, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Wrapping up a week long stay in the Bay Area. Thanks to all the founders, VCs and others in the #fintech community that took time out to meet.

Here are my key learnings (including one massive shock):
It's become clear that there are two key reasons why there is such a density of successful #startups here:

First up: A bias to optimism
Everyone seems optimistic. VCs in the Bay talk about the size of the opportunity and what needs to go right for something to work out, vs European VCs that focus on metrics and risk.
Founders in the Bay focus on building sustainable moats over long time periods, vs European Founders that are forced to focus on short term metrics like revenue, CAC and LTV from an early stage
VCs in the Bay fund for world domination, not base hits. This gives founders the freedom to think bigger and over longer time scales.

Underpinning each of these is the fundamentally optimistic question - 'What could go right?' rather than 'What could go wrong'.
Second: There is institutionalised knowledge about how to start and grow a startup that doesn't exist in other places.

This expertise helps to reduce execution risk. People know how to manage, how to manage managers, what it means to be an individual contributor...
... all these ideas that basically don't exist in Europe.

They also deeply understand the value of culture and team in building a great company.

Pushing decision making as far down the stack as possible from the founder increases velocity massively.
Third... the massive shock...

From the perspective of VCs and fintech founders in the Bay Area, European Fintech looks "behind".

Transferwise, Revolut, Monzo, N26, Zopa etc barely hit the radar
On reflection, I understand. The scale of the US is massive (1 UK = 1 California basically). Which startup in the UK has the scale of SoFi/PayPal/LendingClub?
The challenge for European founders is clear.

Think bigger.

Much bigger.

And go find investors that buys into that journey, even if it means going to the valley to find them.
Even if you don't plan to raise from US-based VCs, founders should get on a plane and come out here. The DNA is something else. Different to even NYC.

It's not a case of monopoly-or-bust, but rather a challenge to think of the biggest possible version of the idea and...
... taking away the barriers to scale. Ask yourself, what would make my product irresistible? How could I monetise in a different way if I owned 50% of the market? 100%? What does the world look like 5 years out and how can I take it there today?
Startups are a lot of risk. Either be risk averse, focus on revenue and get it done that way, or be aggressive. Don't get stuck in the middle.

The middle is death. Always think bigger!
And thanks to everyone for the intros!!
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