That’s why calling China merely “the next Silicon Valley” misses the singularity of what’s happening there. The Valley has never been like this, and I don’t say that to knock the Valley. In many ways, our steady development has been healthier. But it’s also a lot less electric. In the next ten years or so way more money will be lost amid the China chaos, but I’m betting way more money will be made too.
China, as a country, is developing in parallel. The wagons are running constantly and going in nearly every direction. It’s a time of chaos that can burn people out, but it’s also one so unique in the history of modern economics that many ambitious people can’t ignore it. That’s why most transplants from the West who survive their first two years in China tend to stay for more than ten.
Given all this, China is a lot more inwardly focused than other places like Israel and Europe where start-ups have to be global from day one to have a big enough addressable market. When it comes to the Web and mobile, the biggest surprises will likely come from local, non-English speaking entrepreneurs, maybe even those outside the largest cities. They probably don’t read TechCrunch and may not even know where Silicon Valley is on a map. But that won’t matter, because their local market will necessarily develop very differently than ours.
Excerpt from Techcrunch
China is fast and furious, if I have to summarize my understanding in two words. I believe, innovation is born out of constraints. May be lack of democracy helps quick turn around. May be lack of freedom in every aspect of life help them focus better in what they do. Lack of English speaking people make them innovate and create solutions for the local market and even create complete interfaces in their own language.
Even though, many of my friends say I in India stands for IT and believe Indians are some of the most intelligent people on earth, I haven’t seen a computer with interface in my own language or any other Indian language for that matter. The closest I got so far is type my own language in English and let an application translate that to native script. I guess, Indian entrepreneurs and people like me are busy solving (or working on) problems of US and Europe rather than our own.
And we are quite proud of India being the largest democracy of the world, whether it works or not. And, some how we got to a stage where we say, our sluggish beauracracy is our best defense against racing China. And without a doubt, most of us pray China to fail rather than India to change and many of us are quite sure (somehow) that China would eventually fail for the same reasons that are considered as its strengths today. And then India will move forward, just like in the fairy tale, that says ‘slow and steady wins the race’.
Well even in that aspect, China is a lot different than the rest of the world. Isn’t it? Look at the Olympic medal tally of China and India. If all India has got is this powerful and proven “slow and steady wins the race” strategy, wondering how long will it take for India to even stand in the top 10 and prove me totally wrong and stupid for my skepticism of what a lethargic democracy can achieve.