I was more concerned with saying something true than saying something that would encourage startups in a particular region. I agree entirely that saying startups will do equally well anywhere would encourage startups in Europe. If Carson in turn agrees that this statement, though encouraging, is false, then we'll have settled our differences.
But the conclusion here is also false: you need bold and intelligent investors even more to build a long-lasting startup like Google.
PG doesn't view something like dropsend as a startup per se. To him that's just a small business with a chance at being successful. Ryan sees Dropsend from a founders point of view: a significant success, but not something that's going to be acquired by Google for $xxM.
They're arguing from two different positions about two different things.
Why's that? Funding, connections, deals, etc are still very important. If you want to grow your business at all, whether it's to an acquisition, IPO, or whatever... those things are still important.
I'm interested in hearing how YC works out the visa situation for teams based outside of the USA. We have had to pass on a number of awesome applicants because of visa problems. However, we do have a couple indispensible hackers based in Europe, and had to set up a (somewhat) complicated system of small european based companies so that we can bring them over to work for 3-5 months at a time.
If you raise a certain level of investment, you can stay in the US. I don't know the details; it varies depending on where you're from and where you raise the money.
Also, about mobile.. Europe has had mobile for a lot longer than the US.. yet it takes Apple releasing the iPhone to begin to unleash its true power??
Interestingly some of the biggest investors in the tech boom and the housing bubble were UK and European institutions.. So the money is there.. it just needs to be redirected locally...
Well, that basically has to be your attitude if you can't rely upon angel support, meeting deal-makers, or follow-on capital.
So you'll do just as well... as long as you turn a profit quickly, you're not interested in being acquired before that, and you're not shooting for a large market? Not terribly inspiring.
Starting businesses that don't have this objective is how we got into the bubble mess of dot-com in the first place.
If this isn't your objective, you should find something else to work on.
the article is unfortunately not freely distributed and requires a subscription fee to access it.
The concept of hubs is central to his thesis. He basically argues that the key requirements for an industry hub are: large companies for R&D and M&A, Research Universities for research and tech transfer, Investment Groups for access to capital, and knowledge workers with applicable skills.
In the web/tech space there is no argument that SV provides the right mix of resources and is the leading technology hub.
Where the EU and metro regions in the US can improve is increasing the linkages between these groups and thus making it easier for entreps to succeed there.
Many of the examples Ryan provided in his post are examples of the progress that has been made in Europe.
Carson cares more about developing new Silicon Valleys.
They're both right, but as an entrepreneur, I know who I should be listening to.
Carson is trying to become a pg of Europe.
Take both in measured amounts.
Except may be it encourages his startups to move to the Valley, which increases the chances of YC's(and the startup's) success. Of course that just validates his essay that the Valley is the place to do startups.
The first point being that startups do best in Silicon Valley.
The second point being that startups can succeed elsewhere (Europe).
Everybody loves sun and beaches!
The beaches near Boston, whilst disgusting, are actually much warmer and beach-like in the summer than the beaches in NorCal ever are.
Eh, they're quite cold but not unbearable. Trust me, I know -- I've swum from Alcatraz to SF :-)
But in the future there be a place that will concentrate and host those people ready to build this ecosystem.
It's more a culture problem Europe is facing. There may be ventures geographically descentralized that succeed but they wont be concentrated anytime soon, because there arent enough attempts and often the very comptetent people move to US.
The huge irony is Loic Le Meur, the French guy who is hosting LeWeb3, who is supposed to be working towards that purpose. Interestingly enough, his new startup is now in San Fransisco..
even if the beach is cold, I guess the sun is there and the lifestyle and life is non-stop, and must have been a catalyst in the beggining when Silicon Vally began to attract people. Anyhow, of what I now real estate was pretty cheap even 25 years ago, which must have been a very important role. Paris is already big and expensive and cloudy. London the same. Cities in Germany the same.
The people and the prices are not startup friendly.