Europe for many centuries has been the center of the world. The cradle of the current civilization and the spark that ignited the fire of industrialization. We got into a position where we got comfortable. Across many centuries European countries colonized the world leaving a huge mark still noticeable nowadays. But we got complacent. Luckily we didn’t come to a grinding halt. It takes time to slow down. We were the first countries to be industrialized and keep progressing at a high peace but we are now lacking behind. There is still some advantage and inertia that keeps us in a privileged position but this will end unless we change. Change for the better.
I don’t buy it that Europe is inherently at disadvantage due to the diverse internal variety of cultures (link in spanish). And I certainly don’t buy that Europe should look more like America (link in spanish). I believe that being like China is also out of the picture in most people’s minds. So then what? Shall we die from a thousand cuts? I don’t think so. I believe Europe has enough steam (pun intended) to compete. We have enough brainpower to find the European way.
China is killing it. They have massive tech companies that reach massive numbers of consumers. Their government legislates so it is easier to obtain certain advantages for their local companies. For AI companies it is relatively easy to obtain incredibly large datasets. Also keep in mind that some of the most relevant hardware companies are Chinese (e.g. Huawei, which not only has cellphones but also infrastructure hardware). In the meanwhile, USA is brainwashing the European population. Not only through TV and cinema. But though technology. Most of the software also comes from the new world (especially social networks and operative systems) they own the platforms. At the same time, they hire smart and highly motivated people. Thus extracting value twice.
It’s time to start writing our own playbook and kill it. Reinforcement loops and inertia are there. We can become a tech powerhouse and stop depending on China and the USA. Silicon Valley was developed over many years thanks to the department of defense and Standford. China did it by themselves based on entrepreneurship and federal advantages. Europe so far seems to be focusing to use the bureaucratic way. Spoiler: it is not working. GDPR and other brain farts hurt more the internal system more than the external forces. Hostile companies are big and can endure these changes at ease, but small companies and startups are doomed. The impacts are much larger for them. And then, when it comes to being serious the justice chickens out. It should have been an unmerge. And the same goes for Google.
It’s good that there are regulations that prevent some external hostilities. But at the same time, Europe should seriously invest in European forces that can really occupy the market space. And this is a strategic point much needed and apparently ignored. We cannot rely on external companies for such strategic markets. Specially after seeing the Russian inference (because USA didn’t use similar approaches #irony). At the same time, we should aim to extend our reach and not limit ourselves to the internal market. In this way, we make sure that our tech powerhouse is competitive. Otherwise, we will fail in protectionism and conformity without adding value. Like Studwell suggest in his book.
In conclusion, we should learn to look inwards and acknowledge that we have the material and the right tools. We don’t need to look outwards. We’re thw powerhouse of many industries and we can keep it like that. It is time to rise and shine.