It’s important for Canadian digital media companies to think big — think internationally — right out of the box, Michael Serbinis, co-founder of Canadian success story Kobo, told the audience at the Canadian Digital Media Network’s Canada 3.0 conference in Toronto recently.

There’s a $250-billion reading market — newspapers, books, magazines — and two-thirds of that is outside North America, Serbinis said. So Kobo — originally envisioned as a software platform for delivering e-books, not a device to read them on — designed a single international platform, rather than perfecting a North American platform and recreating it for other language and countries. That allows the company to quickly roll out local bookstores, gauge traction, and focus more resources where it’s appropriate, Serbinis said.

Serbinis spoke to IT World Canada in this video interview about the importance of an international presence.