By Clay Shirky
Clay Shirky, probably the most influential and unique thinkers at the internet's results on society, spends a yr in Shanghai chronicling China's try and develop into a tech originator--and what it potential for the long run process globalization.
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Smartphones need to be made somewhere, and that position is China. in exactly 5 years, a firm names Xiaomi (which skill "little rice" in Mandarin) has grown into the main useful startup ever, turning into the 3rd greatest producer of smartphones, in the back of basically Samsung and Apple. China is now either the world's greatest manufacturer and patron of a bit machine that brings the full globe to its user's fingertips.
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Extra info for Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream
But if a complex product is going to be made to look simple, the simplicity has to be concentrated on the part of the device the user uses. This meeting point—the interface—becomes the essential design challenge. Lei understood that if you want to sell a complex object to the general public, then the interface is the product. Turning the small number of possible user interactions—tap, swipe, pinch, drag—into ways of triggering a huge range of interactions—sending a text, buying a movie ticket, crushing some candy—is the thing a user assesses when using a phone.
But even this is not enough, so the government is now recruiting members of the Communist Youth League to be part of a volunteer online propaganda group, each of whom would agree to participate in at least three “sunshine comment” campaigns a year. The participants will be volunteers in the sense that they are unpaid, but the Communist Party is not leaving it to chance—there are quotas for both regions (Beijing is expected to recruit 250,000 members) and for particular colleges and universities (Sun Yat-sen University is on the hook for 9,000).
Customer service is treated as an annoying cost; product features are worked out in the bowels of the firm and then announced to potential buyers only when the product is finished. Xiaomi, by contrast, takes customer feedback very seriously. Every Orange Friday release comes with an option for the users to fill out four questions: How did I feel when I upgraded MIUI? ) What did I like best about the new update? What did I like least about the new update? What feature do I most want? Answers are then collated and presented by the thousands to the engineers on the following Tuesday.