Web Mission: why bother?

Thursday 24 April, 17:00 This week’s Web Mission to Silicon Valley by 20 UK Web 2.0 companies has made a real impact. I’ve been impressed by the way that big players like Oracle, HSBC, BT and Sun Microsystems have all rowed in behind, alongside official support from UK Trade & Investment.

It’s felt like a real team and I’ve enjoyed working alongside entrepreneurs, sponsors and journalists. Some people have asked about the value of such a mission. For the individual companies, it’s given them high-level entry into a complex and tightly knit group.

Some may get the finance they’re seeking, others will get a partner or key contact they’ve needed.  It may seem ironic that the tech sector hasn’t eschewed face-to-face encounters with virtual meetings. Why do we need to actually go to Silicon Valley, when we could do it all electronically”

In fact the digital age hasn’t meant the end of face-to-face meetings. To the contrary, it has encouraged even more clustering of leading specialists, as innovation increasingly works off a constant interchange of ideas. That makes it even more important – not less –  for UK firms to actively engage with this community in person. I hope that the originator Oli Barrett and the teams at Polecat and TechCrunch now  look to build on this success. They deserve to. As competition gets tougher, the UK needs to proactively engage with the brightest and best across the world. Web Mission 08 has shown us how to do it.

Picture source: Tanya Ryno

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