How to Build a Global Technology Company in Five Steps
I want to share with you some of my experience in building a global company. There’s nothing easy about the following five steps. They’re all really hard. And, unless you’re a Facebook or a Twitter the chances are that you’ll be building your company one country at a time until one day what you build will take on a life of its own.
- Start thinking globally. Forget about the town, city, region and country you live in. Start thinking about how people in other countries use technology. What are people’s relationship to technology? What is the cost of their technology? How much do they have to pay for new technology? Do they have access to the internet? How often? How much? At what speeds?
- Forget about PC’s, laptops and tablets. Just think about mobile devices because you “Ain’t global if you’re not mobile”™. Mobile phones are the dominant devices around the world. So if you’re not from the US or Europe then you already have an advantage – you’re already thinking global and mobile because that’s all you’ve ever known. If you are from the US or Europe try and only use your cell phone to do everything. You probably already do most things on your phone but cut that last ten percent. You’ll be amazed on how little you actually ever need something larger than a phablet – and you only need a phablet to watch movies or play games; otherwise a regular sized smartphone is good enough.
- Move to an another country until you have that feeling that you’re “not in Kansas anymore” or that you’re not in a place that feels like home. The more removed you are from your comfort zone, the faster your global perspective will grow. If you’re based in the US you’ll soon discover a world where you can live for as little as $500 to $1,000 per month. With the money you save you can invest those savings in your company. But, it’s not the savings that are most important. Being out of your comfort zone makes you more creative in everything you do. I think it has to do with the fact that you revert to some primal hunt or be hunted mode and just find solutions to the problems you have with the resources you have. You have no choice, it’s about survival.
- Build a global team. There are great co-founders across the globe. You just have to look and you’ll find them. I found mine when I was part of Startup Chile and he’s from Kazakhstan. What do we have in common? Dedication, hard work, respect for each other and a common language – English. Here’s a quick aside on language: if your team doesn’t speak good English you can forget about being a global company. It’s a given that no matter where you go in the world that you will need to speak English if you want to communicate at higher levels with partners or investors.
- JFDI. But how do I do these things? JFDI (See my post on this). If you’re looking for a founder, search for “how to look for a founder”. If you need global talent search for “how to find talent? Talk to everyone and always be on the lookout for what you’re seeking. For the longest time I was looking for partners in Asia, so everywhere I went I looked for people who could fit that role or might know someone who did. Yes, it took a while but I found those partners. Once you set a goal, it’s remarkable how your actions will self-fulfill that goal. So, JFDI.
So, punk, are you feeling lucky? Go, ahead, make your day. Do it!
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