Great article! Am considering whether to relocate my early stage business away from London, so had a couple of quick questions for you:
- The analysis doesn’t really consider the quality and experience of developers between markets. Many of the SV developers will have had jobs with tech behemoths like Google and Facebook, Europe can probably only look to Skype as a comparable, so I’d be interested to hear about your experience in quality of talent between SV and London/Europe and where the best pools of talent lie.
- The analysis also doesn’t take into account salaries and living costs. Although SV has a relatively inflated rental market, similar to London, the cost of living is definitely cheaper. There are certainly pools of cheaper talent in mainland Europe, so I’d be interested to hear how salaries and living costs compare across markets.
- What about language and freedom of movement? Most US-based developers will have English as a first language and are able to move freely across the country. Despite Schengen, there are natural barriers to movement across Europe including language and cultural differences. How has that impacted your hiring policies when recruiting for European tech companies?
- Defining a VC-backed tech company as one that has raised in the last year might be a little misleading as SV-based companies typically raise big, fast and often whilst European companies are generally less capitalised and raise less frequently. This also probably skews the analysis in favour of early stage companies that are raising initial rounds and not the larger tech unicorns that are employing hundred of developers. That said, does hiring get easier the larger you are and what are the downsides to having press about your financing rounds in the public domain?
Would be great to get your insight on the market and perhaps some of your experiences at Skype and Atomico.