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Give yourself the tools to own the new year at Connect SF, July 17-20, 2018

Having spent a fair amount of time in China over the past 18 years, and having witnessed its spectacular rise, I’ve always been puzzled that this remarkable nation still cares so little about the quality of the things it makes. Today, more than 30 years after the Opening in 1978, China has yet to address this shortcoming: Everything from dime store trinkets to high-rise buildings continue to show an astonishing indifference to detail.

As a Westerner steeped in the Protestant work ethic, I’ve written thousands of words and done much hand-wringing about Chinese quality over the years, wondering when China would follow in Japan’s footsteps — when it would finally pull off a miraculous reversal in its attitude toward quality, as Japan did in the decades after World War II. It hasn’t happened, and from what I can see, it probably won’t.