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Eliane Fiolet and Hubert Nguyen, the uber-cool founders of Ubergizmo

November 4th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Entrepreneurs

The Nikkei Business magazine is no fancy publication, and I was pleased to see the picture of Eliane Fiolet and Hubert Nguyen, the founders of Ubergizmo. But I was not surprised. It is not only because Japan remains the fairyland of whatchamacallits, it is also and, maybe primarily, because as writers and consultants, Eliane and Hubert are now part of the cream of the crop of the gizmosphere. They receive hundreds of press releases per month, dozens of actual products; they test 95% of them, write most of the reviews and breaking news, and provide expert advice to an ever-increasing number of companies. Obviously, they work around the clock and ride the world. Ken Kaplan, Broadband and New Media Manager at Intel admires their dedication: “They attend events and follow up with questions. When you blog, you must act quickly to beat your competition; Hubert and Eliane also do things thoughtfully.”

Their self-funded business is a passion – and it is thriving! They started their blog in 2004 and, because of their complementary talents, have a handle on a wide range of gadgets. Hubert is a retired NVIDIA engineer and Eliane worked for a top design firm, Minale Tattersfield Design Strategy, where she created the identity for Fortune 500 companies. They don’t claim to discuss all the gadgets that spring up left and right. They keep away from geeky oddities or gimmicky thingies. They like game changers, either because these are hyper-techie, especially beautiful, or because they reflect interesting societal trends, and so, effectively combine the pair’s interests, technological and aesthetic. Who can resist the KDDI mobile phones’ futuristic creativity? Whether you’re into gadgets or not, it was hard not to agree that the Mio H610 was “the sexiest GPS alive.”  Hubert and Eliane talk the talk and walk the walk: clearly, the Logitech diNovo Mini does look great on a coffee table in a San Francisco loft, and Eliane, as faithful as she may be to Macintosh, admits that Hubert’s Voodoo Envy 133 is to die for. Meanwhile, as Hubert puts it, “Intel has just gone nuclear with hard-drives.”

They have the informed perspicacity of intelligent trend-setters and are “unbiased reviewers” in a smart way: instead of being tediously convoluted – often the pitfall for reporters who don’t touch products – Hubert and Eliane get to the point quickly, provide clear explanations, and explicitly state where they stand, which does not prevent them from being fair to products to which they do not feel especially attracted but could make sense to others. “The worse case scenario,” Eliane says, “are the gadgets that seem to be meaningless. So we ignore them. Why rave against them? There are so many gizmos that are worth talking about!”

Although I am not exactly a gadget fanatic myself, I am an Ubergizmo fan. In fact, they have managed to get me interested! I like Eliane’s and Hubert’s free-spirited and modern journalist style; as most of the best journalists, they have the nimbleness of chroniclers and the clarity of knowledgeable reporters, the quick thoroughness of domain-expert reviewers, and the sharp eye of art critics. Incidentally also, they are “citizens of the world,” Kaplan added. True. Ubergizmo is currently distributed in six languages (English, Spanish, German, French, Chinese and Polish), and read in over 200 countries. 

Marylene Delbourg-Delphis

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 kenekaplan // Nov 4, 2008 at 1:55 am

    Marylene — you caught two rising stars. I appreciate you reaching out and asking me to share my experience with the people behind Ubergizmo. Eliane and Hubert have a great mix of dedication, passion and skills that help us tech-watchers get sound insights on the latest consumer electronics. They work hard — I see them at many briefings and industry events. You can tell they care…and love what they do. They’re class acts!

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