Up until now I’ve been using JRoller for blogging and I just couldn’t maintain a blog it was just sooooo slooooooow! Unbearably slow.

It became so annoying I didn’t even blog about going to India despite my lengthy visit to the Bangalore-Mysore region (together with my SO Maya Gross who is an Ashtanga Yoga instructor and went to study with Patahabi Jois). During my stay in India I read two books (bought a shitload of books since they are just so cheap there) the first book is “The world is flat” and the second one was “Freakonomics”. I loved “Freakonomics” many of the things it mentioned are obvious but not noticeable, I really liked the discussion about incentive which is something I don’t pay enough attention to.

I hated “The world is flat”, that book (while very well written) is filled with trivial ideas, mistakes, inaccuracies and half truths. I liked reading it at first since the writing style is so good and fluent but I got really annoyed by the repetitiveness of the book and the constant need to scream at the author that he is completely wrong! Here is how the book is wrong:

  • Yes the world is flat (in the sense that the book intends). Duh, where have you been living. Since the author is quite familiar with Israel I am shocked he did not see this years ago. This is something that started here even before the Internet revolution and is still going on.
  • The book claims salaries are significantly lower in India/China etc… This is just wrong, it might have been true when the first jobs started moving out, it was true for Israel when high tech jobs started moving into here. It is no longer true for Israel and it is rapidly becoming so in India (same for China at a slower pace due to government intervention). The more skilled people are they demand more money, yes a dollar carries much more weight in India but having been in the town of Mysore (145km from Bangalore) prices are 1/10 of the prices in Bangalore. I paid for my hotel room in Bangalore (which was the cheapest room in the hotel) $300 per night!!! More than I paid for a boutique hotel in Paris! So yes it was a great hotel (it had better be for those prices) but for $300 I’d expect something amazing (it was somewhat better than a $300 hotel in the west, not much better). One of the main problems people complain about in India is that all these hi tech people are shooting real estate through the roof and causing prices to jump so high no normal person can afford them. You want hard numbers then fine, I talked with several outsourcing companies that listed prices that are about 1/2 the price of a programmer in silicone valley. 1/2 price might sound cheap until you take into consideration the fact that these people have a different mentality and tend to require greater overhead to work with, the back and forth will negate any such saving.
  • The book claims that people in India/China are more qualified since there is a larger pool of human resources to pull from. The strength of numbers is just stupid in this case, how does he explain the amazing success of Israel with 6 million citizens? This is without a doubt the dumbest of his arguments since it equates every one of the 1 billion starving uneducated remote Indian children (1.3 for China) to the 250 well fed with a decent school in the states. The people who get into high tech are from the higher classes in these countries and from there the pool of people is considerably smaller, since the states have a HUGE middle class (which only now is coming into existence in both India and China) the US actually has a huge advantage in terms of pool of people to pick from (not that it really matters).
  • People from these regions are hungry (metaphorically) for work and have a better work ethic. This is debatable, since conditions are improving in both China and India the skilled workers are fast becoming spoiled just like in the west and are savvy to switching jobs for better conditions. Yes they do tend to work longer hours since that is the mentality in these regions (same with the Japanese) but they don’t produce as much. As an Israeli who worked with such cultures I can say I put in 3/4 of the time and produced at least twice the deliverables. These cultures don’t teach how to rest and regain strength/motivation which is something the US culture (and the Israeli which is very similar) knows, the power of motivation and using your time.
  • Indian people are practicing US accents to service American customers better. I guess the author met these people, having worked with American companies that employed Indian/Chinese engineers and support lines I have to say that I didn’t run into these cases. I met Indian people with wonderful western accents that were gained by living outside of India (where they obviously made US salaries). So I still have to ask them to send me a copy by E-Mail.
  • IIT the Indian Institute of Technology is a fine initiative. The author calls it revolutionary but I personally think its a robot factory, I guess its a matter of opinion.

Anyway this is all off the top of my head, don’t buy that book its a waste of your money in my opinion.

Advertisements