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Qurious China Podcast Episode 1: #Innovation, Creativity

Updated: Jun 28, 2018

as well as tips and advice starting a business in China with Brian Tam, Founder of Let's Make Great!

What's #QuriousChina?


I recently travelled back to Shanghai and met up with my long-term friend Brian Tam. We were sitting at a cafe and again I was telling him about all the "ideas" I had. I said that I was sick of hearing some people calling themselves "China Experts" when some of them don't even speak fluent Chinese and have never lived and worked in China for an extended period of time. As a result, I also feel sad about those businesses that are trying to enter the China market and wanting to learn the Know-Hows from these self-proclaimed experts.


I'm a native Chinese speaker and I read and write Chinese. I follow news and updates about what's happening in China in Chinese pretty intently and yet, every time I go back, there's lightyears between how much I've learnt (perception) and what's really happening (reality)! I tried to go back once or twice a year but hell how ignorant I appear each time. The fact that I am Chinese makes it even worse as I am "supposed to" know all these stuff. I realised that unless you live and work there, it's merely impossible that one can claim that they know China, not to mention being an expert about it, however many trips you make in a year.


And then I said to Brian, I wanted to interview people who work and live in China and pick their brains and learn from them about what's going on as I myself have the quest to know. He asks, "who would be the easiest person to go to for your first episode". At that time I only had the "idea", like many other times we chatted but the ideas never saw its day. Brian probed even further with these questions. I said, "probably you?" "Great, let's do it. When are you available?" He asks.


That's how #QuriousChina came about, where I interview professionals and entrepreneurs currently working and living in China, trying to pick their brains to decipher what's actually happening in China and deliver you the bitesized insight into China.


I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Brian is the founder and CEO of Let's Make Great!, a creativity consultancy based in Shanghai. He's also a 3x TEDx Speaker and kickstarted the game PROTO dedicated to entrepreneurship. Previously, Brian had been working and living in China as a marketing consultant and an English teacher since 2007. In his spare time, Brian drinks heaps of coffee and blogs on WeChat and Instagram on pretty much anything that inspires with his own tweaks.


In this episode, Brian and I covered an array of topics on innovation in China, what industries he noticed that need a bit of kick and the difference between innovation and customisation of something original. Brian also has some great tips for those who want to venture into China.


Show notes:


2:08 Why being a creative consultant in China?

3:07 How to be more creative as an individual or an organisation?

5:10' What's PROTO? And how to play it?

9:50' What are some of the challenges companies face the most in China when it comes to creativity?

12:35 Which Chinese industry sectors need creativity the most?

13:54 Why, what are the causes and what could the solutions be?

16:33 Whether the Chinese tech giants are leading the way in innovation for the world?

17:30 Innovation vs. customisation for the Chinese market

20:09 Whether originality matters for success in the Chinese market and why?

23:06 How can a foreign company succeed in China?

24:03 Brian talks about this one tip for foreigners who'd want to start a business or work in China.

26:11 Which city/ies does Brian recommend for those who'd want to come to China to start with? (Surprise!)

28:58 What's upcoming for Brian? (You can reach out to Brian by clicking his name and check out his TEDx videos here and here )


What's mentioned


JD.com

WeChat Pay

WeChat Red Packets

Tik Tok (aka "Douyin")

Shanghai

Beijing

Wuhan

Hangzhou

Fujian

Wenzhou

Ningbo

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