Archive for September 2010

Tech from the U.K.?

September 16, 2010

I’m always humbled by such opportunities, sitting beside the Best and the Brightest (in this case, Paul from GoGrid, Darren from Informatica, Chris from the Milestone Group) and answering questions from entrepreneurs (good and sincere, each one) but yesterday’s event was notable for one unusual attribute – the audience was composed of 10-12 early stage CEOs from the United Kingdom.

Technology innovation from the U.K.?

Trade missions aren’t unique, and yet, yesterday’s discussion (part of the UKTI Cloud Mission, see http://ukinusa.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/other-locations/sf/news/events-san-francisco/ukti-cloud-mission-event) was most interesting, above and beyond the truly engaging dialogue, for their most daunting challenge – we, in Silicon Valley, don’t think about the U.K. w/regard to innovative technologies.

In fact, in a time when so many are looking for work or holding on tightly to the job they might lose at any moment, we may also be losing our ability to notice innovation anywhere.  A side effect of our current anxiety about jobs (lost or soon-to-be) is a kind of tunnel vision, a blindness to that quintessential element of success: new ideas, new ways of doing things, whether they are more efficient processes or the seeds of a breakthrough product.

My sense is that those ideas are still there (not only “across the pond” but in the next cubicle), we’ve just stopped looking for them. And the only cure?  If your co-workers or strategic partners don’t seem to be doing anything new, remove the blinders that come with job insecurity and take a second look, you might just notice something interesting.