The Gotham Gal and I have been coming to Paris for close to thirty years. We started coming with our family a little more than fifteen years ago and spent one summer here as a family about ten years ago. We bought an apartment here around five years ago and we try to be here two to four weeks a year. Needless to say, we love Paris.
We have been in Paris three times in the past month and just arrived back yesterday. Every time I arrive here I marvel at the beauty of the city. It’s not just the architecture and scale (no skyscrapers) and light, all of which contribute to the beauty of Paris, it is the people, the stores, the sidewalk cafes, the parks, and much more. I have been to hundreds of cities around the world and I have never been to a city as beautiful as Paris.
I have noticed a lot of changes in Paris over the years we have been coming. The Parisians are much more tolerant of English and English speakers these days. Their English is generally better than my French.
Paris has always had great transportation with it’s amazing Metro system, and the best thing to do in Paris is walk, but Velib and a host of ride sharing apps have made getting around even eaiser.
Paris continues to reinvent itself. There are new neighborhoods to explore, new shops to buy from, and new restaurants that continue to push the cuisine forward. That is not true of many cities in Europe these days and is a testament to the city and its citizens.
The new French leader Emmanuel Macron wants France to act like a startup. From what I see in Paris these days, that is already happening although leadership at the top can and will certainly help.
And speaking of startups, there are plenty of good ones in France and specifically in Paris. We have one of them, LaRuche, in our portfolio and I know of many great entrepreneurs, startups, and VCs in Paris.
I also know of a few big tech companies in the Bay Area that are eyeing Paris for a remote engineering location. The French have a great education system and produce a lot of engineers. It makes a lot of sense that companies looking to access new talent pools would come here.
There are, of course, challenges doing business in France. It’s hard to rapidly scale up and down your workforces here. The labor laws are challenging for high growth volatile companies to deal with. And it’s too complicated to conclude financings quickly in France (and Germany and other European countries). Macron and his team would be wise to move these laws closer to the US model.
But all in all, Paris is a thriving, bustling, innovative place that is lovely to be in and I am very bullish on it and the new French leadership.
Here’s a photo I took on our walk home from dinner last night along the river that captures what a lovely place Paris is.
Did you know that Mounir Mahjoubi (Founder of La Ruche) was elected yesterday as “député” and is also in charge of the digital agenda in Macron’s team… ?
Did not know that. Great news
I love how the French elect a person with his wildly outside the norm background.You have to give them credit, they are not particularly superficial.Still not sold on the guy, but….
The Channel Tunnel connecting London and Paris opened in 1994.400,000 French live in London.
took it yesterday Paris->London. total miracle, on so many levels.Some of those trains still date from ’94 and really could use replacement though.
yes, but that would cut profits. they have their priorities.
Poor public policy for decades has caused a brain drain in Paris. I know a lot of really smart French people that have hightailed it out of France.
I just left Paris yesterday, and my wife feels so strongly in the way you describe, that she is angling for the 2 of us and our 2-year-old to move there from Berlin. We’ll see, and it actually was part of the plan to do something like that and get some variety.Then again, Berlin has lots of aspects where the above is true too (especially the English part, and the transport-sharing options are way better than in Paris (although Cityscoot in Paris is great) ). Berlin as a city is much more in the “startup phase” right now, whereas Paris is the ultimate sophisticated grandparent. (Berlin today is Bushwick/Crown Heights while Paris is Meatpacking district). Then again, the attraction is obvious as to where to choose to have your main pillow, and I wouldn’t kick or scream too much if we did go.I attended the Macron speech you reference. Lots of big plans and words. Lots to see what actually happens. He has a ton of magic to perform to make this move the needle, not least of which is the labour laws– I’m skeptical as to how fast that obstacle winds up moving. There is a long list of other countries who have proclaimed that “startup nation” idea, and largely abandoned the plans. Sure, I can see France today having an easier time than UAE, Malaysia, etc have had. Meantime, for an American trying to have a legal visa for living in Europe, I can believe this will shortly (even currently) bring competitive opportunity.
Berlin is where we have the most portfolio companies in Europe. But I’m bullish on Paris. London is going to suffer from Brexit although with soft Brexit looking likely, maybe not so much.
I’m in London today, where it is baking hot just like Paris this week. London is also a high contender for us to live sometime.There is definitely already at least a short-term deflationary impact on London from brexit, and plenty of irreversible damage. But also a very palpable “not so much”. Shoreditch is still jumpin’.Supporting your bullish Paris point: I just read a report from a big Sand Hill VC saying that of all their portcos expanding to Europe, most chose London, Paris and maybe Amsterdam, none chose Berlin so far.
I’d take the opposite side of Fred’s opinion on London when it comes to things like Fin Tech and Brexit. London is a financial centre. The network effects and structure is there. It’s not going to go to Brussels, Berlin, or Paris. I think it’s important to remember in the 1990s, people misinterpreted exactly why the German Debt complex left the LIFFE for Eurex. Had nothing to do with technology really, but everything to do with peer pressure.
Canary Wharf indeed looks solid from where I’m standing at this moment: https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
Time heals a lot of mistakes, if the big idea is solid, no?
Built by Canadians 🙂 Have you noticed how many streets are called Canada way, Canada avenue, Canada street, Canada place, etc..
Aha. Yes, I puzzled at a tube stop called Canada Water.
I think no Brexit is a distinct possibility.
I was just about looking for comparisons with Berlin.
Fred, hope one of these days you also come to Lisbon/Portugal. Our ecosystem is still a startup itself but very promising. But is already home of great tech companies (e.g., TalkDesk) Happy to share some tips (and interesting startups) whenever you are around
I will be there for the first time in 2 weeks.Greatly looking forward to this.
Loved Lisbon and the surroundings areas. Never made it to Porto but believe Portuguese wine, especially for the price, is as good as anywhere. They don’t export much, relatively speaking. Brought back a half case in our luggage.
spent two weeks last Oct in Porto and the Duoro as guest of a number of winemakers.beautiful city. duoro is one of the wonders of the world honestly and especially great when you are given an insiders view of it.this trip will be exploring the city and a few days outside probably in colares.good to get away and looking forward to exploring.
You’re in for a real treat. Truly. Paris moves slower. Give yourself to that reality and you’ll have a life altering experience. Guaranteed. Bon voyage! 🙂
Enjoy.Ran Creaf Europe for a few years in the mid 90s and fell in love.No where, not even NY has as many unique and interesting neighborhoods. Each with tiny and great restaurants and wine bars.Best natural wine scene in the world outside of NY. I have many friends there and it feels comfy and like home to me.
but i would put paris ahead of new york on the natural wine scene, especially when you combine the food factor. http://buvonsnature.over-bl…actually, i’m impressed by chicago too…i’m there now as we speak.
Lets meet in Paris or Tblisi or Lisbon or Portland and chat about it as we enjoy ourselves.Think of it.Less than 5% of the worlds grapes are organic. Maybe what 2% of those are made into wine naturally but this is the community that drives the wine world, and holds a disproportionate % on the wine lists of the best places anywhere.It’s just more fun and interesting and of course an impossible commercial undertaking.Glad I finally converted you.
awaldstein:with your admitted background in the scientific study of the human mind and its functions do you think the temporary Wartime Prohibition Act, which banned the sale of alcoholic beverages having an alcohol content of greater than 1.28% should have been permanant based upon the ill effects of alcohol?Do you think it is more cultural that people are predisposed to becoming alcoholics. The excuse of social drinking to justify the addiction.
this is a joke–yes?
awaldstein:We realize you are an admitted connoisseur of wines. We still believe you can extract your scientific training to provide an unbiased view. (Yes?)
Who is ‘we’?Who is this that I’m responding to if you don’t mind?I usually ignore these from this personna as they don’t appear real.We–? Who is that?
awaldstein:If the question isn’t legitimate in your estimation don’t answer or respond. You appear to have a short memory of the times you engaged in a reply/dialogue with us. Not an issue , enjoy your beautiful evening..
Once you go there, there is no going back.
I agree.There are politics of course like in every community–trust me.There are a series of groups that intersect.But like i tried to bring out in my presentation, it is 100% a maker community and there in lies the magic. And disruption. And fun.
William Mougayar:you are officially banned from NYC with that comment. There is no way Paris food is better than the worldly options NYC provides. The immigrant factor.We accept your apology and qualifiers in advance.The Paris we visited in the 90’s and early 2000’s didn’t impress us.We guess if a person drinks wine their entire trip they are much too drunk to even realize the smoking and rudeness. The Paris of 1998-2003 has to be night and day based upon the Paris promotion today.There are other destinations we frequent that is hands down a greater experience than we had in Paris. (Note to self someone else experience can’t logically be challenged. The views are based upon their experience,not yours)Example: The Boston Red Sox have the best closer in the game before the 2017 All-Star break, Craig Kimbrel. But the Boston Red Sox still suck)Go Yankees.
Fun Monday: let’s all post our Paris pix today! https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
:^) Taken a couple years ago across the plaza where we received our France visas.We lived between Malta and Paris then, now in Berlin. Europe living is incredible.
.That is a beautiful baby, reflecting the deep end of the gene pool of the woman who one assumes is its mother.Why are you in the picture?JKNOT JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
The miracle despite my being involved is not lost by me, either 😉
.JK, the baby looks like you. Lovely baby. Well played. Happy Father’s Day.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
In the midst of a crazy world “+1” to both y’all or all 4 of y’all 😉 I am glad that @kenberger:disqus understood the gesture behind @JLM:disqus ‘s words.This gives me hope! I rib the people I love the most so someone walking into a random conversation between me and my closest peeps would think i am a complete a-hole… I am not.Props! and oh @kenberger – a very happy day after father’s day 🙂
Amar:note to self. Despite the greatest efforts to normalize people who have demonstrated and been certified A-Holes. They are still are in our mist. Campaigning to overlook the A-Holes that intentionally lie on this blog makes you complicit. Spray it on.
@creative_group:disqus I am so confused. What am i spraying on? Can you be more specific? I am not campaigning anything :-)@kenberger:disqus @JLM:disqus in case i was confusing in my message (as evidenced above).. i was just glad about the exchange and congratz on the kiddo :)..
.With the impending acquisition of WF by Amazon, you should look into ordering a life and having it delivered.If not, they probably can set you up with some lemons to suck on, no?I was trying to recruit the baby as a Trumpian or a Trumpette.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Nah, @JLM and I are old AVC “irregulars”. Respect.Thanks for the kind words.
.Sort of deplorables on my end anyway.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Wise words 😉
How can a husband and wife not be just deliriously happy with that!!!!In the US, problem is, far too often when the youngest child gets to be about 8, the wife is bored and unhappy, starts believing Communist saboteur Betty Friedan saying that her life is junk, wants to be equal, self-sufficient, autonomous, and have her “own life”, gets some business cards of divorce lawyers, and does her best to ruin her own life and those of her husband and children.Why? It happens, just that way, way too often, so often it’s not just happenstance, an anomaly, an exception, and, instead, is strongly built in.A special case is, after the first child, she decides that she doesn’t like motherhood. Then she decides she doesn’t like marriage, either. Then she wants a divorce, ESPECIALLY if she can get the house, the car, alimony, child support, half the accumulated wealth of the family business, etc. That is, she likes everything about the marriage except her husband or having anymore children.Why? Blame Darwin: If her youngest child is seven, then Darwin concludes that staying where she is won’t result in more children but leaving might. Or, Darwin prefers that she be in some miserable gutter and pregnant than in a palace and not pregnant. Simple. Sure, a palace and pregnant is still better, but a palace and not pregnant after seven years is a big push OUT to just ANYTHING different.A good life with her husband? The best future for her children? Ski vacations in Switzerland? Financial security? Emotional security? Great times together as a family? Family traditions? Etc.? They don’t count. To him? Sure. To her? Too often NOT. Sorry ’bout that.Men, I joke not: In far too many cases, that is quite literally and strongly the situation.Sure, keep her pregnant until she has a huge collection of her children, and some of her grandchildren, to keep her devoted to the family.Solution: Otherwise, have one heck of a pre-nup: Anytime she wants, she can leave with the clothes on her back and that is ALL. Period. She doesn’t get her car, the house, the vacation house, the boat, the furnishings, her jewelry, the Renoir original, any of the family checkbook, alimony, child support, medical insurance, any of the accumulated wealth, dishes, not even the wedding presents. It’s simple: If she wants to leave, then she can leave.If she’s unfaithful, then on those same terms, she’s OUT.If she’s been accumulating a secret cash stash cache for her planned escape, then again she’s OUT.That’s the sad but far too often real situation. Men, you have to realize that this is one of the more likely possibilities. Then when you see symptoms, it’s a good guess that this disaster is on the way.
Agent Macron’s not so secret mission is to dismantle France’s public sector and divert its value to France’s financial elite class. Pity the French people for what is coming. Mon Dieu!
Nice tribute to Paris. Only thing missing might have been an accompanying song, like the famous Sous les ponts de Paris by Lucienne Delyle. https://www.youtube.com/wat…
Aside from knowing how to make great food, pastries, bread and wine, the French people are very creative, curious, cultured, and analytical by nature. They invented the Minitel in the late 70’s, years prior to the Web, after all. If only they could get some of their bureaucratic system and stiff attitudes to loosen up a bit, in addition to wanting to work a little longer or harder …
Infogrammes was my account for years.Parisians get computer gaming.
To err is human, to loaf is Parisian. – Victor Hugo.
I remember the Minitel well. It made a huge impression on me and actually fueled my interest and confidence in online services and then the emergence of the commercial Internet when those started to take hold. Minitel was so far ahead of its time, especially in terms of consumer adoption.
Minitel was ISDN over voice grade phone lines?The main obstacle from 1990 or so to the present Internet was just DATA RATE. So, the main steps in the solutions were:DSL to try to squeeze more data rate over the last mile out of in the ground copper.Coax, put in the ground over the last mile for cable TV and later used also for voice and the Internet.Optical fibers lit with solid state lasers.Wireless for the last mile astoundingly high data rates.With the 1985 data rates, the present Internet was hopeless.
You’re 100% right on that history. I lived through each of those technological phases and suspect you did too. But early Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) and online services (CompuServe, Prodigy, AOL), along with private networks and groupware (Netware, Motif, and PLATO/Lotus/IBM Notes), gave many glimpses at the future and inspiration to push through the limitations in bandwidth. It was challenging breaking through that bell curve.
I agree with stiff attitude. I have a brother and sister in law that spend every summer in Paris (Professors). They stop by my house for two weeks on the way back. She is so smart (Mathematician wrote the book on Gene Sequencing)I love her, but it took awhile to get used to the stiff attitude.In startups you don’t get that chance. Yes you need confidence and swagger, but you haven’t earned arrogance and distain. When you show the last two people blow you off.As far as work habits. I disagree. Too many of us confuse activity for accomplishment. I used to be proud I worked an eighty hour week and ate lunch and dinner at my desk and Saturday was just another work day and didn’t take a day of vacation. DUMB. I think the French have it right. When they work, they work hard, and then they take time off.Of course all of these are generalizations and stereotypes so they are not really appropriate but in general they apply. Just like I’ve never met a nasty Canadian.
yes and no, on the last part. I think the french blue collars don’t want to work too hard, and will err on the lazy side at every opportunity they get for doing less, and not more. if you have ever been served by a french person or done a phone call support. pulling teeth would be an understatement. white collars – you’re right and i don’t disagree.
Good point my SIL does complain about the blue collar work habits, but does say they generally have more skill than in the U.S. She has tons of rental properties. That of course is the problem with stereotyping.And I have met a nasty Canadian in Montreal :-)Funny story about there: I got out of a board meeting early and my co-worker who was setting up the datacenter (we drove computers there) wasn’t done. I found a really nice brewpub with great food. The young bartender was wearing an elegant black cocktail dress. I asked her for the address and pointed to the bar top. I got the angriest look I’ve seen, I think she wanted to punch me. I immediately backpedaled and said not your address the address here I am going to text my friend, showing her the phone. She gave it to me and said oh, that is not what I thought you asked me. I said what did you think I asked you? “I thought you asked me for my dress”He walks in she points to me and him and relays the story to her co-workers in French, and they all laugh. Now he is the one that doesn’t understand 🙂
I think the French have it right. When they work, they work hard, and then they take time off.I don’t know. Not that it relates to solely to hours worked and it doesn’t disprove your point but the entire world is impressed enough with the US that they want to come here. Is that happening in France? I do not think so. How many world class accomplishments are tied to France (in the last 50 years) vs. the US?Also keep in mind that you sold your company and honestly can’t say if you would have been in the same place if you didn’t work those 80 hour weeks.I can tell for 100% for sure that back in the 90’s the work that I did while my ex wife was whining about why I wasn’t at the pool with her and the kids and working so many hours 100% has paid off today and I can prove that. And I was only able to do that work because of the time that I spent in the 80’s working. And only able to do that because of the things I did while in high school and college. Of course that is me obviously others may not have to put in all the effort.
William Mougayar:when you can only think of a few things a City has to offer it explains the limitations of the city. If a person would attempt to explain New York City and the many multi-facets of what makes it the best you can write Books, etc.https://www.youtube.com/wat…The End…
Fred, have you been to Eastern Europe?
Speaking for myself: No, but I want to go. I love Paris. I love Spain, Portugal, and Italy too.I have employees that are Romanian and Ukrainian.I hear Croatia is beautiful.Any other suggestions?
My list for this year is Tbilisi in Republic of Georgia and more time in the countryside in SoveniaThis is all about wine not work though they have Starwood hotels in Tbilisi so can hang out and work from there for almost nothing
Heard Prague was wonderful.
Yes, Croatian coast is beautiful. Sailing is especially nice in Croatia, as there are many islands that are close to each other.As I come from Serbia, I would definitely recommend coming to Belgrade. It is praised to be the next Berlin. Clash of cultures is amazing, and so is the night life. Many great IT experts and startup community is booming.I don’t see Rome on your list, so Rome is a must if you haven’t seen it yet.
Belgrade is definitely impressive – the city is very much a cultural blend of old and new and the people are incredibly open and welcoming; great time and experience.
I had Italy. Been to Rome, Sicily, etc. But my favorite is the Cinque Terra.
I hope you went to Positano. Gorgeous!
Was in Paris the week before the election. Thank God for Macron. Got a very strong impression the city (and its environs) was gonna explode if it went another way. Let’s hope Macron can heal and create a sense of greater tolerance. There’s a lot of divisiveness in France (even greater than the U.S. IMO). Paris is indeed special and I’m excited to visit every time. Discovering new neighborhoods and restaurants is a fun part of the experience. Only a 9 hr. non-stop flight from Seattle (just a tad longer than traveling from NYC w/ the polar route.)
…..for Paris is a moveable feast”. Hemingway
Bonjour Fred :)while you are in paris try CityScoot. E scooters to move around. amazing
Greater Paris also is home to Inria which gave the tech community OCaml, the language used at Jane Street, to build Tezos, and adopted by Facebook for multiple uses.
you should add to the list / check out 42, if you haven’t already http://www.42.fr/
Bonjour Fred, Thank you for such an amazing description of Paris as it is today!
https://www.youtube.com/wat…we are making progress. nothing to do with Paris.
The wife and I plan to visit sometime over the next year, do you have one of those FourSquare lists of visited places that you can share?
Paris is a beautiful and rich city in many ways. I’ve experienced those Labor Laws before in a previous life and they do make it hard to quickly scale up or down but the protection for the citizens is incredible. Talk about a “people first” culture.
Paris, moreso than most cities, manages to blend new and old.But, their old is crushing it.
If I ever find the opportunity to move to Paris and maintain or improve my income level while doing so, I will do it at the drop of a hat. Paris is one of my favorite places in all the world. The closest I ever came was a four month project for a client in Grenoble. I had to be pulled from the walls to leave when the project ended. Fred, I wish I was there with you right now.
What if some of those laws that you describe, in a roundabout way, contribute to things you love about Paris?
Fred, have you checked out the new driverless bus in Paris. i saw it there a few weeks ago.https://www.digitaltrends.c… https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
One of the most pleasant things in life is lounging at a French bistro on a temperate day
Macron and his team would be wise to move these laws closer to the US model.Well then hopefully he won’t be wise in that case. I’d rather have a depressed city in the US figure out something to attract money and jobs rather than Paris which from what you are saying and what others say is a pretty nice place.
CONTRIBUTORS:PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!https://www.youtube.com/wat…https://www.youtube.com/wat…https://www.youtube.com/wat…
http://www.msn.com/en-us/ne… Hope you can stay away from this crap.
Education in France: From what little I know about research and education in France, some of it is just terrific. Of course, there are the math books of Bourbaki, a group of mostly French mathematicians who write astoundingly highly polished books on the fundamentals of pure math. I have a friend, a good mathematician, who was a student of Bourbaki member Choquet. I admire the writing of J. Neveu — beautifully polished, elegant. Although I don’t know the details, some of what France is doing in pure and applied physics looks terrific. France has a long history of terrific work in math, the physical sciences, and the medical sciences. France is not all just seafood smothered in wine, butter, and cream or vague, fuzzy pictures of very, very pretty girls!But, of course, Neveu got his Ph.D. not in France but in the US, at UC Berkeley under M. Loeve. And my friend keeps remarking on how good the plumbing, literally the plumbing, is in the US and how bad it is in France, and not just the plumbing: His view is that France is overall just too darned poor to have a good standard of living.Good that you like France: Maybe I could in small doses, for short periods, when I was just trying to relax and not get anything practical and important done.I really like Europe, from the Pyrenees to the Urals, from Italy and the Balkans to the Arctic, and I like Iceland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. I’ve been in Canada a few times, just for short visits, business or pleasure, and it was always REALLY nice.I am losing patience with the EU Poobahs who insist on importing millions of people who hate everything about Europe and its people and are dedicated to killing all Europeans. Literally. And the solution is so simple: Just end the party; ask the guests to leave, and close the door.The US? Lots of problems, most of which are festering for no good reason but just from the ignorant, irrational hysteria of Maxine Waters, Mika Brzezinski, Elizabeth Warren, Madonna, etc. This irrational hysteria of these hopeless bimbos along with the totally sick-o mainstream media — made-up, cooked-up, stirred-up, faked-up, gang-up, pile-on, lying, delusional, disgusting, degenerate, despicable, depraved, destructive, dangerous NYT-style, child of Goebbels propaganda,, worse than from Pravda — has been seriously hurting the US and will, if not corrected, give us what they clearly really want, a real shooting, bleeding, exploding kind of civil war with tens millions of US citizens killed, much of the US leveled to wastelands, destruction of the Constitution and SCOTUS, destruction of 90+% of the strength of the US, and a dictator like Hillary the Hildebeast.There are actually a lot of firewalls between the present and such a future, but the ignorant, hysterical bimbos and the NYT sabotage are doing a LOT of harm as it is.If my startup is successful, I’ll be able to buy the NYT out of chump change. Then with great glee I’ll get non-competes from the staff and then shut down the whole thing. I’ll encourage others to do the same with ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and NBC. Then I’ll see if I can have lunch with Bezos and ask him just why, worth $80+ billion and looking for much more, he wants to soil and pollute his reputation with that open cesspool on the Potomac, his WaPo?The press has never been able to compete with toilet tissue; electronic versions are useless even for wrapping dead fish heads. Long the press has just wanted eyeballs, and for that, in their grotesque and outrageous incompetence, the best they have known to do is make up junk to attack parts of the US as if to destroy both the part and the US.But now the NYT-MSM son of Goebbels propaganda machine just wants to destroy the US. E.g., just now they are united in cooking up any lies they can to incite protests, including violent ones, to remove our duly elected POTUS from office, destroy much of our Constitution, and arrange a dictatorship. So far the press has not destroyed the US, but they have tried and now are trying much harder.The best solution is for the US audience to realize that the press is just disgusting, destructive, seditious sewage and, then, just solidly ignore it. I’m sure the Russians learned to ignore Pravda although it was not inciting violence or trying to bring down the government. Well, Americans can learn to ignore the NYT-MSM son of Goebbels propaganda machine.That the press is so bad is not nearly new; the press was sick-o junk way back as Jefferson observed inhttp://press-pubs.uchicago….The present NYT-MSM machine is in some ways more skilled and effective; the overall quality is the same. The main technique is the same: Just lie.That’s a toxic Kool-Aid from which, if we survive, we will be stronger.Now for progress, the US could use a press that is honest and competent. No experienced newsies need apply. With the Internet, we have both an enhanced need and a great opportunity. Let’s hear it for the coming Internet news media, some parts of which will work hard to be both honest and competent.Still, for me, if only from the criterion of the least bad, the US is the place to be. For the problems, at least we have a shot at fixing them; start by ignoring Waters, Warren, …, Madonna.I’m 70 miles north of Wall Street: Darned pretty and nice. The area has nice neighbors, and the back yard has deer, possums, chipmunks, squirrels, ground hogs, raccoons, field mice, rabbits, at least one owl, crows, blue jays, sometimes foxes and geese. Get an actual four seasons of weather — nice. If my startup takes off, there will be lots of really good people and solid floor space for expansion.Then there’s the rest of the world: Mostly my reaction is to be sickened and disgusted down to hopeless, always asking “How the heck can people insist, and mostly they do, quite strongly, on living that way? They still have yet to discover the difference between (A) a river to be used as a water supply and (B) an open sewer, between (A) a nice woods and (B) an open cesspool. They have yet to discover how to build an outhouse, a septic tank and drain field, or dig a well and apply some simple filters. They could, say, just get some copies of some standard US Army field manuals? Maybe even just a standard Boy Scout handbook? Heck, IIRC the NYS book on building code standards explains how to build a successful drain field. They bathe in and drink their sewage, and the sewage of cows, buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, pythons, etc. literally. Then there is the collection of 1+ billion people who insist on living in a totally closed, unchanging culture 1300+ years old. Then there’s semi-elegant Venezuela with the world’s largest oil reserves and much of the population starving on the streets in a violent revolution — somehow there is just something about Spanish culture brought to South and Central America that too often, maybe usually, results in a few wealthy families and everyone else in slavery. I’m reminded of Napoleon who looked at invading Spain and decided that Spain was not worth having. Well, can’t expect to like everything in the world.
Beautiful post, thanks Fred. The funny thing is that one of the co-founders of La Ruche, Mounir, is now minister for digital economy in Macron’s government.
@fredwilson:disqus Do you AirBnb / rent your place in Paris out? Just saying – it’s Dr Jules and my 30th this year…. 🙂
My daughters and I also visit every year. Our favorite place to eat lunch is Cafe Trama on Rue du Cherche-Midi. If you are near that way check it out!
Paris stays with you forever…inspiration is everywhere.
I took the girls to Paris just last month Fred, they loved it and I loved it. I have literally been around the world and seen some great cities, but Paris was definitely one of my favorite. My favorite to date is St. Petersburg, but I don’t think I would want to live there. I think favorite has many flavors. Great post. https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
Yup, lots of progress in the French ecosystem.And it sounds like we took the same stroll! https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
Have lived in Paris the last 5 years with 3 kids. I love the Macton dream. But butterflies and lolipops are just that, happy candy. You ain’t changing their stripes. Brains and money have legs and they leave. Period. Why live, work and develop in a place fraught with jealousy and envy. Hundreds of years of a culture cannot be swept away with the stardust by any politician.
I totally agree Fred. Fellow NYer living my dream life in Paris. After NY, Paris is hands down a great place to be. The workforce for a startup or a large company is not that great however. Hiring and firing is really hard and the culture itself is moving towards more acceptance of startup mentality but not fully there. I would love to have a glass of rose (the heatwave we have currently warrants it), dinner or whatever. You can reach me at [email protected]. I can also send you some fave places. A new one I just tried was Candelma near Odeon area which has scrumptious galettes (savory crepes).
Thanks for this Paris post. Glad you’ve enjoyed the anniversary trip to the fullest!