The British persona tends to be self-deprecating and reserved when it comes to trumpeting our successes and rather backwards at coming forwards when it comes to converting innovation and research into commercial reality, particularly when compared to our US counterparts.
There is a tendency in the UK to wait until something is proven before investing in it, whereas the USA has more of an appetite for risk. Americans will try something new, if it works they embrace it and believe more, if it doesn't they purse another opportunity. This non-deterministic approach contracts sharply with our tendency in the UK to want to make managed stepwise progress that avoids the risk of failure. The fact of life is that no matter how carefully you plan, you can't avoid some false starts and the need to backtrack and admit making mistakes are all part of the journey.
Having lived and worked on both sides of the pond, my experience is that its the balance between three essential elements of tech success: IP, management and money. And the stigma attached to failure. In the USA there are more tech entrepreneurs prepared to back early stage ideas that VCs or bankers (right so!) wouldn't take even a first look at. This business angel involvement at proof of concept enables new ideas to get one foot out of the lab and onto the radar screen of serious funders with some management DNA already spliced in. Similarly American VCs employ (or are started up) by more tech-savvy people, rather than being top heavy with lawyers and accountants (not that these skills aren't important!). American VC tend then to step in an put serious money into fewer companies that are in better shape to progress than those in the UK enabling a more of a seamless transition from idea to commercialisation
So maybe we need a little more joined-up thinking that combines money, enterprise, innovation and management...
Liz is promoted to Partner
3 days ago