Do as Daniel Ek and @Spotify – go global
How do you define your home market (and is it even necessary)?
I think the question of what constitutes a company’s home market is very interesting, especially in the era of digital transformation that we currently are in. I have recently written about the need for both old and new enterprises to have a “digital business plan”, that takes into account both digital opportunities and risks. For both are for real.
One piece of advice many companies still receives (at least in Sweden) is to get a strong footprint in the domestic market before trying to expand into new markets. This is something that I have heard from many companies lately and a tweet I saw last week made me write this piece.
While this certainly is relevant for some companies, this “old school advice” can be harmful to other companies. The idea of a home or domestic market sets a geographical limitation which I do not consider to be relevant in today’s digital business environment. First, there is no guarantee that what works in one market is relevant to the next, but it can be a matter of survival to think big and simply let the chips fall where they may and then take it from there.
In Sweden we have lots of interesting companies that with a much too narrow mind set might not have reached the position they have today. I wanted to test the thesis of the home market, so I sent out a question via Twitter to the CEOs of the fine Swedish companies; Spotify, TrueCaller and iZettle. Although the base is small and the companies are truly “digital” I think the answers give a very clear picture.
Below you can see the answers (the questions and answers are in Swedish, see translation below each picture):
Daniel Ek (@eldsjal), CEO and founder of Spotify *
Mikael Zillen: @eldsjal when you started @Spotify how did you define your home market (if you did) Local or global?
Daniel Ek: The world is our market. As it should be for all digital companies.
Alan Mamedi (@AlanMamedi), CEO and founder TrueCaller *
Mikael Zillen: @AlanMamedi when you started @Truecaller how did you define your home market (if you did) Local or global?
Alan Mamedi: Always global
Jacob de Geer (@jacobdegeer), CEO and founder iZettle *
Mikael Zillen: @jacobdegeer when you started @iZettle how did you define your home market (if you did) Local or global?
Jacob de Geer: Card payments is complex so we started with a global perspective that has been narrowed down to Europe.
The next step is to do a bit longer interviews with some digital companies, do you have any suggestions on who it should be?
*Briefly about Spotify, Truecaller och iZettle
Spotify is a Swedish multinational company that offers a world leading music streaming service. With 60 million users, of which 15 million is premium subscribers, Spotify is the largest company in its segment (Jan 2015).
Truecaller is a global phone directory service. They recently passed 100 million users, of which 45 million in India, that each month make more than 1.5 billion enquiries.
iZettle was founded in 2010 and is a mobile payments company based in Stockholm, Sweden. iZettle is currently available in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Mexico and Brazil.