back to article Euro researchers more loyal and cheaper than Silicon Valley folk

Classic and enterprise HPC storage supplier DDN Storage has opened up a Research and Development centre in Paris to help grow its European business. Its experience exposes the strengths and weaknesses of the European IT skills and startup scene, it says. The centre has 25 staff and should double that by the end if 2017. DDN …

  1. Potemkine Silver badge

    Silicon Valley’s pre-eminence in venture capital, theoretical innovation and practical implementation is not about to be challenged by any mainland European alternative


    Remind me where WWW comes from please?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " Amstrad, Bull, Nixdorf, Siemens, ICL, and Olivetti for example. They all faded, [...] "

    As did their contemporary USA companies - Commodore, IBM, Honeywell, DEC, Data General, Amdahl, Univac, NCR, CDC, RCA, and Burroughs.

    They all suffered much the same pressures and fates as the IT world changed.

    1. Lars Silver badge

      To Amstrad, Bull, Nixdorf, Siemens, ICL, and Olivetti I would add Philips, Nokia, Norsk Data and why not Elliot too.

      To the American brands, Wang, Control Data, Next, Fortune Computer, Basic 4, Motorola, Orange Computer? and many more I just cannot remember right now.

      Brands because they tend to disappear with mergers too.

      Some I have programmed but there was friends and all those selsmen too.

      Nixdorf Computer “died” with Heinz Nixdorf as his kids decided to sell. But parts of it remain as Wincor Nixdorf. Customers to Lidl might have noticed them.

      Nixdorf, Philips and probably Olivetti moved, or tried to move, to Unix, but much too late.

      I do agree with “Silicon Valley’s pre-eminence in venture capital” and would add “crowd sourcing” too, risk capital in short.

      It's not that we don't have any startups but they tend to be bought when ripe and end up elsewhere, like in the USA, China and India.

      When comparing wages, the cost of living and why not the cost of educating kids, should be taken into account too, if an employee of course.

      For those business gurus who always claim the problem is, employment laws, regulations, trade unions, burdensome close-downs and what not, perhaps they have become to greedy, too rich to care a thing about any country, any society.

      I am not prepared to tear down my society just to please them, and end up in a “third world wild west”.

  3. Buzzword


    Could a Silicon Valley VC employ staff in France remotely? No legal presence in France, the offices just a rented Regus-style building, staff bring their own kit, everyone connects to a server in the UK or the Netherlands. Seems like a nice way of getting round legal loopholes. Staff might struggle to get a mortgage though.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Hypothetically

      Not really possible.

      RedHat, Ubuntu and others do have remote employees throughout Europe but employment law is employment law.

      The article tackles this straight on: in Europe people are not driven solely by the prospects of a huge payout to join a company; they're also far less likely to move vast distances for work. This means that the employment market is "stickier" than Silicon Valley. Yes, it means it's less attractive for VCs but it also means you won't be wondering where your star developers have just gone to.

      Anecdotal evidence suggests that European startups are often founded by migrants with access to capital or supply chain through the diaspora. The ventures differ from the typical US one in scale but they are just as innovative in their own way.

      1. foo_bar_baz

        Re: Not really possible.

        Unless you are a virtual taxi company, in which case you can bypass all local laws.

  4. zebm

    German hairdressers

    I remember reading years ago about German hairdressers starting up British limited companies to pursue their trade in Germany because they wanted limited liability and getting Gmbh designation cost a fortune.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: German hairdressers

      I know very few hairdressers that are GmbHs. They're infamously low-payers though.

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Interesting to note that many of these entrepreneurs run startups in the US. Given the laws across the pond in Europe, is it difficult or impossible to move the company once it's a going concern? Entrepreneurship is obviously strong in the EU there's minimal startups and no follow through. There's more to this than meets the eye. Taxes? Legal wrangles?

  6. Steve Chalmers

    Transnational companies and R&D work, just out of vogue

    30 years ago I was a young R&D engineer, leading a small team collaborating with peer teams in Grenoble, Boeblingen, Bristol, Guadalajara, and oh yes a few U.S. cities as well. It worked very well. I have the greatest respect for my colleagues of that era.

    We had competitors at that time who chose to centralize their R&D on a single campus or in a single metropolitan area (typically near the U.S. East or West coast). Part of our worldwide success was grasping regional differences in customer preference and buying patterns, which is easy to miss in a team which lacks geographic diversity.

    It's been disappointing to see the current generation of "star" companies choose the single-city approach, being open to this important talent pool only as expatriates.


  7. nerdbert

    Loyalty? I heard it might have existed once.

    The SV staff have no loyalty? Hardly surprising given that company loyalty to their employees died decades ago.

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