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WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe

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Mark Raudonis
WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 1, 2010 at 6:35:16 pm

Buried in the excellent thread about Mission Statements was the comment that NEW YORK is the "center of the universe". I didn't want to tarnish that thread with this comment, so I've started a new one.

I just returned from a trip through China, and I can tell you that New York is NO LONGER THE CENTER of the universe. Pick a criteria: Architecture. Nope. Public Transportation. Nope. Public Cleanliness. Definitely Not. Industrial output? Not by a factor of ten. Financial power? Debatable. While all you New Yorkers were chanting "USA, USA, USA" or "We're Number one" the center of the universe was shifting. Westward. All the way to China.

Pick a city. Shanghai? More incredible world class architecture than NY. Hong Kong? Financial services that rival wall street and public transportation that makes the NYC subway system look like a third world country. History and Culture? Bejing goes back THOUSANDS of years.

I'm not overlooking many of the issues currently plaguing China, like environmental disasters, or a massive population of underemployed. But seeing this massive country awakening and moving into the "developed world" was amazing. My son summed up the trip this way. "I feel like I've had a trip to the future". I agree. For China, the future is now, and if we Americans keep thinking that we're still the center of the universe, then we do so at our own peril. Wake up! New York hasn't been center of the universe for some time now.

While this rant may seem OT, I guarantee you that the repercussions of a rising China will impact all of us regardless of what kind of business we're in. You want to hear a mission statement? China's mission statement is to become a "developed nation". That simple statement is driving unimaginable construction efforts, industrial output, and environmental impact. A mission statement is a wonderful thing. Perhaps New York's should be, "To become the greatest city in the world... again".



Mark



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Gary Hazen
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 1, 2010 at 7:43:35 pm

China's mission statement is to become a "developed nation" - Mark

Minor revision:
"A developed nation with limited internet access"

Are the Chinese even permitted to log on to the Creative Cow?


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Ryan Mast
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 1, 2010 at 9:21:31 pm

I'm learning Mandarin.

--
Meteor Tower Films
We make music videos, design video for live theater, and build interesting contraptions.


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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 2, 2010 at 10:03:14 pm

I'm learning Mandarin

不太正常的 or 真的是天才

Time will tell.

Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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Mark Raudonis
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 1, 2010 at 10:26:50 pm

Very often you can find FREE WIFI provided by the government. Connection speeds were significantly faster than your average US city. Yes you can see the COW. I logged on regularly from many different cities. No, you can't access Facebook. Frankly, they may be onto something there!
mark



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Tim Wilson
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 2, 2010 at 12:00:27 am

My tongue-in-cheekness notwithstanding, yes, we have BUNCHES of folks from China logging in. Not shockingly, one of our fastest growing territories here at the COW.

One way we're growing so fast is that Bessie speaks Chinese - one of 12 languages, in fact. Check those flags in the lower right of the "meadow" banner at the top of the page. Allll over it.


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Rich Rubasch
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 2, 2010 at 3:18:47 am

I'm dealing with banks right now to buy a building. I have a nearly 800 credit score and nearly 28% net profit on gross sales. They are still waffling even though this move could mean 3 more full time hires and one of the largest production companies in our fair city.

And I'm one of the little guys...what do the real movers and shakers feel like in this economy?

I'm fairly conservative fiscally, but I have to say that the banks probably caused most of this lack of growth right now. Don't blame Obama that he can't get the economy going because the CEO's and top managers at our banks took all the money.

I believe there is money at the top and they are hoarding it so when the Chinese come to clean up in the USA, they will at least have something to bargain with. The rest can fend for ourselves.

This post got me riled up. Absolutely no excuse for this situation. We need to fix it. Put the power back into the hands of the innovators and the thinkers, the visionaries...then you'll have your hope and change.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production and Post
Owner/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Alan Lloyd
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 2, 2010 at 3:34:55 am

Something that needs mentioning here as well is that the infrastructure China is investing in is a tremendous wealth multiplier. The real desire here is, as you mention, hoarding cash at the top. If anything, shoving paper around to generate illusory wealth, not based on anything genuinely value-additive has become the order of the day, week, moth, year, decade, and era.

It's as though the banker-crats have decided amongst themselves that this is our "end time" and that they're going to go out holding piles of cash while the rest of the world redevelops around us.

I am fortunate to have some (well-connected) friends from China and know some of this a bit more closely than do many Midwestern Americans.


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walter biscardi
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 2, 2010 at 11:42:00 am

All the progress in China has come with a heavy environmental toll however. The government is pretty much unchecked and can do whatever it pleases in the name of progress. As part of the Assignment Earth series we did a few years back we did an episode on Chinese industry stripping the worlds forests for lumber.

Another episode showed the impact in Thailand as China prepares to dramatically alter the Mekong River. Not much Thailand can do to stop it.

And today, we are seeing the predictions of a cesspool at the Three Gorges Dam coming to fruition.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38517934/ns/world_news-asiapacific/

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

Blog Twitter Facebook


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Mark Raudonis
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 2, 2010 at 1:51:44 pm

True. But, still doesn't change my initial statement.

Mark



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Herb Sevush
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 2, 2010 at 2:10:04 pm

Mark,

I will try hard to not sound like a biased NYer and I quite understand that the 21 century might see China become the pre-eminent economic power in the world, however...

Pick a criteria: Architecture. Nope. Public Transportation. Nope. Public Cleanliness. Definitely Not. Industrial output? Not by a factor of ten. Financial power? Debatable. While all you New Yorkers were chanting "USA, USA, USA" or "We're Number one" the center of the universe was shifting. Westward. All the way to China.

Cleanliness??? when was NY ever clean? Industrial output???? when was NY in the top 20 of industrial cities even in the US? NY'rs chanting "USA,USA" - my guess is that there is less jingoistic fervor in NY than any city in the US. Do you have NY somehow mixed up with Des Moines?

I'm sure NY's public transport looks archaic - it is archaic. That's because it's been in the business of moving millions of people a day for almost one hundred years.

NY has always been about money --- making it, trading it, stealing it. But because that wealth was accruing in a relatively "free" and liberal society, along with that wealth came one of the perks that come with the gold, namely culture. NY is rich in money, rich in culture - art, music, literature -and also, and most importantly, it is rich in people.

If you can re-call the video clip that started that whole thread twice the speaker remarked that it was surprising to find a cabbie who spoke English - and this got a big laugh from the audience. It got a laugh because it's quite true - the driver could have been pakistani, indian, mexican, from any of twenty countries in Africa or a dozen countries in the mid-east. They come here for a reason, and as long as we welcome them and they still choose to come, then I don't worry about the future of this city.

I've never been to Asia, obviously never been to China. When a Chinese spokesman can tell a story about a Panamanian or Nigerian or Pakistani cab driver who took him to the airport, then I might concede NYs right to considered the "center of the universe."

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Mark Raudonis
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 2, 2010 at 6:57:07 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I've never been to Asia"

When you've seen with your own eyes, then I will concede that your opinion is anything more than just that... an opinion.

Mark



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Bob Zelin
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 2, 2010 at 9:00:53 pm

Having grown up in NY, and having lived there for 39 years, before I moved to Florida (like all NY Jews), I can tell you that NY was NEVER the center of the universe (because my universe is our industry, and nothing else matters). And our industry's center of the universe is Los Angeles, California, not NY, and it has always been this way.

With that said, China has been the center of the universe for a long time, but just like earth, and our history, "we" often think that "the center of the universe" is the United States and Western Europe. But just look at the ad's on Creative Cow (which is the center of the universe of publications for our industry) - almost 100% of the products that we get (except from AJA) are manufactured in China.

When my 80 year old mother-in-law starts to complain about politics, and democrats vs. republicans, etc. I love telling her - ITS ALL OVER, the Chinese are taking over, I don't care WHO gets into office, they win, we lose, end of story.

And for those of you who have grandkids - sorry, they don't have a chance.

Bob Zelin



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Mike Cohen
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 2, 2010 at 9:36:19 pm

I would argue that Connecticut is the center of the universe. We have the following based in our small but diverse state:

Insurance Companies: Aetna, The Hartford, Cigna, Travelers

These companies seem to be weathering the financial storm, and will be called upon to care for citizens of many countries and their offspring as they age, get sick and eventually die(life insurance benefits). They also offer various financial instruments.

Industry: Stanley Tools, Lego, Otis Elevator, General Dynamics Electric Boat, United Technologies

You may get in an elevator in Hong Kong that was designed in CT. While LEGO has offshored its manufacturing, their world headquarters is still here.

Film and Television: We have film studios, a state film tax credit and a particularly good medical video industry

Wealth and Poverty: CT provides a nice cross-section of wealth and poverty, featuring Fairfield County and Bridgeport - two of the most divergent areas of the country in per capita income and abject poverty in the nation, right next to each other.

Transportation: Metro North railroad provide rail transport into and out of NYC daily, with Amtrak using the same crowded rails. We could use a local option for commuter rail in Hartford, New Haven and other cities. So from this perspective, CT is a possible small area testing ground for new transport initiatives that could one day criss-cross the nation. But we could do better. Our roads are highly congested and in disrepair thanks to too many cars and a few poorly executed improvement projects. Again, we have a developing nation feel to our driving conditions.

Proximity to other centers of the world: You can drive to Boston, New York, Philadelphia in a few hours from any point in CT and our local airport can get you anywhere else pretty easily. So no matter where the center of the universe ACTUALLY is, CT is a good place to start.

I'm Mike Cohen, independent candidate for Governor, and I approve this message!


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Herb Sevush
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 2, 2010 at 9:47:47 pm

Mike -

Connecticut is the New Jersey of New England.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Shane Ross
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 3, 2010 at 3:03:42 am

L.A. is the center. At least according to Hollywood...

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Gav Bott
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 3, 2010 at 5:54:05 am

"When a Chinese spokesman can tell a story about a Panamanian or Nigerian or Pakistani cab driver who took him to the airport, then I might concede NYs right to considered the "center of the universe."

Almost any large European city can say the same thing....Not sure it's much of a statement to claim you a "melting pot" anymore (or in the last 30 years).

The Brit in Brisbane
The Pomme in Production - Brisbane Australia.


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Herb Sevush
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 3, 2010 at 2:52:04 pm

Gav -

Almost any large European city can say the same thing

That's exactly right, many large western cities can say the same thing, but can China? NY is a center, no more so than London, Paris, Berlin - the question is weather a closed society like China's can produce a city that wields the same influence.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 4, 2010 at 5:18:30 pm

[Herb Sevush] "That's exactly right, many large western cities can say the same thing, but can China? NY is a center, no more so than London, Paris, Berlin - the question is weather a closed society like China's can produce a city that wields the same influence."

Almost daily, we see the names and emails of new members signing up that are based in China. They include Indians, Pakistanis, Scots, Irish, Russians, Germans, Americans, English, Spaniards, Latinos of North, Central and South American origin, Australians and many others.

It seems to have really escalated over the past 24 months. Before then, it was a trickle, now it is all the time, everyday.

In the erstwhile TV series, Firefly, all of the characters spoke Mandarin in addition to their native tongue. And as many of my friends who travel and work in China tell me, do not walk up to anyone over 25 and speak to them in English -- they will just look at you confused. But walk up to anyone under 25 and speak English and they will almost nearly always reply back to you in English.

Yes, the world is changing.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom
CEO, CreativeCOW.net

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Graveyards are full of people the world couldn't do without.



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Chris Dolan
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 3, 2010 at 2:19:22 pm

I haven't read through all of the responses to your post Mark, but I have to say; Despite its thousands of years of history, China still is still severely lacking in the western civilities, social behavior and ways of conducting business to which we are accustomed.

I've only been in Beijing since September of '09 but that length of time is, in my humble opinion, long enough to know this country has a long way to go before it can truly be considered the "center of the universe." I think the culture attempts to emulate (or maybe 'copy' is a better word) the West in many ways but lacks its maturity and sophistication. China is still a second-world country.

Chris Dolan


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Mark Raudonis
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 3, 2010 at 3:40:03 pm

[Chris Dolan] "ways of conducting business to which we are accustomed."

That's the POINT! They aren't conducting business in the ways to which we are accustomed. Old rules don't apply, and the west hasn't figured out yet how to deal with it... other than to take advantage of the cheap labor. What's lurking in the future is the fact that we've transferred lots of our technology and lost access to many raw materials. When nobody in the west has a decent paying job anymore, all those cheap chinese manufactured goods are going to look pretty expensive.

In many ways China is playing the classic "colonize" and plunder game better than the Europeans did last century. Why do I say better? The Chinese aren't bothering with the messy aspects of actually "governing" those poor states. They just want the natural resources or minerals and they're getting them. All of the infrastructure they're building in those countries is primarily designed to aid in the EXTRACTION of resources. The roads or railways usually go right to the ports, and therefore, right back to China.

Back to my original post. The "Center of the Universe" isn't necessarily the best place to live. It IS a place that can't be ignored.

Mark



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Shawn Miller
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 3, 2010 at 6:29:19 pm

So true, Mark. It might be worth noting that, China really is doing much of what the US did for the past 150 years to build it's (the US) economy... i.e. invest in the infrastucture (and dictators) of third world countries to extract natural resources... of course, this was also backed by military assitance and action. See Cuba, Guatemala, Iran and Costa Rica to name a few.

To stay a bit more on topic though, I wonder what it means to those of us who work in film/video postproduction that China has one of the largest high speed internet infrastuctures in the world? So far, I've seen a number of print and web design jobs fly south and west because of "cheap" labor... are editors, motion graphics and VFX artists so far behind? How do we turn this possible future into an opportunity?

Shawn



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Mark Raudonis
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 3, 2010 at 7:05:25 pm

[Shawn Miller] "I've seen a number of print and web design jobs fly south and west because of "cheap" labor... are editors, motion graphics and VFX artists so far behind?"

VFX: Done and done. Already that work is global, chasing the cheapest labor pool available. That's a whole 'nother thread about why most of those companies have unsustainable business models.

mark



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Shawn Miller
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 3, 2010 at 9:19:46 pm

"VFX: Done and done. Already that work is global, chasing the cheapest labor pool available."

Right, that should have occured to me as I was writing. But thanks for the reminder. Perhaps I should brush up on my Cantonese and start learning Mandrain... I've been told that it's easier to pick up. :-)



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Shawn Miller
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 3, 2010 at 6:00:18 pm

"Despite its thousands of years of history, China still is still severely lacking in the western civilities"

"...I think the culture attempts to emulate (or maybe 'copy' is a better word) the West in many ways but lacks its maturity and sophistication. China is still a second-world country."

Hmmm... western civilities, I'm not sure I understand what you mean here. For a second-world country, we sure seem to borrow a lot of money from them. And how is it that an immature, unsophisticated country like China can maintain a 228 billion dollar trade deficit with the US?

Shawn



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Bob Cole
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 3, 2010 at 7:25:43 pm

[Shawn Miller] "how is it that an immature, unsophisticated country like China can maintain a 228 billion dollar trade deficit with the US?"

Interesting thread. All I know is what I read in the papers, but I would answer your question this way:

Pretend for a minute that you're a young mechanical engineer with a cool new idea for manufacturing a product or a part for a product. If you're in China, it's easy: pay the right official, rent a building, hire the key employees, buy the machine tool, and hang a sign offering semi-skilled jobs. Within weeks, you'll be manufacturing.

In the U.S.A., you'll start by hiring a lawyer, an accountant, perhaps a consultant in compliance for your particular manufacturing process, and a bookkeeper. You'll apply for permits, consulting regularly with the above experts to make sure you don't violate some regulation.

And, some months later, just as you're about to start manufacturing your product, you'll see that somebody in China is offering it for half of your COST.

Distance a worry? No problem. It is probably about the same cost to send something (via container) from China to LA as from LA to Las Vegas.


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Shawn Miller
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 3, 2010 at 10:09:33 pm

Thanks Bob, I think you make some good points. Although, I should be fair and state that my comments were rhetorical and more for Chris.

Our trade imbalance (as I understand it) has more to do with our tax policy than excessive regulation (though that's part of it). Our market is flooded with inexpensive (and sometimes dangerous) foreign goods because our import taxes are low in some cases and nonexistent in other cases. But on the flip side, it's difficult to get US goods into countries that protect their own markets. In short, we export cash and raw materials, and we import cheap goods, while our financial institutions hold on to free/cheap money they got in the last few bailouts... and they're not lending it to small/medium sized businesses. I'm not an economist, so hopefully some of the smarter business folks will jump in and correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks,

Shawn



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Chris Dolan
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 4, 2010 at 7:40:55 am

"For a second-world country, we sure seem to borrow a lot of money from them. And how is it that an immature, unsophisticated country like China can maintain a 228 billion dollar trade deficit with the US?"
Shawn,

Do you live here/ have you lived here? Live in Beijing for a while and you'll see what I'm talking about.

The OP suggested China is 'the center of the universe.' If I grasp the concept correctly, the 'center of the universe' should be more than just a place from which you can borrow money. The reason the US outsources so much work to China is because large numbers of people here are paid annually less than you spend per year on lunch and dinner. What would a minimum wage of $10 or $20/hr for skilled workers in China do to that 228 billion dollar trade deficit?

I think China has a lot of potential...but it's just not there yet.

Chris Dolan


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Neil Hurwitz
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 11, 2010 at 1:09:43 pm

You have got to be kidding
China is the biggest civil rights abuser in the world
You want FREEDOM go to New York
You want the State to rule your life go to CHINA
You Want to live in a Pollution Nightmare go to CHINA
You Want to Only have One child go to CHINA
If you let your son beleive that CHINA is the future
you are NUTS

Neil Hurwitz


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Mark Raudonis
Re: WAY OT: New York is NOT the center of the universe
on Aug 13, 2010 at 4:06:27 am

Neil,

I can't control your interpretation of what I said, but for the benefit of others reading this, I'll just say that
my interpretation of "the future" doesn't necessarily mean that I'm happy about what I see. I DO BELIEVE I'm correct when I say China will be a force to deal with IN EVERYBODY'S future.

That's a fact.

Responding to your other comments will just turn this forum into one of those talk shows on Fox news, so I'll resist the temptation.

mark



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