Crossed markets

Forbes kept praising the success of luxury brands in China while web sites in Vietnam and China mentioned “Pepper Spray on Black Friday”. Chinese-made goods, sold as lost leaders, to the first 100-early-bird shoppers.

Planned scarcity.


Sensational, sizzling headline-grabbing video op for YouTube.

We need attention. The media need it even more. (For some counter-intuitive reasons, Warren Buffet just spent a chunk of change buying his hometown newspaper, which was bleeding financially).

Maybe he knew something we didn’t.

Here in Vietnam, I found shopkeepers, “loss prevention” guards, and people at the coffee shops all trying to read something.

Literacy rates are high (low 90’s),  perhaps higher than a lot of their counterparts in Asia.

People in motion here at night market in Hanh Thong Tay (budget shoppers for style).

The demographic (mostly young) definitely is an advantage (they won’t die half way through your projects).

Young people here are very assertive in expressing their ideas and opinions.

If you can ride the scooters to and from work, you can definitely work.

And if you can ride to work, on an empty stomach, you definitely need to work hard.

And if you can ride to work on an empty stomach, while at home, there are more empty stomachs, you have no choice but to work and study hard.

What do young people do with their leisure time? That’s right, computer gaming.

Next thing you know, they upgrade to mobile gaming, the same way they have grown up wanting  to get behind the scooters.

Nation in motion.

Back to China with luxury goods and 200 million people moved out of poverty to the middle class.

In those same thirty years, we saw the decline of the West.

Next thirty years, the rise of the Rest.

Stock up on your pepper spray. Stock up on Christmas decoration.

Stockpiling your weapons of mass consumption.

Shopping has always been a patriotic act in the US.

Shop to save: what a contradiction in terms.

Meanwhile, people in China are putting away money for their “only child’s” wedding.

There will be a lot of empty-nesters in China.

There will then be a lot of old tourists from China.

They got tired of their own Great Wall (of China).

They want to take photo standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, built for the first World’s Fair.

They want to experience Paris of the 50-60’s, where “tous leas garcons et les filles de mon age se promaine, dans la rue…”

Everyone is entitled to their 15-min of fame.

To the childhood’s dream.

Of  strange shores and leaving the familiar behind.

Materialism trumps sentimentalism any day, any time.

That’s how the world is flat: consumers are kings and queens, on Black Friday and any Friday.


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