By James Santagata
Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
The Sun Also Rises (陽はまた昇る || Yō wa mata noboru), starring Ken Watanabe (foreigners will know him from his appearances in The Last Samurai and Inception) is a riveting drama that captures the development in Japan of the nascent and soon to be ubiquitous VHS video format.
Starting as a stealth or more accurately, an unapproved Skunk Works projects within JVC (Nihon Victor Corporation) it culminated in
the development and release of the new VHS standard to the industry.
On top of that, JVC's new format was royalty-free and competed directly against Akio Morita and his uber-powerful Sony Corporation (when you think of Akio Morita, think about Steve Jobs before Steve Jobs was even on the scene) and their Betamax.
Lots to takeways from this movie in terms of government pressure and cronyism in the form of MITI (Ministry of International Trade and Industry / 通商産業省 / Tsūshō-sangyō-shō) officials who had backed Betamax and, therefore, wanted JVC to deep-six their VHS format.
Other key takeways:
- No Box Thinking
- Technical Innovation
- Market-Focused Feedback Loops to ferret out new Use Cases
- Tenacity / Being Relentless
- True Leadership
- New Business Models (royalty-free industry standard)
In summation, this docu-drama really demonstrates Japanese business ethics, working styles, attention to detail and cultural expectations.
By Mike Rogers, MarketingJapan, Universal Vision Ltd., and Smart Research
& James Santagata, Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
TV as a Mirror of Society
I met the boss of the biggest international television network in the world the other day. He is a Canadian. He travels all over the world and, because he is in the TV business, he told me that one of his favorite things to do in every country was to judge by TV commercials what things were important to that particular society.
Japan's TV commercials? Insurance for this or that; home sales; automobiles; financial instruments and plans; candy, cosmetics, fast food... Companies like Zurich, Sekisui, Kanebo.... Japanese commercials that soft sell and are emotive commercials.
I think that's right.
He also told me that he was "astounded" by just how many over the counter drug medication commercials there were on US TV all the time. US TV commercials? Drugs, Cholesterol, Machismo ("my ding-a-ling is bigger than yours" commercials); fast food; commercials to make your dick hard, make it soft, put you to sleep, keep you awake, lower blood pressure, lose weight; not to mention commercials galore for people with extreme anxiety and panic attacks.
Oh, and don't forget the side effects disclaimers! Cholesterol, etc
Why is the USA this way? It wasn't that way 50 years ago, was it?
Here's one piece of anecdotal evidence: Japan has its problems too, but here is something that will drop the jaws of all Americans...
By James Santagata
Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
Former Wall Street Journal technology reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane has published a new book entitled, "Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs" and I'm here to posit, that without even having cracked open one page of this book she is spot on, at least with regard to her provocative title.
"But wait, what? How could she be right?"
"How could that title be right?"
"How can you, James, be such a pompous ass to think you know anything about Apple let alone judge Kane's book by its cover?"
"Doesn't Apple create magical products? It's true that Steve Jobs has passed on but the same great staff, the same great workers remain!"
And all of that is true.
However, to understand why the title of the book is right and why I'm right we need to honestly and objectively understand who Steve Jobs was and what made him so successful and Apple so successful under his leadership.
And leadership is an operative word here.
At the same time, we need to understand that competition doesn't operate in a vacuum so we must ask, "What made Apple's and Steve Jobs' competitors so timid? Why didn't they respond and counterstrike? Better yet, why didn't they create the iPhone type phone, the smartphone first?!"
And the answer is simply it goes back to the structure and dynamics of office politics and power within a company. The real shock should not be that Apple, with zero experience within the mobile phone industry, built and released the blockbuster iPhone but that none of the incumbent handset makers did!
Where was Nokia and their smart phone? In fact, where were the rest of the handset makers?
And that is the real shock. Not that Apple made a smartphone but that the 800-pound Gorillas gave them an opening and then didn't pounce and kill or even defend their territory.
However, if you've taken one of our related coaching or training sessions (How To Beat Silicon Valley's (and other) Fast-moving Startups At Their Own Game) or just intuitively understand Office Politics and Power (aka Organizational Politics & Power - OPP) this not only comes as no surprise but rather it both predicted and expected. And once you understand Office Politics and Power, you can quickly see and understand why and how Apple under Steve Jobs beat Sony to the next iteration of the Sony Walkman which became known as the Apple iPod.
It helps one also understand why and how Larry Ellison discussed the Net PC (in the mid-1990's) but Apple built it (the iMac), and why Apple could add some basic design features and colors to it to make a hit while intra-company rent-seeking behavior at the competition prevented them from responding or competing let alone getting that to market first.
OPP also explains why and how Jobs could do the same with Pixar while a former Disney employee, John Lasseter, who suggested as much years before Jobs ever thought about animation or rendering farms was let go (or summarily fired depending on the source one references) from Disney, only to have it all come full circle again with Disney acquiring Pixar.
And, of course, it explains some of the biggest daddy ball drops in history such as Xerox PARC and their full blown PC and related projects (which later became reflected in industry leaders like Apple, Adobe, SGI and 3Com) and Kodak with their digital camera years before the competition had one...that all went to waste...
I've talked about that in detail here, about the Myths About Steve Jobs and how is personality and ethos, while celebrated within Silicon Valley (and beyond) is actually completely anathema to traditional Valley ethos.
Reference: Steve Jobs: The Man Who Broke Every Myth & Meme In Silicon Valley & Become A Legend
The problem then, is that a company (any company, including a post-Steve Jobs Apple) needs a strong leader who is unafraid to break eggs to make omelettes and unafraid to slaughter sacred cows for burgers or even just for fun. They also need a leader who is not just unafraid but actually enjoys and even thrills in steamrolling the competition and taking the troops straight up the middle as Alexander the Great did to Darius during one the Macedonian-Persian wars.
As a further piece of evidence, one only needs to consider that the Akio Morita, the founder of Sony, was Steve Jobs while Steve Jobs was still in diapers. Moreover, Akio Morita was extremely aggressive, even actively counterattacking industry special interests who tried to have the courts block the Sony Betamax recorder. Morita was successful in defending this and in ultimately escalating this to the US Supreme Court with Sony (and consumers) coming out as the victor.
Tim Cook being the nice great guy and "steady, paint by number operator" he is (certainly he's the first guy that I would hire or consult with to determine what color doilies to lay out for my dinner party), shares none of those characteristics with either Steve Jobs or Akio Morita.
So now lets move on to more questions regarding Job's selection of Cook as his successor.
By James Santagata
Managing Director, Career OverDrive! / SiliconEdge
I dug up and finally got around to putting up a presentation I gave on cloud computing entitled, "Cloud Computing": What It Is, What It Isn't, Why It Matters" for Tokyo 2.0 which was held at Super Deluxe in Nishi-Azabu.
We had a great turnout for the event with over 200 people attending.
It was almost 5 years ago yet a number of the main themes and issues I addressed have come to pass.
You can watch the video, link to the original or see the full presentation PDF by clicking on the button below.
By James Santagata
Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
We hear so much about the supposed power of innovation and creativity. That these qualities or skill sets are somehow both unique and scarce. And at the same time, a lack of innovation and creativity is often quickly blamed for the downfall or underperformance of a company or organization.
But is this really true? And more importantly, how much impact do innovation and creativity or their lack thereof really have on an organization?
Here's the real deal:
Innovation & creativity are highly overrated and badly misunderstood.
If these were so vitally important, then Xerox PARC would have been and still would be the most successful company in the world while Microsoft would perhaps be the least successful.
But it didn't turn out that way because...
Well, because innovation and creativity are both meaningless and worthless without the ability to productize them.
And productization is both meaningless and worthless without the ability to monetize it.
And monetization can't happen without a strong leadership.
Strong leadership is required to allow, enable and drive an organization to productize and then monetize its innovation and creativity.
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Can Struggling Japanese Companies Actually Beat The Snot out of Fast-moving Silicon Valley Firms? Yep. And Here's How
By James Santagata
Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
Over the last twenty years, and accelerating in the last 7 years, not only Japan but the entire world has begun to question Japan's ability to innovate and create as companies such as Apple and Samsung rule Japan's former stomping grounds and gleefully gorge themselves on Japanese companies' bento boxes on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, once mighty and innovative Japanese firms like Sony and Panasonic bleed red and constantly try to slough off workers while peddling a staid if uninspiring set of "me-too" and "also-ran" product lines.
How far has Sony fallen? Well, it's gotten to be so bad that if Sony founder, Akio Morita, were to magically re-appear today and venture over to the front entrance of Sony Japan, he wouldn't recognize the place. Worse, if he then decided to apply for a position, not only wouldn't they hire him, they'd most likely call security and have him escorted off the premises.
But all is not lost.
In our No Box Thinking™ (Volume 3), entitled "How Struggling Japanese Companies Can Beat Silicon Valley's Fast-moving Startups At Their Own Game" we go through exactly what has happened, what has changed and how, in a short time and by using some talent management adjustments, Japanese firms can again perform at our above that of their competitors.
Steve Jobs: The Man Who Broke Every Myth & Meme In Silicon Valley & Become A Legend
By James Santagata
Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
It seems like the peddling of the old standby Myths & Memes is on the rise once again in the Valley. As this is often a lagging indicator of both the Valley's, and even the wider Tech Industry's financial state, it tells me that we're in a very frothy if not overheated market since people are now letting their hair down and apparently gleefully throwing themselves onto the politically correct bandwagon. But they should be careful, lest they find themselves thrown beneath it.
Still, it's my guess that whatever problems or disasters may rear their ugly heads in the future due to blind belief and adherence to these Myths & Memes, the folks most involved are betting that they'll be able to quickly paper over it with the waves and waves of cash that are flowing so freely now.
But not everyone believed let alone followed these Myths and Memes and amazingly, they didn't fail or turn into a pumpkin or a toad.
What a perfect example of a person who broke every one of these Myths and Memes?
Try Steve Jobs. Yep, Steve Jobs. And Apple Computer under his guidance during his second tour of duty.
The fact is, no one can deny that, under Steve Jobs, Apple was a smashing success. All the metrics are there: market cap, profits, amazing hit product after hit product. iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone. You name it.
And for the record, I am by no means an Apple fan nor am I a Steve Jobs / Apple Computer apologist. I'm simply a reality-based thinker and I call it the way it is, not the way I wish it were.
That said, I'm a very serious student of Steve Jobs and I'm not afraid to look at what really made him successful. I can tell you, it wasn't following the Valley Myth and Memes and it wasn't being politically correct.
In fact, Steve Jobs did the exact opposite of what most pundits and social engineers are preaching. And the reason it worked for Steve Jobs is because Steve Jobs and his communication style was perfectly aligned with the way the world and humans work.
What is most interesting, though perhaps very disconcerting to the social engineers among us, is how Steve Jobs did it.
We're told that if a person studies hard at the "right" schools, gets a "good" education and makes the "right" connections they'll be well positioned for success.
Beyond that we are told, especially in the Valley, that an organization will perform best when it is openly transparent (both internally and externally), when there is diversity, when there are women in senior leadership positions and when we have an open environment of respect and perhaps kumbayahism in the office.
Going even further, we are told that we should be investing and building all kinds of new tech that people have never seen. And by "new tech" I mean core tech, not making sexy cases, new form factors or tinkering with some incremental derivative product like the iPod.
And yet, if we look at Steve Jobs and his management style during his absolutely, amazing and record smashing second run we find something that is completely at odds with what the pundits say is necessary for success:
1. No diversity at Apple (as defined by the politically correct sense of skin pigmentation / reproductive organs).
2. No women in senior leadership positions (see also: Apple Vows To Find Women & Minorities For Board Directors).
3. No Indians in senior leadership positions (see: Why Indian presence in Apple's senior management level is next to nil).
4. Few minorities (see: Apple Facing Criticism About Diversity Changes Bylaws).
5. Steve Jobs didn't go to a "top" university.
6. Steve Jobs didn't even graduate from a four-year college.
7. Steve Jobs was not transparent. At best, he could be characterized as a benevolent dictator, at worst a tyrant.
8. Jobs/Apple was not open -- you leak new Apple products, you'd be hunted down & sued (see: Apple Sues To Stop Product Leaks).
9 Jobs/Apple could be downright nasty, even engaging in potentially illegal activity, if the "no poach" collusion allegations are borne out.
10. Steve Jobs even used his money to find a loophole in California vehicle code so that he wouldn't have to get license plates and had an apparent penchant for parking in the handicap spaces.
And yet again, while Steve Jobs just turned a blind eye to all of these supposed business and organizational "requirements" his results were phenomenal. Can we in any way argue with Steve Jobs' success? It seems that few prominent members of the Valley tech community question his success so I guess not.
Next time, we'll dig a bit deeper and explore why Steve Jobs was so successful, time and time again. The results may surprise you.
Lastly, as quick exercise, we should ask ourselves is Apple really lacking diversity? Or is and has Apple always been diverse but in a more mature manner, such as defining "diversity" with regard to value, thought patterns and productivity rather than with regard to skin pigments and reproductive organs?.
It can easily be argued that a man and women studying the same subject matter from Princeton (not to pick on any school) will be more alike than two men, one of which studied electrical engineering and the other who studied marketing at two different schools in two different states or countries.
Think about it.
By James Santagata
Principal Consultant, Silicon Edge
Recently Andy Serwer, managing editor of Fortune, sat down with Marc Andreesen to discuss The Future of Work, Cars and the Wisdom in Saying 'No' (full, unabridged version on Forbes Magazine here: Inside the mind of Marc Andreessen).
In this interview, I was particularly struck with Marc's views on the impact of the ever-accelerating and widening technological adoption on the job market, and the elimination of entire categories of jobs as well as his comments on education and the need for re-training.
Andy Serwer: We all understand that the Internet revolution is inevitable at this point, but it’s also kind of controversial. There are scads of new jobs at Facebook and Twitter and other places, but what about the ones that are destroyed by the inroads of technology into every industry? Are you actually creating more than you’re destroying?
Marc Andreessen: Jobs are critically important, but looking at economic change through the impact on jobs has always been a difficult way to think about economic progress. Let’s take a historical example. Once upon a time, 100 percent of the United States effectively was in agriculture, right? Now it’s down to 3 percent. Productivity in agriculture has exploded. Output has never been higher. The same thing happened in manufacturing 150 years ago or so. It would have been very easy to say, “Stop economic progress because what are all the farmers going to do if they can’t farm?” And of course, we didn’t stop the progress of mechanization and manufacturing, and our answer instead was the creation of new industries.
From my vantage point, this is completely off track for one main reason -- in the earlier stages of mechanization and automation we had far, far, far fewer people on this planet so that these productivity increases could support and sustain larger and larger populations. In addition, the rate of change was far lower and more localized. It was the difference of seeing single family home burn, to the firebombing off an entire city with no where to run to the simultaneous firebombing of an entire country if not world.
The logical implication of the initial waves of mechanization and automation was that an individual had to gain more or better skills perhaps in either designing, manufacturing, managing or servicing the production and automation manufacturing tools (such as injection molding machines, machine vision, semiconductor fabrication tools like a CVD tool or a stepper, etc.), the automation or productivity tools to design or support the development of these tools (such as CAD/CAM software, testing software, etc.) or in some other area supporting it such as marketing, sales and so forth.
There was still great pain associated with this in parts of the US and other markets, but by and large it worked.
The new wrinkle, though, is that this automation is not only happening everywhere at once but across wide swaths of both industries and functional areas. If you look at what is on the near horizon, autonomous vehicles, drones, 3D printers, even greater factory automation, visual inspection, automation for agriculture and so on, we saw that especially in labor intensive or high wage (on a relative basis) jobs, much of this work was first offshored or moved internally/domestically to the low cost provider or region.
For the next phase, many of these jobs that have already been offshored (such as call centers or assembly jobs),may be completely eliminated through more efficient troubleshooting algorithms and well as expert systems to handle the service call rather than people.
This is happening now in both China where Foxconn has increased its purchase of factory automation (FA) systems and robotics and in the US where higher value manufacturing is moving back on shore -- but it's highly automated, not employing large amounts of people but a few select technicians and managers who, of course, are highly trained (on a relative basis).
All and all, this wouldn't be a problem as people could and I feel should move up stream educationally and into more and more cerebral work.
Many people then blindly shoot out that these displaced workers as well as everyone will need an "an education" or more of an "education".
But this is completely off base. An education by itself is irrelevant unless it is the proper education. And that often means obtains some tools or skills that allow you to keep learning or give you some longer-term competitive advantage and/or are monetizable.
Your skills need to bring value to the market place in a way that you can monetize them directly or through an employer.
But wait, there are two more wrinkles: First, most of the education that is being offered now is sorely lacking in transferring the key skills that people may need to not only be able to do the job, but to keep the job and then keep moving on to the next job again and again while trying to their maintain value in the marketplace until they "retire".
Marc seems extremely optimistic on this point:
Marc Andreessen: And then for all this to work, a lot of people will have to get retrained, they’ll have to develop new skills. Education is going to become even more important. People are going to have to be much more adaptable in this economy. This has been a trend for a long time; the days of lifetime employment are long since over. And the whole system of how everything works – from education to health care and housing – has to adapt to an era in which people are going to have a lot more jobs over the course of their career.
The problem is if it were that easy for people to skill up, they already would have. But they haven't. Why didn't all of the autoworkers and steel factory workers do this and simply skill up in the 1970's and 1980's when their ranks were decimated?
There are many reasons but the fact is they didn't. And that was easy back then. The jump from skill level A to C was a cakewalk compared to the requirement many times to jump from skill level A to M...
In the coming years, perhaps by 2020 at the lastest, we will have almost complete elimination of truck drivers, cab drivers, many medical personnel, book keepers and yes, software developers and so on where will they all go? Who will retrain them? And most importantly what will they retrain to do?
This is especially going to be an issue for manual laborers (ironically, excluding plumbers and perhaps auto mechanics for the foreseeable future), factory workers and transportation drivers. Again how will the retrain? Do they have the ability to do so? After all, if they had the ability or resources to skill up beyond their current job, and on a relative basis it's a simple and cheap task to accomplish compared to what it's going to be, why haven't they done it?
And again, if they haven't been able now to make the small jump from skill level A to C, how does Marc expect these same folk to make the massive leap from skill level A to M in the near future?
This leads me to believe that we are at not Peak Oil (we're pumping more than ever with Mexico, as just one more example, about to float us away in crude) but Peak Jobs. As more and more automation eats away the lower and lower levels of jobs as well as the easily automated jobs albeit higher value jobs, starting with the middle class (book keeping, accounting, call centers, etc.), they'll be more and more displaced people.
The good news is this. It won't be an unmitigated disaster for everyone. No. Only the unprepared. So instead, prepare for a hyper competitive forms of global musical chairs where you competitors are humans from all around the world as well as robots, drones, bots, algorithms and expert systems.
The ability to take a seat, fortunately, won't be predicated on your reaction time when the music stops playing. Nope. It'll be predicated on both the value you can add as well as your ability to package, present and communicate that value to the employer or customer.
For those that are already skilled or who can skill up in the proper areas with the proper curriculum (going back to the traditional academic environment offering the same tired, numb curriculum not only isn't going to help but it will hurt you as you layout hard earned cash and waste time, energy and suffer forgone wages while you are out of the labor market) by redirecting their current outlay of time and energy, the future may be brighter than ever. That means more and more people will need to ask themselves:
It becomes a decision of where people put their time. Now, this bar is going to be raised even higher in the US and other developed countries versus the developing world, although the developed world will most likely be able to respond, though it is doubtful about England and France. Others developed countries like Germany and the Scandinavian countries are much better positioned for this.
But where does this leave the developing countries?
We can expect this compounding rapidly. I think what Marc misses is that we are now at "peak jobs" -- I'm no Luddite, just a realist. You add in all of the new automation now and in development from autonomous vehicles, drones, factory automation, 3D printing, expert systems + AI, and you'll see huge numbers of jobs being irrelevant, including soldiers, and this will become even more apparent and widespread as more and more of the cartels are broken and the enabling regulatory capture is done away with -- or as a reaction to this, regulatory capture by special interest groups and incumbents may increase or accelerate. In the face of global competition, that will be tough though.
At the same time, the easy access to labor, technology, markets, etc.no longer assures that "average" or "below average" people are employable just by virtue of their geographic location. Forty or fifty years ago, if you were a small bar near an auto plant in Detroit, you could have subpar service or drinks but make money because you were local, Detroit was flush with cash, and people obviously drank local. Same with book shops, shoes shops, dvd shops and record shops. Not any more. You can get what you need from Amazon, Zappos, Javari, Gilt Groupe, NetFlix and iTunes among many others.
We also see this playing out in Silicon Valley, where there are many great paying jobs, but it is not the proximity to the valley or the jobs that matter but the skills you have.
So a local resident from say, Bayview-Hunters Point, doesn't have an automatic advantage over an applicant who is applying from Massachusetts, India or China (although the Indian or Chinese applicant has some barrier due to acquiring the proper work visa). In fact, if the BHP applicant has no relevant tech skills while the Massachusetts applicant is a switched on computer science graduate, guess who's getting the $150,000 software development job?
Being local is irrelevant.
On a national basis, the countries that succeed in the future in the face of this accelerated automation and mechanization will be those that empower their citizens while maintaining (on a relative basis) a small, highly-educated and tightly knit, socially-cemented population.
Examples would include obviously Japan, perhaps Switzerland and Denmark. Other nations like the US will be a split case (have's and have not's due to the huge continuing immigration waves + the heterogeneous cultures operating within the US (see: Two Cultures In America Separated By I Do - New York Times).
And still other countries with huge and growing populations (Indonesia, China, India, Mexico) will be hard hit by virtue of having too many people, especially too many people in low wage, low value jobs, especially in assembly or agrarian roles. These populations will then shrink from this economic pressure or it will lead to massive unrest and/or forced redistribution of assets to support those that are having too many dependents and/or non-marketable skills based on the market needs at the time.
The next 10 to 20 years are going to be amazing, though not necessarily for those outside the system and without skills.
Action Items: To position yourself (or your children) now and in the future for these tectonic labor market shifts I would suggest:
1. Understand the skills you acquire should help you do a job and future proof yourself. These skills must be monetizable.
2. Understand that acquiring these monetizable skills aren't enough. You need to understand how to discover a job.
3. Understand that after discovering a job (or creating one) you must be able to package and present yourself and then close the job.
4. Understand that once you have the job you need to maintain it/keep and work to produce deliverables and takeaways for when you leave or are asked to leave your current job.
5. Understand that you still then need to know how to move to the next job (which one? when and how?) and somehow stay on track to leverage each previous skill and job and continue to build a career as you monetize your skills.
The skills you should acquire:
Start with hard skills in the sciences, computers, math, critical thinking & analysis and foreign language acquistion (even if they are basic or rudimentary). From there:
1. Communication Skills
2. Negotiating Skills
3. Influencing Skills
4. Persuasion Skills
5. Assertiveness Skills
6. Leadership Skills
By James Santagata
Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
In response to Richard Solomon's (Beacon Reports) very thoughtful piece first questioning and then analyzing the ability of Japanese firms to complete globally (see: Can Japanese Firms Compete In Global Markets?), I had written an article entitled "Can Japan Compete Globally? You Betcha And Here's Why".
The purpose of my article was not only to surface and then to debunk what I see as a plethora of Myths and Memes that continually surface in the media and in our daily conversations regarding Japan but also to help us all question the other Myths and Memes that govern our lives.
Of the many comments I've received, I'm mostly interested in the comments that disagree with my article or point of view because these help test the soundness of the arguments I've forwarded.
Here is an example of a common but very thoughtful response which is in disagreement with my arguments:
I say "not yet" (Japan can't compete) - because of the inner structure of Japanese companies. Everything takes just too long. They are usually too late, so foreign competitors, for instance Indians have already landed deals while Japanese still circle around decisions."
Here's my reply to such comments.
I. Speed of Decision Making: What Is The Real Value?
No one with any amount of first hand Japan business experience will doubt or question the generally molasses-like decision making process found within Japanese companies and organizations.
However, the speed of decision making is just but one important aspect of a country's competitiveness although, to be sure, there are first mover / early mover advantages to be had as well as disadvantages to consider and avoid. There is also the timing of a decision for economic or other reasons to consider.
But beyond the speed of decision making, it would be wise to consider both the quality of decision and decision making process as well as the ability to execute effectively.
II. The Empirics Trump The Myth & Meme
For for all its warts, blemishes and shortcomings, Japan is still the number three economy in the world.
Japan's GDP stands at 5,87 billion USD.
India's GDP stands at 1.89 billion USD.
Japan's GDP is 3.1 times larger than India's. Or conversely India's GDP is just 32% of Japan. Put in yet another way, India's GDP is less than one-third the size of Japan's.
Can it be any clearer than this?
(notes: recently we have seen large fluctuations in exchange rates,especially with regard to the devaluation of the rupee; see BBC News - Indian rupee falls to new low against US dollar, August 28, 2013; these GDP figures come from 2011; ).
Now let's consider the case of India further.
III. Analyzing The Indian Case
If Indian decision makers or the Indian decision making process is so fast, why is their economy (in terms of GDP) still in only 10th place?
Remember, India's GDP is still just 32% of Japan's. This means the Japanese can effectively stop working for 68% of the year or 8 months and still enjoy an economy that is just barely larger, but still larger, than India's.
This then begs the question, "What deals are the Indian's getting that the Japanese aren't and how come these deals aren't moving India to the point of producing a GDP which is greater than Japan's?"
Moreover, we must but this into perspective that India, like China, is a very huge country. India has over 1.2 billion people and many natural resources. Japan by comparison has only 127 million people, so the Indian population is 10 times larger than Japan's yet the Indian economy is only 32% as large of Japan's.
I understand that over twenty years of myths and memes can condition us to believe things to be or to seem different than they really are. But Japan is still the number three economy in the world and for good reason -- Japan and the Japanese know how to compete.
IV. Abenomics & The Near Future
In a future article, entitled "Can Japan Compete Globally? You Betcha And Here's How", I will detail exactly how Japan can retool and restructure to compete even better.
Lastly. and again for the record, I'm highly critical of Abenomics and I think his approach as well as the actual implementation of it, especially the huge devaluation of the yen, was a massive error and with that error, a perfect opportunity was missed for Japan to prime the catapult and launch itself beyond China to again retake the number two position in world economic rankings.
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