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Archive for March, 2014

Inspiration of the day #5

Steve Blank
Steve Blank

How to build a startup

If entrepreneurship education had a pope, it would inevitably be Steve Blank. After 21 years in 8 high technology companies, he retired in 1999 and wrote a book  about building early stage companies called Four Steps to the Epiphany. It’s been called the book that launched the Lean Startup movement, popularised by Steve’s student, Eric Ries.

Steve now teaches entrepreneurship at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University, Columbia University, Caltech and UCSF. Together with the “Customer Development” model he developed, Steve has also merged Eric Ries’ Lean Startup and Alexander Osterwalder‘s Business Model Canvas into the Lean Launchpad course he now teaches around the world.

The Internet is full of material on the Lean Launchpad but I do recommend to watch the Udacity’s course. This is the most rational and practical methodologies ever realised to launch startups and it also applies to corporate innovation management. Watch it!


Inspiration of the day #4

Jab-Jab-Jab-Right-HookFor those of you who don’t know Gary Vaynerchuk, he became one of the e-commerce and social media pioneers when he grew his family’s local wine store from a $3 million business to, a $45 million business. His videos at Wine Library TV quickly attracted an average of 100,000 daily viewers.

He now helps Fortune 500 companies find their social voices and build their digital brands through micro content and other story telling actions, via his new company VaynerMedia. He is also an angel investor in companies like Twitter, Tumblr, Uber and Birch Box through his VaynerRSE fund.

In his last book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary shares hard-won advice on how to connect with customers through social media marketing strategies that really works. The books gives you what you need to know about the most used social networks and how to leverage them to grow your brand.

Inspiration of the day #3

pretotyping_invent_investMake sure you are building the right it before you build it right.

The term and concept of pretotyping was originally developed by Alberto Savoia in 2009 while he was working at Google as Engineering Director and Innovation Agitator.

Since then, pretotyping has been spreading quickly and globally: Alberto’s book Pretotype It has already been translated into several languages, classes on pretotyping are being taught at Stanford and other universities throughout the world, etc.

You can watch a great video of Alberto teaching pretotyping at Stanford here, download his book here or order it on Amazon for Kindle. You can also find more resources on the pretotyping website.

Inspiration of the day #2

Startup of youIn this video registered at Stanford in 2012, serial entrepreneur and investor Reid Hoffman encourages individuals to become the entrepreneurs of their own lives.

Hoffman shares the importance of taking intelligent risks, building thoughtful networks and continually adapting your skills to navigate a fulfilling career path.

He also shares a lot of great insights from his last book, The Start-Up of You, one of my favourite reads of the past couple of years.

Inspiration of the day #1

Seth Godin Startup School

In the summer of 2012, american author and marketing guru Seth Godin, organised a 3-day startup school with early-stage entrepreneurs in New York. Most of the sessions were taped and you can find the podcast online here.

Even though the podcast is a bit long (around 5 hours), it’s full of great advices on sales and marketing from one of the smartest business thinker out there.

And if you prefer reading than listening, someone transcribed the full podcast on PDF. Check it out, it’s really time well spent.

Announcing Ninja Family

Ninja Family

I am very proud to announce the launch of Ninja Family, the talent agency for the technology industry! Ninja Family was born from a very simple constatation: there are currently much companies looking for technical talent than talent looking to change jobs. According to studies led by the European Commission, Europe could soon face a shortage of up to 900,000 ICT workers by 2015.

So why do companies still lead the job dance? Why do we still have head hunters for companies while we should have company hunters for heads? At Ninja Family, we have decided to completely change the job search paradigm. We help ICT experts manage their career through coaching, targeted job offers from great companies and help for salary negotiation.

The balance has changed in the ICT sector. Let’s embrace the Ninja Family revolution!

If you’re interested to find out more about Ninja Family, check out our website, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Offline Analytics – Trace your flyers and billboards


I came across the other day this billboard in the London tube from the peer-to-peer lending marketplace, Funding Circle. As you can see in the picture, in order to benefit from a “special” you need to go to “” and enter the “tube” code. That’s pretty smart of them as this is a great way to calculate some kind of ROI on their underground advertising budget.

Actually when you go to “”, you’re redirected to the following URL: “


A quick look at the UTM trackers shows that Funding Circle is monitoring the type of advertising (“Outdoor”), the location (“Tube”) as well as the date (“022014″). In my opinion, it would have been event better to have one page for each underground line where the ad is displayed so Funding Circle can know which line brings the most prospects for their service.

Generally speaking, I think that all startups should measure their offline advertising the same way Funding Circle does it. In the early days of your startup, you generally don’t know very well your target customers as well as the best way to reach them. So, instead of printing out standard flyers or brochures, try to do one for each event or location you distribute them. You might think that the additional expense is useless, but it’s a great way to measure and adapt your advertising efforts. And you might discover much more than you think about your target customers.