Why does Europe suck at startups?



  • Out of 108 startups with a valuation of more than
    one billion dollars, 78 are from the US and only nine are from Europe. Whats going on?

    He gives a bunch of the obvious reasons: EU isn't one market yet, number of languages/cultures to support, etc.

    But then says despite those reasons, Europe used to create successful businesses:

    But it leaves one important question to unanswered…

    How do we explain that Europe historically have had no issues creating what in their time, might have been called unicorns?

    Well, let me make that easy for you, buddy: it's called "colonialism". Guess which word doesn't even appear in this article? Hint: it starts with a "c" and ends with a "olonialism".

    Let's rephrase the question for this idiot author:

    Gee, why was it that Britain was creating so many large successful global companies back when they were consuming something like 80% of India's resources, provided under threat of military violence? How come Germany and Bel<poo>gium were so successful at business when they were raping and murdering 10,000,000 Africans to extract their rubber resources? It's a mystery!


    Pro-tip: learn about history, or Blakeyrat will call you a dumbshit. Dumbshit.



  • This is a complex issue and I don’t claim to have the answers.

    And that's when I stopped reading. Wake me up when someone intelligent writes the article for you.


    Filed Under: I'm talking to the author, not Blakey



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Well, let me make that easy for you, buddy: it's called "colonialism".

    This reminds me of something Steve Sailor does with articles. He does a CTRL+F on "migra" and it almost never is there.

    But there are probably other reasons, like taxation and regulation environments. I mean, we're trying to catch up, but...



  • Why did Europe's ability to create successful businesses depend on colonialism and wither up when it ended, when the USA is still creating successful businesses without it<inb4 it's stealing oil from the middle east>?



  • Also, FTFA:

    According to Forbes, 40% of the fortune 500 companies in the US are started by foreigners and 60% of popular tech companies are started by 1st or 2nd generation immigrants, many of them Europeans. In other words The US is often relying on foreigners to innovate and create those businesses and plenty of Europeans are amongst those who succeed.

    So, they come here instead of even trying, apparently.

    European startups ask for permission instead of forgiveness.
    That section makes a lot of sense to me.

    Europe seems less inclined to try and solve it’s issues by trusting it’s civil societies.

    We do that a lot less here, too. Kneejerk reactions of "there must be regulation!" tend to make the institutions of civil society wither away.



  • @anotherusername said:

    Why did Europe's ability to create successful businesses depend on colonialism and wither up when it ended, when the USA is still creating successful businesses without it?

    The US was never very invested in colonialism in the first place. We had, what, a tiny bit of the Philippines, Puerto Rico and some nothing islands that produced nothing? Compare that to Britain, France, Germany, etc. who all had colonies whose populations dwarfed those of the ruling country. And Puerto Rico wasn't shit (economically) until the 1960s-1970s anyway.

    We also got a huge boost after WWII because our infrastructure wasn't blown to smithereens by Nazis, but now we're paying for it since as a result we procrastinated to shit and back about upgrading any of it. The US is probably the only place on Earth you can find a high-tension electrical tower that was erected in the 1920s and still in use.

    But mostly our way of life is far superior. Suck it.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    The US was never very invested in colonialism in the first place.

    The US a.k.a. "the colonies".





  • @blakeyrat said:

    The US was never very invested in colonialism in the first place.

    We called it Manifest Destiny, but like the Romans, turned our colonies into "normal" parts of the country. We didn't have to go overseas, which made things easier, too.

    @blakeyrat said:

    We had, what, a tiny bit of the Philippines, Puerto Rico and some nothing islands that produced nothing?

    Yeah, war with Spain got us the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Only Puerto Rico remains, and it's a shit hole. We try to subsidize the natives to stay there but they keep coming to the mainland.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Only Puerto Rico remains, and it's a shit hole. We try to subsidize the natives to stay there but they keep coming to the mainland.

    Dude. Not cool. If you piss them off, who'll be in our MLB teams?

    MST3K - Progress Island U.S.A. – 12:00
    — Bo Balderson



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Dude. Not cool. If you piss them off, who'll be in our MLB teams?

    Bah...that's what the D.R. is for! But I agree, Puerto Rico is a good example of Progressivism: horrible schools, overwhelmed by debt.

    Then there's the genius in the comments who say it's a numbers game. There are more American startups, so of course there are more American unicorns. OK, genius, NOW ANSWER WHY THERE ARE FEWER STARTUPS. And you'll probably answer with the same things as the article already said.



  • One big difference between the U.S. and U.K. culturally and legally is the impact that failure has on an individual.
    In the U.S. there seems to be a belief (which I'm generally on-board with) that it is possible to learn from a failed idea / failed business. In the U.K. having a controlling interest in a failed business is very much viewed as a black mark - a literal failure.

    Also, I'm not sure how the bankruptcy laws work in the U.S. but if an individual is made bankrupt in the U.K. then it can be a veeeeery long climb out of that hole. It's also very unlikely that anyone will lend you money for the next 100 years.
    Finally, owners of businesses that fail due to mismanagement can be barred from being a director of a company for several years.

    So all in all, starting a business in the U.K. carries a significant personal risk and, as a nation of generally risk-averse people, this probably restricts the entrepreneurial pool somewhat.

    I don't speak from any experience of starting a business or becoming bankrupt, mainly because I am happy to work hard for someone else and know the paycheck will be in the bank each month!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @skotl said:

    owners of businesses that fail due to mismanagement can be barred from being a director of a company for several years.

    Donald Trump could tell you all about how brilliant of an idea that is.



  • Its due to their idiotic website cookie laws, of course



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Why does Europe Suck

    Actually, I stopped reading there. I think the answer is pretty obvious.

    Europe != America

    America == Awesome

    Awesome != Suck

    ...and after applying some JavaScript equality...

    Europe == suck



  • True dat.



  • USA is the center innovation and world culture. Europe is a relatively affluent province. The further away from the center you are, the harder it is to plug into the flow of money and influence you need for something to really explode.

    And then, there's bureaucracy, social programs, labor-friendly laws etc. More motivation to live on the dole, more obstacles if you try to do something interesting with your life.



  • @cartman82 said:

    USA is the center innovation and world culture. Europe is a relatively affluent province. The further away from the center you are, the harder it is to plug into the flow of money and influence you need for something to really explode.
    My initial response as a pseudo English man was fuck you but your post does have some merit.
    The thing is you have American companies developing for the American market which is huge and has a lot more money. Where as in Europe you have a uk company that is developing for the uk which is less than a tenth the size of the American market even if they branch out Ireland (which may as well be a province culturally speaking) but has relatively little chance of expanding out into Europe because they got caught up in the British niche that doesn't translate well to France, Germany, Spain, etc.. Europe isn't one hegemony like the USA. It's actually 30 individual markets which is why you'll see Polish and German copies of Facebook that have a bigger share of the market in Germany and Poland than Facebook but will never expand to be the size of Facebook because their niches don't translate well outside their borders and sure as shit won't take off in the US which is where the real money is.

    All of which as been covered elsewhere in this topic but I feel clever for reiterating.



  • Then Mexico must be swimming on startups



  • This seems a fitting place for this:



  • Ah, M&Ms and Hershey syrup, the staples of Mexican cuisine.

    That said, judging by the prices it looks like all this is imported from somewhere...



  • That's Carrefour Arkadia in Warsaw, where you can buy a tiny bottle of Jack Daniel's BBQ stuff for about the same price as a real bottle of JD.



  • @cartman82 said:

    USA is the center ...of... world culture



  • > wants to make fun of USA culture
    > posts image meme with caption in english



  • @cartman82 said:

    > wants to make fun of USA culture> posts image meme with caption in english

    You understand that English is the predominant language in the U.K., right?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    The US was never very invested in colonialism in the first place.

    *coughmiddleeastcough*



  • @skotl said:

    You understand that English is the predominant language in the U.K., right?

    UK also invented image memes and internet, I guess?

    Although, an Englishman DID invent the word "meme", so that's something.

    The point is, cultural trends flow from USA outwards, UK is a smallish way station these days.


  • area_deu

    @cartman82 said:

    The point is, cultural trends flow from USA outwards, UK is a smallish way station these days.

    Not all of them! Look, see, we have exported our genderism bullshit to Tennessee. You're welcome.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/12/she-is-not-welcome-on-campus.html


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @skotl said:

    You understand that English is the predominant language in the U.K., right?

    The image meme also has what appears to be a character from an American cartoon.



  • We have to put American cartoons in our memes because otherwise Americans won't understand them.



  • So, your'e saying that we've influenced you to know and use our culture?

    @DogsB said:

    The thing is you have American companies developing for the American market which is huge and has a lot more money.

    This is largely true, but there are major regional differences. Not generally as big as between UK / France / Germany / etc, but still. Part of that regional difference is stuff like racial and ethnic diversity, too.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @cartman82 said:

    Although, an Englishman DID invent the word "meme", so that's something.

    And the web.



  • @cartman82 said:

    The point is, cultural trends flow from USA outwards, UK is a smallish way station these days.

    Hah. Now I know you're just trolling.

    Forget the insults re the UK - I was merely pointing out that (modern) English originated in the UK, not the US.

    Have you visited many countries in South America, Europe, or Asia or Africa? I have, plus the U.S. many times each year.
    To say that culture flows from the U.S. to these places is nonsense. The U.S. has inherited (and continues to inherit) much of its culture from overseas.

    At least we know that Alex's response was tongue-in-cheek but you actually seem to believe yours.



  • @skotl said:

    Hah. Now I know you're just trolling.

    Forget the insults re the UK - I was merely pointing out that (modern) English originated in the UK, not the US.

    Have you visited many countries in South America, Europe, or Asia or Africa? I have, plus the U.S. many times each year.To say that culture flows from the U.S. to these places is nonsense. The U.S. has inherited (and continues to inherit) much of its culture from overseas.

    At least we know that Alex's response was tongue-in-cheek but you actually seem to believe yours.

    I guess we just have different ideas of what the word "culture" means.

    I'll just say I don't see many people around speaking African languages, wearing Arabic clothes (unless they come from there) or listening to Chinese music.



  • Yes we clearly do!
    OK - I'll move on, then.



  • @boomzilla said:

    So, your'e saying that we've influenced you to know and use our culture?

    There's a difference between influencing due to being awesome and influencing due to monopolizing all the IT.



  • @cartman82 said:

    > posts image meme with caption in english

    Featuring a cartoon character created by the American motion picture industry.



  • @Gaska said:

    coughmiddleeastcough

    The US has never had any colonies in the middle east. Unless you're trying to make some weird Israel snark, in which case you're going to have to spend some time explaining it.



  • The use of the dollar for international trade and the information collected by the nsa are just two big advantages us corps have that I can remember.

    Here in the real world (the 3rd one, were most people are) I cant say if our culture suck because we are poor, or if we are poor because our culture suck.

    Whatever us and eu does, these places are like Elysium. I doubt the entire world could be like that. And I am not sure its economically good for the rest of us that these places exists. How are we expected to compete with them in a global world?



  • @Gaska said:

    @boomzilla said:
    So, your'e saying that we've influenced you to know and use our culture?

    There's a difference between influencing due to being awesome and influencing due to monopolizing all the IT.

    I don't know what exactly you mean by awesome, but denying American cultural imperialism and hegemony relative to other cultures makes you look ignorant.

    @fbmac said:

    The use of the dollar for international trade and the information collected by the nsa are just two big advantages us corps have that I can remember.

    Using a reserve currency is big, especially since that's what oil is traded in (there are other reserve currencies today: UK Pound, Japanese Yen, Euro). I'm not sure how US businesses get an advantage from what the NSA does (aside from the general public good of national security).



  • @fbmac said:

    the information collected by the nsa are just two big advantages us corps have that I can remember.

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

    How is the NSA data collection an advantage to US corps?

    @fbmac said:

    How are we expected to compete with them in a global world?

    South Korea did it and it only took like 60-70 years. And they had 1,000 artillery pieces controlled by insane people aimed at their capital city the entire time.



  • Its being said that the nsa was much more interested in corporations than terrorists. That brings an advantage when discussing trade agreements.

    And if the government share info with their big corporations, it can be a big advantage in all their negotiations. There isnt any evidence of they doing it, but why wouldnt they?


  • area_deu

    @blakeyrat said:

    How is the NSA data collection an advantage to US corps?

    They collect data from EU corporations (or let the local "intelligence" agencies collect it for them, which is even more clever/stupid) and share it with US corps. Leaked lists of "selectors" the NSA asked the BND to collect matching data for contain nice things like "Airbus", "Siemens" and other clearly terrorist-related stuff.



  • @fbmac said:

    Its being said that the nsa was much more interested in corporations than terrorists.

    Said by whom?

    @fbmac said:

    That brings an advantage when discussing trade agreements.

    ... how? The NSA doesn't share the data they collect with anybody; hell, for years they didn't even share the fact that they were capable of collecting the data.

    You've been listening to the conspiracy theorists here, I think.

    @fbmac said:

    And if the government share info with their big corporations, it can be a big advantage in all their negotiations.

    They don't.

    @fbmac said:

    There isnt any evidence of they doing it, but why wouldnt they?

    No American corporation deals with the Federal Government more than is absolutely necessary, even the ones building defense products.

    @ChrisH said:

    They collect data from EU corporations (or let the local "intelligence" agencies collect it for them, which is even more clever/stupid) and share it with US corps.

    Yeah, there's a gigantic 50' tall neon sign above my head flashing "Citation Needed" here.


  • area_deu



  • @fbmac said:

    Its being said that the nsa was much more interested in corporations than terrorists. That brings an advantage when discussing trade agreements.

    Doubt there's much advantage to be gotten there.

    @fbmac said:

    And if the government share info with their big corporations, it can be a big advantage in all their negotiations. There isnt any evidence of they doing it, but why wouldnt they?

    They love to keep secrets. I doubt they're spending too much time on economic stuff anyways. The aluminum industry thanks you for your support, though.



  • Ok could you cut to the chase and tell me which of those links makes the claim that the NSA is sharing their data with American corporations?



  • @ChrisH said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    Yeah, there's a gigantic 50' tall neon sign above my head flashing "Citation Needed" here.

    Quick Google results:

    Not sure if it qualifies as citation, it's pretty much hearsay from Snowden interviews. But I personally don't doubt it.

    Looked at a couple of those, and I don't see any indication of the US spying for the benefit of American companies. Politicians and diplomats are no brainer targets.

    The EADS employee works in a sensitive department in the company: He is responsible for securing arms exports licenses for the company's defense division. Many such deals are top secret and are reviewed only by the Federal Security Council, a cabinet committee that is not under parliamentary supervision. The man is marked as a hit and as a potentially interesting new surveillance target.

    Yeah, I can't imagine why the American intelligence and defense community would be interested in arms traffic.


  • area_deu

    Huh. :confused: Looks like my search was too quick. Let me get back to you.



  • I dont see this happening here in the foreseable future. Perhaps some artillery pointed at us could help.


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