Rod as an interesting post on “The Valley of Death”. I view this principally as a mental rather and physical issue. Contextually NZ businesses sit far from the rest of the world and therefore they frame everything in terms of distance. Distance begets an attitude of scarcity -“I don’t have enough because I am a long way from everything…” … “I can’t raise capital because I am so far from it…”
Because I sit in San Jose, CA, I frame everything in terms of proximity. I am close to capital and markets. I have lots because I am close to everything.
How do you change the mindset? First, act like you work and live in Silicon Valley. Switch to the timezone. Work the hours. Network via Skype, Twitter and other tools. Plan a week a month there. You don’t have to drink the crap coffee though.
Second, dream your enterprise as it was going to scale like a US business.
Third, if you think there is a Valley of Death it is likely you will fall into it. Imagine there is a highway instead and go ride it. This is critical. Most NZ businesses plan very conservatively in the hope of mitigating risk and failure. They do so so severely that they constrain growth and expansion, choking the company to death.
It is amazing how quickly all the physical and market issues start to vaporize when you shift your context, aspirations and frame of reference.
And, you need to turn-up. Some say that a great part of success is in turning-up. Most NZ businesses never break-in to the US market because they don’t turn-up.