According to some, Just-Eat is one of a handfull of European internet companies that can be described as superstars! “Superstar” is a very big word, and personally I don’t think we are quite there yet, but with a bit of luck we will do pretty well. The positive thing for me is not so much whether we can use the label “superstar” or not, because that is partly a subjective thing, i.e. Wonga is the only company on that list that I will truly call a superstar based on how quickly they have build a massive, disruptive company that brings real value to people.
The real deal for me is that over the last 12 months the European internet community in general has given us a lot of recognition for what we have achieved as part of our internationalisation, where we morphed from being a Danish business into becoming a world leader based in London. It has been hard, difficult etc., etc. and we are not done yet, the steady flow of progress makes it all worth it – times 10! We will stay focused and energetic for another 10-20 years, and then we might end up being a real superstar.
An interesting observation when looking at the five “superstars” is that if you link their business to what the industry structure and culture is of their resident countries, then there are some very clear links to national industry clusters:
- Just-Eat: originally Danish, but during 2008-09 we moved the headquarter to London/UK, which is takeaway country no. 1 by far in Europe (e.g. 3 times bigger than Germany), and the big growth has been associated with this move
- Spotify: originally Swedish, but today mainly headquartered in UK/London, which is the music capital of Europe
- Vente Privee: well, the French know a thing or two about clothing
- Wonga: started by South Africans, but from the outset headquartered in the financial capital of Europe, and they of course work with money lending
- Rovio: Finnish company, the Finns are not as such known for being the leading gamers of this world, but Finland was world leader in mobile technology for many years, and still has a big industry cluster in the space – and that is initial angle Rovio had when they developed services and technologies before they started focusing on those very upset birds on mobile screens.
Ideas and success does in general not happen in a vaccum, there are often links back to industry clusters, also when new, exciting and disruptive services are being developed.