The JoongAng Ilbo’s Sunny Yang lectures Americans about innovation:
To build a country and defend one is not the same work. It is not entirely wrong to claim Americans discovered, invented and created almost every modern cutting-edge technology. They were great builders, but not such good defenders. If they had not been self-indulgent with their pioneering works and endeavored to stay on top of the market with innovations, the latecomers would not have dared to jump into the fray and attempted to outperform them.
But somewhere down the road, American cars and semiconductors became mediocre and failed to appeal to consumers. Turning the blame on competitors for their underperformance has not helped American industry before and won’t now.
One newspaper article questioned if Apple, having lost its drive for innovation, can merely appeal to American patriotism to survive. Without deep self-retrospection and a dedication to innovate, the strategy of relying on past supremacy cannot save the American economy.
To be fair to Yang, if there’s a group of people exceptionally qualified to recognize economic jingoism, it’s Korean journalists.
Still, given the nature of the case, you’d think it wasn’t the American company that lacked the ability to innovate, unless one defines innovation as “shamelessly ripping off your competitors.”