13 comments on “In which Timmy has fun

  1. It’s also amusing that nitwits like Hutton are generally among the first to decry London’s banking sector, which is these days largely a technology industry employing thousands of programmers.

    Tim adds: A glorious point which I have no doubt I’ll steal.

  2. One assumes that as the Left’s image of manufacturing industry consists of men hitting large lumps of metal with hammers in a c.1890 fashion, its view of the IT industry must be something similar to a 1970s mainframe, with large spinning tapes to record data, and possibly even a punch card input system.

  3. “One important reason why there is no British Twitter or Facebook is because too much British business culture – operating in one of the least supportive environments in the world – has little nobility of intent or purpose, and thus ducks engaging with such immense challenges. ”

    Blissfully unaware that most of the smartphones and tablets on which the aforementioned Twitter/Facebook are run on are using UK designed ARM processors.

  4. I think Willy’s assumption is that because capitalism is bad, then all enterprises should actually be charitable institutions, employing workers just for the sake of employing them. We’ve tried that in this country: Leyland, British Steel, Clyde Shipbuilders etc.

    Most budding startups fall at the first hurdle, when asked the fatal question “How do you intend to make any money out of this venture?”

    When I worked in Teh Interwebs dot-com boom, I consigned many a keen graduate would-be Zuckerberg to the shark tank when he couldn’t answer this simple question.

    A lot of the successful Internet companies started thanks to rich parents or really canny investors or in YouTube’s case being swallowed by a bigger competitor before it ran out of cash. How many actually make a profit ?

    GTA is different. It is a product, a widget. People pay money for something tangible that they take home with them. How many people would actually use Facebook or Twitter if they had to stump up a tenner to join ?

  5. “no British Twitter or Facebook” – this is true, there are no major sites that are British, in fact I can’t think of a single global biggie that is not american, though I may be wrong.
    Google,
    yahoo,
    ebay,
    facebook,
    twitter,
    wiki,
    amazon,
    youtube,
    etc – all american.

    There are regional sites that rank highly (eg: baidu) but it seems that all the “global” sites are from the USA.

    Looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_popular_websites

    the highest ranked “global” site that is not from the USA seems to be piratebay (swedes) at 72, though I may have missed one.

    In fact, it seems that there are no global biggies that are not from USA (except piratebay), no others at all.

    can anyone cite any other very popular global website that is not american.

    seems apart from the swedes single contribution the brits,french, germans, chinese, dutch, indians, canadians, brazilians, australians, irish, spanish, italians, thai, indonesians etc etc do not have one single global website player among the lot of them.

  6. Yes, but these are all websites that have succeeded and survived – where are Myspace, Bebo, Altavista etc ? Where is Netscape ?

    The Swedes had a better search site than google.com called alltheweb.com, but it was bought by Yahoo. The Germans have a successful alternative to linkedin.com in xing.com. Even Friendsreunited was successful for a while and is still going. That social website where the kids all kill themselves after visiting it, that’s Latvian.

    Basically it is a bit like Hollywood. The companies that start in the US have the advantage of the Anglosphere as an audience and can call on more money to get them established. There’s no magic, really: a good idea, some serious cash behind and good marketing.

  7. John Barrett,

    There are also clustering effects with industries (I’m sure there’s a proper economic term for it). You can still see things like Saville Row for suits and Northampton for shoes. “Hollywood” isn’t really about movie making now (in terms of shoots), it’s where the meetings happen. The dotcoms aren’t an American thing, they’re more of a California thing, and more specifically, a San Francisco Bay Area thing.

  8. Yes, Tim that’s a good point.

    There is also an eductional element to some of this: those companies whose founders were educated at places like MIT, base themselves in Boston ( Akamai and EMC are good examples ).
    A lot of Silicon Valley’s scions came out of Berkeley.

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