Be Good and Be Known

In order to be known, we have to be good at something first. But to be known is not for the sake of fame, it is a way to get better. The danger is that we get trapped by known without further to be better.

As human being, we learn and master new skills seldom as individual. Other than bury our heads in front of computer screen and dirt our hands with sketches and prototypes, we need also mentor, teammate, and most importantly, feedback.

As we improved our skills, we ultimately need to abstract our concrete letters, pixels, or physical materials to something that carries a message or understanding of the world we observe. (My definition of creation does not include things that of value to the creator himself only, as he may as well didn’t create anything if that is of no value to others.)  Whether that carriage of abstraction is indeed meaningful or simply random noise is what we need to validate from others. To be known is how we can make the validation and improve upon.

——- below feels like another topic, but I combine it here anyway. ————-

Disclaimer: this is my own reflection, no intention to offend anyone, profession or business.

With the community I get in touched and people I have talked to in Shanghai over the past few month, I realised that smart people here are often the ones learning Silicon Valley methodology and adopting them to local context sooner than the public. Most of them have spent years overseas or worked into mid-to-high level management in Fortune 500 China. They are comfortable in reading English news and literatures but at the same time manage to setup their network of connections locally.

Many of them choose to setup their own design studio or consulting service that translate effective design or management method to the slowing down but well-established traditional business and managerial team in China. Traditional small to medium sized, to certain extend even some well-known entrepreneurs who leveraged the fastest growing economics in the past 30 years, faces tremendous pressure to preserve their wealth and growth in the next decades where expected economic transform will happen.

How to stay productive, to release their organization creativity, to stay “lean and flat”, to build MVP and iterate faster, to focus on user experience and fostering brand loyalty via social media and community building, has imposed new challenges and demand for mindset shift for these traditional business owner. They are fully aware of their current model while still well-lived but will soon become less favourable not only from their own decrease of margin, but also from fact that young and ambitious entrepreneurs born in the 80s and 90s landed lucrative stock funding with the booming terms of “社会营销”, “粉丝经济”, “O2O”, “Always-on”, “风口的猪”, while their bank loan often get scrutinised, if not worse rejected, because of government policy or “guanxi”.

While they are skeptical, the smarters manage to grab their attention and lure their interest with their well-polished pitch and MVP (minimum viable project).  The smarters leverage their trendy thinking and practical tactic create value for traditional businesses and contribute to the more general transformation of Chinese economics. There will sure be spoilers who are mainly self-beneficial type. But I believe many of them are decent people who really believe in their effort to “make a better world” (I hate to use this kind of general terms).

Going back to the title of this post. I don’t want to be a consultant yet as I am still more passionate on creating stuff rather than simply teaching stuff. I want to build something from scratch and polish it into precious stuff I am really product of. (Part of this is to meet my unfilling desire to prove myself.) But I am glad to found a group of smart people here to share thoughts and attitude on something I valued and appreciated.

Hope someday I can work on projects with these similar mined person together.