THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

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Where the music industry suffered and is still suffering is from a never-ending game of musical chairs where it’s the same old boring people moving from one music company to the next, bringing nothing new in the process and not understanding that consumers are transient beings who crave for things that are new.

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It’s like the man-eating plant in The Little Shop Of Horrors saying, “Feed me” but always wanting something new to feast on.

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So, as four friends and I walked through the sameness of Hong Kong’s restaurants and bars and clubs last night, it dawned on us that all of these outlets mesh into one big boring blob gone broke.

If Wes Craven were to make a new horror movie, the Blob Of Hong Kong’s Nightlife would make for a scary plot.

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On top of this, add the players- most from an old script and trying to make up for lost time with the same tired pie-in-the-sky ideas sold to investors- many of whom humor these people and string them along.

To them, it’s a game as the salesmanship has been a shocker.

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Let’s be frank. Despite the glut of foodie bloggers etc- most hustling for a free meal and usually new to this city- what is missing from Hong Kong is originality.

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For a while, I was thinking that Hong Kong was castrating the small entrepreneur.

Yes, it is- but not when it comes to the restaurant business.

Here, it’s a level playing field where the gift of the gab is needed when it comes to enticing investors- real investors with real money and not a pocketful of mumbles that are sometime promises- who will make ideas come true.

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Again, I come to the game of creaky musical chairs where chefs move from here to there, staff keep moving and a city where someone with a ponytail and a white skin can sucker-punch gullible Asians into buying “organic” bullshit ideas.

But is it his fault that some idiot has bought into this?

It’s like Alistair Paton and his M1NT ponzie scheme which fed on the greed and status consciousness of dumbass shareholders.

He conned them and left Hong Kong with millions and laughing all the way to the bank- and those who were conned, they deserved it.

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On top of all this, Hong Kong’s restaurant business suffers from the steady flow of gossip plus the terrible stench of jealousy.

In love, war and the whole damn thing, jealousy is a killer that stunts growth, saps energy and shows one’s true colours- green.

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Sadly, Hong Kong has been re-built on jealousy, especially when it comes to the restaurant business with the end result being a tedious game of my kebabs are bigger than yours and which the consumer couldn’t give a toss about.

It’s just more choice for them.

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The solution: Some new thinking from a new generation of entrepreneurs as most restaurateurs are more wrapped up in petty jealousies than looking inwards and seeing how way off they are when it comes to their business models and understanding the wants and needs of the consumer.

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Yes, just like what’s ailing the music business and other industries, there are way too many around whose Used By date is long gone and with no idea of how to elevate their brands and with such weak CVs, they will never be taken seriously.

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And no matter how superficial it might be, Hong Kong loves big players and whether full of bullshit or not, like Alistair Paton, they always succeed as they have that incredible gift of the gab that can sell snow to Eskimos.

Say what you will about him, but in Hong Kong, Harlan Goldstein has reinvented himself, become a brand and attracts investors.

He is a success and only the very churlish would begrudge this.

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Perception is everything and that’s just how it is- in Hong Kong and the world over and in any business.

But perception is especially key in the restaurant business full of its Michelin Stars, celebrity chefs like Wolfgang Puck and reality television personalities like Gordon Ramsay and his various “assets” though the latter’s business ventures are imploding all over the place.

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To those in Hong Kong who are wondering why they are also-rans, well, they only have themselves to blame.

They have either failed to reinvent themselves or made a total balls up with irrelevant business models.

And last night, we met many of them. Too many- and most of them bleeding.

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