Both Square and Match.com (with the Tinder fame) posted strong IPOs debuts last week. The power of these tech IPOs isn't about which VCs made money, the IPO valuation or the late round ratchet terms, it is about the newly minted millionaires that are going to be launching the next generation of startups. Over the next 6-12 months, hundreds of people will become real cash in the bank millionaires. What they will do with that cash is one reason why Silicon Valley (West Coast) is different that any other place in the world. Many will leave Square and Match to become founders of their own startups. Some will see ways to do things better than their current employers. Some will identify a pain point within the business or customer and build a solution for it. Others will finally have the financial horsepower to launch an idea they've had forever. Whatever it is, they will do it and the startup ecosystem gets that much stronger.
Silicon Valley is a flywheel of entrepreneurs. This is what makes startups in the US, and specifically Silicon Valley, a special entrepreneurial ecosystem. Success breads more success.
In Europe the flywheel is starting to turn. More VC funds are being raised. Entrepreneurism is more culturally accepted. Larger and more frequent exits are happening, and employees are seeing the value of stock option. And most importantly some of the best European entrepreneurs are staying home and not bolting to Silicon Valley for their next venture. All steps in the right direction.