Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

One shot . . .

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2012 at 2:10 am


This is a great article on life and the educational system in Korea.   Most of the article easily applies to other places I have seen.

Singapore is much more friendly and encouraging to the young entrepreneur, but their educational system is just as miserably stringent as Korea.  Changing jobs is not frowned upon, but working for a big multi-national company is most people’s goal.  Also, the economy of Singapore is important, but small.  An entrepreneur can only go so far here.

In China, from what I’ve seen and read, the public school system is just as strict, but parents have no choice but to supplement the public system with private tutors because the quality of the Chinese system isn’t up to Singaporean or Korean standards.  The deck is also stacked ( for the most part ) in China against anyone rising out of poverty.  At least Korea has the test to give their kids hope.  There are many entrepreneurs here, but firms with government connections are the dominant force.

That said, if the US really wants to compare our kids to the Asian kids, we have to be willing to make unwelcome changes.  You can’t compare Billy or Sally growing up in Mason, Ohio and playing 3 sports and having time to play with friends or work a part-time job on the weekends with Tae Hok or Lin He who has studied for the SAT during every free moment of every day since they started school at age 7.  ( This isn’t an exaggeration, this is how these kids grow up. )

Now, in absolutely no way am I recommending or advocating the Asian system.  Just the opposite.  America needs to define our own goals and our own objectives.  It is in our best interest to educate our children in a way that brings them up as balanced, happy, AND well-educated.  Our kids should be challenged and pushed more than they are currently, but there is a limit.

Consider Korea, where everything depends on this test, which gets you into a good college, which gets you a job at Samsung or Hyundai or LG or one of the other big conglomerates.  Once you go work for one of these behemoths, you never quit and you don’t get fired.  If you don’t get on with one of the behemoths there really aren’t many options.  If you do get hired, why would you ever quit?  If this is the case, where does the NEXT Samsung or Hyundai or LG come from?  If a country squashes the entrepreneurs, what does the future hold and where does the next great idea come from?

For all that is questionable about the US economy, consider this.  Think about the following companies: Xerox, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, HP, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter.  Each one of these companies was/is the envy of tech world at some time or another.  The big little Stockdale is older than a couple of these companies. 

They are all still around, even if their heyday was in the 1980s.  Some more successful than others.  Some cool, some not cool.  However, all these companies continue to make money, employ a large number of people, and fuel innovation ( either through their own efforts or the opportunities they create for others ).

If every college graduate only wanted to work for IBM, Apple, or Xerox and never left once they were employed there, who invents Facebook if entrepreneurship is a second class profession?  That is what is happening in Korea.

Merry New Year ! ! !

In Uncategorized on January 2, 2012 at 9:25 am

In Korea, it became 2012 a whole bunch of hours ( that’s metric for I don’t feel like doing the math ) before the ball dropped in New York.

In order to celebrate, we went out to dinner with some friends and then hit the karaoke bar.

First, karaoke bars in Asia are strange.  The songs aren’t ‘exactly’ the way they should be and the videos are tad ‘different’ than I remember them.  Let’s just leave it at that. 

Second, although at one time Mrs. Stockdale could play the piano and violin, these days she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.

Happy 2012!