I pass a tech startup every day when I walk to work. It dominates a block between Second Avenue and Third, along Church Street. Sometimes I peek in the windows as I go by, looking at the in-progress construction or the glistening plasma screens. At one point, the company put a friend of mine in charge of localization, although he knew nothing about localization at the time.
Startups are all around us, depending on your definition of “startup,” exactly. As such, they represent unique — if somewhat frustrating, at times — business opportunities for localization companies.
Quality is a big factor for startup localization, and it’s something that many companies won’t have planned out. Mostly because they don’t know they need to. My friend, for example, was operating under the assumption that the company’s engineers in Japan could just do the company’s Japanese translation. Since he’d never worked in localization, I couldn’t exactly blame him for not being aware of some of the issues this might cause.
This is why not one, but two articles in this issue are devoted to measuring quality at startups. Yet another looks at evangelizing the importance of localization, and how to approach startup teams with localization in mind. A fourth article considers how to become a project manager, both for established companies and startups.
As my friend could testify, if you’re looking to break into localization project management, you’ll likely need less experience if you’re being hired by a startup. Although you might have to do some creative job searching, since the company may not even know enough about localization to know that “localization project management” is what they’re looking for.