A week back I stumbled upon an infographic made by CB Insights showing the 50 most promising and revolutionary AI Start-ups in the world right now across all industries. It seems logical that San Francisco contributes most entries on this graphic. However, I was stunned to find not a single company from Germany in it. Europe, in general, feels underrepresented in this context.
Why is that?
I see different reasons for why America is booming with one of the purest forms of capitalism in the world, and an excellent start-up and funding culture, especially in Silicon Valley. I have been there myself in May and was amazed at how vast and connected the companies there are. From a German perspective, I can also understand why we as a country are a bit more risk-averse and try to keep our economy stable. However, more and more, talent and innovations are outsourced, faster markets like America, China or India are far more established in bringing change to the current world.
Especially the automotive industry is trying to innovate with new electric vehicles concepts, urban transportation, and autonomous driving, but all those topics are currently just trends and not scalable because there is just no ecosystem to drive this change. I am a bit concerned about the future of "German Engineering" and if we will keep our status, although we are not part of this fast and dynamic new market.
The time to be a pioneer is over!
It would be wise to become a fast follower, someone who can adapt and integrate successful concepts. I feel we have become a bit rusty and conservative, focusing on critical problems, but at the same time, not focusing enough on future developments.
This is easy for me to say since I am working in a Germany-based, but globally living and breathing engineering company. The benefits of leveraging a worldwide network and adapting to changes, wherever they come from, is a great asset we embrace and cherish each day.
The question that remains is:
Are we still the ones driving or will we be become the passenger, both literally and figuratively in the future?
I am curious about other opinions; please feel free to comment in the section below.
Thanks for reading!