“Obviously, this guy is out of his mind. I get it. He is a young and naive French guy, they all went crazy!”
Well, you are damn right but I want to say:
- To think oustide of the box, you should have a little craziness in you
- To pursue your dreams, you should be the enemy of rationality
- To face the truth, you should see what you believe
Do you know what I believe?
“If we keep going like this, entrepreneurship will be only for rich people.” Co-Founder O’Way
For some immortal, many startups have to die
Do you remember a movie called Time out? Well, it’s not the best movie I have ever seen on my life but quite interesting. In the movie, a person who reaches 25 years old, starts to age quickly. To survive, he must buy time. If he can’t, he dies.
What do you think? For startups, it’s definitely true. I remember the first time when I talk with an investor interested by O’Way’s app. Our conversation looked like this :
Me — “Hi, my name is Alex, I am the co-founder of O’Way.”
Investor — “Hi Alex, nice to meet you. So, what is O’Way’s value proposition?”
Me — “Well, it’s simply an app allowing people to talk and meet other passengers on their way.”
Investor — “It’s clear. And what’s your lifetime?”
Me — “My lifetime? Well, I don’t know. Only god knows. But I hope to stand until my 90s or 100 years old.”
Investor — “I hope for you but I’m talking about the lifetime of your startup.”
Me — “Ok ! Well, I don’t know…”
Now, I understand why we don’t close the deal with this investor. He certainly hopes guarantees that we can survive forever. But the truth is, we can’t, like most of the startups.
“Most of them die because they run out of cash.”
Race if you want to survive
At this point, I noticed a phenomenon called : The fundraising sickness. Intuitively, most of us, when we finished our first product, also called MVP, we tend to go out and try to get some money. Logical, we want to survive and grow. Our best target : investors and venture capitalists . Why? Because they have money, they are risk-takers and we hear in some famous medias that every week a company was fundraised.
The problem is most of us aren’t ready for this race. We don’t have traction. We don’t have awesome metrics. We don’t even have product market fit. But, we have a product! Oh yeah! Is it enough? NO WAY ! So, why we keep doing the same mistakes? We don’t have enough money to buy time.
When Again’s testimonial
I am a lucky guy and one day, I meet the CEO and founder of WhenAgain. An app that allows us to see again people that we don’t see since a long time. We had a conversation and he said to me :
“In fact, Alex, the only rule is that you’re alone and nobody will come to help you while they claim the contrary. That’s my own experience in an incubator. We live in a world, no comment…The reality is the incubators have to help financially their startups, especially social entrepreneurs. Without this type of help, only rich entrepreneurs can succeed.”
Toast Games’ testimonial
Who are they? An independent studio developing mobile games. They launch their first mobile game called We are magic last year but they face some issues to get enough traffic and develop their community of players as the head of communication department told me :
“The problem we face is that we don’t have enough resources to make all the actions we want : marketing, events, ads, pay developers to improve the game…It costs a lot! So, we have to balance this lack of resources with creativity. If we fail, we are dead. Another solution is to get out and get some money with fundraising but it’s very difficult.”
A famous non-profit organization that helps entrepreneurs to act and transform their ideas into actions. One day, Matthieu Dardaillon, CEO & founder, commented a news from the JDD, a famous media in France :
“Create a company must be possible for everyone. Not only for people who were born well. I feel the need to say that because with the phenomenons like the French tech, Viva Tech, it seems to me that it’s always the same people, coming from the same schools, going to the same events that are helped. All those phenomenons are great but we need to help everyone and not dig deeper our inequalities in our countries.”
Data say what?
According to Nicolas Vanbremeersch, founder of a communication agency called Spintank, located in Paris, there are 3 periods in the history of French entrepreneurship :
- Pionneer period : Composed by people coming from middle classes. We don’t even know the word “startup” at that time.
- Elite classes first period : Then, elite classes start to be interested for the field of new technologies. But…
- Internet bubble : This bubble stops them and they have to wait until…
- The end of 2010 : To come back and be installed at the top of the hierarchy.
According to Roland Berger, from NUMA, a famous incubator on the parisian marketplace, in 2016 most of the entrepreneurs have a master degree in engineering fields or business fields. Awesome! But, elite classes represent almost 50% of the total population pursuing those studies while they only represent 15% of the global population. That’s a real problem…
If you read until this point, you’re awesome! You care about this problem and you probably want to change something to fight those inequalities because that’s the reality. If you don’t accept it, never mind, that’s your opinion. For those who start to think how they can change this situation, that’s not the good question to wonder. The good one is the why. Why do you care? Why do you want to fight? Then, the how follows up.
As my favorite speaker says :
“No matter how bad it is or how bad it gets, I am going to make it ! You know why ? Because I am hungry.” — Les Brown
Maybe poor people don’t have money but they have something that rich guys don’t : hunger. You don’t have money. You don’t have resources. Figure out how you can do without it. Be creative. Learn by yourself. Go and get your dreams.
Let me know your opinion about the question with a comment. It will be profitable for everybody.