back to article Exposed pipes – check. Giant pillows – check. French startup mega-campus opens

Giant tech startup incubatory "space" Station F, which describes itself as the world's largest startup campus, officially pulled the dust covers off the scatter cushions last week in Paris's 13th arrondissement. The 34,000 m2 building will host over 2,600 entrepreneurs – who have fought fiercely for their places – inside 26 …

  1. beerfuelled

    It's not a proper one though as they haven't removed the perfectly serviceable suspended ceiling.

    1. CharliePsycho
      WTF?

      I tried to point out at WeWork that the exposed airducts went out of fashion in the nineties, just after the dotcom monster spiderweb egg sacs started popping. The resident millennials all just looked at me like I had stepped out of the Natural History Museum.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Can't see a table football in sight either.

      Those things seemed to hang around as a tech startup cliche *long* after the dotcom era they were associated with. I think it's still obligatory to have one.

  2. Korev Silver badge
    Joke

    Decor...

    "throw pillows and teddies"

    That's well weapon...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do they have beard gel dispensers and organic fair trade toilet roll in the toilets?

    If not then I'm not interested.

    1. Erik4872

      Don't forget the PBR in the fridge, the rooftop dog park, musical selections piped in from a record player, and Moleskine notebooks for everyone.

  4. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Anyone else notice

    the slogans on the rear wall are in English? The Académie française will be having a hissy fit!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anyone else notice

      French Academy.

      FTFY

    2. Steve the Cynic

      Re: Anyone else notice

      "the slogans on the rear wall are in English"

      When I came to live in France eight years ago, I was a little surprised by the amount of English used in advertising. Most of it is odd words or sloganish phrases, but when I saw a three-paragraph rant by Jennyfer (chain of clothes shops selling young women's fashion), it took me several moments to *notice* that it was in grammatically sound English.

      The quantity of English hasn't gone down since then, although in general it is marked with an asterisk, and at the bottom of the billboard / poster / whatever, there is an approximate translation in French. In some cases, it's more approximate than translation, though.

      Also, the closer your sphere of activity is to anything "digital" or "tech", the more the English-speaking world intrudes, as you'd expect.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anyone else notice

        Also, the closer your sphere of activity is to anything "digital" or "tech", the more the English-speaking world intrudes, as you'd expect.

        That's as maybe, but presumably this is about culturing the next generation of cheese technologists, snail farmers, and quirky-but-unreliable car designers. No need for any English. And, as we're Brexiting and they don't want to use English, everybody will be happy if they come up with some suitable Gallic motivational phrases, printed diagonally of course. Things like "Le fromage est exceptionnellement malodorant" and "Les escargots et les Français partagent 99% du même ADN"

  5. hatti

    Just wondering

    The teddy must be for venting frustration, it's legs look broken?

    1. earl grey Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Just wondering

      That's actually pedobear. Good to see they have all the bases covered.

  6. I am the liquor

    startup accelerators in general are not a foolproof path to success

    Are they a path to success at all? Can we point to any successful software/interweb company in Europe that came out of one of these big-city incubators?

    From where I'm sitting it looks like all the real business is being done either around universities, or on a business park just off the motorway.

    1. maffski

      Re: startup accelerators in general are not a foolproof path to success

      Certainly successful for the people promoting the accelerator.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: startup accelerators in general are not a foolproof path to success

      Out of ? No, Into? Yes

      After the years working in the basement then the cheap office above the car parts store we moved into a former incubator space once we had customers visiting. Started at great expense by the government to promote startups in a specific "section of society" it had closed within a year.

      But it's a really nice building filled with fancy chairs and standing desks (we threw out the meeting cushions) the espresso machines are nice but you have to live with the pop-art walls.

      We don't have teddie bears but we do have dogs

  7. Mike Richards

    That's what's missing in the UK

    Silicon Roundabout needs more scatter cushions and a not-at-all-disturbing giant teddy bear.

  8. Kristian Walsh

    Is that the office, or the on-site creche?

    That first picture looks like nothing else but a pre-school.

  9. Erik4872

    Dotcom Bubble II, French Edition?

    Has anyone actually shown a positive correlation between work environments that look like a preschool and successful startups? Because this whole startup incubator thing was big during the end of the last dotcom bubble as well.

    I understand the need to attract young hipsters the same way the SV startups do, but having a company entirely composed of younger people with less experience doesn't seem like the way to go if you want to be successful. You need at least a few "adults" in the company -- letting the kids spend 16 hour days at work is fine, but have some adult spaces as well.

    One thing I've never been able to get, at any stage of my life, is why anyone would want to spend their entire waking life in the office. All of the Google-esque "all-inclusive" companies are like this; they create "fun" workspaces and handle all of their employees' personal business so they can spend the maximum time possible at work. Even if my employer were paying for 3 meals a day, I don't think I'd want to be around for the amount of time they expect in return. I know they're trying to recreate the college lifestyle, but it falls flat for anyone who's been out in the world a while and has some experience.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dotcom Bubble II, French Edition?

      "this whole startup incubator thing was big during the end of the last dotcom bubble as well"

      Don't worry, it will end the same way.

    2. Flakk Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Dotcom Bubble II, French Edition?

      If I was sharing an expensive, Bay Area closet with seven roommates, I'd probably want to spend as much time away from home as I could, too.

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