Dave Kellogg has a long, interesting post based on his own experiences with the attempts to make Paris into a Silicon Valley (at Business Objects, of course). He comes out very negatively. Reasons include:
1. Worker culture — people don’t have the same entrepreneurial, hard-working drive in France as they do in the US. Based on what I know of Business Objects and also of Dave’s tenure there, my gut reaction is to say this is 2/3 justified, 1/3 Dave just being Dave.
2. A lack of specific skillsets. Also, a lack of connection to the most important market, the US. I agree completely, except that these considerations apply more strongly to well-established industries than they do to truly new ones.
3. A wealth tax that drives rich people, including previously successful entrepreneurs, out of France. Ouch.