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Startup Local or Global? Do BOTH!


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slides for my talk "Startup Local or Global" @ Venture Startup Forum, Seoul, Korea (Nov 2012)

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Startup Local or Global? Do BOTH!

  1. Startups: Go LOCAL or GLOBAL? (Do BOTH!) @DaveMcClure @500Startups #vsf2012 Venture Startup Festival Seoul, Korea (Nov 2012)
  2. This Talk Is About…• 500 Startups – Internet Seed Fund + Accelerator + >100 Intl Startups• Assessing Global Markets – (# users, by language/geo) * (avg $ GDP) * (% internet) = avail online spend by lang/geo• Why You Shouldn’t Go Global – You’re a Crappy Little Startup with no customers, revenue, or funding – You Don’t Speak the Language (not very well, anyway) – Your local market is >50M+ users, and nobody else is going after it• Why You Should Go Global – You Live in a Small Country / Startup Ghetto – There aren’t any local market investors worth a famn. – There ARE local market investors, but they might be predatory, too revenue-focused, risk-averse – Your customers and partners are in [X] (where X = California, NYC, London, Beijing, Brazil, etc
  3. Dave McClure Founding Partner & Sith Lord, 500 Startups00’s & 10’s:• Investor: Founders Fund, Facebook fbFund, 500 Startups• Companies:, SlideShare, Twilio, WildFire, SendGrid• Marketing: PayPal, Simply Hired,, O’Reilly80’s & 90’s:• Entrepreneur: Founder/CEO Aslan Computing (acq’d)• Developer: Windows / SQL DB consultant (Intel, MSFT)• Engineer: Johns Hopkins‘88, BS Eng / Applied Math
  4. 500 Startups Mountain View, CA – Founded 2010• Seed Fund & Startup Accelerator – $50M under management – 16 people / 8 investing partners – 10,000 sq ft / Silicon Valley HQ – SF, NY, MEX, BRZ, IND (+ more) – 700 Founders / 200 Mentors – Focus: Design, Data, Distribution• 400+ Co’s / 100 Intl / 20+ Countries – Wildfire (acq GOOG, $350M) – Twilio – SendGrid – TaskRabbit – MakerBot – Viki – 9GAG – Tapastic / Tapas Media – [Korean startup TBA]
  5. (my excuse for an Intl road trip w/ geeky friends)• Travel The World with Geeks & VCs• Meet MORE Geeks & VCs in other countries• Learn about Intl markets, technology, people• Get drunk & eat great food with friends who don’t speak your language • East Asia (3x), Europe (2x), LatAm (2x), India• Next: Middle East, India, SE Asia, Africa
  6. Global Languages• English: 1-2B+ ppl, most online, high GDP, modest growth• Mandarin: 1B+ ppl, lots online, med GDP, flat growth• Spanish: 500M+ ppl, some online, med GDP, strong growth• Arabic: 500M+ ppl, some online, low/med GDP, strong growth• Others: Hindi, Portuguese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Korean, etc
  7. Global Markets• US/Can/UK/AU (400M+): big market, not much growth but lots of spend• Europe (400-500M): not much growth, many lang, high GDP• China / E. Asia (1B+): lots of ppl, growing usage / GDP, flat growth (pop.)• LatAm (500M+): Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile; LOTS growth• India/Pak/South Asia (1.5B+): lots of ppl, growing mobile, strong growth• SE Asia (600M+): Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines; strong growth• Middle East / Arabic (500M+): growing mobile, lots of future growth• Africa (700M+): growing infrastructure, lots of future growth
  8. How to Assess Global Markets• 1) # of ppl / language speakers by geography• 2) % internet usage (web, mobile, smartphone, etc)• 3) $ Avg GDP / $ online spend / disposable income• Online spend / lang, geo = (#ppl) * (%internet) * ($GDP) – % Growth rates of ppl, lang, internet, GDP• Currency, country, culture, etc• Online distrib’tn platforms (search, social, mobile, video, etc)• Online payment methods / credit card distr• Physical goods delivery / logistics• Social media usage / behavior• 3 markets in 1: rich, middle-class, internet poor
  9. Distribution PlatformsCustomer Reach: 100M+ • Search: Google (also Baidu, Yandex, Yahoo-J) • Social: Facebook, Twitter (also TenCent, Sina, vKontakte) • Mobile: Apple (iPhone, iPad), Android • Media: YouTube (Video), Blogs, Photos, Music • Comm: Email, IM/Chat, SMS, Voice
  10. Why You SHOULD NOT Go Global because ur a tiny little startup, you don’t speak the language,& your local market is big enough
  11. Why Stay Local? Because it’s HOME.• You don’t speak English (well enough).• Your solution won’t travel well / you won’t localize it well.• There’s not as many people competing locally.• Your local market has 50M+ users.• You have customers / revenue.• You have great living situation, family, kids, etc
  12. Why You SHOULD Go GlobalBecause u live in a tiny little country,local investors are too conservative, don’t write*enough+ checksand/or give u crappy, low valuations.
  13. Why Go Global / US / China? (because California is *awesome*)• It’s BIG. (US, China are huge markets)• All the [rich, online] customers are here.• All the investors are here (Silicon Valley) – also: Local Investors Screw You / Don’t Invest / Low Val$• All the platforms & partners are here (Silicon Valley). – NorCal: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Android, YouTube• Because you watch too many action movies and rap videos.• Because you love California / NYC. (hey, we understand )
  14. Angel* List: It Rocks. ( • Startups & Investors • Activity & Metrics • Platform & APIs • *ps – not just for Angels, not just for USA