Right now throughout the world governments are pressing their citizens to be more entrepreneurial. Small World Group is smack dab in the middle of this and it is fascinating to see.
There are no doubt many reasons for this but I think the most fundamental reasons are 2 fold –
- Governments know that while they cannot fix their bureaucratic messes quickly they also realize that their most creative people will just end run the systems that are killing their countries. They also realize that with the Internet, their most creative and clever people can be unleashed to compete on a global stage. If they can create a Facebook or Google, they it will change their countries. And even if all they do is copy some USA success and bring that to another part of the world it will still be transformative.
- Countries that previously bootstrapped their entry into the ranks of the first world through being manufacturing partners for developed countries are now finding that labor related jobs are fleeing to even lower cost places. As this happens they find they have large populations of engineers who are capable but who are now underemployed and how they keep these folks energizing the economy is critical. The only path open is to move them from supporting others cleverness and pressing them to be creative.
One of the amazing search engines to arise in the last couple of years is Wolfram Alpha. It allows you to make queries that are highly contextual and mathematical in nature. It is VERY different from Google.
Let’s suppose you want to compare the Gross Domestic Products of the USA and Japan over time. Here is a screen shot about how to do that!
Now this is very interesting. What you see is that the USA has experienced rather steady growth from 1961 until now but that Japan had faster growth until around 1990 and since then has experienced virtually no growth at all! This has made life in Japan pretty dismal. Using the engine again we can compare USA to Singapore, here is that one.
Clear Singapore and the USA are similar but Singapore grew faster in the early years, it is easier to grow when you are using the coattails and engines of another.
Here is an even more clear way to see this transformation.
By forming a ratio of USA vrs Singapore GDP per capita and graphing it over time, you see that in 1961 the USA had about 7x the GDP per capita of Singapore but this began dropping pretty steadily over time. In the last 10 years the ratio has approached 1 and as this happens, USA based companies will not transfer manufacturing jobs to Singapore because those jobs can be done in the USA for the same costs or less since there will be less travel. The USA will still transfer jobs to Thailand, Vietnam or China because for these countries the ratio remains high.
Now Singapore created world class universities that pour out a disproportionate number of engineers compared to similar universities in the USA and Europe. The engineers were there to help facilitate the transfer of product manufacturing from the country of origin to Singapore and then to support increases in yield and lowering of costs.
But what to do now that the manufacturing jobs are leaving Singapore? Turn the engineers into entrepreneurs!
Small World Group Incubator is engaged as a bit player in this global game of GDP growth and country transformation.
The last year has been interesting as we have learned our way around the Singapore Eco-System. 2011 should be a real test of how effective we can be.