Hi all, welcome back to the blog, and I hope you all enjoyed the summer period!
This week, I am just back from a fact-finding visit to Silicon Valley, California. I visited many of the companies well-established in the area—like Hewlett Packard, Cisco, Google, EBay/PayPal, and Apple—and spoke with local executives from European companies like Nokia, Ericsson, and Deutsche Telekom, as well as a series of start ups, incubators and accelerators – including some from Europe.
Much of what we heard is already well-known. The weak points of Europe, the uniqueness of "The Valley". The sheer volume of capital, the number of legendary companies with astronomic growth rates, and so on. Still, to see it "in the flesh" just underlines what a dynamic place this is and what entrepreneurial strength it has. Concerns or doubts that could prove barriers to enterprise in Europe are overridden with an overwhelming optimism and entrepreneurial drive. Risk taking, failing, moving on, and getting ready for the next new venture is all part of the game. Lots of people I met told me that for them, failure is an event, not a person; when a project has failed you'll be asked: "so what are you going to do next?"