Mindset differences between Europe and the US

I've been thinking a lot lately about the differences between Europe and the US. I'm a European first -I grew up in France- but I've always felt strongly attracted by the US. It's been a love at first sight since my very first visit in Boston when I was 16 y/o. Since then I've been countless times and I got lucky enough to live in LA, California and a few years later in Boulder, Colorado. We now have a routine with Mathilde and the kids, we go back to the US altogether every year, home-swapping for the whole summer.

As an entrepreneur, I've experienced firsthand the biggest differences in terms of mindset between both places. But it is only now that I spend more time over there as a parent that I realise how impactful -for life- are all these differences. Many of them can be trace back to some of my observations following my last 2 weeks over there.

Golden Gate bridge by Joshua Sortino

LEGO, long-term, and the cockroaches

I read something yesterday mentioning LEGO and their exceptional rebound, 20 years after being near bankrupt when they were close to 1 billion dollars in debt. I instantly thought: they deserve their spot in the cockroaches page. Which then sent me back down the memory lane and their incredibly rich story.

Memory lane cause we spent a day at Legoland in The Hague last Xmas. The kids loved the place, obviously. Mathilde and I were disappointed but I'd say it's more because we were expected something more 'grandiose' - a la Disneyland - than just the space not being cool. It still reminded us countless hours of playing with bricks coming from our parents childhood. Our own kids are now crazy about it. I spent a few hours the other day building with them a 15-bedroom house for all their super-heroes toys.

A few month ago we spent a weekend at some very close friends house and the guy is still obsessed with LEGO. He got a whole collection of old cars, sport ones, the Millennium Falcon and other artefacts in his basement, proudly displayed next to his collection of wine. It's pretty impressive.

Your decision-making skill, focus and working hard

I decided to launch my first startup I was still a young 20-ish student. Back in 2011 in France, there weren't much to rely on. Which - in retrospect - was most probably the beauty of it all. And I've to say this kind of wild-west created very strong and authentic bonds between many 'players'. Typically in my case, we rented out one little room in the basement of the first office of a fresh brand named Jimmy Fairly [still around and thriving -- think of it as the french version of Warby Parker] and that's also where I met Stan; now Dust co-founder.

Costco is special

First time I heard about Costco was in 2014. I just landed in Los Angeles and settled on Venice Blvd and Walgrove Ave. A few blocks away on Washington Ave is Costco - I also discovered and became a regular at the In-N-Out on that block. I didn't fully grasp the power of Costco at first. As a european, it reminded me Metro. Metro is a food wholesaler. We go there to buy high quantity of things we know, at the best price. We needed a 'professional' card to enter the store though. We had one thanks to our society activity [organizing events and weekends]. I remember at school, it was well perceived to hold a Metro card. You could definitely leverage this.

The incredibe story of Airbnb, and the cockroaches

I've been on Airbnb for more than a decade now. I just checked out, my profile is 11 years old, and I received my first review from a host in June 2013. I remember that stay vividly. Back then I was living in Singapore, and this was my first trip to Jakarta, Indonesia. As far as I remember, I've always been a fan of Airbnb. As a guest obviously; but later on as a host as well; and in between as a fellow entrepreneur.