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Economist, Mar 26, 2022

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发表于 3-30-2022 15:00:07 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Technology in Europe | New Kids in the Bloc. An EU law aims to make it easier for startups to prosper. Will it?
https://www.economist.com/busine ... reed-digital-giants


Note:
(a) The title is a wordplay on new kid on the block
https://www.theidioms.com/new-kid-on-the-block/
("The phrase is used in an informal capacity and is rarely uttered in a formal setting. It was first used in a 'Skippy' cartoon by Percy Crosby in 1941: 'The new kid on the block told me that the next time he saw you he was goin' to twist your nose.' A block is slang for a City block")
(b) "IN THE EARLY 1970s a handful of former employees at IBM, then the world's biggest computer-maker * * * The result of all this toil was one of the world's first comprehensive pieces of business software. The company behind it, SAP, is still Europe's mightiest technology titan by revenue, with annual sales of nearly €30bn ($33bn). It has a market value of €123bn as it celebrates its 50th anniversary on April 1st (no joke)."
(i) SAP
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAP
(acronym from German name; "SAP is the largest non-American software company by revenue, the world's third-largest publicly-traded software company by revenue, and the largest German company by market capitalization"/ table: Founded  Weinheim ['a town 15 km (9 mi) north of Heidelberg': en.wikipedia.org], Baden-Württemberg, Germany (1972), headquarters  Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg, Germany)

Weinheim, Heidelberg and Walldorf (also a town) are three dots in a vertical line, in that order from north to south, with air distance between the last two 5 miles.
(ii) The early years 1972 - 1980. In History. SAP, undated.
https://www.sap.com/about/company/history/1972-1980.html

—-------------
Paragraph 3: "SAP's longevity is the easiest to explain. Once firms opt for a certain type of business software, it becomes tedious (and sometimes impossible) to replace it. That guarantees the purveyor a regular revenue stream and acaptie market for extensions. SA{ a;lso has the foresight to design its software from the start so that it did not become obsolete when the underlying computing infrastructure changed. As a result, it it is one of the few information-technology giants that has [sic] survived three 'platform shifts': from mainframe computers to more distributed 'client-server' systems, then to the internet, and, now, to the computing cloud.

Paragraph 4: "Why SAP remains a lonely European presence in a digital realm lorded over by Americantech behemoths is less obvious. Oft-heard explanations include the continent's risk averse entrepreneurs and consumers, a lack of venture capital (VC), red tape and a fragmented home market. Benedict Evans, a former venture capitalist who now publishes a widely read newsletter, thinks the reason is far simpler: tech grew [note the past tense] big in its birthplace, Silicon Valley. Until a few years ago, even aspirant American tech hubs, such as Austin, Miami and New York, did little better at spawning digital darlings than Berlin, London or Paris.

Paragraph 5: "SAP itself is proof that appearing in the right place at the right time is instrumental to making it in tech. The firm's headquarters may have risen on an asparagus field a 15-minute drive south of Heidelberg, but the region combined many factors that contributed to the firm's success: more than one well-organized factory whose business process lent themselves to being into [and buying] software; plenty of accountants and physicists who could [be recruited by SAP and] hone SAP's programs; no VC firms tp badger it to ship half-baked products in search of a quick buck. Because the German market was relatively small, SAP also designed its code to work with many currencies -- a feature that its American rivals, including Orale, had to add laboriously after the fact.

Paragraph 10 and the last: "After 50 years SAP is at last seeing serious challenges to its dominance of European techdom. Adyen, a listed Dutch digital-payments provider, has a stockmarket value of more than $60bn. Klarna, a privately held Swedish one, is valued at $46bn. * * *
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