My next trip will be to China. One of the good things about being in Silicon Valley is that I get to talk to lots of Asian people. This is packed of them! I had a very interesting conversation this evening at dinner with a Chinese entrepreneur. She started up this software factory in Chengdu and has just impressed me so much that I think this is going to change lots of things in the way I do business.
She is based in the US, but her company hires 50 people back in China who develop web sites mainly in Ruby on Rails for big American firms. These are the most interesting things I learnt:
- There is a big competition between China and India in software development. We always hear about India, but China is also very powerful in this field.
- Chinese developers work for very low salaries and work really hard (6 days a week, for example). It’s just not posible to compete with them in terms of cost.
- Chinese developers are really motivated workers. They even go out to karaokes with their colleagues and spend long hours at work.
- They have a huge lack of imagination. This is the only thing in which we can compete with them. So we need to stress our heads in order to face these guys.
- They don’t like risk. They will keep developing for others for a long time, as that is their core business. So we have to launch new products, as they won’t do so.