Haha, the Oh-So-Silly French Startup Pitch

I don’t really know when it dawned on me for the first time that the practices of the startup world are actually, well, kind of silly. For people who aren’t in the industry, some of the lingo is probably just incomprehensible. Startup pitches, various business models, investment trends – most of the people I go to school with must look at my facebook status updates and think I’m on drugs. In fact, one person once thought I was talking about religion when I posted an article on the rise of European super angels. 🙂

So, if we’re so funny why aren’t more comedians making fun of us yet?

When the French The Social Network parody came out last week, I realized that startups would make insanely good material for comedians. This one is perhaps more cultural, making fun of the not-so-successful French Facebook, Copains d’Avant and some particularities of the French business enivornment. I tried to get these guys to put English subtitles on this video because it’s just that good. To anyone who doesn’t speak French, I’m honestly sorry that you’re missing out on this one.

More than a good laugh.

More than being good for a laugh, comedians may actually be good critics of business models and have good business ideas. For example, Franco-moroccan comedian Gad Elmaleh presented a rather humorous game-like version of GPS navigation systems in Papa est en haut (2007). But if you get beyond his humorous presentation, what he was saying made a lot of sense ; GPS navigation should have levels, like a game, because some people require more detailed directions than others. Obviously today you have numerous systems with all kinds of possibilities but still, it was good idea for its time perhaps.

Nintendo gone bad.

An upcoming French comedian (who also stars in the Social Network parody posted above), Max Boublil, has gone after a more recent technology: the Nintendo Wii. But before you jump on me for promoting his X-rated humor, take a moment to realize that his idea could potentially sell. I’m pretty sure Max Boublil has hit the nail on the head as to why the Consumer Electronics Showcase is held the same week as the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas every year.

So Max, why don’t you pitch a startup?

Honestly, this is one idea I’m going to run with as soon as I get a chance in the future : I’d love to invite Max Boublil or any other willing French comedian to pitch a startup or judge a startup competition. The ideas don’t have to be ridiculous – but just out of the box a little. I think it could go down really well. Even if not,  it’ll still be entertaining regardless.

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