Monday, July 13, 2009

Finding New Markets - From the Rest-of-World?

It's definitely an American bias, but we tend to think that new things get invented here (cars, computers, televisions, etc.) and then foreign markets open to accept those goods. Eventually they get copied for lower-costs overseas, and are exported back the US.

But the world becomes more global, I suspect that we'll see this model begin shifting and more things will take off overseas and then eventually make their way to the US. Not even market will be defined by the tastes or whims of Americans first.

I was listening to a podcast with Bill Simmons and Colin Cowherd from ESPN this morning, two American sportswriters that make their living talking about the Big 4 American sports (football, baseball, basketball and hockey). The conversation moved to HDTV and how soccer was so much more enjoyable to watch in HD, and how both of them were quickly converting into soccer fans. And not just ordinary soccer fans (since the US has had the MLS for many years now), but International soccer fans. They actually went as far as to predict that the World Cup would eventually become a bigger sporting event that the Olympics, and the International soccer (not US-based MLS soccer) would catch on big here too. Soccer! In America!!

I use this as an example because most Americans (up to a few years ago) would tell you that it could never catch on here. But the world is becoming more global. Technology (ie. HDTV, time-shifting DVRs) is having an impact that is shrinking the globe. It's happening in every industry.

So before you make that next assumption about where the next great concept or business model might come from (Silicon Valley, Cambridge, Shanghai), consider that it might just come from completely the opposite direction.
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