As mentionned in my post from last Sunday, the acquisition of the French blogging tool maker U-Blog by Six Apart has generated some turbulence in the French blogosphere for the last days – and outside! Stephanie published the story in English to try to give some visibility to this process in the English-speaking world. I added also some comments here.
We had some discussion with Karl about our different perceptions and definitions of the term capitalism. In a few words, Karl is linking capitalism with “firing people”. I explained here (in French – the 92th comments ;-) that I’m not interested at all in such kind of capitalism! I believe that there are ways to link the tough aspects of business with a true human touch, which could bring something positive to the development of people. I am also convinced that companies, their Excutives and their employees have a social and political role to play within our society. In this way, my feeling is that Loic is strongly fighting for his team and his ideas, also and specially during the last tough days, which is to my mind a very positive sign of his commitment.
Then, Jeff Clavier also reacted here (partly in French). I find his comments and his inputs very useful, and not just because they are going in the same way as my own ones ;-) Jeff is French and is working in the Silicon Valley, so he has a kind of “view from outside”. What’s interesting to my point of view?
– Jeff is stressing the fact that it is a very challenging task for a small start-up to deliver a proper communication to all the stakeholders during an acquisition phase. You have to take into account so many different stakeholders and communication channels that it is very difficult at the end to be good in all the aspects, also because you have limited resources and a company to run at the same time!
– He talks about a typical French process: “the storm in a glass of water – la tempÃªte dans un verre d’eau”. You perhaps know that we, as French, like to discuss, argument, and so on, instead of acting. Jeff writes also about the other negative perceptions concerning the French people outside France. I deeply agree with him, although it is perhaps hard for my compatriots to believe us…
Last but not least, Loic Le Meur, the former CEO of U-Blog and now Executive VP of Six Apart, quoted by post here and summarized his last experience in a post called Entrepreneurs do make mistakes, learn from them and react. PR and blogs and how your Company should deal with them. A must-to-read! Loic really tries to analyse the reason why he did some errors, recognizes them, and tries to maximize the learning effect. Great, and not only because Loic quoted me ;-)
Two German bloggers also commented the post of Loic and my post: dogfood (in German) who analyses the differences between the French and English posts of Loic concerning this story, and M. Breuer (and a former post) who talks about the transformation of an entreprise from an “early-adopters stage” to a “business-as-usual” one (in German too).
Generally speaking, this kind of discussions are perhaps somewhat representing some “normal change processes”, with all their typical emotional and resistant phases. I posted quite a lot the last time concerning this subject (see here and here).