Jean-Charles Samuelian-Werve
Co-founder & CEO @ Alan
26 janv 2021Jean-Charles' Newsletters

JCNews #55 - Les leçons de Stripe

Chers amis, fans de bonnes lectures,

Bienvenue aux 40 personnes qui nous ont rejoints depuis mardi dernier ! Si vous lisez ceci et n’êtes pas encore inscrit, rejoignez vite les 2925 personnes qui ont déjà eu la bonne idée de le faire. C’est juste ici !

Dans les JCNews cette semaine, mes dernières lectures les plus intéressantes, dont un zoom sur un must-read à ne pas manquer !

Ecrivez-moi pour en parler, sur Linkedin ou sur Twitter. Les JCNews sont aussi disponibles sur le Blog Alan. Bonne lecture à tous !

JCNews #55 - Visual

💡Must-read de la semaine

Chaque semaine, je publie un must-read que vous choisissez.

👉John Collison – Growing the Internet Economy (Invest Like the Best)

If you look at the raw numbers, the internet economy is a very small fraction of the overall economy depending on who you believe, five, 6%, something like that, but the vast majority of internet, of the economic activity is not internet enabled. I think it’s fairly clear to all of us that that is going to flip. We’re going to end up with actually a majority that’s internet enabled, but that means we’re really at a shockingly early point in that Sigmoid growth curve.

Ce constat est absolument fascinant quant aux possibles que nous avons devant nous : nous faisons un constat similaire chez Alan, tant il reste à faire pour digitaliser la santé de tous et toutes, en particulier en Europe. On estime à 1.1% la digitalisation de la santé en Europe.

The thing that gets me excited, and one of the things that we spent a lot of time thinking about at Stripe and trying to drive is what the second order effects are of that shift

Les conséquences indirectes d’une transition à un parcours de soins (voire une santé) digitalisée sont multiples. Quel est votre avis ? Quelle est votre vision des second order effects ?

Une santé globalisée ? des nouvelles niches qui se créent ? des plateformes d’accès ?

That one of our principles when it comes to the marketing at Stripe is that we speak up to the reader. You’re not trying to dumb things down for someone who isn’t familiar with something like this. You are speaking to an intelligent person who is busy, but knows what they’re talking about, knows what they’re doing. And it’s your job to kind of help educate them on this.

Je suis particulièrement d’accord avec ce point : le marketing a trop tendance à prendre les gens pour des “idiots”. Élever le débat, se parler en confiance, admettre ses erreurs font clairement la différence.

Amazon is probably the tech company that is closest to being pure capital allocators in how they work, where they have a very strict and intellectually rigorous framework for funding new bets and allowing people to try out new things.

As a company grows, the outcome for the company really depends on how good a job they do at pushing resources towards the most productive use of them.

L’allocation des ressources, c’est la définition même de la stratégie (au sens quasi-militaire du terme). Avoir des frameworks/process simples et exhaustifs pour le faire est un gage de réussite important...

One funny thing that happens is new things at Stripe are almost always started by really tiny teams. In any announcement that you’ve seen from Stripe, probably it was a team of less than 10 people when it launched. And certainty with a team of less than 10 people, and often less than five people in that kind of core part of its gestation and its development.

…et cela passe souvent par ne pas overstaffer ses plus grands projets, ou ceux que l’on considère comme les plus prometteurs: commencer petit et croître en fonction des besoins est une des attitudes que nous essayons de conserver coûte que coûte chez Alan. Et cela peut se monitorer financièrement:

And so that’s something that we spent a lot of time at Stripe getting good internal management views into is as a system by system line by line level, how much are we investing in kind of the future potential of this system versus what is the existing profitability of the system

And the more interesting thing about that definition for me was splitting out the two forms of capex.

So, capex spend that has a multiyear horizon or a multiyear payoff what’s splitting out capex into what is just needed to tread water, investment required for the company to keep the same competitive position, keep its unit volume versus capex required to expand.


🏯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 ont un biais pour l’action (Healthy Business)

  • La vitesse est très importante en business, surtout pour les entreprises à forte croissance. De nombreuses décisions et actions sont réversibles et ne nécessitent pas d’étude approfondie.
  • En conséquence, nous poussons les Alaners confrontés à un choix à toujours choisir l’action plutôt que l’inaction. Nous agissons dès que nous avons 70 % de l’information : nous prenons des risques calculés. Nous ne perdons pas de temps à débattre pour savoir si notre approche est optimale à 100 % ou non.
  • Si nous ne sommes pas sûrs que quelque chose va marcher, nous essayons juste de le découvrir au lieu de tergiverser dans des débats sans fin. Surtout, nous essayons de ne jamais bloquer les autres.

👉 Comment Facebook a survécu à la crise de croissance de 2008 (Twitter)

  • In 2008 Facebook’s user growth hit a wall at 80M and we were having serious debates about whether any social network could ever reach 100M users. 2 years later we had doubled our user base and not long after that we reached 1B users. Here’s how we did it:
  • I joined FB in summer ‘06 when we had 7M users and were adding 5k/day. Over the next 18 months, Zuck shipped News Feed, Open Registration, Platform and community-led translation. By the end of ‘07 we had 70M users and it seemed like we couldn’t be stopped.
  • Towards the end of ‘07 I helped raise our Series C at $15B valuation. We had <400 employees and only $250M revenue, but we had explosive user growth and powerful network effects. Our entire valuation was based on how fast people were signing up for FB all over the world.
  • Then in early ‘08, user growth suddenly stalled and we couldn’t figure out why. When you’re building a company, growth is like water - you need it to stay alive. Suddenly we were facing a major existential crisis and we had no idea how to dig out of it.
  • We thought everyone on the planet would want to connect with family and friends, but now some inside the company speculated there was a natural limit to how big a social network could grow - MySpace/Skype/others hit ceilings at 100M. Some team members pushed Zuck to sell the company.
  • In the middle of this crisis, Zuck went on a 6-week “walk-about” in Asia. He hadn’t taken a break since starting FB 4 years earlier and working 100 hrs/wk, exhausted and needed to clear his head. Sheryl had recently joined and he trusted her to keep things together in his absence
  • When Zuck returned we held a tense management team offsite to debate our path forward. Some people announced their resignations at the end of the meeting. The core strategy debate boiled down to whether we should focus on growth marketing or core product development.
  • Rather than choosing between growth vs product, Zuck decided to do both and deprioritize everything else including revenue. I was responsible for monetization and I fully agreed with this decision, we needed a much larger user base to unlock our full potential as a business.
  • It took time to reorganize the company around these priorities and our new leadership team. And right in the middle of executing this strategy, we ran into the ‘08 financial crisis and advertising revenue dried up. We barely grew users or revenue in 2008.
  • At the end of the year, Zuck announced his New Years resolution to wear a tie to work every day for 12 months, symbolizing ‘09 would be a serious year for the company. I thought he would last a month, but he never missed a single day all year. And the company executed like hell.
  • Growth marketing focused on tons of small improvements and viral loops that compounded over time to bring more people on the service, which also made the product better for existing users who were now able to connect with more friends and family (=definition of network effect).
  • The core product team focused on new features + load time, informed by a combination of intuition and data. We shipped fast and frequently, and the product steadily improved. Real-time Feed, Messenger, Timeline, Games Platform, etc.
  • By mid-2009, user growth was back on track and revenue growth was also re-accelerating. We ended that year with more than 150M users and $750M revenue. We had a stable leadership team that stayed largely in tact for 10 years (many are still there). And we didn’t look back.

🗞Dans l’actu

📱Monde des technologies

👉 Beeper permettra aux utilisateurs Android d’utiliser iMessage (Platformer)

  • Beeper is a universal chat app — combining iMessage, Instagram, Slack, and other products — that costs $10 a month. A universal inbox sounds great to me! Here’s Jon Porter at The Verge:
  • “Although Beeper integrates with the world's most popular messaging services like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Slack, Twitter, Discord, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, it’s the support for Apple’s iMessage that’s perhaps most interesting. iMessage is only officially available on Apple devices, and it’s often cited by users as something that prevents them switching to Android. Migicovsky says Beeper should allow iMessage to work on Android, Windows, and Linux, but admits that it’s “using some trickery” in doing so”

👉 Netflix n’aura désormais plus besoin d’emprunter (The Information)

  • Netflix passed 200 million global subscribers in the fourth quarter, adding 8.51 million new subscribers to lift its total to 203.66 million. But the biggest news is that its years of borrowing money to fund its operations are at an end.
  • The company declared that it was “very close” to being permanently “free cash flow positive,” which means it will no longer burn cash. As a result, “we no longer have a need to raise external financing for our day to day operations.”
  • To prove that point, Netflix says it will repay $500 million worth of debt that comes due next month out of its cash. At the same time, Netflix says it will maintain its debt level at present levels and will explore reintroducing stock buybacks, which it hasn’t done since 2011.

🏥 Santé

👉Color lève $167m à une valorisation de $1.5bn pour investir dans l’infrastructure du dernier kilomètre aux US (TechCrunch)

  • “At some point, you build Amazon — a technology-first stack that’s optimized around access and scale,” Laraki said. “I think that’s literally what we’re seeing now with healthcare. What’s kind of getting catalyzed right now is we’ve been realizing it applies to the COVID crisis, but also, we started actually working on that for prevention and I think actually it’s going to be applying to a huge surface area in healthcare; basically all the aspects of health that are not acute care where you don’t need to show up in hospital.”

💚 Alan

👉Lancement d’Alan Baby. L'AGEFI, Les Échos, C’est pas mon idée, Maddyness, Siècle Digital… tous parlent du lancement de notre nouvelle application gratuite pour accompagner les parents dans l’arrivée d’un nouveau bébé - en précommande sur l’AppStore !


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