Australia and Northern Europe are in the same boat when it comes to startup companies. We both have small home markets, and are a long ways away from the U.S., which seems to be the bullseye due to it being a big rich homogenous market full of customers and investors. With internationalization on our mind, we're taking a look at 99designs, the Australian-founded company that allows anyone to run a crowdsourced contest to get the best design possible for whatever you need. We used it to source our coworking space logo (which is goddamn gorgeous to us) and through the process we got in touch with Patrick Llewellyn, CEO of 99designs.
As a brief history, 99designs got its start actually as a spinoff of the SitePoint forums, where occasionally web designers would compete on fictional logos, just for fun. Eventually one day someone came in and basically said, "hey you guys like doing logos, so how about making one for my company?" SitePoint capitalized on that self-generated activity by starting 99designs and was able to internationalize quickly by harnessing their already-present U.S. traffic.