Thursday, January 21, 2010

5-Cent Architecture

We’ve all heard of the rapper 50-cent right? Well have you heard of the 5-cent Architect? There is an article that I read in the New York Times that is so telling of the economic times we are in. I know everyone and every industry is going through this tough time, however, I can only speak personally of my industry, as this is what I have seen and experienced.

Who knows, this could be the beginning of something wonderful and exciting….stay tuned…

Faster, Stronger, Higher.....

Ironically I’ve had all the time in the world to write and update my blog yet I have not posted anything in months. In the past months so many events, situations, issues have come to fruition that I have been overwhelmed with shit to write about that it simply paralyzed me. So where do I begin?

Well I guess the most logical place to begin would be with current events and the one that is on the tip of everyone’s tongues is the Google vs. China ordeal. In my biased opinion, based on living and working in China the last 2 and a half years, Google should cut their losses and get the fuck out, and quick!

The Chinese, especially members of the confused Communist Party, are so fickle with their policy that they have a shit load of laws on the books that they simple pick and choose which ones to enforce depending on their mood (and they usually pick the laws that give foreign companies grief and put them in a good mood).

Google is a multibillion-dollar company and if they went through just a small fraction of what my wife and I had to go through working with Chinese clients and Government officials, I’m sure they are well aware of the lack of integrity and conscience these people have. I have never worked with a group of people so shifty and self serving in my life! This is a cynical view and a huge generalization (I should not generalize about an entire culture however I believe there is no guide to wisdom without generalizations- I’ll explain this thought another time).

China is using the brute force of shear numbers (it’s unofficial population is closer to 2 billion rather than the documented 1.3 billion people) to muscle its way into a strong global position. There are several problems with that. Yes, you can push people out of the way with shear force but once you get into the front of the line, but can you lead? Then there is the question of muscle and money behind the power. The old adage of “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t force him to drink”. China is a nation of farmers and laborers. Once China gets to the front of the line it will need to start innovating. Unfortunately the muscle of this country is not in innovation but hard labor and imitation. What happens then?

If Google leaves, yes some Chinese company will simply fill the gap and fill the immediate need for a search engine. They will most likely imitate Google’s business paradigm and do nothing more than that, copy it. Google, on the other hand, was innovating the web beyond simply being a portal to information.

The other benefit that Google has is that it owns the world’s market share in this business model. Baidu, Google’s Chinese counterpart, dominates the local Chinese market controlling over 63% yet it has no presence globally. If China is truly to be the force it wants to be it will need to comply with Global standards, meaning English, credible information and no censorship. Not only that but it will also have to somehow have to rid itself of the stigma of rampant plagiarism and imitation. No easy task.

So I say as I said before....Google get the fuck out! Trust me you’ll be back…faster, stronger, higher…