I am betting I can beat Dan Harris and Renaud Anjoran at pool…

Only because I can’t beat them at blogging. I am daily reminded of how badly I am outclassed at blogging by the China Law Blog and the Quality Inspection Tips blog. I get daily gems from these two blogs, and these days if i post once a week I am lucky. Needless to say, I recommend you subscribe to both.

I am not nearly as erudite as these gentlemen. They daily manage to serve up something worth reading, and by that measure, if I produce something worth reading once a month, hallelujah.

I titled this post as I did, because it is a daily discipline that I play 4-5 games of 8 ball on my home table. I have a fine old AMF pool table and shoot a few games each night as I complete my daily correspondence with PassageMaker’s clients around the world. If you are ever in Salem around 10 PM – 1 AM Eastern, be sure to stop by for a game. This is nothing more than relaxation, so I shouldn’t read too much into it, but I will anyway for the sake of this blog.

I am a better than fair shot, and 5 and 6 ball runs are common in my game. I have only ever had one 8 ball run off the break, and my opponent in that blessed game has refused to play me ever since (nearly 20 years and counting).

The reason I torture you with such an agonizing metaphor, is that pool tables are NOT the same in China. You would think that pool is pool around the world, but as with so many things, local differences make ALL the difference.

I am a pretty good shot, but when in China, I have to adjust my game. Chinese pool tables have rounded bumpers around the pockets, versus the standard angled bumpers on American tables. This means that a shot that would go in in America will bounce out in China. This has taught me to have a gentle hand and plan my shots better than is required in the USA.

This is an apt metaphor for doing business in China. What is easy and straightforward in the USA is a miss in China. Not a week goes by that I don’t have a client that wants to cut corners and do things “quick” in China. I always push back, insisting that they take their time, whether that means finishing their design database (rather than leaving the engineering up to the Chinese suppliers) or taking steps to properly protect their intellectual property by filing for Chinese patents and trademarks.

My point is that you always have to assume that doing business in China will take longer and be more difficult than the same task in your home market. 99.9% of the time this will be the case.

China is the way to go for inexpensive tooling and production parts, but it is NOT always the easiest way to go. Before you decide to work in China, you need to make sure you understand the difficulties involved, something PassageMaker can help you with.

Because those round pockets are a bitch.

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