Morten Primdahl, co-founder and former CTO of Zendesk, talks about what made Zendesk the success it has become today—probably the highest valued startup coming out of Denmark during the past 20 years.
The first step was to move to Silicon Valley in the mid-2000s to meet the right people who would invest in a startup like this. No investors in Denmark at that time would see the potential, but odds were better in the Valley, where they have a long track record of investing in new technology. (Nowadays, Copenhagen attracts a lot of venture capital, so something has changed over the past 10 years).
The other big step forward for Zendesk was simplifying its business model and letting customers add users themselves. It may seem obvious today but 10 years ago software-as-a-service was about selling plans of XX number of users—and then upgrading to the next plan when ready.
The last step was how to scale development. In the Valley, the salaries for skilled people have gone through many roofs, so if you want a great team you have to look around the world. Zendesk is quite opportunistic about it. If they have a presence in a city somewhere—Singapore, Montpellier, Krakow—, then they may open a development office there.