Mailing List Archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [tlug] Looking for Summer Internship in Japan

Nicolas Limare writes:

 > That can't be the only explanation. Why would Japan IT be doomed to
 > be reduced to stupid/boring/cheap jobs and outsourced to digital
 > sweat shops while US IT still dominates the tech world with
 > innovation and money?

Bankruptcy laws and culture for one.  You probably read in the papers
about how Donald Trump went bust leaving the banks holding the bag for
about 15 billion dollars, and 5 years later he was a multi-billionaire
again -- using the same banks' money.  That's not just the case for
Trump-level financial geniuses with connections in high places built
over decades -- it's true for the average Joe too.[1]

But in Asia if you go bankrupt, you lose your reputation, and often
the debt doesn't go away, it just gets shifted to your relatives and
other acquaintances.  No wonder people in Asia don't like taking
financial risk.[2]

For another, U.S. IT doesn't "dominate" in the sense that there's no
outsourcing.  There's plenty of outsourcing in the U.S., and plenty of
programmers who work long hours for low pay (relatively, in the U.S.).

Why the current set of software giants and revolutionary innovators
(Microsoft, IBM, Apple, Oracle, RSA, Google, Yahoo!, ...) almost all
seem to be U.S. firms, I can't say.  Part of it is the cluster effects
in Silicon Valley and Route 128, I guess.  But Microsoft is in
Seattle, and IBM's research labs were in New York, and even in the 80s
and 90s when the lab at Almaden near San Jose was really cooking,
that's actually not in Silicon Valley proper!  Another part is the
"giant sucking sound" of the "brain drain" out of every country into
American graduate schools, I suppose.  But I don't think that accounts
for all of it.

I wonder if it's going to last.  A lot of the coolest people I met
this weekend are now based in Singapore, and not a few of those are

[1]  I asked one of the best real estate economists in the U.S. how to
make a million in real estate.  He laughed and said, "don't fear
bankruptcy."  The way he explained it, if you have a plan that gets by
the bank, and go bankrupt, for a couple of years you have to lay low
because your credit record is shot.  After that, you go back to the
bank (often the same one!), and if you've got a plan that your banker
thinks is reasonable, he'll give you the money again.  Smart bankers
don't hold bad luck against you.  Lather, rinse, repeat until you make
your million -- then get the hell out of real estate!

[2]  Of course this is totally backwards.  Banks and VCs can
self-insure by diversifying their portfolios, but entrepreneurs are
betting their kids' education.

Home | Main Index | Thread Index

Home Page Mailing List Linux and Japan TLUG Members Links