Venture Failure and the Timing of Telecommunications Reform
Chapter 1: Introduction: Uneven Development and Internet Entrepreneurship in Europe
Entrepreneurship has awoken in Germany. Everywhere across the country, experienced business people, investment as well as legal professionals, are quitting their secure jobs and are starting internet ventures . . . In terms of internet entrepreneurship, Germany is, as yet, still a developing country in comparison to the United States. In America, internet companies, which started in a similarly small way, have already created 2.5 million new, attractive jobs. These companies already today generate 6 per cent of the total GDP of the United States. Germany has only begun to move down this path. But one thing is certain already now: the new entrepreneurial scene is the best thing that has happened in German business for a long time.1 Sweden is an ideal starting place for internet entrepreneurs. Here, we develop internet services before moving out to other countries. We have a small population of very advanced internet users. We have to convince a network of only about 30 critical, but opinion-leading journalists of our service. We have to persuade a small, tightly integrated network of private investors. Once we succeed at this, all doors are open. A well-oiled start-up engine is in operation here (Interview, Ahlvarsson, 18 October 1999). This study explains why Europe, despite initiating a tremendous amount of change in the 1990s, failed to produce independent internet ventures of note. No independent newcomers survived which were able to seriously and in a sustained way challenge American internet ventures or established European telecommunications and media companies. Given the history of uneven...