Jean-Charles Samuelian-Werve
Co-founder & CEO @ Alan
13 oct 2020Jean-Charles' Newsletters

JCNews #41 - S'organiser comme Daniel Ek

Chers amis, fans de bonnes lectures,

Bienvenue aux 28 qui nous ont rejoint depuis mardi dernier ! Si vous lisez ceci et n’êtes pas encore inscrit, rejoignez vite les 2 035 personnes qui ont déjà eu la bonne idée de le faire. C’est juste ici !

JCNews visual

Cette semaine je change un petit peu le format de la newsletter pour donner encore plus de perspectives sur ce que je partage, en mettant notamment l’accent sur un article principal. J’espère que cela vous sera utile.

Ecrivez-moi pour en parler, sur Linkedin ou sur Twitter.

💡Must-read de la semaine

👉 Excellent interview de Daniel Ek (Spotify) par Sriram Krishnan (The Observer Effect).

Typical day
I wake up at around 6:30 in the morning and spend some time with my kids and wife. At 7:30, I go work out. At 8:30, I go for a walk – even in the winter. I’ve found this is often where I do my best thinking. At 9:30, I read for thirty minutes to an hour. Sometimes I read the news, but you’ll also find an ever-rotating stack of books in my office, next to my bed, on tables around the house. Books on history, leadership, biographies. It’s a pretty eclectic mix – much like my taste in music. Finally, my “work” day really starts at 10:30. (...) Then, I typically tackle one topic a day which takes a lot of my time.

En tant que CEO, revoir mon organisation tous les trimestres a été un des éléments les plus importants. J’ai partagé ici mon guide d'organisation. Chacun son style et sa méthode. Ce qui est important c’est d’y réfléchir et d’être « intentionnel ».

Define your role in a decision
I also think about what my role is at that meeting. Sometimes I'm the approver. Other times, I'm supposed to come with a thoughtful perspective on whether an initiative makes sense or not. (...) I’ve found that creating this clarity of role for myself is critical.

Cette partie est extrêmement importante à mon sens. Surtout dans les rôles de « leader » (mais pour tout le monde en réalité). Votre parole peut avoir un poids très différent de celui que vous imaginez. Il est très important de bien définir votre rôle, de demander aux autres de définir ce qu’ils attendent de vous, et surtout de partager votre niveau de conviction sur ce que vous avancez. Exprimez si “c’est juste une idée”, ou si “je pense que c’est très important”, …

A great meeting has three key elements
The desired outcome of the meeting is clear ahead of time; the various options are clear, ideally ahead of time; and the roles of the participants are clear at the time.

Chez Alan, peu ou pas de meetings. Ceci étant dit, cela s’applique à toute décision.

On Being Intentional with Time
Candidly, that’s my role as leader: to coach others on how best to make use of their limited time. Not only is time the most precious resource the company has, it’s also the most precious resource they have! (...)I don’t think most executives dedicate enough time to thinking. They spend too much time in meetings.

C’est un point que je trouve extrêmement important dans les organisations : à quel point les gens ne font pas attention à leur temps et à comment ils le dépensent. Cela revient à la question de l’organisation.

Plan the long run
My way is to plan long term and do so ahead of time so that people better understand the direction in which they're going. You have to be incredibly crisp and clear when doing that. For instance, right now we're finalizing our five year plans and long range planning. These are actual, real targets fueled by real insights. (...) I find that these bets are a much better use of my time. Our Company Bets typically update every six months, so I'm not needed that much in between. This way, I can constantly be thinking: “Where are we headed in the next six months?” Right now, I am thinking more about H2 2021. (...) It’s also my role to think far beyond that. For instance, I’m immersing myself in our 2025 plans. I trust my team to manage the day-to-day, shorter-term initiatives and iterate as needed based on data and insights.

Le rôle du CEO selon Daniel est de penser à long terme, aux paris qui feront la différence pour Spotify.

On failure and creative process
That wasn’t the case at all. We made a lot of attempts and tried many different things. We tried a video service, which didn’t seem to work for us. We tried to acquire some podcasts just to see if that would work. It didn't, et cetera.

L’échec et sa valorisation dans le business sont nécessaires pour avoir un environnement créatif.

I have also learned from Facebook to include the board in key meetings. Reed (Hastings) actually allows the board to sit in on the QBRs. I've now started doing the same. (...) I've chosen to have a board which is filled with operators. Almost every member of the board has operated at a very high level role before. (...) I think that they're there for my extended executive team: my direct reports and their direct reports. (...) Rather than having them interact solely with me, I actually ask them to go figure out problems with the people directly involved in that project.

Daniel pousse à construire un board d’opérateurs, de personnes qui peuvent aider profondément la société et tous les leaders (pas seulement le CEO).

On Algorithms
For all forms of audio, we want to become a one-stop destination for all the music and podcasts people love. (...) It’s a tension to talk about editorial versus algorithms. Internally we call this “algotorial.” We think that it's actually quite beautiful to marry both. (...) algorithms are very good at optimizing anything that you want to optimize. They are not very good at coming up with a creative solution when it's not clear how to express the problem. Culture often fits that. That's normal. Like if you've never seen something before, and you don't know what it is, how can an algorithm optimize it? (...) We typically come up with human-driven, culturally-driven hypotheses of things we think may fit in the world even if the algorithm might say otherwise. This is the beauty of editorial and algorithms working together; we as a company want to always ensure that we are not only shaping culture, but also reflecting it.

J’ai adoré cette notion d’algotorial et de commencer à combiner l’édition (humaine) avec la technologie.

🏯Construire une entreprise​

En plus d’articles triés sur le volet, je partage un principe de leadership d’Alan par semaine. Le même que je partage en interne et à nos investisseurs tous les mercredis.

👉 Les Alaners se concentre sur un problème A+ à la fois (Healthy Business)

La plupart des gens cherchent à résoudre les problèmes qu’ils comprennent. A savoir des problèmes B+. A l’inverse, les problèmes A+, à première vue (et à première vue seulement) insolubles, à fort impact pour l’entreprise, peuvent parfois être mis de côté car plus difficiles à résoudre.

On pousse pour que les Alaners prennent le chemin le plus difficile, et se concentrent sur un problème A+ à la fois - plutôt que plusieurs problèmes B+, le résolvent et passent au suivant.

🗞Dans l’actu​

📱Monde des technologies

👉 L’évolution du e-commerce en temps de COVID (Ben Evans) The UK went from 20% ecommerce penetration to over 30% in two months, and the USA from 17% to 22%. Digital increased while sales at most physical retail declined.

👉 La note d’investissement de Bessemer sur Linkedin en 2006 (BVP)

Il y souligne l’importance de la création de network effects, pas une fonctionnalité qui fait la différence mais la somme de nombreuses améliorations, et des revenus qui viennent de sources diverses.

  • More than 8 million white collar professionals have registered on the site since its launch in 2003, and the pace of growth has increased substantially driven by the network effects inherent in the model.
  • Much like most social networking sites, LinkedIn derives all of its new user sign ups through referrals from its members. As a result, growth of the user base increases with its size:
Linkedin #users
  • When excluding users who signed up within the last 6 months, 42% of LinkedIn’s 6M users who are at least 6 months old have been on the site within the last 6 months.
  • Although the mainstream business professional does not yet have a compelling reason to spend time on LinkedIn daily, a big focus of the company is to add features to motivate broader regular usage. (...) While none of these features has driven a step-function increase in usage, each has contributed to improvements.
  • LinkedIn generates revenues in a few large existing markets. The following is an overview of LinkedIn’s 2006 (almost actual) and projected 2007 revenue breakdown, and below is a brief description of each product and market.
Linkedin Ad

-The company is on a $17M run-rate ($1.4M per month) and operates at about breakeven.

🏥 Santé

👉 La santé mentale continue d'attirer les investissements : Ginger lève $50M avec Cigna, Kaiser Permanente (fiercehealthcare)

  • The startup, which delivers evidence-based behavioral health coaching, therapy and psychiatry right from a smartphone, has raised more than $120 million to date.
  • The company has seen record-high demand for mental health support during the current health crisis. During July, weekly utilization rates were 125% higher for coaching and 265% higher for therapy and psychiatry when compared to pre-COVID-19 averages, the company reported.
  • Also seen significant growthwith its enterprise clients.
  • The company evolved to become a virtual behavioral health care system and offers full-service online and app-based mental health services.
  • Ginger members can also access virtual therapy and psychiatry sessions.


👉 L’entreprise sans chefs, ni réunions (Challenges) : Challenges publie un article sur la culture d’entreprise d’Alan.

👉 Où nous hébergeons les données de nos membres et pourquoi(Blog Alan) : depuis le début d'Alan, nous avons choisi d'être hébergés chez Amazon Web Services (certifié hébergeur de données de santé). Pourquoi, comment, nous vous expliquons tout.

📕📺Livres et séries

👉 Ce que Apple et Steve Jobs ont à nous apprendre (Blog Alan) : je partage mes notes du livre de Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography.

Un des meilleurs livres sur l’histoire de la tech, avec des apprentissages sur l’importance du produit, de la concurrence_ pour mieux s’en différencier, d’investir sur sa culture d’entreprise et bien d’autres choses.

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