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6 Axiom 6: Expand with Abandon

AXIOM 6
Expand with Abandon

If you wait until you’re ready, you’ve waited too long.

“Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.”

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE

IN THE OLD WORLD DOMINATED BY ONE LARGE ECONOMY and predictable patterns of technology development, production, and trade, companies approached the process of international expansion in a very orderly three-part minuet.

First, aspiring multinationals ventured abroad only after ensuring that their organization was ready for such a momentous move. They thought about foreign markets as steps in a ladder, with the easiest ones coming first and the more distant, harder ones coming last. Thus, for American firms Britain was easier to enter than Germany, and Mexico was more of a natural market to explore than Brazil. And many companies didn’t even dare compete in Japan—too hard a market to crack. As they entered foreign markets by moving up this hierarchy of difficulty, they would look down toward their home country and often experience a profound sense of vertigo.


  

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