by Alexander Lethen, Regional Director of Benelux
Last week I met with the Dutch Minister of Finance, Mr. Jan Kees de Jager, at our Redwood City HQ. De Jager was on a short road trip through Silicon Valley to experience the innovation ‘vibe’ and pitch the Netherlands as the right location as a European HQ.
In our conversation we talked through the differences between Silicon Vally and the Netherlands – in particular – and Europe at large in terms of entrepreneurship and levels of innovations. Geographically, Silicon Valley is much smaller than the Netherlands, which is by itself already a pretty small country. Silicon Valley has produced over the last decades many of the most successful high-tech companies worldwide and is continuing to do so, especially in Anything-as-a-Services.
Although these are several other ‘pockets’ of high-tech innovation in the USA and abroad, the Valley – in my view – brings together the perfect ingredients for a highly innovative and attractive blend of success. There are many ingredients, and the most important ones are:
- raw entrepreneurism, many high-tech companies are started and founded by serial entrepreneurs and folks with a burning desire to found their own company,
- infectious optimism, many start-ups have an unbridled enthusiasm to ‘change the world’ and completely believe in their vision,
- proven intellect, many folks that want to be part of this culture have already moved to the Valley from other parts of the country or abroad,
- venture capital, many of the venture capitalists reside in this area, which makes it much easier to retain funding for the right idea,
On top of that it is located in a gorgeous part of the country, only miles away from San Francisco.
Unfortunately for the Dutch Minister of Finance, I was not in the position to gift wrap this blend in a handy little package, for him to take home.
Whoever could package ‘Culture-as-a-Service’ is certainly on to a killer-app. In the mean time, you can always subscribe to this culture by signing up with many of the Valley’s most innovative companies to optimise your business.