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Difference between Beijing and Silicon Valley on innovation

  Pi Ke      2013-06-24 03:09:54      26,150    18    10

The fundamental difference between Beijing and Silicon Valley is not the sky color, but the fact that on one side the young people are talking about buying a new house, a new car and getting married, while on the other side young people are talking about how to change the world.

Now and then we can read from the newspaper or the Internet that a Silicon Valley company is valued over 1 billion US dollars. Also we can see many famous US IT brands on the Internet such as Google, Facebook,Twitter, Amazon... People are still wondering about why US companies are so creative. While in other places such as China, we cannot see world class IT companies. What makes the difference?

Are American people smarter than people in the rest of the world? Not exactly.

In China, people are becoming more and more anxious as they have to fight for a place to stay, a car to drive. They have high living pressures, they are now in a phase of pursuing material richness. They can not spare much time and don't want to spend time on thinking about something which are not easy to get in a short period of time. They are more concerning about short term interest.

The innovation environment is also not healthy, people are not encouraged to innovate here, companies also don't want to get the risk of investing on innovating something that may fail. Companies don't want failures. They are more willing to spend money on copying something from others since that is fast and cheap.

More worse is startups are difficult to survive, investors are not willing to invest on some people they have no relation to because they cannot trust them.

The innovation policy is not appealing as well, the government doesn't have complete policies or laws to protect innovation and they don't have the complete plan for converting innovation into products.

While in Silicon Valley, people are living in another society. People no need to worry about where to stay the next day or how much to earn to get married. They can spend time on doing what they like to do. They have the freedom to choose what to learn.

The environment there is also appealing, companies usually are willing to invest on innovation, they have that kind of genes, they are proud of innovation. they are pleased to see what they create. Also they are not so anxious about the result, they are willing to do long term investment.

If you have an idea which is attractive enough, there are many people who are willing to invest on you. So it's easy for people to start their own business. Even if you fail, it doesn't matter. They don't want to fail, but they can accept failures.

China is still undergoing a high speed economic booming. Many people are still fighting for living a good life, In the future, when people are able to buying a house and having a car with their whole life.. they may turn their attention to more spiritual. At that time, it should be the spring of China's innovation.

But one thing we cannot deny is that the innovation environment should be improved in China now. And we are seeing some good signals.



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Johnny Wang [Reply]@ 2013-06-26 03:53:44

I'm Chinese, I can not be more sad about this situation, but I still have to work for money, not for changing the world, because I can't marry my girlfriend if I don't have a house. We may need some change from the foundation, or need someone who can break all this, and have the ability to do something that changed the world, that may be change the thought of all other Chinese people.

Night walker [Reply]@ 2013-06-26 05:04:55

I think this relates to the Chinese culture as well. For so many years, Chinese are putting families at the first place. Before they can fully fight for their dreams, they have to consider about these real issues how to let their parents and children happy. But from the history, we can see that every developed country went through a smilar process. So let's wait for sometime.

Sky [Reply]@ 2013-06-27 21:06:49


Mason [Reply]@ 2013-06-27 20:18:39

Chinese work for Money,Not Dreams

fred [Reply]@ 2013-06-28 02:00:02






not funny [Reply]@ 2013-06-28 05:16:56

not funny at all

hugo luo [Reply]@ 2013-06-28 20:40:08

In my opinion,there is a big difference between China and Silicon Valley because many reasons such as the government's policy,China plays the role in the world,Chinese culture and so on.But I turst there is going to be a good innovation environment in China, just needs a long time,I hope I can witness this!

liping [Reply]@ 2013-06-28 22:47:32


GOWEST [Reply]@ 2013-06-29 07:33:05
canking [Reply]@ 2013-06-29 22:12:25

用的来说,心态不同,Attitude is different!

adlovelace [Reply]@ 2013-06-30 00:07:27
不同的国家有不同的国情和社会,当然还有不同的IT公司。但目的都是相同,为了生存。所以不同国家的IT公司也就有了适合自己国家的生存法则。 所以美国公司来中国投资不一定能成功。中国it公司去美国发展也不一定能生存。 各国it公司 只能顺应时代潮流,不然会死的很惨。
sun [Reply]@ 2013-06-30 19:58:42

Shit, what's the exact innovation of sillicon ? I think real innovations are material sci, energy, bio-tech.

monster [Reply]@ 2013-06-30 22:58:25

my boss also said:"When we can profit?i can't wait any long"

Erika [Reply]@ 2014-03-14 01:23:37
Hello! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.
Rosalie [Reply]@ 2014-04-17 13:34:48
Excellent post! We are linking to this great post on our website. Keep up the good writing.
bear234 [Reply]@ 2015-02-12 10:20:41

硅谷的成功,直接原因是风险投资 + 科技人才~~

更深层次的原因则是国家所处的生产链位置的不同------中国处于制造业低端,而美国则是最高端,造成这一不同的原因是:钱   二战后美国成了世界上的大寨主,全世界都欠美国人钱,同时美国是当时最繁荣、最安全的投资国度,因此这才成就了硅谷;反观中国,刚刚起步三四十年,中国培养的人才仍然有相当一部分是以制造业为主:即,拥有非常扎实的中小学知识的工人,只有这样才能拥有具备强竞争力的劳动力,因此中国这几十年的教育一直重点在中学阶段而非大学阶段


说到底,还是钱的问题,如果给中国那么多钱,中国不会比美国人差,整片文章,就这句话比较正确:Are American people smarter than people in the rest of the world? Not exactly.


在美国,google公司内从事盈利项目的工作人员只占所有员工数量的7%,另外90%以上的员工都在从事不盈利的工作,例如google眼镜、无人驾驶等,为什么?难道是因为百度的高层比google高层蠢吗?正如上面那句话:not exactly. 因为百度首先要考虑生存,其次才能谈其他......








美国人:well done! good job!!!你们做这些,都是为了自己,我完全可以理解,但是你自己晚上偷着在被窝里笑就行了,还出来写这种文章,教你们一个中文词汇:贱逼

mingming [Reply]@ 2015-02-12 19:43:51






Chinese [Reply]@ 2015-02-12 21:21:11

The mainly question is the People.China have the most people around the world


When PM says we can meet the deadline

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