There were many great things that were discussed, but there was one theme of the conversation that really intrigued me: it was clear for everybody that Tech reporting in Europe, and especially in Spain, France and Germany, is not as popular as it is in the U.S.
From an intercultural point of view, here are my 2 cents:
Cent #1: Europe is not one country made out of states, like in the "United States". Instead, Europe is a mixture of many, many (MANY!) different, well defined cultures, from which the youngest ones are about 2000 (two thousand) years old. As opposed to 200.
It is definitely possible to sign up for a holiday that seems to be very popular in the U.S., called "12 countries in 12 days". While that kind of vacation is certainly possible, for many (if not all) Europeans it seems more like startup life applied to vacation: the focus is on accomplishing the goal stated in the title and not in enjoying some leisure time in a culturally and geographically very different environment. And here comes in my
Cent #2: European countries have cultural values that tend to focus on "being", rather than on "doing". And it is obvious that at some point if you put so much time in achieving goals, meeting deadlines and beat the competition, you do not really have time and mind for anything else.
Bellow you have two important cultural intelligence values that I use in my work: Individualism and Uncertainty Avoidance, as they apply to the cultures of origin of these four tech reporters: Spain, France, Germany and UK:
I got a selfie with a cool guy: MIKE BUTCHER, TECH CRUNCH's Editor At Large (whatever that means)
Another special Monday at Stanford's Department of Engineering, although no European Startups were invited this time. The panel put together by Prof. Burton Lee included four reporters from four great European publications. There was there Rosa Jimenez Cano, Silicon Valley corespondent for EL PAIS; Mike Butcher, Editor at Large for TECH CRUNCH (UK); Matthias Hohensee, Bureau Chief Silicon Valley for WIRTSCHAFTS WOCHE; and Jerome Marin, Tech Reporter for LE MONDE.
It seems to me then that the American type of tech entrepreneurship, which involves intense, obsessive focus on accomplishing as fast as possible specific tasks, at the expense of one's family and friends life, might not sit well with many European cultures, even with those that have high Individualism or low Uncertainty Avoidance. British individualism, for example, is radically different than the American or German individualism, in the sense that it includes a very refined sense of humor and sarcasm.
Although there are many europeans who actually like the fast speed of a start-up life or the dulness of an American style corporation, many European cultures might be receptive to and motivated by a different type of startup and entrepreneurship. Things like pace, deeper meaning and aesthetics, might be more appealing to those cultures. I am purely speculating here based on my experience and data, but one thing is very clear for everybody: if each culture has its own values, then entrepreneurship -as well as Tech reporting- has to take those values into account.
SEE BELLOW THE VIDEO-RECORDING OF THIS SESSION, FOLLOWED BY THE SLIDES PRESENTED BY THE FOUR JOURNALISTS (courtesy of
Prof. BURTON LEE, Stanford University). Enjoy!
EUROPEAN ENTREPRENEURS @STANFORD: A SERIES OF EVENTS ORGANIZED BY
BURTON LEE, PhD, MBA, STANFORD DEPARTMENT OF Engineering.