On Tuesday afternoon a representative of a big US website came to talk with us at Toodou about potential cooperation. At 6 PM we were informed that the electricity would be turned off in the office (due to maintenance), so we decided to go for a drink at Bar Rouge instead. Getting there was not that difficult, but getting in turned out to be impossible. The reason: we arrived at 6:15 PM and they did not officially open until 6:30 PM. Our offer to just sit inside without ordering or stand on the terrace was not accepted, even though lights and music were on already. Bar Rouge is getting more and more arrogant, they seem to be having a too easy business. It seems they don’t realize that customers like to be treated nice. This is my second bad experience there, and I won’t be going there anymore soon.
So on we went to Three on the Bund for a drink at New Heights. We sat outside on the terrace overlooking the river (there was outside heating). Next to us the terrace was cordoned off, and I did not pay too much attention to the people there. It seemed like a movie crew having fun after a day of shooting. After a couple of drinks our potential cooperation partner left, and I went on to have dinnerat the same place with Gary, Ninie Wang (see yesterday), and some other INSEAD alumni who turned entrepreneur. Ninie had just moderated a forum in the Grand Hyatt about entrepreneurship in China and had taken these people along.
Charles (one of the INSEAD guys) then told us that he just went to the toilet when a short guy came in. He looked at him and got a shock: it was Tom Cruise! It turns out that the people who were having drinks outside earlier were Tom’s film crew (they are shooting the latest Mission Impossible outside Shanghai). Tom Cruise had dinner in the private room at the corner of the building, which was guarded by two gorilla type guys. Interestingly, the food did not come from New Heights but from another restaurant in the building (likely Jean Georges).
The dinner was fun, it’s always nice to talk with fellow entrepreneurs and hear their stories. After dinner the BusinessWeek correspondent from Hong Kong came over to have a drink with us, and Gary and I told him our Toodou story. Gary also mentioned an interview he had with CCTVon Monday night and that was done by webcam (they are also innovative). Because the interview was delayed until 00:30 AM he decided to do the interview from his bed, and just to wear a shirt, so nobody would notice that he would be in bed. But what he did not realize until after the interview, was that his bed has an iron frame at the end that was clearly visible for the audience. So everybody knew he was doing the interview while sittng in bed!
Update: I am not the only one who does not like Bar Rouge anymore. Shanghaiist had a post about it today. Check out the comments!