Tuesday, June 02, 2009

China "Not the Next Silicon Valley"... It's Much, Much More?

That's according to Sarah Lacy who just got back from a trip profiling startups in China for TechCrunch:

What makes China so staggering is that everything that happened to corporate America over decades—think the television and media studios build out of the 1950s, the greed of the 1980s, the dot com bubble, the build out of physical and IT infrastructure, current Web 2.0 and CleanTech innovation—is all happening to China at once. [...]

And while China gets a rap for ripping off U.S. Web start-ups now, I think we’re going to start seeing U.S. start-ups copying a lot of elements of Chinese entrepreneurs’ business plans, whether it’s unlocking the value in virtual goods, experimenting with alternative online payment methods or developing more social forms of e-commerce, where like-minded friends shop together.

You always find the best ideas within atmospheres of constraints. It’s why some of the best companies are started during recessions. It’s why Israel was such a surprising hot-bed for Nasdaq IPOs in the late 1990s. And it’s why Chinese Web companies have come up with other ways of making money than just slapping ads on a site, because they had to.
While I think her optimism might be a bit overdone, I'd agree with her that the development of China is pretty amazing to see - and it is developing "all at once" which creates a great deal of opportunity but also spectacular collapses. Read the whole thing. Some of the comments are pretty interest as well.

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