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

230: Jon Tanner – Talent Trends and the Future of Work in Asia

Podcast highlights:

  • 06:45 The Asian talent Market is “equalising” says Jon Tanner. What does this mean?
  • 29:20 Are coworking spaces the future model of work? We look at the latest trends. Still an ongoing social experiment but it certainly benefits the movement of talent in Asia
  • 40:50 Talented employees want to build something, solve a problem, make a mark in some way – we refer to the case study of Chirayu Wadke from SeedPlus ex Google Silicon Valley talking about working on 10x projects

Podcast notes:

  • 00:05 Welcome Jon Tanner to Asia Tech Podcast Stories
  • 00:45 What are the big changes in the Asian talent market?
  • 03:10 What are the reasons why people are coming to Asia now? San Francisco, New York and London are potentially both pricing themselves out of the market and offering less opportunity for the most talented of employees.
  • 05:25 Bali Green School in Bali and Bali House in Canggu – mix, co-working, incubator, hospitality space. People are making some serious choices about their lives and careers today beyond their benefits package
  • 06:45 The Asian talent Market is “equalising” says Jon Tanner. What does this mean?
  • 10:25 Talented employees aren’t focused on taking the highest-paying job in San Francisco anymore. A new generation of talent is seeking out something riskier, that makes Asia an interesting option
  • 12:20 Silicon Valley leads with regard to stories about role models which inevitably attracts people to the West Coast but the gap with Asia is closing fast. Asia is slowly discovering its own role models
  • 16:05 Could Jon see the situation where he could run Mitchell Lake from Bali and send his kids to Green School? We talk about the backstory of Steve Monroe coming into Ubud to found co-working space Hubud. Career paths are changing
  • 19:30 Do large IT companies need to rethink how they work with talent? Are they sending departments out into coworking spaces such as Hubud for the right reasons?
  • 24:00 Would this kind of remote work for a bank? What would the benefits of HSBC setting up in a coworking space be?
  • 27:20 Why did Jon suggest to his clients the idea of coming across and working in the same coworking space? What’s it actually like sharing a coworking space with clients?
  • 29:20 Are coworking spaces the future model of work? Still an ongoing social experiment but it certainly benefits the movement of talent in Asia
  • 33:30 Which IT companies does Jon admire with regards to digital transformation? We look at who is leading the way in decentralizing the workspace
  • 36:25 The success or failure of digital transformation comes down to its mechanics: The backstory of Innovation Director of Intel China – Kapil Kane – and his battle in getting Intel to agree to build the accelerator outside their office. We also look at the Virgin group example
  • 40:50 Talented employees want to build something, solve a problem, make a mark in some way – we refer to the case study of Chirayu Wadke from SeedPlus ex Google Silicon Valley talking about working on 10x projects
  • 42:30 The sharing economy combined with changing attitudes towards the “stuff” of life means talented people who have choices aren’t necessarily motivated by the things which our parents sought out like cars, job titles etc.
  • 44:55 Jon’s thoughts on frontier markets such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand
  • 47:05 Does Jon see a lot of interest in recruitment coming from that Asia-to-Asia market?
  • 49:40 Thoughts on Asia as frontrunning global trends in the curation of workplace culture and talent
  • 54:00 Check out Jon Tanner at www.mitchellake.com
  • 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

    209: Are You Ready for the Asian Century? (Asia Matters)

    Podcast highlights:

    • 06:20 The year 1915 in context – End of British century, start of the American century when the Old Powers financed The Great War, building “walls”, while America financed connectivity that made them the world leader
    • 34:00 The Asian century is about East AND West – the case of Santa Clara-based company Intel having their innovation accelerator in Shanghai China
    • 48:25 The best ways for Silicon-Valley people to prepare for the Asian century – surround yourself with people who get it, stop talking, start showing up in Asia

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 ATP590 – Asia Matters with Graham Brown
    • 00:15 The Asian Century – What’s coming next? The important trends to look for in Asia and does Asia’s rise mean the fall of the West?
    • 00:50 Going back in time to recognise patterns that help predict and understand the future better – The case of San Francisco in 1915 when the World Fair opened and the technology early in the information age
    • 06:20 The year 1915 in context – End of British century, start of the American century when the Old Powers financed The Great War, building “walls”, while America financed connectivity that made them the world leader
    • 12:10 A look at Donald Trump building walls physically and figuratively through protectionist policies especially against Chinese immigration and their limited access to areas of strategic importance like science and technology
    • 19:30 What the Asian Century looks like – A look at the parallels and the pattern of the old world building figurative walls while the new world building figurative bridges
    • 24:20 Going back to the World Fair – A look at Thomas Edison and the beginning of San Francisco as the hub of innovation and the parallels with Asia creating the foundations for innovation from grassroots to top-level now – inviting talent in and not building walls
    • 28:25 China the biggest investor in renewable energies while Donald Trump wants to make coal great again – A look back at the Suez Canal crisis and America’s control over Great Britain
    • 34:00 The Asian century is about East AND West – the case of Santa Clara-based company Intel having their innovation accelerator in Shanghai
    • 38:30 From national identities into cross-boundaries – the benefits of not only learning the Chinese language but also experiencing the culture and the comparison between Amazon which is doing everything right yet still trailing Alibaba which starts in a position of strength in Asia
    • 42:50 The Asian mindset is the right mindset to survive and thrive in the Asian century and the change from Asia needing the West to Asia needing Asia
    • 45:40 A look at the Asian middle class driving the Asia to Asia growth story – Silicon Valley will need Asia more than Asia will need Silicon Valley
    • 48:25 The best ways for Silicon-Valley people to prepare for the Asian century – surround yourself with people who get it and stop talking, start showing up in Asia

    205: From San Francisco to Shenzhen (Cross Border Kyle KYL3)

    Podcast highlights:

    • 06:05 Soaring rental costs of San Francisco – How does this accelerate movement of venture capital out of the valley and into other hubs, including Asia?
    • 14:10 If your startup is seeking more breathing space, more ability to experiment, and more capacity for risk, maybe you should think about relocating out of an expensive ecosystem (like San Francisco) and into a more cost-effective one.
    • 33:30 Beware the temptation to be sucked into Silicon Valley’s black hole – Kyle Ellicott’s advice for startups on looking at options in the US and Asia

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 KYL3 – Cross Border Kyle with Kyle Ellicott
    • 01:00 San Francisco is so expensive that people are commuting from Oregon: How far is it and how much time does it take to make the round trip?
    • 02:40 Which people do this and where is this “top to bottom commuting” going on? Cases between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Dallas and Las Vegas
    • 06:05 The soaring rental costs of San Francisco: How this accelerates movement of venture capital out of the valley and into other hubs, including Asia
    • 09:30 Where else could people live and what decision process would a start-up founder go through to decide where to be: the significant cost advantage in Shenzhen
    • 14:10 What an American company’s move to other hubs means for innovation and its corresponding changes in dynamics: more breathing space, experiments, risks
    • 18:10 The choice to build a lifestyle business in these types of locations: its pros and cons
    • 24:05 A backstory to the digital nomads showing one can go and live anywhere in the world: the case of 64things.com’s Cedric
    • 29:55 Do you think of growing business differently now? The myth of the number of people in the office as a gauge of success
    • 33:30 The temptation to be sucked into the Valley black hole: Kyle’s advice for startups and resources being only an arm’s length away wherever you are
    • 38:15 The shift from businesses being geographically confined to resources: where capital, talent, markets exist
    • 41:30 Where to find details: ATP.show/Kyle
    • 42:05 Kyle’s plans for the show

    204: Ramesh V.Raghavan – Startup Investor and Advisor

    Podcast highlights:

    • 18:45 Cultural differences between South East Asian and Israeli startups; being outcome versus process driven, barriers in communication and having different approaches to problem solving
    • 27:25 The inherent challenge of the South East Asian corporate innovation space compared to more developed countries; South East Asian corporates want to protect their margins by ‘milking the cash cow’
    • 33:34 Does the top down approach to start-ups and wealth creation in South East Asia build sustainable ecosystems, compared to SF or Israel?

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 Welcome Ramesh Raghavan to ATP Stories with Graham Brown
    • 00:50 A little bit of background about Ramesh starting out as an agricultural commodity trader
    • 05:17 How did Ramesh’s engineering training fit in with his work in the commodity business
    • 08:40 The move from commodity trading to the financial service industry
    • 11:30 Going to Hong Kong in December 1997 and his career in Morgan Stanley
    • 14:23 Getting involved in the venture capital start up stage in Asia in 2012
    • 14:48 Ramesh’s trip to Israel to understand the success of Israel and bring back lessons from Israel to Asia
    • 16:20 Hosting the first Israeli conference in Singapore with 15 AI, big data technology, analytics, e-commerce space companies from Israel
    • 18:45 Cultural differences between Asian and Israeli startups; being outcome versus process driven, barriers in communication and different approaches to problem solving
    • 23:10 South East Asia as an agglomoration of different Chinas, a ‘Greater Bay’ of different countries instead of different regions. A wide variety in demographic profiles is the biggest advantage of South East Asia with big opportunities for frugal innovations.
    • 27:25 The inherent challenge of the South East Asian corporate innovation space compared to more developed countries; South East Asian corporates want to protect their margins by ‘milking the cash cow’
    • 31:07 Wealth creation in South East Asia is changing from real estate to new technologies brought in by the younger generation, the real estate kids
    • 33:34 Does the top down approach to start-ups and wealth creation in South East Asia build sustainable ecosystems, compared to SF or Israel?
    • 37:10 Talented Singaporean graduates should leave to other more risk friendly South East Asian countries where there are bigger problems to be solved
    • 40:26 Can entrepreneurship in Singapore be taught, when there isn’t a ‘hunger’ to fix things?
    • 43:45 Parallels between long term travel and entrepreneurship, from being an outsider in an unfamiliar environment to having faith that things will work out in the end
    • 45:00 Three things in common between successful start up founders: an interest in reading fiction, an interest in multi player gaming and being an immigrant
    • 47:45 The mindset shift when becoming an entrepreneur and having to do it all yourself
    • 50:00 Find out more about Ramesh on LinkedIn

    202: Kapil Kane – Director Innovation Intel China

    Podcast highlights:

    • 00:55 What is intrapreneurship and what role do internal business accelerators like Intel’s Ideas2Reality play in helping these companies stay competitive?
    • 07:15 Intel, like most IT companies, organizes business units around KPI (Key Performance Indicators). How can this be a challenge when encouraging long term innovation?
    • 30:55 Can you take the internal corporate accelerator model with all its lean thinking and apply it radically different sectors like government, health care and education? Would it work anywhere?

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 Welcome Kapil Kane to Asia Tech Podcast
      Stories. Kapil Kane is Director of Innovation at Intel China and founder or Intel’s internal “Ideas2Reality” innovation accelerator.
    • 00:55 What is intrapreneurship and what role do internal business accelerators like Intel’s Ideas2Reality play in helping these companies stay competitive?
    • 07:15 Intel, like most IT companies, organizes business units around KPI (Key Performance Indicators). How can this be a challenge when encouraging long term innovation?
    • 09:20 How did the innovation start? And how did it get support within Intel?
    • 13:35 Is there ever a risk putting lots of entrepreneurs into the structured organization?
    • 20:25 What are the early signs, which identifies that, that person is going to be successful in this program?
    • 23:10 Do you think that some people just can’t make it as an entrepreneur?
    • 25:35 What other kind of applications, within Intel or outside of Intel, have impressed you?
    • 30:55 Can you take the internal corporate accelerator model with all its lean thinking and apply it radically different sectors like government, health care and education? Would it work anywhere?
    • 36:10 You need to create one big story before you go big…
    • 38:30 We can’t talk about innovation without talking about China… What’s happening at the grass roots level of innovation in the Chinese tech ecosystem?
    • 39:10 What’s hot in innovation, right now, in China?
    • 44:05 People can connect with Kapil on WeChat, ID is “master_k.”

    199: Alan Gregerman – how to make yourself more open to innovation

    Podcast highlights:

    • 08:20 Do you need an original idea to be innovative? Maybe not… take a look at this LL Bean case study on innovation
    • 15:30 You’re only as awesome as your weirdest friends – why you should make an effort to keep the company of the outliers in your social group
    • 46:30 How is the cycle of innovation changing? How does innovation happen outside of the mainstream and especially across Asia?

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 Introduction to Alan Gregerman Chief Innovation Officer, Venture Works, author “The Necessity of Strangers” – ATP Stories
    • 01:05 How did Alan get involved in innovation consulting?
    • 03:55 What are the challenges in selling innovation consultancy services to entrepreneurs?
    • 08:20 Do you need an original idea to be innovative? Maybe not… take a look at this LL Bean case study on innovation
    • 10:10 Why is innovation more about being open to a world of ideas than being a genius?
    • 12:20 Why should you take the aisle seat on a plane?
    • 15:30 You’re only as awesome as your weirdest friends – why you should make an effort to keep the company of the outliers in your social group
    • 22:10 Alan’s case study of innovation in one of the US’s largest vending machine companies
    • 27:10 You need to get out and drop in to the world of your customer
    • 29:35 Are there cultural differences in openness to innovation?
    • 32:00 What are the 4 fundamental principles of connecting with people in other cultures?
    • 38:40 How does cultural attitudes to risk and entrepreneurialism impact innovation, particularly in the context of Asia?
    • 42:20 If you want to make yourself open to new ideas and innovation, figure out a reason to engage people
    • 46:30 How is the cycle of innovation changing? How does innovation happen outside of the mainstream and especially across Asia?
    • 54:00 A drone with a built-in defibrillator – how students can innovate some pretty funky stuff when given the chance

    197: Innovation Tours in Asia (Cross Border Kyle KYL2)

    Podcast highlights:

    • 03:00 What are innovation road trips? Why are these great ways to discover what’s really going on at the grass roots of individual Asian tech ecosystems?
    • 15:05 If you were going to give a piece of tour advice to a company who’s going to go and see Asian innovation for the first time, where would you go and how would you do it?
    • 32:10 We may not see in our lifetime another growth story like the “Greater Bay Area.”

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 KYL2 – Cross Border Kyle with Kyle Ellicott
    • 00:55 Tell us about something about your road trips.
    • 03:00 What are innovation road trips? Why are these great ways to discover what’s really going on at the grass roots of individual Asian tech ecosystems?
    • 04:30 The important part of road trips is discovery, and you can’t have discovery when everything is scheduled.
      To discover a little about the ecosystem and the culture, leave some space for the magic to happen in the gaps.
    • 08:26 A break down of who’s going on Kyle’s innovation road trips to Asia
    • 15:05 If you were going to give a piece of tour advice to a company who’s going to go and see Asian innovation for the first time, where would you go and how would you do it?
    • 23:12 In China, never forget that your word can go very far…
    • 24:06 You only really get to appreciate these places when you’re making mistakes. Don’t be afraid to get out there and make mistakes. It’s the only way to learn.
    • 24:17 If you were to take an endless innovation road trip to Asia, where would you go?
    • 32:10 We may not see, in our lifetime, another growth story like the “Greater Bay Area.”
    • 32:23 The next comparable growth region will probably be India.
    • 34:35 Some people have sort of interpreted that the rise of Asia is a threat to US. Is it really?

    194: PK Rasam – Decentralized Innovation and Intelligence

    Podcast highlights:

    • 11:00 The pharmaceutical companies are unavoidably wasteful in their R&D because there are countless variables and you’re also dealing with human beings. How can AI be used to help reduce that waste in the drug discovery process?
    • 49:30 Can centralized governments have an active role in innovating technologies and ideas in the future? Can innovation ever benefit from that top-down approach?
    • 56:02 How does attitude towards blockchain and cryptocurrency vary by country in Asia?

    Podcast notes:

    • 00:05 Welcome Pk Rasam to Asia Tech Podcast Stories
    • 00:57 In the world of blockchain, PK Rasam likes collecting and breeding digital cats.
    • 03:00 What is a digital kitten anyway?
    • 11:00 The pharmaceutical companies are unavoidably wasteful in their R&D because there are countless variables and you’re also dealing with human beings. How can AI be used to help reduce that waste in the drug discovery process?
    • 15:00 Where else could you take that idea of decentralizing information and apply it to different verticals?
    • 15:12 Where are people receptive to that?
    • 18:35 What is the benefit of putting information onto the blockchain? What is the problem it’s solving?
    • 24:47 People don’t realize how the bacteria in your body are connected to your whole body. That’s the beauty of the human “biome”…
    • 28:42 PK climbed 5 mountains, encircled 858 km, in 5 days. What’s the story? Does he see himself as somebody who likes to go out on these crazy adventures?
    • 32:20 How does PK go back to the analogue stage, where we are not connected to the digital world. How do you do that?
    • 37:35 Do we have to first start asking ourselves, why are we intelligent in the first place, to really get to the issue of artificial intelligence?
    • 49:30 Can centralized governments have an active role in innovating technologies and ideas in the future? Can innovation ever benefit from that top-down approach?
    • 56:02 How does attitude towards blockchain and cryptocurrency vary by country in Asia?
    • 58:28 What gets PK excited at the moment?
    • 60:15 Where can people find out more about PK?