I’m writing this entry on the 13th of December, exactly 9 years ago did my wife and I touched down on American ground and I started my life in the U.S. This would call for another long, long post, but for now, fittingly in-the-moment, just an observation around cultural differences, one of my favorite topics.
Here is the thing. Robert Scoble wrote a blog post on his site and as so often, I read the blog post and some! of the many, many comments.
I want to respond, but it gets too complicated and I find myself writing a whole post myself, not for link bait but because I feel inspired and challenged and have some more thoughts about this then would fit into a little comment box.
First, go over to Robert’s site and read his entry, so you know what I’m talking about.
Mr. Scoble is upset that tech startup companies don’t use the latest and greatest tools to communicate and present themselves.
Seems straightforward and I feel for him. I don’t have any experiences with tech startups but his claims on his site seem fair and I would make the same argument. Of course it’s his passion that makes him successful and passion can lead to emotional overcommunicating… i.E.: being too harsh.
I often find myself in the same spot. That’s cool, we live, we learn.
The interesting thing that I want to bring up is the cultural differences. Not the technical aspect of this. Some commentators pointed out that Twitter doesn’t do at all the same wonders it does here in the U.S. Makes sense to.
But, what I want to talk about is the fact that here in the U.S. you seem to only be able to succeed with ‘hustle’. It brought Gary V. success. In his book he proposes working insane hours to connect with people. That is the name of the game in the U.S. I remember entering the workforce almost 9 years ago and was greeted by a zeal, passion and willingness to work long and hard that took me by surprise and shock. Especially since in the corporate realm this not always lead to success, and more often to mediocrity.
In Europe things are different. Of course, the more our world moves to an American Corporate model, the more the American coined term: ‘Bigger, Better, Faster, More’ is the only way to play. I had to learn this living here. First I rebelled in the corporate world. Now I own my own business and work like a crazy American to try to stay afloat, feed my family and build a brand. Welcome home Honey, I’ve landed.
One of the beautiful things about life in Europe is that it’s still somewhat balanced. Not everyone, hustles, works insane hours, heck those people have lifes. Sure, there are downsides to this European life. People settle. They don’t life their passion every hour of their day. But some of them have hobbies, have knowledge and experience in other things than just their “business”.
I wonder if Americans who are upset about Europeans and their relaxed attitude aren’t a bit jealous. It seems that Europeans might not crush it as hard, but they live more holistic lifes. Enjoy life a bit more, have hobbies.
I sure can get jealous every now and then. I wish I could slow down, wouldn’t have to hustle all the time. Could work just be work sometimes and … perhaps, have a hobby that I don’t feel the instant urge to monetize all the time. Just for the heck of it.
Of course I’m not implying if Mr. Scoble did things right or wrong. I just wanted to throw my thoughts and emotions out there that I had after reading one of those typical “cultural misunderstanding moments”.