The Annual, Country-Wide Disappearing Act
Welcome to #AugustInFrance (and a large majority of Europe). If it's your first time here, let break it down for you.
Virtually the entire month of August is a productivity dead-zone. Most, if not all, employees/decision-making/progress will be put on hold until the return from holiday. The week(s) leading up to August, everyone is in wind-down mode and the early week(s) of September are reserved for catch-up. This goes for traditional businesses as well as your local boulangerie (much to my chagrin earlier this morning). So plan accordingly!
One of my favorite (read: accurate) memes regarding the difference in European & American business culture is the following:
It's funny because it's true. Not only in August, but especially so in August. So what will I be doing, you might ask? Will I follow in the footsteps of my French counterparts or double down like my fellow Americans and keep “grinding” 24/7? I've chosen the middle ground: a productive, self-reflective, semi-staycation. I'll be in Paris for the entire month, enjoying the emptiness and exploiting unfettered access to public spaces usually reserved for crowds. But I'll also be working on a number of projects, new and old, as I plan for the upcoming ~6 months of output.
***I should also mention, I'm taking a much needed hiatus from social channels (I just temporarily deleted them from my phone, don't get too worked up!). Fingers crossed I can restore my dopamine receptors and achieve a hard reset on my brain capacity.
Today, I'm going to list out all the original content you can find from me in case you missed it as well as some upcoming projects in the works.
Things I Made
🚴🏼♂️ 🇫🇷 Tour de French Tech
Hopefully this content has crossed your feed considering my post volume!
If it didn't that's OK, but you've got some catching up to do
TL;DR: I explored the 12 regions of France (virtually) following the route of the Tour de France, highlighting innovative startups and the rich, cultural diversity of the nation
Watch on YouTube or TikTok (for a better viewing experience and potentially crippling screen time addiction)
Dream Scenario: turn this into a real documentary series sponsored by La French Tech or some other major tech media outlet. Know anyone who would pick it up? Get in touch!
🧠 Finding Genius EU
I started partnering on this video series with my US Counterpart, Kunal Mehta, in March of this year — in short, I interview entrepreneurs and investors across Europe to learn from their experience, unpack their worldview and dig into the nuances of our future world through the lens of technology & startups
My most recent interview was with Gonz Sanchez, VP of Growth at OnDeck (and creator of Seedtable)
I've got several interviews lined up for release when everyone returns in September, including a couple of heavy-hitters in the French Tech scene
📡 Dispatches from VC-Land (Revaia)
As I mentioned in my column this April, I joined a growth equity VC fund here in Paris called Revaia earlier this year as an Operating Partner
I officially started in January of this year and have already published over 25 articles! Time flies, AMIRITE? The easiest way to find me is on Medium (I think if I hit 100 Followers I get some special creator rights, so if you feel generous today, smash that follow button)
Here are the top articles I've written in order of popularity: Can Venture Capital Scale?, SaaS Metrics 101, The Economics of Open Source, Maintaining Optimism in a Downturn, & Lessons in Crisis Management from a Mountain Guide & Rescue Officer
Hopefully this will tide you over during my August hiatus
🍽 Content & Community Dinner Series
In May, I hosted a dinner event in Paris with a curated group of content & community professionals who work in venture and/or the broader technology ecosystem. My original goal was to meet other people doing the role I was starting to take on at Revaia. The first dinner was a huge success and has led to two more, so I am officially calling it a dinner series…
After cobbling together sponsorship money for each individual dinner, I recently found a committed, long-term sponsor (announcement forthcoming) — this will enable me to focus on event planning, guest curation & unique experiences for future dinners. Very hyped!
Below are the three batches that have taken place thus far. Look like an interesting group of people? Hit me up to get on the waitlist for September!
📚 Reading List:
I likely mentioned this before, but I tend to read two books in parallel at any given moment: 1 fiction, 1 non-fiction (usually business/tech/biography). Here's my latest pair:
Fiction: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson — largely credited with inventing (or popularizing) the term metaverse, this early 90s sci-fi/cyberpunk novel is fun, daring and eerily topical re: all things Web3/VR/Crypto.
Non-Fiction: The Culture Map by Erin Meyer — an INSEAD professor and former business culture consultant, Meyer strings together her framework for operating among the subtle, yet meaningful, differences in a multi-cultural business environment. Highly relevant for my current situation!
Whether you've escaped to a Mediterranean beach or continue to fantasize about air conditioning as you sweat it out in your living room/the metro/a terrace/anywhere in Paris — it's officially August. So enjoy a little time off and ping me if you want to grab an (iced) coffee around town. I'll be here plotting the next steps of my mini media empire/wannabe angel syndicate/aspiring events management business in peace!