International expansion of startups

Going International – Part 1- Startup Interview with Workable

This post is part of my “Going International” video interview series. It tells the stories of different startups expanding internationally and discusser the challenges and lessons learned.

In this first episode, I spoke to Nikos Moraitakis, the CEO and Founder of Workable. His company is a startup producing an online recruiting solution tailored to the needs of small and medium sized businesses, and their international expansion was a bit unusual, and therefore particularly interesting – check it out!

What I find the most fascinating about Workable’s story is the fact that they not realised early on that having an international presence is vital to their business – but also that they had the courage to actually do it, in multiple countries! And it worked.

Another important point for me is Nikos’ comment on hiring. Since empathy is one of the cornerstones of a great business culture, it is something to watch out for in your team members. Nikos mentioned that you cannot teach people to be empathetic, but that this quality is something you need to look for in prospective employees already.

Personally I agree that you cannot teach someone empathy from the beginning – you need a certain foundation in a person’s character to build on. However, you can sharpen someone’s understanding of empathy over time, helping them understand people even better. And I believe it is one of the greatest ways to unlock your team’s true potential.

Workable also shows the advantages of having a product with little room for product customisation, another pain point for many startups. This does help a lot when entering markets as it keeps complexity at a manageable level.

I am excited to follow Workable’s future journey and I hope you enjoyed listening to their story as much as I did! :)

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