If you regularly read my blog (and these days who doesn’t?), you have noted a distinct bias towards discussion of American-headquartered software companies. In fact, “bias” may be too weak a word. I’ve only written a handful of posts (out of more than 90) about non-US-Headquartered companies.
Why this bias? Plain and Simple. Foreigners do not know how to write exceptional software.
My bias, one common to American software folks who have spent too much time in Silicon Valley, exists because:
- I don’t even know what the right publications are to read from Europe, Asia, or the BRIC countries. (And unless the publication is in English or high-school level French with lots of pictures, I won’t understand it anyways.)
- Many US PE and venture investors typically invest only in the US, so they are of no help in identifying interesting companies
- Many of the small companies I work with are so busy trying to conquer a gigantic market here, that it does not make sense for them to worry about the proverbial ROW–rest of world–quite yet
Despite this bias, there are markets where non-Americans are leading the way and/or tied for the lead. Examples include:
- Supply chain finance where the UK is a hotbed of activity, due to long UK payment terms and the UK government’s involvement in the issue
- Corporate social responsibility and environmental supply chain management which seems to be more important in Europe (as social welfare generally is) than in the US
- Retail and private label related software due the presence of the behemoths in that sector in the Eurozone
- E-invoicing in the Nordic countries and e-payments throughout Europe
I’m quite sure I’m completely ignorant of other B2B areas where the ROW is kicking our proverbial you-know-what. I invite the non-US resident readers to make suggestions on interesting B2B companies or trends coming from elsewhere in the world. If I can, I’ll research and write about them.
Note to my Canadian friends (you know who you three are): I’m sure Canada is ahead in some areas not related to hockey and maple syrup. Feel free to chime in.