A Look at Publicly Listed Cloud Companies’ International Efforts
A few years ago, I joined the board of a software company that had only a few months prior launched their first international office. It became apparent very quickly that the company was under-prepared for the launch, which led to cash being invested in the international efforts in advance of the company being ready for such a major undertaking. The end result was that precious resources were invested without yielding the commensurate return. The experience was not a happy one as you can imagine and in some respects was a “bet the company” endeavour but which we were all able to recover, getting the company back on track and thriving again.
I pushed the team and Board to conduct a retrospective review to learn from our mistakes and ensure success the next time round.
What I learned shocked me. There had been no planning process. No owner of the project. No tests run. No goals set. The company had not even experimented with selling to US customers from Europe before diving headlong into opening an office and staffing it with expensive sales professionals.
I then set out to research what I thought were simple questions:
- Who leads and participates in the creation of the internationalization plan?
- Where do companies go first and how do they decide?
- When do you go?