Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal

Just reading this news: “Tokyo Seeking a Top Niche in Global Finance” on New York Times recently.

The author talks about how Japanese took apart US products, like cars and TVs, to learn how to make them better. Now Japanese want to use the same formula to develop their financial industry.

To be honest, I bet many young folks in this generation think that cars and TVs are actually invented by the Japanese because the quality of their products are superior than those in US. It’s amazing that they are so successful that no one really cares about who the original pioneers of those products are. But, actually, Japanese is not the only one who has overtaken the forerunner in the hisotry of business. Microsoft Windows > Mac OS, Internet Explorer > Netscape, Google > Overture/Yahoo, Toyota > GM/ Ford…etc. According to the article, Japanese is not doing a good job on this project currently.

No matter what the outcome of this project is, I really admire the way they have approached this problem. At this moment, Chinese is pretty well known of copying stuffs (e.g. we can copy the whole Disneyland in Beijing). By the time they learn how to STEAL something from other countries, the country will become a real power house in the world. However, at this moment, I can’t see any promising companies doing that. For example, for Lenovo, besides changing the IBM logo of their laptop, what did they do to improve their products? They acquired the PC and laptop division of IBM because of the branding value but now they decided to change the logo back to Lenovo. I agree that they have to do this in the future but not right now because Lenovo is still not a household name in the US. Hopefully, they don’t have to change the logo back to IBM in the future…

I really like the following quote in the article, “if Japan did not open its markets, it will just be a small Asian country”. This can definitely apply to Hong Kong and China. After living in the US for 5 years, I realize DIVERSITY is one of the most important reasons contributing to their economical success. So if other countries want to duplicate the success of the United States, they better find out how to attract talent from all over the world. It’s not a secret. It’s a reality. If we can’t do that, no matter how hardworking we think we are, we have no way to emulate the US success.

Share this story