Just over a year ago a website called Taobao.com was ranked 23rd on the web… ie the 23rd most visited website on the net. (Google is 1st, Facebook is 2nd, YouTube is 3rd, Yahoo is 4th, Blogger/Blogspot is 5th etc ) Today Taobao is 14th, up 9 places in the last year. In January of this year, just 4 months ago, another website called Baidu was ranked 66th. Today Baidu is up 61 spots to 6th. QQ… a third site you may have never heard of… is 10th. So in the last year… 3 websites you probably have never heard of… have joined the top 10 websites in the world list. The trajectory of this rise… if pushed forward gets very interesting!
I had an opportunity to speak with Paul Fu last night after a speech he gave at the Cal Poly Innovation and Entrepreneur Center here in San Luis Obispo, CA. Paul was raised in China but lives In the USA and got his doctorate at Purdue. He is the Director of User Experience and Design at Alibaba.com. Have you heard of them? Maybe. Alibaba connects manufacturers directly with people searching to make products. Alibaba is ranked 80′th on the web… (and owns TaoBao)
Paul’s comments got me digging around on this subject. I really liked him. He spoke about something I really think a lot about (because of my own business experiences in China)… and that is that the Chinese people are in the midst of changing their mindset from building other people’s ideas… to creating their own new ideas…and it has already begun. The Creative Class in China is on a trajectory that has now begun to add tremendously to the world’s braintrust… rather than just borrow from what has already been done. A big change!
The point is that now we are going to have a huge HUGE group of fantastically motivated, talented, and educated people start to innovate, create and change the way things are done… and add their own twists and turns to the fabric of what new business and entrepreneurs and innovation mean on this planet. I cannot wait to see this evolution play out… and it is happening right in front of us right at this exact moment.
Just twenty years ago I was first in China.. driving down single lane dirt roads… and I have watched as these roads have become superhighways.
History will tell us the exact point when China became the worlds leading innovator… I think it is going to be this year, 2011, it may have already happened. But most importantly… the trajectory of the rate of change on this planet is going to change very shortly… and very dramatically. Change is going to start happening a LOT faster than it is happening even right now.
I have ideological differences with the Govt. of China but I have ideological differences with the Govt. of the USA too for that matter. So my comments are not about the Govt. of China.. but about the PEOPLE.
To the Chinese people, as a fellow human on this planet, I say ”CONGRATULATIONS on your achievements! I am very humbled by this evolution of yours.
The big trick now… AND IT IS A BIG DAMN TRICK!!!…for all of us… is to figure out how to live here on this round ball without stripping it of every last resource. So I encourage all you new members of the Chinese creative class… to focus your amazing energy and efforts on sustainability right now. Help the people of the world find a BETTER path than that path which has come before. Let this new path be China’s legacy.