LeWeb came and left Paris and we couldn’t even get President Sarkozy – or Baby Sarkozy (Jean), for that matter – a verified Twitter account. Sad.
Especially after Robert Scoble’s post-LeWeb rant (which made me cringe because it seemed so Silicon Valley-centric and arrogant), I would’ve thought French companies would’ve tuned into the need to get on Twitter ASAP.
A decent number of French start-ups actually were on Twitter prior to LeWeb.
Some (about 160) of which are included in Goojet’s Cedric Giorgi’s Twitter List. Still, I’ve been coming across more and more French start-ups sans Twitter account recently.
This doesn’t mean that US start-ups have mastered the art of tweeting, however.
Soon-to-go-public Solyndra, for example, is one Silicon Valley company without a Twitter account. But it looks like someone is already squatting their name, which brings me to my next point: even if you’re not going to tweet, get on Twitter and claim your account name ASAP. I am more than certain that someone is going to come along and snatch it up if I don’t get there first (yes, Twitter squatting is one of the less original and more lamentable business ideas I’ve had recently).
What makes Silicon Valley unique is the quick adoption of different technologies.
Therefore, from a professional standpoint, being slow to adopt these new means of communication may send the wrong message. I’ve been particularly disappointed to see Invest in France (and other French governmental organizations) MIA from Twitter, while Ireland, Canada, the UK and even Spain have already registered their accounts (Spain is yet to tweet, but still). Germany, contrary to what I would’ve thought, seems to be in the same slow boat with France.
Now, the only other finger I’m going to point is at French VCs, mainly Sofinnova, Innovacom and Partech.
If you have an office in Silicon Valley and encourage new technology growth and adoption, I would have thought you’d be that much more inclined to get on Twitter just to try it out. And you may not care about Twitter but I bet some of your portfolio companies wouldn’t mind. That being said, I’d also love to see tweets from the CIA’s Silicon Valley-based venture group, In-Q-Tel.
Nonetheless, there are a few French organizations that I would like to commend for their Twitter accounts:
Innovation Cluster Cap Digital, SME Support Organization OSEO (wouldn’t hurt to tweet a bit more), Paris-based Incubator and Coworking space LaCantine and Networking group Open Coffee Paris. I’m also rather proud of business school, HEC and Paris’s public transportation account.