Leading in a new world 🌎

Top insights from key opinion leaders every week

Episode #35. Hi there! I'm Gilles, repeat entrepreneur and author of The Timestamp. Imagine you arrive on planet earth today, what does this mean exactly to be a leader in a post-pandemic era?

  • What are the pieces of advice you would give to somebody starting a company?

  • How do you understand the world we live in?

  • Do you know what employees really need?

  • How do you make a decision?

  • How can we (re)learn living together?

This week, I will give a warm ‘merci’ to Patrick Kervern who contributed curating some of the content and summaries I am sharing hereafter.

Last week's interview format featuring Emmanuel Arnaud CEO @HomeExchange is still available for free in case you missed it. And now, here we go with a new selection of 5 great articles and podcasts that were worth summarizing and sharing.


#1 World-class Advice for Founders  

After 15 years as a product leader, CEO and now VC, here’s the advice I always share with future founders published in the FirstRound Review (source article click here), featuring Todd Jackson, partner at FirstRound Capital (x-Google, x-Facebook, x-Twitter, x-Dropbox).

☁️ Before looking for product-market fit, start by identifying the right market to go after. Before prototyping, make sure the market you go after and the problem you are solving are big enough. Which functional and emotional need does it address for the user? Are you addressing a largely underserved market? Is there anything new or unique about the UX of your solution? These questions will make the difference between nice-to-have and must-have products.

☁️ Be disciplined about sticking to 2 or maximum 3 qualities of your products (for ex. @Google: Speed, simplicity, and power). For simplicity, a method Google implemented with Marissa Mayer is to count complexity points and make sure to keep them low. For speed, Gmail teams were constantly vigilant about performance metrics to make sure they did not degrade as features were added. If it degraded too much, the team would go to feature freeze.

☁️ About getting acquired as a startup, a piece of good advice is to create competition between buyers and keep the decision process fast: all discussions are due to happen in 3 weeks to make sure not to get distracted.

⛅️ For companies having the target to go to an IPO, preparation is key as you “need to deeply understand, refine, and articulate your product strategy and revenue growth model, years beforehand.”

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#2 Where is the tech revolution?  

The death and birth of technological revolutions published on October 12th 2021 in the Stratechery by Ben Thompson (source article click here) and curated by Patrick Kervern.

☁️ Ben Thomson from Stratechery revisits Carlota Perez’s Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital that identifies 4 phases of Technological Evolutions (Irruption, Frenzy, Synergy, and Golden age, maturity) in the light of current technological evolution.

☁️ According to Carlota Perez, we have not reached the Golden Age of technology and we may be heading to a new crash preceding the beginning of a new era that may be fueled by green technology.

☁️ A second surge as in preceding historical examples would need a synergy between the Government impulses and the economy. According to Ben Thomson, we could make the case that China has entered the Synergy phase in which the government has aligned with technology to profoundly impact China’s citizens.

☁️ On her side, Perez has noted that COVID-19 could end what she thinks is the elongated turning point era, much like World War II ended the elongated turning point era of the previous revolution (at least in the U.S.). So perhaps a new Golden Era is in fact imminent.

☁️ But argues Ben Thomson, it is notable that crypto, the most obvious candidate for the next technological revolution is not an obvious extension of the current era. To be sure this framework does imply that crypto is full of scams and on its way to inflating a spectacular bubble, the aftermath of which will be painful for many, but that is both expected and increasingly borne out by the facts as well. What will matter for the future is how much infrastructure — particularly wallet installation — can be built out in the meantime. This being said “the current Installation period for crypto — if that is indeed where we are — has a long way to run, which is another way of saying most of the economy will remain in the current paradigm for a while longer.

⏳ The time from the Intel microprocessor to the Dotcom Bubble bursting was 30 years (and, it should be noted, there were a lot of smaller, more localized bubbles along the way); Satoshi Nakamoto only published his paper in 2008. Thirteen years after 1971 was 1984, the year the Mac was introduced; the browser was another 9 years away. It’s one thing to see the future coming; it’s something else entirely to know the timing.”


#3 Leaders & employees  

Leaders are missing what employees really need published on August 17th 2021 in Fast Company (source article click here).

☁️ According to the study, 50% of employees are considering leaving their work this year in a mass movement called the Great Resignation. Companies must be prepared to offer 100% remote work conditions. And companies must be ready to offer personalization when it comes to the dilemma between office vs remote work.

☁️ Leaders must create meaningful connections between workers and their work to make them feel highly engaged.

⭐️ Ask yourself the following question that most employees ask themselves right now: “What is the value of my time, the impact I’m making on the world, and the sacrifice I’m making relative to other things I could be doing?”


#4 Make decisions as a leader  

4 things every leader should know about making decisions (but most don’t) published on August 29th 2021 in Digital Tonto by Greg Satell (source article click here) and curated by Patrick Kervern.

☁️ Your job as a leader is to make tough decisions, with incomplete information, in a compressed time frame.

☁️ Your brain works against you.

⛅️ Not every decision needs to be made right away.


#5 Reapprendre à vivre ensemble  🇫🇷

Et si nous (re)apprenions à vivre ensemble publié le 14 octobre 2021 le podcast ‘Une philosophie pratique’ de Charles Pépin (source podcast click here).

☁️ Aristote il y a 25 siècles disait: l’homme est un animal politique (c’est à dire un animal social).
Freud explique aussi que le refoulement peut conduire à vouloir tuer son prochain; c’est le fameux “crève connard” que certains lancent quand ils sont sur la route.

☁️ Apprendre à vivre ensemble avant de (ré)apprendre à vivre ensemble. La méthode de Charles Pépin: être conscient de ses propres imperfections, cultiver sa curiosité (aller vers l’autre).

☁️ Union vs agrégation. L'union traduit un désir d'être ensemble alors que l'agrégation n'est qu'une association d'individus qui ne forme pas encore un "ensemble".

⛅️ Dire ‘je ne sais pas’, cela revient à dire ‘je veux savoir’. Une posture de questionnement, de soi et des autres, permet de se rapprocher et d'échanger des opinions tout en explorant le point de vue que nous ne partageons pas a priori. 


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See you next Sunday!