Ex Dragon on London vs California

Trutap is my first proper software company since I’ve come to Britain,” says the Californian entrepreneur.

The idea for the company was sparked when Richard’s business partner found “damning text messages” from his wife’s lover when he looked at her mobile phone.

Richard admits that he was hoping to base the start-up in Cambridge – but couldn’t persuade his staff to move there: “We were pulling in programming staff from places such as Google and Yahoo. The average age of employees at Trutap (excluding me) is about 25. They didn’t want to be in Cambridge, they wanted to be based in London. Shame.”

When asked about the difference between starting up a tech firm in London and California, Richard bemoans the lack of "clusters" this side of the Atlantic. “Where a company in California has an advantage is the sheer density of partnerships and relationships that are available to you," he says.

"The Palo Alto business will succeed, in part, because it does deals with other mobile or web companies, of which there are 1,000 within a stone’s throw.

"There are probably ten of them within a stone’s throw of King’s Cross.

"It’s an advantage that clusters have. That’s why I tried to start in Cambridge – but I guess I was outvoted!”

Doug Richard was a speaker at this year’s Real Business/CBI Entrepreneurs’ Summit. For more details, click here.

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