Thursday, August 30, 2007

A great quote

"An entrepreneur is someone who lives for a few years the way most people won't, in order to spend the rest of his life the way most people can't"

Monday, August 27, 2007

Is the Lunch Break Going Extinct?

In this article from MSNBC is talks about how America's lunch break is disappearing. I have 2 stories that talk about different cultural perceptions of the lunch break. The first is about a friend that was working for a furniture store in Atlanta. It was 9am in the morning and there were no customers in the store at the time and his co-worker said to him, "Lets go to the restaurant and grab some breakfast." My friend replied that is wasn't a good idea because the boss might view that as being unmotivated. His co-worker replied that he was crazy for putting a higher priority of the thoughts of this boss over his own health. This co-worker had be raised to also be a hard worker but at certain times of the day it is expected for a person to eat. During these times persons health is much more important than a job. I guess if you think about it this makes perfect sense, what is more important than your health? You cannot put any price tag on that, but I think some of us do. Maybe that's why America's stress levels are higher than other developed countries.

Did you know that the United States is ranked 38th in life expectancy? Cuba and Israel live longer than we do. Here is the chart.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Not every Spanish speaker is Mexican

This keeps happening to many of my friends so I have to address it. The reason most of Latin America, with the exception of Brazil and Belize, speaks Spanish is because the country of Spain conquered it many years ago and now the residents speak Spanish. This is very similar to American history. This country was conquered by English-speakers therefore Native Americans and African Americans now speak English. Spanish is the official language of these Latin American countries: Argentina, Bolivia (co-official Quechua and Aymara), Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama , Paraguay (co-official GuaranĂ­), Peru (co-official Quechua and, in some regions, Aymara), Uruguay, and Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

Though these countries share similar cultural attributes these countries are very different from each other. PLEASE LOOK AT THEM AS SEPARATE COUNTRIES! They are just as different as the United States, Canada, India, U.K. and South Africa, which are all English speaking countries. I know that many Americans would be slightly offended if a foreigner introduced you as "This is Scott, he is Canadian." So please pay attention, develop a worldview and stop the ignorance. Thank you.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Top 25 Movies in Spain and Not One is Spanish

El Mundo reported that so far in 2007 there has not been a Spanish movie in the top 25 films at the Spanish box office. Out of a total of 45.8 million movie tickets sold in Spain since January, only 3.7 million were for films from Spain. This is an example of how American media is growing in popularity around the world and the movie culture is being adopted by countries. Click here to view the article in Spanish. The top 10 movies in Spain:

1. Spiderman 3 (EEUU) 15.770.271,19 €
2. 300 (EEUU) 14.337.406,02 €
3. Piratas del Caribe. En el fin del mundo (EEUU) 13.075.361,25 €
4. Noche en el museo (EEUU) 12.501.192,40 €
5. Babel (EEUU) 9.249.014,19 €
6. Diamantes de sangre (EEUU) 6.990.809,21 €
7. Las vacaciones de Mr. Bean (Reino Unido) 6.719.542,15 €
8. En busca de la felicidad (EEUU) 6.610.290,17 €
9. Ghost Rider. El motorista fantasma (EEUU) 5.487.134,92 €
10. Rocky Balboa (EEUU) 5.106.840,91 €

Friday, August 17, 2007

Shift Happens: Globalization & the Information Age

The speed at which information is being presented and exchanged around the world is at an all time high in human history. This video presents some of these facts.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Did you take Calculus in 7th grade?

In this article from 2006 it reports that Dell is hiring 10,000 new workers in India. My friend Rohit, born in India, informed me he took Calculus in the 7th grade and when he immigrated to the United States much of the work was alot easier for him than previously. This is a problem America. Because of technology and the Internet, it now allows the rest of the world we had previous been ignoring to now compete with American workers. I am not going to discuss the argument of outsourcing (that’s another blog), but India, in general, is ahead of our education system. Especially in the areas of science and technology and companies are taking notice. Wages have a major part of these decisions but the level of the education is too. This should be an awakening moment for us to motivate our kids even more to excel in school and make them realize they are not only competing against local kids but with the kids in the picture above located half way around the world. (i.e. English is an official language in India)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Assimilation versus acculturation

In the news there is a lot of talk about immigrants assimilating into American culture, but few people actually understand the definition of assimilation. A word that better describes the process that is happening now is acculturation. Assimilation is when a person replaces their original home culture with their new culture. It was this form that many early immigrants experienced when they migrated to the United States, but the trend you are seeing with a higher percentage of immigrants is acculturation.

Acculturation is when a person keeps their original home culture but also adapts and accepts the new culture. In effect, this person is bi-cultural. While maintaining original customs, history and values they also add custom’s of their new culture environment. As the United States becomes more diverse this person will actually have an advantage over others that only know and understand one culture. It is very important for a person to adopt and accept their new environment, but this does not have to be at the expense of throwing away their original culture. I have experienced this from living in other countries. I still maintained who I was but at the same time adopted parts of the new culture. This was a tremendous advantage as I could relate and interact with a wider range of people from all cultures and backgrounds.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Australian for Beer, but not really

“Country of origin” marketing can be an effective tool. This is where the origin of the product plays an important positive role in the mind of the consumer who is purchasing it. An example is Foster’s beer. We all remember the “Foster's: Australian for beer” commercials. The interesting thing that this image is almost purely created by the marketing department. I found out about this when I studied abroad in Australia in 2003. Our group visited a local Brisbane bar and requested Fosters for everyone. The bartender started laughing at us. First of all he didn’t even have Foster’s available in the bar and second hardly anyone in the whole country of Australia drinks it. He told us that Americans always ask for Fosters when they first arrive because they seem to think its Australians premier beer. This is simply not true. This is a marketing campaign created to get Americans to buy an “imported” beer. So remember that perception is everything in marketing; and that where we perceive the products we are buying are from plays an important role in our purchasing decisions (ie. French wine, Italian suits, etc....).

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Drive-Thru's in China

Today I viewed a story talking about McDonald's move into the Chinese market where there is a huge potential for growth. The part of the story that was interesting was that when they first opened drive-thru's people did not know how to use them. I think we forget that most consumers in America are quite advanced in consumerism and product knowledge. Things as simple as drive-thru's are not well known in many countries.

This type of factor must be considered when marketing and selling to specific segments such as a recent immigrant market that may not have as much knowledge about American products and services. Education must be a priority above fancy tag lines and commercials. Part of a company's marketing responsibility is educating certain segments about their offerings and this alone can separate your business from much of the competitors whom already assume this segment has a mature product knowledge. So next time before creating your market campaign remember the level of American consumerism of your segment.