New Release: 5,460 Miles from Silicon Valley – The In-depth Case Study of What Became Microsoft’s First Billion Dollar Acquisition Outside the USA

 In Building Successful Partner Channels, Business Model Management, Entering Foreign Markets, Featured, Industry News

TBK Publishing® today releases the business biography 5,460 Miles from Silicon Valley – The In-depth Case Study of What Became Microsoft’s First Billion Dollar Acquisition Outside the USA.

The book about how two small Danish software companies became global market leaders and were acquired by Microsoft for 1.45 billion dollars.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Companies worldwide use ERP-systems Dynamics NAV and AX (now Dynamics 365) from Microsoft to run their business. However, only a few know that these products originate from two small startups founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1984. The book 5,460 Miles from Silicon Valley tells the full story of how this came about. Not only is Copenhagen 5,460 miles from Silicon Valley, but how the two companies, Damgaard Data and Navision Software started and grew is also miles away from the standard approach in the San Francisco Bay area. A method that is much more likely to be prosperous when you are located in a small market, where English is not the native language.

Hans Peter Bech, author of “5,460 Miles from Silicon Valley”

Denmark is a small country representing less than a half per cent of global demand,” says Hans Peter Bech, author of the book, “and English isn’t the main language. Besides, the type of software that the two companies developed required substantial localisation for each new country they wanted to enter. Nevertheless, they managed to expand internationally at a very early stage and grew to become the most attractive acquisition target when Microsoft decided to enter the ERP-market.”


Download excerpts from the book.


Damgaard Data and Navision Software bootstrapped through their startup phase (requiring no external investors) and quickly grew to become local market leaders. Global expansion, however, didn’t come easy. Both companies had joint ventures with IBM that failed to deliver any significant international impact. The breakthrough came when they took matters into their own hands. Both companies did their IPOs in 1999, and in 2000 they merged to form one of the strongest ERP-vendors in the mid-market with annual growth rates way over their competitors.

By 2002, the company had grown to 1,200 employees, had an annual turnover of $355M, showed a 22 per cent net profit margin and was one of Denmark’s most popular places to work. These results were driven by global ambitions, the ability to identify and swiftly execute on the market and industry opportunities and by applying a Scandinavian leadership model.

An ecosystem with 20,000 people

The baton passed to Microsoft in July 2002 included a modern and competitive product portfolio and an ecosystem with more than two thousand business partners serving well over a hundred thousand customers across 30 countries. By then the total turnover of and around Navision’s products was in the order of DKK 17 billion (USD 3.4B) and the entire ecosystem employed over 20,000 people.

A textbook for entrepreneurs and startups

Damgaard Data in the early 1990s

The book is for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, business development and leadership.

While most books on these subjects provide generic advice, 5,460 Miles from Silicon Valley tells the full story of what happened and how the founders managed to grow their businesses from nothing to global market leadership. That was by no means an easy feat. They made many mistakes, but boldness, the ability to attract resourceful employees and quickly bounce back from failures was the main elements of the recipe.

The book takes you behind the scenes of an utterly unpredictable industry at a time of constant disruption where strategies don’t necessarily lead to success. It is a book about people, ambitions, and resourcefulness. About giving your dream everything you’ve got and building an international business from scratch – in a small Nordic country where English isn’t even the primary language.

Watch the author answer questions about the book

What others say about the book

A great book about two companies that continue to serve as role models for many entrepreneurs.
Peter Warnøe, Venture Capitalist

This is a true, detailed and honest story. Should be mandatory reading for any entrepreneur.
Toke Kruse, Investor & Serial Entrepreneur

An obvious case story for all business and management schools. And for practitioners.
Freddie B. Jørgensen, Management Consultant

5,460 Miles from Silicon Valley is a textbook for everyone who deals with entrepreneurship and business in general.
Ole Møller-Jensen, Regional – President, Danfoss.

This book should be part of the curriculum at any business school. It provides a great insight into how a business is created and all the big and small challenges you will come across.

Hans Christian Markvardt Pedersen

If you are interested in the details of a success story with bumps on the road and at the same time getting an overview of the development in the IT-industry for the past 35 years, then this is a book for you.
Birgitte Borgen


Kindle version (ebook):

Brasil, The USA, India, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Japan, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and The United Kingdom.

Printed version (paperback) through Amazon:

The USAThe United KingdomGermany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan.

Printed version through bookstores (ask for ISBN: 978-87-93116-35-1) in:

United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Russia, South Korea, China, India, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and Greece.   

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