Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dominique de Villepin à propos des impacts de la crise des subprimes en France

Petite phrase entendue ce matin à la radio française de Dominique de Villepin sur la crise des subprimes et ses effets en France alors que la plupart des dirigeants de banques françaises essaye de minimiser la crise :
"Quand vous voyiez autant de personnes bien informées venir à la télévision vous informer qu'il n'y a pas de problème, c'est qu'il y en a un énorme".

Très bien vu monsieur le premier ministre.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ryanair ad drives the anger of President Sarkozy

Airline company Ryanair has used an image of French president Sarkozy and partner French Singer Carla Bruni for one of its commercials, that you can see above.

For the text translation: Ryanair for all occasions. Carla Bruni is thinking "with Ryanair, all my family can come to attend my wedding".

This last comment is referring to rumors that Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy might have or may getting married in Italy (which I can't confirm).

I totally understand president Sarkozy. Ryanair is using the president image to promote its company, but without having asked the permission. Ryanaire defense is basically that the picture does not affect private life of the couple because their love story is very mediatic.
But people still have the right to defend their private life, and it should not be touched for commercial purposes.

What is sure, it is that Ryanair has create a huge buzz, and therefore the communication campaign is a success. But however using famous people without their permissions to sell products is reprehensible.

What do you think about this story?

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Developing leadership to generate business

The magazine Fortune has a very interesting article about leadership and companies in his issue of October 1. They have set a ranking of the top companies for leaders in 2007.

The magazine takes into consideration the will of the companies to develop leadership skills among its managers. More important that the ranking, what is important is the will of these companies to develop managers with leadership capacities.
American Express chief Ken Chenault says, "people are our greatest asset." And he is right. Employees are the one who can apply excellence in a business, establish strong relationship with stakeholders and develop new ideas.

This is also a very important step for the company to get employee loyalty, as more and more young employees are looking forward to developing these qualities by entering into a company.

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Why president Bush is confident in economic growth and you should also.

This is Georges W. Bush's speech during his final State of the Union speech in front of the congress.
As the American economy is experiencing major troubles with the subprime crisis, and is on the edge of recession, president Bush asks his citizens to have faith in the American economy: "in a long run Americans can be confident about our economic growth".

That is so weird because I was reading an article about stock exchange that is actually acknowledging George W. Bush vision.

Indeed, people are scared of stock exchange market, especially while as nowadays the market is in crisis. The media report each day what the Dow Jones Industrial Average is doing, but what really matters instead is what stocks do over years: They go up.

If you look at the performance of the stock market over periods of 10 years or more, the stock market is not volatile nore unpredictable. In no 15-year or longer period, in fact, has the U.S. stock market ever failed to generate a profit. But what is important in order to generate this profit it is to stay in the market.

Something even more fascinating.

 During the last 10 years, from 1997 through 2006, the stock market was open 2,516 days, And in that 10 year-period, the S&P 500 Stock Index earned an average of 8.4% per year. That’s pretty good. But that’s if you were invested in whole 10 years. If you take away the 15 days in which the S&P 500 made the most money, you would have ended up with zero return
for the 10 years. The entire profit of the whole 10 years occurred in just 15 days!

So the main lesson is yes, American economy will suffer next year, but keep your assets growing, or take advantage of the low stock exchange market to invest with a long term vision of your investments.

For once that a French guy is agree with George W. Bush ! ;)

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Monday, January 28, 2008

L'industrie de la musique financée par l

Un grand merci à Lola Serres, spécialiste de l'industrie musicale et ancienne du master distribution et relation client, pour l'information.

Le marché de la musique est définitivement en train de changer. Déjà, depuis des années le peer to peer avait attaqué le business model des majors.
Ensuite, l'explosion des communautés en ligne et du web 2.0 ont changé les modes de communication, avec le recours à des sites tels que myspace et maintenant Facebook, pour communiquer sur les artistes.

De même, les progrès technologiques en terme de production font qu'il est aujourd'hui possible de se passer de studio d'enregistrement, via des logiciels tels que le fameux Pro Tools.

Cela a permis à de nombreux artistes de s'auto produire et asseoir leurs succès. On citera Lorie et bien sûr le phénomène Kamini.

Maintenant, on arrive même à un stade où le financement des artistes se fait... Par les fans. Ainsi, des sites tels que My Major Company permettent de produire des albums et Produce My Live permettent de financer une tournée par les fans d'un groupe.

Le web 2.0 et la prise de pouvoir des consommateurs prend tout son sens dans ce secteur. L'arrivée de l'Internet et plus particulièrement sa capacité à créer des communautés en ligne obligent les majors à changer totalement leurs modèles économiques. A quand les mêmes transformations dans les autres secteurs industriels?

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Microsoft Surface & Silverlight 1.0

These videos have been found on Jean-Marie Gall's blog, where you can find (in French) all the news about the new web 2.0 services and website, and also this article about Microsoft Surface technology.

I must admit that it has been the first time I heard about this technology, and how advanced was the development. This will dramatically change our way to use technology at home or during business meetings. This is amazing how you can manipulate the different softwares at your fingertips. That also shows that the tactile technology, the very same one used by Apple for his Iphone, will probably be the next technology used for interface. After the "mouse" revolution, when the computer mouse appeared and revolutionized the way to use a computer, the tactile screen will change our way to interact with the computer. This will also probably change our Internet use, with maybe otherways to code and to build website in order to maximize the interface with this new tactile screen.

We can see that this technology industry is fascinating. We have seen so many innovations over the last few years, with the plasma and LCD technology, the expanding capacities of memory cards and hard drive among others, but more is to come...

What do you think about this technology?

Société générale crisis and customer relationship management

My American audience as the French one has heard about the Societe General scandal last week. I wanted to post an article about it, not to reprimand nor find excuses to the bank, but to see how the bank can manage this crisis.

The story
A young Trader Jérôme Kerviel took advantage of its position in the bank and his knowledge of the security system of the bank to bet millions of euros on the fall of the Stock Exchange market. As he knew most of the control procedure, he has been able to hide his fraud for a while.

The Societe General has lost because of this fraud about 5 billion euros. That is a large scandal, because this money is owned by the bank's clientele, and it is a deep crisis for this bank also because having lost this large amount of money put it in jeopardy, allowing another company to take control of it.

On a marketing and customer relationship management point of view, this case is very interesting. Indeed, this is during crisis that the value of a strong relationship show up. If the bank has been able to build over the years a strong relationship, its customers might be more opened to stay in the bank, and understand the situation.

As a finance department would attributes some assets and liquidity to prevent from exceptional needs or crisis, the customer relationship built in the past will be able to assure that customers will stay with the company.

The president of the Societe General had to launch a large campaign of communication, sending to his shareholders and customers a letter explaining what happened, how it would not affect their accounts, and to apologize. I think that actually, Daniel Bouton is doing a great job.

Will this scandal will have some effects on the bank? That is for sure. They have lost some of their brand equity and also some of their credibility, as a secured bank (which is one of the main purpose of a bank). But as I have said, as long as the bank is trusted by its customers, they will be able to overcome the issue.

Message vidéo pour la cérémonie de remise des diplômes du master distribution et relation client

Je n'ai malheureusement pas pu me rendre à la cérémonie de remise de diplômes du master distribution et relation client de l'université Paris Dauphine, qui se déroula vendredi 24 janvier dernier. J'ai tout de même tenu à envoyer une vidéo pour mes amis et professeurs, afin de leur faire savoir que je pensais à eux. Voici la vidéo.

D'après ce que j'ai entendu, la vidéo a été appréciée, et même suscitée des applaudissements (!). En tout cas, j'aurai été plus qu' heureux de revoir tout le monde, pouvoir faire la fête avec eux après la cérémonie. J'ai hâte de revoir tout le monde!

J'aime de plus en plus le format vidéo, avec lequel je me sens de plus en plus à l'aise. J'espère d'ailleurs faire plus de vidéo pour mon blog.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Real Estate Market in 2008

Jerome Sierra and I organized a presentation about the Real Estate Market in 2008. We welcomed 15 participants, for this event co-organized with the UFE, l'union des francais a l'etranger.

Before talking in further details about the presentation, I would like to talk about this association. The main purpose is to represent expatriated French persons around the world, and to protect their rights as French. Also, the association organize some networking event and work shops, as it was the case yesterday.

One of the main reason I liked this seminar it was thanks to its concept. As it was a small audience, prior to the presentation, Jerome asked to the attendees the questions or topic people wanted to be discussed during the event. Thanks to it, the presentation turned very interactive, with a large part of the audience sharing their questions and point of view.

That was also a great occasion to see the differences between how to buy a house in the US versus France. Also, it pointed out that the situation is not as bad as it seems, and that actually 2008 would be a great opportunity to buy real estate. A lot of misconception has been told by US media seeking for sensational headlines.

It was also a great occasion to meet a lot of French people living in the Bay area. Sharing their experience help me to understand better how they have succeeded in settling here. I am looking foward seeing them soon, and I am strongly considering subscribing to the UFE.

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Go green and save taxes

It is now in the US time to pay taxes, and as one of the way to maximize your savings, you could consider installing sources of renewable energy in your home. Of course it will lower your electricity bills but you can also qualify for residential energy credit between 10 and 30%.

Some ideas:
  • Insulation systems that reduce heat loss/gain
  • Double-Paned exterior windows (including skylights)
  • Exterior doors
  • Metal roofs
  • Residential solar water heating
  • Solar panels
  • Fuel cell power plant
Help the planet while you help your wallet!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

La création d'Ecopolis en France

C'est une mesure phare du rapport Attali. Elle vise à construire au moins 10 écopolis d'ici à 2012 d'une population d'au moins 50 000 habitants intégrant technologies vertes et technologies de communication.

Cette mesure part d'un bon principe: créer des villes vertes modernes comme exemple. Il est d'ailleurs vrai que dans d'autres pays, de tels projets ont déjà vu le jour avec succès. Par contre je reste un peu perplexe sur la réalisation de ce projet. En effet, il reste encore théorique, alors qu'aucun nom de ville et desciption du projet ne sont apparu. Je dois bien admettre que ce type de projet ne peuvent voir le jour en quelques semaines. Donc nous verrons comment avancent ces projets. C'est tout de même une bonne nouvelle pour la France alors que les entreprises vertes ont la côte et que la France avait été qualifié il y a peu de Silicon Valley verte.

Je vois que dans le rapport, on montre Mountain View (Californie) comme exemple, là où je vie. Hônetement, je ne sais pas vraiment si Mountain View et une ville si verte que cela. J'essaierai de vous le faire savoir dans un prochain poste.

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La réforme du rapport Attali en faveur des PME

Le fameux rapport Attali est en train de faire couler beaucoup d'encre en France. Je n'ai pas encore eu le temps de lire en détail le rapport, mais j'ai eu l'occasion de voir que l'une des mesures concernaient les PME.

Le rapport conseil ainsi le gouvernement d'imposer le paiement aux PME à moins de 30 jours à compter de la date de livraison.
Ainsi, le rapport Attali désire aider les petites entreprises, qui ont souvent du mal à imposer leurs modalités de paiement aux grands groupes, en leur assurant un paiement sous 30 jours.

Que pensez-vous de cette mesure?

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France interested by new ways to mesure economical growth

Very interesting article on the blog of French Newspaper, Lefigaro, about the World Economic Forum.

I wanted to write this article in English even if the article is French, because it is important and seems to be a good idea other countries should think about. Indeed, I have the same vision on how to measure a country's performance.

Of course, nowadays we use the famous GDP, which is basically a global turnover of a nation. But Nobel Price Joseph Stiglitz is not quite agree with this idea. He thinks that there are so many different environment impacting of the global health of a country that you can't simply rely on the unique GDP. You also have to take into account the environment, the leisure and the health system of a country.

For example, Joseph Stiglitz says: "Emerging countries feel they are rich thanks to their growth, but their environment is degrading fast... Americans work more and longer than French and European people. That counts. For economists, leisures do not count."

Health in the US:
Another example is the Healthcare. In the US, health expenses count for 16% of GDP, but they are not efficient, compared to other countries. Hence, the amount does not show the real quality.

The idea is therefore to take into account all these important data to see how good is a country.

The Human Development Index
That's the same idea with the Human Development Index created by the United Nations. Every year, the United Nations deliver a report about Human Development, and an Index per country taking into account things such as economy, health care, education, ecology...

I have always been a fan of this report that shows the real performance of a country. For example, you might earn more money as a citizen, but you have to pay for your retirement, for your education, and leisure, whereas in France a lot of these things are free, paid by the government. Actually, the US are not first in the ranking, most of the time won by Nordic countries like Norway.

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Green companies attract more and more Venture Capitalists

You might know that we are facing a large stock exchange crisis these days, but it seems that the venture capitalist world is doing great. First, the investment in French Internet start-up is at its highest point since 2001.

Now, Redherring announces that Cleantech VC funds for $5.1 billion for European and North American green companies in 2007. That means a 40% increase in a year. That shows first that the green business is indeed one of the main trend we can expect for 2008.
But it also shows that green business have high return on investment possibilities.
“Despite strong headwinds building in the global economy and tightening credit markets, the medium and long-term value propositions for clean tech opportunities sustained the sixth consecutive year with unexpectedly robust growth," The Cleantech Group representative Nicholas Parker said in a statement.

One of the main information is that Californian companies are the one that recived the most money. That shows the excellent shape of this part of the world (35% of the investments), as also the high tech industry is rocketing in this area.

At a time when most of the stock exchange places in the world struggle after the mortgage crisis in the US, entrepreneurship and sustainable development are the keys to get out of the crisis.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Is it still necessary to have a personal website?

I am currently up dating my website, that I have to admit, have not really been used since I created it about 2 years ago now. The main purpose of this website, at his debut, was to introduce myself to possible recruiters. It was also to control my image on search engine.

Why I created my website
At this time, I was already owning a blog, where I was posting notes on a slow basis. When I started created my first website, with my limited knowledge of html, and my will to introduce myself in details, I was convinced that a website had way more advantages than a blog. I was considering a blog only a simple way for people who did not know how to program to own a website.

But actually I was way wrong. I did not know much about the blogosphere. I created my blog in order to introduce some of my thoughts about marketing and business, but I had actually never visited a blog before!

Why I decided to blog
I actually started to blog frequently less than a year ago. Thus I met Henri Kaufman during my master at Dauphine, which really introduced me to blogging and the blogosphere, and then I really started my blogger life. I was amazed by the great potential of this communication tools, and I was noticing that a way larger audience was following me, and that was more convenient to up date than a website.

But now I am on my edge to look for a new job, and that is time to implement a new Internet strategy to interest potential employers. Therefore, I decided to create a new website.

However, a lot of bloggers don't have any websites, and use their blog as their personal marketing medium. But I have a question: is it still necessary to have a personal website while blogging?

Website VS Blog
On a technical point of view, everybody knows the power of blogging on SEO versus a simple website. But on the other hand, one of the problem of blogging platform is that the information is constantly on the move, and what is important to introduce yourself is also your accomplishment. For instance, on a blog, this is very difficult to have static (but important) information about yourself.

For instance, I would like to have on my website a complete description of my background and knowledges, and also some of the work I have accomplished. This is kind of difficult to have that on a blog.

I will let you know how my website is doing. I still have a lot of work to do on it though.

I still deeply believe that blogging is the best way to communicate on a personal prospective, but is a website important too? What do you think about it?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lorsque les Etats-Unis tombe dans un piège abscons

Je suis en train de lire un très bon livre appellé "petit traité de manipulation à l'usage des hônnetes gens".
C'est un très bon ouvrage illustrant les principales techniques de manipulation mais aussi les techniques pour les détourner. J'en suis pour l'instant qu'au premier chapitre, mais je trouve déjà les procédés très intéressants.
L'un des premiers concepts évoqués est le piège abscons. il s'agît en fait d'un piège lié à une succession de décisions. Après avoir pris en effet une décision, on a l'habitude de s'y tenir, et donc il existe une certaine inhérence de la décision.

L'un des meilleurs exemples du livre est celui de la guerre du Vietnam, mais pour le rendre un peu plus contemporain, je vais plutôt utiliser celui de la guerre d'Irak, qui possède les mêmes ressort.

Au départ, il y a une décision, subjective, prise par le gouvernement américain: nous allons attaquer l'Irak. Cette décision est forte, et, comme je l'ai dit auparavant, nous avons tendance à rester sur nos bases. A la suite d'une décision où un individu à dépenser de l'effort, que ce soit pécunier, en réflexion ou en temps, il est difficile de revenir en arrière. Cet individu à plutôt tendance à continuer dans sa lancée, en espérant que l'addition des efforts dépensés va le rapprocher de son but.

C'est le piège abscons. Il y a une escalade de décisions qui sont liés à la première. Ainsi les Etats Unis ont attaqué l'Irak, dépensé énormément de moyens militaires et économiques pour relancer le pays, et à cause de cette escalade, il est difficile de revenir en arrière.

C'est la même chose qui s'est passé au Vietnam, où les États Unis se sont engagés dans un combat dont il ne savait pas la durée, et à l'issu plus qu' incertaine.

Il existe évidemment un moyen pour ne pas succomber à ce piège. Le plus simple est de fixer avant de prendre sa première décision une limite à ne pas dépenser. Par exemple, le temps de l'engagement, ou bien le nombre de militaire, ou encore les dépenses accordées à l'effort de guerre.

Le piège abscons est très dangereux, car il est bien souvent difficile de s'en sortir une fois tombé dedans.

Utilisation de Facebook pour le recrutement

J'en avais déjà parlé en anglais ici il y a quelques semaines. Maintenant, c'est les Echos qui en parlent.
Utiliser Facebook pour recruter peut se révéler astucieux dans l'objectif d'informer de potentiels candidats sur une entreprise. Ainsi, si l'Oréal ouvre un groupe pour recruter des jeunes, il peut y discuter cursus, potentiel, opportunités de carrière.

Cependant, je ne suis pas sûr du bien fondé des chasseurs de têtes utilisant Facebook à ces fins. En effet, Facebook est tout de même avant tout un espace privée, avec des informations qui sont loin d'être de l'ordre professionnel. En quoi le nombre d'ami, ou bien le score à Travel Quizz va aider un chasseur de tête à se faire une idée d'un candidat.

Il faut conserver cette spécificité. Donc oui à Facebook pour dialoguer, discuter, exposer des opportunités de carrières, mais non à une recherche des profils pour établir des profils de candidats.
Que pensez vous de l'utilisation de Facebook pour le recrutement?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My new year resolutions

It has been a while I was going to share with you my new year resolution. Every new year, this is a great occasion to get rid of bad habits and to adopt new resolutions. This is sort of a ritual, a great way to leave the out in the old and the in with the new.

This is my main resolutions I have established:

1 Learn Spanish:
 My girlfriend had the excellent idea to offer me this christmas a spannish book, with exercises and CDs to learn Spanish. Indeed, Spanish is very important to me. First of all, my girlfriend's parents, who live in New York, don't speak english. This is then difficult to speak with them, and that is vital that I have to learn Spanish. Secondly, Spanish is a very important language, as it is the second language here in the US with a large community of Hispanic people. Speaking Spanish is therefore on the American continent a very important asset.

Thus, I have home work everyday, I study my lessons and have a test every weekend. I think I am on a pretty good track.

2 Get more organized:
One of my problem was that I had a lot of problem of organization. Between all my different activities, I was sometimes getting lost, having problem organizing my priorities and tracking deadlines. I then had a large work I started before the new year, to get my things in order, and implementing organization strategies. I must say it works pretty good so far, but I still need to keep with the good work.

3 Help the alumni association of the distribution et relation client master of Paris Dauphine:
I have always been willing to help my master in developing an alumni network. I started it somehow by creating groups and hubs on different on line network platform (linkedIn, Viadeo and Facebook). I have learned couple of months ago that actual students of the master were on their way to create the association. I will keep helping them, by my knowledge of how network groups work, and by helping them also building both the master and the association websites. I have already some good contacts with some of the new students, and I feel great about the project

4 Finding a great job starting in June 2008:
I will end up my internship in the US in June 2008 and then I would like to find another job to go on with my career. Will it be in the US? Will it be in France? Or somewhere else? I don't know but for sure I don't want to close any doors. I will search for a job actively here in the US as I am settled here for now, but I don't have any bad feelings about coming back to Europe.

What do you think about my resolutions? What are yours?

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Yesterday dinner with my friend Kevin

Yesterday I had the pleasure to have dinner with my friend Kevin Paulsen, who was in the bay area for business.
I have worked with Kevin while I was in Iowa, working for PB Leiner. I was his marketing intern at this time. He helped me a lot while I was there, poor foreign guy without a car and underage (I was 20 at this time), lost in a state I did not know much about, except it was turning very cold during winter.

This has been a lot of fun meeting Kevin one more time, being able to talk about the good times we had.

This experience in Iowa has been very precious in my career. It allow me to understand a lot about business to business (b2b) was working, how to always cite sources. That has been one of the first time I have actually seen the first concepts of negotiation, complex commercial decision with multiple factors.

Thanks for all of that Kevin.

I also learned a lot about gelatin and how it is used. That is very interesting to see that you can find gelatin in the pharmaceutical, food, photo and health industry at the same time! People always make fun of me because I explain them how important gelatin is in a lot of different industries.

I also met at this occasion Dirk De Cooman, working also for PB gelatin in Belgium. That was very interesting discussions on the difference between the US and Europe (as you know this is a vast topic). Someone very interesting.

This has been a very good dinner, and I hope I will have the chance to see Kevin before I fly back to France.

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the 10/20/30 rule of Powerpoint presentation

This is a very good tip given by Guy Kawasaki, venture capitalist, who is used to watch plenty of power point presentations. The rule is simple:
- 10 Slides
- 20 minutes
- Font maximum 30

What I like about the idea is that most of the time people try to put as much information as they can in a power point presentation, thinking that the most the best, but actually it is the totally.

I consider myself as a specialist of the Power Point presentation, and this is true that a good power point presentation is also based on the fact not to rely too much on the presentation.
You should almost be able to present it without your powerpoint. Indeed, this is more a support, to keep track of the structure of the presentation and also to animate it a little bit, with cool animations, pictures or graph.

So to have a great presentation, work it hard. And as I always say, sometimes it is harder to make something simple, but always better. Look at Picasso or Mozart while he composes a letter to Mary...

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Réaction suite à la mort de Carlos

Je viens d'apprendre avec beaucoup d'émoi la mort du chanteur Carlos aujourd'hui en lisant

Cette mort me rend profondément triste, car j'estime beaucoup la personne, qui a toujours réussi à garder la bonne humeur et une gentillesse extra ordinaire.

J'ai un souvenir "personnel", puisque j'ai rencontré en personne Carlos. J'étais alors étudiant à l'Ipag Paris, qui se trouve à Saint Germain des Près, quartier où résidait Carlos où il était d'ailleurs l'un des plus illustres résidant. J'étais alors en train de vendre des stylos, en tant que premier année, afin de pouvoir financer mon voyage d'intégration. Cette expérience était difficile, fait de beaucoup de refus et d'effort pour vendre ces stylos, dans la rue, au croisement de la Rue de Rennes et du boulevard Saint Germain, en face du magasin Cartier.

Et c'est là où j'ai eu l'occasion de rencontrer Carlos. Le chanteur m'a alors très gentiment serré la main et souris, et il m'a même acheter plusieurs stylos, m'aidant fortement pour mon financement. Je me souvient qu'il m' avait donner environ 20€ et que j'étais en train de compter le nombre de stylo à lui donner, et il m'a dit gentiment "non, c'est bon, j'en prends 5, merci et bonne chance".

Franchement, j'étais plus qu' agréablement surpris et cette rencontre restera toujours dans ma mémoire. Je tiens à rendre hommage à cet homme qui a réussi grâce à sa bonne humeur, grâce sa joie de vivre. Merci beaucoup pour tout se bonheur.

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L'investissement dans les entreprises de l'Internet au plus haut depuis 2001 en France

Très bonne nouvelle hier du Journal du net, nous annonçant que les sommes investient par les capitales risqueurs français sont au plus haut depuis 2001.

Je suis très content de cette nouvelle. Les investisseurs français critiquent souvent la France pour son manque de capital, ce qui rend difficile la création d'entreprise (ce qui est, il faut l'avouer, tout de même vrai).

"Le secteur des technologies va bien, commente Philippe Collombel, partner chez Partech International, investisseur dans Dailymotion. La qualité des dossiers est bonne, avec des entrepreneurs qui en sont à leur deuxième ou troisième création d'entreprise ; le contexte économique est meilleur, avec une adoption croissante des technologies par le grand public, et donc une vraie demande ; enfin, nous sommes à un point d'équilibre entre l'offre et la demande de capitaux. Le financement des start-ups n'est toujours pas facile, cependant les bons dossiers trouvent des financements. En parallèle, cela a été dur mais les fonds ont compris la leçon des années 2002 - 2003, et sont aujourd'hui très sélectifs. Ils ne sont pas prêts à pratiquer la course aux prix, qui restent par conséquent raisonnables."

On voit donc de très bonnes idées, des fonds disponibles, et on peut se réjouir que la France retrouve sa capacité à créer, qui a souvent été stoppée par le passé par les faibles ressources disponibles.

Some thoughts about yesterday seminar

I organized and attended to Yulin Lee's seminar yesterday, about how to plan personal finance.
This presentation was very interesting because it was introducing the main concept about personal finance management, on different perspective, thanks to a mortgage planner, a financial planner and a tax advisor.

Here are some of the key points of the presentation.

Don't put all your eggs in the same basket:
Most of the time, when you invest, as you know a specific market or industry, you keep your focus on it. For example, if you are from the pharmaceutical industry, you will try to get the best companies of the market. But you have to enlarge the picture, because in case of a market crash, you will be happy to have some other shares invested in other industries keeping growing to counter balance the loss.

In the Silicon Valley, people have a big egg in a basket:
Indeed, a lot of Silicon Valley residents have large stock options, worth sometimes couple of million dollars. These options are centered on one company and, of course one industry, the High Tech. This is a very dangerous situation, especially because the High Tech business is highly speculative, as we have seen with the Internet crash couple of years ago. Therefore, it is primordial to have your money balanced between different industries.

House rich, cash poor:
This situation occurs when you own a property, especially in California, worth a million dollar for example, but you don't have no cash. In this situation, you are in big trouble, because if you lose your job or you have an unplanned expense coming up, you won't be able to face it. Cash is king, you must have a cash reserve in order to have a financial security.
Don't forget cahs is king. Cash is what allow you to jump on an occasion (whether it is an investment or a big expense) but also to support you during by time. Because you might have an equity of 1 million dollars, but to access it while you are in need, you will have to sell your house... So plan it and try to get some equity out at least to face wisely some possible issues.

The power of having a tax advisor
People don't really see the value of a tax advisor. If you manage well your taxes, you will be able to save an extensive amount of money.

There are three different persons that you can give your money to after you pass away:
  1. Your familly
  2. Charity
  3. The government
Who wants to give it to uncle Sam? This is then important to see it, and to forecast it.

The seminar was very interesting and people seemed to learn a lot. I did.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Michel Edouard Leclerc met la pression sur la vache qui rit

Michel Edouard Leclerc a toujours été un acteur important du monde de la distribution. Il s'est d'ailleurs toujours engagé dans un combat contre la "vie chère", et toujours proposer à ses consommateurs les prix les plus bas possibles. Cette stratégie a permis à E. Leclerc de devenir le premier distributeur de produits culturels, en cassant les prix des disques et livres.

Aujourd'hui Michel Edouard Leclerc a décidé de prendre des actions pour défendre le pouvoir d'achat de ses consommateurs (c'est en effet la mode en ce moment de parler de ce pouvoir d'achat). Il chasse la vache qui rit, comme nous l'explique

Le président de l'entreprise de distribution a établit une liste de 6 produits qu'il estime trop cher, et donc a décidé de leur imposer un ultimatum au 1er février, pour les forcer à baisser leurs prix.
"C'est le cas du fromage «La vache qui rit» mais aussi des sirops Pulco, du produit nettoyant «Ajax», de deux crèmes de Nivea et de L'Oréal, et des gâteaux de Brossard.

On sait tous le pouvoir de négociation des distributeurs et aussi les négociations âpres se déroulant entre les industriels et les enseignes. Ceci est encore une belle illustration, avec un peu de démagogie de la part de M. Leclerc, ce servant du sujet du moment, la lutte pour le pouvoir d'achat, pour établir une belle opération de communication.

On se souvient que les distributeurs peuvent parfois arriver à retirer de la distribution des marques phares. Ainsi, il y a quelques années, Carrefour avait décidé de retirer Evian, marque qui est vite revenu dans la négociation après.

Je voulais aussi vous inviter à lire l'article sur le blog de Michel Edouard Leclerc lui-même, expliquant sa décision.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

When information will be like money

Very interesting article about the evolution of money and how it is related to the use by companies of personal information. What is sure, it is that we are going toward some new institutions that will have as a mission to protect and manage our information and electronical identities. Afterward, will it be by companies such as Google? Hopefully not. I think a world institution will appear that will assure constant confidentiality and security to the transfer of information.

Thank you Christopher Carfi for this great article.

Blogged with Flock

My prediction 3 2008 will be the year of sustainable development

2007 has probably been the year of the bilan observation, where global warming and ecological issues have emerged. We have seen Al Gore alerting the international community and wining a Nobel Prize for it, we have seen in France Nicolas Hulot and the different candidate at the presidency taking very much into consideration these issues, and we also have seen how Toyota has been able to take the first place in the car industry by providing eco-friendly cars thanks to its hybrid range.

2008 will be the year of action. We will see more and more companies like Google taking steps to reduce their pollution, we will see new profitable and fast-growing companies developing, probably customers will get more and more into consideration sustainable development products.

I personally believe that sustainable development will change deeply the way businesses are ran, how we market products and also companies' processes.

Pourquoi Microsoft ne va pas lancer de concurrent à l'Iphone

Merci à Jean Marie Gall pour l'information. Microsoft ne va en effet pas lancer de concurrent à l'Iphone.

Bill Gates a annoncé que Microsoft allait se concentrer sur le développement de Windows Mobile, qui équipe déjà un grand nombre de Smart Phones. Je voulais profiter de l'occasion pour  vous faire part de mes explications à ce choix stratégique de ne pas concurrencer le nouveau produit phare d'Apple.

Le Savoir Faire
Microsoft n'est pas une entreprise de Hardware. Il est vrai qu'ils se sont lancer dans le jeux vidéo avec succès et la Xbox, mais cela reste une entreprise de software, c'est à dire de logiciels.
On peut aussi voir que l'offensive de Windows avec le Zune sur le marché du MP3 s'est soldé avec un échec.
 Si Microsoft veut créer son nouveau téléphone, il va donc falloir chercher des partenaires ou bien développer des usines de productions. Ceci rend tout de même les choses compliquées.

Microsoft est déjà présent dans le secteur de la téléphonie mobile
En effet, Microsoft est présent depuis plusieurs années dans le marché en proposant Windows Mobile, un OS venant avec les fameux Outlook. A contrario, Apple n'était pas présent sur ce marché avant de lancer son Iphone. Pour développer l'utilisation de Windows Mobile, Microsoft a développé des partenariats et des contrats avec les constructeurs de téléphone pour pouvoir installé ses logiciels sur leurs appareils.

L'opération risquait de compromettre Windows Mobile
Si Microsoft lance un téléphone mobile, cela veut dire qu'il veut concurrencer les entreprises avec qui elle a des partenariats via Windows Mobile. Il est sûr que celles-ci n'apprécieraient pas forcément cette stratégie, et considéreraient certainement de nouvelles alternatives. Pas vraiment le meilleur moment de se lancer la-dedans, surtout que Google lance Android, un système d'exploitation et une suite de logiciels gratuits sensés révolutionné le marché.

Vous aurez donc bien compris que Microsoft n'a pas forcément intérêt à jouer à ce jeu. De toute façon, n'oublions pas que Microsoft à basé son succès en établissant des partenariats avec des constructeurs alors qu' Apple a toujours adopté une stratégie verticale, c'est à dire construire et programmer lui même toutes les composantes.
J'attends en tout cas beaucoup de ce nouveau Windows Mobile, en espérant que les problèmes de navigation internet soient résolus.

Blogged with Flock

La France redevient la 5ème puissance mondiale

La France redevient la 5ème puissance mondiale, en dépassant le Royaume-Unis d'une coutre tête (71 millions d'euros). Ceci est très certainement due comme l'explique l'article du Figaro à la force de l'euro comparée à celle de la Livre. En tout cas, cela fait plaisir, surtout en ce moment alors que tout le monde nous explique que la France est un pays en déclin. Je crois en la force de notre pays, de notre économie et de notre éducation. Alors bravo à nous les français, et soyez confiant dans l'avenir, nous restons l'un des principaux pays en terme économique.
source ici

Monday, January 14, 2008

What happen when companies don't protect their customers?

I had a very interesting conversation with Eric, a friend of mine who is lawyer. Someone was talking about the infamous trial in the US, where people sue a company for a yes or a no. For example, we can cite the famous Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants, where a jury awarded $2.9 million to a woman who burned herself with hot coffee. A lot of people are suing nowadays companies for a yes or a no, hoping for a large revenue out of it.

As a European, this seems insane. How could this person not know her coffee was too hot? This is her fault, she should have seen it, or at least expecting it, from a warm beverage.

But Eric had a very interesting point of view. He says that as companies have failed to protect their customers of products defects, they had to find some ways to protect themselves, and that is the main purpose of law: to protect people. Therefore, customers started to attack companies who were lacking of communication about their products, or was not paying attention enough to their product qualities which could cause at some point some injuries. I found this interesting piece of evidences that McDonalds had some problems with its coffees prior to the trial.

Eric also said that in Europe, we have way much regulations, with a series of European Union and national tests and certification, which are supposed to make sure of the product safety. But even with all of these tests, we all know some products might have defects.

Companies are responsible of their product and services, and must make sure they are not dangerous for their users. Therefore, that results in a higher effort to communicate, to give all the information the customer need to assure its safety.

Un blog spécialisé dans la réclamation

Voici un blog que j'ai découvert hier, spécialisé dans la lettre de réclamation et le contre-pouvoir des consommateurs-roi sur les marques-reines.
Ce blog est, et présente de manière concrète des exemples où les consommateurs ont réussi à faire pression sur des marques pour faire valoir leurs droits. Ainsi, on peut voir une vidéo sur Youtube concernant un vol en retard, ou bien des exemples où la marque à du céder face aux bon droit de son consommateur.

Une très bonne initiative, qui permet de voir comment les révolutions technologiques ont pu développer le pouvoir de "nuisance" des consommateurs, en leur permettant de s'exprimer, de communiquer et de faire savoir des pratiques d'entreprise souvent douteuse, ou tout du moins loi d'être sans reproche. Que ce soit les blogs, les vidéos sur youtube ou bien les groupes sur Facebook, le consommateur possède les outils pour se faire entendre. Je vais probablement rajouter ce blog à mes flux RSS.

So Speak up customer!

Blogged with Flock

Friday, January 11, 2008

My prediction 2: 2008 will be the year of mobility

We have seen that the Iphone has for sure be The product of 2007, but there is yet to come. Of course, the 3G Iphone (if it is launched...) will probably appear in the middle of next year. But also, we expect the Google's Android to show up, whereas Blackberry targets more and more the BtoC market, offering affordable models.

Microsoft also announced this week during the CES the launch of a new Windows Mobile version, expanding its web surfing possibilities.

More and more wireless networks
Mobility will also be available thanks to the development of Wifi hotspots and the WiMax's ones we can expect for the end of the year.
Phone companies will also become more and more aggressive, offering affordable "data" plans, allowing the use of Internet on mobile phone (which was pretty expensive so far). With this expansion of both the network and the affordability of the mobile Internet consumption.

We can also expect the social network phenomenon to move on mobile devices, with new interfaces, easy to use. On Facebook you also have a functionality allowing your network to know where you are (for example, Mountain View, CA). In Japan, this kind of services are already common.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Créer son entreprise devient un jeu d'enfant

Une très bonne mesure de l'état (et oui, cela existe) vient d'être entrepris pour faciliter la création d'entreprise. En effet, j'entends souvent autour de moi des gens se plaindre de la difficulté de créer des entreprises en France. Administration compliqué, le poid des charges sociales, et le peu de dynamisme des français sont souvent des raisons annoncées pour expliquer ces difficultés.

"Plus de 75% des compagnies américaines, 3/4 des sociétés anglaises et 70% des entreprises espagnoles sont des indépendants contre moins de 50% en France"

C'est chiffre montre en effet la difficulté des français à entreprendre et à se mettre à leurs compte. Je vis actuellement dans la Silicon Valley aux Etats Unis, et je dois dire que la culture entreprenariale ici est exceptionnelle. Tout le monde est son propre patron. Je pense que le dynamisme de cette région des Etats Unis est justement basé sur ces TPE.

En tout cas, la France à décidé d'alléger le poid administratif pour lancer sa propre entreprise.

Pour en savoir plus sur le sujet, je vous conseil de lire cet article du Figaro, ou bien le rapport Hurel, qui fait état des propositions qui seront étudiées par le gouvernement.

My prediction 1: 2008 will be the year of video content on Internet

2008 will see video content as one of the main trend in the Internet. The explosion of Youtube and Dailymotion, helped by the development of high speed Internet connection will rise the number of people using the Internet to watch videos.

We will also see video as a conversation tool, giving more interactivity to the instant messaging systems. Indeed, we see companies like Seesmic coming up, which allow communities to have asymmetric conversations. Also video email will probably be more frequent in the future.

One of the main development will be the mobile video recording, allowing users to quickly send some videos from their mobile phones on the Internet, to share it with their communities.

My first opinion about Seesmic

I hadthe chance on yesterday to try Seesmic, the new video-social network, founded by Loic Lemeur, a French serial entrepreneur.

At first, when I came to see the website, I was kind of feeling intimidated to send a video of myself to strangers, just trying to set up a conversation. so then I plugged in my webcam, and then started to post. After couple of minutes, I had the first responses of different users, welcoming me, which was pretty cool. I deeply believe this would be a great way to learn some new languages.

I tried to find out people who wanted to speak with me in Spanish, as one of my resolution for this year is to learn this beautiful language. A lot of people were reacting pretty good about the idea!

The down side is that the service is very slow and bugging at high influence time. After 6 pm, probably when the west coast finished their job and Japanese users were waking up, the service was very slow. I had to disconnect couple of times and having my web browser bugging. But this is an Alpha version!! I understand these problems, and you have to deal with for now. I also believe that the development of optical cable network and very high speed Internet (in France we have 50 mb/s) will smooth all of these issues. But you need a high speed connection that is for sure.

This service is very addictive. You start chatting, finding interesting people, interacting with them. Even though the product is not done at all, it lacks a lot of functions, as a web browser or the ability to create groups, I think that using this service make you realize how innovative the service is, and how it has created a new way to interact, thanks to the Internet possibilities.

Wait for me guys! I will come back soon on Seesmic!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My predictions for 2008

That is a sort of ritual at the beginning of each years, you have some new resolutions to start the new year right, and also you speculate, or maybe try to guess the next main trends. As Nostradamus, the famous predictor, I have also tried to figure out what will be the main innovations for this new year, based on my knowledge and expectations.

You will then find three main topics that will illustrate 2008.

Les chaînes de télévision ont tout de même subit l'attaque du web

Suite à mon article sur la suppressions de la publicité pour les chaînes du service publique, j'ai lu l'article du sur le sujet. On peut notamment y trouver le graphique suivant, montrant les cours à la bourse de TF1.

On peut voir quand même que les chaînes de télévisions ont du mal à trouver un second souffle. Alors que la publicité de la grande distribution à la télévision devait aider l'industrie à repartir, on voit que la fin 2007 n'a pas été brillante.

Je pense qu'on peut attribuer cela dans une certaine mesure à la migration de beaucoup de budgets vers l'Internet, où les budgets publicitaires ont exposé, ainsi que les possibilités, notamment avec les plateformes de réseaux sociaux.
Quel avenir pour la télévision en terme de recette publicitaire? Ce qui est sûr, c'est que la télévision va devoir migrer vers le web et revoir la conception de ses produits afin d'avoir des sources de revenus venant du web.

France télévision bientôt privé de publicité

Quelle information aujourd'hui sur CBNews! Le président Nicolas Sarkozy voudrait en effet supprimer la publicité sur les chaines de télévisions publiques, soit France 2, France 3, France 5 et maintenant France 4! Il est vrai que déjà la publicité sur les chaînes du services publiques sont limités. Ainsi, on ne peut pas faire de coupure publicitaire au milieu d'un programme.

France télévision touche tout de même 800 millions d'euros en 2007! Alors comment comblé ce trou dans les rémunérations et garder un service publique de qualité?

"Pour le président, le financement pourrait alors être assuré "par une taxe sur les recettes publicitaires accrue des chaînes privées et par une taxe infinitésimale sur le chiffre d'affaires de nouveaux moyens de communication, comme l'accès à internet ou la téléphonie mobile". Les ressources publiques du groupe devraient s'élever à 1,945 Md€ en 2008."

C'est tout de même bizarre qu'un président plutôt libéral désire subventionner un service publique, et de plus, pour cela créer une nouvelle taxe! Enfin il est vrai que l'on parle tout de même d'un produit culturel, qui comme je l'ai déjà dit ici change les choses. Mais c'est tout de même bizarre.

"Après cette déclaration, les actions de TF1 et de M6 n'ont cessé de grimper à la Bourse de Paris. TF1 a gagné 9,94%, M6 4,49% tandis que Bouygues, maison mère de TF1, prenait 3,07%." Normal, une partie des budgets publicitaires qui étaient dédiés à ces marques seront réatribué sur les autres chaînes. Cela va bien sûr faire augmenter les prix.

"Par ailleurs, au cours de cette même conférence de presse, Nicolas Sarkozy a appelé de ses vœux la mise en œuvre d'un grand plan de modernisation de la distribution de la presse et confirmé qu'il était favorable à l'adoption d'une loi sur la protection des sources des journalistes. Enfin, concernant l'audiovisuel extérieur le président a souhaité qu'une nouvelle chaîne appelée France Monde, regroupant les moyens de TV5, France 24 et Radio France Internationale, soit créée "cette année" et qu'elle ne diffuse qu'en "français"."

Mon avis
Honnêtement, je vois mal l'intérêt. Je pense qu'il était normal que le service publique possède un statut particulier, mais je suis pour la publicité sur le service publique. Je pense que c'est l'une des conditions nécessaires pour pouvoir diffuser et produire des programmes de qualité. A l'heure où les droits de diffusion de certaines émissions et compétitions explosent, le service publique doit avoir la capacité financière pour financer et acquérir des produits de qualité.

De plus, je suis sûr qu'il y a une idée derrière la tête de Sarkozy (comme toujours). Mais là, laquelle? Je ne sais pas vraiment. Pour aider les entreprises privées à se développer, en développant ainsi leurs chiffres d'affaires? Je ne pense pas que le service publique aurait vraiment fait une menace à ces grands groupes de télévision appartenant à de grands industriels comme Bolloré, Bouygues ou encore Vivendi. Est ce que cela va signifier une diminution du nombre de chaînes publiques (il est vrai qu'il y en a quand même beaucoup, 4, toute disponible sur le réseau non cablé!!), je pense que c'est un risque à envisager. Surtout si on estime que cela pourrait amener de nouveaux acteurs privés sur le réseau hertziens.

Et vous qu'en pensez vous?

Pour en savoir plus : vous pouvez vous rendre sur l'article lefigaro

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Vers un CRM collaboratif? nous annonce la création d'une offre "Partner Subscription Option" par Siebel.
Cette nouvelle offre va permettre à une entreprise d'échanger une partie des données présentes dans son CRM avec des partenaires, afin de pouvoir faire des campagnes marketing communes.

Ainsi, le CRM devient de plus en plus souple, et peut dialoguer avec d'autres entreprises, ce qui le rend d'autant plus attractif.

Vous pouvez retrouver l'annonce ici.

L'utilisation de Netvibes par les entreprises

Uploaded by mc21blog

Voici une très bonne interview effectuée par Mickael Guillois, spécialiste du web 2.0 et des nouveaux comportements d'achat. Ce qui est pour moi particulièrement intéressant dans cette interview est la façon dont les entreprises peuvent se servir de Netvibes pour d'une part créer de la valeur ajoutée pour ses clients, et d'autres parts, de rentrer dans la vie virtuelle personnelle du consommateur, en créant des widgets qui se retrouveront sur les pages des consommateurs.

Je vous invite aussi à visiter les univers créent par les marques:

Monday, January 07, 2008

Europe 2 devient Virgin Radio

Je profite de ce nouveau poste pour écrire à partir de l'éditeur de texte de Flock dont j'ai parlé précédemment (en anglais).

Je viens d'apprendre sur le blog de Sébastien BOUCHINDHOMME que la radio Europe 2, une des principales radios musicales en France, allait devenir Virgin Radio. De même, Europe 2 TV sera renommé Virgin TV. On assiste donc à une uniformisation des marques du portefeuille Virgin.

Il est vrai que plus une marque est présente, plus elle est forte, cependant je m'interroge quand même su le réel intérêt de l'opération. En effet, il ne faut pas confondre les genres.

Une marque peut être, il est vrai, transversale (c'est à dire porté sur plusieurs produits et-ou sur plusieurs industries) lorsque celle-ci est forte et portant des valeurs porteuses. Par exemple, Disney vend des vêtements, des parcs d'attractions et des films sous le même nom, car ces produits sont porteurs de rêves, d'un univers fabriqué avec attention tout au long de la vie de l'entreprise. Cependant, lorsqu'elle investit dans la télévision sportive, elle choisit le nom ESPN.

Il est vrai que Virgin est une marque phare de l'univers musical avec la chaîne de magasin, des productions musicales, mais est-ce que cela suffit à tuer une marque aussi porteuse qu'Europe 2?
L'un des principaux problèmes que j'ai avec ce changement de nom est que Virgin est un producteur de musique. En tant que radio musicale, Virgin radio va perdre en crédibilité certainement, déjà que la plupart des radios sont mises à mal pour leurs choix de programmation souvent décidé sur des critères commerciaux.

Je pense que Virgin aurait du rester une marque ombrelle, un peu comme Procter et Gamble, car Virgin, qui vend aussi bien des billets d'avions que du soda ou des forfaits mobiles, fait plus référence à une multinationale qu'à des valeurs proches de ses consommateurs.

Et vous, que pensez vous de ce changement de nom?  

Blogged with Flock

Friday, January 04, 2008

Flock a 2.0 web browser

I had the chance to have lunch today with Erwan Loisant, a friend of mine working for Flock, a web browser company located in Mountain View, CA.

It has been a while I wanted to write an article about their product, Flock, which I use on a daily basis. Flock might not be as known as Internet Explorer or Firefox, but it is in my opinion, the best web browser in the market.

What makes Flock so special?
Flock has been built on the Mozilla technologies, the one used by Firefox. The main specificity of Flock it is that it is a social web browser. It has incorporated all the different components required and needed for online social networking.

Indeed, you have a RSS feed aggregator. One of the cool new function is the people sidebar, where you can see for example the last Twitter of your contacts. You also have the same with your friends activity on Facebook. When you start using this component, you can't stop, as it really helps you organizing your social network activities.

If you are a blogger, they have a blog editor function allowing you to quickly write an article. This is pretty fast and avoid you to log on your blogging platform, so that saves you time somehow.

On a business point of view
On a business point of view, I truly believe that they have an innovative product. I also think they have been (or are) at the right place at the right time. Indeed, they already master and developed a navigator favorating online social networks, which will for sure be the main trend of the Internet for the next years to come.

In my opinion, web 2.0 and online social network are more than trends and will be the bases of the new Internet, and therefore, the Flock initiative make sense.

Next challenges, and my vision of what Flock should do
This is my humble opinion, but I think that the company should focus on these two topics. First, The next challenge of the company would be to develop some mobile devices interfaces, to compete against Internet explorer on Windows mobile for instance. That would also help people using social network on-the-go, which is difficult now with the existing web interface for mobile phones.

Secondly, I think Flock should try to develop a "netvibes" kind of personal page. Thus one of the problem with the RSS feed aggregator is that it is stuck on your computer, and you can't have access to it on another machine. The idea would be to create a Flock personal page, that would allows users to find their RSS feeds and other components on the go, on another computer for example.

I would suggest you to give it a shot, as I believe it really helps organizing and surfing through your different social networks.

Fake Facebook president driving French Media Crazy

I haven't seen a lot of reactions in the US to this big hoax that happened in France, so I wanted to inform my english speaking audience.

In France, Indeed, LCI, which is a "French CNN", announced that Arash Derambarsh, a young French law student, has been elected via a facebook application (from a third party though) "president of Facebook". Basicly, the story tells us he has been elected by Facebook users and then holds know the president of Facebook position. He can then send emails to anyone, and can reach two times more people than Nicolas Sarkozy (referring to the number of Facebook users).

Most of French media published the information, but it was actually a hoax! This person has never been elected president of Facebook. This story shows nevertheless that French reporters don't check their sources enough!

I am sorry I could not provide you some english content about the story, but I did not find any. Also, a special thanks to Jeremie Berrebi where I first found the info.

When customers save the company

I have written an article in French couple of days ago on this blog about my business school ranking, according to challenges, one of the main business magazine in France.
But as I was reading the ranking and the comments they had on the different schools, one of them triggered my attention. It is PARIS Ecole des dirigeants et créateurs d'entreprise.

Indeed, I paid specific attention to this school not because it is tied with mine, but because this school has been saved from bankruptcy by the 250 former alumni that bought the school.

That is something amazing! That means these former students had such an affection to their school and also faith in this program they decided to save it and help it grow.
That also reminds me the case of Manchester United, the soccer team in England. As the team was on its way to be bought by an American billionaire, fans of the team started to buy the shares of the company in order to prevent it.

While customers start understanding and realizing your purpose, they could do anything for you, even saving you from shutting down your business. To be so, that means you also need to develop a strong relationship with them, to create an affective link with them.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

How to Launch a Service With No Ad Budget: 5 Steps to Grow Leads With Email & Blogs

Great article about how succeeded in the highly competitive market of car dealers, by using emailing and blogging to spread its brand and to recruit car dealers. You also have some links to show you the extact emails sent to do so.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Nouvelle année, nouveau site pour l'Ipag

Une note rapide alors que je viens de voir que mon école de commerce, l'Ipag, vient de changer l'interface de son site Internet. C'est la troisième version du site Internet en trois ans. Cependant, peu de nouvelles fonctionnalités, c'est plutôt l'aspect visuel qui a changé.

D'un point de vue de branding, cela montre tout de même une instabilité et des problèmes à trouver sa personnalité, sur un marché qui est très compétitif. En tout cas ce lifting ne m'inspire pas autant d'enthousiasme que celui du site de Dauphine dont j'avais parlé il y a peu ici.

En tout cas, l'Ipag est classé 8ème des écoles de commerce "proches des meilleurs" par le magazine challenge. Je pense que cela récompense une école qui a su ces dernières années innover et s'adapter, en proposant notamment des cursus de plus en plus internationaux et se focalisant sur le projet professionnel de ses étudiants.

Gift cards boom alterates end of year sales figures

I was discovering Daniel Lucas' blog, a mortgage blogger, when I read this interesting article about Holiday Spending APPEARS To Be Lower, But It Isn't Really Lower.

Indeed, statistics seem to tell us sales have not been that good this holiday season, but these figures are impacted by a new growing type of present: the gift card.

No need to wonder anylonger for weeks what to buy for your friends! Simply offer them a gift card to a store you know they will find interest in, and they will pick what they need. Thus, the new customers, what Henri Kaufman call the Ego customer, has so much ego that does not say what he wants, but he expects you to give him it. That is making situation pretty difficult.

This new trend impacts the holiday spending stats as these gift cards are only accounted for when they are redeemed for actual store merchandise. Therefore, some of the christmas sales in gift cards will have an impact on the up coming monthly sales figures. This is actually a good thing as a retailer, since it appropriates the turnover on a longer basis, which helps in term of logistic and forecasts.

You may also chech another article from the Wall Street Journal.

The shortcome of the gift cards

That reminds me of the case of Airfrance with its Miles. Airline companies are champions in giving miles to its customers in order to get their loyalty. But the shortcome is these miles are delayed discounts. Now let's imagine that tomorrow all clients of Air France come to get at the same time their Miles, Air France won't be able to redeem it all. That also implies, if these gift cards become systematic, to implement some plan to incentive people to redeem their gift cards as fast as possible. It is the same thing that happens when you give a check to someone who cashes it out a year afterward.

However, as I have said, one of the main advantage of the solution is to restrain the customers to by in your store. This potential customer is locked into the retail that gave him the card, and then it secures in a way some sales that might have gone to the competition somehow.

Happy New Year/Bonne année

I wish to all of you a happy new year, with a lot of joy, happiness and success. This new year will be a great occasion to change our bad habits, and to start on the right track our new year.

Happy new years to all of you and your relatives.

Je vous souhaite à tous une très très bonne année 2008, avec du bonheur, de la joie et succès. Cette nouvelle année est une très bonne opportunité de changer nos mauvaises habitudes et de repartir du bon pied pour cette nouvelle année.

Encore une fois, bonne année à vous et vos proches!