Interview with Loïc Le Meur, Seesmic
Twice a month, follow our interviews of French personalities living in the Bay Area
Twice a month, the Press and Comunication service of the Consulate General of France produces for its channel ConsulaTV (Youtube) an interview of a French personality living in the San Francisco Bay Area or in one of the states of the North-West district of the United States.
On their own level, the French of the Silicon Valley contribute to the effervescence of innovative and daring ideas which are the trademark of this center for high-tech, the envy of the whole world. Whether they are researchers, engineers or entrepreneurs, the great minds of France, in spite of the crisis, keep trying their luck in this earthly paradise of technological innovation.
This week, Loïc Le Meur talks to us about his unique career path as an internet entrepreneur from his graduation from HEC in Paris in 1996, to being a guide for France of the Internet, blogs and social networks with his San Francisco-based company Seesmic facilitating their use.
"Seesmic helps brands and professionals manage social networks.
If you want to optimize your presence on Facebook, Twitter, or dozens of other social networks, we’ve made a sort of cockpit which allows you to manage all sorts of pages, Facebook, Twitter accounts, in the same place.
I think that social networks have a fundamental role in communication for anyone."
Founder of the conference LeWeb, the biggest Internet conference in Europe, Le Meur is a forerunner in his field. A premier French blogger and featured as one of BusinessWeek’s 25 Most Influential People on the Web this insatiable entrepreneur also uses his skills and creativity in politics. After already helping Nicolas Sarkozy during his presidential campaign in 2007, Loic Le Meur has lent a hand to Christine Lagarde in her campaign for IMF head after meeting her a few weeks ago "She impresses me a lot and so I helped her for her campaign for the IMF. I really hope she wins. In the case of her campaign for the IMF her Facebook page and her Twitter account are very important."
Convinced that the French are entrepreneurs at heart, Le Meur analyzes what prevents France from developing its own Silicon Valley. "The problem in France is more the fact that people have less ambition. They concentrate more on being a French success, to succeed in Paris. What’s should be done in France is to get the youth to want to create business at a young age, which I think should really be taught in school starting the earliest possible. Also, they need to learn English better and to start much earlier, rather than a more superficial English."
Though in love with France, its culture and the Parisian atmosphere, Le Meur doesn’t picture himself leaving the goldmine that is California for the moment, so conducive to the creation of startups: "Each time I go back to France I see everything I miss - I have a lot of friends, of course, and I love the culture a lot, the ambiance, the restaurants, I really like the Parisian atmosphere. We go back for a few weeks every summer. But from a business point of view, I have more and more issues. Here I can take my car to go and visit Twitter or Facebook or Google in less than a half an hour. I have no intention to return to France in the short term because I’m too involved with Seesmic and being in this ecosystem."
ConsulaTV’s next interview: Jean-Louis Gassée, venture capitalist, former Apple executive and PalmSource CEO.
Interview with Vincent Dureau:
To find the interview with Vincent Dureau of Google TV, click here.