It’s All About                                  Relationships                           Running startups in Sweden and the...
Agenda                    • Wait, wut? What is Neo Technology?                    • Entrepreneurship in Sweden vs         ...
Neo?                    • Neo Technology Jan 2012:                     • 25 people / Six countries / Three                ...
CustomersSunday, January 15, 2012               4
Community                           Source: The451Group’s report “NOSQL, NEWSQL and Beyond” (http://the451group.com)Sunday...
AwarenessSunday, January 15, 2012               6
ProductSunday, January 15, 2012             7
Data modelSunday, January 15, 2012                8
Data model                                              LOVES                                  LIVES WITH                 ...
Data model                                                                      name: “Mary”                              ...
“Whiteboard friendliness”                                 Image credits: Tobias IvarssonSunday, January 15, 2012          ...
“Whiteboard friendliness”                                   thobe                                                       Jo...
Graph db performance                             Tobias                                           Emil                    ...
</promotional material>Sunday, January 15, 2012                             14
Sweden vs Silicon Valley                           *My* perspeciveSunday, January 15, 2012                     15
The Success of SwedenSunday, January 15, 2012                  16
... and there’s more!Sunday, January 15, 2012                           17
... despite this:Sunday, January 15, 2012                       18
... and this:                                           “Tax burden as percentage of                                      ...
My observations                                   (thus far)                    •      Let’s compare Sweden and the valley...
Competence -                                        employees                       Swedland                              ...
Competence - mentors                       Swedland                                         The Valley                    ...
Funding - VCs                       Swedland                             The Valley             •      The top 5 are reall...
Funding - Angels                       Swedland                            The Valley             •      Very rare with an...
Government / Policy                       Swedland                                 The Valley             •      Some imma...
Culture                       Swedland                              The Valley             •      Less quarter capitalism ...
Market                       Swedland                        The Valley             •      Small domestic market          ...
Nitty-Gritty Operations                       Swedland                           The Valley             •      Trust makes...
Remember those logos?                    •      Why does Sweden have a disproportionate (to its                           ...
But the valley?Sunday, January 15, 2012                     30
Why is Neo HQ                                now in the valley?                    •      Superior graph:                 ...
Thank you!Sunday, January 15, 2012                32
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Startups in Sweden vs Startups in Silicon Valley

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Differences between running a startup in Sweden and a startup in Silicon Valley. Presented at Stanford's "European Entrepreneurship & Innovation" (http://www.europeanentrepreneursatstanford.com) in Jan of 2012.

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Transcript of "Startups in Sweden vs Startups in Silicon Valley"

  1. 1. It’s All About Relationships Running startups in Sweden and the Valley Huh? Nope. Experiences from running *a* startup in Sweden and the Valley Emil Eifrem, CEO @emileifrem emil@neotechnology.com #neo4jSunday, January 15, 2012 1
  2. 2. Agenda • Wait, wut? What is Neo Technology? • Entrepreneurship in Sweden vs entrepreneurship in the valleySunday, January 15, 2012 2
  3. 3. Neo? • Neo Technology Jan 2012: • 25 people / Six countries / Three continents • Raised a total of $13M ($10M of which in Fall of 2011)Sunday, January 15, 2012 3
  4. 4. CustomersSunday, January 15, 2012 4
  5. 5. Community Source: The451Group’s report “NOSQL, NEWSQL and Beyond” (http://the451group.com)Sunday, January 15, 2012 5
  6. 6. AwarenessSunday, January 15, 2012 6
  7. 7. ProductSunday, January 15, 2012 7
  8. 8. Data modelSunday, January 15, 2012 8
  9. 9. Data model LOVES LIVES WITH LOVES OWNS DRIVESSunday, January 15, 2012 9
  10. 10. Data model name: “Mary” LOVES name: “James” age: 35 age: 32 LIVES WITH twitter: “@spam” LOVES OWNS property type: “car” DRIVES brand: “Volvo” model: “V70”Sunday, January 15, 2012 10
  11. 11. “Whiteboard friendliness” Image credits: Tobias IvarssonSunday, January 15, 2012 11
  12. 12. “Whiteboard friendliness” thobe Joe project blog Wardrobe Strength Hello Joe Modularizing Jython Neo4j performance analysis Image credits: Tobias IvarssonSunday, January 15, 2012 12
  13. 13. Graph db performance Tobias Emil Johan Peter Database # persons query time MySQL 1,000 2,000 ms Neo4j 1,000 2 ms Neo4j 1,000,000 2 msSunday, January 15, 2012 13
  14. 14. </promotional material>Sunday, January 15, 2012 14
  15. 15. Sweden vs Silicon Valley *My* perspeciveSunday, January 15, 2012 15
  16. 16. The Success of SwedenSunday, January 15, 2012 16
  17. 17. ... and there’s more!Sunday, January 15, 2012 17
  18. 18. ... despite this:Sunday, January 15, 2012 18
  19. 19. ... and this: “Tax burden as percentage of GDP” (OECD 2010)Sunday, January 15, 2012 19
  20. 20. My observations (thus far) • Let’s compare Sweden and the valley along six axes: • Competence • Funding • Government / Policy • Culture • Market • NGO (Nitty-Gritty Operations!) • Warning: Bring huge grain of salt. All of these are just subjective reflections and heavily (enterprise) software biased.Sunday, January 15, 2012 20
  21. 21. Competence - employees Swedland The Valley • Very high average skill • The best in the valley are the best in the world • High and early internet penetration • Deep technology mainly based on experience from leading tech • Predated by early PC companies like Facebook, Google, penetration (“home PC reform”) etc • Probably among the best in the • But combined with a general world when it comes to mobile savviness about running a startup (because unlike in the valley, mobile phones actually work) • Most sophisticated and influential early adopter consumers in the • Employee affinity is higher worldSunday, January 15, 2012 21
  22. 22. Competence - mentors Swedland The Valley • • None. Most experienced and clueful in the world. (x) • They all suck, (*) • Most willing to share in the world. (y) because if they • x * y = leaps and bounds didn’t they already ahead of anyone else in the world moved to London or the Valley. • Don’t think anyone will catch up for several decades * For a pretty strict definition of all.Sunday, January 15, 2012 22
  23. 23. Funding - VCs Swedland The Valley • The top 5 are really good, on par with the best in Europe. • The rest are money managers • with a finance background. Smart people, but with no • The best in the operating experience. world. • And can’t asses product or technology risk => no early stage intuition or mindset.Sunday, January 15, 2012 23
  24. 24. Funding - Angels Swedland The Valley • Very rare with any type of angel capital. • “Smart” (i.e. experienced in software or internet service startups) angel capital non- existent. • The best in the • Government tries to fill the role, world. with minor (but not zero) success. • Especially troubling since there really are no early stage VCs.Sunday, January 15, 2012 24
  25. 25. Government / Policy Swedland The Valley • Some immature legislation, for example around options • • Strong labor laws • I guess very pro- “Quick to hire, never fire” business? • But legislation / policy don’t really move the needle in either direction in my experience: • In reality just seems • Taxes don’t really matter pro lawyer to me. • Setting up a company is equally easySunday, January 15, 2012 25
  26. 26. Culture Swedland The Valley • Less quarter capitalism than the valley and more long-term • Echo chamber rocks sustainability for staying on the • OTOH, less “shooting for the leadin’ bleedin’ edge stars” • Supposed challenges that haven’t been a problem (for me): • Everyone’s as clued • Cultural fear of failure in about startups as • Lack of fellow entrepreneurs you areSunday, January 15, 2012 26
  27. 27. Market Swedland The Valley • Small domestic market • Harmonized, US • Swedish is only spoken in domestic market, Sweden (and some 5% of strongest economy in Finland) the world • Companies have to go outside of Sweden for • High influence scale consumers, trend • For good and for bad settersSunday, January 15, 2012 27
  28. 28. Nitty-Gritty Operations Swedland The Valley • Trust makes a lot of • Guilty until proven things easier otherwise (and probably a little bit longer) • Invoices are kinda cool • The social fabric in • Service providers galore Sweden is very powerful • But everything in the • Parental leave, medical valley is less friction and benefits, daycare, etc more liquidSunday, January 15, 2012 28
  29. 29. Remember those logos? • Why does Sweden have a disproportionate (to its population) amount of “global” startups? • Some ideas: • Small domestic market -- has to go outside • High PC penetration -> Internet penetration -> Working Mobile technology • Good English • Reaaaally cold winters?Sunday, January 15, 2012 29
  30. 30. But the valley?Sunday, January 15, 2012 30
  31. 31. Why is Neo HQ now in the valley? • Superior graph: • Access to the smartest and most experienced senior talent (executives, mentors, value add angels) on the planet • Access to the smartest and most experienced capital on the planet • All (non-catastrophic) exit paths are easier here • This is the center of gravity for our industrySunday, January 15, 2012 31
  32. 32. Thank you!Sunday, January 15, 2012 32

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