What Austria can learn from the Silicon Valley

In Austria, you meet ten persons who give you ten reasons why your startup won't work.

It's 100 to 1 and you are the loser as entrepreneur before you have even started

You have to justify – not only your business idea, but generally why you even put those around you to this strain when there would be easier and more profitable ways to earn money, why especially you think you will be successful when everybody knows that the dropout rates are enormous, etc.

In Silicon Valley you meet ten persons and everybody starts thinking and asks, gives hints and offer their contacts. Of course you have to present something, otherwise you don't have a chance there – I've learnt the hard way as well. But generally, the start is supportive and inspiring.

In Austria you are a weirdo, in Silicon Valley you are part of innovation.

If you fail in Austria, you are stigmatized all your life,
if you fail in Silicon Valley, everybody knows that you have learnt and of course you get another chance.

In Austria it's complicated to found an enterprise, it takes a long time and costs a lot, even if the share capital for it has been reduced.

In Silicon Valley I can found a stock corporation with ten million stocks for no more than 1000 $ within a week, there are lawyers who defer payment for months and take the risk, and there are banks which do not charge fees.

So, while I found one LTD in Austria, I can found ten stock corporations in Silicon Valley at the same cost in one third of the time.

Of course companies need working capital, but it's a difference if I put money into my product and into market development or into taxes and duties.

That's why I only incorporate startups in Silicon Valley any longer. This year, I've already incorporated seven companies in Palo Alto; until the end of the year it will be at least ten, until mid 2014 at least 20.

An important hint if you fly to Silicon Valley: avoid the Austrians over there! It's okay to drink a glass of beer together and complain about the lack of wholemeal bread and prosciutto, but that doesn't help your startup.

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