Europe, Unicorns and Global Tech Diffusion

By Benedict Evans, a former VC and current tech analyst who has a huge subscription base for his newsletter.

This slide presentation - the top on on this page with several, all of which are excellent - walks you through what has held back tech development in Europe and why it seems poised to change that. Highly recommended!

“For the last couple of decades Europe has often seemed to punch below its weight in tech, despite a bigger population and a huge single market, some great computer science schools and plenty of entrepreneurs. Maybe Europe just couldn’t do tech? No! But, how is that changing? And what does ‘Europe’ mean in tech?”

One of his main points is that tech is growing less concentrated in Silicon Valley and spreading more diffusely in the world. And that Europe could be in a good position to take advantage of it. But he also points out that Europe is not one market. It has a wide spectrum of adoption in the EU.

Another point is that buying retail online is a small fraction of the world’s commerce, regardless of how big Amazon is, and that the Internet is now so woven into most people daily lives to one degree or another, that the opportunities are wide open. And more investment is already happening.

I keep thinking that what the EC really wants out of NGI are some European businesses that succeed with “European values” as they say.