French summer secrets 😎- Recruiting secrets with Camille Morvan (Goshaba) 👀- A must read: Le Mage du Kremlin 🪆- DNVB and now what? 👾- Edtech Marketplaces on the fast lane 🎓
Warren Buffett : « C'est lorsque la mer se retire que l'on voit ceux qui nageaient sans maillot. »
Episode #73. Hey Sunday reader 👋🏼
This Sunday, The Timestamp is here again to help you! You will get your weekly insights from the articles, books, or podcasts you may have missed in tech, future of work, or philosophy applied to your daily life. This Sunday, learn something in English from the contents I grabbed in France. Even if you are not on the Côte d’Azur, you can enjoy the feel of it.
#1. Recruiting secrets
TL;DL From this podcast in French 👉 Recruter vite, recruter bien, le dilemme des startup 🇫🇷 (Hire fast and right: the startup dilemma) a conversation with Camille Morvan (Goshaba) published on July 7, 2022. Conversation with Sarah Jallot in the (new) podcast series called People First.
80% of hires that come only from a CV/resume selection process, end up being a failure. This means that you should not base all of your judgment on the CV.
95% of recruiters value soft skills as being very important to succeed but close to 75% do not know how to measure them. On top of that, soft skills are generally not well defined and understood so it is difficult to know what they are exactly.
It is much more effective to have a minimum number of criteria to get a successful hire. Too many criteria will end up not focusing on the right skills needed for each job.
There are a number of pitfalls to avoid when recruiting:
IQ tests have proven to be heavily biased by social origin as higher education gets better results. Not ideal to build diversity in your team.
Referral systems are not necessarily great when the company is not already scoring well in diversity.
Hiring only the highest IQs: High IQ profiles tend to be very good at detecting cognitive biases of others but they are generally not great at being aware of their own biases. Those profiles are also more exposed to stress as they tend to overthink.
There is still a controversy about detecting the ability to be a good manager; it is widely understood that managers have to be opinionated and show drive but… successful managers do have great listening skills and the capacity to detect emotions in others.
#2. Le mage du Kremlin 📚
TL;DR From this book in French 👉 Le mage du Kremlin (Ed. Gallimard) 🇫🇷 written by Giuliano da Empoli published on April 14, 2022.
I will obviously not summarize here the book but it is a must-read for anybody who wants to understand what is happening today with Putin, Russia, and Ukraine.
As a big fan of historical novels (based on real facts), I have been mind blown by this book which depicts from the inside how Putin got its power position as a new Tsar of Russia. This book has been written based on the information disclosed by a very close counsel of Putin.
You will understand the dark motivations of Putin in an ending that can be seen as pessimistic but for the least, I think it is a very good questioning exercise on the future relationships with Russia, Putin, and the rest of the world.
One of the finest moments (in French) I enjoyed, is when Vadim Baranov (Putin’s counsel) meets with Gary Kasparov (Chess champion and now a fierce opponent of Putin):
Kasparov: “Il n’y a pas de jeu plus violent que celui des échecs, vous savez”.
Baranov: “Vous ne savez pas de quoi vous parlez. La politique est infiniment plus violente”.
GK: “Mais ce n’est pas un jeu”.
VB: “Pour les amateurs, ce n’est pas un jeu. En revanche, croyez moi, pour les professionnels, c’est le seul jeu qui mérite véritablement d’être joué”.
#3. DNVB and now what
TL;DR From this article in French 👉 L’heure de vérité a sonné pour les DNVB 🇫🇷 published on July 8, 2022 in le Journal du Net.
DNVB (Digital Native Virtual Brands) had a bullish growth until 2020 when everybody thought that the digitalization of selling direct to consumer (DTC) would send them to another level of success but… The opposite happened and here is why:
Large consumer brands like Nike adopted the codes of DNVBs (like eco-friendliness) and grew their DTC share of sales from 13% in 2010 to more than 40% in 2022.
The inflation of acquisition costs that started in 2021 increased the cost of acquiring new customers by up to 2x what it was before (especially on Meta / Facebook / Instagram). This deterioration of margins has been hit since 2020 by a second factor: the rising cost of supply and sourcing.
DNVBs are not dead but they need to reinvent themselves in order to diversify their distribution strategies by adding Amazon, Alibaba, or even brick and mortar stores. The communication challenge is also evolving towards a more diversified approach including traditional media like the press or TV.
#4. Edtech marketplaces on the fast lane 🎓
TL;DR From this newsletter in French 👉 Les Edtech les plus dynamiques en 2022 🇫🇷 published on July 25, 2022 in La Revue Edtech.
Every year, a16z (Andreessen Horowitz) publishes a top100 list regrouping the top performing marketplace companies excluding the ones that got acquired or which exited through an IPO (Coursera and Udemy in 2021).
Interestingly, 7 companies in Edtech appear in this top100 ranking… none of them being based in Europe. Certainly a good idea to look at those companies for any founder looking at starting a similar business on this side of the pond.
Medhi Cornilliet, the writer behind La Revue Edtech, points out several companies where Teachers Pay Teachers has a top position of choice! Founded in 2006, Teachers Pay Teachers is a marketplace where teachers and professors can buy course resources from peer to peer. This means that teachers do collaborate to cross-fertilize their best methods and content for the classroom. Get ready to be back to school! $64million raised to date and top8 (1st in Edtech) in the a16z top100 ranking.
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