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Start a global business?

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Aug 27, 2007
Has anyone here ever thought about starting an international/global business? (Or at a minimum a business that after started in America, will be able to be expanded globally) Let's assume primarily e-biz as it seems most viable.

I ask as I'm reading "The World is Flat" by Thomas Friedman (excellent book btw), my belief rises that we continue to move into a global economy. Call me paranoid but I believe that if we as entrepreneurs don't look global we should have a bit of fear about the future.

It can be argued that America is the strongest economy but if so, IMO, we won't be forever. Why not hedge our risk and potential for success by looking to other countries for outsourcing our work or i.e. selling products/services via the web to other countries?

I cannot help but look at most other countries as a less competitive market than the US. (I could be wrong there) I see obvious hurdles: learning a language or getting a language converting program, learning the market and the psychographics of the inhabitants of that location, and learning the rules of international trade/business with that country. But beyond that why not?

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Legendary Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 24, 2007
Without going into too much detail, both Internationalizing and Localizing technology products can be very difficult things to do (I've done this with consumer electronics, consumer software, and ecommerce).

My biggest piece of advice (from experience) is to build the company with International markets in mind; instead of building a U.S. centric product, ensure that your product is built with both Internationalization and Localization in mind from the beginning. The companies I've done that with who have done ground-up design with International markets in mind have been the ones that have succeeded.

Also, make sure to hire people with expertise in each of the markets you're looking to enter. Localization of products takes a lot more than a knowledge of U.S. based designs and customs combined with common-sense (though common-sense would say otherwise :)).

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