Venture Capital

Globalisation: From £3 umbrellas to Indian middle management

On the way to the tube this morning I was chuckling to myself about my umbrella – purchased a month ago, full size, automatic opening, faux wood that looks pretty good – cost £3.

Then on the tube I find myself reading about westerners taking senior and middle management jobs in India because the pay rates for local talent are the same as expat rates.

Then (on the same theme) I read about Italian luxury suit maker Ermenegildo Zegna opening a store in India.

These three things would have been unthinkable even five years ago – such is the phenomenal pace of globalisation.

All of which reminded me of my first sociology lecture as an undergrad in which Anthony Giddens drew a graph that looked something like this (I hope he hasn’t copyrighted it ;)):

I love this, it is one of the reasons I’m a venture capitalist, and I see it at work every day.  This morning with the globalisation stories, and all the time with the rapid rise of the internet – it is why I believe it when someone explains to me that it took Skype two years to get to $2bn valuation, it took YouTube less than one, and therefore the next big hit will come in the blink of an eye.  Hell, at the end of the day this is one of the reasons I believe in progress.

Getting serious, it tells us why innovation is so important to modern society, and how it will only get more so.  Similarly for the VC industry – it goes a long way to explaining why entrepreneurship and the venture capital industry emerged in the Valley 40 years ago, why we will be successful here in London, and why VC is a growing asset class all over the world right now. 

In fact this macro view was one of the reasons I am still a VC.  I stuck with it through the bust mostly because its fun, but I comforted myself with the thought that things would inevitably swing back this way, and in some style.

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