We have all been very impressed by the success of Kickstarter and the alternative way of funding it gives to artists, movie producers or startups, I contributed myself to a few projects, from Whit Scott’s film Rolled that was very successful and allowed Whit to make his dream come true to Pebble Watch (still waiting for my watches). Pebble wanted to raise $100k and instead got a whopping $10million. Even books get financed on Kickstarter, Seth Godin had a goal of $40,000 for his new book and sold for $287,342 from 4,242 backers…
Singer Amanda Palmer had a $100k goal and raised $1,192,793 instead for her new album. If you haven’t you should really watch her TED talk and the video on her project page it’s very interesting to see how she did it. We discussed it at TED with Philippe Starck that I was seating next to when we watched Amanda live and we disagreed. I thought it was awesome and Philippe said 1) “nothing new” many bands raised like this and 2) it’s like begging and that sucks. I don’t know why being financed by your fans or people who like your product idea sucks, sadly we did not have the time to continue the conversation but I will meet Philippe again and ask him. He definitely knows a thing or two about creation, but might not know how Kickstarter is becoming a huge movement and differs from… a homeless begging in the street (which is respectable in many ways too).
I’m amazed as an entrepreneur that you can raise millions without any dilution or having to leave with investors and a board for the rest of the company life.
Kickstarter’s CEO Perry Chen has an open invite to speak at LeWeb London June 5-6, in case his team or Perry reads this, I really hope you can make it or send a representative of the company.
I also funded a failed project from a friend, POP launched by Jamie Siminoff. It’s something todo with the new iPhone5 connector that prevented Jamie from launching it (I hear Apple did not like it) and that’s the dark side of Kickstarter, the page doesn’t say it failed and I never received any notification I would never get the product. I am not sure if my credit card was debited or not, I forgot, and I am not sure either there was any kind of refund. Jamie is a great entrepreneur so no doubt it’s going to be all right but Kickstarter doesn’t do a great job at communicating with the backers I think. I might have missed an email but it clearly makes me wonder about how reliable are the projects.
Kickstarting without Kickstarter
What strikes me these days is that many projects finance themselves “a la kickstarter”, it even looks like kickstarter, but they do it without kickstarter. A great example Axelle pointed to me is Everlane launching their Canada site using crowd funding. First, think about it, we’re not talking about an individual without means here but a company already apparently successful in other markets, which is interesting. Then look how they do it: the widget on the side looks and behaves like kickstarter, looking for backers and promising them advantages deepening on how much they contribute.
In other words, Everlane think (and likely has) enough of a community, customers and online juice to make them prepay their Canada launch and doesn’t need the promotion that Kickstarter brings to crowdsource projects.
The thing is, they did not need Kickstarter, they are Kickstarting “a la Kickstarter” without Kickstarter.
Is that the beginning of a movement? There are many big enough brands online that could do this. Look at Seth Godin and his book I mentioned earlier, did he need Kickstarter? Probably not.
What do you guys think? Will Kickstarter be there only for the projects and brands that don’t have a community yet to support them and we will see thousands of crowdsourced project that do have a community use the same principle but without Kickstarter?
I have to admit I’m using more and more Facebook versus Twitter (and Google+ that I rarely use). Still love you Twitter friends and friends who work at Twitter, nothing personal
Here is why:
-I don’t know what it is, the way it works just “feels” better
-I have a feeling Twitter isn’t as viral as it used to be either
-maybe some Twitter fatigue.
-it’s less geeky, no “retweet – @mention etc” that non geeks still don’t understand
-my mother and family in south of France use it while they will never use Twitter
-tons of my friends are in the same case
-mobile apps really got better since Zuck decided to finally adopt native
-Facebook has done a great job at viral with likes, comments that re-shares to your friends, shares, location… it’s the most complete experience available
-the Twitter ecosystem is near dead and I’m still sad from their move against the apps, that doesn’t make me feel excited about Twitter much, been a while.
-it’s been a while I don’t really read my Twitter feed as I followed way too many people, it’s my fault though, I could trim it down but I’m lazy
-there is WAY too much marketing posted on Twitter while on Facebook I read the feed from my friends with much less marketing (close to none because I did not like many corporate pages)
-there are way many more conversations happening on Facebook than Twitter, I see less and less @mentions there, might totally be my fault but it’s a fact
-I enjoy posting photos on Facebook and tagging people in them, seeing the conversations started. Not much happens when I post photos on Twitter so I stopped
-using many apps when you’re mobile is a time sink, I used to open many apps on my iPhone and I’m now using less and less. Facebook is my #1 destination when I have time. I’m lazy to open more.
How about you?
I just asked my friends on social networks what would be the best iPad Pen and got of course many different answers to choose from.
Oh, and that was my first post on WordPress for iPad on my iPad mini.
Since Geraldine and I created LeWeb, it has become the european platform for success for entrepreneurs. From a couple of hundred attendees in the first year, we welcomed 5,000 participants in 2012 in London and Paris.
LeWeb is recognized as the leading European conference in technology by the Wall Street Journal and by CNN.
We want to keep that growth and success and we have to admit that even if we just achieved another excellent edition, it’s a huge event to be run just by Geraldine and Loic with a small team.
We wanted to partner with the best organization that could help us take LeWeb to the next LeWeb.
Reed MIDEM is one of the leading events organizers in the world and today we’re proud to announce that LeWeb has joined the Reed MIDEM family. We are keeping a significant holding in the company and will stay involved leading LeWeb with our new partners.
LeWeb London and Paris 2013 will happen as planned in June and December in the same venues as last year and we will run them with our team without major changes but with help from Reed MIDEM. We are working with Reed MIDEM on possible new developments and will keep you posted.
Thank you for loving LeWeb the way you do since we launched it in 2004 and we will see you all again in 2013, in London, Paris, or online!
here is the Reed MIDEM press release
Geraldine and Loic
Pretty proud of our work on LeWeb 2012 program that we announced minutes ago.
I have been focusing on LeWeb as a platform for success featuring as many new talents as I could and our theme “the Internet of Things” being so fascinating it has not been that difficult. I hope you enjoy the program and can join us this year.
The way the Internet of Things gets financed is also a breakthrough. Many projects do not ever raise funding through the classic business angels and VC model, they go to sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo (Danae Ringelmann on stage) to finance themselves without any dilution (Ben Kaufman of Quirky and Jamie Siminoff of Edison Jr). Some even don’t need those crowdfinancing platforms, they raise on their own sites (Lockitron raised $2M+ on their web site only and we have founders Cameron Robertson and Paul Gerhardt on stage).
We’ve never had so many product demos onstage, than with the Internet of Things theme.
We will see how your house will get connected with Tony Fadell and his Nest connected Thermostat, how you can get in it keyless with Lockitron, how you can control lighting with Lifx Lightbulbs and even control your plants with Koubachi, just to name a few.
Your body is getting connected with Ariel Garten of Interaxon wiring our brains, Amber Case looking at how we will become Cyborgs or David Cann putting us in Robots with Double Robotics.
Lots of content around connected health of course, with Cedric Hutchings that launched Withings at LeWeb a few years back and it’s now sold in Apple Stores, James Park will talk to us about how Fitbit improves our health and sleep. If that’s not enough, Gil Blander will help you connect your blood into the cloud to better understand your body and what you need to eat to improve it.
We will even have a chance to meet one of the minds behind the connected object who went the farthest, Benjamin Cichy from NASA, who built the software at the core of the Curiosity Rover’s brain and made the mission to Mars such a success.
Visionaries such as Henri Seydoux, DJ Patil, Munjal Shah and Rafi Haladjian will share with us where we’re going and what our connected lives will look like in the future.
As always, LeWeb will discuss where the key players are going with Kevin Systrom, Pascal Cagni and speakers from Twitter, Facebook, Google, Orange, Pandora, WordPress, Salesforce and more. Platforms and how they are moving into the cloud will be again a key topic with Dropbox, Amazon and YouSendit.
Incredible entrepreneurs will share their stories, such as how David Marcus sold his startup to Paypal and… became Paypal’s CEO!!!
Finally and beyond the theme, we will look at how Scott Harrison is changing the World one village at a time, with his Charity Water and also be inspired by how Bill Tai and Susi Mai connect entrepreneurs with kite-surfing, how Scott Dunlap runs a marathon every week and how Brian Shul flew the fastest jet in the World at Mach III and 75,000 feet.
LeWeb will again have a digital business track with World experts from digital brands and be the center of innovation with 16 startups that will compete on the Startup stage.
Give a platform for entrepreneurs to succeed.
Today Stephane Le Viet raised $11 million for his company Work4 Labs that was one of the startup competition finalist at LeWeb 2010. His demo did not work but he says he got the most networking value from the Bob Sinclar LeWeb party!
Each time we hear about anyone succeed directly or indirectly thanks to LeWeb, get inspired, find an idea, make a great deal, raise funding, hire a great person or even sell his company, we’re pumped to work hard and make LeWeb even more successful.
We just passed 15,000 Facebook fans yesterday. Yey. Let us know how we can make LeWeb even more helpful for you guys.
Helping entrepreneurs and hearing back about their success is definitely a great way to wake up in the morning, thanks and congrats Stephane, and please all of you keep us posted with all your success we love to have news.
I have always been intrigued by the Quantified Self space and even more now as my conference LeWeb‘s theme is the Internet of Things, so here is what I’m measuring today:
My weight: withings
I have been using a wifi scale for nearly 3 years since they launched on stage at LeWeb and my weight graph is public it’s pretty interesting to me to see patterns as I get fat during the summer (too much Iberico de para negra ham) and christmas (too much foie gras) and then desperately work on losing it to run the NY marathon in November, and then get fatter again. Maybe one day I will manage to stay low. I need to try the Withings blood pressure device too. Huge fan of withings.
My DNA: 23andme
Took the test a few years ago and I have to admit I’m not looking at it much, they have added lots of information recently so I will dig in again. Their data is pretty difficult to digest though… I would need someone to go through it with me.
My detailed health: Inside Tracker
(use LOICL1012 to get 10% off, not getting a commission, just asked them for my friends
I have just taken the test yesterday, that’s the most difficult part: you need to go to a lab and get a blood test. Most of your health data is in your blood though so I decided to do it every 3-6 months and see, Inside Tracker is run by a bunch of doctors and scientists I have met and I am very impressed by the idea. Based on the findings of your blood sample they give you recommendations on what to eat and lifestyle changes you should make. I can’t wait to get my results, especially curious on anything related to that red wine habit of mine at every dinner, how French. I stopped all alcohol and most meat until the NY marathon though as I need to lose weight.
I have almost always measured my runs and logged nearly 2,000 miles on Runkeeper. Recently though I started using just a Garmin GPS to just run light (no iPhone) so there is a lot of data in Garmin Connect sadly not syncing (yet) with Runkeeper.
My biking: Strava
The fashionable site for tracking biking as I just started in Silicon Valley is Strava, founded I hear by former Apple employees and you can tell, the UI is beautiful. What I like about Strava is that it beautifully imports your Garmin data and then gives you your personal best times on your own segments, then compares you to other people riding the same segments, very cool. A very large number of my Silicon Valley friends use it.
My TODO list: Remember The Milk
If you want to sleep well and generally feel good even though you have tons of things to absolutely do and things you’d like to do you should store all your tasks somewhere. It helps your brain relax because it knows it’s stored so it worries less about them. I have been using Remember The Milk for years, it syncs on web, iPhone, Android, iPad etc beautifully and is super simple to use. Highly recommend it. Sorry my to do list isn’t public. It keeps track of how many tasks you “closed” and definitely measures your activity with what you have todo. Could present your activity history in graphs a little better.
Experimenting with Beeminder
I love the idea of giving yourself goals and trying to follow them. On Beeminder you can add as many goals as you like and you (can) pay if you don’t accomplish your goals. I love how those guys are providing an incredible service, try to email support and you will get an answer in no time, you can feel the passion behind the adventure. I also love how they write their blog, they even point you to their competitors and comment on them and wish them best success. It’s a little geeky though, not to sure sometimes how to do what I want to do on the site and it definitely lacks good mobile apps as I’m spending more and more time on my iPhone and iPad. What’s cool is you can interface your withings or Runkeeper data with it, here is my weight graph on Beeminder. I had set many more goals but deleted them as I forgot to take the time (or was lazy) to update Beeminder.
Experimenting with Lift
So it’s through the Beeminder blog that I discovered Lift (not sure it’s a good ideas Beeminder team to point so much to competitors but it’s definitely showing how cool you are) and love it so far. It’s a very different approach to Beeminder, you don’t pay if you miss a goal (negative incentive) you just see your progress by “checking in” to your goals (positive incentive). Not sure which approach is better for now but the first impression I have with Lift is excellent as their iPhone app is beautiful and simple. You simply go, add your goals and then check-in to them, for example one of my goals is to read 30-60 minutes a day minimum, I just tick the box when I do it. I also like that it shows you a stream of your Facebook friends also checking in to your goals and the most popular goals which is pretty cool. You can feel Lift is mobile first with great iPhone app and that is very important to me. Let’s see how long I use this but I really like the idea.
I have tried the Nike Fuel Band and I have to admit I have been disappointed that it only gives you a very rough estimate and always wrong in distance if you run for example, it’s really a rough estimate of your wrist movement nothing more. I think they should add a GPS in it so it’s much more precise… I use mine as a watch.
I have ordered the latest Fitbit, the One and will try it soon
My Sleep: MyZeo
I tried MyZeo about a year ago and yes, you’re going to look ridiculous in your bed with it, but it’s pretty interesting data. I started using their new mobile one, it syncs with your iPhone and sends the data to it no more big device standing by your bed and easy for traveling. You can see my latest night, I woke up around 2:30am for some reason then got back to light sleep very fast, got 37 minutes of deep sleep and 3hours
My Food: I don’t know yet
So, I have tried Calorie Count by Mynetdiary and it’s super, it’s web, iPhone, IPad, Android and all synced beautifully. It helps you keep track of what you’re eating and how the calories add up, very very nice. The only problem? It’s a pain to enter the weight of your tomatoes and the pepper sauce of your steak (that you should not be eating anyway). The way MyNetDiary helps solving this is by crowdsourcing the most popular dishes including by brand, helping you select fast a meal, but it’s still a pain to enter.
The ideal for me would be an app that just takes a pic of my plate and assesses the calories, I have tried MealSnap but it’s always completely off. I guess it’s a very difficult problem to solve. Here are a few other apps trying to measure food: eatery, a japan one and thryveco. I hear great things about MyfitnessPal too.
What are the other apps or connected objects I should try to measure myself?
update: I’m told I should try Foodzy
I always wanted to learn coding and never did and I have always been frustrated. I will give it a shot for fun. Eventually I’d like to code a small iOS app. No idea if I’m really going to take it seriously nor how long it will take me to get to a result yet…
I asked my friends on social networks and here is what they recommend (thanks all who contributed), let me know if you have more ideas, thanks. If I don’t start coding, at least this blog post can be helpful for some of you.
Codeacademy (spoke at LeWeb London)
iPhone and iPad free Stanford University course in video and slides (wow kudos to Stanford for making this one available)
that course has a pre-requisite, basics of object oriented programming
Building iOS apps from scratch
It’s not iPhone but “unless you want to be very frustrated do this“
Recommendations from my friend and former colleague Jean-Jacques Borie to start from scratch:
Read and do all examples:
Read Xcode docs
for general knowledge:
and go further on patterns:
I’m forty today and woke up with this view.
A weird feeling as so many people think about being forty as a really big deal in your life, that only probably makes it a big deal for anyone.
A good moment to take a step back and look at your own life. Can’t help to think I’m hoping it’s half of my life, I lost my father from a cancer when he was 53 so it wasn’t half for him, I can’t celebrate today without thinking about missing him and also my sister that died in her thirties also from cancer and some remaining complications of a huge car accident she encountered when she was little kid.
Having those thoughts I feel actually even happier and fortunate that I’m having such a good life. I have a wonderful family that I love and loves me. Being 40 and having already three teenagers is fantastic. That’s how I chose to spend this day, this week, with them and my wife Geraldine. I kite surfed, played cards and spend the day yesterday pretty much hugging them and playing with them, same program today.
I’m fortunate to have so many great friends, too. Offline and online, close and not close. People say generally you make your closest friends for life around your college years, it’s true for me but our move to San Francisco 5 years ago definitely changed me a great deal. I used to interact 90% of the time in French with french friends or connections and now it’s the opposite, I’m mostly in an english or international environment all day long. That doesn’t make me less french, or maybe it does, but it clearly changed me.
“You’re defined by who your friends are” told me once Yossi Vardi.
If that is true then I feel very accomplished by having incredible friends around the World. I enjoy quality close relationships with few friends (that some tend to be on Path, which is great) but I could not leave without my broader online/offline friendship. I have extraordinary real life friends and I’m learning from them every day. Joichi Ito taught me blogging and social networking in 2003 and changed my life, I learned to live with many online friends every day and some of them I met and became really close with. I can’t live without my online friends even though it’s a weird feeling of course, I have about 90k followers on Twitter, 150k on Facebook and 1m+ on Google+ (but I was featured there so that number is artificial) that’s plenty to interact with. Definitely frustrating too, in a way, I’d like to meet them, and so many of you that I have never met helped me so much. Thank you.
It’s five years this summer we moved to Silicon Valley.
When we moved we were wondering if it was something temporary for a few years and back to France. We’re definitely in Silicon Valley for the long run and got permanent residence with our green cards, we feel more and more attached to the brilliant and vibrant entrepreneurial community that happens no where else in the World. New York is tempting us, though, we might try to live there someday but no short plans. While I still feel very european and french in the way I think, I feel more and more american in the way I work. Faster, more focused on being efficient. I don’t mind a two hour lunch from time to time though. No I won’t get here into the Europe versus Silicon Valley debate, I love you european friends and yes you’re doing fantastic, entrepreneurship is great in europe too and so on. I just feel the energy, ambition and general atmosphere in Silicon Valley feels better for me and is a great environment for my teenagers to be inspired.
Phil Libin of Evernote came to brunch at my house recently and was surrounded by my boys asking him about his incredible success with Evernote. Now they want to do the same. Ask them and they will tell you they want to be entrepreneurs and build something great. Just that is an accomplishment for me. I don’t think everyone should be an entrepreneur but I think my boys should be, or at least be inspired by being entrepreneurs in anything they do, should they choose a different life than technology startups, which would be fine, of course.
I feel very happy and fortunate.
I have not always succeeded and it’s not surprising, I have succeeded enough to feel happy. 2012 treats me great so far as we took risks to launch LeWeb in London and I think we were very successful in our first non Paris based event with 1400 participants from 50 countries, wow. I have been struggling with Seesmic for 5 years, pivoting 4 times and not reaching success yet, still trying hard (we just killed a bunch of products to focus on one, Seesmic Ping and monetized it with hundreds of happy paid customers already and a nice growth). A big change.
Success doesn’t come where you expect it most of the times. It’s unrelated to how hard you try to focus your efforts and your time on something. I have spent 95% of my time the last five years on Seesmic and 5% on LeWeb. Seesmic hasn’t been what I have hoped for (even though I’m still trying hard) while LeWeb has become a true international brand and a profitable business without me doing much more than inviting speakers. Big lesson here. I thank my wife Geraldine for LeWeb’s success and blame myself for not having been able to make Seesmic what I had in mind. I still have good hopes we can make it something good, growing and profitable. Time will tell and I don’t give up, even if sometimes I actually should. I will have to write more about the pivots, I have been thinking a great deal about them and what happened next. I think we had a lot of head wind, to take a sailing image. I have a great team and I’m thankful my business partner Bastien Vidal and my team (past and present) went through so many challenges with me.
I want to keep focusing on my sons being successful, that’s a very important one for me. I love creating products (we just did that again with Seesmic) and growing LeWeb is a daily source of happiness, especially as it became a real platform of success. There is rarely a week without a LeWeb participant or partnering telling me that thanks to LeWeb they had a business idea, started one, raised funding, did a major partnership or sold their company. Helping others being successful is the best feeling ever.
Thank you, all, for being such fantastic friends and inspiring me so much.