There will be a ridiculous number of smart and world class speakers at LeWeb this year, and many of them will be interviewed on stage by great journalists, bloggers and moderators such as Michael Arrington, Steve Gillmor, Kara Swisher, Thomas Crampton, Robert Scoble, Jennifer Schenker, Cathy Brooks and Marc Canter. I am sure they will do great preparing their own sessions.
I will emcee the main stage during the two days and will also host a few Q&As myself. As a side note these are not at all my preferred speakers or companies, it is just how the program ended up being, I “love” all our speakers regardless of who interviews them.
I would like this year to involve you in the Q&A if you like and would be grateful if you accepted to help me interview the personalities that I will have the pleasure to have with me.
If you are interested, please comment on this post on any question you think I should ask them. I will credit you on stage if/when we get to this question. My preference is a Seesmic video as I will be able to project them on stage but you could also leave a text comment on this blog post. A tweet is fine too but may be difficult to find back when I prepare the sessions so I would rather get videos or text comments thanks in advance!
We will post videos like these for all speakers on the main stage, I thought I should start with the ones I will host myself.
Here are the questions I am likely to ask to all of them and of course some specific to each. The trick is to be very nice with my guests as they accepted our invitation to speak, some of them actually help make LeWeb happen by sponsoring but yet asking some tough questions so that the conversation is interesting.
-how do you feel about the current recession: how long, how do you adapt to it?
-what are your top priorities these days?
-what do you see as the exciting future trends and opportunities for you and the entrepreneurs in the room?
-how do the entrepreneurs in the room can work best with you and your company?
-how can Europe compete and gain leadership in US / Google Internet World?
Google: Nikesh Arora, SVP, Google and President, EMEA Operations
I am also thinking about discussing with Nikesh Google’s presence in Europe and how much innovation versus “just a remote office” there is. How important is Europe for Google? Are you acquiring companies in Europe? Why or why not? Why would a european company like Jaiku acquired by Google move the team to the US and not keep building it in Europe? Do you think that companies like Google should have a role in keeping economies moving forward during times like these? Google has many high impact global initiatives like Google health so why not…
ask your questions to Nikesh on this video, I will project some of them on stage.
Orange France Telecom: Didier Lombard, Chairman and CEO, France Telecom – Orange
How is Orange opening its doors to startups? How Didier is adapting Orange to a world with growing low cost voice over IP (Skype etc) and less operator controlled phones (easy access to all apps and content versus telco portals on iphone and such)? How does Orange as an ISP can adapt to the French Government’s new planned laws on copyright infringement making the ISP responsible for its users behavior? What will be Orange’s main activity in 10-20 years given how fast its space is changing? With the iPhone and Google phone is Europe going to lose its mobile industry leadership?
update: Om Malik just suggested a few questions I should ask Didier:
1. in the US there is a trend of metered broadband, a policy that Europeans discarded. Why do you think that is happening? Is US a third world country in comparison to Europe when it comes to broadband?2. How much bandwidth does he see average households consuming in years to come.3. How does he envision the merging of wireless, wired and video services? Why does he think that is important. 4. what are the applications that he thinks are going to become big bandwidth consumers in years to come.
ask your questions to Didier Lombard on this video, I will project some of them on stage
Meetic (#1 dating site in Europe): Marc Simoncini, Founder & CEO
Marc has created Meetic just after the Internet bubble and no VCs accepted to invest, they now regret they missed one of the best Internet company, and one of the few that was not sold to a US company, in face Marc is “Asterix in the Gaulois village” in a way. So this is an easy one for me we will go through Marcs’ learnings as he built Meetic.
ask your questions to Marc Simoncini on this video, I will project some of them on stage
French Government: Eric Besson, France State Secretary for Prospectives and Evaluation of Public Policies and Internet
I would like to get an update on how Eric is going to change France with his ambitious high bandwidth plan, how the Governement is going to help the French Internet entrepreneurship and startup scene, how coordinated is it going to be with other countries in Europe, how we can (or cannot) restore european leadership with US domination and now China’s explosive market? Nicolas Sarkozy just announced a 20 billion fund to help France innovate how much of that will be dedicated to help startups?
ask your questions to Eric Besson on this video, I will project some of them on stage
Publicis: Maurice Levy, Chairman & CEO, Publicis Groupe
Maurice Levy is one of the best known French entrepreneur who succeeded internationally with his communication group Publicis, that is also US based and active worldwide. I will focus on France versus the US, how to build an international company based in Paris and succeed, being in the advertising business given the fact many companies became huge without any advertising -ie Google- how does Maurice see the future of advertising? Will we still need it or will it just be replaced by word of mouth and disappear with mass media (in 10-20 years)?
ask your questions to Maurice Levy on this video, I will project some of them on stage