This morning, we started the day off with a lecture about the Mekong Delta and the impact climate change has on its environment. After learning how severe of an impact this is, we had our daily Vietnamese language class. Today, we practiced introductions including our occupation, marital status, and nationality. These topics, while of minimal significance in a conversation with an 18 year-old American, are of utmost importance to the Vietnamese and affect the way they refer to each other in future conversations.
Our company visit today was to Glass Egg, a 3D design studio and game developer/publisher. Glass Egg has been a highly successful company based solely in Ho Chi Minh for the past 18 years. Their success in this location is notable, because it provides benefits and drawbacks to the company. For one, when Glass Egg started up in Ho Chi Minh City, it was the only business of its kind. This caused a sense of isolation, hindering the company’s growth. Additionally, since Vietnam is so close to China, businesses could go to China instead of Vietnam for a much greater selection of companies to choose from. However, Ho Chi Minh City is still a desirable destination for many, causing clients to travel to Glass Egg as opposed to choosing a Chinese firm for convenience. In addition to its popularity as a vacation spot, Ho Chi Minh provides lower total costs for the company and allows them to grow at an exponential rate. These benefits outweigh the few smaller drawbacks of the location. Glass Egg faces obstacles with creating software in addition to location based ones, one of which includes hacking. To avoid this issue, they hire an external company specifically to prevent any breaches of security. Another issue they’ve dealt with is communication between client to designer. There are many people involved in each design, so small specifications can sometimes get lost along the way. In the future, Glass Egg does plan to expand. They’ve considered opening an office in Vancouver, for one. However, they have very regulated policies about growth because hiring local and training local employees is so important to their company mission. They typically try to hire young, inexperienced people (or people with expertise in different artistic fields such as jewelry making) so that they can teach them everything they need to know at the company and ensure company loyalty. It was clear to me from visiting this company that they are extremely successful and that every move is well thought out – I can only imagine whatever growth they do end up seeking will be equally lucrative!