When President François Hollande took office earlier this year, I wrote a brief post on what this would mean for France – or more specifically, French startups. As a result of the President’s proposed 75% tax, many of France’s wealthier entrepreneurs and investors were rumored to be planning their relocation to neighboring Belgium, Switzerland, the UK or even the US (for those who can secure a visa) – including Pixmania cofounder Jean-Emile Rosenblum, which I wrote about here. However, naturally not all of the rumored departures are true. So here’s a look at which of France’s top entrepreneurs are actually leaving the country.Read More Which French Entrepreneurs Are Actually Leaving France?
As you can tell, it took me a while to decide whether or not to write something about Steve Jobs. At first, I thought it was perhaps a little cliché. After all, everyone is writing about Steve right now (yes, we’re on a first-name basis) – my words would simply get lost in the crowd. But then again, how could I not? Steve is one of America’s most celebrated modern visionaries – and the footprint he left will forever mark the development of technology, culture, business and much more. And on a much more personal note, he is one of the most inspirational people I have ever discovered.Read More Thoughts on Being Hungry and Foolish
It had been some 20 months since I’d been back to the Homeland, the Mothership, the land of the free and the home of the brave – or so they say. The birthplace of the oily Big Mac and sugary Coca-cola. But above all, the El Dorado of hi-tech. Yes, it had been almost 2 years since I’d been back to good old Silicon Valley.Read More I Left My Heart in San Francisco. But Then I Found it In Europe.
This subject has actually been on my mind for a while, triggered by the first time I saw MC Hammer at a conference in San Francisco (pretty sure it was the AlwaysOn Standford Summit in 2008) and thought it was a total joke. The man had announced the launch of his start-up DanceJam.com and all I can remember thinking to myself, hashtags included:
#WTF is a hiphop celebrity from the 80s doing trying to mingle with the Silicon Valley crowd?[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c4L4CPfQY8]
(Watch the video and then imagine it playing in your head as you casually see him speaking on stage at a tech conference…)Read More Does French Innovation Need a Few More Famous Faces?
Summer is finally here and Paris looks more than ever like San Francisco’s winter months of June, July and August. Sure, I get a kick out of seeing the tourists freak-out because the sun is MIA and they’re wandering the streets in their beach clothing. But what I’m actually referring to is the local start-up environment, which continues to dramatically improve daily. There are tech events left and right (yes, EVEN IN THE SUMMER) and I honestly can’t keep up with all the funding that’s being announced. Silicon Vallée, is that you?Read More If you thought France = Paris, you thought wrong
Somehow, the conversation always ends up on which Silicon Valley companies are MIA in France. A week or two ago, Deezer’s Jonathan Benassaya posted this comment on Twitter: Opentable actually launched in France in 2008 and ironically their product didn’t take off – so I am told. French restaurants were too traditional to go electronic […]Read More Under the radar: Are some French companies hiding?
Paul Carr published an article in TechCrunch a few days ago and naturally the title caught my eye: Cherchez la fame – or why the media’s obsession with Twitter campaigns will make customer service smell French. A word on smelling French. What I think is a little ironic in this article is that “smelling French” […]Read More Smelling French: Not Such a Bad Thing
Everytime I meet a new entrepreneur – French, American or otherwise – the topic comes up: What are the differences between being an entrepreneur in the US and in France? In my former job, I was constantly confronted with the opinion from the other side of the Atlantic vis-à-vis doing business in France: “The French are always […]Read More Dear US Entrepreneurs, You Have it Easy.
This is just a quick post in honor of Aardvark (@vark) and my experience with the service that was apparently worth 50 million Google dollars. Think before you Aardvark. In the beginning, I was utterly annoyed to get rather irrelevant questions from Aardvark flooding my inbox. “What time is it in France?” would get my blood boiling. Are these people just […]Read More The Aardvark Hall of Fame
Sequoia and Benchmark, you may want to listen. Jeff Bezos too. MyFab: THE next hot start-up to come out of France. First off, let me say that I do not write this for just any old company and it is very likely that this will be the only post of its kind for a long time. […]Read More I’m Putting My Money on MyFab