Coconuts or Peaches…

When in Belgium while on a business trip, I was interviewed by Benny Debruyne of Trends Magazine – probably the business weekly in Belgium – on the pitfalls of ‘doing business’ in the United States. The product of this conversation became the article that was published a couple of days ago.

Here is the link to the full article – ‘Europeanen zijn als kokosnoten, Amerikanen als perziken’ – (‘Europeans are like coconuts, Americans like peaches’). For the non-Dutch speakers among our readership –  the author heard me talk about many things, but distilled these 5 pitfalls:

  1. send the wrong scout
  2. consider the US as one single market
  3. underestimate the legal side
  4. move too eagerly
  5. be too modest

About the title, the quote is not mine – I read it somewhere, but cannot recall who actually said it first. It stuck because it describes both cultures perfectly, Europeans are like coconuts: hard on the outside, but soft on the inside. Americans are like peaches: very open and accessible, but can be a hard nut to crack!


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