LOL! Taiwan wins over Sweden in entrepreneurship:)

Just saw this article on a site run by the Taiwanese police department. It compares Taiwanese business practices with those in Sweden. Swede’s aren’t all that supportive of small biz?

http://iff.npa.gov.tw/promo/join3.php?aid=8

What ya think?

/LGP

hey LGP,

This is my article, I stand by my opinions but notice that its written to try to please the judges…

:laughing:

e

[quote=“Let’s Go Peay!”]Just saw this article on a site run by the Taiwanese police department. It compares Taiwanese business practices with those in Sweden. Swede’s aren’t all that supportive of small biz?

http://iff.npa.gov.tw/promo/join3.php?aid=8

What ya think?

/LGP[/quote]

Taiwan is actually very Entrepreneurial, I don’t know if there is a place like it. Sweden I would not expect to have any level of Entrepreneurship, in school we were taught that Sweden had the worlds highest taxes and even if your salary was high there it still went to government so everybody could enjoy the same standard of living.

That is probably wrong but that’s what they were telling us in Canada years ago.

[quote=“dvasas”][quote=“Let’s Go Peay!”]Just saw this article on a site run by the Taiwanese police department. It compares Taiwanese business practices with those in Sweden. Swede’s aren’t all that supportive of small biz?

http://iff.npa.gov.tw/promo/join3.php?aid=8

What ya think?

/LGP[/quote]

Taiwan is actually very Entrepreneurial, I don’t know if there is a place like it. Sweden I would not expect to have any level of Entrepreneurship, in school we were taught that Sweden had the worlds highest taxes and even if your salary was high there it still went to government so everybody could enjoy the same standard of living.

That is probably wrong but that’s what they were telling us in Canada years ago.[/quote]

Its “entrepreneurial” because wages are low and so is social security. A combination of financial desperation, materialism, lack of worker’s rights, means that everyone wants to go into business. Does that make it an entrepreneurial country? Even if all the businesses are just a copy of each other? Perhaps by definition, but IMHO if there is nothing innovative, nothing new its hardly entrepreneurial.

Why? because the vast majority of businesses in Taiwan are replicated and hence commoditized. That means most people simply own their own job, with profits being driven down by competition to the minimum level someone would normally work for.

I like the part you wrote about the shopfitter’s though. Within a couple of years its possible to see a street become almost unrecognizable as 50% of the businesses have closed down and opened up as something else.

I think Taiwanese are very entrepreneurial. Recognize a market need and fill it. That’s it. If you’re innovative at the same time, great, but keep in mind that sometimes the market doesn’t like innovation. Sometimes people want to buy plain old wooden chopsticks and not steel ones or electric ones or whatever. Same goes for business models. Sometimes people just want to pay cash and not e-gold or financing.

The Taiwanese do this well, and I’d much rather go to a small store and speak with the owner about his products, which he usually knows inside and out, than go to a big box and deal with the 18-year-old clerk who has no idea what I’m talking about. Big boxes are good if you already know what you want, but don’t go there looking for advice.

I’ve also noticed the shop fitters. They’re fast and do excellent work. That so many of us have noticed them probably implies that a large chunk of these small businesses fail, but I think that’s the norm everywhere.

[quote=“myury”]I think Taiwanese are very entrepreneurial. Recognize a market need and fill it. That’s it. If you’re innovative at the same time, great, but keep in mind that sometimes the market doesn’t like innovation. Sometimes people want to buy plain old wooden chopsticks and not steel ones or electric ones or whatever. Same goes for business models. Sometimes people just want to pay cash and not e-gold or financing.

The Taiwanese do this well, and I’d much rather go to a small store and speak with the owner about his products, which he usually knows inside and out, than go to a big box and deal with the 18-year-old clerk who has no idea what I’m talking about. Big boxes are good if you already know what you want, but don’t go there looking for advice.

I’ve also noticed the shop fitters. They’re fast and do excellent work. That so many of us have noticed them probably implies that a large chunk of these small businesses fail, but I think that’s the norm everywhere.[/quote]

Can you name 5 truly innovative Taiwanese inventions then? I’m sure you can google something up, regardless, the vast majority of patents registered in Taiwan relate to electronics design, most of which is a modification to an existing design and not what I’d consider truly innovative at all.

I don’t see how chopsticks are relevant to anything… Steel chopsticks are Korean and designed for their meals. As for those stupid electric ones…they’re a market failure.

Now that you’re talking about retail, you’re talking about it from your own perspective of what you like as a customer, which has little to do with the success of the business owner. Most of those little shops that you see around Taiwan, such as the electronics market aren’t making great money. Why? because they’re all little replica’s of each other. Market prices are pretty much set by the supplier, and margins have been squeezed down to f’all. If you want to know about entreneurial retailers, I’ll give you 2.

Harvey Norman Electronics. Their business model is so successful, that they’ve expanded from Australia to New Zealand, UK, Eastern Europe, and now successfully selling Electronics back to the Singaporeans. Generally the knowledge the staff have is excellent, because they have excellent staff retention rates.

Westfield. Westfield is the Australian version of Mitsukoshi. Except that they are the largest in the world. They used scientific principles in order to maximize the number of people that walk into the shopping complex. Their customers are the retailers themselves. They have stores in the US, China (just starting) and Australia.

Both of these companies are innovative and truly entreneurial. They make massive profits.

As for your last comment on the number of businesses that fail, it would be interesting to see some kind of statistics that show business failure rates. I doubt however, that there are any such reliable statistics in Taiwan.

I wasn’t claiming that Taiwanese are more or less inventive that anyone else. I can’t judge that. I can’t name 5 innovative Taiwanese inventions, but most people (maybe that includes you too) can’t name the inventor of the transistor (no peeking), which has arguably changed our lives many times more than Edison’s improved filament or the Wright brothers’ wing warping concept.

I was saying that innovation is not the essence of entrepreneurship. Important? Sure. But not the only thing. As for inventions and patents, see if you can find an invention that is not a modification of an existing design. They are rarer than polonium 220, and more so in a competitive and fast moving technology like semiconductors.

Walmart is innovative, massively successful, and I hate the place. So, maybe I’m not the one you want to have this discussion with.

They are only relevant to eating. T’was nothing more than a whimsical and allegedly humorous aside. Ha ha ha, and all that. :laughing:

You are right that most inventions require the use of some previous design, so in that respect its a grey area. However re-routing a few tracks on a motherboard so that it can make use of memory that utilizes electrons more efficently is not true innovation in my book.

Innovation is making something new… or doing something differently. Its not hard to see how in Taiwan most people simply replicate what their neighbour is doing and finding a way to make it cheaper.

You are also right in that innovation isn’t the essence to entrepreneurship, but if you are simply copying what someone else does its hardly worthy of respect in my opinion.

The dictionary defines Entrepreneurship as:

  1. a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, esp. a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
  2. an employer of productive labor; contractor.

For no. 1, where is the considerable initiative and risk in copying an already existing business other than the fact that you risk oversupplying the market and lowering prices.

For no. 2, Most small businesses here simply involve employing oneself and other family members.

I personally have at least 2 inventions (in my head right now, the other’s are hiding somewhere up there), that whilst they utilize some parts or concepts that currently exist, they would be something new that would change the way people live if I were to successfully bring them to market.

The best analogy that I can think of is in music. All the great musicians were inspired by and gained ideas and insight by previous musicians, but the hack’s just copy whats already been done. I.E. my sister is a musician, but she doesn’t write her own music, she just play’s existing music within her own interpretation.

I agree with this, but I’d go one step further and say that finding ways to make things cheaper is itself a form of innovation. It’s not doing something different for its own sake, rather it’s doing something different to achieve lower costs. Some people like to create for the pleasure of it; others like to find ways to make things cheaper so they can earn more money. The computer is a wonderful and high-profile invention. It’s clichéd in that respect. But, I’m confident that much more innovation went into the assembly lines and processes to make computers affordable than into the computer itself (there’s a not-so-old adage that says that there’s more mechanical engineering know-how in a computer than electrical). Moreover, costs and finances are inherently tied to inventions, since there would not even be a patent system if there was no monetary incentive (i.e., limited monopoly). Cost-down innovation is like this: If I lose my job suddenly, I have to find a way to stretch my money. I can innovate or I can starve.

Initiatives:

  • To get in on a good thing .Most of us don’t drive Wintons; many drive Fords. Ford was later than Winton and others, and did not invent the automobile, yet, he is regarded as a successful entrepreneur. Ford was innovative in much the same way that Taiwanese are: behind-the-scenes processes that make new and useful products affordable.
  • Because you can undersell the big companies in the market, earn a profit, and benefit consumers with a lower price
  • Because the demand is not being met and you just found a high-volume supplier
    Risks:
  • Your product may get regulated or made illegal
  • Your supplier might go out of business
  • The public may turn against your product or marketing
    etc. These are all just off the top of my head.

I’m missing something here. If some super-innovative entrepreneur invented some really cool gadget and brought it to market, but only employed himself, would he no longer be considered an entrepreneur?

Great. But, be sure to do a cursory patent search if you haven’t already. It never ceases to amaze me how much has been done. You also don’t need to bring your ideas to market yourself. You could get a patent and then sell it or license it to an established company who already has the infrastructure to make it.

[quote=“Tyc00n”]
The best analogy that I can think of is in music. All the great musicians were inspired by and gained ideas and insight by previous musicians, but the hack’s just copy whats already been done. I.E. my sister is a musician, but she doesn’t write her own music, she just play’s existing music within her own interpretation.[/quote]
It’s a good analogy, but like all analogies, it’s easy to pick apart. Sinatra, Streisand, Pavarotti, among many others, are great singers who are not known for their songwriting. They sing existing songs in their own interpretation.

Also:

Stan Shih

[quote=“Tyc00n”]Its “entrepreneurial” because wages are low and so is social security. A combination of financial desperation, materialism, lack of worker’s rights, means that everyone wants to go into business. Does that make it an entrepreneurial country? Even if all the businesses are just a copy of each other? Perhaps by definition, but IMHO if there is nothing innovative, nothing new its hardly entrepreneurial.

Why? because the vast majority of businesses in Taiwan are replicated and hence commoditized. That means most people simply own their own job, with profits being driven down by competition to the minimum level someone would normally work for.

I like the part you wrote about the shopfitter’s though. Within a couple of years its possible to see a street become almost unrecognizable as 50% of the businesses have closed down and opened up as something else.[/quote]

The Taiwanese Way: a furniture store opens up and looks like it’s doing okay so another one opens up across the street. Someone thinks they’re missing out on the big furniture store boom and opens another one next door. So on ad nauseum for 15 stores down the same bloody street. They are all selling the same furniture from the same suppliers with the same catalogues. So whenever Uncle Llary wants to buy a new dining table he goes to shop #1, finds the one he likes then plays all of the laobans against each other until the margins are so wafer-thin you can see right through them. I ain’t complaining because I get cheap furniture, but what the hell are these people thinking?

The Sensible Way: a furniture store opens up and looks like it’s doing okay so a DIY store opens up across the street. While people are buying furniture they also stop off at the DIY store to finish some home improvements, so both stores do well. In the meantime other people see opportunities for a fabric shop, lighting specialist, a fast food restaurant etc. Each business complements the other without too much overlap and everyone makes a lot of money. Why is this kind of thing virtually impossible to find in Taiwan? I’m good friends with a lu wei store laoban who told me that he started over 16 years ago when there were no stores like his in the entire area. Within a year everyone had started copying him but his is the only place that has lasted longer than two years. He said it best… ‘I’m already selling lu wei and people come here because they know it’s cheap and decent. This place badly needs some variety so why do these idiots keep opening more and more lu wei stores?!’

85C is one of few genuinely entrepreneurial enterprises I can think of in Taiwan. Someone has thought, ‘people don’t want all this gimmicky shit - they just want cheap, good coffee and snacks with a nice environment and no mindless corner-cutting’. Coupled with some very smart financing and franchising I think they are a shining example in the otherwise murky waters of Taiwanese business.