I’ve read too many startup post-mortems lately. “If only we would have done X instead of Y and Z we would have wasted less time and money and maybe survived”. And yet, all these late epiphanies are just rediscovering what is explained over and over in the ecosystem. What goes wrong, why doesn’t it stick? After discussing online with a few of you, I’ve tried to get to the core of how to run a startup, as a quick and dirty guide for first-timers.
As to be perfectly clear this “guide” only concerns EARLY STAGE STARTUPS. Early stage meaning from pre-launch to 12 months post-launch. And startup meaning you intend to innovate (more on this afterward) AND you’re expect to get in fast or even exponential growth (this part is usually widely forgotten in Europe). That you are a tech, digital, deep tech or whatever startup will be largely irrelevant for me here.
In this exercise, I tried to distill everything that really matters into 5 core principles. These are the ones that I honestly believe anyone with a significative experience with startups, and no vested interested in selling you their crap, will tell you.
Continue reading “How to run a startup, a quick and dirty guide”
We probably had the famous 5 levels of autonomous vehicles wrong. We often lose track of innovation as a practical and market endeavor, not just a technology benchmark. If up to now we viewed the progress to full autonomy as a matter of progressively making the driver role disappear, we see that we are hitting hard walls.
Continue reading “The 5 perimeters of autonomous vehicles”
I have been doing a lot of work on the future of digital economy for various multinationals these last months. Part of the work is to map the key driving forces that are shaping the future of the markets.
It’s not about checking the latest technologies hype, because it’s essentially irrelevant and doesn’t really produce solid foresighting. Remember five years ago when everyone was focused on the emergence of the internet of things? After everyone tried to connect its fridge or spread bluetooth objects in retail spaces, what happened? Nothing much.
It’s also not so much about just checking where the internet is at the moment (in which case you should read the always remarquable Mary MEEKER’s report). But that again, is very tech oriented, and while Alibaba and a few others are discussed, it’s also eminently US-oriented. And this is a problem on so many levels.
That being said, if you’re in the business of seeing where the digital markets are going to shape the next five years, this is in 42 bullet points what I think you should consider as key events and drivers:
Continue reading “My perspectives on the future of digital economy in 42 bullet-points”
I’m glad to be sharing this article about Claire Déprez, Innovative Management Programme Leader at Worldline, the youngest of the transformation leaders I’ve interviewed. I’ve met Claire in 2014 when she was a mentee in the mentoring pilot programme I designed for them. The year after, she became member of the voluntary mentoring coordination team. But this interview is not about mentoring even though the programme was the trigger for her career insight, her evolution in the company and the management culture transformations that followed.
Continue reading “Interview – Innovative Management at Worldline”
I’m in Vietnam right now and don’t have a lot of time to share my thoughts and a thorough analysis. I just want to pin that down for further reference:
China has spent nearly two decades building a digital wall between itself and the rest of the world, a one-way barrier designed to keep out foreign companies like Facebook and Google while allowing Chinese rivals to leave home and expand across the world. Now President Trump is sealing up that wall from the other side.NYT, 2019, May 20 by Li Yuan
I can’t agree more.
Continue reading “The US just forced China to commit to full digital sovereignty”
Uber is intended to hit the stock market at a valuation of $82.4bn. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:
The target valuation was initially $100bn, but since Lyft was introduced on the stock market on March 28 and lost already 27% of its initial valuation, Uber had to be more conservative.
Continue reading “The Logic of Uber’s IPO”
Around a cocktail, everyone will agree that you have to accept failure in innovation. During TEDx conferences smart people will boast about failing gracefully and empowering teams to do so. The question is are you walking to talk yourself? Are you ready to accept failure as an unavoidable harsh reality? At scale?
Continue reading “Accepting the scale of failure”
Remember how since 2008 India was supposed to be an innovation force to be reckoned with? We had hundreds of keynotes on Jugaad innovation , bottom-up innovation, etc. Look it up, it’s fascinating that no one remembers that anymore. End result: not much, if anything really. This didn’t change anything in London, Paris or San Francisco, not even in Mumbai. But lo and behold, India seems to be back with a new idea on innovation: ride-sharing motorbikes.
Yes, I know what you’re probably thinking right now. What’s new?
Continue reading “Innovate in Mumbai, Sell in San Francisco”
You might not remember ANKI Robotics, an hardware and AI startup featured onstage at an Apple event in 2013. Well, this company folded yesterday and had to fire 200 employees after burning through $200 million in capital funding (including Index Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz). And ANKI was not idle in the market, it was generating around $100 million in revenue since 2017. This is not small potatoes!
Continue reading “Why Startups Fail”
So I’ve decided to continue the series of transformation leaders’ interviews and I’m starting this year with Thierry Zedda, a French engineer, currently working as a Performance and Portfolio Manager at DSM [one of the largest Dutch companies with 10 bill € in revenue, and employing over 20,000 people]. Going from engineering to finance to more transversal roles, leading or involved in complex large scale transformations and with the creation of a knowledge platform [aqboost.com], Thierry has an interesting experience and perspective on finance transformation.
His engineering background grants him a pragmatic approach to transformation and a penchant for technology. But don’t be fooled, Thierry is curious but not crazy for the techno hype we have seen recently entering finance (automation, AI, block chain etc.). And for a finance guy, he has learned to look way beyond the figures and work with the cultural change required to really implement beautifully crafted solutions.
The two key subjects that struck me in our conversation were :
Continue reading “Interview – A Finance Transformation Expert at DSM”
- His passion for helping the finance profession to question itself and do a real introspection about its roles, about the meaning of new technologies and about its valuable new position in the organisation.
- Measuring the effectiveness of mindset transformation with maturity assessment, non-financial KPIs and storytelling.
In 2013, Apple launched Apple Pay as both a digital wallet and a mobile payment service, and now Apple is a bank?
Up to now, even with iPhones NFC capabilities, biometric authentication and the very robust Apple ecosystem, Apple Pay wasn’t a amazing success. An extra feature in Apple’s ecosystem yes, not a revolution. And since then, I’ve been waiting for more news and more commitment to this service.
Continue reading “So, now Apple is a bank (finally?)”
I haven’t done a public keynote in a while, so just a quick heads up: I will be in Toulouse (France) and have a one hour talk on startup valuation, managing risk and uncertainties, and what it means for investors (including corporations and their innovation programs).
It’s in partnership with Nubbo the local incubator and a dear partner of us since 2013. The keynote will be on April 8 and starting at 6:30pm. It’s a free event (you’re welcome).
You just have to register here.
Click below for the full presentation (in French):
Continue reading “Keynote (Pas de risques, pas de startup !)”