Elliot Ng on China’s Creative Abililities

Thursday, November 27, 2008 7:33
Posted in category Uncategorized

Following up on my post Imagination, Innovation, and Incubation. Which of These are Different From the Other in China? earlier this week, Thomas Crampton has put together a few interviews of some well known entrepreneurs on innovation and creativity in China.

Of those, I wanted to draw your attention to the one of Elliot Ng.  In addition to be a huge supporter of mine on Crossroads, and an all around really great guy, he has some real examples (not the anecdotal stuff I put forward) of how his own employees (not someone he “heard” of) showed real creative abilities and innovative talents.

[youtube width=”425″ height=”335″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAF8WL9TYqA[/youtube]

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4 Responses to “Elliot Ng on China’s Creative Abililities”

  1. Elliott Ng says:

    November 27th, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    I’m pretty happy staying in word form via blogging/Twitter and not in video. 🙂 But anyway, the topic of innovation in China is like most topics — its hard and dangerous to generalize. I’m generally less sympathetic to those who believe “China is not innovative” because they view it in their own market- and cultural- specific terms. Anyway, look forward to continued dialogue on this matter.

  2. Bobby Brill says:

    November 30th, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Working for a multimedia outsourcing firm based in Beijing office I can definitely say that China is creative. The problem is that the West is still learning about what Chinese people think is cool as opposed to what we think is cool. Some “cool” Chinese things just don’t cut it in the US because we simply don’t get it and visa versa. This applies to IT innovation, actual artistic endeavors, etc. As the video mentions, Chinese companies are realizing that the 1.3 billion end users they live with are becoming a viable market to work for and with. Why hand it off to some one else when you can be a success in your own country? Why not design something that matters only to your GIANT market?

    It is certainly easier to design for a sensibility you already understand and if you are going to make money doing it, why worry about the US and others. Especially when many companies are still coming to China for copying, reverse engineering and non-innovation. Chinese companies know this, even the ground level employees and recent grads know this and are making decisions on whether to even work for companies that do this. We need to realize that we have to start working a bit harder and be more inclusive of what we do, then we will get the real innovation and creativity.

  3. Rich says:

    December 2nd, 2008 at 10:11 am

    @ Elliot.

    It is always interesting to ask people to define innovation as a starting point. Lot’s of different opinions.

    R

  4. Rich says:

    December 2nd, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Bobby,

    You bring up an interesting point, that I think follows Elliot’s point. Isn’t innovation on some measure about context? Does an innovation in China always have to be an innovation in the US as well, or can’t it just be something Chinese?

    Where Jon’s process gets interesting is that mobile phone manufacturers are not necessarily focused on designing for the US market. It CAN be an atfer though actually. So, the creative juices are put into the Asian product, and then stripped down for the US market.

    No sure if this is applicable to other industries?

    R