Peloton drama 🚴🏾♀️- Strava secrets 🏃🏻♀️- Interview with NetFlix's cofounder Marc Randolph 🎬 - Peter Thiel's obsession with secrets 🪄- Trust you instinct by Silicon Valley coach Diana Chapman 😉
Your comfort zone is your own worst enemy
Episode #50. Hey, this is Sunday!
Sports, mindfulness, procrastination, every Sunday brings a whole lot of new learnings.
This week in The Timestamp, we will cover:
The drama that led Peloton to major changes,
Strava secret sauce to succeed with a mobile consumer sports app,
an interview with Marc Randolph (Netflix cofounder),
Peter Thiel’s obsession,
Some golden tips from a Silicon Valley coach.
Enjoy this 5min read!
#1. Peloton down and up!
My key takeaways from a piece written by Frederic Filloux you can access here 👉 La Saga Peloton. Frederic published this article on Feb 8, 2022. I added a summary of the Twitter post that leaked on the internal email from Barry McCarthy, their new CEO.
What about Peloton?
After it's IPO in September 2019, this emblematic sportstech from the US has known a tough ride. Worth 50bn$ a year ago, Peloton could have been listed in the French CAC40 stock market. The stock went down by -83% since then. Questions arise about a possible startup bubble blast: the startup bashing has already started.
Peloton sells luxurious treadmills to affluent people but lacks a real entry barrier. The company P&L is very dependent from logistics.
John Foley who just left its CEO position has increased its personal wealth by more than100me dollars while the company valuation lost 40bn dollars. He took questionable decisions like signing a 30000sqm lease in Manhattan for 20years… while hiring and appointing his wife at a management level.
Rumors are growing about the possible acquisition of Peloton by Nike or Apple. John remains exec chairman while a new CEO Barry McCarthy takes over as CEO (former CEO of Spotify and Netflix).
Then, a new CEO comes in…
Management principle: create the same kind of magic but getting real.
“We have to be honest with ourselves and with each other even if the truth is uncomfortable to deal with”.
Winning (from experience) starts with accountability.
Building a high performance culture with 10 principles (I really like the first 5):
Be stubborn on vision, flexible on details,
Fast is as slow as we can go,
Intuition drives testing. Data drives decision making,
Your comfort zone is your own worst enemy,
Talent density is foundational.
#2. Secret sauce from Strava
My key takeaways from a piece written by Ali Abouelatta you can access here 👉 First1000 Strava. Ali published this article on Feb 1st, 2022.
Personal note: As some of you may know, I am a big fan and long time user of Strava, a consumer app that helps record your sports activities and share them. I just think the execution and ability to attract a wide population of users from GenZ to GenX is awesome. Here are probably why they are so successful:
« Focus too much on user acquisition before you have a great product and you end up churning through the entirety of your niche ».
Make sure your customer continue to extract increasing value from your product over time.
Extrinsic motivators are key. Understand those data points to observe what behavior they trigger.
#3. Interviewing a Netflix cofounder
Big up to Patrick Kervern for sharing his key takeaways from this article from Thought Economics you can access here 👉 A conversation with Netflix Co-Founder & Founding CEO Marc Randolph. Originally published on Jan 8, 2022.
“Q: What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
[Marc Randolph]: I question whether I’d have been able to hold down any other job if that had been required of me; I don’t have the attention span. [...] it was just this compulsion that myself and others had to build something. You saw a hole, you had to fill it. You saw a problem, you had to fix it. I’ve been drawn to that for as long as I can remember.”
On idea and work:
The right idea is one that fascinates you, that you can’t get out of your mind, that’s a puzzle you want to solve.
If you don’t have something that genuinely fascinates you, you’re going to give-up long before the point you finally stumble on the thing that works. Life is about trying to do things that interest you – and not everything will work – how much better is it to work on something you enjoy though?
At Netflix, we shifted our business model numerous times. This happens at every start-up. When you start, the thing that you start with is almost never the thing that becomes successful.
Our not-so-simple trick was to build a company that wasn’t about DVD’s or streaming. We didn’t want to be the best shipper of plastic, nor the best streaming technology, we positioned ourselves as a great place to find stories. We could make that true in the DVD world and the digital world through things like our taste-engine meaning that whether the product came in the post or through a wire, customers saw it as the same.
On Netflix culture:
The Netflix culture would have worked even if we were selling cat litter. The culture had nothing to do with streaming, DVDs, or pivots. Culture is not aspirational, it’s observational. It’s not something you and your co-founders sit down, dream-up, put into PowerPoint, and create some posters from, for the break-out room. Culture, simply, is how you behave and how you treat your co-founders, employees, and customers.
#4. Peter Thiel’s obsession
2x Big up to Patrick Kervern for sharing his key takeaways from this article from David Perell’s blog you can access here 👉 Why Peter Thiel searches for reality-bending ‘secrets’. Originally published on The Profile on Dec 17, 2021.
...Deep dive : What's with Peter Thiel obsession with secrets ?...
Thiel defines secrets as important truths about the world that other people don’t yet realize. They are keys into hidden chambers of knowledge, free from the distortions of lies and propaganda.His obsession with secrets is evident in his famous interview question: “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”
His Obsession has two origins René Girard teaching in Stanford University and christianity Proverbs 25:2 : “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”
Peter Thiel says that : “Every great business is built around a secret that’s hidden from the outside. A great company is a conspiracy to change the world; when you share your secret, the recipient becomes a fellow conspirator.”
Finding those secrets begins with a skepticism of consensus. In the Bible, every time people unanimously agree on something, they are wrong. Ancient Jewish law heeded a similar lesson. If a suspect on trial was unanimously found guilty by all judges, then the suspect was acquitted.
Do interrogate the dogmas of the day. Question authority. Read outside the mainstream. Surround yourself with independent thinkers. (David Perell calls them uncorralated thinkers.)
#5. Tips from Diana a Silicon Valley coach
My key takeaways from this podcast from The Knowledge Project you can access here 👉 Diana Chapman: Trusting your instincts. Originally published on Feb 8, 2022.
The more serious we are the less we learn. Fun is essential.
Be comfortable about being uncomfortable.
Feedback tells more about the giver than the receiver.
Diana invented the triangle theory: IQ + EQ + BQ which is Intellectual, Emotional and Body quotient.
She recommends taking a decision when all 3 elements lead to a full body YES!
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See you next Sunday!