Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Outsourced Experience Comes Home

Recently, a friend of mine flew to Beijing to visit her son. A recent graduate of M.I.T., he chose to work there and was highly recruited to assist with the design and development of battery technologies.

China is investing billions in battery technology and, through companies like Build Your Dreams and more than thirty other automotive industry partners, preparing to launch a generation of Asian-designed automobiles built using advanced technologies, such as battery and electronics. India is not far behind, with increased ownership in corporate capabilities.

This is part of a larger transfer of knowledge and expertise that began at the latter half of the 20th century. As we move into the 21st century, Asian countries are taking on broader roles in product design and corporate ownership, in addition to manufacturing capability. The 21st century will be less about Western design (or design for Westerners), and more about Asian design and products designed first for Asian preferences. With this shift, it will be Western society that consumes primarily Asian-designed and owned services and products.

I think this is the beginning of a transformation that will have a profound impact the American live+work experience for many years to come.

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