Hello friends, readers, subscribers,
Liam here. For nearly 5 years I’ve squirmed, mingled, and otherwise had my way with the French tech scene. I’ve made friends, great friends, I’ve learned to call France, all of France, my home, and I’ve had so much fun that there are a small handful of people who won’t return my calls (emails) – after all, they say you can’t make friends without making enemies.
For a guy who just wanted to get away from California for a bit, Rude Baguette has been the most wonderful way for a community to say “We accept you. Feel free to talk shit about us, and we’ll love you for it.”In the past 2 years, after having met enough entrepreneurs to raise love money from, I grew this funny little blog into a business that employed 12 people at its peak (albeit a short peak, as I’ve begun detailing in a series of Medium posts entitled 45 Days), organizing 50 events for 25,000 people around 50+ countries. When I raised money, I told myself it was Bloomberg or bust – and, well, I was true to my word.
In short, I spent more money than I had, and had a great time doing it. I don’t necessarily wish I had spent less money, but rather that I had taken in as much money as I was expecting. I have been pushing for years now for Rude Baguette to be more than a blog. I’ve spoken countlessly of the opportunity to build a European media, and I was willing to bet everything to try and do it. My fellow soldiers at tech.eu, Arctic Startups, Nordic Web, Tech City News, The Memo, Venture Village,… the list goes on. We all share a dream, but I wasn’t content with settling for a bronze medal.
On June 9th, I filed for bankruptcy, just 45 Days (get it?) after our last potential investor told us “thanks but no thanks” – things crashed hard and fast, a rookie mistake that I’ll carry with me for years.
While I initially felt an immense sense of loneliness, It seems that closing the doors – or at least, money problems, are the theme of 2016. I’ve been less shocked than I would’ve liked to see countless French startups recount their troubles – even today, news of TakeEatEasy is ‘yet another startup bankruptcy’ in France. Pre-bankruptcy Rude Baguette may have scoffed at this news, talked of mismanaged money or the problems with the on-demand economy; however, I know that, on a bright day, anything is possible, and, on a dark year like 2016, it can feel a lot like a Sisyphean nightmare to be a Founder.
So, here’s what’s going to happen next:
- As I mentioned, I’m wrapping up a medium series called 45 Days, which details the last 45 Days of Rude Baguette. It’s cathartic for me, but it also covers a lot of topics that I rarely see people write about: depression, bankruptcy, firing, acquisition, and all that fun stuff. If
- On September 4th, I’m helping to organize the Paris Drone Festival. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and I’m doing it because it is awesome.
- I’ve already been approached by a few people who have been following my Medium series and figured out where it was going, but I’ll be talking with people this summer to figure out my next move. In fact, I wrote a great piece about what it’s like to consider one’s next move in a piece called The 4 Noble Professions in Tech. In short, I’ll either keep working in media, go back to working for a product company, begin working as a VC, or maybe something else 🙂
Despite me telling people that I’m stopping Rude Baguette, I’ve been invited to a handful of tech conferences, either to speak about 45 Days, or just to have great conversations with technologists, which I still love to do. Every single person on the Rude Baguette team has found new work (at least, those who have looked for it), but RudeBaguette.com will change ownership in the next few weeks – good on whoever had the forethought to buy it. For myself,
I’ll be writing on Medium in the short-term until I figure out where I’d like to write next (either for someone else or on a new site) – in the mean time, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Medium.
The new Rude Baguette owner will also have access to the Rude Baguette social media feeds as well as this email subscription – I may down the road also pop up and let you know one time what I’m up to next, but you can opt-out now or later by unsubscribing, if you’d like.
Thanks to everyone who’s emailed me out of the blue asking for help, or invited me to lunch ‘just to chat,’ to the people who have enabled me to do, by far, the coolest job ever. Just like my status as a resident of France, no matter what is next, I will have spent the majority of my 20s as a blogger for a site I started, paying hundreds of thousands of euros to employees, in taxes, to suppliers, hiring friends, organizing parties, having great conversations – no one could ask for a better way to dive in one’s professional career.
When I first started blogging, I told myself it was a sort of Startup University – I would learn about Startups, VC, Media & Politics – I have now met presidents, thanked the very VC who inspired me to start writing (Mark Suster, you’re the bomb), had billionaire entrepreneurs attend my events and invest in me personally, and I’ve met with the CEOs of some of the largest media companies in the world.
Wherever I go next, it will most certainly be to build on top of these experiences, to leverage what I have learned, to improve myself, and to, eventually, try to build a sandcastle that is a little bigger, a little more sturdy, and, if possible, even more exciting than the one I spent 4 1/2 years building.
Thanks, take care, and see you around,