ST BARTH DAY1 – Knockin’ on Heaven’s door

Wow, posting from the terrace of our rent villa in Saint Barth :-) 26°C, some wind, listening to Placebo. It’s now fully dark, beautiful sky with a lot of stars.

Wifi is perfectly working, with a better bandwidth as the one I have at home (download 335Kb/s, upload 130 Kb/s).

It’s 22:15 local time, i.e. we are up since … 23 hours. Which is good to forget the jetlag as fast as possible.

The travel was the faster ever, really no issue this time, including all our luggage on time. We were at Saint Barth at 15:45 this afternoon. So enough time to get the car (a Mini Cooper Cab), go to the villa, have a first quick dip in the swimming-pool, get some food at the supermarket for the breakfast tomorrow, and go to the first restaurant. As usual, we have started with a visit at the Hideaway. And a first walk at the Saint Jean beach by night after the dinner. Already seen/met a lot of “known faces” and friends on the island.

View from the Airbus before landing at Saint Marteen

View from the terrace

A part of the swimming-pool, overhanging the Saint Jean Bay

Weather forecast is quite good for the coming days here. It seems that a lot of flights from New-York were canceled due to some snowstorms…

The difference of temperature between Saint Barth and Zurich could reach about 40°C in 2-3 days :-)

Everything is just *fantastic*, as usual here…

Time to go to bed now. My son will be up very early tomorrow, to go to the beach.

On my way to Saint Barth!!

Dear colleagues, friends, partners, competitors, customers, readers,

As you know, I am waiting for this moment for quite a while!

We have the chance again to visit our “second home-sweet-home”. I cannot say how far I am happy to be there with my wife and my son. To have the time for them. To think about something else as the business and Innoveo (although I love that ;-).

No holidays since last August, quite a long time…

So a good chance for a “hardware” reset, a re-load and recharging.

I wish you all a very good time, take care!

PS: yes, I should be able to publish some pictures & stories from *the* island ;-) Stay tuned!

Alsace nominated as one of the Top10 regions to visit!

via Lonely Planet

Crazy! In its “fifth eagerly-awaited annual collection of the best places to go and the best things to do around the world for the year ahead”, Lonely Planet, one of the most worldwide renowned source for travelers, has nominated my region, Alsace, as one of the Top 10 Regions to visit in 2010!!

As one of the Top 10 Regions for 2010, Southwest Western Australia “offers variety in spades,” Lonely Planet’s book says. […] Other regions to make the list are Alsace, Bali, Fernando Noronha, Goa, Koh Kong Conservation Corridor, Lake Baikal, Oaxaca, Southern Africa and The Lake District.

For those who don’t know Lovely Planet:

For over 30 years, Lonely Planet has inspired and guided independent travellers to explore the world around them. Our team of expert travel writers are all about on-the-ground research and no-holds-barred opinion. Lonely Planet is passionate about responsible travel and encourages people to make their impact as positive as possible. Whether it be through our trustworthy guidebooks, innovative downloadable digital guides, award-winning website or cutting-edge television programmes, Lonely Planet aims to inspire life-changing travel, where every minute can hold a new experience.

Rehearsal re-launch

As you may know, I am a “very-amateur” drummer. I have first learned and played percussion in a classical band. And then, played drums in a pop/blues band. Almost nobody knew us, excepted our friends and family, but hey, we had a lot of fun just to play together.

After a long break we have started to rehearse again together. And it brings a lot of pleasure and fun!

We have launched our rehearsals with some Sade and Womack & Womack tracks :-)


SmugMug 2009, comparison with Flickr


As you may know, I have left the Flickr service, where I had a Pro Account, for more than one year (in December 2008). Actually, I haven’t deactivated my Flickr account, it is “just” a normal account now, as I didn’t want to break different links on my photostreams. Some limitations are now appearing on my Flickr, i.e.:

  • upload of 100 MB monthly and 10MB per photo
  • 2 videos per month
  • only smaller resized picture accessible
  • only the most recent 200 photos are shown.

So, it is clear that I cannot use anymore this service. On the other side, it’s free!

Comparison Flickr vs. SmugMug

So let’s compare a bit more the different services (SmugMug and Flickr).

Disclaimer: this comparison is a mix of facts and my own subjective rating of both services (still as users from both during months).

Overall information sold to Yahoo! in March 2005, founders left in 2008 independent, profitable and debt-free
Number of employees around 50 50
Number of photos 4’000 million 766 million
Founding year 2004 2002
monthly upload limit 100 MB unlimited
limit per photo 10 MB 12 MB
max. video duration 90s not supported in “standard”
max. video size 150 MB not supported in “standard”
shown size (photo) smaller resized images no reducing resolution
number of photos shown last 200 unlimited
gallery personalization no yes, very nice
slideshows yes, but limited yes, lots of customization possible
costs per year free, but with ads $40
monthly upload limit unlimited unlimited
limit per photo 20 MB 24 MB
max. video duration 90s 10 mn
max. video size 500 MB 600 MB
HD supported 720p 1080p
storage limit unlimited unlimited
bandwidth limit unlimited unlimited
statistics yes yes (far better)
customization no fully, including hostname
batch organization yes, but limited yes, extremely powerful
costs per year $25 $150 (an intermediary “Power” level exists for $60/year)

I am wondering, based on this tables, if it would not have been better to compare the “Pro” service from Flickr with the “Standard” level of SmugMug…

Anyway, you feel perhaps how far both services are different. Perhaps also not with the same target groups/segmentation of customers.

Why I have left Flickr

I have left Flickr for mainly three reasons:

  1. The huge functional differences between Flickr and SmugMug
  2. The lack of innovation and service updates at Flickr. In the last months, nothing happened at Flickr. SmugMug is principally launching new functions and testing new ideas each month!
  3. I was impacting by all the controversies and censorship stories (Thomas Hawk is relating some of them here and here) around Yahoo!/Flickr.

It is clear that the price differences is really huge between both services, but you get something from what you are paying!

Impact of having moved to SmugMug

First, it was quite easy to migrate from Flickr to SmugMug, as you can find a Firefox extension to automatically migrate all your pictures from your Flickr account to SmugMug. The tool is called “SmuggLr” and it is free.

Secondly, based on my SmugMug Pro Account, I have created a new subdomain called “” of my own blog “”. Both are now similar from each others, although I am definitely not finished with the customization. I will perhaps also merge both (blog and visuals) in the coming time. All my pictures and videos are now published under the “visuals” subdomains.

Thirdly, and perhaps the most interesting: the effect of having done these changes had a *huge* impact on the traffic of my pictures! I had about 18’000 views on my Flickr pictures within 2 years. I was many times above 100’000 views per month in 2009 on SmugMug! More data about this just below.

Some statistics of my SmugMug in 2009

Some data
about 2009 on

  • Number of image views: 755’000
  • Monthly average in the last 6 months: 105’000
  • Number of image views linked with Saint Barth: 620’000 (!), i.e. 82% of the overall views (!!)
  • Highest traffic in December with more than 130’000 image views
  • Highest image views in a day (since mid November): December 6 with 18’910 views in one day…
  • Bandwidth used during the year: 82 GB
  • Highest bandwidth usage in July with more than 20 GB
  • Most viewed photo since mid November (with about 8’500 views just on this one):


Visualization of the traffic during the last 12 months:

Countdown started for Saint Barth :-)

We are extremely lucky to be able to travel to Saint Barth again this year…

Our last visit there was in February 2009. I have the feeling it’s 5 years back!

We were quite lucky last year when we have reserved the villa we will be in in some days (a renovated villa that was just put on the renting market). I think it’s from far the most beautiful villa we have rented. With an absolutely crazy view on the Saint Jean Bay, the Eden Rock hotel, and the airport. Have a look below…

So, in exactly 30 days, we will be on this terrace!

Laurent is a Certified ScrumMaster!

As you may know, we are more and more using Scrum as a team-based framework for developing our Skye® standard software product (front-end solution for insurances) at Innoveo.

What is Scrum? (ScrumAlliance definition)

Scrum: A team-based framework to develop complex systems and products.

Scrum is an iterative, incremental framework for developing any product or managing any work. It allows teams to deliver a potentially shippable set of functionality every iteration, providing the agility needed to respond to rapidly changing requirements.

The Scrum framework constantly challenges its users to focus on improvement, and its Sprints provide the stability to address the ever-changing needs that occur in any project.

These characteristics have led to Scrum becoming the most popular method in the world of agile software development.

We are consequently very proud to inform you that Laurent Kempé, who is acting as our Innoveo ScrumMaster besides being our internal “Scrum champion”, has successfully passed his ScrumMaster certification!

Congratulation to Laurent for this nice step and recognition.

Next step is now to apply for the next level: Certified Scrum Practitioner, as shown below (ScrumAlliance certification process):

cross-posted on the Innoveo blog

Seesmic has acquired

Loic LeMeur, the CEO of Seesmic, announced yesterday that his company has acquired As a “happy-user” of both services, I find this acquisition definitely interesting ;-)

I am using Twhirl as a Windows Twitter client, and the service to spread my updates to LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Plaxo and FriendFeed.

We’re happy to share with you very big news if you have not heard. We’ve acquired Get ready to update 50 social networks from Seesmic.

[…] has more than half a million active users who post daily from any device just by sending an email, a text message or chat – simple tools that existed since the early stages of the Internet are available on all connected devices. This is why is extremely easy to use and access -just send an update and it can touch on 50 social networks including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Ning, WordPress, TypePad, Yammer, and many more. is compatible with every single Internet device in the world, which is why it has become so successful among thousands of users. 


Thanks to its powerful and simple API, more than a hundred applications already use to update all the main social networks and Seesmic commits to maintaining and improving the platform. Not only has Twhirl supported for about a year, but we are also preparing to open Seesmic apps with our own plug-in architecture so we understand and care about the developer community. co-founders, Adam Duffy and Sean McCullough, are joining the Seesmic team full time and will keep improving as well as integrating it with our Seesmic applications. The number one request from users is to have more powerful clients support postings to their social networks, so they should be pleased to know Seesmic applications will be adding this functionality.

Seesmic is also welcoming angel investors as shareholders and advisors Joi Ito (@joi), Reid Hoffman (@quixotic) who was already a Seesmic shareholder and Mohamed Nanabhay (@mohamed). Seesmic applications on BlackberryAndroidWebWindows  and OSX via Air will all have advanced integration very shortly and therefore will instantly support 50 social networks.

[via Loic’s information mail]