The 3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts of Global Expansion

John O’Farrell, Partner - Andreessen Horowitz

John O’Farrell, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, brings the investor perspective having watched many startups succeed and fail at the tricky task of expanding globally. He boils down his experience to 3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts.  


  1. Have a strategy before you go
  2. Make it someone’s job to manage global expansion and not the CEO
  3. Give international centers their own P&L and make sure you resource it properly


  1. Local partners can be good but avoid joint ventures since neither partner will have the control they desire
  2. Don’t hire a big name rainmaker but instead take a trusted lieutenant to propagate the company culture in new locations.  
  3. Don’t start in China. The deck is stacked against incoming companies since the Chinese have protectionist policies for their own.