In a post I published earlier this week I mentioned that I had the chance to interview my new-found digital heroine, Martha Lane Fox, at LeWeb last week. In addition to co-founding Lastminute.com in 1998 with Brent Hoberman, Martha sits on the board of mydeco.com, Marks & Spencer, Channel 4 and launched Karaoke startup Lucky […]Read More Gilles Babinet: France’s new Digital Champion
No matter how much we try to avoid it, people seem to always revert back to comparing the European tech scene with that of Silicon Valley. In many ways, it’s a bit silly and irrational. Like comparing apples and oranges. After all, the European market is highly fragmented in dozens of ways and faces numerous challenges that the US market does not. Then again, it’s a necessary step in understanding why entrepreneurship thrives in certain environments and not others. (By the way, I’ll be moderating a panel on this very topic at the Advance Conference in Germany later this month.)Read More Come on Europe, Startups are for Losers.
So, as many of you may already know, Cass Phillips and I are teaming up to launch the first European edition of the FailCon in Paris later this year. It’s a conference that Cass started in the Bay Area so that entrepreneurs could share stories of failure and how to recover/avoid it. Hot topic. Failure […]Read More TechBaguette launches the Failpage
If there’s one thing I have a low tolerance for, it’s France-bashing. Sadly, it seems to be a default sport for many journalists. Whenever they have nothing better to write about, a little critique of the oh-so-traditional French Republic will surely fill up the sapce. Take The Economist, for example. It’s a magazine that I actually still highly admire. But I remember reading this one article not too long ago about how London was just all the more attractive for the young, French population – because “France itself is hardly booming.” Uh, right.Read More Should France even want to be another Silicon Valley anyway?
A while back I wrote a post on how the French educational system isn’t exactly entrepreneur friendly. And this is just based off of my simple observations and personal experience at a French university. Now that I have attended university in the US, France and the UK, I can say with complete certainty that French professors are by far the harshest with their students when it comes to mistakes. One would think that they get joy out of making their students look ridiculous – even when they make the smallest of errors. I’ve even heard some “feedback” from professors that could make one borderline suicidal. Not exactly what I would call educationally encouraging…Read More France is Putting the “F” into “Failure”
I’ve been wanting to do a post on this topic for a while – because whenever someone tells me that it’s insanely difficult to launch a start-up in France, I chuckle to myself and think: “Hey, if 20-something-year-olds are doing it fresh out of school, it can’t be that hard, right?” I also have recently noticed that becoming an entrepreneur from a young age is becoming more à la mode – so here is my list to set the record straight.
Hot or not?
The trouble is there are actually a lot of young entrepreneurs out there. This list is insanely far from exhaustive and is just a few names that I think are likely to stick around for a while. As the entrepreneurial community is predominantly male, I should also probably clarify that by “hot” I am referring strictly to their start-ups. After all, this is not my attempt to be the Franco-version of Valleywag. PS. You’ll notice that I’ve chosen 8 companies and 13 names.Read More 13 hot French entrepreneurs under 30
Talk to anyone from Silicon Valley about French names in hi-tech and you’ll systematically get the 3 same answers: Loic Le Meur, Jeff Clavier and Pierre Omidyar – if you’re lucky. But how about French entrepreneurs in France? In an earlier post I suggested putting French entrepreneur success stories on milk cartons to remind us […]Read More Have You Seen Me? 9 French Entrepreneur Names to Know
This is a quick follow-up on the Wikipedia initiative, which has proven to be quite interesting. Yoocasa: my guinea pig. Some companies are simply too young for Wikipedia. My first start-up to join the cause, Yoocasa, was removed after only a few hours. Sad, but true. Which is surprising because I have seen many companies […]Read More Wikipedia Initiative: Plan B