Friday, February 11, 2011

The No-Name School That Mints Grammy Winners

Time writes about Full Sail University's part in the success of this years Grammy award nominees. All five of the "Album of the Year" nominees were mixed or engineered by Full Sail graduates, and there are 74 alumni with credits on Grammy Award nominated projects. Makes me feel good about all the money I've spent at this school, even though I'm not in recording arts.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The New National Real Estate Tax

Yes, you read that right. A hidden provision of the national health care legislation will impose a 3.8% tax on ALL unearned income in the United States. I usually don't post political information in this forum, but this is one of those things that bothered me enough to write about. This is what happens when government passes massive legislation without letting Congressmen and Senators take the time to examine it thoroughly.

It is labeled as a Medicare Tax in the legislation, but it is effectively a national real estate sales tax. Starting January 1st of 2013, you will pay a 3.8% tax on any sale of single family homes, townhomes, condominiums, or co-ops. If you own rental property you will pay the 3.8% tax on the income from that property. This is in addition to any other taxes or fees you might pay for your decision to sell your home or invest in real estate.

When those supporting the national healthcare legislation say that killing the bill will raise the Federal deficit by $210 billion, they are referring to this tax. The 3.8% tax on unearned income is expected, by chance, to raise $210 billion in revenue to pay for nationalized health care. Amazing how that worked out, isn't it?

One group has figured this part of the health care legislation out. The National Association of Realtors called this new Medicare tax on unearned income “destructive” and “ill-advised”, warning that it would hurt job creation.

President Obama pledged in 2008 that no family earning under $250,000 would see a tax increase, but this would break that promise if it goes into effect as planned.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Doing Business With Brazil - Part 1, Respecting National Identity

Working as an exchange officer to the Brazilian Navy in Rio, and the Navy Section Chief in the Brazilian Embassy in Brasilia, I saw many mistakes made by U.S. companies, governmental agencies and individuals in their dealings with Brazilians. One of the worst blunders a company or individual can make in dealing with Brazil is to treat them like any other Latin American country. Worse yet, show up speaking Spanish with a recycled business plan for "Latin American Country X". You're not only off on the wrong foot, you're flat on your face before the negotiations begin. 

Brazilians are very nationalistic and very proud of the fact that they are not a "hispanic" nation. While they have many of the same social and political ills of their Spanish speaking neighbors, there are significant cultural differences between Brazil and other Latin American countries. Planning for entry into Brazilian markets or working with Brazilian companies or individuals has to take into consideration their unique national identity, and the diversity of their people and country.

In many ways, Brazilian business people and entrepreneurs are just as smart, ambitious and hard working as their counterparts in the U.S. and Europe. Working out of the embassy in Brazil, I have to admit that Europeans were often smarter in their dealings with Brazilians, and many times were certainly more effective at negotiating with them. Some U.S. companies have certainly figured out how to do business with Brazil and are reaping the benefits, but many companies view our largest neighbor to the South as a mystery. The trick is to acknowledge the cultural traditions of Brazilian society and business while keeping an eye on the fact that the person across the table is probably just as smart and savvy as you.

I'll be posting other tips on working with Brazil but, for now, the lesson to take from this posting is that Brazil is a culture apart from the rest of Latin America. You would do well to learn as much as possible about the country, its people and its culture before you charge South with contracts in hand.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

BMW - Flash Projection

Very interesting advertising concept by BMW.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Great TED Discussion on Perception

A very humorous and and insightful look at perception in advertising, and life in general. If you are not familiar with TED and you are in business, you need to check it out at the TED website.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Floyd Devine at Full Sail University

As I near the end of my Masters in Entertainment Business at Full Sail University, I have come to understand the value of personal branding. Putting the name Floyd Devine out in cyberspace in a productive and creative way is crucial in today's entertainment industry. Protecting that personal brand is just as critical and the more exposure your personal brand has in the wider "web", the more important it becomes to monitor and protect your brand. In the near future, I intend on Floyd Devine becoming a viable brand, with its own living presence on the web. It should be a fun journey, and one I intend on making enjoyable for everyone that encounters the Floyd Devine brand.