What if HE could speak?
Have you ever wondered what Steve Jobs would hear from his Chinese employee if they ever met? One who was paid a rate below the recommended living wage?
Do you think the worker would start screaming at Steve for taking advantage of his (and thousands of his fellow countrymen’s) difficult situation?
That he would call Jobs “a modern slave owner” who, while pretending his hands are clean, exploits his people as much as possible without causing an open revolt?
We Westerners tend to assume that is how such meeting would go. We think the situation is black and white, where an evil big corporation exploits poor people who dream of escaping to a better life.
Maybe, this employee would have thanked Steve for the opportunity. For the fact that instead of working in the fields or mines for even less money, he can sit comfortably in a warm factory floor where the rain doesn’t fall on his head and where the physical labor is much lighter.
Maybe this worker appreciates what the corporation has done for him and is happy to have a job that is lighter and better paid than a good portion of his peers?
Maybe, he’d even say with a tear in his eye, that this job allowed him to send his kid to school so he could have a better life?
Extremely different stories, right? Both equally likely. Which one is true?
Who knows? Just this one worker and his colleagues at the factory.
We are together, but very separate
How many people in the Western world regularly speak up for this worker, saying they know what’s best for him?
But are these people realistically fighting for his well-being if they can’t even talk to him and ask him what he needs? Such a conversation could not happen for a simple reason — the language barrier. Very few people speak Mandarin and relatively few Chinese speak English.
Even now, in the age of widespread internet access, people still cannot communicate well with each other. We are living in small information bubbles limited by our language and culture.
French in French one, Thai in Thai one, Zambian in Zambian one….
Of course, we can communicate within our cultural circle. A Frenchman can communicate with a German or an American using English. But still most of the exchange of information takes place in national languages, and this must be translated into a common “cultural” language, that is, English.
And what can we say about our understanding of people from completely different cultures, who not only think differently, but also in a different language and with an alphabet completely incomprehensible to us?
Reinventing the wheel… 195 times a day!
We have 195 nations on Earth. Until now, each one has had to solve its own problems for the most part. But notice how similar those problems are!
No matter where you live, people are going through difficult breakups, thinking about buying a house, changing jobs, or even how to fix that stupid cabinet over the stove!
Is there a need for us to discover how to do this every time? How about taking advantage of the knowledge that already exists?
A beautiful example of this is Japan, which started out as a backward country relative to the rest of the world, but by sending its students to universities in most of the developed world, it underwent an amazing transformation in a few decades….
And in a few more decades it has become a place where amazing technologies and ways of doing things are being created! Have you ever heard of “Lean,” for example?
It’s a way of managing a factory that leads to very elevated productivity. The Japanese have learned the European way of management, only to improve it and then….
They sold it to the rest of the world as an even better system — Lean! Now experts from the West flock to Toyota’s factories to learn. Complete 180 degrees change.
Where would Japan be now if it wanted to discover all this on its own instead of relying on the achievements of others?
Perhaps it would have ended up like North Korea….
We can be like Japan!
Now ask yourself — how much can people from other countries and cultures bring to your life?
If you are considering buying an apartment, as an investment — wouldn’t you want to talk to a Spaniard who had several properties that suddenly lost value, because of one law passed by his government?
When wanting to solve a professional problem — would you rather draw on the experience of one nation or all of them at the same time? Can’t a programmer, electrician, or entrepreneur from Japan have solutions in store that are perfect for you?
If you want to learn meditation — wouldn’t it be good to listen not only to Western trainers, but also to a Buddhist monk who, after spending a decade in a monastery, decided to return to normal life?
Do you see this? A sea of knowledge, competence, wisdom and… opportunity.
Those people have what we need. Usually, they are also willing to help. We just need one thing — an opportunity for all of us to talk to each other and exchange what is most valuable — solutions to problems.
Revolution in communication
That’s why in ccFOUND we not only focus on creating a platform where it pays to help others, but in addition, we give you the possibility of automatic translation!
Soon, you will be able to ask a question that will be automatically translated into other languages. Then everyone will be able to read it, understand it and make suggestions that you… will see it again in the language in which you wrote the question!
ccFOUND will allow everyone to freely exchange ideas, regardless of location or government restrictions. Solutions to your problem will come from Ecuador, Canada, Germany, Poland, Russia, China and anywhere else in the world!
That Chinese worker will have a voice at last!
Of course, it’s a very big technological challenge and the beginning will surely be difficult, and roky (remember the “quality” of first translations in Google Translate?), but it will be worth it!
It will finally connect us all.
That’s why we invite you to join us and take advantage of the knowledge we already have, just like Japan once did.
And I hope you will have similar successes :)