Through the miracle of a video/audio hook-up with Skype, I recently gave a talk and answered questions from business students and professors at the Kharkiv Polytechnical Institute in the Ukraine. BEER SCHOOL, the book I wrote with brewery co-founder Tom Potter, has been translated into Russian. Some of the students had read the book, and some had heard it on audible.com.
It was a fascinating hour and a half. The students spoke very good English. Each one came on camera and asked a question and a follow-up. They asked about business plans, partnerships, raising money, corruption and competition. I talked about a few run-ins with rough characters in Brooklyn. They assured me that corruption in the Ukraine was much more pervasive, and dangerous, than in America.
I don’t think they completely understood Brooklyn Brewery’s support for not-for-profit and arts organizations and its word-of-mouth marketing.
Their instructor, an American named Maryann McGuire, warned me that the mindset in the Ukraine was quite different than in America. I didn’t know what she meant until she translated the poster they produced for my appearance. The headline read:
ASK A MILLIONAIRE ABOUT SUCCESS!!!!
Video-conference with a successful American businessman and millionaire from Brooklyn, NY.
Well, two out of three ain’t bad. I am successful, and I am an American businessman from Brooklyn. The millionaire label is a bit premature.