Revenue is not revenue

More revenue is always better for a company. At the same time, I’d argue you’d rather have 5 customers in 5 countries than 10 customers in one - especially if you have growth ambitions.

Bill Gurley has a really good and famous blog post called “All Revenue Is Not Created Equal” - a post that’s been broadly shared lately related to WeWork’s sudden crash. In it he talks about “customer concentration”, saying that your business is less fragile if your revenue is spread amongst more customers.

This is very true. At the same time, your list of customers represents different levels of risks (removed from the business). 0 customers: Does anyone want this? 1 customer: Someone wants this, but does this customer represent a larger group? 5 customers in 1 market: More indications that the first customer represented a larger group. Is this “larger group” local or is there an international potential for this company? 5 customers in 5 markets: Someone wants this in multiple markets. The “larger group” is not only domestic.

And so on… You probably get my argument already; don’t wait too long to test international markets if your plan is to build a large company. It’s good for your business and it’s a strong signal for investors lookin to back companies with international ambitions.