Luck is when an incredible amount of preparation meets opportunity – says Peter Zaboji of EEF (European Entrepreneurship Foundation). Marton Szoke (or as locals call him, Marci) has been invited by Peter to Prezi’s new HQ in Budapest for a breakfast and Q&A where Marci shared his story and lessons of becoming an entrepreneur and talked about the recent acquisition of his business, IndexTools by Yahoo! Exciting stuff …
Serial entrepreneurship seems to be a lifestyle of going from one venture to another – drive the idea to success and step to the next venture when you’re on the top. It reminds me exactly to what career coaches say we should do with our corporate careers – switch to the next level when you’re on top of you current role. It certainly works … Anyway, back to entrepreneurship …
One recurring theme in Marci’s story was that he was constantly ahead of his time. He was building a web shop in the end of the 90’s. He was focusing a lot of attention to the SEO of his web shop at the beginning of the century. He established a SEO tool company IndexTools at the time when there wasn’t yet a word for SEO. He wasn’t centuries ahead in the future, only 3-4 years, but this was just enough for potential buyers to understand the evolution that’s ongoing, grasp the idea and its importance and buy it. It also looks like that Marci was building products mostly to the early adopters group of Moore’s Crossing the Chasm philosophy.
As you may know, I work with many startups as an incubator and I see several attempts and stories of moving businesses to foreign markets. I see startups completely re-brand their businesses and spend an awful lot of money and energy to find how differently the foreign country operates, how they have to re-shape their features, UX, marketing and so on. I wanted to hear Marci’s perspective to opening businesses in new markets, so I asked the obvious question: “how was the moving-your-Hungarian-business-to-the-US experience”? Marci’s answer was amazingly simple:
“Create your business in your target country from day one. Gradually expanding from your local country to your neighbors’, then to the region, then to the US is a bsht – or at least for innovative software startups”.
Thanks to Marci & Peter for the experience and lessons.
One note about Peter Zaboji . Although proud and very social, I see Peter as a humble person who likes to put others in the forefront. In other words, he likes to make other people great and this is what’s moving the entrepreneurship initiative in Hungary and in the region. As I told him already: behind every successful man, there’s a woman. Although Peter is certainly not a woman, he’s the housewife of entrepreneurship in Hungary and the region.