No Dave, No Matter

Dave McClure is on a tour of Asia that includes Beijing, Seoul, Taipei and Singapore but not Hong Kong. I’m already hearing people say that this is more evidence Hong Kong is not on the tech map yet. Some also want to bring people like McClure to Hong Kong — as if their visits would solve Hong Kong’s problems overnight.

It doesn’t matter if Dave McClure ever visits. Don’t get me wrong, I like McClure’s work — 500 Startups investing in startups before they’ve found product-market fit, his willingness to be much more international than many investors. Believe me, Dave, if you do visit, your first drink is on me. Like you noticed in Taipei, there’s no open container law here either. But in Hong Kong we should work without thought of a visit from him or any other big name. And we should realize that there are many things we can do to help ourselves.

It’s not McClure’s responsibility to grow Hong Kong, nor is it the responsibility of any other investor. It’s the responsibility of people in Hong Kong’s tech community and those who believe that .

If you’re working on a new venture in Hong Kong, if Hong Kong is part of your strategy, if you believe Hong Kong must diversify itself beyond finance and real estate, then work to make it a success.

There are many ways you can do this. Mentor students who have a startup idea. Even better, if you’re from industry, help convince the parents of these same students to let them give a startup a shot instead of going to work for a bank. Help make connections for a young entrepreneur. Sponsor an event. Come talk to me if you run out of ideas.

But don’t make it Dave’s problem.