Why Netherlands??? Out of all the countries I am often asked "Why Netherlands?" Why choose to have my life and career here, to that the obvious response is "Why not?" but it's much deeper than that and if you care some of the personal backstory is here.
Flashback to 2007: When all my friends were taking cushy software jobs for Twitter and Facebook, and some of them self-made from doing such so early on (Mark, your Tesla is beautiful and you DESERVE IT), I was always a risk taker. Why not Romania? Why not work for a French fintech company in San Francisco? Why not share Silicon Valley hustle with Europe? Perhaps it was my curiosity or entrepreneurialism, or maybe something deeper but I was always up for the challenge. As I have talked about those early years and how and why I took certain projects I did, the power of Europe is not simply a cliche is a robust industry which has taken over a decade to collect itself which massive market data to prove its not only ripe for venture capital but startups as a whole.
Now as we see the collective global innovation "war" being brought on and billions of dollars to support these efforts, as most Americans are learning the soil doesn't matter. It's where knowledge is generated. Where ideas and software is made. Technology is both the beauty and the pain of how Facebook can be easily spammed with misinformation affecting even the highest levels of democratic elections (I will reserve more comment or details on that here) and also why you can use Uber in nearly 72 countries across the world. The expansion of tech usability is not simply an accident its part of the plan of Globalisation, we are all living in it. We are all placing bets everyday with the products we use, things we support and things in which we pay attention.
Netherlands has a population of 17 million people, by American estimates that's basically the total populations of LA, SF, and New York City and some change combined. Netherlands by land space is essentially .003% the size of American soil and yet doing so much. If you are curious you can go here and compare land space and populations. Yet despite this small European country, Netherlands has seen over 3MM new people in the last couple years and massive economic growth, ontop of having massive amounts of capital in its savings (read: no gazillion dollars of debt like the US) and everyone is walking around with health insurance. However this isn't a post about not America but instead, why not Netherlands? New York City was even once Dutch territory and for various reasons given to (however you decide) is now America today. Netherlands is surely a small country but a smart one.
Whats Going On?
Firstly if you are keeping up with the news, Europe is having just as much economic growth as the US is used to as a norm. Let's first take a look at simple Dutch employment rates. How is Netherlands doing with all these new-coming workers?
NETHERLANDS EMPLOYMENT GROWTH
Netherlands represents itself in the top #7 European countries with workforce growth (ATM p.16). Besides current stability of a workforce, data indicating a growing workforce and an increase of nearly 1 million more jobs in the last year (ISHN) Netherlands has positioned itself as a contender in the next great race of innovation with access to talent (EDF p. 9), Amsterdam as top #7 developer hub in Europe (ATM p. 45) and aside from the U.K, Netherlands is a top 3 destination for American trained and employed software engineers looking to migrate (ATM p.50). Netherlands is currently #1 in Europe for job positions open for “Software Engineer” (ATM p.50) On a networking level, Netherlands is a European leader for attracting talent in general (EDF p.21) with strong coding programs for developers and technology enthusiasts (EDF p. 13)
Talent Within Netherlands and More Coming In
As a robust economic working force, friendly technology infrastructure and English fluency as a country, Netherlands is a top #3 destination for international movers (ATM p. 46) and non-Europeans feel very comfortable immigrating.
Netherlands has roughly a population of 17 million inhabitants and growing, with nearly 3 million in new constituents immigrating in just the last five years (WDM).
With about 33,720 km2 of land and 91% of Netherlands workforce being urban, there is both plenty of room and potential for the expansion of several working hubs in Netherlands. The average age in Netherlands is 42.3 (WDM) which also means, there’s room for growth of new generations and working forces. Lots of room and lots of opportunities.
LOCATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Netherlands is seen as a Top #3 Destination for non-European Talent
Netherlands’ advantage to global economic viability but it is not just its workforce which positions Netherlands uniquely but also its location and infrastructure. Non-Europeans find Netherlands as a great place to immigrate into Europe as a physical and economic gateway. Non-Europeans place Netherlands as a top three European country to migrate into (ATM p.53) and some of Europe’s best schools are in Netherlands (ATM p.83). Coding programmes also support skills outside of academia (EDF p.13) and the government’s flexibility in supporting its own initiatives vital to growth and chance. Diversity is also seen as a priority with women being roughly half of the Dutch workforce (ISHN) and the government vocal of its support for women (EDF p. 19) even in industries where there can often be male-dominance, “I will never sit on a panel without women, ever again” (FNTS) HRH Prince Constantijn told Financial Times in 2019.
"Ik ga nooit meer in een panel