For a virtuous, transparent and benevolent French Tech Montpellier …

by bold-lichterman

French Tech is a community label, open source, which allows everyone to decline it, to make it live in their own way on their territory. From this open label, many collective and individual actions were born, all of them bearing a common sense. What is he? Listening to the motivations of very different actors over the past two years, I will define it as follows:

Better living in the territory, in metropolitan areas, thanks to the economic development of start-ups and the solidarity of an ecosystem which – while participating in this momentum – forges transversal links within it, is strengthening itself. This new kind of territorial economic dynamic generates positive exogenous and endogenous effects for each of the participants (company, individual, employee, association, artist, school, etc.).

The exogenous effects play out on a national scale. Through French Tech, France has made itself visible close to international investors,credible with the most dynamic ecosystems globally. This image of a “start-up nation”, reinforced by the government through the creation of international French Tech hub, allows France to create a leverage effect for innovative companies, which will thus have more favorable conditions for their success. Approaching commercially together abroad, under the same banner, gives everyone more strength.

Positive externalities

The endogenous effects are the creation of new collaborations between companies in the same metropolis, which had difficulty identifying themselves despite their geographical proximity. This fluidity of information, through multiplied physical meetings, invented events, conversations organized in groups, online sites, made it possible to identify – for each of the participants – new partners.

In Montpellier, we can cite the events organized by the Frenchtech Council, which are listed on the site of the Metropolis, moderator of this council (governance of the local Frenchtech ecosystem). Also many spontaneous events take place The Chicken Coops Frenchtech Montpellier, informal, joyful meetings that bring people together; the MediaLab Session, The great digital school UpTo carried by Dell and Face Hérault, and; or StartupXchange, a trip for Frenchtech entrepreneurs to Austin (USA), etc.

From a digital point of view, the dynamic feeds through the group Facebook federating daily interactions of the community (+2000 registered), the emergence of the association TIPI (TPE, independent innovation partners), a page Facebook Frenchtech Montpellier managed by the community, a communication kit completely free events, filming a clip produced by start-upers, a dedicated newsletter Press Tech and a multitude of spontaneous media relays on specialized blogs or private companies.

The balance between the market and the non-market

Cooperating, collaborating, playing together are the engines of this voluntary energy, put by each one at the service of all. In a community like French Tech Montpellier where everyone has their place, the value of the collective is subjective and stems from the fragile balance between expectations and contributions.

In a market system, the answer is simple, the balance is made between supply and demand, and the financial transaction makes it possible to establish a transparent negotiated value, by the displayed price. Companies that come together within the metropolitan Frenchtech are developing their turnover, recruiting and creating salaried jobs.

In an intangible space like the Internet, where ideas and relationships circulate, the free exchange of shared knowledge online must be fostered by “the abandonment of conceptions inhibiting the innovation of pseudo-scarcity ”(based on the assumption that the flow of knowledge must be restricted, rarefied, through excessive copyrights) as The P2P Foundation indicates this. In a sense, the community is the real owner of French Tech. It does not belong to a community or to an individual. On the other hand, it brings about the emergence of leaders, an emergence facilitated by networking and participatory uses created by the administrator (s) of a group who create conditions conducive to sharing.

For two years, within the Facebook group “Frenchtech Montpellier Ecosystem” the possibility has been given to people to participate without needing prior authorization; the quality control of the exchanges being made a posteriori by the community.

Recently, an event raised the question of the value of community and ways of contributing. As the group administrator, I deleted a post that I felt conflicted with the proper functioning of the community. This episode gives me the opportunity to remind that, if I am not the only leader of French Tech Montpellier, and if I am not the only facilitator either, I manage the operation of this Facebook group for the community and this , voluntarily. This energy that I give enriches me humanely – as for others – to the height of what I give to it.

If I deleted a post, it is because it was characteristic of the incomprehension of the role of each person in the ecosystem and mine in particular. (Disclaimer: the post had been published by a person on the one hand following the refusal of a paid service which had been asked of me to develop specific relations within a part of the community; and on a on the other hand in ignorance of the fact that I was also a volunteer administrator of this group for the benefit of the same community). Beyond my little person, and the fact that I understand very well that my quote can be refused, this raises the question of understanding “who does what” in an ecosystem and the pricing of services in an open system. , the format of which is itself new to many companies.

La French Tech: the creation of a common

The relationships forged in French Tech and the knowledge produced managed by and for the community are a common good that must be protected by specific rules, in order to manage these resources in a viable, equitable and sustainable manner. The open system that French Tech Montpellier represents has the virtue of mutually educating its contributors, in an agile manner and ensuring that the new know-how that is built (individual or collective), is valued within the community. . And for the latter to be sustainable, the distribution of value is important. The capture of value by third parties (intermediaries, new entrants, etc.) is a risk for the equilibrium of the distribution of the value created, of this common.

I therefore propose to readjust my remarks and that the rules for participation in the Frenchtech Montpellier Facebook group be clarified, so as to assure Frenchtech companies and anyone who wishes to contact them, that they do not unconsciously expose themselves at the risk of misusing it.

Concretely: we could modify the word of welcome in the group as follows.

This group is dedicated to mutual aid within the French Tech ecosystem.
Welcome to all the happy French Tech Members of Montpellier!
Here we post our common thoughts, our creations, our ideas, our events that promote the digital metropolis, Montpellier and its region.
We are committed to contributing in a benevolent way to the life of this ecosystem by the implementation of our state of mind:
– promote understanding of our ecosystem by people who wish to interact and contribute to it, through an educational attitude
– ensure that the relationships forged and the know-how acquired within French Tech Montpellier are valued within it and benefit the community
– disseminate this culture and make a sincere return to people who do not have an attitude of non-market contribution, in return for the search for pecuniary value

Transparency and trust

Innovation or the acceleration of businesses through the benevolence of the community works in a sustainable way if everyone contributes to non-market flows, in return, and in a significant way. And not just by the occasional recovery of the co-constructed value. The nature of these non-market flows obviously depends on the skills present in the collective.

Confidence is the glue of our collective and it is put to the test by the difficulty of the influence games that cross French Tech. I therefore appeal to self-regulation by peers, all of you, who live in this French Tech in general and in the French Tech Montpellier group in particular. This group is not only a digital tool, but a living system, where everyone interacts and feeds in a dynamic way.
And I am at your disposal to change things.

Thanks to those who inspired me: Duc Ha Duong for his manifesto for a platform of values
And to
lilian ricaud for his text on wikis

marielaurevieMarie-Laure Life is here founder of the consulting agency Digital and Meaning, created in 2013. She is a consultant to decision-makers to help them in the digital transition.

Website :

Twitter: @marilor