Looking for a Wifi provider for 3,000 geeks at LeWeb

Wifi at LeWeb as in any “geek” conference has always been a challenge given the size: 3,000 geeks with many devices on themselves, uploading and downloading loads of pics, video and other stuff. Some of them challenge the network on purpose for fun, others download their itunes movies during the conference and suck the bandwidth… It’s a challenge.

We managed for the last two years to get a fiber optics 1GB/s line into LeWeb venue thanks to our awesome friends at Neo Telecoms that Xavier Niel introduced us himself.  It’s a huge pipe and costly, but I think we never exceeded more than 15% of the available bandwidth at any point. That’s not the issue anymore.

Wifi worked great at LeWeb the last three years as it was manager by our friend Gary Shainberg and his team at BT but unfortunately Gary isn’t at BT anymore and they don’t seem to be doing that, it was a favor.

The incredible team of Meraki also helped immensely and I think they will, again. But gear and bandwidth aren’t enough, we need a team that installs the devices, the whole network, set them up and manages them during the conference to ensure the wifi network stays up smoothly despite 5,000 to 10,000 devices connecting simultaneously.

I have been asking for recommendations, we are looking for a team that can manage the whole network for this year’s LeWeb on dec 7-8-9 and yes, we have a budget for this, we want to ensure excellent quality as we had for a few years while keeping, of course, the costs reasonable.

I am gathering on this post the different options you guys are recommending, we will do a price and reference comparison and then select a supplier. We are happy to give a huge visibility to the partner who will help us. LeWeb is entirely managed by my wife so we won’t be able to take crazy budgets, but we want to be faire and LeWeb can also give a great advertising to the partner who will manage to do it, as Gary and his team did.

I will likely update the post with the options I see. Of course we will look for a team with experience with 1,000s of attendees at events, given the complexity.

Feel free to email me at loic at seesmic dot com if you have ideas.

thanks in advance!


A few tips for public speaking

A friend of mine just asked me to share a few tips about public speaking so I thought I should share them here too. I might add more in the future, please add yours in comments. I might be a special case but I don’t rehearse much, I like speaking it comes naturally and I had hundreds of talks, if you start, I would try to rehearse 2-3 times at least for time constraints to make sure you’re not too long.

a few tips:

-talk to your audience like if you were having lunch with people in the room, don’t change the way you are, don’t become artificial because there is an audience in front of you

-look at as many people as you can in as many directions as you can. Direct eye contact will improve them being engaged with you

-breathe, don’t speak too fast, pause if you need, drink some water if you need

-change the tone of your voice often up, down, up, down. Worst is to speak with the same tone the whole speech-do jokes, it should help you relax and connect with the room, not too many, though

-one idea one example: each time you speak about something, let’s say a benefit of your product, try to bring one example that would speak for the audience, ie how would they use it. Examples are much more powerful than the ideas-become “visual” if you explain something, always try to bring an example of the same idea you are describing but on a totally different subject or field

-interact by asking questions, like “how many of you have an iPhone, an Android, etc” it helps connect with the audience, they feel part of your presentation

-show that you are honest and can be trusted by making sure you also talk about the negatives about what you are talking about, even your own products. I launched Seesmic CRM the other day at Dreamforce and in my one hour session I explained why and how it was beta and far from perfect but looking for feedback. B-S-ing is the worst you can do, say things as they are, positive and negative. You will gain trust for your entire speech.

-if you’re too short (you did not use all the time you had), just stop and take questions, don’t make it long if you don’t have much more to say and you don’t feel they’re fascinated. Keep going if you feel they are interested.

-avoid by any means product pitches only, the audience generally doesn’t come for this. It’s ok to talk about your product but do it in a smart way, as a way to achieve something, in a story that will make it interesting. For example I do talk about my products in a 30 videos series I did about building your brand (http://www.buildyourownbrand.tv/) but only as an example to do something, it’s a minority, the bulk of the content is actionable tips

-be obsessed about being helpful to your audience. If you help them, make them learn something, make them smile, they are going to like what you’re saying-great slides don’t make great content, I did great presentations without any slides. Still, they help a lot and it helps to have great slides, I always go for a few words per slides and a huge visual.

-if you have a product, go into a demo (or a quick video demo) as fast as possible, it’s always much more interesting.-read: Slideology and Resonate by Nancy Duarte and the Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo

Sonic.net at my house is 3X faster in download and 10x faster in upload than Comcast

Scoble introduced me to the CEO of Sonic.net and I switched from my cable Comcast home Internet to 2x ADSL lines access from Sonic.net which is cheaper. Here is the result





That’s 3x download speed and 10x upload speed.

It’s still very bad… I miss my Paris ADSL from Free…

How Leo Laporte builds a media empire and a tour of his future studio

Leo Laporte invited me for the second time to his show Twit (see or hear the full episode here) and gave me an awesome tour of his next studio where he will host about 20 shows… Have a look at the video below, thanks, Leo!


How I sleep: random thoughts after using MyZeo to measure my sleep for a few weeks

I posted a few weeks ago that I started using MyZeo to measure my sleep.

Here are some results and thoughts

I sleep well (I already knew that but interesting to see how)
MyZeo gives me nice history of my sleep giving a score 0 – 100 everynightGoogle ChromeScreenSnapz009


I sleep a lot, about 7 hours typically (there is a night I had to wake up early for traveling there)

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I’m getting about 37 minutes average deep sleep and 2.5 hours of REM sleep, I wake up in average 3x per night

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If you want it, you get a LOT of data, you can see I’m going to sleep pretty early, that’s a major change in my life since I moved to San Francisco, everything is early, while in Paris I would never go to sleep before midnight to 1am while here it’s like 11pm. I was getting clearly less sleep in Paris, different life…

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Interesting to see me versus the “typical men” of my age, I’m getting asleep 3x as fast, I sleep a little more and I get more REM sleep but less deep sleep.

Zeo has good resources on why sleep matters and the “sleep stealers” but they aren’t personalized.

So the net is that it’s pretty interesting but

-I am not sure I really understand that data and know what to do with it. I would need more personalized explanations.

-it seems that my sleep doesn’t change that much from one day to another or from one week to another, which might make me stop using MyZeo if it’s always the same

-the head sensor makes you look ridiculous but doesn’t bother me to sleep at all. You can’t take it when you travel as you’d have to take the entire reader with you and it’s too big. I travel a lot so it’s not very convenient.

-I’d like to see my sleep data integrated with my withings and my runkeeper to see if there is any pattern

Will I continue using it? Likely for now as I’d like to do some experiments, like stopping to drink any alcohol for a week (the french drink some wine at dinners :-) and see if it does anything, same with lots of exercise or no exercise. Effects of stress as I am going through the typical (or non typical) entrepreneur’s life which has its ups and downs.

I will report more soon… Thoughts?

Make sure you don’t trust what you think works in video

Video is magic.

We did a crappy video with my wife to announce last years theme, no script, no preparation, no assistance, just shoot and post. 10k+ views.

Then we did a 2009 wrap-up video “2010 trailer”, made by Whit Scott, 10k views

and we made a 2010 wrap-up video with much more production, budget, and lots of work, made by video agency, barely 3000 views (and video agency has been awesome, it’s not my point)

oh and the highest in views, me in angry birds “poulet” costume, 30k+ views

See my point? Don’t trust what you think is going to make a good video, it’s not work and production budget. What do you think it is?

Meet Jonathan George founder of Boxcar

Try Boxcar.io it’s awesome, and meet the founder.



One more step opening my body API: measuring sleep. iToilet, iSex and iFood are next into the body cloud.

Last year I wrote about the vision of a body API and writing apps for it and I am now getting data from the incredible folks behind runkeeper (running and fitness) and withings (weight). Thanks to Zeo I am now measuring my sleep too and it all connects together in runkeeper.com that hooks into their APIs. Awesome.

Here is what you get with Zeo and the first night sleeping with one:

And the report it created for my night

MyZeo night report

What’s beautiful is that the Runkeeper folks have hooked into their API so you get your sleep data posted into your fitness feed


I can now see how I sleep and compare that with my fitness and my weight on withings

my weight

You can see I picked up some weight since my lowest in October just before the NY Marathon but I’m now again getting in better shape. Withings is a startup that launched at LeWeb and since then has raised funding and recently just got to get distributed into Apple Stores, congrats Cedric and team, wow!

I am pretty fascinated by gathering that data and comparing it. Sleep is a very key metrics and I am curious to see the effect of drinking wine, coffee and stress on my sleep. Zeo comes with a “sleep coach” which I will try.


There is more data that we need to have better body analysis: what you eat (is there an app that I can just take a pic of what I eat and get a calory approx? If yes then it should also open an API and post into runkeeper!) then we need the iToilet to analyze what’s coming out of our body. If I wasn’t so busy and fascinated with Seesmic and LeWeb I would be working on that exciting new space, it’s only a beginning. We should probably measure sex activities too. You guys should read The 4-Hour Body from my friend Tim Ferriss who reports on 10 years of experiment with his body.

I can’t wait for more data from my body uploaded into the cloud to learn more how my body is doing and evolving, and what I can do about it.

Will you also want to open your body API and upload it to the cloud?

It’s time for personal -asshole proof- CRM [business idea]

I am getting hundreds of emails every day and among them many are requests for “can you talk about this and tweet that” which I generally ignore if I don’t know who is asking and just in general because I don’t tweet on demand!

Anyhow, yesterday instead of just archiving one of those, I decided to reply to it because it looked like an email blast without an unsubscribe link at the end, asking nicely if the author could remove me from the list as I’m trying to keep my email box light.

I should have probably never have answered that email the first place, but then how do you get those to stop when there is no unsubscribe link (I am trying unsubscribe.com btw, which I like so far)?

A pretty angry email comes back saying “thanks for welcoming my request that way”

I reply “well, I’m getting nearly 100 emails like those daily, please don’t blame me”

and I get and even more angry email where the author explains that he did hours of live interviews at my conference LeWeb years ago for one of the top French radio and that given how much he always helped me and supported my projects I could, for once, spread some love to his project. Oh and also that I am so successful I should stop being an arrogant bastard who disregards requests from people who helped me and I’m not that cool guy he used to know.

Big fail.

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I’m generally not an asshole I think and also very helpful to anyone and especially to anyone who helped me in the past. Of course, that’s a pretty bad problem since my intentions were just to clean my mail box, did not mean to be rude, and I had no clue who he was, and I would have likely helped him should I have known who he was and remembered he covered LeWeb and helped me.

Here is what happened: it is not possibly human to remember thousands of business connections I have been in touch with since I started my fist business 15 years ago. I wish I would have remembered him, his name and what he did for me, and I feel bad about it, but I simply can’t with so many people I interact with daily, especially online.

Here is the app I would need

Each time I meet someone, it saves it. Checking in to a person like you checkin to a place on Foursquare or Facebook places.

I can then add a quick note “a la evernote”, or voice memo, about that person and that meeting, like I would fill in a report of a meeting in salesforce.com for business.

When I get any contact, by email for example as it’s the case here, it gives me a history of how and when I interacted with that person, so I have context, on a lifetime.

Add to this reputation, as we’re doing with Klout in Seesmic -we’re giving you the Klout score of anyone on any tweet showing up on your timeline- in that case it could add to my mail context “careful Loic, this is a journalist and here is his influence”. Not that this is the primary decision factor for dealing with someone, but let’s face it, it’s important.

It’s like a Salesforce.com for your contacts, or a super LinkedIn plugin in gmail, or a little bit of both. I am sure someone could build a simple app, mobile centric, that does this based on salesforce or LinkedIn.

Anyway, I screwed up, no biggie, but I am going to send this post to that person who helped me in the past and that I shamefully forgot. Hoping he doesn’t blame me more for just not being able to manage my address book anymore as I wish I could.

Picked myself at LeWeb and how to get invited to Davos

Seth has another very smart post: Reject the tyranny of being picked, pick yourself.

This is so true. 9 years ago I got invited at my first Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, it was after 9/11 so my first Davos was actually in New York, an unforgettable experience. Someone picked me for that, I often get asked how it happened, as so many people would like to go to the Annual Meeting. Well I was only 28 years old and already sold 2 startups, I was about to launch another one and I got lots, lots, lots of press, so the WEF team thought I was cool enough to be invited.

As I enjoyed every minute of it I realized that everybody was more important than me at the Annual Meeting and that if I was lucky to be invited once, it was very likely, almost 100% chances, that I would never be invited again. I started to wonder how I could help them pick me again and I started helping them by launching the World Economic Forum blog on April 28, 2004. I am very proud of having kicked off social media at the Forum and then helped launch their podcast and published the first videos from participants while everything was so secret. They liked my help and invited me years after years again even though I wasn’t a world leader. I’m still there, it’s been 9 annual meetings in a row, and I hope they keep inviting me. I helped them to keep picking myself by adding value.

As I also got invited to the infamous TED, where I met and shared a great video with Seth Godin, I also understood how lucky I was and that it wasn’t sure I could get invited again either (and I have been also to 6 TEDs in a row, so it’s all cool). So I decided to pick myself. Deeply inspired by Davos and TED, I thought the European technology scene needed an event that would help entrepreneurs and gather the ecosystem. LeWeb started with 200 participants and it gathered 3,000 from 60 countries last year. I picked myself and I have no risk of not being invited again at my own event while deeply enjoying going back to Davos and TED as long as they invite me!

Go pick yourself, too.