Where’s the UK’s Google?

By Teamspirit on Wednesday, 21 September 2016

This week the BBC has been running a fascinating series of articles exploring the growth problems that face tech talent in the UK.

While there have been a lot of notable UK tech successes over the years, from Sinclair and ARM Holdings to Last.fm and Swiftkey, no British tech firm has ever reached the dizzying heights of their American counterparts.

It seems that one of the key reasons for this might be the bursting of the original dotcom bubble. The global bubble burst when the British tech scene was much younger than the US’s. This prompted European venture capitalist to be both short-termist and cautious – a behaviour that continues today.

There’s no dearth of technological innovation or entrepreneurship in the UK, but few companies now get through more than one or two VC funding rounds before being bought out by larger, foreign companies.

Of course, being bought by a global giant like Microsoft is a tremendous achievement, but until attitudes to long-term investment and development, it may be the only version of large-scale success open to UK tech entrepreneurs for some time to come.

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