 4. 7 million automobiles in use in Beijing every day, estimating the number will exceed S million in 2012. Traffic jams add the average commuting time, affect the economic development and cause resource wasting. Thirdly, overcrowded cities need more energy than Nan-crowding cities. As huge number of people flock to big cities to work and live, average density of power and resource need per capita is dramatically increasing, far more than the small cities. We will write a custom essay sample on The Problems and Solutions of Overcrowding in Modern Cities specifically for you for only $16.38 $13.9/page Order now We will write a custom essay sample on The Problems and Solutions of Overcrowding in Modern Cities specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer We will write a custom essay sample on The Problems and Solutions of Overcrowding in Modern Cities specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer Furthermore, the fact that the labor force from small town floods into gig cities will decrease the average density per person in small town and thus it produces unbalanced society structure. Besides, in many modern overcrowded cities there are a lot of skyscrapers Which need more energy to feed central air- conditioner in order to keep a comfortable status. However, the chiller system Of air-conditioner produces huge heating during the working and the heating will be released directly to the air so that causes the city temperature to increase again, and then, accordingly, the city needs more proverb capacity again to feed the air-conditioner. It sis vicious spiral! Virtually other issues such as unemployment, hospital, sewage rubbish, security and air quality, are also urgent. Even so, air quality among these issues must be the most critical one, Take Chile as an example. During the rapid development from sass to sass Chile experienced misery in air quality. As Edward John (2002) point out, the Chilean standard for IMO is an annual arithmetic mean of 50 GU,mm(micrograms per meter the data exceed the national standard every year between 1989-1992, which is more than double the national standard. Edward, John, If people live in low-quality air for long-term, some potential diseases might be incurred. The problems in overcrowded cities can be solved respectively and Step by Step. Firstly, government must make an investment shift to infrastructures such as house buildings, rubbish disposing sites, broad roads, hospitals and schools. It is widely believed that there should be a precondition the government takes long-term planning and scientific city structure design to relieve the overcrowding. Satellite city is widely believed s a positive way because in these areas there has abundant lands to develop more houses to help evacuate downtown citizens to suburban places where on the assumption that relevant infrastructures should be in shape, for instance, houses, schools, hospitals, business buildings and supermarkets. Thus people in new satellite cities work, shop, receive education and see a doctor there. Secondly, government has to make great efforts to create more jobs for peo ple. Unemployment issue can cause potential dangers, for example, psychological problem of individual, to the society. Particularly crimes are often caused by long-term unemployment or underemployment, Since everyone living in cities needs services such as banking, rental, health care, training, food and drink, so government can proactively create the potential job market to help individual find a job which can feed him at least. Virtually Service industrial is a very huge market and in developed countries usually covers more than two-thirds of its GAP. Developing countries could learn the experience from developed countries. Furthermore, developed countries also can absorb part Of labor force in developing ones. Traditionally, rich Meds could experience skilled labor shortages and welcome capital and talent coming from rich Olds (Bruin et al, 1983, IPPP). Thirdly, governments should invest more money into the public transport to relieve the current traffic jams, and encourage people to take bus by decreasing the ticket price. Subway is another more efficient for commuting and city authority should invest more to add the network of subway. Then people driving private cars will reduce car usage and choose subways to save time. Besides, there are many solutions to solve all sorts of overcrowding robbers. Each overcrowded city has its own history and reasons, so it may need different ideas and ways to resolve them. For example, as for environment, according to Cellular (2011), Plantation showed an example of its urban industrial park, exactly like vertical farm, which produces crops backed by smart systems. This is a positive example for overcrowded city to reduce the green-house emission. Until now, people always blame the overcrowded cities, referring all problems to the cities themselves, and it seems there would be no any advantage to cities. However, Embalming cities misses the point that they can be potential solutions as places where high living standards are achieved with much lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions per person. (Sweatshirts, 2010). Actually modern cities have good financing and talent resources to solve problems mentioned above to reduce the influences caused by overcrowding. As scientific technologies are introduced, city ecosystem may go back to normal. To conclude, overcrowding is a critical issue for the world which causes many serious problems such as housing, transport, jobs and air quality, etc.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Theoretical Grammar Definition and Examples

Theoretical Grammar Definition and Examples Theoretical grammar is concerned with language in general rather than with an individual language, as is the study of essential components of any human language.  Transformational grammar  is one variety of theoretical grammar.   According to Antoinette Renouf and Andrew Kehoe: Theoretical grammar or syntax is concerned with making completely explicit the formalisms of grammar, and in providing scientific arguments or explanations in favour of one account of grammar rather than another, in terms of a general theory of human language. (Antoinette Renouf and Andrew Kehoe, The Changing Face of Corpus Linguistics.  Rodopi, 2003) Traditional Grammar vs. Theoretical Grammar What generative linguists mean by grammar should not be confused, in the first instance, with what ordinary persons or nonlinguists might refer to by that term: namely, a traditional or pedagogical grammar such as the kind used to teach language to children in grammar school. A pedagogical grammar typically provides paradigms of regular constructions, lists of prominent exceptions to these constructions (irregular verbs, etc.), and descriptive commentary at various levels of detail and generality about the form and meaning of expressions in a language (Chomsky 1986a: 6). By contrast, a theoretical grammar, in Chomskys framework, is a scientific theory: it seeks to provide a complete theoretical characterization of the speaker-hearers knowledge of her language, where this knowledge is interpreted to refer to a particular set of mental states and structures. The difference between a theoretical grammar and a pedagogical grammar is one important distinction to bear in mind in order to avoid confusion about how the term grammar operates in theoretical linguistics. A second, more fundamental distinction is between a theoretical grammar and a mental grammar. (John Mikhail, Elements of Moral Cognition: Rawls Linguistic Analogy and the Cognitive Science of Moral and Legal Judgment.  Cambridge Univ. Press, 2011)​ Descriptive Grammar vs. Theoretical Grammar A descriptive grammar (or reference grammar) catalogues the facts of a language, whereas a theoretical grammar uses some theory about the nature of language to explain why the language contains certain forms and not others. (Paul Baker, Andrew Hardie, and Tony McEnery, A Glossary of Corpus Linguistics. Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2006)​ Descriptive and Theoretical Linguistics The purpose of descriptive and theoretical linguistics is to further our understanding of language. This is done through a continual process of testing theoretical assumptions against data, and analyzing data in the light of those assumptions which previous analyses have confirmed to such a degree that they form a more or less integral whole that is accepted as the currently preferred theory. Between them, the mutually dependent fields of descriptive and theoretical linguistics provide accounts and explanations of how things seem to be in language, and a terminology for use in discussions. (O. Classe, Encyclopedia of Literary Translation Into English. Taylor Francis, 2000) It seems that in modern theoretical grammar the differences between morphological and syntactic constructions are beginning to show up, for example in the fact that, in the European languages at least, syntactic constructions tend to be right-branching while morphological constructions tend to be left-branching. (Pieter A. M. Seuren, Western Linguistics: An Historical Introduction. Blackwell, 1998) Also Known As: theoretical linguistics, speculative grammar

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Tiananmen Square Massacre - Background and Causes

The Tiananmen Square Massacre - Background and Causes Most people in the western world remember the Tiananmen Square Massacre this way: 1) Students protest for democracy in Beijing, China, in June of 1989. 2) Chinese government sends troops and tanks to Tiananmen Square. 3) Student protesters are brutally massacred. In essence, this is a fairly accurate depiction of what happened around Tiananmen Square, but the situation was much longer-lasting and more chaotic than this outline suggests. The protests actually started in April of 1989, as public demonstrations of mourning for former Communist Party Secretary General Hu Yaobang. A high government officials funeral seems like an unlikely spark for pro-democracy demonstrations and chaos. Nonetheless, by the time the Tiananmen Square Protests and Massacre were over less than two months later, 250 to 7,000 people lay dead. What really happened that spring in Beijing? Background to Tiananmen By the 1980s, the leaders of Chinas Communist Party knew that classical Maoism had failed. Mao Zedongs policy of rapid industrialization and collectivization of land, the Great Leap Forward, had killed tens of millions of people by starvation. The country then descended into the terror and anarchy of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), an orgy of violence and destruction that saw teenaged Red Guards humiliate, torture, murder and sometimes even cannibalize hundreds of thousands or millions of their compatriots. Irreplaceable cultural heirlooms were destroyed; traditional Chinese arts and religion were all but extinguished. Chinas leadership knew that they had to make changes in order to remain in power, but what reforms should they make? The Communist Party leaders split between those who advocated drastic reforms, including a move toward capitalist economic policies and greater personal freedoms for Chinese citizens, versus those who favored careful tinkering with the command economy and continued strict control of the population. Meanwhile, with the leadership unsure of which direction to take, the Chinese people hovered in a no-mans land between fear of the authoritarian state, and the desire to speak out for reform. The government-instigated tragedies of the previous two decades left them hungry for change, but aware that the iron fist of Beijings leadership was always ready to smash down opposition. Chinas people waited to see which way the wind would blow. The Spark - Memorial for Hu Yaobang Hu Yaobang was a reformist, who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1980 to 1987. He advocated rehabilitation of people persecuted during the Cultural Revolution, greater autonomy for Tibet, rapprochement with Japan, and social and economic reform. As a result, he was forced out of office by the hardliners in January of 1987 and made to offer humiliating public self-criticisms for his allegedly bourgeois ideas. One of the charges leveled against Hu was that he had encouraged (or at least allowed) widespread student protests in late 1986. As General Secretary, he refused to crack down on such protests, believing that dissent by the intelligentsia should be tolerated by the Communist government. Hu Yaobang died of a heart attack not long after his ouster and disgrace, on April 15, 1989. Official media made just brief mention of Hus death, and the government at first did not plan to give him a state funeral. In reaction, university students from across Beijing marched on Tiananmen Square, shouting acceptable, government-approved slogans, and calling for the rehabilitation of Hus reputation. Bowing to this pressure, the government decided to accord Hu a state funeral after all. However, government officials on April 19 refused to receive a delegation of student petitioners, who patiently waited to speak with someone for three days at the Great Hall of the People. This would prove to be the governments first big mistake. Hus subdued memorial service took place on April 22 and was greeted by huge student demonstrations involving about 100,000 people. Hardliners within the government were extremely uneasy about the protests, but General Secretary Zhao Ziyang believed that the students would disperse once the funeral ceremonies were over. Zhao was so confident that he took a week-long trip to North Korea for a summit meeting. The students, however, were enraged that the government had refused to receive their petition, and emboldened by the meek reaction to their protests. After all, the Party had refrained from cracking down on them thus far, and had even caved in to their demands for a proper funeral for Hu Yaobang. They continued to protest, and their slogans strayed further and further from the approved texts. Events Begin to Spin Out of Control With Zhao Ziyang out of the country, hardliners in the government such as Li Peng took the opportunity to bend the ear of the powerful leader of the Party Elders, Deng Xiaoping. Deng was known as a reformer himself, supportive of market reforms and greater openness, but the hardliners exaggerated the threat posed by the students. Li Peng even told Deng that the protesters were hostile to him personally, and were calling for his ouster and the downfall of the Communist government. (This accusation was a fabrication.) Clearly worried, Deng Xiaoping decided to denounce the demonstrations in an editorial published in the April 26th Peoples Daily. He called the protests dongluan (meaning turmoil or rioting) by a tiny minority. These highly emotive terms were associated with the atrocities of the Cultural Revolution. Rather than tamping down the students fervor, Dengs editorial further inflamed it. The government had just made its second grave mistake. Not unreasonably, the students felt that they could not end the protest if it was labeled dongluan, for fear that they would be prosecuted. Some 50,000 of them continued to press the case that patriotism motivated them, not hooliganism. Until the government stepped back from that characterization, the students could not leave Tiananmen Square. But the government too was trapped by the editorial. Deng Xiaoping had staked his reputation, and that of the government, on getting the students to back down. Who would blink first? Showdown, Zhao Ziyang vs. Li Peng General Secretary Zhao returned from North Korea to find China transfixed by the crisis. He still felt that the students were no real threat to the government, though, and sought to defuse the situation, urging Deng Xiaoping to recant the inflammatory editorial. Li Peng, however, argued that to step back now would be a fatal show of weakness by the Party leadership. Meanwhile, students from other cities poured into Beijing to join the protests. More ominously for the government, other groups also joined in: housewives, workers, doctors, and even sailors from the Chinese Navy! The protests also spread to other cities - Shanghai, Urumqi, Xian, Tianjin... almost 250 in all. By May 4, the number of protesters in Beijing had topped 100,000 again. On May 13, the students took their next fateful step. They announced a hunger strike, with the goal of getting the government to retract the April 26 editorial. Over a thousand students took part in the hunger strike, which engendered wide-spread sympathy for them among the general populace. The government met in an emergency Standing Committee session the following day. Zhao urged his fellow leaders to accede to the students demand and withdraw the editorial. Li Peng urged a  crackdown. The Standing Committee was deadlocked, so the decision was passed to Deng Xiaoping. The next morning, he announced that he was placing Beijing under martial law. Zhao was fired and placed under house arrest; hard-liner Jiang Zemin succeeded him as General  Secretary; and  fire-brand Li Peng was placed in control of the military forces in Beijing. In the midst of the turmoil, Soviet Premier and fellow reformer  Mikhail Gorbachev  arrived in China for talks with Zhao on May 16. Due to Gorbachevs presence, a large contingent of foreign journalists and photographers also descended on the tense Chinese capital. Their reports fueled international concern and calls for restraint, as well as sympathetic protests in Hong Kong,  Taiwan, and ex-patriot Chinese communities in Western nations. This international outcry  placed even more  pressure on the Chinese Communist Party leadership. Early in the morning on May 19, the deposed Zhao made an extraordinary appearance in Tiananmen Square. Speaking through a bullhorn, he told the protesters: Students, we came too late. We are sorry. You talk about us, criticize us, it is all necessary. The reason that I came here is not to ask you to forgive us. All I want to say is that students are getting very weak, it is the 7th day since you went on hunger strike, you cant continue like this... You are still young, there are still many days yet to come, you must live  healthily, and see the day when China accomplishes the four modernizations. You are not like us, we are already old, it doesnt matter to us  anymore. It was the last time he was ever seen in public. Perhaps in response to Zhaos appeal, during the last week of May tensions eased a bit, and many of the student protesters from Beijing grew weary of the protest and left the square. However, reinforcements from the provinces continued to pour into the city. Hard-line student leaders called for the protest to continue until June 20, when a meeting of the National Peoples Congress was scheduled to take place. On May 30, the students set up a large sculpture called the Goddess of Democracy in Tiananmen Square. Modeled after the Statue of Liberty, it became one of the enduring symbols of the protest. Hearing the calls for a prolonged protest, on June 2 the Communist Party Elders met with the remaining members of the Politburo Standing Committee. They agreed to bring in the  Peoples Liberation Army  (PLA) to clear the protesters out of Tiananmen Square by force. The Tiananmen Square Massacre The morning of June 3, 1989, the 27th and 28th divisions of the Peoples Liberation Army moved into Tiananmen Square on foot and in tanks, firing tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. They had been ordered not to shoot the protesters; indeed, most of them did not carry firearms. The leadership selected these divisions because they were from distant provinces; local PLA troops were considered untrustworthy as potential supporters of the protests. Not only the student  protesters but also tens of thousands of workers and ordinary citizens of Beijing joined together to repel the Army. They used burned-out buses to create barricades, threw rocks and bricks at the soldiers, and even burned some tank crews alive inside their tanks. Thus, the first casualties of the Tiananmen Square Incident were actually soldiers. The student protest leadership now faced a difficult decision. Should they evacuate the Square before further blood could be shed, or hold their ground? In the end, many of them decided to remain. That night, around 10:30 pm, the PLA returned to the area around Tiananmen with rifles, bayonets fixed. The tanks rumbled down the street, firing indiscriminately. Students shouted Why are you killing us? to the soldiers, many of whom were about the same age as the protesters. Rickshaw drivers and bicyclists darted through the melee, rescuing the wounded and taking them to hospitals. In the chaos, a number of non-protesters were killed as well. Contrary to popular belief, the bulk of the violence took place in the neighborhoods all around Tiananmen Square, rather than in the Square itself. Throughout the night of June 3 and early hours of June 4, the troops beat, bayoneted, and shot protesters. Tanks drove straight into crowds, crushing people and bicycles under their treads. By 6 a.m. on June 4th, 1989, the streets around Tiananmen Square had been cleared. Tank Man or the Unknown Rebel The city lapsed into shock during June 4, with just the occasional volley of gunfire breaking the stillness. Parents of missing students pushed their way to the protest area, seeking their sons and daughters, only to be warned off and then shot in the back as they fled from the soldiers. Doctors and ambulance drivers who tried to enter the area to help the wounded were also shot down in cold blood by the PLA. Beijing seemed utterly subdued the morning of June 5. However, as foreign journalists and photographers, including  Jeff Widener  of the AP, watched from their hotel balconies as a column of tanks trundled up Changan Avenue (the Avenue of Eternal Peace), an amazing thing happened. A young man in a white shirt and black pants, with shopping bags in each hand, stepped out into the street and stopped the tanks. The lead tank tried to swerve around him, but he jumped in front of it again. Everyone watched in horrified fascination, afraid that the tank driver would lose patience and drive over the man. At one point, the man even climbed up onto the tank and spoke to the soldiers inside, reportedly asking them, Why are you here? You have caused nothing but misery. After several minutes of this defiant dance, two more men rushed up to the  Tank Man  and hustled him away. His fate is unknown. However,  still  images and video of his brave act were captured by the  Western  press members  nearby and smuggled out for the world to see. Widener and several other photographers hid the film in the tanks of their hotel toilets, to save it from searches by the Chinese security forces. Ironically, the story and the image of the Tank Mans act of defiance had the greatest immediate effect thousands of miles away, in Eastern Europe. Inspired in part by his courageous example, people across the Soviet bloc poured into the streets. In 1990, beginning with the Baltic states, the republics of the Soviet Empire began to break away. The USSR collapsed. Nobody knows how many people died in the Tiananmen Square Massacre. The official Chinese government figure is 241, but this is almost certainly a drastic undercount. Between soldiers, protesters and civilians, it seems likely that anywhere from 800 to 4,000 people were killed. The Chinese Red Cross initially put the toll at 2,600, based on counts from local hospitals, but then quickly retracted that statement under intense government pressure. Some witnesses also stated that the PLA carted away many bodies; they would not have been included in a hospital count. The Aftermath of Tiananmen 1989 The protesters who survived the Tiananmen Square Incident met a variety of fates. Some, particularly the student leaders, were given relatively light jail terms (less than 10 years). Many of the professors and other professionals who joined in were simply  blacklisted, unable to find jobs. A large number of the workers and provincial people were executed; exact figures, as usual, are unknown. Chinese journalists who had published reports sympathetic to the protesters also found themselves purged and unemployed. Some of the most famous were sentenced to multi-year prison terms. As for the Chinese government, June 4,  1989  was a watershed moment. Reformists within the Communist Party of China were stripped of power and reassigned to ceremonial roles. Former Premier Zhao Ziyang was never  rehabilitated and spent his final 15 years under house arrest. Shanghais mayor, Jiang Zemin, who had moved quickly to quell protests in that city, replaced Zhao as the Partys General Secretary. Since that time, political agitation has been extremely muted in China. The government and the majority of citizens alike have focused on economic reform and prosperity, rather than political reform. Because the Tiananmen Square Massacre is a taboo subject, most Chinese under the age of 25 have never even heard about it.  Websites  that mention the June 4 Incident are blocked in China. Even decades later, the people and the government of China have not dealt with this momentous and tragic incident. The memory of the Tiananmen Square Massacre festers under the surface of everyday life for those old enough to recall it. Someday, the Chinese government will have to face this piece of its history. For a very powerful and disturbing take on the Tiananmen Square Massacre, see the PBS Frontline special The Tank Man, available to view online. Sources Roger V. Des Forges, Ning Luo, Yen-bo Wu.  Chinese Democracy and the Crisis of 1989: Chinese and American Reflections, (New York: SUNY Press, 1993) PBS, Frontline: The Tank Man, April 11, 2006. U.S. National Security Briefing Book. Tiananmen Square, 1989: The Declassified History, posted by George Washington University. Zhang Liang.  The Tiananmen Papers: The Chinese Leaderships Decision to Use Force Against Their Own People - In Their Own Words, ed. Andrew J. Nathan and Perry Link, (New York: Public Affairs, 2001)