On the downside, I don’t have much time to really experience the city as we are primarily here on business and locked inside the Las Vegas Convention Center all day. As a result, all of us are already sick from the air condition that runs on full throttle all day. So I have to settle for occasional glimpses left and right, when we walk to the trade show each morning or when we go to dinner together.
What I didn’t realize on my previous trips to the States – and this may have changed since I was here a year ago – is, how Americans constantly talk on their cell phones. When I say “constantly” I mean it in a very literal sense: You can’t walk past a person without them talking to someone, bluetooth earpiece attached, smartphone, blueberry or similar in their hand or pocket. No surprise from this angle that Steve Jobs boasted to “reinvent the phone” by introducing the iPhone at Macworld San Francisco this year. I’m beginning to understand how his product strategy makes all sense in the world, when being seen from a US-centric view (possibly including Asia, as they’re even bigger fans of mobile devices).
Another thing that strikes me is the weight-/health issue: I don’t mean to disrespect anybody, but it’s sometimes almost shocking to see how some individuals are barely able to move freely from being so excessively overweighed. And I certainly understand that one is almost being forced into convenience day round: XXL meals here, discount there and little time and means to get a natural work out, such as walking to work (too far) or using the stairs instead of the escalator. In many cases you simply can’t do that, because you’re not being given the option to. We are lucky that our hotel is in walking distance from the Convention Center, but that’s a rare thing. When running errands for my colleagues and myself, I went to one of the bigger malls. What looked like a walkable distance on Google Maps turned into a 45 min. ride by car and a distance of almost 11 miles one way – which equals a walk of several hours. So – not feasible.
On the bright side, I like the apparent “let’s do it” approach, especially when it comes to doing business. In fact, that aspect of American mentality is still something I appreciate to this day: Instead of contemplating on the do’s and dont’s regarding any given project (which I find an omnipresent part of German mentality), Americans are quick to identify what they might have in common with a given business partner and what’s the fastest way to make it happen. In other terms: They remove obstacles instead of focussing on them. To me, that’s how it should be done! If one fails – no big deal, let’s pull ourselves together and move on. Yay – right on! And eventually even Germans begin to understand that they have to readjust to the dynamics of global business: I met representatives of Germany based companies specializing on anything photography. They are exhibiting at the German Pavillion, which seems to be an initiative funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Talk about changing times, here.
Other than that, we hope to be able to see at least a little bit of the city at night and when we’ll be back to NAB in the middle of April. So please come back 🙂