New publishing companies are expected to produce at least 10 books before (a) the book world acknowledges them as a "real" publisher as opposed to a self- or vanity-publisher, and (b) before therefore many of the large book chains will stock their books (most chains work only through distributors such as Gardners, Bertrams, Ingrams, Baker & Taylor, etc, some of whom won't even consider taking you on until you have at least 10 books published). The first 10 barcodes issued reflect that fledgling status, so any time someone experienced reads your book's barcode they can see that it's done by a new publisher who hasn't yet hit the magic number 10.
It's a bit of a Catch 22 - until you have those 10 first books (well, 11 really - the next batch of barcodes issued is a generalised batch of numbers and no longer reflects your status, though it can still be checked on via the ISBN database), you won't be stocked - but until you're stocked, you won't make money. So you have to have a LOT of capital in order to produce and market those first 11 books, because you won't actually start making money until you've sunk a lot of money in.
This means that fledgling publishers (like ourselves) have to either have lots of capital, or lots of time and very patient authors.