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Mobile and Web Innovation in China

by Digital Naturalist, Startup Therapist & Asia Immigrant. Founder of consultancy +8* and investor in startups born global. at +8* | Plus Eight Star on Mar 30, 2009

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Presentation given to Dutch executives with the leadership training company De Baak in Beijing on March 2009. It's our first focused on "Chinese innovation", with our soon-to-be-famous "5C" (tm) and ...

Presentation given to Dutch executives with the leadership training company De Baak in Beijing on March 2009. It's our first focused on "Chinese innovation", with our soon-to-be-famous "5C" (tm) and "LABL" (tm) models of Chinese innovation and what to do with it. A few examples of mobile and Internet services are given for illustration. Explaining why we selected them and what to do with them is the core of our business.

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19 of 9 previous next Post a comment

  • nicolasz Nicolas Zurstrassen, Digital gm china at Nike Greater China talking about innovation, you should look up a book written by Simon Winchester about Joseph Needham - the man who wrote the encyclopedia on Chinese innovation. Fascinating book about a fascinating man fascinated by a fascinating country 5 years ago
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  • plus8star Benjamin Joffe, Digital Naturalist, Startup Therapist & Asia Immigrant. Founder of consultancy +8* and investor in startups born global. at +8* | Plus Eight Star @zunguri | Thanks for taking the time to reply. Sorry if I misinterpreted your initial 1-liner and came across in an unpleasant way; tones and intention are not always clear in writing. I take from the ' ;-) ' that we can actually have a conversation ^_^

    I will explain better some of the slides and the intention for the presentation:

    'Until then, I hope never to see another back-handed compliment such as fireworks or printing as examples of Chinese innovation.'
    --> Please keep in mind that in addition to a silent slideshow, there was over 30 minutes of talk to explain what was shown. The introduction is a half-joke to help people step back from the usual stereotypes, not really to marvel at China's inventiveness. More, my personal view is that innovation does not have a nationality: the slide 96 is a case of a Beijing-based startup whose founders, team and partners are all over the world. They just happen to be +located+ in Beijing - does that make them Chinese?

    Among the old inventions, there is one particular case: I mention specifically the movable type for three reasons:
    1- It was likely invented in China 400 years before it was re-invented in Europe (= China innovates)
    2- Europe (and US, etc.) would probably look very different if it had printed its first documents 400 years earlier (= value in accelerating innovation transfer)
    3- Though with Internet the problem of learning about innovations might seem solved, many concepts and models still take years to migrate. The Silicon Valley is now very upbeat with digital goods and iPhone app store - both models have been working very well for close to 10 years in Japan (i-mode), Korea and China (micro-transactions). This means a large lost potential - especially the WAP/mobile portal debacle and Web 2.0 ad-based models. (= looking outside your country for innovation can bring valid models even during the 'Information age')

    'When presented clearly, these absolutely speak for themselves.'
    --> This was exactly the point of my presentation but the 'clearly' part is probably the most challenging part, and often poorly done in mass media and even on serious tech blogs. In a way, innovation needs clear spokespersons. The cases of web and mobile innovations I presented +and explained+ during the session all have innovative concepts and business models. Sadly, I do not do voice cast over the slides, which leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

    'All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.'
    --Mark Twain

    Fun one :-) The 'winner bias' certainly applies to the way media deals with entrepreneurs (in addition to hedge funds).
    I'm happy to get in touch for further discussion benjamin [a][t] plus8star.com
    5 years ago
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  • zunguri zunguri I didn't expect a passive-aggressive response. ;-) Keep in mind that when Hamlet was written the usage of 'protest' in context would be closer to 'insist'. I'll be more blunt...

    There are many contemporary examples of innovation coming from China that better serve to disprove stereotypes than simplistic and mundane (not to mention hackneyed) 'historical' references. When presented clearly, these absolutely speak for themselves. There isn't a week that goes by that I don't talk with Chinese inventors every bit as insightful and brilliant as the guys in Toyko, Seoul, or back in the valley. The fact that they have to deal with a different set of inhibiting factors than their equivalents in Korea, Japan, US, etc., doesn't change the fact that they do innovate. These factors contribute to a slowing or blocking of innovation from reaching the end user, however, reaching the end user is NOT a requirement to prove that innovation is occurring.

    Within a few years the amount of new IP coming out of China will dwarf what comes out of the traditional hotbeds of innovation. The math insists upon this. I look forward to the day when the 'China just copies' mantra is finally put to rest just as it was for Japan and Korea. Until then, I hope never to see another back-handed compliment such as fireworks or printing as examples of Chinese innovation.

    'All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.'
    --Mark Twain
    5 years ago
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  • BruceGAO Bruce GAO, Digital manager at Atout France good job, very interesting! 5 years ago
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  • plus8star Benjamin Joffe, Digital Naturalist, Startup Therapist & Asia Immigrant. Founder of consultancy +8* and investor in startups born global. at +8* | Plus Eight Star @zunguri - I would like to agree with your sweeping statement but found over the past 10 years in Asia that the idea that 'innovation speaks for itself' is delusional at best, and sometimes dangerous in the business world. As an 'end user' this assumes you always get served with the BEST product, but defining what is best for a user is often misaligned with the economics behind it. 'There's none so blind as those who will not see' - cheers. 5 years ago
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  • zunguri zunguri Innovation speaks for itself.

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
    5 years ago
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  • gleonhard Futurist Gerd Leonhard, Media Futurist, Author, Keynote Speaker, Strategist, Think-Tank Leader, Advisor at The Futures Agency Great stuff - thanks! 5 years ago
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  • plus8star Benjamin Joffe, Digital Naturalist, Startup Therapist & Asia Immigrant. Founder of consultancy +8* and investor in startups born global. at +8* | Plus Eight Star Thanks Mervyn for this great info. I did not mention it but Taiwan's HTC and Lenovo's laptops could probably also be counted as quite innovative :-) 5 years ago
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  • mervynlevin Mervyn Levin at Levering Thank you for sharing. Some very interesting angles. Huawei's capabilities adds further evidence to your contention of China as an innovation country with 37,000 R&D staff, over 35,000 patent applications, ranked no. 1 in PCT international patent applications. Gleaned this information during visit to their impressive facilities in Shanghai last week. Mervyn Levin 5 years ago
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Mobile and Web Innovation in China Mobile and Web Innovation in China Presentation Transcript