Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - November 15, 2015

Brian Gongol

Podcast: Updated weekly in the wee hours of Sunday night/Monday morning. Subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or iHeartRadio

Please note: These show notes may be in various stages of completion -- ranging from brainstormed notes through to well-polished monologues. Please excuse anything that may seem rough around the edges, as it may only be a first draft of a thought and not be fully representative of what was said on the air.

Don't let the bad guys set the agenda

If you were in high school and had to deal with a bully, you would be sensible to learn some self-defense. It would be both viscerally satisfying and may have some deterrent effect.

But you would be crazy to obsess about that self-defense technique to the exclusion of your own health or other obligations.

The attack in Paris

The terrorist attack on Paris raises an important issue: Most wars are fought over resources of one sort or another. Even when that isn't the apparent core issue, resources determine much of the outcome of a war. In the long term, defeating ISIS/ISIL/QSIL/Daesh will require cutting off the income they get from oil -- supposedly $1.5 million a day. But...that same income props up the governments of Saudi Arabia (where oil pays for 80% of government revenues) and Iran (50% to 60%) in the same region. In the long run, independence from Middle Eastern oil exports is a matter of national security to the United States -- but as we destabilize the terrorists by rejecting their oil, so do we likely destabilize real governments in the region. That has consequences. What fills the void?

Weakness and strength

China's industries are too dependent on captive government enterprises as customers. That dependence will keep Chinese industry from developing the kind of quality improvements that Japan and Korea have used to their respective advantages.

Honda, Toyota, and Samsung are all examples of companies that learned to get better at their industries because the pressures of the marketplace forced them to do so in one way or another. Toyota developed kaizen methods because they didn't have enough cash to purchase lots of raw materials inventory. Honda overcame strong government objection in Japan to even enter the auto market, and crushed the major automakers at meeting new emissions regulations using new technology in the 1970s, when its cars were entirely unknown in the US. Samsung has fought pitched battles in semiconductors, smartphones, and all manner of consumer electronics.

To build a company for long-term success, it's crazy to try to insulate the company from competition with a captive market. Success is forged in the heat of competition.

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