Why startups move to Silicon Valley

I’m constantly meeting companies that have moved part of their operations to San Francisco/Silicon Valley. Usually it is the CEO and/or the marketing and sales group that moves.

Loic Le Meur, a serial entrepreneur, founder of Seesmic, did the same several years ago, moving to San Francisco from Paris. In a guest column in the UK Daily Telegraph newspaper, Le Meur explains why he moved:

“In the Valley, the best companies, entrepreneurs and investors are all in one place. It feels like a campus. Everything you do, from the morning run to the coffee run, is a networking opportunity.”

Compare this to the fragmentation in Europe, where the next meeting is always a flight away, and you can see why things simply happen more slowly over there. Thirty languages and insufficiently fluent English slow things down even further.

He lists other advantages:

  • the ability to easily hire and fire.
  • investors make sure entrepreneurs still have enough shares. In Europe, Angel investors are notorious for taking too large an ownership, which limits incentives.
  • the chance to build a global success rather than a “local leader.”
  • His advice to entrepreneurs: “Find your niche and set your heart on being the world leader.”



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