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Defying Confucius: Tales of Risk Taking from Asian Entrepreneurs

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To many young Asian entrepreneurs, starting a company is an act of rebellion. It means defying the lessons of parents, teachers, and culture, who say: Be proper. Find a stable job. Risk taking is foolish. It means – in many cases – feeling uncertainty, shame, and fear of failure. It’s a struggle they will continue as they gun to compete with US companies, get funding from US investors, and partner with US corporations.

Today, Tech Cocktail is releasing a special report about their journey. For American entrepreneurs and investors, it’s a peek into the culture of potential competitors and portfolio companies. For Asian entrepreneurs, it’s a discussion of issues that can hobble the growth of startup communities. And for anyone, it’s an inspiring story about overcoming the fear of failure with risk taking, determination, and passion.

Defying Confucius: Tales of Risk Taking from Asian Entrepreneurs is based on over 100 interviews that I conducted over six months in Asia, across Hong Kong, China, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. It includes:

  • Real-life stories about the struggles, risk taking, and successes of bold Asian entrepreneurs.
  • How organizations in Korea, China, Malaysia, and Singapore are trying to change the culture and kickstart entrepreneurship.
  • Why risk aversion in the United States is different.
  • Why excitement about Asian entrepreneurship is at an all-time high.

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About the Author

Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact


One Response to “Defying Confucius: Tales of Risk Taking from Asian Entrepreneurs”

  1. Jenette Genier

    Great blog! Sorry to change the subject, but, since Nashville is a big up and coming city, I’m looking for a great Nashville sushi restaurant or Japanese restaurant. Have you read any recent buzz? There’s a new one called Nomzilla Sushi Et Cetera, but I’ve only seen a few reviews. Here’s the address of this new Nashville Japanese Restaurant, 1201 Villa Place, Suite 101 Nashville, TN 37212 – (615) 268-1424. Let me know your thoughts! Thanks!



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