Friday, October 7, 2011

What China can learn from Steve Jobs

Is SJ a product of the education system of last generation that encourages folks to think outside the box, to be innovative… We need one or two geniuses out of a million for these innovative products/inventions.

Hope China will have more of these geniuses and move up to higher value products and assemble our own versions of iPod, iPhone…that are invented in China.

SJ did not graduate from college, so was Bill Gates. It could be a waste of time for geniuses to go to traditional colleges. Education starts in the family and carries to high school. Well, the 3 pillars of success to me are: genes, hard working and some luck/opportunities. SJ and BG have all 3.

The environment provides important hands to nurture creativity for innovation and enterprise. Protecting intelligent properties is the key too, otherwise we just copy others’ ideas if there is no law enforcement.

China lacks such environment now but it is changing as the country develops further. China has schools for geniuses (not as established as in US) and I hope they’re admitted due to IQs instead of the wealth/power of their parents.

SJ demonstrates we can get up from failure and it could be the best opportunity in life. It is harder today to do same in China.

(c) TonyP4 2011. Written in 9/3/11. Updated 9/3/11.

Disclaimer: All my posts are for informational purposes only. I'm not a professional investment counselor. Seek one before you make any investment decision.


  1. Xian said:

    It’s not really about college (although that helps), but more about risk taking and opportunities. Most Chinese and other Asians will balk at the idea of their kid dropping out and trying to start an enterprise that may or may not be successful. We are conditioned to major in an employable field and aim for a stable, salary job as a worker, not an innovator. A good path to a comfortable, upper-middle class life to be sure, but not the kind that produces breakthroughs. My parents understand this, but they still insist on the traditional path.

  2. We need about less than 1% geniuses for innovations to create jobs, about 30% (rough, rough estimate) professionals (accountants, engineers…), and about 60% for farmers and factor workers for a balanced society. It is safe to be professionals. When you’re parents (assuming you’re not now), you will do the same I bet.

    I hope China will help these geniuses by providing this kind of environment, safety net for failure and venture capital for taking a chance.

    I do not think Apple is that innovative. There were companies that made devices like iPod before iPod – a Singapore company no one remembers its name now.

    However, innovation is only part of the equation to market any product successfully and make them built cheaply. Timing would help too. Microsoft had a tablet before. Apple has the right timing, the right components from different companies who are truly innovative… Creating a portable hard disk is innovative, but integrating these components into a usable, low-cost consumer device is genius.

  3. Another example.

    Xerox PARC is the inventor of Window. The management thought it was nice but not marketable. It did not take long for SJ to notice the gold mine and he explored it by implementing it in his new PC. In this case he is the genius with vision but not the innovator. BG followed it later and he was at best the second genius on this technology break through, but BG profited the most.