I was delighted to read B2B Marketing editor, Joel Harrison’s blog on how he sees the B2B martech space in the UK, not least because he was kind enough to reference Agent3 as a leader in the sector. But more than that, I was pleased to see wider recognition for the innovation and expertise that I also see in the UK marketplace. All too often we are quick to look west to Silicon Valley in a kind of innovation ‘cringe’ and assume that only the best of ideas come from there. Having spent a number of years living in the tech maelstrom that is the Bay Area, I can attest that its ability to churn out world class tech start-ups is unrivalled. But I also know that it doesn’t have exclusive rights on brilliant thinking. Looking at some of the other businesses that Joel references, and in particular those that have actually developed their own IP and gone to market with success, I am confident that the UK can also produce great tech start-ups. The challenge for those businesses is to get the oxygen of publicity and funding that they so desperately need if they are to thrive. And, at the same time, they need the freedom to spend time getting it right.
It’s almost a badge of honour in Silicon Valley to let people know you have had stints at failed start-ups; it’s regarded as essential learning in helping you know when and how to get it right. It’s an attitude that I don’t always see in the UK start-up scene; to generalise, we appear more fear-based and therefore less ambitious in our goals. This must change if our ideas and, consequently our businesses, are to reach their full potential. And also get the valuations they deserve. Having someone as influential as Joel call out those businesses that he sees as doing the right thing in the B2B sector is certainly a confidence builder for the emerging martech scene in the UK. This must only be the start though. We need to publicise and celebrate great thinking more frequently if we are to provide further impetus to those entrepreneurs seeking to build great start-ups. Let’s hope 2018 sees that happen.