Guide Nothing Gained by Overcrowding (Studies in International Planning History)

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Nearly all the EV-1s, which had been leased, were repossessed. Many were crushed. Many EV-1s were crushed. Plug In America, Wikimedia Commons. To Tarpenning, the auto industry was sleeping on its would-be killer app: taking full advantage of electric power. They get cheaper and better. So if he and Eberhard positioned the company the right way, they could ride the current of technological history. You want to be in industries where everything gets easier for you.

By the summer of , Tarpenning and Eberhard knew that they wanted to found an electric-car company, starting with a two-seater sports car and then moving into more accessible markets. As their research — and Martin's ride in the original tzero — suggested, electric motors allow cars to do things that internal-combustion engines are terrible at, such as generating oodles of torque the moment you stomp your foot on the accelerator, or employing regenerative braking , where the energy usually lost when the car slows down is fed back into the car's battery.

By the time summer hit, they knew they wanted to put together a two-seater sports car with lithium-ion batteries and an induction motor. They had a realization: The automotive ecosystem had quietly made itself inviting to startups. They always bought them from the windshield makers, and the rear-view mirrors were purchased from the rear-view-mirror makers. The car companies had even outsourced their electronics people, he realized, since they didn't think that was a part of their core competency. They really only kept the internal-combustion-engine design, final assembly, and sales and marketing on the inside, plus auto financing , which is where they made most of their money anyway.

Even styling was outsourced. Everyone loved the DeLorean, but the company collapsed in seven years. They'd always been confident about the electronics half of things — that's what Silicon Valley does — but they'd worried about the Detroit stuff, the nuts and bolts of automobile manufacturing. Now it seemed the manufacturing partners were already there. They just needed to connect with them. You have to be Ford to get a good price, but at least you don't have to have an engineering group trying to make a windshield wiper motor. That would kill us.

After all this education, Tarpenning was convinced it was time to start an electric-car company. On Jan. They walked around the park, settling into the Blue Bayou, a restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. He had been pitching her on car-company names for months, but the right branding proved elusive. This was to be a high-performance car that happened to be electric, so any overly "eco" or "engineery" name sounded tone-deaf — volts, surges, and leaves would be set aside. It would have to be easy to say and remember, and sound like a car company, not another high-tech startup.

Eberhard wanted to give credit to the man who patented the type of motor he planned on using, the AC induction motor, invented by the Serbian-American genius Nikola Tesla. Tesla's incorporation papers with the State of Delaware. Tesla Incorporation. That August, Eberhard and Tarpenning moved into the company's first office in a professional office building in downtown Menlo Park, California. Eberhard said that before they rented the office the sign said "Bushtracks African Expeditions," whatever that was.

So they just turned the sign over and wrote the car company's name on the back: Tesla Motors. Heading into the fall of , Eberhard and Tarpenning set upon refining their idea before making formal pitches to investors, people they would have one shot at showing their outlandish idea. They came up with an alternative strategy for workshopping the Tesla business plan.

They would mock-pitch it to VCs who would never consider Tesla, acquaintances they knew from three rounds of NuvoMedia financing who invested only in optical routing or website designs. By looking through their original plan, we can see the arguments they made to would-be investors. The executive summary of the original Tesla business plan. Martin Eberhard v. Elon Musk, Tesla Motors. In the opening lines of the executive summary, the company promised it would build high-performance electric sports cars.

The plan described the electric sports car as a "disruptive" technology, borrowing a phrase from Harvard professor Clayton Christensen. The Roadster would provide the value of a high-end sports car at a lower cost to the customer and a lower resource cost to the planet. The plan argued that "with a gasoline engine, performance comes with a big penalty — if you want a car that has the ability to accelerate quickly, you need a high-horsepower engine, and you will get poor gas mileage when you are not driving hard.

It is therefore quite easy to build an electric car that is both highly efficient and also very fast. With the business plan finally completed, the pitch honed, and the presentations prepared, Eberhard and Tarpenning were ready to try raising money in earnest. As VCs volleyed back with challenges, Eberhard and Tarpenning saw that there were details they hadn't thought through.


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Tesla realized it didn't want to deal with dealerships. After talking with a few dealership owners, they realized that a startup didn't want to be selling through dealerships — you'd lose opportunities to gather feedback from customers. Moreover, they learned that a company has few options if a franchisee fails to deliver, since all 50 states have laws on the books protecting franchisees.

The Tesla partners also realized that they'd need to position themselves as palatable to both Democrats and Republicans. Those on the left would see benefits in decreased fossil-fuel use, while those on the right would see a path to energy independence. Another breakthrough: They quickly realized they couldn't possibly build an entire car — the human and financial costs would be way too much. They wouldn't have to. Instead, they'd simply build on top of, and within, an existing car.

That appropriation is not uncommon in the auto industry. The tzero was built upon the Piontek Sportech kit car. The car needed to be small. The batteries were barely good enough, Eberhard recalled, and any heavier automobiles would rein in the car's range. Plus, he reasoned that the motor should be behind the driver for the sake of weight distribution and safety, so he focused the search on companies that made lightweight midengine cars.

Reuters After some deliberation, Eberhard and Tarpenning settled on the Elise, an elf of a sports car built by Lotus, the boutique British carmaker. Founded in , Lotus had made a name for itself by building Formula One race cars and slick consumer sports cars. Lotus had its financially separate Lotus Engineering division, so they were already working with other carmakers. Eberhard briefly considered going after Porsche, which has a similar consulting arm, but he remembers the German company's rate being three times that of Lotus.

The tiny British sports car had already been used as a base by other companies. The Lotus Elise S1. That same winter, Eberhard went back to AC Propulsion and sketched out a license to use some of the company's technology in the development of Tesla's motor and controller. With those pieces put together, the new year of became the time to start pitching to VCs in earnest. The thing about having a product that's really "out there" — like building an electric sports car, as opposed to launching a messaging app — is that it screams risk to possible investors.

In raising their first round in , Eberhard and Tarpenning secured small investments from family, friends, and a handful of VCs, but there wasn't anybody to lead the round, to make the gigantic keystone investment to allow the young company to rapidly start maturing. Peter Thiel, left, and Musk in the early s. His name was Elon Musk, and his ideas about what to do in the space industry were strikingly clear. Tarpenning and Eberhard introduced themselves. By this time in , Musk was already deep into SpaceX, though the company had yet to successfully launch anything into orbit.

Eberhard had previously made a handshake deal with the head of AC Propulsion, agreeing that they wouldn't pitch to the same investors. A young Elon Musk. I believe that you have driven AC Propulsion's tzero car. If so, you already know that a high-performance electric car can be made. We would like to convince you that we can do so profitably, creating a company with very high potential for growth, and at the same time breaking the compromise between driving performance and efficiency.

The pitch was supposed to be 30 minutes , Eberhard recalled. It lasted two hours. Eberhard realized that Musk was the first guy he had met who shared his vision for electric cars: Make a vastly superior car, not just a car that sucks less. A car like that would redefine what an electric car could be. And given the relatively small size of the sports-car market, a new automaker could have an effect on its first at bat, rather than trying to force its way into the crowded economy market. Then, once the Roadster had destroyed the myth that electric cars had to apologize for being cars, Tesla could move into more accessible price points.

Hong Eberhard and Wright walked Musk through their business plan. For all their shared enthusiasm, Wright remembers Musk being skeptical about what the production and design of the car would cost. Tarpenning was out in Washington, D. Tarpenning returned to California, and he and Eberhard made a final pitch at SpaceX. Musk said he was in, but they would have to make it quick.

His then wife was pregnant with twins, and once those boys came into the world he wouldn't have time to deal with the guys from Tesla. The paperwork was quickly drawn up and finalized on April 23, The way Ian Wright describes it, working with Lotus was an education in Tesla's ignorance. A Lotus Europa. Eberhard and Wright first bonded on a flight to Tokyo where they took turns damning and praising the Lotus Europa, an idiosyncratic s-era sports car they had each owned.

The New Zealand-born Wright, who used to build and race sports cars back in the day, had come on as the "car guy" for Tesla when he joined as the third member of the team in As part of the fellowship of Tesla, Wright's biggest responsibility was nurturing the relationship with Lotus. The first time he visited the Lotus factory, in Hethel, England, he was amazed by two things. The first was the ingenious way Lotus had managed to intersperse Vauxhall s with Lotuses on the assembly line. The second was what a ridiculously difficult project Tesla had signed up for.

He was shocked when a Lotus engineer told him that it was easier to redesign an engine than remake a door. In what would become a theme for Tesla, seemingly simple parts revealed unending intricacies. You have to fit locks, switches, and windows into the confines of a door, all while keeping rain and wind out and getting that satisfying thunk when you close it.

Perhaps most maddeningly, a would-be carmaker has to navigate manufacturing tolerances. In car manufacturing, a tolerance is the allowed variation of some measurement in a part, whether it be a dimensional factor such as length or an electrical one like resistance. Part of an engineer's job is to make sure that the car's design will work within those tolerated variations — so that, for instance, the longest length of one part still works when mated with the shortest allowable version of another. What made things harder, of course, was that Tesla was trying to build a new kind of car.

The Elise chassis would require tons of modifications — with Tesla's electric powertrain and battery pack included. The other big task for Wright, who would amiably leave the company about a year after joining, was to form a relationship with AC Propulsion, the manufacturer of the tzero, which was so effective at convincing people that electric cars didn't have to suck. Tesla's original plan was to acquire the company and get its powertrain technology, motor tech, and the management system. The AC Propulsion executives didn't want to be acquired, but they agreed to a license deal instead.

The Roadster quarter-scale clay model, circa January Martin Eberhard Malcolm Powell had been working as a project manager at Lotus for over 15 years when he walked into a meeting with Eberhard and Wright in early They were in England to talk about building a car. Powell couldn't help feel skeptical. While Lotus was always a progressive company, he said lots of people would approach the carmaker trying to make their ill-conceived ideas into a reality.

Their product was therefore out of the ordinary. And Eberhard and Tarpenning — two dudes who blew up by making an e-book — were unconventional automakers, to say the least. After serving as the point of contact within Lotus for Tesla, Powell moved to the other side, taking a job as the VP of vehicle integration about six months after that first meeting. He acted as a bridge between the companies — he knew everything you could about the Elise, and he had worked intimately with the whole team at Lotus.

In those days, Lotus held a lot of the cards. Tesla was an unheard-of startup; Lotus was an established name in racing. Powell recalls that Lotus didn't want to do anything that might dent the reputation of its ace product. The Roadster was to be new in a way that almost every other new car was not, Powell recalls, because when GM or Ford or Toyota wanted to roll out a product line, they were limited to a pool of parts from preexisting vehicles.

But the Roadster — with parts sourced from the dispersed ecosystem of auto manufacturers and Tesla's proprietary technology — was legitimately new. The following summer, Eberhard had a clear understanding of what he wanted the Roadster to look like, so he sent out his first call for design submissions. The proposals that came back were "awful," he recalled. They were all loaded with doodads and thingamajigs that screamed "electric. No matter how clearly he could picture the Roadster in his mind, he couldn't communicate the vision to designers.

AP In the fall of , Bill Moggridge, a long-time friend who happened to be a legend in design, had Eberhard over to his elegant, modernist home two doors down from Eberhard in rural San Mateo, California. The London-born Moggridge, now deceased, was something of an elder statesman of industrial design. He was a cofounder of IDEO, the legendary design consultancy.

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He's credited with styling the first modern laptop. In his upper-crust English accent, the Santa Claus-looking Moggridge spent two afternoons with Eberhard talking about what he wanted out of the car and the place it would have in the world. The Tesla intrigued Moggridge because IDEO had designed almost every consumer product the world had seen, but never a car. Ignoring the view of the Pacific stretched out before them, the two slowly untangled what this mystery car would look like. After a few glasses of wine, Moggridge suggested a way for Eberhard pinpoint his vision.

Where would you want your car to be on that axis? Eberhard leaned toward retro. The Roadster needed to say "sports car" the moment you laid eyes on it, plus anything futuristic would put the vehicle in the uncomfortably crunchy territory of the Prius or Leaf. In the middle, Eberhard replied. It should be appealing to men, but it didn't need to be a Mustang.

Another axis. While the Roadster certainly leaned toward the future, it was designed to be rooted in timeless forms. After all that articulation, Moggridge created a presentation. It was "magic," Eberhard said. Moggridge had translated his engineerspeak into something design people could understand. For the company Christmas party, Eberhard invited the 15 other members of the Tesla team, advisers, and their families to a company holiday party at his home in San Mateo County.

Aside from Elon Musk, everyone who mattered to the company was there. Eberhard stripped his guest bedroom of anything but the white walls.

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On those walls he placed the sketches and computer renderings from the four design finalists. The guests were each given three red Post-it notes and three green Post-it notes. The contestants for the Roadster design contest. Martin Eberhard. He told his guests that red was bad, green was good, and they could put the Post-its wherever they wanted. Throughout the course of the night, guests drifted down to the guest room, studied the designs, and placed their Post-its.

By the end of the night, one wall was full of green: that of Barney Hatt, then principal designer for Lotus Design Studio. Barney Hatt of Lotus Engineering won the design contest. By November , Tesla built their first "mule," an Elise stuffed full of Tesla technology. The Mule being built. Martin Eberhard Malcolm Smith recalled that when the time finally came to take the mule for a spin, there was some debate about who should drive.

In interviews with other employees, Straubel was repeatedly described as a wunderkind. The guy rebuilt an electric golf cart when he was He had cofounded the Aerospace firm Volacom. The MIT Tech Review wrote that "more than anyone else, [Straubel] is responsible for the car's impressive acceleration," the engineer who engineered the Roadster's electronic controls, electric motor, and battery pack.

The car was missing all its body panels, but it had a revised battery pack, software, and hardware. Straubel hopped in and stepped on the accelerator. The mule rocketed down the pavement. Everybody stood slack-jawed. That proof helped secure more funding too. Tesla Roadster wireframe, June In the spring of , Tesla was still in stealth mode. But it's hard to stay stealthy when you're making something as crazy as a high-performance electric vehicle.

The creators of the documentary film "Who Killed The Electric Car" had already come a-knocking, and more buzz was gathering around Silicon Valley. Though it wasn't his quite his job, Mike Harrigan, who was brought in as VP of customer service and support, realized that the time for staying quiet had passed. Tesla needed to announce itself to the world. It would need to do something spectacular. A publicity plan was hatched. Tesla hired one PR firm to set up the event and another to wrangle Hollywood stars.

For Eberhard, the day was a "complete panic," between setting up the event, getting the whole team arranged, and taking care of the friends and family who had flown in from all over the world for the big day. Hollywood responded. The strong guest list included Ed Begley Jr. Everybody who came to the party was told to bring a checkbook. At the center of the hangar was a stage. A track looped around the inside of the hanger, went out the door, ran down the airport runway, looped around on a straightaway, then back into the hanger, as if you took a long rubber band, made a rough T shape out of it, and laid it on the tarmac of Santa Monica Airport.

A fan shot of the Tesla launch party in Santa Monica on July 19, The drivers were hearing a loud clunk in the back of the car whenever they punched the accelerator. The upper motor mount — which they had built out of magnesium — had broken. You couldn't see it by popping open the trunk; you had to crawl around inside the car. Anybody who got into one of those cars had their opinion of electric cars instantly changed.

Stephen Casner was a friend of Eberhard's and a colleague when they both worked at Packet Design, attended the event. Now retired, Casner had a long-time interest in electric vehicles; he had once given Martin a ride in his own EV Another fan shot of the Tesla launch party in Santa Monica on July 19, But Eberhard made by far the bigger impression, according to those who were present. At the time, Eberhard was Mr. Tesla, Harrigan said. He was confident and knowledgeable enough to inspire a following, but nerdy enough to feel accessible. Musk, who had nowhere near the cult following that he has today, was still finding his footing as a public figure.

His presentation wasn't as free-flowing. He seemed nervous. He just didn't seem to be nearly as effective in making people excited and believe in this trend. As a result, Casner remembered, Eberhard was the one doing one media interview after another. He did dozens that day — some in front of a camera, some for radio, some for print, with some reporters just listening while he spoke with others. In any case, the event worked.

One of those was Stephen Casner's. People put the money down to get the Signature One Hundred series cars received this thank-you note. Stephen Casner They received the following thank-you note from Tesla:. Congratulations on becoming a member of the Tesla Signature One Hundred. You have joined an elite circle of automotive visionaries who have chosen to reserve the world's first high performance, electric sportscar. We look forward to delivery dates in summer of and will keep in touch with you on a regular basis regarding the status of the Tesla Roadster as well as Tesla Motors company updates.

The note was signed by Eberhard, Tarpenning, and Musk. The reverse. Stephen Casner Harrigan remembered putting together three full binders of clippings.


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He said the company was careful not to limit itself to the automobile press but also work hard to get attention in financial magazines like Fortune and landed a massive, splashy spread in Wired. The press was glowing. CNET reported that "as soon as the driver hits the accelerator, you are thrown back against the seat. The New York Times told readers that Tesla was making a car that was "very specialized, very expensive and very, very fast. Eberhard was becoming a star. His claim to fame, according to the ad, was that he " created the first electric sports car.

While the media attention may have been good for Tesla, it left Musk feeling neglected. In an email to Harrigan on July 18, , he wrote that he would "like to talk with every major publication within reason. The way that my role as been portrayed to date, where I am referred to merely as 'an early investor' is outrageous. That would be like Martin [Eberhard] being called an 'early employee. Martin should certainly be the front and center guy, but the portrayal of my role to date has been incredibly insulting. I'm not blaming you or others at Tesla — the media is difficult to control.

However, we need to make a serious effort to correct this perception. If anything like this happens again, please consider the PCGC [public relations firm] relationship with Tesla to end immediately upon publication of such a piece. Please ensure that the NYT publishes a correction as soon as possible. In a column about Tesla a week later, the paper of record gushed that "Martin Eberhard, the company's chief executive, recognizes that new technologies usually start out as high-end products.

He and his team are making their car the newest hot gadget, a status symbol. If rappers and football stars buy them, maybe the company can make a dent in the market. There was no mention of Musk. We would work through our opinions and come to a conclusion. Globalization of Markets and Competition : Trade is increasingly global in scope today. There are several reasons for this. One significant reason is technological—because of improved transportation and communication opportunities today, trade is now more practical.

Thus, consumers and businesses now have access to the very best products from many different countries. Increasingly rapid technology lifecycles also increases the competition among countries as to who can produce the newest in technology. Stages in the International Involvement of a Firm. We discussed several stages through which a firm may go as it becomes increasingly involved across borders.

A purely domestic firm focuses only on its home market, has no current ambitions of expanding abroad, and does not perceive any significant competitive threat from abroad.

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Such a firm may eventually get some orders from abroad, which are seen either as an irritation for small orders, there may be a great deal of effort and cost involved in obtaining relatively modest revenue or as "icing on the cake. In the international stage, as certain country markets begin to appear especially attractive with more foreign orders originating there, the firm may go into countries on an ad hoc basis—that is, each country may be entered sequentially, but with relatively little learning and marketing efforts being shared across countries.

In the multi-national stage, some efficiencies are pursued by standardizing across a region e. An example of a truly global company is Coca Cola. Note that these stages represent points on a continuum from a purely domestic orientation to a truly global one; companies may fall in between these discrete stages, and different parts of the firm may have characteristics of various stages—for example, the pickup truck division of an auto-manufacturer may be largely domestically focused, while the passenger car division is globally focused.

Although a global focus is generally appropriate for most large firms, note that it may not be ideal for all companies to pursue the global stage. For example, manufacturers of ice cubes may do well as domestic, or even locally centered, firms. Some forces in international trade. The text contains a rather long-winded appendix discussing some relatively simple ideas. Comparative advantage, discussed in more detail in the economics notes, suggests trade between countries is beneficial because these countries differ in their relative economic strengths—some have more advanced technology and some have lower costs.

The International Product Life Cycle suggests that countries will differ in their timing of the demand for various products.


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Products tend to be adopted more quickly in the United States and Japan, for example, so once the demand for a product say, VCRs is in the decline in these markets, an increasing market potential might exist in other countries e. Trade balances and exchange rates. When exchange rates are allowed to fluctuate, the currency of a country that tends to run a trade deficit will tend to decline over time, since there will be less demand for that currency. This reduced exchange rate will then tend to make exports more attractive in other countries, and imports less attractive at home.

Measuring country wealth. There are two ways to measure the wealth of a country. The nominal per capita gross domestic product GDP refers to the value of goods and services produced per person in a country if this value in local currency were to be exchanged into dollars. The GNP, for example, includes income made by citizens working abroad, and does not include the income of foreigners working in the country.

Traditionally, the GNP was more prevalent; today the GPD is more commonly used—in practice, the two measures fall within a few percent of each other. For example, the ability of Argentinians to purchase micro computer chips, which are produced mostly in the U. It should be noted that, in some countries, income is quite unevenly distributed so that these average measures may not be very meaningful.

In Brazil, for example, there is a very large underclass making significantly less than the national average, and thus, the national figure is not a good indicator of the purchase power of the mass market. Similarly, great regional differences exist within some countries—income is much higher in northern Germany than it is in the former East Germany, and income in southern Italy is much lower than in northern Italy.

The political situation. Certain issues in the political environment are particularly significant. Some countries, such as Russia, have relatively unstable governments, whose policies may change dramatically if new leaders come to power by democratic or other means. Some countries have little tradition of democracy, and thus it may be difficult to implement. For example, even though Russia is supposed to become a democratic country, the history of dictatorships by the communists and the czars has left country of corruption and strong influence of criminal elements.

Laws across borders. When laws of two countries differ, it may be possible in a contract to specify in advance which laws will apply, although this agreement may not be consistently enforceable. Alternatively, jurisdiction may be settled by treaties, and some governments, such as that of the U. By the doctrine known as compulsion , a firm that violates U.

The reality of legal systems. Some legal systems, such as that of the U. In some countries, however, there are laws on the books which are not enforced e. Further, the amount of discretion left to government officials tends to vary. In Japan, through the doctrine of administrative guidance , great latitude is left to government officials, who effectively make up the laws.

One serious problem in some countries is a limited access to the legal systems as a means to redress grievances against other parties. While the U. In many jurisdictions, pre-trial discovery is limited, making it difficult to make a case against a firm whose internal documents would reveal guilt. This is one reason why personal relationships in some cultures are considered more significant than in the U. Legal systems of the World. There are four main approaches to law across the World, with some differences within each:.

Culture is part of the external influences that impact the consumer. That is, culture represents influences that are imposed on the consumer by other individuals. This means that all parts must fit together in some logical fashion. For example, bowing and a strong desire to avoid the loss of face are unified in their manifestation of the importance of respect. We will consider the mechanics of learning later in the course. For example, in American society, one cannot show up to class naked, but wearing anything from a suit and tie to shorts and a T-shirt would usually be acceptable.

Failure to behave within the prescribed norms may lead to sanctions, ranging from being hauled off by the police for indecent exposure to being laughed at by others for wearing a suit at the beach. One American spy was intercepted by the Germans during World War II simply because of the way he held his knife and fork while eating. For example, American culture has changed a great deal since the s, while the culture of Saudi Arabia has changed much less. Dealing with culture.

Culture is a problematic issue for many marketers since it is inherently nebulous and often difficult to understand. Warning about stereotyping. When observing a culture, one must be careful not to over-generalize about traits that one sees. Note that there are often significant individual differences within cultures.

Cultural lessons. We considered several cultural lessons in class; the important thing here is the big picture. Cultural characteristics as a continuum. There is a tendency to stereotype cultures as being one way or another e. Note, however, countries fall on a continuum of cultural traits. Gert Hofstede, a Dutch researcher, was able to interview a large number of IBM executives in various countries, and found that cultural differences tended to center around four key dimensions:.

In the U. High vs. This is the case in the U. The nature of languages may exacerbate this phenomenon—while the German language is very precise, Chinese lacks many grammatical features, and the meaning of words may be somewhat less precise. English ranks somewhere in the middle of this continuum. Ethnocentrism and the self-reference criterion. The psychologist expressed disgust that the cows were allowed to roam free in villages, although it turns out that they provided valuable functions by offering milk and fertilizing fields.

The important thing here is to consider how these biases may come in the way in dealing with members of other cultures. It should be noted that there is a tendency of outsiders to a culture to overstate the similarity of members of that culture to each other. In the United States, we are well aware that there is a great deal of heterogeneity within our culture; however, we often underestimate the diversity within other cultures. For example, in Latin America, there are great differences between people who live in coastal and mountainous areas; there are also great differences between social classes.

Language issues. Language is an important element of culture. It should be realized that regional differences may be subtle. For example, one word may mean one thing in one Latin American country, but something off-color in another. It should also be kept in mind that much information is carried in non-verbal communication.

Within the context of language:. Writing patterns, or the socially accepted ways of writing, will differs significantly between cultures. In English and Northern European languages, there is an emphasis on organization and conciseness. Here, a point is made by building up to it through background. An introduction will often foreshadow what is to be said.

In Asian languages, there is often a great deal of circularity. Because of concerns about potential loss of face, opinions may not be expressed directly. Instead, speakers may hint at ideas or indicate what others have said, waiting for feedback from the other speaker before committing to a point of view. The intended meaning of a word may also differ from its literal translation.

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Differences in cultural values result in different preferred methods of speech. Because of the potential for misunderstandings in translations, it is dangerous to rely on a translation from one language to another made by one person. The text is first translated by one translator—say, from German to Mandarin Chinese. A second translator, who does not know what the original German text said, will then translate back to German from Mandarin Chinese translation. The text is then compared. If the meaning is not similar, a third translator, keeping in mind this feedback, will then translate from German to Mandarin.

The process is continued until the translated meaning appears to be satisfactory. Primary vs. In general, secondary research is less expensive and is faster to conduct, but it may not answer the specific questions the firm seeks to have answered e. Secondary sources. A number of secondary sources of country information are available.

One of the most convenient sources is an almanac, containing a great deal of country information. The U. P33 [] in the Reference Department of the Gelman Library , provides leads on numerous sources by topic.

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Stat-USA, a database compiled by the U. Several experts may be available. Anthropologists and economists in universities may have built up a great deal of knowledge and may be available for consulting. Consultants specializing in various regions or industries are typically considerably more expensive. Hard vs. Data reliability. The accuracy and objectivity of data depend on several factors.

One significant one is the motivation of the entity that releases it. Some data may be dated e. Differences in how constructs are defined in different countries e. Cost of data. Much government data, or data released by organizations such as the World Bank or the United Nations, is free or inexpensive, while consultants may charge very high rates. Issues in primary research.

Cultural factors often influence how people respond to research. While Americans are used to market research and tend to find this relatively un-threatening, consumers in other countries may fear that the data will be reported to the government, and may thus not give accurate responses. In some cultures, criticism or confrontation are considered rude, so consumers may not respond honestly when they dislike a product.

Technology such as scanner data is not as widely available outside the United States. Local customs and geography may make it difficult to interview desired respondents; for example, in some countries, women may not be allowed to talk to strangers. Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning. Segmentation, in marketing, is usually done at the customer level. However, in international marketing, it may sometimes be useful to see countries as segments.

This allows the decision maker to focus on common aspects of countries and avoid information overload. It should be noted that variations within some countries e. Country level segmentation may be done on levels such as geography—based on the belief that neighboring countries and countries with a particular type of climate or terrain tend to share similarities, demographics e.