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Aspirations for business in asian markets, but don't know where to start

I have been pursuing an education in something that I've been passionate for since childhood, but as I grow, I can see more of the world around me. After living in a country that is mostly war-oriented and who's own government is on the brink of disaster, my sights are expanding to other parts of the world.

Everyone by now can probably see the tremendous influence China will have in the world of business in the years to come. I'm deeply inspired by the country's growth, as well as Singapore and Japan. I am especially inspired by the grand image of Singapore and their relationship with foreign (American) businesses. And after being raised in an Russian-immigrant family, I feel communication between cultures and language-barriers is one of my strong points (China and Russia have very close ties in business).

I will be switching majors for business and foreign communications probably by next semester. But aside from a brick-and-mortar educational process, where can I look to for inspiration and ideas having to do with business? I want to have my own company making hardware aimed for a very small, but healthy market (guitar pickups). As naive as it might seem I figure having a small-scale idea can propel me further and into new ventures. In my opinion companies that make hardware, even like screws and hinges, thrive when providing products to a constantly growing market - even when no one consciously knows the market exists. (An example is a local manufacturing plant that specializes in contracted metal things, with everything from parts for motors to weapons components).

Where could I begin?
Does anyone know of any inspirational videos here on TED?

The funny thing is, I only recognized that I have a distinct interest in this after watching an episode of the DailyShow, from an interview where the former Governor of Massachusetts talked about overseas business relations.

  • Sep 30 2011: The most fundamental advice is to learn the culture and language of the country you decide to deal with as much as possible because it will give you an immeasurable advantage over those who lack such 'educated empathy', even if what they offer business-wise is more attractive that what you're offering.

    It helps if you actually like the country, culture, people of those you're dealing with as it makes immersing yourself in it a lot easier. Sometimes it's better to make a moderate sacrifice in business terms for a more comfortable environment to do business in. E.g., corruption and two-faced dealings don't sit well with you? Opt for Japan or Singapore over China.