Why hasn’t Britain created a Google or a Facebook? Why are so few British companies dominating the top of the technology tree. Japan, South Korea and China can all do it, but British firms, even with the help of London’s Tech City, have yet to produce a brand to trouble the titans of Silicon Valley.
That’s not because we don’t have the talent – when Facebook set up its first engineering office outside the US, it chose London because it’s a global magnet. There is no shortage of brilliant young minds, whatever the shortcomings of our education system.
So what’s the problem? Many think that the British disease is an aversion to risk, combined with a lack of ambition: a self-effacing quality that makes us doubt whether our companies can really bestride the world like a Facebook or a Google, a Microsoft or an Oracle.
The consequence is that Britons sell out and move on too soon: £10m may be enough never to work again, but it doesn’t allow you to create a world-class company.
ARM, Skyscanner, Rockstar North, the Candy Crush Saga people……anyone want to add to the list?