Futuristic visions and old school thinking

Last week I attended a speech given by an executive of Liteon corporation on futuristic visions of the future as delivered through 3G communications etc. Unfortunately I forget his name as he was introduced so quickly in Chinese that I didn’t catch it. I was going to ask them to repeat it more slowly for those of us, me, whose translation engine runs as fast as a Commodore 64 but common sense prevailed. I have heard all this particular propaganda before so I brought a good book. It was a big room and I was discreet.
What was most interesting about his presentation was the final three videos. The videos were supposed to present 3 visions of the future as told by 3 different companies, one each from Japan, Taiwan, and America. What a telling comment on Taiwan corporate culture they provided.
The first video shown was from Japan (I forget the company). It was an utopian view of the future where families were brought closer together no matter where they were living in the world. The design was like something from the Bauhaus (see previous post), cold and functional. Lots of images of people walking on the beach, high blues, blurry dreamy like images, and smiling grandmas. Highly effective and no doubt an expensive production.
The video from America was a presentation of .Net by Microsoft. Microsoft’s vision of the future seems to be that students will never leave their bedrooms. The main characters life, a teenager, in this vision statement spent all her time interacting only with her computer and her car. I’m not sure if this is the reality of American life or simply what Microsoft is striving for. Naturally the technology was all centred around a big PC of some sort running Windows, requiring direct initiation of some sort between person and machine. The first videos vision integrated technology into everything -everywhere. Lots of new cameras too.
Despite the expected one sided nature of both these video presentations and the view that interacting with a machine or an image of a person is somehow as good as the real thing, they did show something. They showed Vision, though actual end user use, of the future that these companies are trying to achieve.
Now what did the Taiwan company show? A damn talking head. A cheap, badly produced video of the president of the company talking about how he thinks the future with be great due to the hard work and diligence of his company. The other companies can be seen as leading. They want you to believe, to believe that their vision is a good one. The Taiwan company wants you to believe that their leader is a good. Trust in him. There was nary a mention of Bill Gates in all of the Microsoft video, a name with far more “brand value” than most Taiwan company presidents. I was left wondering if the company had any original ideas and if they did how would they effect me and not just there company’s bottom line.
I haven’t quite come to terms with the near blind reverence to leadership that I sometimes experience here. I’m certainly not qualified to make change outside my area of expertise but it’s interesting to observe the differences brought on by culture.