Why don’t we have any Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerbergs in the UK? Why do they all come from the US?
That question was posed recently in a Daily Telegraph article where Boris Johnson tried to offer his own explanation. Boris’ theory is that people in the UK don’t like people who succeed. Ergo nobody tries to succeed.
Sorry Boris but I think you’ve got that back to front. In the UK, we don’t tolerate failure. To succeed in the way the people mentioned above have succeeded you have to be prepared to stick your neck out and fail many times and still keep trying until you succeed. Fail in the UK and you’re damned. The banks don’t want to know, potential investors will avoid you.
This is illustrated in graphic detail in the Apprentice TV programme where the losing team is sent to the café of doom whilst the winners are sent on some expensive junket. And then, finally, the candidate whose been fired is seen slinking off dragging suitcase (do they really have 12 weeks worth of clothes in there) and driving away in a humble taxi. The final winner of course gets to ride away in Lord S’ Roller.
Until attitudes in the UK change, innovative, wacky, off-the-wall people who can make a step change to the way people’s lives will continue to be cast aside, or go elsewhere – to the US for example.