Last week, we launched FON in France and from there, I flew to London and then to Silicon Valley. My meetings with the giants of the internet, with VC firms and makers of WiFi routers were really encouraging. I visited the headquarters of Google, of Yahoo, of Skype in London, of Netgear, of Kleiner Perkins and of Sequoia. I’d love to write about my meetings and conversations there but I simply can’t right now. I know I said that it was my intention to blog the making of FON but at this point I think that if I do blog it I will end up blogging the UN making of FON! For now, all i can say is that our plan do build a global standard to share WiFi is going in the right direction and moving forward. We know we need money, web exposure, hardware “fon ready” presence, ISP deals, word of mouth and we are working on all those fronts at the same time.

On a more anecdotal level, what i can definitely write about is my tour of the Google headquarters which absolutely amazed me.

The Googleplex shocked me. Are you hungry? Almost everywhere you look you have sweets, snacks, cereals, candy…If you work there, you can eat for free in their cafeteria or rather, their food court that offers Italian, Mexican, North American and Asian food. You like swimming? Google as a lap swimming pool right in the middle of its Googleplex. You can also go running in their gym or work out whenever you want to during work, or you can leave your kid in the Google day care center, or you can wash your clothes in their laundry room. I have never been to a kibutz but whatever I imagine they look like…I saw at Google. When walking from one building to the other, just hop on one of their Segways. Here’s an immensely successful company working in a kid’s paradise. I just love it. Now please when you look at the pictures do remember that what you see is Google sense of humor and do not take anything seriously!

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Dirk Riehle on December 15, 2005  · 

You may like this photo of Google’s outdoor swimming pools then: GoogleSwimmingPool.

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