Silicon Valley is still the undisputed king when it comes to technology bubbles, but London, Shenzhen, Paris and a few other cities are starting to crop up as Tech Cities.
Wikipedia Jimmy Wales thinks London could be much more than Silicon Valley, claiming the city is already “better” than Silicon Valley.
“There’s always this bit of British self-deprecation about ‘oh well, things are so great in Silicon Valley’. But I can tell you, things aren’t that great in Silicon Valley,” said Wales at Tech.London. “London has all these incredible advantages of a tech scene, but it’s also a place people want to live. Nobody wants to live in Silicon Valley—it’s dreadful out there.”
Part of the allure of London is the connection between politics, business and technology.
“London is this incredible cultural city, it’s at the crossroads of the world. In the US you have San Francisco for tech, Los Angeles for movies and Washington for politics. In London you have all these things. It’s a great place to do business.”
Even with this large infrastructure for multiple types of startups in one city, Wales believes there can be more done to facilitate startups and programmers.
“Obviously we have a tech community in London, but it’s a bit disparate. Here, too often, entrepreneurs feel very alone and are unsure what will happen if it doesn’t work out. Having a fantastic, vibrant community, it makes it easier, safer for people to do a startup… We can become closer to that cultural Silicon Valley where if you do a startup and it doesn’t work out, you can get a fantastic job at Google or Facebook or somewhere.”
Startup failure rates have dropped in the past four years under The Conservatives, in part due to the changes in business to make small to medium sized businesses more safe from failure.
Combined with the UK government’s hefty investment in building London’s technology sector, now is a great time for startups and investors to start promoting London.