A clash of titans: In corner one, we have Google. The company was founded in 1998 by two Phd students at Stanford University. The initial investment was $1.1 million and the company was launched in a private garage. Eight years later, at its first public offering, it was worth more than $23 billion. In corner two, we have the French Government. France invested £75 million in 23 different technology companies for their QUAERO project, aimed at creating a European Google-Killer.
Who will win the battle? Turns out, this clash of the titans is little more than a scrawny schoolboy trying to compete with seasoned professionals. As Business Weekly recently reported, the project “will swallow £75 million of European taxpayers’ cash and vanish.”
The French Government will learn the sad lesson once again: government cannot take the place of private industry and entrepreneurship. An introductory book to economics or a quick glance at history would have saved Europeans £75m and the French Government a lot of embarrassment. At least we can thank France for providing further proof that free-market economics is the best way for industry and commerce to function.