Monday, November 21, 2011

Animal Spirits

Reading the recent biography of the late Steve Jobs growing up in Palo Alto it is very striking how many very successful IT / Digital companies were all kicking off in the late 50's and early 60's in the area. Intel, HP etc many of which spawned the next generation companies such as Apple and Google.

Critical to this appears to be the project ran by Stanford in which they made office infrastructure available on a major scale to relevant companies as well as research / defence activity funded by the US govt and carried out by companies such as Lockheed Martin. The West Coast of the USA has delivered massive value as a consequence.

The right environment was created and facilities were available, effectively for free, for the engineers and designers to get on with whatever was inspiring them at the time. More a case of I have a dream rather than I have a business plan showing a 20% IRR.

Perhaps some hints here for the UK establishment - rather than elements of government actively making life difficult for small business - they could provide a lightly regulated environment in which small businesses in media & IT could flourish ?