Bernard writes over on ReadWriteWeb about the interesting battle-to-come between LinkedIn and Xing. For me the most interesting line comes at the end;
[the] conclusion that you have to move to the Valley…is increasingly flawed and Xing illustrates why. Why move to the Valley? …it’s where the money is. And, yes, talent flocks to money and the combo of talent and money continues to make the Valley the uber-hub. But follow the money. What happens if the US IPO market remains closed to innovative start-ups? Does the entrepreneur in London move to the Valley for her Series A and B and then return to London for the AIM listing?
Given the credit crunch and equity squeeze hitting (primarily) the US, along with the greenback currency woes and Bernard raises a good point.
Until now the US was the place one had to be to raise serious money, create a credible proposition and gain traction. This was, in part, a legacy from the days when all real R&D happened there – Xerox PARC, early MS and Apple days etc. What we’re seeing now is a global perspective on startups. From Zoho in India to WorkLight in Israel to Xing in Germany, new powerhouses are appearing that potentially could do some damage to the US primacy.
Look at the fundamentals;
- Generally a good pool of high talent workers
- Lower labour and compliance costs
- Often an attractive regulatory framework
- An ability to begin somewhat in stealth and “under the radar”
So yes it’s a fair comment that right now the Valley is the place to be for an internet start-up, but this pseudo prerequisite has almost run out. Look for new areas to come to the fore in the years ahead.
Vive Silicon Welly!