10/15/2015, Clay Shirky

How China’s Apple Became Successful Overnight

How China’s Apple Became Successful Overnight

In simple environments, people acquire new capabilities by acquiring new objects. In complex environments, people acquire new capabilities by using new services. And as anyone who’s busily added apps to their smartphone knows, the one problem apps are no good at solving is the problem of having too many apps. Environments with rising complexity always… more

10/13/2015, Clay Shirky

The Top Producer of Goods in the World Is Also Becoming the Top Consumer

The Top Producer of Goods in the World Is Also Becoming the Top Consumer

There are a lot of people in China. This fact can seem like a bit of local color, a background association like France and cheese or Thailand and beaches. For people who live here, though, and especially for people who work here, population is a force like gravity, affecting almost everything else. Once you leave… more

10/6/2015, Clay Shirky

This Phone Is Not Only Made in China, It's Made for China

This Phone Is Not Only Made in China, It's Made for China

A couple of years ago, while I was doing some work at NYU’s Shanghai campus, I got lost on the subway. As a New Yorker, it takes a lot to make me feel like a country mouse, but at triple the population of my hometown, Shanghai does it. Even though the Shanghai subway system is… more

8/13/2015, Columbia Global Reports

Kirkus Reviews Calls 'Little Rice' an 'Intelligently Delivered Update on China'

Kirkus Reviews Calls 'Little Rice' an 'Intelligently Delivered Update on China'

When Clay Shirky was planning his move to China to teach at the campus of NYU Shanghai, he found out about a new little publishing imprint called Columbia Global Reports, and immediately wrote to its director Nicholas Lemann, proposing to spend a year chronicling China's attempt to become a real innovator in digital technology. One… more