‘In the Eye of a Tornado’: Views on Innovation from China

No matter how one views Xiaomi — and there are many ways to view it, for better or worse — one thing is clear: It, and other such companies (like WeChat and Alibaba), indicate a broader trend around innovation coming from China.

Companies and countries that were once positioned as copycats or followers are becoming leaders, and in unexpected, non-obvious ways. For example, through scale, distribution, logistics, infrastructure, O2O, a different kind of ecommerce, mobile marketing, even design… But of a very different kind than iconic examples like, say, SpaceX. Or Apple, which arguably could damage the U.S. if single-mindedly¬†regarded as “our official most innovative company”.

Or so argue the guests on this podcast, which include a16z partner Connie Chan and author/long-time observer of internet and social media culture Clay Shirky, who is currently based at NYU Shanghai, wrote the popular book Here Comes Everybody, and most recently authored Little Rice¬†on “smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream”.