Those of you who know me, or have been reading between the lines, might know that I am quite an internationally minded person. Quite aside from having customers all over the globe, and corresponding with them on a regular basis, I am actually fascinated by cultural differences. I wrote my dissertation on this very topic within European sales and working in the role that I do, I hope that I am learning more every day. As unsurprising as it is, I have now met some brilliant people from all different cultures. Fantastic, intelligent, driven, sincere and loyal people.
With this in mind there is a paradox I don’t understand. Has anyone heard of the Microshift groupset out there? A quick search of the internet will throw up some pictures of it….. as well as reams and reams of negativity. The group is also available under the brand name ‘Driven’. Laughably this is often written off as being a cheap Taiwanese, Chinese, or even better ‘Asian’ copy. The paradox being of course that the big players are all in Asia…. and the best functionality (perhaps not the most desirable) groupsets are acknowledged to be from Shimano.
I have actually ridden Driven in Las Vegas (more acurately at the Dirt Demo) at Interbike 2008. Was it good? Did it shift well… yes. It didn’t miss a beat. Was it a copy….? Well, the peope behind it have been building this stuff longer than I have been interested in bikes. Can you copy yourself?
I realise that all of this is getting a little bit ‘bike’, or more specifically a little bit ‘ranty’ about industry things, so I will try to change the subject….
I managed to turn up at an hour long meeting today 10 minutes before it was due to end. We have a fine system at work, so it will cost me. Actually though, I consider it quite an achievement. I consider it even more remarkable that no one came to look for me (I was on a call to Switzerland in fairness, but still….) I think it is the most disgrace that I have brought upon myself while living in the German culture…. so perhaps it really is time to leave? Actually, that links in quite well with the start of this post…. don’t you think?
Tomorrow sees the whole company spending a day in a Wellness hotel for a conference. Is wellness a word in English? I really don’t think so, but it sounds as if it should be…. anyway, I will translate… it is a spa hotel. Interesting place…. it is reputed to be very good, the decor though…. it doesn’t look like it has been touched since the early 90s! I will admit that I have only ever been there for meetings though, so I don’t know what the rooms are like. Its saving grace, as far as I am concerned, is that it is next to a prehistoric volcano (aren’t they all?) which is now a lake. It is really beautiful, so perhaps I will be able to get some photos.