Le blog de Keyvan Nilforoushan

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Identify your controls

One of Andy Grove’s strongest concepts (from High Output Management) is that of task-relevant maturity. Specifically, that for a manager being hands-on is neither better nor worse, in general, than being always hands-off.

Managers stumble when they are stuck in a mode and can’t adapt ; usually that manifests when they start being really hands-on and can’t grow beyond it when their scope of control grows beyond their technical expertise, or just beyond their available time. Managees stumble when they don’t understand why their manager suddenly becomes hands-on. They feel adversely micro-managed and don’t realize they are growing into a new realm of know-how.

I’ve found however that the advice for the manager to adapt to the task-relevant maturity of the person being managed is not enough. The better advice is to always communicate about exactly how close or how far they intend to remain.

Ways of doing that are excellently summarized here :

Identify your controls. | Irrational Exuberance

Working with the door open

“I noticed the following facts about people who work with the door open or the door closed. I notice that if you have the door to your office closed, you get more work done today and tomorrow, and you are more productive than most. But 10 years later somehow you don’t know quite know what problems are worth working on; all the hard work you do is sort of tangential in importance. He who works with the door open gets all kinds of interruptions, but he also occasionally gets clues as to what the world is and what might be important.”

You and Your Research

As one, still.


As many of you, it is with great sadness that I’ve heard the news about the British vote. The sad reality of human endeavors is that it takes mere minutes to unravel the work of several generations.

onefinestay in Paris would be nothing without our British – and more generally foreign – members of the team. Not only have they been a cornerstone of our common achievement, they’re the reason we smile every morning when we come to the office and hear the sheer musicality of different voices speaking in different langages, they’re why we approach every problem open to the idea that a different history might enrich us with a different perspective. They’ve made each of us better, and will continue to do so. This is the true wealth of the Indies.

I’m sad, but not concerned.

Europe is not a treaty. It’s not a parliament, and it’s not a set of institutions. These are just visible trappings of an idea that predates us and will outlive every single one of us, the idea that every layer of superficiality and falsehood we peel away brings us closer to Man, not as he is, but as he ought to be – United. And Europe is nothing but a first step in that journey.

In the admittedly better words of Saint-Exupéry, “He who is different from me does not impoverish me – he enriches me. Our unity is constituted in something higher than ourselves – in Man… For no man seeks to hear his own echo, or to find his reflection in the glass.”

We build Europe every-time a French student hops on a train for an Erasmus year abroad – and either stays there forever or comes back with wider eyes and a bigger heart. We build Europe every time someone graduates in London and thinks that, just maybe, Paris would be a great place to learn more than a foreign langage. We build Europe when a cross-border wedding leads to kids without borders, learning two langages well enough to realize that langage doesn’t matter. We build Europe in the pub when 10 Frenchies instantly switch to English just because a foreign colleague joins. We build Europe every time someone starts working in our Paris office and decides to continue their onefinestay journey in Rome.

We build Europe by our example, by what we do, and make it a little stronger every day in the hearts of the people we meet. And we will continue to do exactly that, because no vote in the world can take that identity away from us.


(PS: The words above are not an official statement. This is just me.)

The Map that never was

The Map that never was

Harry Beck’s 1951 Paris Metro Map (from Intelligent Life)

The tipping point

The tipping point


This past Saturday, an entire apartment building in Shanghai collapsed. […]

Sounds like there was a problem with some nearby flood prevention walls at the Dianpu River, but there’s no hard evidence as to why this huge building simply fell over.


(Via: Everything you can imagine is real.)

Of Mice and Entrepreneurs

Peut-être la souris la plus déterminée du monde (via Kottke)

Entreprises gigognes

On dirait que quelqu’un qui s’est amusé en structurant les relations intra-groupes:

Tarrant Capital Advisors is the sole shareholder of Tarrant Advisors, Inc., a Texas corporation, which is the general partner of TPG Ventures Professionals, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership, which is the general partner of TPG Ventures Partners, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership, which is the managing member of TPG Ventures Holdings, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, which is the sole member of TPG Ventures Advisors, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, which is the general partner of TPG Ventures GenPar, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership, which in turn is the general partner of TPG Ventures, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership (the “TPG Fund”), which directly owns the shares of Common Stock of the Issuer reported herein.

Source : Naked Capitalism 



Hilarious as it may be, [Inspector General of Police Bhaskar Rao] has been corresponding with himself for the last 26 days as an officer wearing different hats. 

“I have to do my work and there has to be consistency in correspondence. There are times when I have to dictate a stern letter to myself beca­use of the delay in res­ponse from myself fr­om the other office,” 

The trees of Chernobyl

Vue en coupe des arbres de Tchernobyl

Let’s guess when it happened.

The trees of Chernobyl.

Le Flâneur on Vimeo

Le Flâneur on Vimeo on Vimeo

viaLe Flâneur on Vimeo.

Quite an angry critter

Not your usual feline fix.


A time for decisions?

A time for decisions?

Derniers voeux de l’année?



Voici donc à nouveau la saison des voeux.

Avec l’étrange soulagement du retardataire qui s’aperçoit qu’il ne sera pas en fait le dernier arrivé, j’espère que ces voeux bien tardifs signaleront peut-être le crépuscule mais pas pour autant la fin de la saison festive.

Le sapin n’est déjà qu’on lointain souvenir, le petit sourire né avec le premier flocon est reparti avec la dernière averse, et nous sommes désormais fermement installés dans cette partie de l’hiver qui ressemble furieusement à un automne sans fin. L’année passée est finie – notre terrible voyage achevé – mais la suivante semble avoir commencé plus tôt que prévu.

Bref: il est grand temps de rallumer les étoiles – en quelques mots que j’espère plus poétiques que kilométriques.

Je vous souhaite donc une année sans demi-mesure, de joie et de bonheur, d’espérance et d’insouciance, de santé et d’accomplissements. Beaucoup d’enthousiasme aussi, et tout autant d’innocence. Je nous souhaite avant tout, si d’aventure nous venions à croiser l’enfant que nous avons été un jour, qu’il veuille bien nous honorer encore de son amitié.

Et la chanson continue, belle.

* J’ai omis les marques de citation pour ne pas alourdir le texte, mais j’ai librement emprunté à Blake, Whitman, Apollinaire, Whyte et Rilke. En espérant qu’ils ne m’en voudront pas trop!

Ukraine’s got talent (too)

Well worth the watch.


Kseniya Simonova – Sand Animation (Україна має талант / Ukraine’s Got Talent) – YouTube.

New York – 2012 in photos



From Une année à New York à travers ma caméra « MJ ♥ NY – Chroniques new-yorkaises.

Superstition? It keeps the elephants away

A man boards a train, and finds himself sitting in a compartment opposite another passenger who is reading The Times. Every time the other finishes a page, he tears it from the paper, rolls it into a ball and throws it from the train. Perplexed, the man asks what he is doing.

“Ah,” says the man with the newspaper. “A trick I learned in Africa. Keeps the elephants away, don’t you know.”

“But there aren’t any elephants around here!”

“Yes. Works well, doesn’t it!”


Bob Dylan – Street Poetry

Color photography of Paris from 1914

This made my day!

Entrance to Passage du Caire

Color photography of Paris from 1914.

Mercenaries vs. Missionaries

“Mercenaries are driven by paranoia; missionaries are driven by passion,” he says. “Mercenaries think opportunistically; missionaries think strategically. Mercenaries go for the sprint; missionaries go for the marathon. Mercenaries focus on their competitors and financial statements; missionaries focus on their customers and value statements. Mercenaries are bosses of wolf packs; missionaries are mentors or coaches of teams. Mercenaries worry about entitlements; missionaries are obsessed with making a contribution. Mercenaries are motivated by the lust for making money; missionaries, while recognizing the importance of money, are fundamentally driven by the desire to make meaning.” — John Doerr

Mercenaries vs. Missionaries: John Doerr Sees Two Kinds of Internet Entrepreneurs – Knowledge@Wharton.


Literally my childhood in street art.

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