5 Steps of Growth – A start-up goes global.

The difference between translation and localization.

From the very beginning, Codecademy’s mission has always been to teach people all over the world how to code. As Zach Sims, the CEO of Codecademy puts it: “The power of an education transcends borders beyond the city we build Codecademy in and the language we speak.” The company’s website and service can be accessed from all over the world, and is a global product/service in itself, if there wasn’t the limitation of language. Up until now.

Today, Codecademy announced it’s partnerships in five different countries (UK, France, Brazil, Argentina, Estonia) and that it’s website will be available in 3 additional languages (Spanish, Portuguese and French), starting today.

Going global does not only mean translating a website though. It means a lot more. It means choosing the right partners, building a network and a community, working with the right people and obviously caring mostly about the customer needs itself.

So what is the key? Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no ONE key. It’s a mix of taking the right steps into the right direction with the right partners. Let us explain:

If you consider growing your company substantially, you should consider these 5 steps in order to be truly successful (assuming growth into geographically new markets):

1. Choosing the right countries/markets

A logical and very important first step. Codecademy could have chosen other countries instead of Brazil and Argentina, but they didn’t. What about China or India, you’re wondering? Well, China is not an easy market, but who knows, might be up next (if you’re considering China, we can help you figuring that one out) And most people in India probably know how to make use of the English version of Codecademy.

They could have also chosen other languages but they did their homework and realized that the most important languages for their type of business and business model are English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

Note: So do your homework and chose the right markets and countries for your business.

2. Acknowledging that you can’t do it on your own.

Codecademy has a total of about 50 employees*. There is just no way they could have ever done an expansion to this extend by themselves. So how did they do it? By choosing partners with the knowledge about implementing their needs (translation, localization, governmental agencies, etc.).

Note: You can’t do it on your own. (Need a partner who can do it all?)

3. Choosing the right partners.

You probably know this by now, translation is not everything. You’ll need contacts, contacts, and more contacts, real partners. A partner that can help you meeting the right people at the right time, when you need them and who can make things happen for you. A partner that can not only help you with translation, but also with localization, user experiences, governmental barriers, language and culture.

Note: Choosing the right partner will save you a lot of time and money.

4. Building a network and a community.

Once you’ve done all of the above you can start building your community, a community of thought leaders, customers, fans and friends. This community will help you to grow into your chosen markets. This is your responsibility so go wild but be considerate and nice.

Note: This is your community, nurture them and keep them happy.

5. Stray true to yourself.

Never forget why you’re doing what you’re doing. Because as you might have heard by now, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

Note: Live your mission and keep on growing.

If you want to learn more about growth and globalization strategies, please contact us below.