Takeaways from the Valley
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Cédric, Ela and I made a recent visit to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, and we were left with one very strong impression. In the US, the technology community doesn’t whine, it just focuses on getting things done.

This was evident at the StrictlyVC Insiders event, where speakers Zander Lurie (CEO of SurveyMonkey) and Marc Andreessen (partner at a16z) didn’t once complain about competition. Instead, they talked about the opportunities they saw, and were open about mistakes they made and how they struggled to overcome them. This discussion was driven by moderator, Connie Loizos who, crucially, didn’t ask pointless questions.

So we return to Europe with renewed conviction that these pointless discussions must be stopped. The Europe vs. U.S. question is a tired one, and it always inevitably leads to a list of what we’ve got vs. what they’ve got and why we’re behind in Europe, resulting in a defeatist attitude. The question itself is the problem. The European technology ecosystem must stop comparing itself to the U.S., and rather, focus on sharing information that allows us all to be better at what we’re doing. Essentially, more talk about what people are doing effectively and what there is to learn from it, less whining about the competition.

In some cases, this is already happening. Project A’s Portfolio Day was full of useful discussions, including a top-notch talk from co-founder Florian Heinemann, titled “Trends in & Challenges in Digital Marketing.” There was also a presentation on “Cross-Channel B2B, How We Did It”, which focused on what they were doing right and what they’d learned, in a manner that both inspired and helped others.

Furthermore, the U.S. tech community isn’t complaining about issues like gender equality. They are taking action, data-driven action, working hand-in-hand with public institutions to find out what works and what doesn’t – they are not complaining in public forums about the injustices.

In short, we can change the dialogue – that’s what we do. So let’s make sure the content we turn out is driving this change, let’s make sure we’re talking about what can be done, what should be done – sharing our successes and failures. We have a great deal of influence, let’s use it for the good of the ecosystem.

Cédric, Ela and I made a recent visit to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, and we were left with one very strong impression. In the US, the technology community doesn’t whine, it just focuses on getting things done.

This was evident at the StrictlyVC Insiders event, where speakers Zander Lurie (CEO of SurveyMonkey) and Marc Andreessen (partner at a16z) didn’t once complain about competition. Instead, they talked about the opportunities they saw, and were open about mistakes they made and how they struggled to overcome them. This discussion was driven by moderator, Connie Loizos who, crucially, didn’t ask pointless questions.

So we return to Europe with renewed conviction that these pointless discussions must be stopped. The Europe vs. U.S. question is a tired one, and it always inevitably leads to a list of what we’ve got vs. what they’ve got and why we’re behind in Europe, resulting in a defeatist attitude. The question itself is the problem. The European technology ecosystem must stop comparing itself to the U.S., and rather, focus on sharing information that allows us all to be better at what we’re doing. Essentially, more talk about what people are doing effectively and what there is to learn from it, less whining about the competition.

In some cases, this is already happening. Project A’s Portfolio Day was full of useful discussions, including a top-notch talk from co-founder Florian Heinemann, titled “Trends in & Challenges in Digital Marketing.” There was also a presentation on “Cross-Channel B2B, How We Did It”, which focused on what they were doing right and what they’d learned, in a manner that both inspired and helped others.

Furthermore, the U.S. tech community isn’t complaining about issues like gender equality. They are taking action, data-driven action, working hand-in-hand with public institutions to find out what works and what doesn’t – they are not complaining in public forums about the injustices.

In short, we can change the dialogue – that’s what we do. So let’s make sure the content we turn out is driving this change, let’s make sure we’re talking about what can be done, what should be done – sharing our successes and failures. We have a great deal of influence, let’s use it for the good of the ecosystem.