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  1. Good Horse Sense goes a long way in the Countryside! Jim Cook,China enthusiast since 1985 Management Strategist On the occasion of : China Rural Reconstruction Seminar on : March 3, 2014 Sponsored by : China Entrepreneur Network and the Detroit Chinese Business Association

  2. “So you're the one who's going to solve all our problems, welcome!”

  3. They came, they saw, they crapped on us, and then flew away

  4. Who would have predicted? Clue: Not Gandhi

  5. Meet Your Clients! Rural China 2013

  6. Remember: Appearances aren’t Everything!

  7. When visiting a foreign land learn their language! Urban SpeakRural Speak

  8. First Principles of Country Side’s Complexity • The countryside will have contradictions (farmers will milk cows every single morning before 8, but would hate punching a clock). • The countryside will have stability up to some unpredictable point that involves many dimensions and/or many standard deviations. • Once a wide fluctuation (like the US Dust Bowl in the 1930s) upsetting a symbiotic balance occurs, the countryside may take decades or never return to its previous stable and robust state. • The experience of the countryside in one place will not necessarily transfer. • Diversity is at the core of the sustainability of the countryside’s existence; destroy it and you will destroy the countryside. • The Countryside is more like a baby than like a machine; it will flourish with love and die with exploitation.

  9. Summary of good Horse Sense • Villages are as diverse as their land and history • Respect villagers’ real abilities, character and values • Be patient, let villagers trust and tell you their needs • It’s vital to be fluent in the villagers’ values and culture • Villages are complex societies (as contrasted to Cities) • Disturb their robust stability and it may take decades to recover • Experience may not be transferrable even from similar places • The countryside is more like a baby than like a machine • Ignoring above has been the major source of set backs!

  10. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Sincerely, Jim Cook I welcome your email and will try to answer, promptly, and remember: “The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” Eden Phillpotts (1862-1960)

  11. Links for the Interested and Curious • This powerpoint and the accompanying transcript are at: • A review of The Rural Way by Sun Jun is at: • An analysis of Mao as Entrepreneur (1927-1947) is at: in English & Chinese • The DuPont Business Case for executing Step Change is at:

  12. Declaration of Beliefs Villagers are: • As resourceful as they can be given their current context. • More anxious to better their lives than ordinary Urbanites. • Not brand followers, rather choose to fill real-life needs. • Driven by different values and behaviors than Urbanites. • Highly dependent on the their location and its history. • Not going to be helped by “one size for all” programs. • Too deferential to local and central government officials. • Going to be helped by creative alliances & flexible support. • Not going to be helped by usual ways of MNCs & SOEs. • THE MOST PROMISING MARKET IN CHINA TODAY!

  13. Declaration of Ignorance I know far too little about the: • Political dynamics of initiating and sustaining village action. • Priorities that Villagers themselves have in any given village. • Behavioral culture of Villagers as contrasted to Urbanites. • Past experiences with outsiders coming into villages to help. • Rhythm of the season’s impact on the Villagers’ daily lives. • Aspirations that Villagers have for their families and lives. • Things taken for granted in the city like security, water, sewage. • Impact of “progress” on existing relationships and social power. • Way that I &/or my initiatives might be accepted and rejected.

  14. Commitment to Action • Investigate the “Base of the Pyramid” opportunity space. • Check out “The Rural Way” by Sun Jun (农道, 孙君著) • Tap Michigan’s special access to China New Countryside Projects. • Intern with a New Countryside NGO or team up with a Project. • After research, try innovating some business models for Villagers.

  15. Jim Cook’s Journeys • President, CEO of NASDAQ Listed Company (Software Tools) and on the board of two publicly held and numerous private companies, all high technology • President, CEO of Exxon-Mobil financed venture (Electronics) • President, CEO of Globatech, Inc. in Beijing (Japanese financial portal) • Vice President (Technology) Computervision, Fortune 500 Company (CAD/CAM) • Taught MBA courses at UCSD (Economics of Mfg.), Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Advanced Mfg.), and U. of Melbourne (Entrepreneuring) • Lectured on management at: Northeastern U., People’s U., and Chinese Academy of Sciences; BS math RPI, graduate math MIT, on CCTV news with Jiang ZeMin • Consulted on management to: DuPont, Motorola, Bell Labs, D & B, Fiat, … • Interviewed 6 times on FNN (now, CNBC Financial) about High Tech investing.