Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Dose of Davos

The World Economic Forum, the annual gathering of government and corporate leaders in Davos, Switzerland, runs until Sunday.

Here are some highlights.

World Economic Forum

Friday, January 29, 2010

How It Works: Cloud Computing

With cloud computing, an on demand access to virtualized IT resources that are provided as a service over the Internet, you can reduce risk and gain control. This is not new. It has been taking place in some form or fashion for years. Just a new name has been coined to define it. For example, if you have an email account with a Web-based e-mail service like Gmail, Yahoo or Earthlink, then you've had some experience with cloud computing.

Cloud computing 101: "How Cloud Computing Works"
Wikipedia definition: Cloud computing definition:
Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. These services are broadly divided into three categories: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The name cloud computing was inspired by the cloud symbol that's often used to represent the Internet in flow charts and diagrams.
According to InfoWorld: What cloud computing really means

2010 Tipping Point for SMB Use of Cloud Computing:

Tip No. 5: SMBs use the cloud to avoid infrastructure problems faced by offering their services in different countries around the globe. The cloud will act as an equalizer in this manner and allow SMBs large and small to compete internationally.
In line with above, cloud computing has changed how companies market, sell, provision and deploy new services on a global basis.

As cloud computing goes global, you have to ask yourself: whose laws matter?

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Global Copyright Treaty?

A landmark intellectual IP agreement -- known as Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) -- is in the works. Why the secrecy?

Learn more here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Benefits of Offshoring When You Think Wide

Too many organizations mistakenly limit offshore work to routine tasks.
More broadly, our research has implications for what kind of work is “offshore-able.” We believe that if Western companies focused more on fostering collaboration between workers separated by geography and culture, and less on forcing offshore workers to perform tasks in very specific ways, the range of work they could source offshore would be significantly expanded. Companies struggling to fill talent gaps in semiconductor-chip design, drug discovery, engineering and other intellectually complex areas could draw on high-quality and growing talent bases in countries like India and China.
Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Doing Business With the World: It's Easy. Here's How.

Who wouldn’t want to sell to more than 1.7 billion people? According to Internet World Stats, that’s the current number of Internet users worldwide, up 200,000 since December! How can you prepare to capture this astounding audience and do business with the world? Above all else, you need customers, but before we cover that, here are other factors to consider.

Read more here.

Like what you see? Sign up to keep up with what's going on in the world of global small business.

Separately, Happy Australia Day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Learn Global Business Etiquette

If you are in the process of expanding abroad, avoid cultural gaffes by learning local business etiquette in the country you are about to do business.

This article offers some good tips by business owners and experts in the trenches on how to immerse yourself in a country's culture to better understand the people, respect their ways and be sensitive about never offending.

Expanding Abroad? Avoid Cultural Gaffes

You might also check out our 8 Global Marketing Gaffes.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Chat With Eric Schmidt on China and Censorship

Newsweek's Fareer Zakaria has a conversation with Google CEO Eric Schmidt about doing business in China despite the restrictions that Beijing imposes on Internet freedom.

Excerpt here:

Why did you make this decision? It surprised many people and many companies.
Google is a different kind of company than many others. The issue of operating in China was always complex for us. We were asked to accept a system of censorship that we were very uncomfortable with. But we had come to the conclusion that operating in China was better for everyone—us, the Chinese people—than staying out of the country. We have decided that we cannot participate in censorship anymore.
Read the entire interview here.

You might also check out Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.'s commentary in the WSJ (1/22/10): China, Google and the Cloud Wars (very interesting)

Refer to our blog post 1/19/10: Message to China: Stop Carving Up Cyberspace with Boundaries

Friday, January 22, 2010

How To Gain Global Customers

According to contributing writer Carol Tice at Inc., one-half of all small businesses do not have a website. Yes, you read that right.

Think about how many small businesses that might be if you polled the planet!

Half of Small Businesses Don't Have a Website

The actual study can be found here.

What are SMB owners losing by NOT having a Web site?

What are you waiting for?

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is Your Brand Name Available On Social Media Networks?

We don't know too much about this organization (launched April, 2009) other than it came across our email desk over the past couple of weeks.
KnowEm was developed to assist everyone - from individuals to Fortune 500 companies - in discovering where their names, brands, or trademarked terms are available (or stolen) on Social Media networks. KnowEm will not only help you secure your name across the vast social media landscape but we can also show you how to contact each site in order to have the name released and returned to you.
Check it out. Let us know if it's useful to you or not. Don't see too much global here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How a Foreign Company Can Gain a Bit More Presence in the American Market

Japan's largest cosmetic company, Shiseido, is set to acquire the American make-up company Bare Escentuals Inc. (products pictured) for $1.7 billion, marking the largest acquisition in its 83-year history.

It goes to show you the price companies are willing to pay to boost and capture a market.

Read all about it here.

To expand your reach, what's your global acquisition target in 2010?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Message to China: Stop Carving Up Cyberspace with Boundaries

My fellow readers, I am sure you have been following every last little detail concerning the China-based hacker attack on Google and as many as 34 other companies, including Adobe Systems Inc., Juniper Networks and Yahoo. As a result of the cyber attack and the fact that the China government continues to force Google to neuter searches, Google has threatened to pull out of China.

This is a very critical juncture in the history of international business but it's not the first time a company has walked away from China. Levi Strauss & Co., 17 years ago did too, and returned. Funny thing, Levi's brand is currently made in China and they just opened their 501st retail store in Beijing last November. What happened in between? Take a look at this.

But this predicament is different -- far more public thanks to the Internet (go Google!) -- and will most likely bring foreign-policy implications. It will be interesting to see what happens when Google shuts off the valve in China on censoring search results and how fast China's government blocks or shuts down, if at all.

In the course of determining what really happened, we will unveil more evidence of weird things going on.
Needless to say I admire and respect Google's bold move here (tough place to be but I always like to see people/companies take a public stand, exhibit backbone and show a strong sense of world good) and it's in line with this fine commentary, appropriately entitled, "Google Gets on the Right Side of History," written by Rebecca MacKinnon, a fellow with the Open Society Institute.

My feeling is you can't be part pregnant; and when you are Google, you most certainly can't be part-search engine in China.

We'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hearts to Haiti

The media coverage is extraordinary on the powerful earthquake (measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale) that struck near Port Au Prince, Haiti on January 12. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who is suffering right now in Haiti.

To offer your own help with a donation of any size, go here for guidance (straight from the United States Whitehouse Blog):
The President has been receiving updates on the urgent situation in Haiti late into last night and throughout the day, and top members of his team have been convening to formulate the government response.
You can also help immediately by donating to the Red Cross to assist the relief effort. Contribute online to the Red Cross, or donate $10 to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting "HAITI" to "90999." Find more ways to help through the Center for International Disaster Information.
Families of Americans living in Haiti are encouraged to contact the State Department at 888-407-4747.
Haiti Earthquake Relief (video)
Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

Facts on Haiti
(including update on the earthquake)
Embassy of Haiti in Washington D.C.
Embassy of the United States Port Au Prince Haiti

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Practice a Little Spontaneous Innovation

Maybe some of these ideas will help spur you on to more spontaneous innovation day-to-day within your global small business.

My latest post for American Express OPEN Forum:

2010: The Year of Spontaneous

You like it? Hit the Tweet button at the top. You really, really like, hit the thumbs up button at the bottom of page.

Posted by: Laurel J. Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, January 15, 2010

Global IT Spending Will Increase in 2010

Forrester Research says the global technology industry will see an 8.1 percent increase in IT spending in 2010, with software and computer hardware leading the charge, and IT consulting services following.

IT spending is expected to grow 6.6 percent in 2010 to $568 billion, according to Forrester's latest research report. Global tech spending, which dropped 8.9 percent in 2009, will rise to more than $1.6 trillion in 2010.

Read more here and here.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Take the Export Plunge

Here's a perspective on why some firms hesitate to export. It certainly comes across far more difficult than it has to be. But there are some interesting lessons, tips and resources that can be found if you dig deep within the article, especially if you run a business in Ohio, U.S.A.

International Business
Some Firms Hesitate to Take Export Plunge

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

China: What Wall?

Interesting post by Elison Elliott for the Foreign Policy "Global Markets" Blog Network (launched February, 2009):

Don't Bet Against China

It's running in line with our predictions No. 4 and 5 here. Elison and I have been in touch via email. I hope to interview him soon on this topic at The Global Small Business Blog.

Also make note of prediction No. 4 in our report talking about China "borrowing our ideas ..." Looks like Google has a short fuse on this. Read more here.

Fascinating. Another interesting piece here.

Global Product Domination?

We talked about how China is on the fast track to economic domination here in Point No. 4 of our "10 Predictions That Will Shape Our Global Small Business World in 2010" report, but what about global domination for the "Snuggie" brand exported from the U.S.A. yet produced in China?

Read more here. After reading the article you might ask, "What is a Snuggie?" Even I wondered. I think it's this.

What's your global domination campaign in 2010?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Global Small Business World in 2010

Our Global Small Business World 2010 trend piece is ready for viewing over at our favorite trend hub: Small Business Trends!

Read every word here:

What It's Like to be No. 2 Globally

Take a good look. I bet they try harder.

'Avatar' Cracks Top 10 All-Time Domestically; No. 2 Globally

See how China consumers view the movie here.

Note: Our "10 Predictions, Forecasts and Trends That Will Shape Our Global Small Business World In 2010" is scheduled to be published first over at Small Business Trends ( -- hopefully today (1/12). We'll let you know when it's posted. As a refresher, here's 2009.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What Are You Doing To Ensure This Is Your Best Year Ever?

Round the world, we're looking for inspiration and tips on what you are going to do now -- and in addition to taking your business global -- to make this your best year ever.

For ideas, read, "44 Ways to Kick-Start Your New Year" published in SUCCESS Magazine.

Tell us what you have planned or what you are already doing to soar through 2010.

Note: Tuesday, (1/12), we hope to release our annual "Predictions, Forecasts and Trends That Will Shape Our Global Small Business World In 2010." Watch for it. As a refresher, here's 2009.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A Rule For Global Small Business Owners by Warren Buffett

“Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.” ~ Warren Buffett

Friday, January 08, 2010

Rock Your Tech World in 2010

How do you start the new year out with a big technology bang for your business? Follow the online crowds because the crowds are talking a lot about several disruptive technologies that are bound to impact our world in 2010. Let's take a look at ten that Erick Schonfeld put together.
  1. The Tablet
  2. Geo
  3. Realtime Search
  4. Chrome OS
  5. HTML5
  6. Mobile Video
  7. Augmented Reality
  8. Mobile Transactions
  9. Android
  10. Social CRM
Read the entire article here.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Top of the World: The Dubai Khalifa Launch

Think what you may here but the Burj Dubai, now officially renamed Dubai Khalifa and considered the world's tallest building in the world, has finally opened for business. We first wrote about this building August 2, 2008.

The project has been rescued from near financial disaster. My concern for Dubai is that the country will eventually experience the same financial bubble or burst we just went through in the United States.

Enjoy it while you can. Read more here.

Additional resources:

Dubai's Mark of Dependence (WSJ)
Everything You Don't Know About the Burj Dubai, er, Khalifa
The Burj Dubai-Burj Khalifa name change: Better change those T-shirts and caps in the gift shop--and a whole lot more

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Global iTablet from Apple?

Whatever it is and whenever it is launched, get ready to take your business global by developing accessories for the soon to be announced Apple tablet.

Read more here.

Monday, January 04, 2010

A Look at Business Books 2009 on Globalization

strategy+business gives its list of Best Business Books 2009 and five of them offer insights into the changing topology of global trade and influence.
The best books on globalization this year offer insights into three directional trends that are changing the topology of global trade and influence: the deepening of regional ties across emerging markets; the continuing rise of powerful new global players; and, finally, the intractability of risk factors inherent in emerging markets and regional networks, and how best to analyze them.
Get ready to feed your global mindset and chart your business course. The five featured are:

1. The New Silk Road: How a Rising Arab World Is Turning Away from the West and Rediscovering China

2. Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation

India’s Global Powerhouses: How They Are Taking On the World

The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing

Riches among the Ruins: Adventures in the Dark Corners of the Global Economy (pictured above)

strategy+business's review conclusion:
An unmistakable conclusion that we share with all the books featured in this essay is the assertion that the U.S. has lost its status as the preeminent driver of globalization. Thus, we predict that two trends will typify the next phase of globalization: First, stronger regionalism in terms of deepening economic integration in areas such as East Asia, Latin America, and the Arab world will be driven by local powers such as China, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia. Second, the global playing field for firms, capital, and strategies will become much more level as Western companies lose the automatic edge they once held in trust and credibility. (See “Capturing the Asian Opportunity,” by Andrew Cainey, Suvojoy Sengupta, and Steven Veldhoen, s+b, Winter 2009.) Companies in emerging and frontier markets may not become global leaders in their own right, but they will surely be powerful players in their own domains and beyond.
Care to share other enlightening books you read on globalization in 2009? We'll highlight them here on The Global Small Business Blog.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Four R's: Repair, Rebuild, Return and Rejoice

No matter how tough the global economic environment, it is a time to repair (from what's been harmed), rebuild (from what's been weakened), return (to what matters) and rejoice (to what's yet to come) for a brand new year and decade.

Looking forward to it!