How Europe lost its tech companies

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TechAltar : Here is the poll I promised:

Tobias : Wait you're Hungarian, menő, csak menő

Kay JB : I didn't know Alcatel is a French brand. Always thought it was some Chinese brand.

ash boon : When you mention Chinese tech companies, don't forget Korean (Samsung, LG) and Japanese (Panasonic, Toshiba) tech companies too..

hohowtf : Logitech is Swiss. They have a good market share in computer peripherals. There are also pro-sumer and industrial brands like Hasselblad, Leica, Broncolor, CEDES, ST Microelectronics.

Dr Peter jones : Easy the cost of capital and labour has been historiacally too high for too long. This is the result of loss of control driven by global banks as a free market,made worse by weak governments to strategically develope and service land in sharp contrast to say china.

Kp _rider : Irony is that Europe have unlimited Internet connection to end users, no data caps.

m : All the reasons you list here seem reasonable enough. Europe doesn't really have tech giants anymore (they get sold off to foreign companies before becoming giants, it seems). But are we really just gonna assume giant tech companies are inherently good to have? That's the one thing that bothered me about the video. It's not like Europe's economy is really hurting because of the lack of giant tech monopolies. I understand it's a pride thing or something, and a lot of people who worship the apples and googles of the world tend to associate those companies with the countries they are made in, but with giant companies (not just tech) come uncompetitive business practices and general douchebaggery. I think Europe will be fine without these companies.

likira111 : The portrayal of Europeans as technophobes is stereotypical and inaccurate, we just want privacy.

Geoffrey Engelbrecht : You are far to pessimistic. I don´t have time to spend investigating this in detail but Philipps still makes tech gadgets for home automation (Hue lights for example) amongst many other appliances. Nokia is also pushing in that direction acquiring Withings. And you forgot about Logitech which is one of the most successful periferral manufacturers in the world. Do US companies make TV’s? Apple needs to go to Korea for OLED screens since as far as I am aware there isn’t a single company in the US that has that technology. Designed in California made in China. I am a North American who currently lives in the heart of Europe and am not under the impression that Europe is behind anywhere else in terms of tech companies. Many of the big named US tech companies have research centres here in Europe to access knowledge here like Google and GE. Yes Europe doesn’t do everything but nor does anyone else. We live in a Global economy and technology is so advanced today it is not possible to sustain leadership in every technology for everyone. Having worked for a big European tech company I know that big companies everywhere have so much built in momentum due to the number of managers required to make a decision without a Steve Jobs or Elon Musk at the helm they tend to miss out on the next opportunity and continue with a blind belief that people will still want old technology products again. That is why new technology tends to come more from small companies and startups than big existing companies and as you said there are plenty of these in Europe. There are as many phone companies in North America that missed the smart phone revolution and though still exist like Nokia are no longer at stage centre. I don’t think Europe is falling behind because Nokia and Siemens don’t make smart phones and Philipps don’t make TVs.

Mechant Loup : Video fails. The tech companies did not go anywhere. They just transitioned from the consumer space to B2B. In fact, more Europeans now work in high-tech than ever before, and Europe provides the majority of the world's tech-driven investment products, from cellural networks to ship engines to aerospace to biotech to what have you. Central and Northern European economies are BASED on high-tech exports. Yes: re-read that sentence. So, there are MORE tech companies in Europe now, not less. What you see is a dearth of Europe-based global CONSUMER tech BRANDS. Which is an altogether different thing than what the video attempted -- and naively failed -- to address.

Vecopotryx : That hair is "top notch" if you get what I mean :D

Paul Langford : What you have left out is that most of the high-tech manufacturing equipment comes from Europe. Especially, China would grind to a halt without equipment from Germany, France and the U.K.

Clement Moylan : ARM in Cambridge, England, design most of the mobile processors powering your phones and tablets. There's loads of European tech firms - they just don't tend to be consumer facing. Moreover, Japanese and American tech firms invest in Europe, and own research and development facilities in Europe. In our globalised economy, each region builds its own successful niche.

Steph M : This video is about consumer electronics in Europe. The manufacturing is done in Asia because of the very low labour cost and the available workforce. The software is made in California (California specifically, not the US in general) because of the University and investors ecosystem. The labour cost in the Sillicon Valley is really high and company benefits for employees of Apple or Google are better than in European companies. Europe has invented GSM but the European phone makers failed to follow the smartphone evolution (10 years ago) which was software based.

bobjones27 : I've never visited European universities, but I can tell you that if you visit any top tier American university there are tons of Chinese and Indian students. Actually, I've also seen a ton of European grad students in the US, because exciting research runs on money. I was taught physics by a francophone african professor, and he chose to immigrate to US despite having a doctorate from France--he says that America is better for immigrants like him. America attracts top tier talents from the world. A lot of European immigrants aren't actually from places like Syria or North Africa, but people from east europe moving to west europe, or Britons buying summer homes in Spain. Bell, Tesla, Einstein were all immigrants. I met an Italian google engineer a long time ago. I asked him why he chose to go to MIT as an undergraduate despite the fact that education is good and free in Italy. He said that his friends back home lacked ambition and just wanted to hang out all the time. Quality of life comes at a cost, and America attracts the ambitious. That Swede who made Minecraft is an American now living in Los Angeles.

Amit Sengupta : ARM!

Aigars Mahinovs : You are wrong on so many levels. There is *more* tech industry in Europe than in US, you are just focusing at a tiny sector and ignoring anyone that is locally focused. EU market is huge, so there exist numerous companies that make great living without their product even being visible from the US. EU has a huge industrial base that designs and makes all kinds of things from cars to construction cranes to industrial robots and all the hardware that is part of every other factory in the world. We just do not care about megacorporations. We care about people. So companies in EU tend to be smaller, more focused, more efficient with their people and provide the surrounding community with more benefits.

Joe C : SAP? $25B annual revenue?

Niels : I don't agree about the lack of a startup ecosystem. Here in the Netherlands there is a very active startup scene

A Koala with Shades : It's where you start. US is a capitalist nation, lower taxes and you only need permission to trade with it once. Asia, very free, no one gives a shit about regulation, so they trade as they like. Europe, regulation rules everywhere (you'll break 5 just sneezing), each country demands permission to trade and there will always be a veto during the EU negotiations because all the countries fucking hate each other, and let's not forget the obsession with socialism (high taxes, which only big companies can afford to escape using their fancy lawyers). Europe's big establish companies have survived, but the tech industry was pretty new and they just could not keep up with all the red tape in the way. Europe seeded a lot around the world, but nothing grows there anymore, the land is salted.

Jakub Ušelík : It is good to point out, that it is true, that European countries lags behind in tech companies. On the other hand, +- quarter of all scientific research done globally is done in Europe. So low number of tech companies is balanced by quite high number of research institutions per capita.

Solomon S : How can you forget Arm Holdings?!?!?!

MrMakabar : Just have to put the tech giant SAP out their. Even thou it is not directly a onsumer software producer it surely is huge.

edifier74 : By narrowing down tech by consumer products only is a disservice to the tech industry. Because a lot of tech companies cater to business & enterprise solution. Nokia & Ericsson are still major players in the telecommunication world they just don't sell consumer products anymore because the profit margins in enterprise solution is much higher.

Rover Lenza : Send this to brussels...

ktm640lc4BGD : If Bosch and Siemens would stop working everything would suffer around the globe. They have integrated waaay deeper into production than you know. Europe is producing software, hardware and materials needed to produce end-user product. For example in Switzerland a chemical is produced, which is used as one of the components in creating Coca Cola base syrup. It is shipped round the globe (i work in shipping). Things people do not ever think about in their life. Things that are one step "deeper". We do not have time to create end-user products so we let cheap labor do that. And we provide them with materials, machines and software. So do not worry about us. We are "back end" and others are "front end" developers. Also taxes and labor laws are strict but saying those are the reason for not having tech companies is stupid. Same laws and taxes are applied to absolutely all industries. So why do those exist? I do not know the real reason, but neither do you.

Trilobyte : This is the real gift of the EU

Erik Schmunzeler : Tech companies? I always thought Europe was just full of art museum and coffee shops.

A U : Automobile industries are thriving though

Arvid Olson : Now, Sweden does not have huge consumer-tech companies, but huge industry-tech companies! Lot’s of internet based or internal systems are handled or come from Sweden. Also, Spotify, Skype and Minecraft came from Sweden originally. Dice (game developer) is Swedish etc. We have loooot’s of tech, but mostly work behind the scenes

Lazy Sloth : ARM? An English founded and based company, their tech and architecture powers basically every damn smartphone out there including the Iphones and Galaxys along with thousands of other products from drones to cars. Even Intel tried to take them on in the mobile market and failed horribly.

Koray : 1:38 so do we act like Hasselblad and Leica are not from Europe?

DragoN 3 PG : As an European it seems to me that Europe is willingly more concentrated on the things in life that are more essential than consumer electronics. Great food, great clothing, cosmetics,furniture (Ikea etc.), all kinds of art, (paintings, sculptures, architecture, books, classical music etc.), cars(practically owns that department), great trains and transportation in general. All of those things are more essential for life compared to some laptop or tablet etc. At one point Europe just said :"Who cares, we will buy those little gadgets from far east or USA." It is not particularly difficult to make those gadgets anyways. I am from ex Yugoslavia and there are tech brands even from this part of Europe. Smartphones and Led TVs TESLA from Serbia, Led TVs Vox from Serbia, Led TVs Fox also from Serbia, smartphones, Led TVs, Air conditionaires etc. VIVAX from Croatia, also i used to have Quadro Led TV from Croatia. Plenty of small brands around Europe. Even very resistent for outdoor use KONCAR laptops from Croatia. I see in a big techno mall in my city some great Phillips Led TV.Also i was surprised to learn that my Prestigio tablet was from Belarus, at least headquarters of that business group.Also 49% of Alcatel should still be French, and Nokia is making a comeback with Android. I remember seeing some great expensive gaming laptops from Germany. Even UK gaming channel Game Riot uses them. I read it in the description of his channel.Also many, and i mean many legendary games and publishers are from Europe. Witcher,(Poland) Stalker,(Ukraine) Serious Sam (Croatia), Just Cause (Sweden), Mafia (Czech Republic) etc. and what can we say about behemoth such as Ubisoft(France) . No one in the world is capable of making such colorful, fantastic open world like Ubisoft. Also talking about software,Linux is from Finland, Opera search engine is from Norway, Daily motion is from France,SoundCloud is from Sweden. Also one more word is more than enough i think. CERN.(Switzerland)


Mohamed Elsherif : You EU folks had my two software idols, Linus Torvalds and Anders Hejlsberg, I think these are enough contributions to the tech industry :') I think it just speaks to the high quality education you guys enjoy.

Ondawall Fly : Thank globalism for that.

poi klip : What about Nokia and a Croatian company Vivax (I'm using one of their phones) etc.

David Bires : About 15 yrs ago I started to read reports about declining birth rates in Europe. PIGS especially. Now, the results of this decline are coming to fruition. Europe is on the brink of financial, social, and ethnic collapse. Tremendous pressure, due to uncontrolled immigration , declining tax base and so many other factors. It is a real cause for worry.

Alex DemiHuman : because mudslimes.

Kamil Lenica : One more thing Siemens, Ericsson, Nokia NSN, Alcatel etc. Are doing well, but its is not in consumer electronics, but backbone for mobile operator, medical equipment, aviation, military, PLC systems etc. Europe shifted its business orientation towards building solutions and services for companies instead of end users

al35mm : There is still a lot of tech money in Europe. A lot of stuff is developed and invented in Europe, then manufactured and licensed abroad. China and the US have a better manufacturing base for sure. I think Europe has plenty to offer in terms of design, development, and invention but is lacking in the production side in the consumer tech market due to high production and export costs - which seem to be part of the self-crippling system Europe imposes on its self. Of course, Europeans find this frustrating and you will find all the talented European developers and innovators moving to places like the US where their ideas actually have a chance of going somewhere. Unfortunately, talent is Europe's most valuable export and nothing is done at a government/industrial level to keep that talent within Europe.

FullFledged2010 : Nxp here in the netherlands still going strong💪

lullobiertje :

7hi5 on3 : Why build something for more when you can build the same thing for less..? tl;dr Fuck European work unions and protectionism; they inflate wages to uneconomical levels. They make us uncompetitive and are keeping us out of the market becuase we can't compete economically...

Junger Löwe : Short Answer China

seven : ...consumer tech, pointless gadgets, moronic apps and irrelevant software. Let others do it. I Hope Europe keep focus more in science, R&D and engeenering for real issues.

Југ Vratko : Europe sold out to the US, that is the problem. The EU was a gigantic mistake.

John Rokam : 1 word: socialism (or EU)

hongkongsmartboy : There are only three states dominating Market of Smartphone and Tablet in the World : USA, South Korea and China. It seems that tech companys from European states do not concern this market! Of couse, Europe is still the source of hi-tech parts of Smartphone and Tablet.