Wales prefers his Waterloo Sunsets

jimmy-walesWikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales prefers his Waterloo Sunsets to Silicon Valley claiming that  London’s cultural assets make it a better place to live.

However he said that the capital needs to have a tech community if it is ever to rival Silicon Valley.

Speaking at the launch of the Tech.London, news site, Wales said he meets people around London and they ask “when do you go back to San Francisco? assuming I’m here for a few days, but I live in London.”

“There’s always this bit of British self-deprecation about ‘oh well, things are so great in Silicon Valley’. But I can tell you, things aren’t that great in Silicon Valley. London has all these incredible advantages of a tech scene, but it’s also a place people want to live. Nobody wants to live in Silicon Valley – it’s dreadful out there.”

Wales said that London was an incredible cultural city, it’s at the crossroads of the world. In the US you have San Francisco for tech, Los Angeles for movies and Washington for politics. In London you have all these things. It’s a great place to do business.

While the London’s tech scene is “incredibly important” to the city  it must be fostered if the country is to remain on the world stage as it transitions to a knowledge based economy.

“London has a tech community but it’s a bit disparate,” he said. “Entrepreneurs feel very alone and are unsure what will happen if it doesn’t work out. Having a fantastic, vibrant community, it makes it easier, safer for people to do a startup.”

He said that it is possible to get closer to Silicon Valley culture if you do a startup and it doesn’t work out, you can get a fantastic job at Google or Facebook or somewhere.”