8 Things I Learned in Taiwan

Recently, I traveled to Taiwan and met key players in their startup ecosystem. I also had the honor of meeting with the Prime Minister and his cabinet.

Prime Minister
Here are the 8 things I learned while in Taiwan:

1) Taiwan’s older semiconductor and hardware businesses are flat. They need to innovate and are pushing hard on building a startup ecosystem.
2) Taiwan has an educated population with an abundance of engineering talent. Engineers are not expensive compared to Silicon Valley and most speak English well.

Steve Hoffman

Steve Hoffman

3) Taiwan needs more software coders and less hardware and semiconductor engineers.
4) Taiwan is an excellent bridge to doing business in Asia. They share a common culture and language with China, while conducting business more like Japanese and Koreans.
5) Because of Taiwan’s unique history, they are exceptionally open and friendly to the US and Japan.
6) Taiwan has excellent access to Southeast Asia, and many of their startups are focused on these markets.
7) Taiwan needs more artists and designers. This lack of a creative workforce will hamper their growth. Parents need to tell their children to follow their hearts and not the herd.
8) In Taiwan, failure is not accepted. You get one chance, and if you fail, people won’t trust you. This has to change. Failure is part of the process of creating world-changing startups.

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