In The Lean Startup, Eric Ries states that ‘Entrepreneurs are Everywhere‘, and indeed ‘Entrepreneurship is Management‘. (Source: http://theleanstartup.com/principles) The underlying emphasis is to ensure that entrepreneurial thinking must exist in all organisations that want to deliver customer-relevant innovations – which is in effect all companies, with the internet, cloud and mobile being ubiquitous in today’s economy.
I would recommend the entrepreneurial / innovative approach to business to any person looking for a rewarding career – with like-minded creative people coming together in order to put a new customer-driven technology experience in place.
In 1988 I started my career in the Tech industry by joining Oxford-based Research Machines (RM) PLC as a Project Manager, attached to a team that were assembled to design and build new PC designs, which were based on AT & MCA IBM PC architectures – some may remember Intel’s 25Mhz 80386 Processor, which was a turbo of its time! It was an exciting period, as a UK company built first-class hardware technology from the ground up. This was effectively my first Entrepreneurial business environment, with a culture of innovation, collaboration, spirit and investing in UK Technology. RM continue to serve their core Education target-market today, although with Services and Solutions providing the major aspect of their business.
In the mid 90s I started to work for HP, as the company was pushing the innovation envelope as a global brand – with the Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard legacy, which was later reinvented under Carly Fiorina. The internet provided immense scope for innovation, when it was born during the 1990s (thanks Sir Tim Berners-Lee 🙂 ), with opportunities for intrapreneurship whilst building the fledgling e-commerce businesses and overall online experience for customers with like-minded colleagues across the business (Per Hoegberg, Emmanuel de-Rycker & Miriam Wong to name but 3 great HP colleagues) – those 4am drives along the M4 from Bristol to Heathrow, for Technical Requirements scoping, were ‘refreshing’! I had the good fortune with BT (E-Commerce, Consumer CRM), Dell (Data Centre Solutions, Acquisition through to Retention Marketing) and now Symantec (Mobile / Tablet Apps, SaaS and Cloud) to lead and contribute to further innovative businesses.
I am now thrilled to witness the growth of London as European Capital (Global Capital? San Francisco may have an alternative view!?) for Tech Entrepreneurship, with Old Street as a hot-bed for the next phase of innovation, with companies like Mind Candy, Hailo and last.fm, and more established tech brands also investing and incubating. I have spoken to Entrepreneurs and Professionals in other European countries, who are considering moving to London in order to capitalise on the UK Entrepreneurial culture, which is building up a head of steam around Mobile, Cloud, Payments, Security, Gaming, Music and more………..
According to the Boston Consulting Group‘s 2012 report, ‘The Connected World’, the internet economy’s contribution to UK GDP is at 8.3 percent, higher than any other G20 nation’s. The report forecasts that this share will surge to 12.4 per cent by 2016. (Source: Wired http://www.wired.co.uk/topics/silicon-roundabout ) I personally suggest we haven’t even seen the full ‘Mobile Internet Effect’ as yet!
UK-based Tech Entrepreneurs need supporting in their commercial endeavours, as they are a major contributor to the future rebalancing of growth in the economy – nice to see the Government investment to revitalise Silicon Roundabout, and the growth in Senior Tech Networking. This is vital for the UK, vital for Europe, and an excellent juncture for the Global Tech Industry.