Recently I applied for a position as project and operations manger for an electric car startup company manufacturing in S.E. Asia. Since a friend knew of my interest he forwarded an article about industrial espionage, indicating that top management of Renault were selling the program details for their electric car to the Chinese
One futurist I read a while back indicated that people would stop identifying themselves with a country and change to identification with corporation or a brand… And in that perspective It has been interesting to watch the growth and demise of some brands. I will take Sony as an example; once it could stand “toe to toe” with apple and for anybody techie would say Sony is a better engineered product… with the advent of “China” it is hard to see that there is really a technological advantage to the brand any longer. Betting on Blueray when streaming and cloud computing has already proven an advantage toward storage needs of the future. Maybe the cloud will not win due to security and ownership issues but the advantage of Blueray over traditional DVD’s is a bit analogous to Beta over VHS… both dead tech. This is opposed to Apple; who has soared- not due to its tech but from styling and human interface… they have really let the suppliers own the tech, because it was an area they frankly never dominated (we can talk about channel management and if going mainstream will destroy their niche another time),.
Putting this in the perspective of the “cult of personality”, there are those that still hang by the idea that they are “Mac People” and proud of it, (more than they are American, German, etc…) proving the futurist right by a certain perspective. However, the deterioration of employee and customer loyalty in recent years (in part due, to a basic insecurity that certain companies may even continue to exist… thanks Lehman) leaves, China!
Is it a country?
Is it a brand?
Is it an ideal??
Where the USA was “The Land of Opportunity” lead by the belief that the next generation would be better off than the last… we are feeling a tarnish to our optimism (perhaps the source of such internal bitterness). This optimism has moved to the developing world- India, Vietnam, you name it, but non greater than China!
Driven by determination to not be second to any one– this is different than Nixon or Bill Belichick (Coach of the New England Patriots authorized videotaping his opponents play strategy) who cheated even when they held a winning positions. This is an entire nation that believes they are the underdogs who are destined for the top once again, that they deserve any advantage they can get and do not value any individual or company above the system… From this, they backup their belief and take a “What are you going to do about it” stance.
SO.. Shame on Matthieu Tenenbaum and on the other top mangers involved in this Renault scandal… you have proven once again that corporate heads cannot be trusted to watch out for any one but themselves; not their brand, not their country, not the “ever vaulted” shareholder, not even their fellow employees who count on these managers commitment for survival…
But, how about China? Yet another example of duplicitous teamwork to enhance capability of a nation? Sure some individuals will profit from the advancements but there is an ethos at work- “What is good for China is good for Chinese”. It seems to be the most clear allegiance’s left in the world.