Shake Shake Scale - Economic Growth

Growthmania, the need to scale up, is the American spirit of blossoming. From business, entertainment, living style to science and research, Americans always see everything big. From them I learnt how important it is to design products for mass scale production.

When Europeans arrived in this gigantic island since the 15th century, they got wealthy very fast. Land was free, vast forests gave them animals to hunt, wood for home building; there were many kinds of minerals like coal and oil to extract. They over-powered the native population and became the first industrialised capitalistic society. It's possible that because the large immigrant population combined to form one continent-like country speaking one language, the feeling of scale is embedded in Americans. For six centuries now the world recognises bigness to be their culture.

I was recently watching Michael Jackson's last rehearsals for his comeback concerts in London in 2007. After his shocking death, the rehearsals became a famous documentary film called "This is it." The enormity of the rehearsal preparation is unbelievable. He had advertised for and auditioned the best dancers from across the globe, then invited the rapturous chosen ones to join him in performance. The large scale and global dimension of this rehearsal, its high quality routines, maintenance of clockwork discipline, hundreds of people controlling the stage lights and settings, and Jackson's passion for perfection, is great entertainment by itself. The public would never have seen this in the actual performance. Only those present as participants during rehearsals would have enjoyed this phenomenon of the King of Pop's gigantic practice sessions.

Another American example is of a Xerox corporation sales person, the first from a poor Jewish family to go to college, who then joined a Swedish drip coffee maker manufacturer called Hammerplast. In 1981, he was curious to know why a fledgling whole bean coffee shop in Seattle had ordered so many plastic cone filters from Hammerplast. Impressed with this client's passion and knowledge of coffee, he joined them as Marketing Director the next year. On a business trip to Italy's Milan he noted that almost every street or public square had espresso coffee cafes that people frequented for social or official meetings. Italy boasted of some 200,000 such cafes across the country. Returning to Seattle he tried persuading his employers to adopt the cafe concept, but they were not interested. Fired by the coffee retail business he totally believed in, he took a gamble to become an entrepreneur. His enthusiasm was such that even his previous employer gave him $ 100,000 to start business. By 1986 he raised $400,000 to open his first store, and two years later bought his previous employer's coffee shop and brand name for $3.8 million. This big dreamer is Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. He aggressively grew and expanded Starbucks from the US to 40 countries.