For over 50 years, the most relevant technology products came from Silicon Valley. A small area in Northern California. We know about hidden champions from all corners of the world who dominate a small subset of an industry segment. But the foundation of our future technology still today comes from Silicon Valley.
Most of the foundation technology came from other parts of the world. But the commercial success, the success of the founders, the company, and the society this all happened in was and still is the Bay Area. Neither the rocket, nor the transistor, or the first computer, or the telephone, or the Internet or the electric automobile or pretty much any other technology was first developed there. Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and other countries have been the big contributors to the rise of the global technological development. But the final product, the production and the sales of those products have not been conducted in the original countries. The countries are proud of their creators and the creation, but they have absolutely nothing from that success.
Today, companies don’t even have to move to California – they get simply acquired by US or Chinese companies and can stay where they want. The economic rise and technological influence however vanishes away. Germany let Kuka, one of the top robotics companies go to China. The UK let DeepMind, probably the most advanced AI companies on the planet go to the US, only to name a few.
The US was the first and still today the only country that fully comprehended the economic value of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for a country. Most countries in the world know how important innovation is and throw billions to stimulate innovation creation. The US government doesn’t spend anything – but it creates continuously the environment to make it the most attractive country to tech entrepreneurs – up until recently. Just in the last two years, South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore turned around and proactively creates a ever more attractive environment for entrepreneurs from inside and outside the country.
The correlation between the attractiveness of a country and the needs and dreams of entrepreneurs is not part of the book but without understanding the inner works of successful entrepreneurs creating an environment that is thought to be ‘attractive’ makes no sense in the first place.