Singapore is Open for Business

Singapore: Why Innovate in Utopia?

I read this article about Singapore and whether or not the country innovates because of it’s intolerant approach to crime, but I have to say that I disagree. Singapore is one of the cleanest places I’ve visited with some of the most friendly people I’ve met.

Ok, so I have to add that the whole ‘Asia training wheels’ thing might be somewhat accurate. But I really love Singapore, I have travelled to many places in western europe, and Asia, and Singapore is by far my favorite, not for the views, the coate d’Azure has that won hands down.

It’s the people and ease of getting around. I have never met more friendly people. Every cabby I met I wanted to go have a drink with and continue my conversation. Can you say that about New York city cab drivers?

I bought a few trinkets in the temple district for friends on my last trip, a few Buddhist prayer beads. A week after I returned home, the vendor emails me (they had a little guest book for people to sign) asking me if my friends and family enjoyed the gifts and then sent along an explanation of the meaning of the beads so I could tell my family the story of the beads!

Business is really easy to ‘do’ there. Singapore customs alone are a model for excellence, my last trip, i got off my plane went through an airport that was a thin of beauty and efficiency to be met by a customs agent that had a waiting smile and greeted me warmly like I had just come home. I want you to hear that, a smile, from a customs agent… A smile. Do customs agents even know how to smile? And there’s a small bowl of candy at the customs counter. Tom Peters, in his book The Little Big Things (an really good read by the way) writes about the Singapore customs experience.

We have an office in Singapore, it’s a hub for our Asia pacific operations, and let me tell you the last thing you want after a 22 hour flight is hard. Singapore is not hard. I run really early in the morning and I feel safer running at 4:30 in the morning there than I do in my own neighborhood.

Maybe it’s because Singapore has no natural resources, so it makes it’s own through it people and it business/traveller friendly environment. But if that’s not innovation on a national level I don’t know what is? They’re taking the most abundant resource they have, maximizing it and bringing it to the market and people all over the world are buying it.

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