279: Stuart Kerr – Rock Human Devices (PitchDeck Asia)

Podcast highlights:

  • 02:40 Stuart talks about Rock Human Devices, a Singapore-based company building tough, well-designed medical devices – starting with hearing loss
  • 22:10 What was Dyson really all about? Ultra-high performance first before aesthetics. Also, the backstory behind Dyson Supersonic hair dryer
  • 37:35 Stuart says Rock Human Devices will eventually become a software company that has the hardware that the software runs on. Also, he talks about developing a prosthetic limb with machine learning

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 PIT – Stuart Kerr – Rock Human Devices – The Pitch
  • 01:40 What is the point of The Pitch?
  • 02:40 Stuart talks about Rock Human Devices, a Singapore-based company building tough, well-designed medical devices – starting with hearing loss
  • 08:15 Stuart and Graham have a look at a functioning prototype of the hearing-aid glasses. How much does it cost to make one? Also, will the hearing-aid glasses be regulated and medically certified soon?
  • 14:15 How did Stuart fund the making of the hearing-aid glass prototypes? What were the assumptions challenged when he did the trial with 25 people?
  • 17:05 How light is the prototype? Also, why hasn’t this been done already?
  • 18:30 Stuart studied electronic engineering at Strathclyde and robotics in Japan, worked in Japan developing machines used in particle accelerators in CERN and SUPERKEKB, then worked for Singapore-based startup Pirate 3D in launching a 3D printer, then joined Dyson
  • 22:10 What was Dyson really all about? Ultra-high performance first before aesthetics. Also, the backstory behind Dyson Supersonic hair dryer
  • 27:35 Dyson develops core technology that solves very fundamental problems with how people interact with machines. So why wouldn’t companies start with that thought – “this is the problem the customer has. What is the best way of solving it?”
  • 33:00 When Stuart was prototyping the hearing aid glasses, how did he keep it lean? Did he consciously not go out and recruit or was he so busy doing the thing?
  • 35:20 After receiving funding, what’s next for Stuart and Rock Human Devices? What would be the value of that to another company? Can Rock Human Devices become the Dyson or Apple of the medical device world, or IPO?
  • 37:35 Stuart says Rock Human Devices will eventually become a software company that has the hardware that the software runs on. Also, he talks about developing a prosthetic limb with machine learning
  • 44:40 Contact Stuart on Linkedin here https://sg.linkedin.com/in/stuart-kerr-35a79449

277: Tony Mai – Founder Compliy

Podcast highlights:

  • 01:45 Tony Mai founder of Compliy, elaborates how their AI powered regulatory interpretation platform helps manage financial regulatory change
  • 09:08 What kind of skills are needed in a team? – Tony Mai explains the manpower needed to develop an usable AI product
  • 12:06 Tony Mai shares how he started his journey of being a serial entrepreneur at the age of 19. What did he learn from yo Karaoke business? Tony shares his learning journey and business hacks

269: Pieter Franken – Safecast, Shinsei Bank, MIT & Monex Group

Podcast highlights:

  • 02:10 You came to Japan to work for Panasonic Corp in 1989. What was Japan like back then? — This was just after the real estate bubble started to burst. Prior to that Japan always felt like an endless party. In 1989 the hangover was starting. It was a special time. You find Japanese companies all have their own stories. They are not all the same.
  • 28:00 You were actually involved in the aftermath of what was the largest corporate failure in Japanese history. Tell us a little bit about that. — You’re talking about The Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, which went bankrupt in 1998. I joined the bank that emerged from this in 2000, Shinsei Bank. My interests were in rebuilding the bank from a technical / operational standpoint. At that time, Japanese banking technology in services was lagging. We really started to innovate to make Shinsei Bank a leader in banking tech.
  • 43:23 When you look at FinTech innovation in Japan today, there seems to be a lot going on. How has this happened? Who is driving it? — First, it’s important to consider that FinTech is a very broad term, which at it’s core means bringing into the world of finance new digital technologies, new companies, and new innovative concepts. In Japan now there is a realization the central places for finance in Asia are in Singapore and Hong Kong, they are not in Tokyo. There’s a growing realization banks need to innovate more.

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome Pieter Franklin to Asia Tech Podcast Stories.
  • 02:10 You came to Japan to work for Panasonic Corp in 1989. What was Japan like back then? — This was just after the real estate bubble started to burst. Prior to that Japan always felt like an endless party. In 1989 the hangover was starting. It was a special time. You find Japanese companies all have their own stories. They are not all the same.
  • 06:43 How did it feel being a Westerner there at that time? — It was an eye-opening experience to see how things could be done differently. Companies could be organized in different ways. At that time, Japan was the cutting edge place for IT in the world.
  • 09:50 Let’s talk about Safecast. You helped found Safecast quite soon after the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of Japan in 2011. Tell us about that. — You can look back at photos of that time and the work we did at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. It was from that experience we saw the need for more transparency in these types of events. We found, for example, the measurements of dispersed radiation issued by authorities were deceptive at best. Our idea was to give people the ability to measure radiation on their own.
  • 18:18 When you look back, that earthquake was the [4th most powerful ever recorded – ed.]. Was there really anything that could have been done to prepare for it? — This is the fundamental question. My own view is that the consequences from a disaster like this are very very large, but the odds the disaster will happen are very very small. Those odds are not zero, however. The question for us is whether we should do something if the consequences when something goes wrong are very very big? What one observes is people are not good at understanding the dangers when the consequences could be this severe.
  • 22:50 Another area where this thinking seems relevant is in certain tech fields, like AI for example. When you look at these projects, do you worry about the implications of things going wrong? — Of course. We should worry about what might happen when things go wrong. So Facebook, electric cars, reusable rockets, these things have clear potential benefits; but we have seen how the same technology can be used as a weapon. That’s the dilemma of progress.
  • 28:00 You were actually involved in the aftermath of what was the largest corporate failure in Japanese history. Tell us a little bit about that. — You’re talking about The Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, which went bankrupt in 1998. I joined the bank that emerged from this in 2000, Shinsei Bank. My interests were in rebuilding the bank from a technical / operational standpoint. At that time, Japanese banking technology in services was lagging. We really started to innovate to make Shinsei Bank a leader in banking tech.
  • 35:05 You talked about things you helped innovate, like 24-hour ATMs. To us here in 2018, these do not seem very significant; but back then they had a real impact. — Right. In Japan, ATMs were only open when the bank was open. Imagine if this were the case today. There were certain challenges to innovating in the banking sphere. For example, when the bank closes, you have to take all the cash and put it in the vault. When you open the bank, you have to take the money out of the vault. So we really had to bring a process engineering mindset to these design challenges.
  • 43:23 When you look at FinTech innovation in Japan today, there seems to be a lot going on. How has this happened? Who is driving it? — First, it’s important to consider that FinTech is a very broad term, which at it’s core means bringing into the world of finance new digital technologies, new companies, and new innovative concepts. In Japan now there is a realization the central places for finance in Asia are in Singapore and Hong Kong, they are not in Tokyo. There’s a growing realization banks need to innovate more.
  • 49:00 What is the regulatory environment like in Japan? — The government in Japan made the wise decision to put everyone with something to say about what happens in the financial world into one place. They call it the Financial Services Agency and this has helped bring clarity to the market. It has also allowed the government to be more nimble in regulation, especially as new technologies come online.
  • 52:45 Do you ever think about what drives you? — You have to think about this. For me it’s building things and the passion that comes from building new things. You have to find ways to build where you can take risks while not fundamentally endangering the company or markets if something goes wrong. This is the challenge.

259: Nabomita Mazumdar (Ashley Talks ASH13)

Podcast highlights:

  • 09:36 Where do you find energy for your passions? — Everyone needs something that can keep them awake at 2:00am. At the end of the day these communities are people in flesh and bone. Serving them is a wonderful thing.
  • 14:48 Why do so many women have a complicated relationship to money in business? — This is ironic because so many women have experiences as homemakers. Some of the best business skills you could hope for emerge from this work; but for some reason, when women become product-makers or entrepreneurs they become “too feminine” about money and almost shy to talk about numbers.
  • 31:28 What is the future for workers who in a very short time may lose their jobs and livelihoods as a result of automation and technological change? — Bots and robots are inevitable. The sorts of “cookie-cutter” jobs that were designed in the first place for machines and not humans will go back to the machines. These human workers are not yet ready to take on more specialized tasks. We need to change this.

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 ASH13 – Ashley Talks with Ashley Galina Dudarenok and Nabomita Mazumdar
  • 00:55 What is your story? — In her final year in college, Nabomita was introduced to an anonymous online community in India. She linked up with the founder and helped establish offline chapters in cities across India and around the world. After four years as a contributor, she joined the effort full-time. These rich interactions taught her product development and business acumen.
  • 06:23 What are you working on right now? — Nothing inspires me more than building a product. Right now I’m working with a human resources (HR) company called comply4HR, which is a human resources compliance company who’s entire content is written by people in authority in HR governance. This makes the site valuable because the content is highly validated and curated.
  • 09:36 Where do you find energy for your passions? — Everyone needs something that can keep them awake at 2:00am. At the end of the day these communities are people in flesh and bone. Serving them is a wonderful thing.
  • 11:08 How do men and women differ in business? — Notice that we haven’t been talking about numbers or features. We’ve been talking about people, about women. This is the difference. Women do not think in terms of numbers but in terms of people. Sometimes this harms women trying to launch products or brands where investors and VCs want returns and systematized growth plans. Women need to learn these skills in order to succeed.
  • 14:48 Why do so many women have a complicated relationship to money in business? — This is ironic because so many women have experiences has homemakers. Some of the best business skills you could hope for emerge from this work, but for some reason when women become product-makers or entrepreneurs they become “too feminine” about money and almost shy to talk about numbers.
  • 17:35 What can men learn from women? — Empathy! Women instinctively know what to do next. If men can learn to empathize more and women learn number-crunching skills we can all build a better world.
  • 18:50 How have you seen India change in the past 10 years? — India is right now in a “maker’s moment.” Almost everyone is building a product. Everybody is adding to the ecosystem. It’s a great moment in India right now.
  • 20:30 What are some cities in India that everyone around the world should know? Where are the major tech hubs in India now? — Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai are the major metropolises everyone knows. But also Pune, where they are trying to build the best healthcare platform. India’s tier-2 cities are picking up but the major metro areas still rule the roost.
  • 23:33 Is it difficult to be a young Indian woman in business in India? — In India it is not easy to be a woman in business. There are some men who support women. Maybe the number isn’t great yet, but things are improving.
  • 26:00 Do successful women simply make their mark and demand the world change to meet them? — Absolutely! Be so lost in following your dream that everybody follows you! Let nothing break you down! We need to showcase successful women. We need so many role models that we cannot help but see an inspiring woman no matter where we look.
  • 28:08 What has it been like speaking at TEDx? — Because of my experience I have learned to see where industries are going and this has allowed me to talk now about the future of work. In my thinking and research on this topic I found in India there are three levels of talent. 1) The Maker’s Movement. These are the people who can’t wait to build the next best thing. 2) Those people who are stable and want to continue in their jobs so they can keep increasing their assets. 3) Finally, there is a group who know they will likely be churned out after the next performance review. This third group are the people who are expanding the gig-economy. The entire experience of TED has been an education.
  • 31:28 What is the future for workers who in a very short time may lose their jobs and livelihoods as a result of automation and technological change? — Bots and robots are inevitable. The sorts of “cookie-cutter” jobs that were designed in the first place for machines and not humans will go back to the machines. But these human workers are not yet ready to take on more specialized tasks. We need to change this.
  • 35:06 What are some examples of products you think are built, as you say, “for humans”? — Think about it this way. India as a country is too large. We do not need every person to leave the village and find work and services in the cities. We need to make the same quality services available in the village. We need to allow people to live where they want without having to give up on products and services found now only in major cities. This is the kind of pathway we need to build.
  • 36:57 Do you think we will find a future where people can opt-out of the workforce entirely? Can you see a future where people don’t have to work if they don’t want to? — What a dream! One of my mentors once said we need a society where people do not have to leave their homes and villages to cater to the world. This is how we need to redesign the workforce of the future. Allow people to cater to the world from their homes.
  • 39:29 Thinking about the future, what technologies are you most excited about right now? — Honestly AI and blockchain. They are the paths to the future, but they are not the future. We will likely find even more specialized versions of them. It like peeling an onion, there are always more layers. Expect to see more disruption in data-privacy and security.
  • 41:59 Do you think the world understands India’s full potential? — If you’ve ever traveled in India, you will know India changes every 60 kilometers. There is huge potential in the market because almost every area has it’s own unique requirements.
  • 44:27 Do you see more young people with a desire to innovate? Or are young people less interested in contributing to industry? — What I see are young people making things all the time. It’s true they often don’t know how to make a product work in the long run, but they are super passionate. I want to see young people building responsible products so that they’re not just doing “me too’s” and copies of other products. Be disruptive but learn how scaling-up works and see how people in the past have moved from idea to established brand.
  • 49:09 A totally unrelated question: how have Indian people become so spiritual? How is it you can find incredible spiritual depth in India? — No matter your religion you have easy access to the scriptures. This level of access to spiritual content goes a long way in fusing people with a sense of spirituality. Buddha says, “your work is to find your work and fall in love with it.” When AI takes away our jobs, our work will be to find our work and fall in love with it.

260: Michael Bloomberg On-board for the Asian Century? (Asia Matters)

Podcast highlights:

  • 02:42 Michael Bloomberg’s vision for an Asian Davos
  • 19:56 Asia Tech Podcast gets a new studio in Singapore
  • 31:05 Podcasting and the future of branding
  • 55:15 Asia Tech Podcast’s new internship opportunity

Podcast notes:

  • Note: This podcast contains explicit language
  • 00:05 ATP650 – Asia Matters with Graham Brown
  • 02:42 Michael R. Bloomberg, American businessman and philanthropist, wants to create a rival to the Davos-based World Economic Forum that will focus on Asia and the Asian Century. The inaugural session will take place this November, 2018 in Beijing. — This is certainly a way to acknowledge China’s lead in the global ecosystem.
  • 07:50 Data from the #AsiaMatters Report published this year bolsters the case for Bloomberg’s vision. Key takeaways include Asia is a US$27 trillion economy. This is 50% bigger than either the US or the EU. By 2030, the Asian middle classes are expected to grow to 3.2 billion people — an enormous market potential!
  • 12:09 The Asia Matters Report talks about four steps that will bring about the Asian Century. 1) The demographic advantage that allowed for low-cost manufacturing production. 2) Capital reinvestment that helped build the Asian middle class and a skills, talent, wealth, and innovation boom, which is now allowing for 3) an increasing innovation advantage (AI, autonomous vehicles, etc). Asia is taking the lead in innovation. Finally, 4) Asia will eventually become the global hegemon and the “default option” for business.
  • 17:12 The Asia Matters Institute was created as a forum to help foster these connection. The goal was helping experts outside Asia find their counterparts in the region, and also to help people in Asia better find and communicate. If you are a speacalist with something to offer, get in touch!
  • 19:56 Exciting news from Singapore as Asia Tech Podcast opens its own studio! Special thanks to the team at Platform E for making this possible!
  • 22:18 Platform E is a co-working space, incubator, accelerator, and community. Shout-out to Rina Neoh and Abdul Malik! They get things done!
  • 26:06 Thunder and lightening shenanigans!
  • 26:25 On networking. There are two types of people: energy-takers and net energy-givers. Find the energy-givers and work with them!
  • 31:05 Why podcasting is the future of personal branding. Conferences and traditional networking events almost never give you information beyond what’s available on someone’s website. Nothing “wow’s” us at those things. Podcasting, on the other hand, brings out the human element. That’s what people want!
  • 38:08 Revealing your vulnerability and humanizing yourself to others is one of the most effective ways to get ahead. Show that you have the confidence to take the arrows of criticism. Blaze the trail! Give people the Oprah moment! People want to know about you!
  • 43:10 The vision for Asia Tech Podcast is to create the platform for those human conversations…to give that voice to the Asian tech ecosystem. The new studio will really help to make live radio shows…to make real conversations!
  • 52:28 For all the talk about the digital world being the future, you can’t fake a real, human conversation. This is what makes podcasts. And this is what will make the Asian Century. There are countless stories waiting to be told! That’s what we’re going to do here on Asia Tech Podcast.
  • 55:15 If this sounds like your passion, apply to be our intern. Come be a part of the Asian Century!

257: Does America’s Auto Future Lie in China? (Cross Border Kyle KYL5)

Podcast highlights:

  • 09:35 How do Asian startups go on the “pitch” side of things? The Valley does very well on the story side. In Asia, there is an overemphasis on technology and not so much in the story but this has changed dramatically over the past year
  • 17:05 Coming from “Motor City” Detroit, Michigan, Kyle touches on the innovations in the automotive industry of China – Shanghai Auto City
  • 31:45 An auto industry that’s starting to grow and see the pathway for innovation and the need to work with startups and to work on a global scale like the case of Oakland County in Michigan taking 300 companies over to China

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 KYL5 – Cross Border Kyle with Kyle Ellicott
  • 00:15 Graham and Kyle last saw each other in Hong Kong where they got to go on a tour
  • 03:05 Kyle spoke at the Startup Launchpad Conference by Global Sources. What did Kyle take away from having seen those Southeast Asian and Asian startups?
  • 06:10 Was there a lot of hardware startups there? Yomee – The World’s First Automatic Yogurt Maker. Kyle says “Lessons are being learned, companies are educating themselves on what works and what doesn’t, and are starting to see what the market needs are versus just building to build”
  • 09:35 How do Asian startups go on the “pitch” side of things? The Valley does very well on the story side. In Asia, there is an overemphasis on technology and not so much in the story but this has changed dramatically over the past year
  • 14:15 Did Kyle see anything interesting on the AI and deep tech startups side of things?
  • 17:05 Coming from “Motor City” Detroit, Michigan, Kyle touches on the innovations in the automotive industry of China – Shanghai Auto City
  • 23:40 Michigan and Chinese Automotive industries working together – was there a scenario where it’s too regulated to test some kind of tech in the US that they go to China and test it right out of the factory gate?
  • 26:05 How did the guys in Michigan take it when people from China went there and talked about technology and China itself?
  • 28:45 According to John Waraniak, Detroit has been so crushed that all of the traditional infrastructure was gone – did this have an effect on the Michigan people being open in the conversation with people from China?
  • 31:45 An auto industry that’s starting to grow and see the pathway for innovation and the need to work with startups and to work on a global scale like the case of Oakland County in Michigan taking 300 companies over to China
  • 33:10 The governor of Michigan has made 8 trips to China which is the most of any previous governor – which other cities out there are doing this?
  • 35:05 “Sometimes, something gets so broken that the only option is to start again” like the Michigan auto industry but you see this in Asia as well like Hong Kong and Vietnam
  • 39:35 Be open-minded as a business owner, as an innovator, as an executive, or as a consumer today and in the future and incredible things will come in the future because of that
  • 40:40 Check out crossborderkyle.com for podcast episodes and other unique content

239: Fredrik Haren (Ashley Talks ASH9)

Podcast highlights:

  • 12:50 “Humanity to the power of ideas” – Fredrik’s inner theme which means believing in the potential of humanity and the power of ideas. If every human being reached their maximum potential and learn to share it, the world will be a better place
  • 24:45 What was the thing Fredrik learned that was really eye-opening or changed everything for him? Open up your brain to all ideas of doing something out there and select the best way instead of basing it on what you think historically, where you were born or what your passport is
  • 42:30 “A minute to learn, a lifetime to master”. How can one be good at professional speaking? The ones who make it speak from the heart and to be able to speak from your heart, you need to know your “inner theme”

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 ASH9 with Fredrik Haren – Ashley Talks with Ashley Galina Dudarenok
  • 00:10 Welcome Fredrik Haren, author and professional speaker, to Ashley Talks
  • 01:00 How did it all happen for Fredrik? Publishing his first book and starting an internet company in 1995, selling it in 1999 before the dot-com bust, deciding to write and speak about creativity since 2000, moving to Beijing in 2005, before settling in Singapore in 2008, the most global place on Earth
  • 09:40 What are the most important or in-demand topics that people want Fredrik to talk about? The aspects of creativity and learning about the differences in creativity between developed and developing countries
  • 12:50 “Humanity to the power of ideas” – Fredrik’s inner theme which means believing in the potential of humanity and the power of ideas. If every human being reached their maximum potential and learn to share it, the world will be a better place
  • 15:40 With the rise of AI, how does Fredrik see creativity as something that humanity still holds on to? Can these algorithms be more creative and do it better?
  • 19:05 The use of technology to widen our world and connect all of mankind, and its effect to come 20 years from now
  • 23:05 How can people go from a nationalistic to a global mentality and enjoy the huge advantage now of people like the digital nomads who understood the digital change 15, 20 years ago? Travel the world, connect with more people. read news from many different countries
  • 24:45 What was the thing Fredrik learned that was really eye-opening or changed everything for him? Open up your brain to all ideas of doing something out there and select the best way instead of basing it on what you think historically, where you were born or what your passport is
  • 30:45 The whole idea of growing is to widen your horizons, the human dream of wanting to have a good life for me, my family, the society and the world, and his living on an island leading to him becoming very aware that everything is connected
  • 37:45 How does one start in the professional speaking industry? Who can become a professional speaker and who needs one? The professional speaking industry in Asia is in its infancy but it will be the biggest in 20 years
  • 42:30 “A minute to learn, a lifetime to master”. How can one be good at professional speaking? The ones who make it speak from the heart and to be able to speak from your heart, you need to know your “inner theme”
  • 47:35 What would be Fredrik’s advice to startup speakers? You need to find your own speaking essence by thinking about the 3 things people say to you after they hear you speak. Also, check out Fredrik’s new book “Spread Your Message. See the world. How to Become a Global Keynote Speaker”
  • 51:30 Find out more about Fredrik Haren at interesting.org, professionalspeaking.com and innertheme.com

232: Shanghai Round Table with Kapil Kane, Jasper Gill, Vincent Djen, Carmen Wang and Nishtha Mehta (Asia Matters)

Podcast highlights:

  • 09:40 What makes Shanghai special? We listen to insights from Kapil Kane, Jasper Gill, Vincent Djen, Carmen Wang and Nishtha Mehta. We learn about the “Shanghai hump”? They say that if you live in Shanghai for four years, you’ll stay forever
  • 19:55 Shanghai is a maturing startup ecosystem so new accelerator models are emerging. We take a look into the world of XNode. XNode is a late stage accelerator, focused on scaling up startups. XNode mainly works with corporate like Intel
  • 41:05 What advice would our entrepreneurs give to people from The West who want to be part of the Shanghai scene? Empathy and tolerance go a long way. Volunteer and work for value exchange, come committed and for the long haul. Learn and localise fast, drop the ego. Stay hungry and foolish

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 ATP620 – Asia Matters with Graham Brown
  • 00:35 Introducing XNode Shanghai – a physical coworking space in the startup accelerator with Jasper Gill who moved to Shanghai from Vancouver 2 1/2 years ago
  • 02:20 Vincent Djen from Hong Kong, cofounder of FashionEx which helps fashion startups to learn to grow and scale their business in the massive fashion scene in Shanghai
  • 04:15 Carmen Wnag from Nanjing – studying in US, Spain, Italy, India. We learn it’s typical of her generation to go out to the world and absorb different cultures
  • 06:50 What is it about China that you see a lot of female entrepreneurs? 50% of coders at Le Wagon Shanghai are females – ahead of Marseille, Lisbon, Barcelona. Females now are free to do what they want to do and choose to work or start their own company
  • 09:40 What makes Shanghai special? We listen to insights from Kapil Kane, Jasper Gill, Vincent Djen, Carmen Wang and Nishtha Mehta. We learn about the “Shanghai hump”? They say that if you live in Shanghai for four years, you’ll stay forever
  • 12:30 We listen to the story of Vincent Djen and FashionEx. Does the world need a fashion tech accelerator? Vincent shares the stories of how fashion brands are using AI to help find customers. We also hear an interesting case study about 3D printing customised bras for women
  • 15:35 What brought Carmen back to Shanghai after traveling around the world? We hear Carmen’s story of working on augmented reality software for a US company
  • 17:00 Where did Jasper’s scaleup accelerator idea come from? A backstory on Jasper’s earlier work in Shanghai and a further insight into how things move at a pace here
  • 19:55 Shanghai is a maturing startup ecosystem so new accelerator models are emerging. We take a look into the world of XNode. XNode is a late stage accelerator, focused on scaling up startups. XNode mainly works with corporate like Intel
  • 23:01 Why did Vincent choose XNode as his startup’s partner and what keeps him in Shanghai after 12 years of living there? We learn about the opportunities in Shanghai and how in areas such as fashion, it’s emerging to be one of the major metropolitan cities of the world
  • 25:20 What do they wish to change in Shanghai? Jasper is bugged about people not moving to the right-hand side of the escalator while Carmen complains about the price of housing!
  • 28:25 Everything just happens fluidly in Shanghai where it’s so open and easy to talk to people – Jasper’s first week in Shanghai and Carmen’s idea with a mixed-reality dining experience
  • 33:30 Is Shanghai indicative of the rest of China? We learn about the talent and people in Shanghai and how that sets its vibe apart from the rest of China
  • 34:40 35% of its population of Vancouver is of Chinese origin. Did this make it easier for Jasper (who is from Vancouver) to integrate with Shanghai?
  • 37:45 How important is that “international element” in Shanghai?
  • 38:40 Introducing Nishtha Mehta, lean innovation coach. We also talk about making the move from India to China.
  • 41:05 What advice would our entrepreneurs give to people from The West who want to be part of the Shanghai scene? Empathy and tolerance go a long way. Volunteer and work for value exchange, come committed and for the long haul. Learn and localise fast, drop the ego. Stay hungry and foolish

225: Asia’s $36 Trillion A2A Market (Asia Matters)

Podcast highlights:

  • 07:10 The A2A Metatrend – Asia to Asia trade. Asia now does more trade with itself than the rest of the world. The Asian Middle classes will be worth $36 trillion by 2030
  • 34:52 Why Asian brands have a massive advantage over Western competition. This is bad news for Amazon, especially in high growth markets such as Southeast Asia.
  • 73:20 The rising power of the middle class in Asia and how it is going to shape the future of key sectors like automotive

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 ATP610 – Asia Matters with Graham D Brown on the biggest growth opportunity of the next 10 years
  • 01:05 The phenomenon of Bakugai or ‘explosive shopping’, a Japanese description of how Chinese tourists go shopping in Tokyo
  • 05:44 Going way back to when the Americans turned up in Europe
  • 07:10 The A2A Metatrend. Asia to Asia trade, projected to be a 36 trillion dollar market by 2030
  • 09:25 The construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and its potential implications
  • 16:36 The explosion of wealthy middle classed Asians over the next 10 years and its possible influence on world trade with Asia
  • 19:04 A comparison of Asia’s economy back in the 80s to what it is today, from Japan’s growth to China’s technological advancements
  • 27:43 An example of growth – bike-sharing startups are facing steep competition in Shanghai
  • 29:05 An overview of the A2A (Asia to Asia) market in terms of what it is today
  • 34:52 Why Asian brands have a massive advantage over Western competition
  • 44:25 Asian brands are using personal information data to optimise the retail experience as mentioned in the second AshleyTalks podcast
  • 46:42 There is access to large markets in Asia as a short flight from Singapore gives you access to half the world’s population
  • 48:25 There are smaller time zone differences within Asian countries compared to the West. Sounds trivial, but this has a big difference in ongoing communication
  • 49:24 Physical connectivity within the Greater Bay and Asia, from the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge to China’s One Belt One Road project
  • 53:30 The power of the Bamboo Network in Asia – interconnected Chinese families across Asia
  • 55:40 Western companies are going to find it a lot harder in Asia as their honeymoon period wears off
  • 58:58 Graham forecasts that in the next 5 to 10 years, Asian brands are going to take on Western competition on their home turf. We’re already seeing this with Alibaba.
  • 60:35 Rapid advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in China and Asia
  • 63:55 Lessons from the automotive industry. If you look at automotive you see a recurring pattern in history – success isn’t based on disruptive innovation but from one country borrowing (or stealing) the ideas of another. Today in China it’s no different.
  • 67:05 The Lean Startup methodology in entrepreneurship and its history. Lean Startup owes a lot to a fusion of ideas from East and West
  • 73:20 The rising power of the middle class in Asia and how it is going to shape the future of key sectors like automotive

214: Bhoopathi Rapolu – The Future of Work in Asia

Podcast highlights:

  • 16:43 Are there parallels between AI, the second machine age, and the Industrial Revolution in how the nature or work was fundamentally changed?
  • 21:35 Singularity and the concept of work. How do we make ourselves irreplaceable? What kind of work would humans be doing if the machine can click the mouse?
  • 32:50 Can a machine or algorithm write The Race for Work and do it better than Bhoopathi did? Can machines be creative in the same way as humans? What’s left for humans if machines can do everything we do only better?

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome Bhoopathi Rapolu, the author of The Race for Work, to Asia Tech Podcast Stories
  • 01:12 Why did Bhoopathi write The Race for Work?
  • 04:06 Did the hundreds of people who lost their jobs when innovations were successful see it coming? Using the project Bhoopati worked on in the aviation industry as an example
  • 07:20 What percentage of the outsourced workforce in India is replaceable by algorithms in the next 20 years?
  • 09:28 Are graduates coming out of IIT prepared for this trend (algorithms replacing the workforce)?
  • 12:30 What should the young generation coming through focus more on to make themselves irreplacable?
  • 14:39 The more complex it looks for humans, the easier it becomes for AI
  • 16:43 Parallels between AI, also known as the second machine age, with the Industrial Revolution (the first machine age)
  • 18:44 Can AI algorithms that write code replace software engineers in India?
  • 21:35 Singularity and the concept of work. What kind of work would humans be doing if the machine can click the mouse?
  • 24:02 Human experiences that can’t be replaced by machines (McDonalds versus Starbucks) and entrepreneurs building businesses to be AI proof
  • 26:36 The story of Benjamin and the extent to which technology has matured
  • 28:40 Can the AI algorithm completely replace a doctor’s job? Can core domains of knowledge, instinct and experience be quantified by machines in the future?
  • 32:50 Can a machine or algorithm write The Race for Work and do it better than Bhoopathi?
  • 36:00 The two areas that will be left for humans: creativity and decision making
  • 39:07 Bhoopathi’s views on AI in Asia especially in China and India
  • 42:18 Technology is unstoppable. Personal information and facial recognition is being used by governments not only in China, but in other places as well, for example London
  • 45:40 Media reactions to the subject of Bhoopathi’s book
  • 46:10 To find out more about about escaping automation, career transformation and thriving in the second machine age, get a copy of The Race for Work by Bhoopathi Rapolu