Shih is frequently cited for his Smiling Curve, a business model that illustrates the vitality of the global IT industry.
Since retiring from Acer at the end of 2004, Shih has moved onto the next stage of his career. He now focuses his attention on the newly founded iD SoftCapital -- an investment management and business consultant company consisting of talent from the Acer Group, offering advice to Asian companies including start-ups, and those undergoing re-engineering.
Shih began his career at Unitron Industrial Corp. in 1971, where he successfully designed, developed and commercialized Taiwan's first desktop calculator. Later in 1972, he helped establish Qualitron Industrial Corp., and led the team that designed the world's first pen watch. In September of 1976, together with four partners, he co-founded Multitech International Corporation, the forerunner of Acer. Multitech was dedicated to the development of microcomputer and microprocessor-based technologies.
Graduating from the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, Shih obtained a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and an honorary Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1968, 1971 and 1992 respectively. He was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Technology by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in November 1997. And in 2001 he was the first Asian CEO to receive Thunderbird American Graduate School's highest honor, the degree of Doctor of International Law, in recognition of his exceptional leadership in the business world.
Shih actively contributes to a number of noteworthy social and public organizations. Among many, he is a member of the Board of Trustees to the Asia Business Council, an advisor to the R.O.C. Presidential office, a member of the International Advisory Panel for Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor, a Governor of the Asian Institute of Management, a member of the Board of Directors to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., and an Honorary Chairman of the Brand International Promotion Association.
Shih has received numerous awards in his homeland of Taiwan and beyond. In 1976, he was awarded one of the "Ten Most Outstanding Young Persons" in Taiwan. In 1999, the Academy of International Business selected him as "International Business Executive of the Year". In 2003, the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs presented Shih with the "Outstanding Contribution to Brand Building in Taiwan" award. More recently, the TCA (Taipei Computer Association) and TAITRA (Taiwan External Trade Development Council) honored Shih for his earlier vision and guidance to promote the Computex Taipei into a global top-three IT trade show.
Widely featured in industry and business media worldwide, in 1989, Fortune chose Shih as one of 25 People You Ought to Know for Doing Business in Asia. In 2000 he was selected as one of Asia's "top 25 Digital Elite" by Asia Week's first annual look at the people shaping Asia's high tech future. In 2004 BusinessWeek selected Shih as one of the "25 Stars of Asia". Shih was also interviewed by CNN's TalkAsia in 2003, and by Discovery Channel for the Crossings documentary in 2004.