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Feb 15

Early Stage & Global… OHW is NEEDED

Who cares?  It’s one of the main questions a business should ask.

Because of my marketing background, I am used to asking that question about the structure and features of a company’s offering–who cares about the new function, feature or service?  Then last week, I heard a new take on the question–why should a US-based team care about the opinions of an overseas subsidiary?  Especially for an early stage company.

At the WPI Venture Forum, Ryan Moore presented compelling ideas and evidence for the practice of going global during a company’s early stages.  Mr. Moore is a General Partner at GrandBanks Capital and has a deep history of helping successful startups.

Here are my key learnings from his presentation:

  • IP does not really matter, it’s about monetizing your ideas–getting customers (paying ones).
  • There are two main paths to going global, customers and labor pool.  A synergy can be created if you are looking for both in the same locale.
  • Most start-ups underestimate the impact of culture.  Don’t, it is not a “soft” issue.  It is important to create a cultural connection.  This connection is a powerful component of the synergy discussed above, and can therefore lead to achieving your goals more quickly.
  • Your team’s ability to disagree (productively) is a key to success.

I would add that different cultures exist even if the boundaries are not accross geographic borders; for example between the different departments in a company.  Each one speaks a different language though the words might be similar.

Here is one more example of how an Open Heart is key to the success of an organization.  Thank you Mr. Moore for taking the time to present at the Venture Forum.  You were an interesting and engaging speaker.

What do you think?  What are your key learnings from similar situations?

More information about the WPI Venture Forum

About the author

Lisa Hamaker

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