‘Silicon Valley needs a competitor, get your act together’ – Eric Schmidt

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the world, saying “Silicon Valley needs a competitor”.

“Competition is good. Get your act together,” he said at the LeWeb 2011 conference in Paris.

Schmidt said that Silicon Valley had shown the world a “model of innovation” and that there are a number of cities in the world that could be a tech hub to rival that in San Francisco. There are developing tech hubs in Paris, London, Berlin and even a developing hub in Africa, dubbed “The Silicon Cape” in Cape Town.

“Entrepreneurship comes from young people, who have less to lose and are risk-seeking, and don’t have families. These people prefer cities.”

Schmidt said there was a huge race now to own identity, ecommerce and social on mobile platforms.

“There is an opportunity to build the next Facebook, the next Google right in front of you. It’s obvious and always been true — you just have to find it… get your act together!” he said to laughter at the conference.

He urged the governments of these cities to invest in fixed, wireless broadband if they care about creating jobs.

“What governments care about are jobs. There’s a lot of evidence that shows that the internet is creating jobs. The internet revolution is creating jobs because its creating new markets for businesses.”

Fixed and wireless broadband
“If you have fixed and wireless broadband, the citizens will take care of everything else. The government must make sure its there,” he said.

Pointing to Europe, in the throes of an economic crisis, he said the internet is the “core source of future growth” for the continent.

Matthew Buckland: Publisher


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