Posts Tagged ‘go global’

Thinking international

My favorite view. Don't listen to CNN, Seoul is awesome“The market is so small you have to think international” – Mattias Miksche, CEO, Stardoll (TWIST#343).

Sweden has like 9 million people. They don’t think they need to “go global”. They start thinking global. The local market is too small. It’s not like the USA.

I’ve said the same thing about Malaysia (and Singapore) before: why are you building locally if you’re a web-shop? Build, test, prove yourself, but make sure you’re global. 28 million people separated by different language needs will ensure you don’t have much larger than the population of Sweden when it comes to launching a product. 

So don’t think about going global after a year. Think about being global from day one.

On the term “go global”

KLCC Park and PoolIn my recent rant about my thoughts on the startup ecosystem in Malaysia, I mentioned:

Its amusing when I see programs titled “go global”. When you start your business, especially if its a web shop, you’re already world-wide. Why are you building locally?

My intention for that was very clear. If you’re a tech startup, think global from day one. Don’t “Malaysianize” your product because we’re not Vietnam or China. Or we just don’t have population masses like India or Indonesia. Or language differences like Thailand.

It seems like a friend of mine whom I’ve known for a little over three years, Doc Siva took a little offence to the statement. Doc Siva is an amazing guy, fun to chat with and is a prolific writer (lots of articles in net@value in The Edge). He works tirelessly to help entrepreneurs, and is even running an accelerator now.

The problem stems from the fact that the term “go global” is just too generic a term. Everyone uses it. From the genuine to the dodgy.

There’s the Cradle Coach & Grow Programme which helps you to go as far as IPOing. Doc Siva also has the Go2Market/Go4Growth/GoGlobal/GoIPO programs via Proficeo, his company. TeAM (disclosure: I’m currently a council member) also runs marketing missions that help your business “go global” in the region.

I believe all the above help to some extent. Kudos Cradle, Proficeo, TeAM. I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch of others that are doing a wonderful job. Programs like this are awesome for an entrepreneur since there’s no cost to the company and you get to other markets faster.They’re addressing the entrepreneur who finds it difficult to get his product in the hands of others, so that deserves a big kudos. They’re helping the entrepreneur grow.

The original post was never meant to be flamebait. It was never meant to point a finger at any one party. If you/your organisation took offence to something I said, that was not my intention. Much apologies. I parted with sage advice for the entrepreneur:

Don’t blame the government. Don’t blame the VCs/angels/investors. There’s an old English proverb which states, “If there is a will, there is a way”.

It was just meant to list problems that seem to be endemic in Malaysia. If time permitted, I could come up with a well researched tome with ideas on how to fix things. But its not like I do this for a living, right? ;-)~

A quick thanks since this post was read by Doc Siva before I posted it up online.