Tech Cocktail, a media company and events organization for startups, entrepreneurs, and technology enthusiasts, has released a special report, based on over 100 interviews over 6 months, about the trend of young entrepreneurs in Asia defying their culture and taking big risks.
The report comes just as FailCon kicks off in Silicon Valley, bringing together entrepreneurs and investors to learn from each other’s failures. But Asian startup communities don’t embrace failure the way American ones do.
To many young Asian entrepreneurs, starting a company is an act of rebellion. It means defying the lessons of parents, teachers, and culture, who say: Be proper. Find a stable job. Don’t take risks. It means - in many cases - feeling uncertainty, shame, and fear of failure. It’s a struggle that will continue as they gun to compete with US companies, get funding from US investors, and partner with US corporations.
The full report, called Defying Confucius: Tales of Risk Taking from Asian Entrepreneurs, also includes:
- Real-life stories from bold Asian entrepreneurs, including a Malaysian father who overcame personal doubts and a young Muslim woman in Indonesia who’s setting an example for her peers.
- How private and public organizations in China, Singapore, Korea, and Malaysia are trying to change the culture and kickstart entrepreneurship by mentoring startups, hosting events and competitions, and preaching the virtues of failure.
- How America’s culture of individualism makes risk aversion in the United States different.
- How Asian startup scenes are starting to embrace the Silicon Valley mentality of risk, ambition, and determination - and how excitement about Asian entrepreneurship is at an all-time high.
“Being an entrepreneur is extraordinarily difficult to begin with. But throw in family pressure and cultural baggage, and you’ve got one crazy challenge. That’s why the entrepreneurs I met in Asia are so inspiring,” says report author Kira M. Newman, who will be speaking about this topic at SXSW 2013.
The report joins a larger discussion about Asian culture that we’ve seen in Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, the High Expectations Asian Father meme, and even Glee. It examines how serious the rift is between traditional Asian cultures and the high-risk culture of Silicon Valley that has created the likes of Facebook and Google. It looks at the entrepreneurs caught in the middle, and the signs that they are breaking free - and becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Kira M. Newman is a 24-year-old tech journalist and a senior writer for Tech Cocktail. During 6 months in Asia, she met tons of welcoming, inspiring, and infectiously passionate entrepreneurs.
An excerpt of the report that can be used for direct publication can be found at http://tech.co/defying-confucius-excerpt.
Note: This post uses content from the press release about this announcement.