Monday 4 October 2010

Why European startups perform differently

Sheena IyengarImage via Wikipedia
European founders too often try to mimic their American counterparts. They hire American advisors, have American investors and yet somehow often European startups don't perform as one would expect. I could never rationalise this until I watched very interesting TED talk by Sheena Iyengar.

The idea is that our culture simply makes a huge difference how we perform in different situations. Sheena talks about an interesting experiment that she and here team did with a bunch of kids. Here is a simplified version of it (watch the video, absolutely worth it!):

Researchers asked a a group of American and Asian kids to solve some anagrams. Anagrams were grouped into six themed batches. Some kids got to choose the batches they want to solve and others were told which ones to solve by an authority (a teacher or mother). And than something interesting happened. American kids solved twice as much anagrams when they were able to choose which ones they want to solve, while Asian kids performed exactly the opposite. When they got a chance to choose a batch they performance went down the drain, but they over performed their American friends when they where told which ones to solve. Interesting isn't it?

Now apply this to a startup. Americans absolutely shine when they have more options or when they can come up with new ones, while non Americans might simply execute the ones they have better and go into depth more.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: