Article in the NY Times on another successful Asian entrepreneur. Super Micro Computer sells servers to companies like eBay, Yahoo, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Their main competitive advantage is their speed–by hiring local, expensive engineers, they crank out designs that incorporate new chips faster than anyone else. People also work like crazy, sometimes for 15 hour days.
Despite its peculiarities, Super Micro is a thriving, publicly traded business that sells about $600 million a year of servers to the likes of eBay and Yahoo. More often than not, the company beats rivals to market by three to six months, offering the fastest, most compact, energy-efficient computers to demanding corporate and institutional customers. It has managed to post annual sales growth exceeding 20 percent in recent years, and its stock has outperformed competitors like Rackable Systems and Sun Microsystems.
This is probably true, but it made me laugh:
The insular, family-run approach is typical of traditional Chinese business culture, said AnnaLee Saxenian, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has studied immigrant-run businesses in Silicon Valley. “It echoes back to a very traditional Chinese business model, where you have the family-run farm,” she said. “It’s all about trust and how you save money.”