Recently, I’ve read a book “New rules of marketing and PR” by David Meerman Scott where author uses a case study of a small Lithuanian company that made worldwide success selling niche audio equipment.
In business of selling things (especially if they are actual goods), you are almost doomed to failure unless you really have something exceptional and market it well.
Even in the EU, the market is in no way unified (even the shopping culture is different). Shipping costs inside EU are still expensive, not to mention countries outside EU which have customs. It’s almost impossible to break out of that.
Then, translations. For each new country you want to sell to, you have to translate again. That brings additional costs and makes seizing bigger markets much harder.
On the other hand US has the benefit of the same language, unified shipping across country and almost unified culture. That gives US a better starting point than probably anyone else currently. So, you might say “American dream is not dead“. It’s still more alive than a Lithuanian one anyway.
Yes, a story of Internet giving equal opportunities to everyone would be nice. But it simply isn’t true. The example of Lithuanian company is exceptional and they probably do a great job, but it’s in no way an easy route (and a rare example more than a trend).
Doing worldwide business will probably always be simpler from a bigger market. The niche is bigger and easier to seize. The starting momentum needed to get you going is much easier to achieve than in a small country.