Living on the other side of the world from the bay area, it’s sometimes little frustrating just how inward looking Silicon Valley can be. Sometimes it feels like some technology vendors discount the 5 billion or so people who don’t live in that tiny West Coast sliver.
Apart from being an arrogant attitude it’s also a seriously bad business strategy – the bulk of technology consumers live outside of the US, the bulk of consumers do not speak English as a first language and the bulk of the really exciting emerging markets (meaning the BRIC nations) to a one converse in languages other than English.
So given his personal peeve of mine I as stoked to hear from Ryan Nichols from Podio (more on them here) that this small start up has already moved to offer their application in seven languages (Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Danish and English).
They’ve also rolled out all these languages not only on their web application, but on their mobile (iOS and Android) apps too. Podio is a living breathing international company – they have employees from 14 different countries spread cross their two offices (in Denmark and the US), and they boast of users in 170 countries – given that fact, multi lingual is a no-brainer.
Awesome to see a little company innovating fast and seeing the world as borderless. Now to get those big vendors to do likewise…
(Cross-posted @ The Diversity Blog – SaaS, Cloud & Business Strategy)