UKRAINIAN SILICON VALLEY
We thought of titling this post “Ukrainian tech renaissance”, but renaissance would imply there is a re-birth. This would be false though. What is happening in the country is unlike anything in their history. The birth of the tech industry in Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe is beautiful because this IT growth has no memory. A clean slate to build new things for society with no notion or care for “this is the way things are done around here”. This type of thinking stifles innovation and buttresses bureaucracy.
This Forbes article by Dominique Piotet (@dominiquepiotet), underscores a pastiche of growth factors and tech trends visible on the ground in Ukraine. Here are some key insights we have gleaned about the Ukrainian tech scene: Culture shift: The basis for most businesses in the Ukrainian tech scene is IT services outsourcing. Western European and American companies pay Ukrainian skilled labourers for their time to build the company's intellectual property. This is slowly changing. Local people are understanding that the true value of their work lies in the products they are building, fuelled by highly competent, educated and academic minds.
Watch this space emerge as a Unicorn factory over the next decade as firms shift from services outsourcing to product companies. Personal safety: Ukraine is safe. Like Israel, they have adopted the policy that if you want to make a country successful, make it safe for kids. Personal safety allows people not to constantly live in survival mode, but make no mistake, the Ukrainian youth have maintained their hunger and ambition. These ambitious people recognise that they want to create companies with international reach, and more than that, they want to do it in the comfort of their own home. No shortage of problems: There are still very many social issues in Ukraine and therefore many problems to solve. The environment we have just described allows for civilian people to take risks and solve these issues in their own, innovative ways. The country has a societal safety net that allows entrepreneurs to take these risks, namely: rigorous education, strong intra-family bonds and a progressive culture.
In 2021, Eastern Europeans are quietly but ferociously going about their work, changing the world one line of code at a time.