Starting a new innovation adventure? I said yes !


How long have I been wandering in the tech standard ecosystem ? 12 years ! Yeap, 12 years supporting the great ideas of advanced products, building with customers, competitors, partners some industrial solutions. Changing market or technology focus every year, to keep the interest up and learning things. In the telecom area, in the banking field, in the mobile planet and for the sake of the web. I have been proudly representing my company in ETSI, GSMA, SIMAlliance, GlobalPlatform, W3C, OWASP, FIDO Alliance. All those organizations may not sound familiar for you as they are mainly dedicated to B2B markets, or specific to the security industry, but this is where the actors of their respective fields do agree on common technology. Balancing their own interest, with power, smartness and being vision driven (well, …).

And ? This is the end of that series of travels all around the world. Where I could have Sake with some friends, hamburger with others, german beers in gardens, and special moments with those tribes. All having their strong characters, their dedicated supporters, their eternal detractors, their fantastic chairmen and chairwomen (less usual). I met hundreds of people, able to make distinction between conflicting business interest and friendship. Being able to change their mind, learn and share their good advices and experiences. Each tribe was a new continent that I had to discover, understand, and convince (and ended loving them). Leaving that (most of the time) friendly ambiance is a hard decision.

I was offered a great job. Managing the communication of gemalto technology innovation. Cross market, cross company, cross people. The kind of job that you cannot decline when, like me, you used to spend your energy in valuing each pieces of innovation or creative person you met. I said yes. And that ‘yes’ moment was a great one – that I am still appreciating. I am currently making up my mind, drafting strategy, listing all great things that position will allow me to do. Trying to make sure to infuse the spirit of making, sharing, valuing people, stays in the plan, like I used to in all my previous missions. More in few weeks !

Picture : Saint Malo diving, by Nicolas Doreau

About MacBeth, witches and your destiny


MacBeth and Verdi. Last week, I went to the Marseille opera, and enjoyed 3 hours of lyrics and songs. The program was Macbeth by Verdi. Sat on a nice theatre, upper circle, I spent 3 hours listening to Mister MacBeth and Lady MacBeth, singing and dying (sorry for the spoiler, but I promise those are not the only ones to die in that Shakespeare piece). The MacBeth drama relies on prophecies offered by some witches to MacBeth, while having a walk with a friend. Those prophecies, are about Macbeth becoming a king and getting powerful, and dying one day (that last one was easy, we all do one day). MacBeth hears that, gets crazy about it and completely embeds those revelations to forge his destiny. He will kill friends and relatives for that (oups, sorry again), that in the end, the prophecies becomes true. This is an excessive story, yes, but this is an interesting one.

Thinking more about prophecies. I realized that I met some witches (not real ones, okay ? magic witches and psychic do not exist, kids). I met some good and bad ones. The ones that look at you and whisper some divination, formulating some nice destiny for you. Why don’t you do this ? Would not it be great if you were blablabla ? Yes, I met some witches – but I’ll keep their names and prophecies secret – they know who they are. The words they spoke were not about giving advice, but about imagining my future. This could be in the form of a game, a joke, a provocative thought.

So what ? Listening to MacBeth lyric voice, and witches chorus, I acknowledged how important it was for me, to be projected into positive (and negative) scenarios. This is not because I have no idea of what to do with my life, I have lots of ideas. This is because by being suggested a possible path, a position, by someone neutral (well, kind of), this forced me to think about that. For some of the fate, I answered “Yes ! That would be sooo great”, and thus I put some energy into making them real. It created huge desire to realize it, and it happened.

So here is a game. Next time you meet a new person, staring at you after few exchanges, and formulating some strange ideas about you and your destiny. Listen. That proposal might be a alchemy between her own dreams and what you inspired to her at a glance – but innovation is made on mixing strange ingredients, and pushing boundaries, right ? Take this as a game and think about those predictions. And you can decide to try to make them true or not.

Note 1 : Witches are not Roger, dont mix it…

Note 2 : you can meet great witches in networking event.

Note 3 : thanks to my kind witches, with love …


#E1S4 : some entrepreneurs fail and recover …


One day in Toulon. This week, I went to a conference #E1S4, located in Toulon. For the non-french or non-south readers, Toulon is a nice town, known for its commercial and military harbor activity, with 650 000 people living there in average. This town is also very dynamic with respect to its entrepreneurship eco-system. It has 5 tech schools, one regional accelerator, having European ambition, and above all, a serious entrepreneur networking habits. In that town, you find : fresh fish, smart engineers and young entrepreneurs.

What is E1 ? E1 is a regular conference, dedicated to the locals. The principle is to bring some best in class speakers (local or from all around France) on a specific entrepreneurship concern, and let them share during 30 minutes, in front of 100 people their life lesson, good practices… That year, the program was focusing on failure. I see you. Oh my god ! A fail conference ? Again. Nooo ! Yes. But this is E1. This is the best place to treat that borderline topic.

What that fail conference was not about. Don’t worry I’ll write in the next paragraph what actually was the conference about… That conference was not about glorifying the fail, neither about maintaining the myth that the more you fail, the more you get money. It was not about demonstrating – yet another time – that life is a jungle and we need to survive it. It was not a minuted show, with success story, including a list of consensual pitfalls.

That conference was all about humans. The speech was designed by humans, for humans, and the value resided in the authentic stories and transparent messages. I witnessed talks from very different types of entrepreneurs. Some multi-recidivist entrepreneurs, some free lance style people, some tech lovers guys, some startup coaching expert, some entrepreneur beginners. I enjoyed Benoit Laurent @BenoitLaurent, Thomas Parisot @oncletom, Valérie Gerard @missv4l, Antoine Ferrier @Anto1neF, Mathieu Bellon @m_ripr, Maxime Tiberghien @MaximeTiberghie. Here is what those guys and girl shared.

Human failing their own ways.  Each of the speaker shared a very special way they felt they missed their target. Some of the big mistakes they confessed were :

  • hiding themselves from their secret fears : avoiding doubting on their initial choice.  “I started with those guys, I trust them” combined with “if this project does not work, I will be out of work, and I will die, so let’s believe in it”. The dream to be entrepreneur makes them forgetting to challenge their choice of partner, strategy, …
  • lacking to view the adventure via the money spectrum : this means monitoring closely the time and the energy spent on the project, avoiding wasting money.
  • putting too much pressure on themselves : repeating ‘I must be successful, that is why I started my project’. This  high expectation leads to high drop.
  • believing that playing the role of the entrepreneur is enough to be an entrepreneur : having a twitter account, claiming to be ‘founder’ is not even the beginning of making the job.

Human recovering their own ways. Again, here each individual shared its own style to get on track  :

  • Solidarity. When several workers suffer the same story, they can fight together, ruling on kindness and solidarity for surviving the everyday battle (aka, going at work without being paid, or going in front of the
  • Rebound. Think about what will happen next. In a minute, in one week, in one month and in one year. Try to get out of the depressive hole, where your dreams are lying.
  • Don’t take risk. By experiencing some small failure, the strategy could be to never ever take any risk anymore, cause you don’t laways have to.
  • Accepting that failing looks like a to be in mourning (maybe not with real dead, but with real loss of something), and thus taking time to recover. 

In addition, I heard some interesting concepts that are hard, really hard to implement. That requires us to work against on our natural way of doing things, or to go against the mainstream image about entrepreneurship – a slashgen super cool quadra, born to success or get up after each punch, with a loving family around him.

  • one should not be so proud about being able to stand terrible things at work, in life…
  • one should try to remove optimist filter when a pattern where everything is complex happens (human exchange, technical conversation, market development, …),
  • from the start, one could test the capability of their partners to think about the fail, by having contracts reviewed by lawyers (yeah, this is a sign of maturity but one might have money for that),
  • as someone works, someone should get paid (ignoring the cost of the work, is denying the worker).

Some additional conferences were related to other problems entrepreneur may encounter such as burn out, remote and distributed work, but I had to run away.

My take on that event. Treating such a topic, in a human size environment is the best formula ever. I have seen entrepreneurs exchanging, learning, with no fear of being judged. And I am confident, that each of us left, with good tips for our next challenges. Thanks again to the E1 organizers, the event was smart and fruitful.

Note : Picture by Bahman Farzer

Note : French readers will enjoy the videos from the conference here…




Interview avec Stéph pour Duchess France

Dans mon parcours de girl in tech, j’ai rencontré des filles bien, des filles motivées, dont Stéphanie, developer evangelist chez Microsoft. Elle m’a récemment demandé d’expliquer en quoi consistait mon travail. Si vous avez envie de savoir ce que fait Virginie Galindo de ses journées, c’est par ici :

More women in W3C, and why not in W3C TAG ?

The W3C is a nice place to be. It warmly welcomes all web developers from all around the world and all companies involved in web planet and business. That is an interesting statement which is true in general. Nevertheless, this place still need to make effort in terms of diversity. International representation, small business representation, equal gender representation… The good news is that there is a coming election, which might be the right time to have minorities jumping in. The W3C Technical Architecture Group is renewing 5 seats out of 9 seats. This working group is made of participants, elected by W3C members. Its mission is to maintain the technical consistency of the open web platform. A nice mission, right ? That would fit to any good architect of the web, man or woman, I guess. How do elections work ? W3C TAG candidates are nominated by W3C members. Then among the nominated people, the W3C members will choose 5 of them.

The reason why I am advertising that election, is that I believe that more women should join the W3C TAG. Just like anyone should. But my voice here, is more to say “listen, girls, you may not realize it, but you may fit the job”.

So if you are working for a company being a W3C member, or not. And if you feel that your skills and experience will be valuable for better shaping the web. And if you would like to be part of a great team, at least, made of Daniel Appelquist (@torgo, from Telefónica), David Herman (@littlecalculist from Mozilla Foundation), Tim Berners Lee (@timberners_lee from W3C) and Peter Linss (@plinss from HP). Don’t think twice, contact your W3C representative to be nominated or look for people in you network that could nominate you. This W3C representative will have to answer the Call for Nomination here and will give you a chance to run for the W3C TAG election.

Few days left to run for that election. The deadline for being nominated  is 23:59, Boston time on 30 November 2014. Go girls !

Power is contextual


It happened few weeks ago that I had to attend a training related to safety. You know, this kind of training any employee should follow to have appropriate reflexes when facing  a situation where human lives could be saved or lost. You know, this kind of training  you have cancelled three times and feel guilty enough at the end to accept. This kind of training where, lets be honest, you get bored after one hour and which systematically ends with a psychotherapy style, each trainee telling his or her story about his uncle who had a terrible accident … well, you know.

Training begins, round table, attendees from different companies, different styles, different jobs. Trainer was great, managing smartly the group to keep us on track. But after 20 minutes, in spite of trainer efforts, it appeared that two people, while being in the room with us, were not with us. Guess who ? The big manager and the HR manager, both starring at their smartphone, fingers running, reading mails, chatting – smiles always trade you. The situation was so evident that the trainer had to lecture them – with humor, to make it acceptable.

On which two consequences : HR manager stopped typing but went on surfing ‘discreetly’ and the big manager answered ‘I am managing emergencies, you know’. He listened a bit before jumping again in his digital life. He raised his head some time to time to kindly participate, take the lead on the discussions, or influence the agenda. He is also the one who put pressure on the trainer at 11:58, reminding that there were two minutes left as indicated in the training program.

Few thoughts . Is that real that some people do not remember that professional power is only valid in certain situations ? Even if a manager has been conducted all his efforts to become a manager (e.g. sacrificing a lots of his private life) the potential power he handles is not universal. Specially in the current context where each of us has a chance developing multiple talents and expertise on professional and personal side. In addition, management is a skill for making right decisions for choosing appropriate strategy and people to make a company profitable, but this does not mean that those skills are applicable to any domain – specially in safety.

Smart managers are the ones who are able to listen, and learn in each situation, including in boring ones. The ones who are able to remember that their power is contextual, non transferable and temporary – so they should not get used too much to it.

[Mots] Petit matin

Copyright Patrice DebrouwereDessin de Patrice Debrouwere

Ce sac pèse un âne mort. Escaliers. Pardon. Pardon. Tourniquet poussif. Une épaule. Pardon. M’en fous. Vague odeur de chocolat et de beurre. Néon. Tapis roulant. Ce sac pèse un âne. Quai. Mosaïques. Couleurs. Bleu. Rouge. Blanc. Dans le désordre. Un souffle. Une rafale. Les portent s’ouvrent. Banquette. Regards intérieurs. Crissement. Signal sonore. Ce sac pèse un âne. Même cirque pour sortir de terre. Ciel gris, impeccable. Plaques d’égout. Des pièges. Les éviter. Passage piéton repeint à neuf. C’est la rentrée. Vélib cuirassé. Rue du moulin des prés. Ce sac pèse un âne. Digicode. Quatre.Trois. Deux. Un. Non. Cinq. Trois. Non. … . Bzzz. “Oui ?”. “C’est moi !”. Cliquetis électronique. Moquette. Ascenseur. Porte en chêne ciré. Plexi-plaque. Ce sac pèse un âne. Le poser. Travailler.

Here, we accept competitor’s coupons !

Visiting the Silicon Valley for a french worker, working in a normal french company, submitted to the standard european economic crisis can be sometimes a destabilizing experiment. Once you remember that in the US, everything is bigger than everywhere else (4 lines highway minimum, enormous cars, gigantic malls, …), you think you are now an integrated tourist. But the Silicon Valley is not the US, it stays a special land, shaped by the presence of biggest software companies. Demonstration.

Advertising on the highway : ‘you will be able to migrate your app from your personal to your professional cloud in a second’. Another one : ‘Hypervision, virtualization, we have your suitable solution’. Is this advert supposed to be read by the average US citizen ? Probably not. Maybe because the average citizen in the silicon valley is a brilliant software developer who deals everyday with problems related to cloud.