Everyone talks about how much easier it is to do business in the Valley and that things move a lot faster there. Having worked in the Valley versus the East Coast, Asia and now Europe the difference in the pace of things and energy is prominent. Things do move fast and business gets done quickly but what most people don’t realize is that work and play are intermingled. Life in the Valley is centered around technology and entrepreneurship and it is hard to separate where work ends and play begins and vice versa.
It is one of the things I find critically different in my Europe experience to date. The two are very separate, which is great to some extent because it provides a better sense of balance. But if you are an entrepreneur or in general trying to move your business fast, you want and need more of that mixture because it is a key element of what creates a community fully focused on supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.
This is one of the biggest reasons I am involved with Seedcamp. I strongly believe that it is very possible to build such an environment and community in Europe. It is a key part of the secret sauce. So, Seedcamp clearly provides funding. But even more importantly, its purpose is to help build this community because it is learning from product design, technology, business development, IP lawyers, and other experts that the inherent community can become stronger. And ultimately a company is not an island but is interdependent with many external parties. These same experts will one day become partners, customers, employees, and even competitors that will push you to build even greater companies.
There are so many similar qualities in the young entrepreneurs in Europe to those in the Valley: Fantastic education, energy, openness to sharing, and big goals and dreams. The main thing lacking is a thread that ties it all together to create a tight link. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a nurturing environment to create a lasting cycle of entrepreneurship. The YouTube – Sequoia – Google community is the quintessential example of mixing work and play and the importance of who you know much more than money. Are you ready to immerse completely, blur the lines, and build this community?