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Get Rich in China

June 14, 2011
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My goal is to post every day. partly because I think it would be a fun way to document the trip, but also so that my family sleeps at night even if I don’t skype them everyday (5 days now and counting). However, I have discovered that no one can possibly be that interesting all the time. To be completely honest the most exciting thing that has happened all day is that food delivery messed up my order so I got two for the price of one. When I first came to China, I took note of every detail of life going on around me. But now I am beginning to fear that I’m slipping into a routine as things become more familiar.

Exhibit A: I didn’t even take a second look when a toddler squatted down to pee next to me outside the subway

But part of my work at china bridge is interpreting and analyzing what the world needs, and  finding creative solutions to that need. I’m still working on developing that lens, so you won’t find anything particularly inspiring or revolutionary on the list below. Instead I have compiled a few american business ideas that havent come to china yet…but would make bank if they did.

1. Groupon. The chinese love a good deal, but there is no middle man to expedite their coupon-publicity relationship in the same way groupon does.

2. “pick up after your dog” doggie bags. we have them in parks all over the city, but I have yet to see one in China (unfortunately for the crowded sidewalk) But in China you could have an even larger target market. Toddlers can use them too.

3.zip-car. you know the urban car rental service. It has the potential to be a wildly popular service for scooters, bikes, and cars here in Shanghai.

4.popcorn. they just don’t have it here, not in stores, not at movie theaters….its killing me

5.gourmet hot dogs. Shanghai locals really like putting microwaveable hot dogs on sticks and eating them plain, but if someone could start making asian as well as american inspired gourmet hot dogs (similar to Hot Doug’s restaurant, for example) you would be a culinary super star. fishball hot dogs, szechuan hot dogs, pigs feet hot dogs……hot dogs in peanut sauce. hot dogs wrapped in some sort of digestive organ. get creative

6. a college themed bar. The chinese love to ask me questions about red cups, beer bongs, Asher Roth and toga parties like I am somehow a greek life expert. While an Eating House at Davidson College may not grant me an expert opinion, I know what stereotype they are chasing….and they want to live it. they need a frat party  like Davidson needs a legitimate college bar.

so if there is ever a point in your life when you want to drop everything and go to china. You have a couple of business ideas to get you started.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2011 7:52 am

    They had popcorn at the movie theater on Hauihai road. True story. Except it’s the kind of sickly sweet.

  2. June 14, 2011 8:25 am

    We actually just had a big conversation about popcorn because some people on the marketing team here at CBi subscribe to my blog. popcorn exists, but has a really sweet flavor….
    time to bring in carmel corn

  3. Lisa permalink
    June 14, 2011 11:21 am

    Dad is gonna love the popcorn idea! There is a youtube video of someone making popcorn on the street in Shanghai…it just explodes!
    I can’t believe Groupon hasn’t made it to china yet. They must have it in the works.
    The college themed bar is a winner, too.
    The business climate in Chicago is awful, maybe Shanghai beckons…..

    And yes, please Skype me! If I get to work early enough, we can skype then, before you go out for the evening.

  4. June 14, 2011 11:28 am

    Hmm, the popcorn idea is interesting. How do you say popcorn in Chinese

  5. June 14, 2011 3:08 pm

    how has everyone managed to find evidence of popcorn but me? frustrating

  6. June 14, 2011 4:30 pm

    Love the pooper scooper..We pick up what your dog/toddler leaves off!

  7. georgia tauscher permalink
    June 14, 2011 11:13 pm

    Gen, I am sooo enjoying everything you post. Thank you thank you for sharing your wit and your observations (not mutually exclusive by any means) Maybe your mom should alert Garrett’s to the popcorn shortage- or better yet Kernal Fabyan’s to keep it in the Fox Valley. Which name sounds better in Mandarin? Georgia

  8. July 14, 2011 10:11 am

    i wish i could export a college frat party to china just to see the aftermath that the communist gov’t would have to explain the morning after… haha imagine hungover citizens doing the walk of shame…on their bikes and scooters

    i know of a few enterprising young ohio state bros that may be interested in your ideas… oh the possibilities

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