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🦄🦄 Scaling internationally and reinvigorating a unicorn.

This week looks at the scaling internationally and why European startups have not seen the same succe
🦄🦄 Scaling internationally and reinvigorating a unicorn.
By Connected Paths (Riaz Kanani) • Issue #77 • View online
This week looks at the scaling internationally and why European startups have not seen the same success of US and Chinese startups before ending with the reinvigoration of an American unicorn, Evernote.
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Where are the European?
Bloomberg has an article on startups in Europe not reaching the levels of US and Chinese startups pointing to the number of companies to reach valuations above $1bn.
It talks about the successes that have happened and also the numbers that sold early to mostly US companies in order to gain access to greater funding.
It is an interesting read and shows the huge change that is increasingly helping startups succeed across Europe but largely makes the often American mistake of treating Europe as a single country.
Yes we have the European Union that allows us to trade across the borders but culturally and linguistically it is different.
Very different.
Even ignoring the different national laws that exist, expanding across Europe is often much more expensive than expanding into the US even if you only account for the cultural requirement to support the local languages.
The culture amongst startups in the UK does seem to have shifted however. Over a decade ago, I saw much fewer startups in the UK espousing the desire to build a global company. Today, many look globally even if they are focusing locally to begin with.
That alone should change the landscape overtime.
Most do look to the US as a next step and at least for UK startups, post Brexit that looks more likely than less. There also seems to be greater access to knowledge today on how to expand into the US as well and less of a requirement when you take funding from US VCs to relocate headquarters to the US.
The return of Evernote?
I used to be an avid user of Evernote - the note taking app that took over the world many years ago and then largely misstepped.
They have 225m registered users, though how many actual users they have is another question. I alone am registered 4 times with them and have not opened Evernote in anger for a few years now.
Regardless, Evernote was a popular and successful piece of software that has spent 3 years sorting itself out and now we can see more of their plans.
Fast Company suggests they are expanding their mission of remembering everything to include doing something with those memories. So they are focusing on helping people in meetings - realtime collaboration, which plays on the idea that a lot of people used Evernote in meetings to take notes. I certainly did.
No one has got digital collaboration inside a meeting right yet. There are tools out there - not least Skype and other communication tools with its whiteboard capability. Microsoft has all the ingredients to deliver this but has not yet and I think this could be a natural extension for Slack.
The biggest challenge in my mind though is whether people want to persuade their colleagues to adopt it. I am not seeing a killer capability that persuades me to use it.
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Connected Paths (Riaz Kanani)

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