Sir Richard Branson says he’s “very sad” that Britain hasn’t become a global leader on the internet, but is hopeful for the future.
Ahead of Brit Week, which recognises the contributions of British entrepreneurs to the global tech scene, Richard Branson told TechRadar he was disappointed that Britain hadn’t yet created a global internet success.
“I think it’s very sad that Britain has not been good,” said Richard Branson.
“None of the really great things like Facebook, Google or MySpace has come out of Britain, and there’s no real reason why not.”
Branson hasn’t given up hope on ol’ Blighty, though.
He says that the next decade could see Britain “reassert itself” on the global internet scene.
“I hope that in the next ten to fifteen years a new generation of Brits will put that right and we can get some world dominating sites,” Branson said.
There is no excuse for the lack of innovation in the UK, he added.
“America as a whole doesn’t have a lot to offer – I would say San Francisco and the internet is saving America at the moment.
“Britain needs a bit of saving, and we’ve got to encourage entrepreneurs to be coming up with the next big breakthrough. There’s no reason at all why it shouldn’t be a British entrepreneur rather than an American.”
While Branson may have a point that none of the internet giants are British, he’s wrong to say that Britain hasn’t been good with technology: think of pioneering sites such as LastMinute.com or Net-a-Porter.com.
And let’s not forget that Tim Berners-Lee, credited as the inventor of the World Wide Web, is British too!
What do you think is holding back British entrepreneurs?
There are plenty of mid-sized internet businesses “Made in Britain”, but why haven’t we produced a truly huge internet hit? Comment below!