My second batch of Companies at Travelling Geeks

by on December 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm

ewanspence_by_joiitoFollowing on from part one, this is the nest look back at the Travelling Geeks tour of Paris pre-Le Web. Here are some more companies that caught my eye and a few thoughts on how things should be in the real world.


One of the interesting things about companies that are pure internet plays (as opposed to those with bits of hardware or bricks and mortar behind the html) is that just because an idea has already been done is no barrier to entry. Teacheo, which promises to pair up students and potential tutors online, and then facilitate the financial transaction (with some commission) is one of many matching sites for education.

It looks smooth, it does what it says on the tin, and it could have a tough time breaking out from all the other similar sites.

Their twist is that they have a 3d modelling space that can be used by both the tutor and pupil to work together. A nice addition but is it enough? On paper, no, but on-line, every little but that gives you an edge might be enough to make your site “the one.”

Orange France Labs

We spent some time with Orange in their tech labs – well more the press demo section of the tech labs, to see what they were up to. Most of it was tied to the Orange broadband and TV offerings in France (so mostly geo-locked) and they seemed strangely reticent to talk about the mobile phone side of things. Let’s just say their media training was in full effect and they treated every platform equally in front of the press.

I wrote this visit up in full for All About Symbian.

Orange's Bic Orange Razor Phone


I don’t have much call for a site that will “manage my traffic flow for international visitors to my site,” but if I did I think I’d turn to Cedexis. Promising to use multiple Content Delivery Networks (such as Rackspace or Amazon’s S3) the service polls these sites to calculate the best site at that moment in time to deliver the content.

Why do I like it? Because he cleared answered two of my questions with clarity and had obviously thought about them in advance – what’s the next goal (to optimise streaming) and what would you do if you suddenly had one million Euros to spend on the site (promote and grow the service in America).

Cedexis is planning to win. Good for them.

Twitter and the Paris Development Incubators

A final thought about one of the last sessions at the Paris Development Incubator, and specifically about the use of Twitter by French Non-Valley companies. There was one bone of contention that some of the companies on display did not have Twitter accounts.

In the cold light of day, there are arguments both for and against this. A lot depends on where a company wants to be, which market it is addressing, and where that market can be found. The natural assumption that every company wants to break America is not always the correct assumption.

But if you want to talk about this, if you want to help and share information, then the Web 2.0 way to do it would be to do it politely. The Travelling Geeks were all guests in France, and as such needed to show some respect in my opinion. Perhaps offering to do a short talk or two from some of the Travellers on how things are where they come from would have been more appropriate.