In 1999, in the midst of the Internet boom, a small company in Hong Kong announced that it was going to do an IPO on Nasdaq. The company had a modest $3M Web design business, offices in 4-5 countries around Asia, and was touting itself as an up-and-coming Asian e-solutions powerhouse. Not many people paid attention – lots of companies were making the same noises at the time. But they certainly did pay attention when the company went public in June, and in a stunning debut, the stock soared from $20 to $67 in a single day. At its peak in 2000, the company’s stock rose (before splits) to an amazing $280 a share! That small company is now a global brand – called chinadotcom.

Of course, over the last 2 years, the dot-coms have now become dot bombs, and many of the leading players – temporarily known as SIPS – have disappeared. One of the few serious and long-term players left is chinadotcom, and its Web development and e-solutions subsidiary, Ion Global. The managing director of the local operation is Tatsuma Kouo, a very nice guy with an excellent team and strong client relationships. He’s certainly needed both over the last 12 months. But while others are packing their bags, Kouo’s team is winning major projects and executing the original business strategy.

There is no doubt that doing Web work is exciting. There is really something stimulating in knowing that your thoughts and ideas can reach and move millions of people using the Web. Yes, like all media work, there are the boring bits. But in my opinion, helping companies implement projects and actual e-commerce online lets you get a really in-depth look at different companies in different industries – so you’re always learning something. Furthermore, most Web projects these days are built for a specific purpose, so the customer gets an immediate payoff, making the whole experience a lot more satisfying for everyone involved.

The person I know best over at Ion Global is Senior Manager Simon Laight. Simon has been in the Web business since it began in Japan. He and I worked together for several years, and he knows about as much as anybody on how to deliver quality work online. Simon currently has several contract positions for Web project managers who know how to build Web platforms and sites, manage teams, manage clients and client expectations (always a big issue), and deliver high-quality work on time. The open positions are for experienced managers, marketers, developers or creatives who want to move more into the business side.

Simon has engaged to help him find these people, so if you’re a Web project manager, or have the ability to be one, AND you’re very bilingual, then contact me at for more information.