January 18, 2013

The differentiation factor

Economy

The differentiation factor

A recent study by Startup Genome, in collaboration with major American universities, has ranked the geographic locations best suited for the creation of startups. Unsurprisingly, North America fills most of the top twenty spots: the legendary Silicon Valley is of course in first place, followed by Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, as well as Toronto and Vancouver, all in the top ten. Milan, the best-ranked Italian city, is not in the top 20, but it is not far off either: better than nothing.

But there is one element in particular I would like to highlight: one of the indicators used in the survey is the “Differentiation Index”, which assigns higher values to ecosystems with different characteristics to those of Silicon Valley, which is the ideal model. In other words, this index tells us that diversity is an element of success.

This is an important business lesson: to search for innovative ideas is to look at success stories as an inspiration, but not to copy them. This means identifying one’s strengths and integrating them with already established organizational models.

As you know, I have studied and worked abroad, and even as a boy I always believed in the importance of developing an international perspective. What I gained from this experience is a belief that has strengthened over the years: each country is an ecosystem with specific and unique characteristics, which need to be capitalized on through continuous updating. Development is not necessarily a conforming process: it can and should also be an opportunity to recognize the value of differences.

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