我亦曾親眼見證產品創新。我的哥哥取得工研院技術移轉、創立新企業時，我也參與其中；那 6 年裡，我看著他和他的團隊不斷調適，從象牙塔步入市場經濟現實。加入他的團隊之後，我有了許多全新的體驗，例如飛行時數多過停留時數的旅行、剛開始與人共事但隔週就發現他們被裁員、被根本沒試用過樣品的客戶（他聲稱自己有）羞辱數小時等。
我們在 2010 年開始推銷感測器之時，並不知道大規模生產是條如此漫長又曲折的道路；當時，消費性電子市場正處於生態系統大洗牌，不幸的是，我們最先接觸的客戶是 Sony Ericsson、Nokia 與 Motorola。我們得學會與失望以及無法掌控的因素共處：並不是所有的科技都能帶來果實，但只要時機到來、而且你能堅持不懈，成功或許真的就在前方。
For the past century, Taiwan's prowess has been our manufacturing capability, able to produce goods at a competitive cost while maintaining reasonable quality. As our previous method of success hit a road block, we instead have not completely shed our mentality of faithfully being a quasi banana republic, schizophrenically suffer from inferior complex and hubris. A forte of Taiwanese economy since Japanese colonial rules until today have been exporting limited resource products, while having a stratified class system while under heavy political influence from neighboring powers, all fitting components of said political terminology .
Due to our peculiar political circumstances, we have been trained to overestimate our worth while at the same time kowtow to demands from our superior influencer. From sugar canes, rice to consumer electronic products, we have grown content and docile to foreign demands, fighting amongst ourselves to win orders, trying our best to offshore production in order to lower cost, creating a continuous negative spiral. With this as our context, there have been much talk as to levy our hopes on Innovation and entrepreneurship. Yet, I find it irresponsible for our current administration and future administration to mention both subjects ad nauseam to the extent as if they are the solutions to all our current woes. Innovation and entrepreneurship are not sure fire endeavors, and the process of it being vetted by the market is long and tenuous.
Simply put, innovation is a nebulous that require further qualification and categorization. I would separate innovation into tangible and intangible innovation. Intangible innovation stems from changes in one's mentality, while intangible innovation would be what public discourses discussed ad nauseam, introducing new products to the market. Not all innovations are grounds breaking, life changing or at the least successful or sustainable and not everyone is capable of "innovating".
We need to be realistic with our expectation, and instead what our future administration should focus upon is how to foster an environment that is capable to attracting, and properly foster talents that lead into successful business endeavors. For example, besides the talent drain that many have talked about, there are also underutilized talents in Taiwan. A lot of these individuals are financially sufficient yet they are not able to find a role that matches their training or talent so many end up managing their assets and become idle investors. I doubt that Taiwan's current environment is conducive to both innovation and entrepreneurship, yet we are also stuck in a limbo and purgatory of eternal mediocrity.
I studied liberal arts in college, so I lack the skills to innovate scientifically or technologically, yet I have learned to appreciate innovation from different standpoints . Cement has been a key building materials for two thousand years and while in consumer electronics, changes happen constantly. To most people who preaches innovation by the books, they might instantly frown at traditional manufacturing industries such as cement, yet I have learned to appreciated continuous refinement of craftsmanship, importance of service and quality to create value add, and at the same time looking for ways to improve our production process . These aspects of incremental improvement cannot be overlooked and should also be viewed as intangible innovation, something that is equally important as tangible product innovation as it is an improvement of soft power that keeps companies competitive in the long run.
I have also witnessed product innovation first hand as I participate in my brother's startup in which he spun off from ITRI. Over these past six years, I have seen him and his team cope with moving from the ivory towers to the reality of market economy. Before joining his team, I have never had travel experiences in which my total time in the air was greater than my time on the ground, I have never started work with people only to discover that they were laid off the next week and also never been humiliated by clients for hours who did not bother trying our samples (claiming he had).Innovation that have not passed through the gauntlet that is the market can never be viewed as true innovation. If one's invention cannot be accepted by the market, then what is it's true use?
Innovation without economy of scale and market is ultimately futile, which can be best summarized by the recent news of the acquisition of Sharp by Hon Hai, the merger of craftsmanship, innovation with mass production capability and customer access. When we started promoting our sensor in 2010, we were unaware of the long, winding road to mass production. At that time, the consumer electronics market were going through a large scale ecosystem reshuffling and unluckily, the first customers we approached were Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola. We have to learn to cope with disappointment due to factors that were out of our control as tragically, not all technology can come to fruition, yet if the stars are aligned and one can persevere, success may be in order.
Innovation should be a mentality and I would view innovation as a desire for change. We ought to strive to improve not just ourselves, but our livelihood and our surrounding. It does not have to be a complete sudden overhaul since persistent and incremental improvement can be a foundation for future large scale improvements. True product innovation is a gradual change and does not happen overnight, It is important to foster an environment and discourse that is conducive to change but at the same time tolerant to growing pains. Having a mentality of constantly seeking changes and improvements to oneself is vital for one to pursue product innovation. I think an overall change in attitude, innovating our mindset, is the most legitimate chance to rebuild our competitiveness.