Bicycling in Lisbon is a disaster if you stay at our hotel on the highest hill in town – so what does Bicycling has to do with the Lisbon Start-Up scene?
For most Europeans riding a bike is the most common and natural mean of transportation. If you live in Cities like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Berlin, London etc it’s actually the only way move around. Nobody would dream of taking the car.
However, if you come from US where the car is the DNA of The American Dream – it must be very exotic and strange to arrive in Europe and see car reduced to pain in people’s A****
So when my eyes fell on the headline in my Medium updates: Things I learned from Riding a Bike in Lisbon and the following: When we search for “cycling and entrepreneurship” on Google, we are presented with a myriad of articles from major business newspapers and other more or less authoritative media outlets, trying to establish the missing link between physical exercise and successful ideas, or extrapolating invaluable life lessons from the act of repeatedly pushing pedals. – my first thought was: WHAT ON EARTH DID YOU EXPECT?
In my opinion cycling and entrepreneurship has absolutely NOTHING in common.
When I googled the author Sofia M and read the next paragraph it all made perfectly sense. Apparently cycling is the new trend in Silicon Valley – like the new golf as Sofia M writes LOL.
Things I learned from riding a bike in Lisbon
Adopting a more down-to-earth approach, the New York Times recently analysed an ongoing trend in Silicon Valley, the world tech region par excellence: the increasing popularity of cycling. In some cases, the activity is even referred to as “the new golf” to illustrate how it came to represent a meeting place for the local startup community and entrepreneurs.
If we change our search terms to “Lisbon and entrepreneurship” or “Lisbon startup scene”, we are met with similar results: the booming tech ecosystem and the news that Web Summit had chosen the city as its new home have earned Lisbon enthusiastic features on the likes of Tech Crunch, Wired, Tech.eu, Guardian, Fortune, Forbes, etc.
As someone who started riding a bike in Lisbon and learning about the tech industry around the same time, I have been increasingly fascinated by the potential connections between these trends. I have often found myself reflecting upon them — particularly when riding my bike to and from work, along the 5.2 kilometres that separate Lisbon’s old town and the super hip area of LxFactory, a former manufacturing complex turned into a “creative island” that hosts a variety of companies and businesses.
I tried to make a list of what I like about cycling and tie it up to what I have learned about tech so far and to some phenomena I have been observing in Lisbon over the last months.
Sofia M’s: Things I learned from riding a bike in Lisbon is definitely worth reading. Get it here on Medium.
The European Digital City Index (EDCi) is one of the interesting links I got through Sofia M’s story.
Intended or not. This odd comparison between riding a bike and starting-up worked! I got curious read her story including all her media references + references to interesting reports on the European Start-Up scene and got an insight I would not otherwise have gotten.
Now I just miss my bike. But as Tings Lisbon is on the highest hill in town (Miradouro da Senhora Do Monte) and my arthritis in the knees only allows me to ride bicycle on a flat level its meaningless even to think about getting one. This must wait until we climb down from Graca 😉
To all my fellow Europeans: Don’t take your bikes for granted – in some places its becoming trendy fashionable.
For start-uppers on the way to Lisbon Sofia M’s story is definitely worth reading!!!