Born Global Ninja’s; Netflix, Uber, Airbnb, Spotify, Amazon

The globalization of business is opening immense opportunities for ambitious companies to expand internationally beyond the borders of their country of origin. 

Born Global firms, unlike the international small ventures, internationalize their operations since their outset and generate at least a quarter 25% of their revenues from overseas within the first three years. 

This competitive advantage gives them a major head start compared to local companies. Not all companies that go global are ‘‘born’’ global firms, key distinguishing aspect is that they go global from their conception and ‘‘born’’ to be global, and hence commit their resources to venture into international markets, they are a practically borderless approach.

Most technology companies follow the ‘‘born’’ global theory and most of them have experienced massive success across the globe since their reach is borderless giving them access to a larger potential market share than born local companies. Some of the key success factors coined in their business model are highlighted in their compelling brand image, high leverage on ICT, rapid internationalization process and value creation through differentiation.

The increasingly prominent growth of tech-based born global firms from silicon valley have been incubated and nurtured in a solid ecosystem massed with a talent pool of engineers, skilled developers entrepreneurs with the help of VC’s and investors hungry for the next big thing. Some of these companies have grown to thriving born global organizations like Uber and Airbnb.

While reading The 22 immutable laws of marketing some of the fundamental aspects of the success of these companies emerge from some key principles;

‘’The Law of Focus – The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the consumer’s mind’ this obviously brings to mind a born global ninja -– Google. Count the number of times you’ve heard someone or yourself saying – ‘‘let me Google that’’. Now, that’s owning a word in the mind of a consumer – to the extent that they actually replace the word ‘search’ or find out, and instead use the brand’s own name ‘‘Google’’.

‘’Law of leadership – it is better to be first than it is to be better’’ Scandinavian tech entrepreneurs Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis founders of Skype made Skype a tech pioneer in peer-to-peer communication, making video calls feasible even in turtle paced speed internet connection dating to the mid-2000s.

Other tech giants in the born global category who are true success stories like Uber founded by Garrett Camp, their revenues as of 2017 was $37 billion. Uber made it their mission to scrap the idea that taxis were the only way to get around in cities, currently facilitating over 15 million rides daily, leveraging 40 million monthly active users without owning a single cab.

Another born global ninja is  Airbnb –(Air bed and breakfast)  founded by Joe Gebbia, in their business model trust is a core component, no one would have thought letting strangers sleep in your home for a dime would be a well-embraced global business idea.

As an online marketplace and hospitality brokerage firm they connect over 140,00 travelers with hosts from more than 190 countries every day – without owning a single property. 

I would not dare forget to mention the golden born global ninja Amazon – Jeff Bezos being the wealthiest man according to Forbes with a net worth of $131 billion, while Amazon’s revenue plummeted to $232.9 Billion as 2018. Their business model is one of the key success factors. Amazon’s retail caters for 67% of its net sales with its subscription model. 

Netflix as a SaaS business capitalizes on big data and analytics which keeps its 150 million subscribed customers across 190 countries glued to their screens while they rake $344 million in profits. Understanding consumer behavior allows them to cultivate loyalty. The coined phrase ‘Netflix and chill’ is a term that users warmly associate the brand to the ultimate relaxation time. Apple and Disney’s streaming services may bite into their profits with exclusive content but being a born global ninja may just be the source of their capabilities to outshine this fierce competition. 

One last born global ninja is Spotify – Daniel Ek saw the global on-demand for music streaming service that would allow users the freedom to browse through a catalog of music, licensed through multiple record labels, and create even share music playlists with other users; and actualized it. As of April 2019, the number of Spotify’s monthly active users was 100 million paying subscribers. Available in most of Europe, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, parts of Africa and Asia makes it a born global ninja.

One key constant denominator in these born global success stories is evidently the Subscription business model – this seems to be the future of successful businesses.

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