The Suits Exchange B-Cards

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Rain or shine; right here - next Thursday!

Your 'Club' Starts On Thursday

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 11. October 1999:- Last Tuesday evening it was not raining in the part of Paris where I hang my hat, so I did not put it on when I went to my first FirstTuesday meeting at Frédéric Mitterrand's old Olympic Entrepot cinema.

It is now just called l'Entrepot, but it is still a cinema that shows classic movies all the time. Frédéric Mitterrand has gone on to better things in the bubblegum-color TV entertainment line, after being a well-worded cinema historian for late-night TV.

Europe 'lags' behind the United States - who does not? - in the area of making pots of money out of the Internet. Actually, most of the 'pots of money' are made by speculators betting 'Internet' on the markets, but this is mere nit-picking.

Steve Carlson has been tirelessly running a newsletter called 'Online Europe' out of Budapest for years and all of his efforts have been directed at getting Eastern Europe online andphoto: sign, fleche d'or cafe into the money. Late last spring he informed his readers about London's 'FirstTuesday' meetings.

These are designed to bring poor but able Internet people into contact with able investment people, who are beginning to get an overflow of cash from the US and looking for 'plays' in old Europe.

The sign for good times in Bagnolet.

Compared to the US and Canada, Europe is relatively under-wired and seriously underfunded, but does have a huge population which can be another way of saying Europe has an untapped potential to be a new frontier, boomwise.

Over the summer some organizing was done and in September, 'FirstTuesday' meetings were held in many European capitals, including Paris.

Being presentable again, I presented myself at last week's 'FirstTuesday' meeting to see what a large smoky room full of poor but able Internet types and able investment bankers could do with a lot of free wine and cheese and close contact with each other.

There were featured speakers from a French portal Web site which has been online a little less time than Metropole. With a purely Franco-French play, they said they were cruising along according to their business plan and paying the rent.

Despite the able sound system, half of the 3-400 present continued their own discussions about their B-plans while the other half tried to get insights from the speakers.

Before the meeting, a colleague told me it would be mainly a B-cardphoto: sign: las vegas, paris exchange so I took some of mine and got some others in return. The most interesting person I met was a photographer from the Paris daily, Libération. As all there was to shoot were suits, he left early.

'Us too!' Las Vegas, Paris; Rue de Charonne.

I walked home through the quiet streets of the 14th and wrote up my impressions of 'FirstTuesday' in Paris and sent them off to Steve in Budapest for his newsletter.

The next day, I also wrote a simple 'remember me?' to all the B-cards I'd collected, which has resulted in no replies.

Another correspondent, in Munich, told Online Europe the 'FirstTuesday' meeting there had a turnout of 600 'strangers,' who he thought were there to sightsee the media-hot but cash-poor 'Internet people.'

Café Metropole Club Launch

After checking out the architectural additions to Paris' Palais des Congrés last Wednesday, I checked up on the location for this week's first edition of the 'Café Metropole Club.' Read all about it in this issue's 'Club' page.

I am a bit nervous about going 'live' so be prepared for it to be a bit haphazard. No need to dress up for this; just come as ou are.

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