For the past 10 days I’ve been in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam working with our team there. I participated in the social media team meeting, where our American and British strategists and analysts gathered for a planning and team-building session with our Vietnam research team. In addition, I was focused on preparing operations there to absorb some new functions (QA, customer support, and IT infrastructure support).
We’re definitely building another level of critical mass in the Vietnam operations. One of the biggest risks when starting Lift9, which eventually merged with Intrepid (April, 2010) before being acquired by Alterian (August 30, 2010), was setting up a social research center in this foreign country. It, however, was a concept I believed in, not just because of the opportunity to leverage lower labor costs, but because of Vietnam’s young demographics, relatively large population with nearly 90 million people, and fast-developing economy.
When I sent Ed Kim from Seattle to HCMC to build this research center in July, 2009, we together agreed beforehand on these
- Build a team of dynamic people in Vietnam
- Develop and provide opportunities for the team
- Provide a culture of fun, mutual respect and encourage creativity
- Accept failure from people to encourage initiative and learning
- Respect and appreciate the local culture
Now, expanding to a second floor, the office there is being set up for faster and larger success than I first envisioned. We are grooming people who will no doubt be future leaders of our company in years to come.