Banking was out, tech entrepreneurship was in

From roundabout to revolution

Exactly 10 years ago, in March 2008, a small technology company called Dopplr waved goodbye to its cramped premises above a pub in Hoxton, in London’s East End, and relocated to a bigger office nearby, on 100 City Road. For Dopplr’s 32 cheap jordans in china year old chief technology officer, Matt Biddulph, the move offered a double advantage. Not only was there more space, but it also opened a door into a young, energetic social world of pub nights and parties, where coders, software engineers, budding entrepreneurs and digital wannabes gathered to gossip and share tales of triumph and disaster in their efforts to build online businesses. And it just so happened that Dopplr’s new office space was sublet from Moo. “It was very sociable,” Matt Biddulph recalls now. “There were a good number of companies in the area. Friday nights we would always go round to someone’s place go for a few drinks, a barbecue on the roof.”

cheap jordans 2017 After a few months, it dawned on Biddulph that this disorganised but congenial congregation of digital companies amounted to London’s very own technology hub. He reckoned that if Britain had an equivalent to California’s all conquering Silicon cheap jordan sneakers Valley home to Google, Facebook, and Apple cheap air jordan he was at the heart of it. Directly out of his window was Old Street’s grey, dreary, deeply uninspiring, traffic clogged junction gleaming City towers and Georgian Bloomsbury facades to the south and west, Hackney Marshes and London Fields to the north and east. California, it wasn’t. So, tongue firmly in his cheek, he took to the then new social media platform, Twitter, and wrote: “‘Silicon Roundabout’: the ever growing community of fun startups in London’s Old Street area.” cheap jordans 2017

cheap versace jordans Ten years on, Silicon Roundabout is no longer a joke. In fact, after the continent economies of America and China, this country has become by almost any metric the most powerful technology hub in the world. Indeed by some measures, like start ups per capita, Britain now beats the United States. Last year London raised more than twice the amount of money to fund digital companies than any other city in Europe. Between 2012 and 2016, total investment in Britain reached 28bn, as much as our closest three rivals France, Germany, the Netherlands combined. cheap versace jordans

where to buy cheap jordans One reason is obvious. Britain is home to eight of Europe’s top 20 universities. The “golden triangle” of Oxbridge and London alone offers six within a 60 mile radius. The results are equally evident: some 40 per cent of Europe’s “unicorns” new tech companies worth $1bn or more are British. If their names Deliveroo, Rightmove, Transferwise are not familiar to you yet, they will be soon, changing everything about the way you eat, live, and spend. where to buy cheap jordans

Growth is phenomenal. According to the Government’s digital strategy, published last year, fixed internet traffic in Britain is doubling every two years, while mobile data traffic increases by more than 40 per cent annually. Around the world, the volume of global internet traffic in 2020 will be almost 100 fold greater than it was shortly before Matt Biddulph coined the phrase Silicon Roundabout, and connected devices will outnumber the global population cheap jordans on sale by nearly seven to one. To fuel that astonishing development, Britain’s so called digital economy, already home to 1.6million workers, will suck in an estimated half million new recruits in the next four years. It is a high growth, high productivity sector in a country where, for the last decade at least, both have been been a problem. Average salaries for British tech workers more than 50,000 are half as much again as the typical annual wage.

cheap jordans 40 dollars The bashful, forlock tugging Silicon Roundabout of a decade ago now attracts global tech titans to its door. The world’s largest technology fund, run by Japan’s Softbank, with $100bn to invest, set up shop in Mayfair last year. Meanwhile Google is developing a huge campus around King’s Cross, much of it devoted to its British artificial intelligence (AI) offshoot, DeepMind, which it acquired in 2014 for $500m. And Facebook is finalising plans to open a huge new headquarters in the same area. When Matt Biddulph drew up a map of Old Street startups in 2008, it featured 16 companies. Now London has an estimated 6,000. Far from being a road to nowhere, Silicon Roundabout has taken this country a long way. cheap jordans 40 dollars

cheap jordans good quality Not that the cultural chasm to Silicon Valley has been completely bridged. According to Saul Klein, one of the most influential investors in British technology, “Silicon Valley is a mindset, not a location. It’s about energy, ambition an almost on the spectrum desire to make something without really thinking about the consequences of what you’re trying to do.” Harry Briggs, a venture capitalist specialising in early stage technology companies, puts it more bluntly: “In Britain if you’re offered $50m or $100m to sell your company you think ‘I can be one of the richest people I know, and a big success. In Silicon Valley if you sell for $100m you’re a nobody, you’re a loser. I heard someone from Silicon Valley say recently they cheap Air max shoes want to be remembered as long as Julius Caesar. That’s just a different scale of self belief and ambition.” cheap jordans good quality

America has seen plenty of digital emperors. Bill Gates, of Microsoft, ruled the desktop age. Steve Jobs, of Apple, dominated the move to mobile. Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook, foresaw the rise of, and then conquered, social media. Not to mention Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, or Tesla’s Elon Musk, both of whom already seem to have tired of earthly conquest, and set their eyes set on space.

cheap Can Britain produce a figure of similar stature? cheap

On a February day, with blizzards sweeping the monolithic grey facades along Whitehall, and London feeling a world away from California, it is up to Matt Hancock, the newly appointed, fresh faced and habitually red socked Secretary cheap jordans from china of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to provide the sunny disposition.

cheap jordans sale And he does, enthusiastically recounting how, since coming to office (in coalition) in 2010, his party has helped the British tech sector emulate American audacity in myriad ways. cheap jordans sale

One fundamental part of that transformation has occurred within the corridors of power themselves. Until recently, the institutional reflex there was to hoard the vast troves of information that the state gathers in all its guises: central and local government spending, civil servant salaries, you name it, the numbers and spreadsheets were jealously guarded. Then, a young policy advisor called Rohan Silva, talent spotted by then Chancellor George Osborne, drove a whole new agenda: open data. As Matt Hancock notes: “instead of being closed, the default became that Government data sets were open unless there was a good reason.” It was the movement that would come to allow private developers to build businesses around public sector information whether school performance tables or the location and timeliness of buses. As a result commuters now routinely plug in a destination on their mobiles and cross cities using real time public transport information. Residents can see exactly how many burglaries there have cheap jordans china been in their street. “The first serious move was crime data, released by Theresa May,” says Hancock. “But the open data agenda was driven from David Cameron down.”

cheap jordans for sale near me Government, whose services are today undergoing their own digital revolution at the hands of Liam Maxwell, Britain’s first National Technology Adviser, can justifiably claim credit for other encouraging gambits too. One is Tech City, founded and funded in 2010 by Cameron, to nurture young companies around Silicon Roundabout. Another was the tax credit SEIS, introduced in 2012 to tempt investors to back risky new ventures; a third is the British Business Bank, founded in 2014, which allocates enormous sums to venture capital funds to disburse to new tech companies. Brexit means British companies will lose access cheap jordans for sale to 2bn of EU investment, but, as Hancock says, “we’ve already committed the British Business Bank paying extra funds, to assure that the current European funding is at least matched”. cheap jordans for sale near me

If Government played its part, though, the two things that most drove the British tech sector into the mainstream occured well cheap jordans free shipping before David Cameron’s arrival as Prime Minister, and had little to do with politics. The first was the recycling of talent from those few companies that had surfed (and sometimes been sunk by) the first major wave of the internet boom.

From his office just off Kensington High Street, Hoberman now talks about “the mafia” tight knit groups of employees who worked in pioneering digital firms in the early mid 2000s, then emerged to form a host of new companies themselves. “There was the Skype mafia, the Betfair mafia, the Lastminute mafia,” he says. “All came out with experience and the confidence to build new things. Just from lastminute we’ve probably had 10 who started business worth over 100 million, just out of that mafia.”

cheap jordans mens size 9 Much more important, however, was 2008, and the financial crash. If there was a single event that transformed British technology, it was the crash. Almost overnight large numbers of highly motivated people with serious financial experience were fired. A huge talent pool was dumped onto the open market. “The crash pushed a whole load more people to want to be entrepreneurs,” says Hoberman. “Entrepreneurship is really risky. Then it turned out that so is working cheap jordans online in a bank, so a lot more brilliant people said ‘Well, why not be an entrepreneur?” cheap jordans mens size 9

cheap jordan retro 3 The City had been a veritable talent Hoover. “So many founders have come to startups having left a Goldman Sachs,” says Sarah Drinkwater, who runs Google Campus, near Old Street, where refugees from the square mile can pull up a stool at a shared desk, logon to the free wifi, and plug away at their business idea. Every day, dozens of new members post a sticker on the campus notice board to announce who are they are and what they’re doing. “They’ve either just been made redundant or are at an inflection point in their lives,” says Drinkwater. cheap jordan retro 3

cheap jordan 4 The crash didn’t just affect the people who had been fired. It changed the mindset of those looking for their first job, too. For generations, the best and brightest had emerged from universities and were tempted to make money in the City that they could not make elsewhere. But after the crash a career in banking was freighted not only with risk, but also with some stigma. Banking was out, tech entrepreneurship was in. “Of my 100 strong graduating class,” says Suranga Chandratillake, who left Cambridge with a degree in computer science 20 years ago, “the biggest employer was the City. Almost one third cheap jordan sneakers became bankers. Last year the biggest employer was Entrepreneur First” a prestigious “incubator” for cheap jordans shoes start ups whose embryonic firms are often then snapped up by investors like Chandratillake himself, now a venture capitalist at Balderton Capital. “Goldman Sachs is having to compete hard to be attractive again for graduates,” he says. cheap jordan 4

cheap jordans but real The challenge is about more than money. Time and again in Britain, you hear the phrase “tech for good”. Founders of new companies believe they can have it all: money, prestige, and a company which changes lives for the better. Gordon Gecko might despair, but greed, alone, is no longer good. The most talented today want to be rich and have a shiny conscience. “They ask: ‘How can I actually do good in the world?'” says Mustafa Suleyman, one of the founders of DeepMind. “I think people really do care. There’s this judgement about the cultures of other industries, like the banking of the past. There’s some tough judgement about.” cheap jordans but real

cheap jordans size 4 Or as Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City, puts it: “Tech can be a Cheap jordans force for good. That’s part of the UK tech brand, and I’ve not seen it elsewhere in the world.” Chandratillake concurs: “If you look at Millennials, it’s about money and success of course, cheap nike shoes but it’s also about mission and sense of social achievement. Tech has managed to have a positive story to tell. For example Transferwise [a slick, low cost, user friendly online money transfer service] sells itself as being the living embodiment of everything traditional financial services are not.” cheap jordans size 4

jordan 12 cheap real Of course the City will survive the British technological revolution. Indeed its dominance and talent pool have helped make this country a world leader in new digital financial platforms just like Transferwise collectively known as fintech which offer everything from current accounts to mortgages to investment accounts, most controlled through your mobile phone. jordan 12 cheap real

where can i buy cheap jordans But the tech revolution will not be so kind to other, celebrated names on the British high street, or their employees. For while technology is helping build new businesses, it is helping to kill old ones. Adapt or die, is the mantra now. where can i buy cheap jordans

One famous casualty looks likely to be Marks cheap air force Spencer. Beloved by many, M has failed to keep pace with the developments in e retailing. Observers note how it has not carved out a clear strategy, neither establishing itself as a market leader in store, or online. In the language of the industry it is trying both “bricks” and “clicks” and failing at both. “M is not going to be a going concern on its own in the next five years, they’re not going to make it,” says Russ Shaw, the influential founder of Tech London Advocates, a 4,000 strong group dedicated to championing the capital as a hub for digital businesses. “Tech is hitting everything. On the high street, either you’re going to go a Primark route, where there’s no online, or you’re going to be an adopter like John Lewis, which is looking pretty adept. But M are not cutting it. Their website is clunky. If you’re going to survive as a retailer you’ve got to be on the cutting edge of it.”

cheap jordan shoes order There is an irony here. Lord Stuart Rose, who was chief executive of M from 2004 2010, went on to lead the pro EU Britain Stronger in Europe campaign ahead of the referendum in 2016. As it turned out, there was an existential threat to his former business, but it was technology, not Brexit. cheap jordan shoes order

By contrast, technology businesses, which pride themselves on their adaptability and ingenuity, are more sanguine about Brexit than you might imagine. There are certainly concerns about access both to European talent and the Digital Single Market which aims to allow online companies and websites to operate easily across the EU, just as mobile phones do since roaming charges were abolished since last year. But at Tech City, where Gerard Grech keep tabs on all the key statistics, all is not doom and gloom. “The three top countries for tech skills immigrants coming to this country in 2016 [the last year for which data is available] were not in the EU but the US, India and Australia,” he notes. “So the UK should not be shy. We have taken a risk leaving the EU, in a self determining way. With risk must come cheap yeezys opportunity, otherwise what’s the point in doing it? This entrepreneurial community says we’ll rise to this challenge. Entrepreneurial risk culture is part of making this a success. As we leave the EU, the whole country has to be readied to make the most of the change that is coming. It will be a constant revolution, for which we will need to psychological fitness, staying power and resilience. It’s a state of mind. The country needs to be ready for that.”

Some in the tech world moan that such positivity does not always radiate from the Prime Minister, Theresa May. That, as just the moment a cheerleader is required, we have a dour manager in charge. “We’re expecting the government to create the conditions to allow business to thrive,” says Dom Hallas, who until January was an official at the Department for Exiting the European Union but is now Executive Director of Coadec, which acts as an intermediary between cheap adidas startups and Government. “One of the challenges we have quite frankly is that unfortunately we have a PM who is not very business minded. That’s the reality. And so concerning.”

More than that, Hallas says that her default response to technology is wariness and suspicion, that where others see opportunity, she sees threats. “You start a conversation about technology and within two sentences you’re talking about paedophiles. It’s extraordinary. It’s baffling. That’s the [official] mindset that frankly flows from the top.”

It was significant, therefore, that Mrs May chose Artificial Intelligence as the theme of her speech in Davos this year. For many, Britain has a real opportunity to become a world leader in the field. DeepMind may have been bought by Google, but it remains in London a platform which draws machine learning pioneers from around the world, and from where they can go on to create countless AI spinoffs of their own.

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