Keys to Global Startup Success with David Yang and Gary

David Yang and Gary Fowler had a powerful discussion about what it takes for startups to go global.

David Yang, Ph.D. is Co-founder of, Founder and Board Director at ABBYY, serial entrepreneur who specializes in AI, and has founded 12 companies with 1300+ employees in 14 offices in 11 countries while currently residing in Silicon Valley.

Gary Fowler has 28 years of success in global and strategic innovation, he’s the co-founder of GSD Venture Studios that helps companies go global. He was on the original management team of Click Software which sold for 1.5 billion to Salesforce. He is a widely recognized Expert in Entrepreneurship, AI and co-founder of with David.

How Do You handle the Ups and Downs as a Founder?

“Be ready to have your ups and downs every single day. If you’re not prepared to do that, don’t start a company.” - David
“You come up with ideas and they become reality. During a market crash we took Click Software from almost bankrupt to sold for 1.3 billion dollars. You have to believe things come true whether you are going through good times or dark times.” - Gary

What is The Best Strategy to Sell Internationally and How Did You Succeed?

“We understood one thing - team is the most important element in success. If you have the right people you will achieve success. Short answer - is THE TEAM.” - David

How Important is it to Match The Culture When Expanding Abroad and Why?

“Valuing cultural differences, and not saying one is right or wrong. Having mixed teams is critically important because sometimes there are other ways and perspectives to get things done.” - Gary
“Being open to differences, being loyal, diverse, and inclusive. Studies show that it delivers higher dollar performance when you have a diverse culture. Not only international, ethnic, and geographical but gender diversity.” - David

Do Startups Need to Open Local Offices in States?

“In most cases yes. It’s very rare that you can achieve international success without having a local presence. It’s the culture question. Do you understand your customer's needs? Are you able to achieve customer success channels?” - David

How Gary and David Founded Yva

David says all top management of a startup must do customer development on their own to understand the pain points they are solving and how to deliver the best value to customers. I was looking for a partner and I met Gary. We met on University St. near Stanford.
“The magic of Silicon Valley is not in the ten-story houses. It’s about unplanned meetings - that's the MAGIC. Some people raise capital and some become cofounders.” - David

What are the keys to succeed globally?

Gary says on one side you have the physical world and then we have the digital world with video communications. The speed of digital transformation has dramatically shifted. 10-15 years speeds up to a few months.

“Companies that are decentralized will win.” - Gary

How do you best prepare for entering a new market?

“Follow your customers if you're creating an international product. If they are in developing or developed countries, following their pain point is where you should invest.” - David

Watch full interview here: