As just about everyone probably knows by now, Google announced its first France-based acquisition on Friday: Sparrow. I say “announced” because according to a few sources, Google has previously acquired France-based companies but chosen not to communicate. Anyhow, regardless of what the situation is, the Sparrow team is packing their bags and heading to Mountain View to join the Gmail team in what looks more like a talent-acquisition (another rare occurrence for France).Read More Kima Ventures’ Jeremie Berrebi says no journalists wrote true Sparrow story
Rumors had been turning around the French tech scene for quite a while that French startup Sparrow (which also happens to be my favorite email client of all time) had been in acquisition discussions. And there were rumors that several tech heavyweights had approached the company, which still hasn’t celebrated its 2nd birthday (yes, à la Instagram). But France still got a pleasant surprise when the news broke today that it was Google that would be acquiring the company.Read More The day Google acquired in France (Oh wait, that’s today).
I recently came across an article in the Wall Street Journal with a title that was a little hard to miss: Why French Parents Are Superior. After it was published, my friends from around the world began emailing me asking my thoughts. So here’s the truth everyone: French kids DON’T CRY.Read More Do French parents make better startup CEOs?
It’s funny how often the subject of conversation goes back to “Why is there no Google or Facebook coming out of France?” Some people like to point fingers at investors, saying French investors are too risk averse. But then there are others that say this is simply because the local exit market is, well, almost nonexistant (yes, I’m exaggerating but only slighly). But if you think about it, there are some things “made in France” that pretty much sell themselves.Read More French Innovation Trends: Food, Fashion and Flirting
If you don’t already know, the French and the Belgians have a bit of a love-hate relationship. Kind of like the Americans and the Canadians. Who better to poke a bit of fun at than your northern neighbors, eh ? Plus, given Belgium’s rather intricately over-complicated political situation, the southern, French-speaking half of Belgium – yes, Wallonia – is often half jokingly considered a French département. So where better to head as the Editor of TechCrunch France than Belgium’s HQ ? (Yes, that means Brussels.)
Startup baguette or startup with fries ?
Before leaving, I honestly throught that Belgian entrepreneurs probably wouldn’t really be that different than French entrepreneurs. I was pretty sure that I’d find a smaller-scale France but perhaps with a bit of a Belgian twist – like site translations in French and Flemish or something. And that would really be about it. I mean, we’re all in Europe, half of Belgium speaks French and we’re all looking across the Atlantic when it comes to inspiration, right ? But, even though I was only in Brussels for something around 24 hours, what I saw made the Belgians and the French look about as different as, well, cats and dogs.Read More The Truth About French and Belgians
I’ve had quite a few non-French people contact me regarding the best tech blogs and news outlets in the French technosphere. As my Twitter lists are far from being up-to-date (they will be soon!) I thought I’d put a few names to know here.
French Blogs 101.
First off, one very simple way to find out what’s out there and what’s being read is à la Technorati, via Wikio’s rankings (done according to number of links to the blog and apparently retweets as of June 2010).
But let me highlight a few of my favorites/names to know that are perhaps less-known outside of France (in absolutely no order whatsoever)…Read More Le Best Of: French Tech Blogs
Last night, the President of the right-wing French political party UMP, Jean-François Copé, inaugurated what was supposed to be an atélier numérique participatif or a participative digital workshop. The menu of topics to be covered included a variety of issues on web 2.0 and internet regulation. I attempted to live-tweet most of the event in English with the event hashtag: #loi20.
Shut up and participate.
First things first, I realize we’re talking about the French government but the fancy shmancy suit-and-tie atmosphere didn’t really put the “participative” in “atelier numérique participatif”. I vote that the next digital workshop attempt to adopt a more start-up feel by introducing the Google dresscode. Ah, but let’s not be ridiculous, perhaps the “participative” aspect can be casually overlooked.Read More My thoughts on the French Government’s attempt at a “digital workshop” #loi20
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry published an article in Silicon Alley Insider today on the negative impact of the hierarchical French education system on entrepreneurship. Let’s take a look at his argument for “Why France fails at start-ups”, shall we? Is “Grande école” French for “Ivy League”? For all the Silicon Alley Insider readers that saw the term “grande […]Read More You Suck! Entrepreneurship and Elite French Education
Alright, it’s high time we set the record straight. I met with yet another French entrepreneur this morning that seemed to think France was void of decent exits. Well, guess again. Have you seen me? In the US, whenever a child or a person goes missing, his or her face shows up on a milk carton (or at least, it […]Read More Bienvenue en France: Welcome to Exitland
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