Nov 23, 2008

AnnaLee Saxenian Discusses Silicon Valley's Immigrant Business Culture

From the New York Times
November 23, 2008

Super Micro Computer: A One-Man, or at Least One-Family, Powerhouse
By Ashlee Vance

SAN JOSE, Calif. — At Super Micro Computer, cartons of parts are often stacked in the parking lot, exposed to the elements. The 15-year-old computer maker has grown to 850 employees but still tracks orders the old-fashioned way, relying on sales representatives to monitor each step from assembly to shipping....

And Charles Liang, the company’s co-founder and chief executive, obsesses over every detail of the business, from approving the custom orders that are the company’s specialty to dictating the environmentally themed, green neckties that executives wear to customer meetings....

The insular, family-run approach is typical of traditional Chinese business culture, said AnnaLee Saxenian, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has studied immigrant-run businesses in Silicon Valley. “It echoes back to a very traditional Chinese business model, where you have the family-run farm,” she said. “It’s all about trust and how you save money.”


Last updated:

October 4, 2016