This post appeared verbatim as a guest post on the LeWeb blog.
Being an entrepreneur you soon learn that people like us are rare. It’s hard to find them among the usual population, specially cause we account for a very small percentage of it. Nevertheless, this percentage of entrepreneurs slightly varies from country to country. US for example has a very high percentage of entrepreneurs if you compare it with my home country Spain, who has close to none.
Because it’s hard to find us, we tend to move around a great deal, or at least we try. In the US though, this concept of moving around is something natural. Most Americans move at least 3 times among different cities and many professionals go back and forth between both coasts regularly. For most of them, this is something, not only natural, but essential. It’s something we, in Europe, aren’t used at all. Most Europeans only travel either during Holidays or for a business trip. Even in those cases, most of us bring our country culture with us. That is, there are still very real frontiers in peoples minds across Europe, even though from multiple angles (law, economy, etc.), Europe is finally one. Still, old habits die hard.
In my experience, most cases of cultural blindness are prompt from a lack of travelling. Even though most EU countries are very close (much closer than San Francisco from New York City for example), people see travelling there like an ordeal, like something close to an adventure.
So, why are things like LeWeb so important? Basically, LeWeb brings together not only Europeans, but plenty of other people from other countries like the US, China, Argentina, etc. During 2 days you can encounter with people from hundreds of different countries, people who share, in most cases, your same interests. But this is nothing new, international conferences have existed for ages. What it’s new for me is that now, thanks to plenty of social media tools, we are able to maintain those worldwide connections alive, even years after the conference took place. What I’m seeing is a convergence of entrepreneurs in Europe. I feel myself close to my European peers now, than what I felt 3 years ago.
Finally, the Internet is breaking the cultural barriers and history heritage that for so long has separated people in Europe. Finally, different cultures are working together to keep those links alive. Finally, we are starting to be one, and not many.
For all that, for that incredible experience, for enabling Europeans spread their love all over the world, thank you LeWeb, thank you Loic and Geraldine and thank you all, citizens of the world, that by coming together are enabling an incredible world flattening experience.