Friday, June 24, 2011

Being Frank On Friday - Globalized Web 2.0

I received a tweet the other day from the founder of a company that I have a tremendous respect for and the tweet was about a job opening.

A job that I would will KILL for!

I applied for the job and I wrote a killer cover letter!  I have watched this company from the days when they were just an idea that by chance had been shared with me.  An idea that at the time I tried to convince the two owners of the company that I worked for was the future and one that we had to get behind NOW!  That was over 10 years ago and the owners of the company that I worked for retired and ceased operations and this idea that I thought was the future of our industry has become a major force in the world of Web 2.0.

Of course as I was looking things over I realized that I had more work experience than most of the folks with this company had years on earth!  Okay....no big deal.

I realize that they are using all the current technology to locate applicants and thus I am sure that my resume will not trigger a single keyword match.  Okay....no big deal.

Looking for someone to expand their business internationally, someone with international ecommerce experience.  Let me get this straight, you are a leader in the world of Web 2.0, in the world of consumer centric business, and you want to create an globalized consumer centric platform.  Honestly, shouldn't you be looking for someone who has actually lived "globally?"  I mean, I have been to a couple of "goat pulls" (boil a goat and serve it whole on a bed of rice, oh, and the guest of honor gets the eyeballs and or the tongue) in Saudi Arabia, and have witnessed beheadings and public stonings.  Personally, I think the Arab Spring that we are now witnessing is a great opportunity for you, by building communities of young people in Arab countries, and giving them an opportunity to express themselves, not only among fellow Arabs but with the world.

Iran, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma, Thailand....and all throughout the remainder of Asia, been there and still have friends there!  I have been to more full moon parties in Kathmandu than I care to acknowledge and on a dare I swam across the Mekong River from Thailand to Laos; should have seen the border guards faces as all 6'10" of me came out of the water!

Oh, lets not forget Africa and definitely not Europe!  I lived in Europe for 9 years as a child and my Dad made damn sure that we lived like the locals and that we traveled to every possible country that we could!

None of that is on my resume!  No place on the application to note that even today I get more Christmas cards with international addresses and from non Christians than I do from anywhere or anyone else.

I remember when the company I worked for decided to expand into Europe in 1990; with the attitude that the market in Europe was under served!  It took some real convincing to get them to realize that a tee shirt label of "Porky's Tees" was not going to fly in Europe and that they would be better off going with "Turner Originals."  

I have no idea why Americans think that the world is their oyster; I mean the third largest retailer in the world is a French Company that owns some of the biggest specialty retailers in the United States!  Probably would come to a surprise that Mitsubishi sales more apparel in Asia than they sale cars in the United States; and they sale a lot more apparel than JC Penney does!

Yes, the economy of the EU is bigger than the US economy, and soon so will the Chinese economy be; but their consumers are different, their culture is different, and you need to realize that to be successful in those economies, especially as a Web 2.0 darling, requires more than an understanding of international ecommerce and a program that converts English into the local dialect.

Yes, I spent 20 years with a company that developed a thriving European business and eventually bought a subsidiary in India.  Of course one owner used to love to "educate" anyone who would listen about what was "wrong" with the European societies and the same with India, and from time to time he would forget and attempt to educate me to which I would just respond, "Bob, if you want to do business in other countries then you have to do business their way to be successful!"  Or, "If you want their money then you need to respect them!"

According to the applicant software I only "fit" the job description in two places; one, was I favored fast paced work environments, and two, I favored employers who had a casual attire policy!

I will probably have to kill someone to get the job, or I can continue to chase funding and build up my own big and tall international community and then write a book one day on the topic of globalized Web 2.0; customization and consumer goods in a world without borders!


By the way, some of us had lava lamps long before Google did! 

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