The day(s) after Web2day

Web2day, a two-days event, in Nantes (France), gathering 1,200 people be they entrepreneurs and startups, VCs, investors, mentors, enthusiasts, etc … .

Web2day Nantes logo

An event branded by some as a number two LeWeb even before it happened. An event called a second LeWeb in France after it actually happened.

So, some days (well, more than I would have initially wanted I must admit) after Web2day, what is there to keep from it ?


Nantes is not Paris. Of course. But it is still not too far (call it a two hours ride by train) hence appealing to the Parisian ecosystem too.
Especially when the Gods offer a sunny outfit to the city – and event – at a time when the weather is so awful I am flying to Scotland to find some sun.
In Nantes, there are also great places and buildings. The former factory, turned conference center, where the event was held was just the perfect place for a cool startup event. And where else do you face some crazy mecha-elephant when arriving on site ?
As mentioned above, Nantes is quite close to Paris … . Two hours is not necessarily a lot more time than the one wasted in traffic congestion around Paris; apart that, here, it means traveling hundreds of kilometers.
And this helped driving a huge amount of people from Paris and surroundings to this event.
There was a crowd. And the crowd was of quality.
And so were the speakers with quite a high level crew gathered to take the stage. Mentioning just a few would be an offense to others so let me take the easy route and just link to the website where the list of speakers sits.
And the startups then ? Well that was around forty ones selected for the Startup Contest. And it definitely showed that France can deliver when it comes to quality startups. An eye to be kept on the likes of Bringr and Bunkr.
On top of that, what does make an event successful ? Its impact, the noise it makes over the marketplace.
And that event has made quite an impact with, as an example, Twitter hits in the region of 5,000 over the two days (with hashtag #web2day). Plus the momentum is not lost yet with various bits showing up in the press and social media.
Well Web2day, pressure on for next year then as besting a success is the biggest of challenges – but the most interesting too.
But. There is always a “but” and I have a few to name. Good news, hints for improvement.
Web2day stage
On arrival, I was greeted in some weird way by the “security”. My guess being the organizers had hired the local Hells Angels as bouncers.
Apart from the funny picture – and I know that these guys are not my friends – the welcome was truly screwed up. Coming in, on a sunny day, for a cool conference and ending up, a couple of minutes later, wondering whether the next step is a dog fight with some random bouncer … .
Next step, not yet in my “where is Wally“-like journey to get my badge (and finally put a smile on the face of my unfriendly friends the bouncers). Good point the people were truly nice. Bad point, I made four stops before being finally sorted.
Finally in. I mentioned the fact that Nantes is close (enough) to Paris which certainly helped bringing in a lot of Parisians. The good of it is also its bad as, then, the place was packed but with the same faces to be met in any of the numerous talks, events, etc… held in Paris.
No frustration involved but a wee smile on our face when crossing paths and listing the people met already.
A solution to that (maybe): go (more) International. One surprise for me was the fact that almost no English was spoken over the two days.
Apart from a couple of workshops and a series of startups pitches … which took Twitter for one reason : people definitely need to work their English … .
Apparently next year should be half French, half English. This does sound more appealing on paper. Wait and see then.
A last bit on speakers. I spoke about the strong set of people lined up on stage and that is a fact. There were a lot of good speakers.
Now, as in any event, nothing – and nobody – is perfect. So we faced the good, some bad and a couple weird ones.
Here I just look at them the same way as mentors; whatever your entrepreneurial achievements are, that does not make you a good mentor or speaker.
In the end, this event deserves its branding as a smaller LeWeb. The people, the dynamics, the place, everything made it a wonderful time and I have seen so many people leaving with stars in their eyes that it just confirms how good that was overall.
Bring on Web2day – or “Web3day” – 2014!

Startup Scenes Across Asia: 11 Of Asia’s Top Tech Cities

See on Scoop.itEntrepreneurship in the World

Asia is very young and fresh in terms of tech, so the continent is just getting started. In fact, economically, Asia’s only really had its growth spurt in…

Samuel Pavin‘s insight:

Glad to have stumbled upon this article about the Asian tech scene.

This allows me to shed some light on the "entrepreneurship in the word" in one page, 11 cities and a great overview of Asia … which is one of my regions of choice (with Eastern Europe) looking at the dinamics and the drive people have when it comes to startups.

With Hong Kong at the forefront, look forward to the developments to come there.

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Fake it ‘til you make it – 10 of the most dangerous pieces of startup advice

See on Scoop.itEntrepreneurship in the World

Adam Fletcher, owner of the Hipstery, shares his views on some of the worst startup advice out there and also lets us in on the ultimate secret to founding a successful startup.

Samuel Pavin‘s insight:

Love that piece! So much truth in it, so much fun in it too!

The "Rockstar" "Adam Fletcher, owner of the Hipstery, debunks some common startup sayings and clichés. No more pivot, passion or Startup Ninjas…" [Quote]

The intro says it all. And what est than a hipster hitting startup punks… ?

Fun – and serious, still.

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San Francisco’s Real Start-up Secret Sauce

See on Scoop.itEntrepreneurship in the World

Everywhere from New York City to Omaha would like to be the next tech start-up capital. Here’s what actually makes Silicon Valley and San Francisco hotbeds of tech start-up activity.

Samuel Pavin‘s insight:

A shared secret sauce in fact. That is so true though and that is the exact reflection of the thoughts of a "newbie" to the Valley and SF I recently spoke to.

This place is packed with entrepreneurs and the secret is there is no secrecy. That is also why there can not be many copies of a place like this in the world. Just in Europe secrecy and NDAs are the entrepreneurs’ priorities… .

Anyway, a very good look into what makes the Valley special and what the missing ingredients are for all the others.


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Google glass, a journey through the “Glass” World

Google Glass

Once upon a time I finally got my own Google Glass.
After days and weeks of reading through reports given by the very first lucky “customers” – e.g. the chosen ones on a mission to use “G-Glass” and shout their thoughts to the World – I did get my own one delivered.
Excitement on! That is Christmas in May.

So what ? At first, the thought of adding Glass to glass (being a wearer of real glasses and having been so for as long as I remember) is not that comfortable.
But then the thought of adding a crazy piece of technology to this mix of glass and plastic (plus the adrenaline still pumping) gets the job of overcoming any contra to only keep the pros.
Day 1, Hour 1, minute 1 of my Google Glass journey. Ready, set, switch on!
And a new world opens up. Almost unnoticed. Oh yes, the “screen”, this inches by inches square finds itself above the eye.
A good point to answer my initial concern about getting technology-stained glasses. Dust on glasses is enough of a pain not to have my whole mailing list impairing my view.
Fair enough here, concern number one is no more.

Step two. looking up at my wee screen it does appear the carpet, down at my feet, does not actually connect with the Glass. Walking around, watching my stuff with a certain sense of security (as, for once, I am not bent on a smartphone, focusing only on the screen and not the World around) I suddenly go back to roots while stumbling upon said carpet for a near-miss fall.
Indeed, looking up means I am not looking down; hence I would maybe rather sit and stand still; or just remember that, well, I might sometimes switch from virtual (screen) to real (feet & surroundings).

With my third option being training. I certainly can get my right eye to look up while the left one would cover my steps.

Now on to the best bit of the Google Glass. I can take a picture of what I am actually watching, no hands involved thanks to voice control, and this part does actually answers one of my long-lasting frustrations of always missing the capacity to take a picture of a special place or moment while randomly walking around.
Now Google Glass does fulfill my dream.
Let us then speak and shout about taking a picture and sharing it. That is so “übercool” that I now feel like glasses have been the best tool invented ever.
And I am not removing the G-Glass ever … .

Shall I mention this rockstar feeling when walking the streets with glasses – and Glass – on, drawing all kind of curious, tech-savvy, random people. They want to know everything.
How it works, how it feels, how to get them, when to get them and, above all, try them on too. Nevermind the fact that those people want my glasses more than they will ever care about the human me, having a crowd queuing for me is just enough fun added to the use of G-Glass to picture and share it.

So, I love Glass, I eat & drink Glass, I tweet Glass … I live with Glass all day and almost night long.
Whatever the voices in the background, the individuals not appealed by Google Glass, the people not liking it as a technology, etc … Let the haters hate.

And so is life with Glass.

That is until a recent buzz on the Web. When a fellow “follower of the Glass” appears on the Internet showering with Google Glass on.
All of sudden my eyes burned and my brain broke.

In the end, I have come to become some kind of sorely brain-washed addict to Glass. I find myself having eyes looking apart , speaking loud to my glasses in public places, living with technology rather than people, filling my tweet list with only Glass-related bits and just looking like the average freak to the population.
I have become a Google-Glass-addicted screwed-up person.
And now the perfect early adopter for Google’s next product : #Google_Rehab anyone ?

End of the nightmare.  Google Rehab

Oh yes, this post is indeed a small, very poorly written piece of fiction on my dream(ed) test of Google Glass which I did never get from Google and shall indeed never get.

I just tried, in the first place, to look at what usages it would bring and I could see the developments of the actual use of it by the real early-adopters (or receivers of Glass should I say) over the course of the past weeks.
Hence not finding this piece of technology that convincing apart from for very specific – and professional – use. A fair look into this matter (lovers and haters) by Glass users to be found on the BBC website.
I am far more interested, when it comes to connected objects, in the iWatch or the Google Watch which do tend to make more sense, bear a lot more opportunities in them, and which I will be glad to get and beta-test this time.

A last point on Google Glass, not on the actual product itself but on the new usages born out of technology. From a social point of view, I hate the part where this product is voice-controlled.
Mobile phones have brought an awful lot of noise and lack of politeness to the public space already and Google Glass would definitely go further on this path. And that is no innovation at all.

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