Today’s agenda: Coconut Pancakes and the Start-up community

If there are two things I like more than anything else: it’s breakfast and lists.

Today’s breakfast: Coconut Pancakes. Recipe here. 

Coconut Pancakes

Today’s list: 10 things I’ve learned from working with start-ups

  1. Start-ups exist in a COMMUNITY and the more you participate, the easier it gets to network and meet others in this community.
  2. Authenticity is needed for ‘commercially-minded corporates’ to successfully enter this sector
  3. An idea is worth nothing, but a company with actual products, strategy, and a team is worth something (potentially).
  4. The definition of a ‘start-up’ is impossible to pinpoint. And that’s never going to change.
  5. Corporates and start-ups are not enemies; they just don’t know how to speak to each other. It’s a classic lost-in-translation situation.
  6. Money is not the issue; execution of ideas and scaling up past ‘shiny new start-up’ is a problem.
  7. It’s a numbers game – the number of start-ups, investors, mentors, accelerators, brands, clients, etc.
  8. There are two types of people in this world: entrepreneurs and curious observer. Having or not having a start-up is NOT the defining characteristic. It comes down to personality – there are people who build and people who support.
  9. There are a lot of bad ideas, confused business plans, and inapplicable pieces of tech that have hundreds of thousands of pounds in investment funding. Again, how much money you’ve raised is secondary to the monetization strategy.
  10. Both breakfast and the start-up community involve a lot of coffee.

Samedi matin à la start-up.

What’s better than the original? Actually, a lot of things!

What's better than the original? Actually, a lot of things!

1. Seedless Watermelon is better than original watermelon.
2. Lychee Juice is better than Lychee Fruit on its own.
3. Frozen Grapes are better than room-temperature grapes.
4. Dried Mango Slices are better than Ripe Mango.
5. Strawberries sprinkled with a little bit of sugar to balance the acidity.

P.S. I’m a fruit lover… can you tell?

And full disclaimer, this is just my personal taste and preference. Feel free to tell me your eating habits and preferences! There’s no reason why you have to like the original more than variations of it… even if a crunchy red apple is the best taste in the world.

5 Rules of being a Good City Citizen

  1. When someone asks you to take a picture of them, take your job as a photographer seriously. This picture could be their only ‘couple picture’ in front of Big Ben. Or it could be her new Facebook Profile picture. (And we all know how important that is!)
  2. When it comes to working in coffee shops, be respectable of space. If you’re on your own at Starbucks, let a stranger take the other side of the table. And when they or you leave, say your goodbyes and smile… you were practically on a coffee date after all!!
  3. Be mindful of people traffic flow. Everyone is busy. Everyone is stressed. Everyone is late for a meeting. Everyone is being slowed down by tourists wandering on the wrong side of the street. So just please be respectful of those stressed and frazzled human beings around you. They’re fighting a battle as well.  
  4. Those people on the street – the ones in colourful vests and a cause they’re promoting – are real people on the street. You don’t need to ignore them like the plague. THEY’RE PEOPLE, in the cold, trying to save Pandas. So say “no thank you” if you don’t have time, but have the courtesy to look them in the eyes.
  5. It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day tasks. So, every now and again… take a break and look up at the wonderful buildings around you. It’s simultaneously a humbling and aspiring feeling. And will make you a better citizen of your respective city. A true Londoner, or Parisian, or New Yorker. 

5 ‘Petite’ Things About Paris

Exactly 5 months and 1 day ago I took the Eurostar from London to Paris, and naturally I voiced my enthusiasm on this blog. Well the time has come to journey back (quite literally… I am faced in the opposite direction of the train’s movement). So here are a couple things I’ve learned during my time in France:

1. As your proficiency skills in one language go up, your other languages will suffer. I would have never thought that becoming better at French would mean spelling and grammar mistakes in English, after all English is native language! But no, I was making silly typos almost every single day by the end of my stay. Bahhhhh, Alors, qu’est ce qu’on fait?

2. Quiche is one of the most delicious foods on the planet. Bahhhh….. Voilà.

3.  Being a nanny is a great way to socialize and learn about the country’s culture. You’d be surprised how much you can learn about the population by observing how children are raised. Bon… bahhh, on prend une goûte après l’école. Un petit Pomme-pot et une tartine avec Nutella pour toi aussi? 

4. They say bahhhhh….. a lot. The best way to learn a foreign language is to pick up the little sounds in between words. Believe me, it will do wonders for your accent. Je te promis.

5.  Living in Pars is HARD. And disheartening some times. You might get your phone stole. You will get whistled at and harassed. No matter how well you speak French, people will treat you like a foreigner. The metro will stop at random times. Your Internet will not work. You will live in small spaces. You will not have a gym near your apartment. Nothing will be open on Sunday and Monday and anything administration-related will never be open.  Don’t get me wrong; it’s a wonderful city. But to survive, you have to willing to struggle. To fight for what you want. Paris n’est pas la ville que tu as vue dans le film d’Amélie Poulin. Désolé.   

That being said, I would still recommend the experience to everyone. After all, the city does grow on you. You’ll crave a baguette as you walk down the cobblestone roads. Children will have the most adorable names. You will randomly decide to go the Musée d’Orsay on a Thursday night. And the French Countryside is absolutely lovely for a weekend escape.  

Bon… bahhh… voilà ! Une vite réflexion pendant que je prend le train à Londres. En gros, j’adore France et je suis impatiente d’améliorer mon français de plus. Peut-être c’est un peu difficile, mais avec les amies sympas ce serait une bonne expérience.