Yes it reminds me the famous title “I love Paris” covered by so many artists (Sinatra, Fidgerald…), written by Cole Porter in 1953, and Google could make it his new hymn, to prove and show his gratitude to France. Few days after a sparkling opening of their new Googleplex in Paris, they decide to gear up their settlements in France, for all French happiness, starting by President Sarkozy himself, who visited the new European HQ. Through his European presence, covering in France with “LeWeb” wide conference and its opening, Eric Schmidt had smart opportunities to enforce and insist on French American relation, strong, passionned and built since several years, through cooperation, respect and culture integration. There’s no mystery between the two countries, rythmed by the brotherhood relations between President Obama and President Sarkozy, who gave so many proofs of collaboration, mutual respect and strong position facing the recent crisis.
Dealing with its agenda, Eric Schmidt had a short talk with fellows of French-American Foundation, on 7th of december, with many people from different horizons. A smart and warm seance with french students, entrepreneurs, citizens, allowing the audience sharing thoughts, opinions and questions with Google’s chairman. We spent a cute but short time, enjoying the sense of humour of someone who deals with lots of challenges every day, straight to the point. He underlined and justified the choice of France as a new European and Middle-east settlement because of culture, talented and skilled people and that special taste of something sometimes called “arrogance”, that keeps French alive and probably unique. As a French citizen, I can confirm but prefer a “passion” side of this character…
Mr Schmidt delivered some clues about how Google cope with the main issues he has to deal with: data privacy, creation protection, EU lawyers at Brussels ongoing affairs, mobile potential and some of the new big features, Google’s working on. He agreed with the fact they made some mistakes and must be very humble about the privacy: the “don’t be evil” quote from the ages might be a straight forward obsession, to get back to trust and loyalty. Musing all these subjects with all the following statements with:
- the importance of being in France for a long time. Periods of doubt and untrustancy disappeared and i’ts time to build something stronger with the French ecosystem (schools, startups, VCs, engineering…). Trusting in the ideas system and relevancy, but saying there’s obviously a problem with “financing” ideas…in France
- the challenge of globalization, where in fact they are with the sheer nature of the web itself. Passing through a nearly joke with “politics often act local while problems become global”
- the increasing view and facts with mobile and smartphones that boost all the web uses and underlining apps. No, Google doesn’t plan to be a full carrier for mobile…but there’s an advanced work with the Nexus and so much more…
- the fact that a company like Google changes the world, because “technology change expectations”. Consumer becomes much more clever, accurate and addicted to more services. the way it “changes” the world…
- the cycles gear up now: increasing difficulty to see long term expectations and trouble relations with VCs and financial sources
- the necessity of keeping that “don’t be evil” faith, beyond buzz and threats: building trust means protect from all, privacy and engagement from community
- the digital fence and opportunity: freezing some industries but opening wide fields for innovation
- the hard file with the “Hadopi” French exception, in a whole, plugged, wired and online world: protect the creation in a WWW more opened than ever…and punish pirats but not the tools that put, rank and organize the links to contents…“autocrats dream to turn off the internet, he said”
- his three keys to success (personaly like it): Ideas, Team, Quick delivering
- a shortlink to new ambitions with art and museum: Google Art Project
I spent a smart moment with a tremendous manager. One who can rock the world and lead great innovation, passion and engagement. One who could ignite the taste for entrepreneurship, leading business and mentor a whole industry, in the tracks of enlightning the way we do business. Thanks to French American Foundation for having organized this relevant session, I think I’m not the only one “liked” it.
That made my day for sure, in the way I love America, since earliest stages. Of course because of my cousin, Sean (who is a great jazz musician, a complete talented “entertainer”) and his father who died in 2008, Jimmy, who played and brought the blue note in Paris in the 50′s, and played with the best. For me, it’s definitely a family and love affair with America…