Philip Morgan

It’s interesting to notice the role of rules and norms here in Spain. As an American, I wasn’t fully aware of how… improvisational so many aspects of American culture are.

I’m already an anxious car driver and an absolutely basket case car passenger. So every time a driver in the US does something slightly contrary to the rules of the road, believe me, I notice it. I’m not a road rager, but I definitely notice even bending the rules of the road.

I haven’t seen a single such case here in Spain.

My wife and I rented electric bikes yesterday and rode to the south end of Formentera. It’s much more our speed there. More nature-ey, less people-ey.

Even Portland, OR—a famously bike-friendly place—has drivers who are less courteous towards cyclists. Every car that passed us on the road here in Formetera gave the widest berth possible and never took any risks with our safety.

To me, this is the positive side of a “rules-conscious” culture.

The side that’s not as positive—at least for a spoilt American—shows up in restaurants.

At lunch I wanted to substitute spicy hummus for regular hummus on my order.

The waiter seemed offended that I would even ask. The answer was no. Didn’t I understand the rules around ordering food?

Not a big deal at all, but an interesting contrast.

I wonder what implications this has for the culture around self-employment and innovation?

BTW, lest my European list members feel unfairly criticized, keep in mind that American culture is full of many, many strange, annoying, or dysfunctional peculiarities. We probably have you beat in terms of cultural oddities :)

Anyway, Asians, Africans, North Americans, South Americans, Antarcticans, Europeans, Australians, and residents of small islands are all welcome in the upcoming Specialization School workshops, both starting October 10th.

The first one helps you decide how to specialize: /specialization-school/part-1-decision-making-workshop/

The second helps you understand a market so you can nail down your messaging to them: /specialization-school/part-2-deepening-marketing-insight-workshop/

If either one would be helpful for you, hit REPLY and we’ll make sure the fit is right.