Startup general interest

UK second only to US amongst large countries for ‘Digital Evolution’


The chart is from a Fletcher School study of how different countries are succeeding in embracing the digital revolution. You can see that the UK is doing very well on the Y-axis, showing that we are very “digitally evolved” and that we are doing OK in terms of progress – neither falling back or accelerating.

It’s easier for smaller countries to substantially re-orient themselves, as Singapore in particular has done, so the real point of comparison here are the other large developed countries: the USA, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan. Our position amongst that group is strong, particularly given we’re part way through a period of lower state investment generally, but the message to the new Cameron government should be that there’s no room for complacency.

The measure of digital evolution is derived from four broad drivers:

  • supply-side factors (including access, fulfillment, and transactions infrastructure);
  • demand-side factors(including consumer behaviors and trends, financial and Internet and social media savviness);
  • innovations (including the entrepreneurial, technological and funding ecosystems, presence and extent of disruptive forces and the presence of a start-up culture and mindset); and
  • institutions (including government effectiveness and its role in business, laws and regulations and promoting the digital ecosystem)

Together these are the necessary pre-conditions for a fertile startup community. If any one is missing life gets much tougher for entrepreneurs. Policy makers wanting to improve our digital economy and attract the best entrepreneurs from around the world to these shores should target the detail behind each of the four drivers.

There’s more detail in the full report here. Much more…