1 month in the USA, so inspiring!
Several weeks ago, I returned from a month-long trip to the USA. A very inspiring adventure in the world of entrepreneurship!
From my entrepreneurial activities over the last almost four years, I discovered early on that there were a multitude of myths revolving around the USA. “If you want to succeed, you have to go to Sillicon Valley“,”The USA has understood everything about entrepreneurship” or “In the US, you find investors on every street corner“. Ask any entrepreneur you meet, they’ll definitely tell you about American trends.
After spending nearly thirty days there, visiting more than six cities and seeing more than a thousand billboards, I can confirm that there is a very particular “trend” for entrepreneurs in the USA. Here are my three highlights of this stay in the land of the possible.
Sink or swim
Unlike Switzerland, in the USA the rule is simple, work or die. The system will not scramble to provide a safety net for entrepreneurial failures. Having spoken to a student there, he explained to me that the young people had three choices:
- Go into debt to study (or get a scholarship),
- Find a job as a salesperson or salesperson (which does not require studies),
- Get started in entrepreneurship.
The stakes are therefore totally different than with us, very comfortable in our beautiful and safe Switzerland. Having spoken with an Uber driver who also taught economics to 12-17 year old children, he told me that he was already teaching his students the rules of entrepreneurship, and that this option was just as important to him. interesting than that of higher studies! There, entrepreneurship is more than a fad, it’s a lifestyle choice.
It goes without saying that, just like a military troop that goes into combat, risk-taking is a very unifying element in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. An investor, himself an entrepreneur, will be much more inclined to support his colleagues in their adventures.
Keep it Simple
No time to complicate your life trying to have the most perfect business plan of all, “get started, you will see on the way“. When you enter stores like Brandy Melville which offers a unique size for each of its items, or the In-n-Out burger chain which only offers Cheeseburgers, Burgers, fries and shakes … you quickly understand that sometimes, keep it simple is the best strategy.
It is true that we often strive for perfection, which complicates things. This stay in the USA will undoubtedly have taught me that sometimes, it is better to go step by step without wanting directly to seek the perfect end. The fashion for business plans is over, it’s time for “stop talking, start doing”!
There are no bad ads
Another very surprising thing, the commercials in the USA are not afraid to shock. The sense of humor there is quite different from the one we have here. For example, I had the opportunity to see this poster on several sections of motorway:
I am sure that a poster like this in Switzerland would not have the same impact. It is crazy to see the difference in the communication “codes” used there!
It is obvious that each country has its advantages and disadvantages. However, I can say two things, Switzerland is a country in which it is possible to engage in entrepreneurship while minimizing risk-taking, but the road will be strewn with pitfalls. In the USA, the entrepreneur is more easily supported and supervised, but the risk-taking is enormous …
The Swiss entrepreneurial ecosystem, while already growing, still has some way to go. But we’ll get there nicely, and there is nothing more exciting than being a part of this movement!
I can only recommend to all my entrepreneur contacts a short stay of a few weeks in the USA, a dose of inspiration, a step back from its activities and a full return! A special crush on Palo Alto…
Gregory Logan is the co-founder of The Shared Brain.