Klewel | Trends from Silicon Valley and learnings from a six times entrepreneur. A dialogue between Loic Le Meur and Laurent Haug
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Loïc Le Meur Laurent Haug Silicon Valais

Trends from Silicon Valley and learnings from a six times entrepreneur. A dialogue between Loic Le Meur and Laurent Haug

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You may know LeWeb conference in Paris which was a big success. If you know LeWeb, you probably already have heard about Loïc Le Meur who is one of the first French blogger.

Last Friday, in a dialogue with Laurent Haug, Loïc Le Meur shared his thoughts about the trends from Silicon Valley (he has been living in San Francisco for the last 9 years) and learnings from a six times entrepreneur. This event organized by Valéry Héritier took place in Sierre, Switzerland, not far from Martigny, in the context of the 2016 edition of #SiliconValais , “Valais” being the name of the canton here in Switzerland. Klewel had a stand there and the talk was webcasted by Klewel. There were no slide, so we decided to create slides corresponding to each question Laurent Haug asked to Loïc Le Meur.

Webcast: Trends from Silicon Valley and learnings from a six times entrepreneur. A conversation between Loic Le Meur and Laurent Haug

Webcast: Trends from Silicon Valley and learnings from a six times entrepreneur. A conversation between Loic Le Meur and Laurent Haug

Watch the Full webcast with chapters.

In the same way Robert Scooble (one of the first speakers at Lift conference (webcast of the 2016 edition here) organized by Laurent Haug) is famous to present emerging startups, I really enjoyed this conversation because Loïc Le Meur shared a lot of insights about his experience of creating value, building things with passion. And maybe one of the most important message I would keep is when he talks about the side project that works better than the original idea because you put more passion into it. And LeWeb is a perfect example of it: he started small, like Lift, with a couple of bloggers and ended up with a 3 day, 4000 attendees and 4M revenue business. Second advice: if you share regularly stuff with others, you help people, you create a community and it is amazing how you get back (watch slide/question 19).

Anyway, it is very dense. Those two guys talked about many many things and this is full of real experience. Listening to them is like reading the best book I have ever read about Entrepreneurship (Rework): it is inspiring and you somehow probably need to take notes to remember everything. Anyway the webcast is “klewelised” so that you can easily jump from one question to another.

snapshot-klewel-player-loic-le-meur-2016-highlight

Please note: this report is far to be perfect, accurate and complete. These are more note taken in order to mention what’s in the video of each part.

Question: When did you start your first business ?

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: I never worked for anyone else than me. Created one of the first web agency in 1996, at 23 years old: one of the first advertising banner in France. Then worked on web hosting in a company sold to OmniCom group and the other one to France Telecom. If you want to know more, read the full bio.

Question: When did you start blogging ?

This is a very interesting part.
Loïc Le Meur’s answer: 2003, at Davos World Economic Forum, Young Global Leaders, After a discussion with Joi Ito, japanese, now head of MIT Media Lab who taught me what was blogging. Major shift in not only my career but in the way of seeing the world: to share everything, it is almost une "maladie" sickness if you look at all the crap I am posting online, there is a lot. Started a blog platform.
Another very interesting part, about the beginning of LeWeb conference:
Started it as a side project. From a Lesblogs conferences to a 4000 people conference. It was a side thing which is usually the best: sometimes you try really hard and you think it's really going to work and it does not. While the thing you do as a passion, on the side, work. Felt in love with organizing events. Events are great because you never know what's going to come out of this. Successes from LeWeb: Uber was invented at LeWeb. A number of startups presented early at LeWeb startup competition: Ways, DailyMotion. Evernote started European expansion at LeWeb, I did not invest in Uber while I just saw the beginning. But even the founders had no idea it would be so succesful. So difficult to predict... They were doing a limousine company.. They had no idea this will be so big. Mark Zuckerberg had no idea facebook would be so big when he started.. he is a geek, he wanted to date.. in Harward. You never know what you create. If someone tells you I am building a billion dollar company, bullshit..

Question: Why did you move to Silicon Valley ?

LH: You were very early in all these phenomenons, before people started to pay attention...

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: I have invested in 45 startups. I was an angel in LinkedIn, Lending_club which went public. You never know how things happen. Advise: Always Treat any new connection as a potential wowow THE big connection, you never know... Always think long term, never take advantage of someone in a bad way, especially when you start. Story of the beginning of LinkedIn... social software, nobody knoew about it... 3 friends knew as much as me and decided not to invest in LinkedIn. Jeff Clavier, a famous french investor in Silicon Valley, said I do not believe in social networking. Anyone who gives you lessons on what they know... it's so difficult to predict success.

LH: It's not a science, it's an art...

About Trends : Transportation & lodging, infrastructure

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: People sell their cars in Silicon Valley, cheaper than owning a car. Most important for millenials is to own a phone. On the other hand: people all have Tesla: Here in Europe, if you succeed, you have a BMW. There if you do not have a Tesla, you are a looser. LH: In France you need a Rolex at 50. Tesla now owns 50% of the luxury berline car segment market previously owned by BMW, Mercedes.. If you do not have a Tesla, you are a looser in Silicon Valley.

Question: You are investing in a startup called… beomni.com ?

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: The pitch is: we all have too much crap in our garage, storage... and with beomni.com they take care of all your belongings. In the same way people sell their car, again, millenials do not want to own anything except a smartphone.

Question: Is Tesla a car company ?

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: According to me, Tesla is a software company. The automatic driver software is self updating... They are really in advance in terms of artificial intelligence

(BTW for those of you who understand German, at Klewel, we recorded a Hitachi conference last year with a presentation by Tesla)

LH: Idem SpaceX (fast update if there is a crash) versus Nasa (3 weeks to relaunch).

Trends : Health & human reproduction

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: About freezing eggs. Having baby without having sex. Human reproduction .... prelude fertility. Women eggs freezing will come as a comodity.

Trends : Health & editing human genome

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: Edition of genes. Recommends TED talk by Ricardo Sabatini

Trends : Health & Food

LH: with the same techniques, they are able to cure cancer: tracking the genes that are sick and editing…

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: About food, Vegan meals is very trendy. They are even doing vegan cheese. In California, eating meat is seen like smoking: if you smoke outside a restaurant, people can come to you to tell you you should not smoke, same for you should not eat meat. Also very popular: tools measuring your body. e-Health trend.

And BTW, if eHealth is of interest to you, you may be interested by the webcast of the e-Health conference taking place in that same conference room.

Trends : What is a chatbot ?

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: organized an event about it 2 days ago in San Francisco. Pitch: there is no more voice. No one calls anymore. It is "has been" to call. Messaging has become standard. Silence. End of apps. Major drawback of apps is you have to download and then always update. New major trend are chatbot. integrated in facebook messenger. Other startups follow Science fiction such as exporting your brain into a machine.

Find out more on Loïc Le Meur thoughts on https://medium.com/@loic .

Question: Trends : From apps to chatbots ?

Chatbots have the potential to kill apps. Bots are directly within iMessage… entry barrier is very low.

BTW The Idiap Research Institute is working a lot on the underlying science behind chatbots: natural language understanding and deep learning. Find out more at their last conference webcasted by Klewel.

Trends : VR – Why are you not convinced by Virtual Reality ?

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: Tried Microsoft hololens, HTC Vive two years ago. Robert Scooble very much into it... (ambassador of Google glasses). I am not convinced, this not practical, not convenient, failure of google glasses, the trend is: devices are disapearing.

Trends : Education – What is alt school for kids ?

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: We can pretty much learn anything about anything today. Alt School like alternative school for kids. All remote. Kids get together. Big trend by smart people.

Very interesting part:
Loïc Le Meur’s view on the future of employment: Entrepreneurs try and they fail.. Future prediction: less and less employers. End of large enterprises. Freelance economy. Auto / self.. own branding. You share and get business.

Question: Tell us about your current project : Leade.rs

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: The pitch is that it is difficult to find speakers. Experience from LeWeb. So this is a Market place, catalogue of speakers. My passion: find speakers and help them impact the world. Idea: creating a pulse... tools to book them.

Q&A with andience: (Ralph Rimet) What are the trends in FinTech & InsurTech ?

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: Experience with LendingClub as an early angel. Major trend with CrowdFunding.

Q&A with andience : (Thierry Weber) What are the main differences between US and Europe about the way to make business ?

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: Speed in Silicon Valley (last minute, even in business, ex: hoteltonight.com, people are self-organized the last 2 days, flexibility, meetings are very short, they ask Why to meet, very efficient, relationship with failure, they celebrate failures, this is how you build things..) versus Slow in Europe (sending emails much in advance, long lunches)

LH: In the US: opportunities oriented versus in Europe: risks oriented.

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: Silicon Valley is not USA. Very progressive. There everything is normal. It is refreshing..

Q&A with andience : What is your worst failure ?

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: Seesmic: Lesson learnt: Do not build in someone else garden. Seesmic (video conversation... close to snapshat with videos now..) was using Twitter data. Pivot to Twitter apps. Slack is much more open to developers than twitter. Lesson learnt: Do not rely on one partner.

Q&A with andience : What would be your ultimate advices to students, young entrepreneurs ?

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: Do not wait for building something revolutionary, just start to build, try something. Focus on small problem. Just do something. Work long term, then you get a lot back. Sharing creates a lot of opportunities. Online video helps, best training for public speaking. Try to write one newsletter every month, regularly. Be obsess to how to help people. If you share, you learn. Share and then building a community and get back. Importance of the community... use the brain of all community around you to help you. Network effect. Collaborative posting

Q&A with andience : Why is meditation and mindfullness so important in Silicon Valley?

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: 5 years ago, this was bullshit. Today meditation is not even a trend: everybody does it. Many many succesful entrepreneurs, CEOs do it (LinkedIn, Twitter etc). Offline retreat: Pasana buddhist, not for profit. During 10 days: no device, no eye contact, no writing. One of the best experience in life. 20 minutes a day. Recommends reading about Matthieu Ricard. In the same way our body needs shower, our brain needs silence. Shower for brain. Important when addicted to emails an so on.

Question : What are the things you do not like in Silicon Valley ?

Loïc Le Meur’s answer: Many things. Trump. But love how progressive Silicon Valley is. Silicon Valley vs USA, it's like 2 countries. do not like the insular aspect, many people from the US have never traveled outside US. But I love Silicon Valley.

On YouTube. On Facebook.

About Loïc Le Meur:

“Serial” entrepreneur based in San Francisco (USA), Loïc Le Meur co-founded one of Europe’s largest technology events in Paris: LeWeb.co. Loic Le Meur also founded and successfully sold four companies: Seesmic, Ublog, Rapidsite and B2L . He is currently working on the launch of his new start-up Leade.rs, a marketplace that will identify future world leaders. He is an active business angel and was an early investor in LinkedIn, Evernote and Lending Club. Loïc was named one of the “Tech25 Europe” by the Wall Street Journal, as well as one of the “25 Most Influential People on the Web” by Business Week.

About Laurent Haug:

As an entrepreneur and investor, he anticipates the opportunities presented by emerging technologies and aim to facilitate the reinvention of business and society around the challenges of the twenty-first century. My first book, How Innovators Think, is planned for release in 2017.

 

Thank you to Valéry Héritier for the collaboration. If you also want to strengthen your visibility on line and give the best impact to your conferences, please contact us at +41 27 722 43 42.

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