A couple of weeks ago I had a very interesting chat with Fabrice Grinda. Unfortunately I was in between two huge projects and could not share my chat with you earlier. I say “unfortunately” because most of you reading this are just as interested in international business as I am… and Fabrice has a fantastic story.
Fabrice Grinda is a serial entrepreneur. He is now on his third major company and this does not include the one he started when he was studying at Princeton.
Although Fabrice is originally French, he is definitely an international entrepreneur now. His international entrepreneurship has already been so successful that is set for life.
Fabrice Grinda is an inspiring international entrepreneur. There are many lessons you can pick up by just reading his story. I highly recommend you spend a few minutes to get full details on his blog, Musings Of An Entrepreneur. Are you an international marketer? Then I also highly recommend you spend a little over an hour to listen to this recent interview on Venture Voice. It is worth listening through to the end to hear Fabrice’s insights into marketing with Google on a global scale.
I want to share with you the two things that really stood out for me when listening to his story. Both of these can help you with your international business.
Look At What Is Working In Other Countries For Inspiration
Have a close look at this summary of Fabrice’s achievements.
|Year||Company||Activity||Location||Source of Inspiration|
|1998||Aucland||Auction Website||Europe||Ebay in US|
|2001||Zingy||Mobile Ring Tones||US||Successful European
& Japanese companies
|2006||OLX||Free Classified Ads||Worldwide||Craigslist in US|
Fabrice looked at what was working well in one country and adapted this same business idea to create a company in another country. Although he did not reinvent the wheel, he did have to adapt the original concept to make it successful in a different culture. There is not much else I can add to this clear example. He did it three times.
We should all become curious about what is working in other countries. And then we also need to develop cross-cultural skills to be able to assess the viability of one business concept in another culture.
Believe In Your Good Idea And Do What It Takes
When you listen to Fabrice carefully you understand that he worked hard. I do not often run into people who are willing to work as hard as he did to get things up and running.
First… Fabrice earned the money he needed for his first company while working 4 jobs. Now, French readers will know that this is legally impossible to do in France, where French labor laws restrict the number of hours you can legally work. So, yes, this was in the United States… and also when he was studying at Princeton.
Second…He created Aucland in France where he came up with a lot of resistance. Everyone told him that this idea would not work in France. Fabrice also encountered this cultural resistance when he developed the mobile ring tone market in the United States. It is common to come against this resistance.
He obviously did not let this stop him moving forward with his idea. Third… Fabrice was very young when he created Aucland in France. This, together with the skepticism about his idea not working in France, was an even greater challenge to get the company working. You can find out just how much money Fabrice made when he sold Auckland and Zingy by listening to his audios.
I will just say here, that financially he did not need to start his current company OLX. It is obvious that Fabrice Grinda is a true entrepreneur at heart and always did what it took to succeed.
How You Can Use This For Free International Marketing
OLX, Fabrice Grinda’s latest company, is impressive. We have all heard of Craigslist. But go have a look at OLX.
- OLX definitely appears to be the leading website for free classified ads everywhere outside of the United States.
- OLX is more social media and mobile friendly, which is also why it is so successful in so many different cultures where these features are key to success today
- OLX has better technical features which give users a web 2.0 experience
- OLX is hugely popular in countries such as Spain, Portugal, India, China and many countries in South America
- OLX = 125 employees, 87 countries, 39 languages, 60M unique visitors/month
What does this mean for you?
- This success story is impressive. Many people would be very happy with half of these results
- And you might have a classified ad you would like to place in a foreign country.
- But international marketers should also have bells ringing in their heads.
With a little thought, the right positioning and a good strategy, this is a free web marketing opportunity to reach international audiences. Are you interested in reaching international markets? Do you have an international web marketing strategy? Do you have an international content marketing strategy too?
Then think about how content marketers use classified ads on Craigslist to reach wider audiences, to get people to download their reports and attend their teleseminars and webinars. Need more information?
Photos from Shutterstock.
Filed under: international entrepreneurs
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