I refuse to embrace France’s longest living business stereotype

I refuse to embrace France’s longest living business stereotype


photo courtesy of Pret à Voyager

July is in full swing, and I am already getting pushback on meetings scheduled between July 15th-August 15th, a period so infamously dead for business, that local bakeries have to coordinate with each other to make sure they don’t all close at the same time (seriously – it’s happened).

But I refuse this stereotype – Startups do not succumb to financial crises, and we sure as hell don’t succumb to vacation periods. That is why I’m putting my entire schedule up online for the entire period. There is a certain amount of network effect to this issue – no one is around, so no one does business, so no one is around, and so forth – and I’ve decided that I’m going to break that trend.

From now through September 1st (and if it goes well, I might keep it going indefinitely), I’ll be making myself available to anyone who wants to meet me – as long as I don’t already have a meeting, you can request a meeting with me on my Doodle page.

I’ve given suggestions for times and motives; however, it’s up to you to tell me who you are, what company you’re from, and why you want to meet me (all in one tiny line – consider it the Summer Edition of the Elevator Pitch).

So, if you’re going away in August, grab a coffee with me at the end of July (or come see me at the Paris Founders Event). If you’re going on vacation in July, make me the first person you see when you get back – you can avoid digging into your email backlog while chatting about what you’ve got going on in the coming months.

One thing is certain: there’s no way that France has a dead month of vacation in 15 years – it’s one of the things, along with stores being closed on Sunday, that just can’t maintain in a global economy. The question is merely who will begin the change. If you’re not content just to meet me, set up your own Doodle Page and make yourself available in July & August – let’s let people know that French startups work through vacations, instead of taking them.

5 Responses

  1. J. La Rochebrochard (@2lr)

    FRANCE DATA POINT: 25 weeks vacation per year + 1 day RTT per month + approximately 5 national days off = 42 days off = 8 weeks vacation minimum… 9 to 10 for the smartest lazy dudes… Which actually should give plenty of time for aspiring entrepreneurs before jumping full time right ? 😉

    • R.H. Omea

      Amazing numbers and the envy of workers around the world! but 5 national holidays? There are TEN French bank holidays that fall on a business day in 2014, and up to 12 depending on the region and or convention collective for the job.

    • Michael

      That’s the way to go! Use your free time to test, learn, fail and generate business 🙂

  2. R.H. Omea

    Bakeries staying open in vacance scolaire, like the base price of a standard baguette, is imposed by law, not by choice. With all kudos to a blogger taking a principled stand against a “stereotype” (not really, it’s actually a fact of life in Paris), trying to get French workers to stay at work for all of August is most often a non-starter. Better to pick your battle and try and get some to work on the Fridays over the four les pont weekends in May ‘-)

  3. Lucas

    Is the doodle still functional? I keep having the same error : Bad Request – Bad Request (400)
    Error details: › Error Id: 47622732801039314 › Request url: /np/meetme/ › Worker: worker1 › Time: Fri Jul 18 2014 00:25:35 GMT+0200 (CEST)

    Otherwise I would gladly meet! 😉

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