Fast forward today, the infrastructure to support distributed applications are much more matured and accessible to startups e.g. networks are faster, multi core machines are cheaper, RAM is cheap and cloud infrastructure providers such as AWS have increased their global data center footprint to enable companies to adjust their resource load geographically as per customers location
Should Early Stage Startups Adopt Microservices?

Commodity infrastructure is not the only reason for choosing a monolith as a pattern for a startup. There are advantages in reduced complexity, especially having to manage a single code base, opened as one session in an IDE. Your example about geographic scaling can also be achieved using a CDN. You’d have to see a massive uptick in active daily users before the scale advantages of microservices make sense.