joined VC firm Index Ventures this week, has a great post on his blog about the European startup scene. I spoke to Saul earlier this week and I will write up a post about that conversation next week. But for now, check out Saul's post - it really nails why Web innovation is happening more and more outside Silicon Valley.Saul Klein, the former Skype global marketing VP who
Remember that our R/WW poll this week is on this very topic: does location matter in Web innovation? So far nearly half of you (47%) think that location does matter, but that several places in the world have just as high a chance of innovation as Silicon Valley (depending on product type and other factors). A third of you (34%) think that location doesn't matter and that innovation can happen equally everywhere (NZ, Timbuktoo, etc). Only 1/5 of you (20%) think that Silicon Valley has the highest chance of innovation.
As Saul pointed out in his post, there is much more to running a startup than simply having an idea and building a prototype. Silicon Valley definitely has a lot of advantages in terms of networking and the density of smart Web people in the area. But Europe is catching up:
"We've always had great talent (especially in academia & research institutions), but now we also successful entrepreneurial role models, sophisticated early-stage financing and the ability to start and test businesses at low-cost as well."
Also Saul notes that the Internet is growing rapidly outside the US:
"The Internet outside the US is bigger than the inside and that trend is only accelerating. Google, eBay and Yahoo all know this and the fact that YouTube is already over 65% international in less than two years from launch shows that the US in no longer an island.
Against many important measures -- broadband penetration, % online advertising spend and mobile phone adoption -- the US is no longer the world's most important market. This is not for one minute to say that the US shouldn't part a major part of every ambitious startup's plans but if for example you want to be in the market with the largest share of online advertising as part of the marketing mix, you want to be in the UK."
Web innovation truly is global these days. What's more, reporting on Web innovation is global (he says, tapping away at his keyboard on a Saturday morning in Wellington, New Zealand). While a lot of my focus is on Silicon Valley, because it's still the nexus of Web business, I've also been following the Asia scene with great interest - because it's closer to where I am physically. I'm also involved as an advisor to a Europe startup (Nooked) and I keep in regular contact with many European web 2.0 folks.
Ain't globalization grand!