Today's NYT has a story about the Beijing Silk Market and the struggles between big names brands and the pirates that knock-em off and slang em to tourists.
I was at the silk market every day last summer during the Olympics. The big brand names do have a point: China does need to "graduate from manufacturing to designing" and stop biting other people's ideas. At the same time, the Silk Market is not a place where Chinese shop, unless they want to be foreign or have a foreign partner. Foreigners from all over the world hang out there all day and eat Subway or drink Lavazza. Tourists make it their first stop, women dragging men down into the depths of the market to shop for excellent quality knock offs.
All the dork gear I got in this post was from the silk market. Passed the cubicle test and cost me about $35. A while back I wrote this column, also called In Defense of Piracy, and I pretty much said all I have to say on the subject in the column.
But for those of you who only have 1 minute and want the gist of it right now, here's the deal:
Francis Drake was a fkn pirate. The Spanish tried unsuccessfully to have the Queen control him. Finally, she knighted him. He led her navy to a victory over Spain that ushered in a Golden Age. The big brands should grab these people before the CCP does.
They got skillz: making great stuff, good distribution network and AWESOME sales skillz. These peasants from Henan beat the pants offa any Shanghai MBA grad in terms of gettin that sale.
Hire them. Or get out of the way.