Octopus by JOY, my new venture

My new company is named JOY. Check it out here: www.heyjoy.io and please spread some love here: www.facebook.com/JOYfamilytech

We've been selected by the accelerator HAX. We spent 4 months in China to build the prototype of our first product.

Our first product is called Octopus. It's the first icon-based watch that teaches kids good habits & the concept of time.

Will 2016 be the year for Family Tech?

Let’s start with a definition of Family Tech. To me, it’s “connecting parents with their kids in meaningful ways via technology.

In the US, there are 23M families averaging 2 children aged 3–11 (source: childstats.gov and cia.gov). The parents are most likely from Gen X, birthdates ranging from the 1960s to the early 1980s.

I know this generation very well because I’m one of them. We are born with computers and video game consoles, we saw the digital transformation, the birth of high speed internet, the smartphones and electronic gadgets of all kinds.

“Currently, I see three forces overlapping, creating a fantastic market window: technology force, economic force, social force. To me, it indicates that 2016 might be the year for Family Tech.”

Technology force

Thanks to the miniaturization of the electronic parts, their low energy consumption and the fact that more than 2B people own a smartphone, thousands of connected objects are flourishing: smart home systems, wearables, activity trackers to name a few.
Moreover, with prototyping tools more accessible than ever before, a lot of entrepreneurs jumped on the hardware trend. It’s not anymore needed to raise millions of dollars to build a products up to the Design For Manufacturing.

Economic force

Like their dimensions, the prices of the electronic components have dropped significantly these past years. For instance, a GPS chip measuring only 2.99 x 3.21 x 0.59 mm costs less than $5.
The result? Good products at affordable prices. Technology is now mainstream.

Social force

Our generation is willing to trust technology with their kids. There are still some doubters, indeed, but in majority we are convinced of all the benefits technology brings, from freedom to personal development.

Awesome products in the pipes

Until now, this market window didn’t benefited to the families. However, some awesome products are in the making (and we can thank crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indigogo to facilitate the go-to-market of hundreds of new start-ups).
ILY, The Family Phone; Torch, the smart wifi router for the families; Family Band by Joy, the smart wristband to Communicate, Geolocate and Play or Nabi, the fitness tracker for kids are some examples of innovative products that will help both parents and kids to live a better life.

It’s just the beginning

Family Tech (#familytech) will hopefully come with good surprises. First, for the children: they will get tools that will empower them, give them more freedom and more autonomy. Then for the parents: they will help their kids to progress and grow more safely while also keep under control their activities.

The future is bright, thanks to technology!

How my daughter went missing

Belvedere St.

Halloween 2014. The kids are over excited. We are ready to celebrate. My son (10) is an alien, my daughter (4) is a princess and my wife is a beauty queen.

We are heading to Belvedere St., San Francisco. For those who don’t know, it is The place to be. The street is closed for the occasion, and the whole neighborhood is transformed into a gigantic horror castle. Scary!

Thousand of people are here. Everybody wears a costume, even the dogs. There are kids everywhere, screaming and yelling. Trick-or-treating is the law. You better have multiple bags to carry the harvest of candies and chocolate bars. Some neighbors give representations in their garage, some others sing. Kids have fun and so do we.

Where is Emmie?

One hour into the party, it’s Friday night, our attention vanishes. My wife asks: “Where is Emmie?”. I look around, grab my son and like a tornado, we run from door to door, asking strangers if they have seen a little princess.

There are hundred of little princesses out there. It’s literally impossible to find her.

Hopefully she will show to somebody our phone number we’ve written on her arm. But 20 minutes after, still no phone call.


We decide to call the police. Unfortunately, they can’t do much. At this point, we imagine the worst has happened. In average, in the US, 911 receives one call like this every 40 seconds…

> Read the full post on Medium

Geotagged Mobile Video Commenting

TV is dead 

We all know that. I can barely remember a friend that watches live programs on TV at the rare exception of sports fans.
TV is dead, but why? Is it because the content is bad? Is it because the format is not appropriate anymore? Is it because people have shifted interests?
First, you have to be in front of it at a specific time but you are a busy man, you have no time for that.
Second, there are too many commercials, it's really annoying.
Third, the content is boring, too generalist, too mainstream.
Fourth, it's top/down. Some guys impose you what to watch.

Newspapers are dead

We all know that. I can barely remember a friend that reads a newspaper.
Newspapers are dead, but why? Is it because the content is bad? Is it because the format is not appropriate anymore? Is it because people have shifted habits?
First you have to buy one. It costs you money.
Second, you have to read long articles and you have no time for that.
Third, what's written in it is outdated. Yes, even a news from yesterday is probably obsolete already.
Fourth, it's top/down. Some guys impose me what to read, what to think.

Mobile is the new king

We all know that. I can barely remember a friend without a smartphone. Everybody has one, and everybody uses it a lot, and when I say a lot, I mean more than everything else. Why? Because it's like a digital swiss army knife. You can do so many things with a smartphone these days.

After having read these three paragraphs, you've learned nothing new, but that's what journalists call giving context, and I'm not done with context...

What's my friends are doing/saying/seeing/watching interests me

Let's face it, I'm more interested in watching House of Cards if my brother-in-law recommends it because he finds it awesome than if John Smith from the San Francisco Chronicles implores me to watch this XYZ TV show.
Social networks solve this problem extremely well. Facebook is by far the on-line service people are using the most.

What's happening around me interests me

Let's face it, I'll pay more attention if my neighbor tells me that his house has been broke-into last night than if I read it somewhere. I'll be more interested in knowing more about this nice little castle 2 miles from the place I stay during my vacations in France than when I'm in San Francisco.

Everything else is bullish**t to me

If Mister Skarsgard from Sweden complains about the drought this summer while I'm in Canada: I don't give a f***.
If Miss Xing in China implores me to visit her nice little village north of Shenzhen while I'm in the US: I don't give a f***.

Context being set, let's enter the interesting part. What the future will look like.

Crowdsourcing as the unique source of information

What Wikipedia, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube have in common? Their content is totally crowdsourced. Yes, you can argue that the majority is bad content, but still, the good one represents more that all the broadcasters and the newspapers will ever be able to produce, and there is a reason for that: people love to express themselves and bad content for you might be good content for someone else.
Social media is a way of finding likeminded people and this is priceless. News are not top/down anymore, but one-to-one, meaningful and most often trusted (wisdom of the crowd).

Video is the most natural way of expression

Since 2009, the smartphones shoot videos in 1080 HD like every other cameras. It's super easy, super fast and people are use to it. On the other hand, the young generation has absolutely no fear of speaking in front of the camera, of broadcasting their life. It is definitely the most natural and accurate way of expression.
Opinions, comments, points of views are best described in videos because that is what replicates the best the real life.

Why geotagged mobile video commenting will be the next big thing

Now, let's put everything together. Imagine that everywhere you are, everywhere you go, you can watch videos commenting what to see, what's happening around of here. Imagine passing by a place where a friend has recorded a very special moment that you can share with him afterward. Imagine if you can actually watch what just happened near you, instead of hearing it on the radio or reading it on Twitter.
And the other way around works too. Imagine if you could video comment your experience, your life at this specific spot. Sometimes you are a reporter witnessing a special moment like the fall of a tree on the road or a car accident, sometimes you are a travel reporter recording a beautiful sunset on this secret beach during your vacations, sometimes you are just a guy immortilizing a crazy party at a concert.

It is a new way of discovering the world, of sharing emotions and point of views. It is the new way of helping others as well as keeping memories. It is the new CNN, local, social, made by normal people, for normal people. 
That is what we are working on and we are going to change the world.

My book

My book is in french, so I'll switch to french.

En août dernier, lors de mon passage en France, j'ai noté que la gamification était un sujet méconnu, malgré le consensus général reconnaissant qu'appliquer des mécaniques de jeux pour rendre une tâche plus agréable à réaliser et plus motivante était bénéfique non seulement pour l'accomplissement de cette tâche, mais également pour l'orientation de la personne en charge de cette tâche à choisir la méthodologie recommandée par le donneur d'ordre.

En clair, la gamification permet d'influencer le comportement. Après quelques recherches, j'ai découvert qu'il n'y avait pas d'ouvrages en langue française qui traitaient du sujet de manière simple. J'ai décider d'en écrire un.

"Gamifier votre site web et votre app mobile. 
L'art d'influencer le comportement de vos utilisateurs et d'améliorer l'engagement."

Cette expérience m'a ouvert les yeux sur plusieurs choses et j'en suis arrivé aux conclusions suivantes :

1) Critiquer tu arrêteras.
Je ne critiquerai plus jamais l'auteur d'un livre. Ecrire est difficile. Respect aux écrivains.

2) Franglais is good.
Parfois, les anglicismes sont nécessaires et il est ridicule de vouloir trouver un nom qui sonne français. L'un des éditeurs que j'ai contacté voulait que gamification soit remplacé par ludification. I mean, come on!

3) Si à 40 ans tu n'as pas écrit ton livre, tu as raté ta vie.
On ne s'improvise pas écrivain, certes, mais chacun à le droit d'exprimer son point de vue. A bientôt 40 ans, je n'ai plus de complexe par rapport à ça. Comme mon ami Carlos Diaz le dirait, "la plus belle fille du monde ne peut donner que ce qu'elle a", l'important, est de faire avancer le schmilblick. C'est ce que j'essaie de faire modestement ici.

4) Un livre se doit d'être vivant et être mis à jour.  
La technologie actuelle nous permet de mettre à jour un ouvrage en quelques minutes. J'adopte donc ici la méthodologie "lean". Publier au plus vite et améliorer le livre au fil du temps en l'enrichissant d'études de cas, en réagissant aux commentaires et aux bonnes idées.

Le livre est disponible gratuitement sur Apple iBooks, sur Amazon Kindle au format eBook et peut être imprimé sur demande.

Coming to America for Entrepreneurs

A recurring question I have from fellow foreign entrepreneurs is: "what VISA should I get to come to America?"
At last, somebody came with the perfect answer. Check it out here for full article.

Funders and Founders - Anna Vital