Europeans are too ashamed of failure and too unwilling to take risks to be successful entrepreneurs (or so the stereotype goes). Contrast this attitude with that of America, where anybody – as long as they’ve got a “can-do” attitude and enough elbow grease – can start a business in their garage and watch it grow it into a billion-dollar enterprise (at which point, to be fair, they will probably want to start stuffing their cash into European tax havens). At least, that’s the stereotype.
One of our commenters put it like this:
On the other side of the Atlantic, they understood a long time ago that failure is not a bad thing; it’s a good thing, and it teaches and makes you improve. Without changing the minds of European policy-makers, as well as venture capitalists, Europe will never be an entrepreneurial zone with open-minded businesses, because those flew away to the San Francisco bay area to look for the failure that Europe was so afraid of, and that will ultimately bring them success.
Well, earlier this year we caught up with Peter Halacsy, a Hungarian entrepreneur who co-founded the cloud-based presentation website Prezi (which is, surprise surprise, now a US-based company). We asked him if he agreed that the concept of entrepreneurship was more developed in the US than in Europe:
So what did he think could be done, then, to encourage more entrepreneurs in Europe to take the plunge and risk everything?