Jean-Charles Samuelian-Werve
Co-founder & CEO @ Alan
21 juil 2020Jean-Charles' Newsletters

Jean-Charles' newsletter: n°29

Chaque semaine, je partage quelques articles que j’ai trouvés particulièrement enrichissants. J’espère qu’ils vous aideront autant qu’ils m’ont aidé.


Cette semaine (et bien d'autres choses):

  • La guerre autour de TikTok
  • GPT-3: la nouvelle révolution ?
  • Apple gagne son procès en Europe, et ne paiera pas 13 Md€ de taxes
  • La Cadence : comment gérer une entreprise Saas
  • Omada Health lève 57 M$

Certains articles sont en français, la plupart sont en anglais (je copie certaines citations en anglais). Ils ne sont pas tous récents et vont au rythme de mes lectures.

Bonne lecture !

Si vous aimez, vous pouvez vous inscrire, partager (par email ou le blogpost) ou encore me suivre sur Twitter.

📱Monde des technologies

👉 GPT-3: la nouvelle révolution ? (Delian)

  • GPT-3 is essentially a context-based generative AI. What this means is that when the AI is given some sort of context, it then tries to fill in the rest. If you give it the first half of a script, for example, it will continue the script.
  • And my second example, where I fed it half of an essay on how to run effective board meetings: both times, the AI was able to generate cogent (although not always correct) additional paragraphs, and in both examples was able to follow the prior formatting, i.e. section headers (ex: risk), and steps.
  • The simplest way to explain how it works is that it analyzes a massive sample of text on the internet, and learns to predict what words come next in a sentence given prior context.
  • While there are some limitations, because GPT-3 is so good at producing coherent, follow-on thoughts, I think there are a ton of upsides where you include a human in-the-loop as an editor for maintaining correctness.

👉 La guerre autour de TikTok(Stratechery)

  • Humans prefer video to photos to text.
  • TikTok makes it easy to create videos, ensuring a massive supply of content (even if most of the supply is low quality).
  • TikTok relies on the algorithm to surface compelling content, and is not constrained by your social network.

👉 Apple gagne son procès contre l’Europe et ne paiera pas 13 Md€ de taxes (The Information)

  • The European General Court annulled a decision made by regulators in 2016, which had claimed Apple and Ireland’s taxation regime had breached Europe’s State Aid rules.
  • This appears as a real blow to Europe’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, as one of her hallmark project is to go after tax avoidance in the European Union.
  • The European Commission can appeal the decision.

👉 Gmail for Business se met à jour (The Information)

  • In the coming weeks, users will be able to access video, chat, and Google’s other productivity tools, like Google Docs and Sheets, right from the Gmail app or web page.
  • The aim is for this integrated experience to be frictionless and hence better compete with Microsoft, Zoom, and other competitors regarding the switch to remote work.
Gmail for Business

🏯Construire une entreprise

👉 La Cadence pour gérer une entreprise SaaS (David Sacks)

  • The more direct route is simply to solve the organization chaos yourself (do not hire a COO). Putting your startup on an operating cadence is the way to do that.
  • The Cadence is most needed when scaling from 50 to 500 employees.
  • Disconnect plus disorganization equals chaos. Ironically, the better the startup is doing, the more chaos there is.
  • The impact of hitting the milestones, quarter after quarter, has a huge compounding effect on the performance of the business and its culture.

So what is the Cadence?

  • First, the four major functions in a SaaS startup — Sales, Finance, Product, and Marketing — are all best run on a quarterly cycle.
  • However, it’s not the same cycle. Sales and Finance are on one calendar; Product and Marketing are on another calendar. I call these the Sales-Finance System and the Product-Marketing System.
  • If you snap these two calendars together, it will create a single operating cadence for the company.
  • The key milestones and events in these systems create opportunities for company-wide communication and collaboration — a kind of superstructure for the organization.

The Sales Calendar

  • Moving to a written quarterly sales plan instantly makes the Sales team feel better.
  • By contrast, monthly sales are too volatile to impose a monthly quota for individual sales reps.

The Product Calendar

  • The rule we had at Yammer is that projects would be assigned 2 to 10 engineers for 2 to 10 weeks. Similar to Jeff Bezos’ two-pizza rule, this meant that the absolute biggest strategic priority could get 10 engineers for 10 weeks. If the product couldn’t ship in that time, it needed to be shrunk down to something more MVP.
  • The quarterly discipline ensures that you do big stuff — rocks, not just sand — while scoping correctly.

The Marketing Calendar

  • It’s more compelling to aggregate news into four big “lightning strikes” than to release it in dribs and drabs over 52 weeks. The lightning strike combines live product demos with news about customers, financing, market share, metrics, or other milestones. Using a launch event to focus the world’s attention is a simple trick that has been foundational to the success of Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Marc Benioff.
  • Launch events also force company leaders to think about prioritization in a different way. They know they will have to go on stage to present the new product and explain why it matters.
  • A common objection I get from founders is that they think no one is going to come to their event. That was my fear at Yammer when we did our first annual user conference called YamJam. But even in our second year as a startup, enough customers, prospects, and industry observers showed up to fill a hotel ballroom. If you have product-market fit sufficient to raise a series A or B and are scaling from 50 to 500 employees, you have a fan base. You can engage this community.

👉 Power Laws: How Nonlinear Relationships Amplify Results (Shane Perrish)

  • One of the characteristics of a complex system is that the behavior of the system differs from the simple addition of its parts. This characteristic is called emergent behavior.
  • When we set out to understand a complex system, our intuition tells us to break it down into its component pieces. But that’s linear thinking, and it explains why so much of our thinking about complexity falls short.
  • “What’s the most powerful force in the universe? Compound interest. It builds on itself. Over time, a small amount of money becomes a large amount of money. Persistence is similar. A little bit improves performance, which encourages greater persistence, which improves persistence even more. And on and on it goes.” — Daniel H. Pink, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko.
  • When we learn a new language, it’s always a good idea to start by learning the 100 or so most used words. (...) In all known languages, a small percentage of words make up the majority of usage.
  • Even within an individual business, there is probably a sort of power law as to what’s going to drive it. It’s troubling if a startup insists that it’s going to make money in many different ways. The power law distribution on revenues says that one source of revenue will dominate everything else.
  • While there is value in the discovery process, once you’ve found the variable that matters most, you should place more time on that one and less on the others.
  • The Law of Diminishing Returns: the point where more input yields progressively less output. (...) Working an hour extra per day might mean more gets done, whereas working three extra hours is likely to lead to less getting done due to exhaustion.

🏥 Santé

👉 Omada Health scores $57 million (CNBC)

  • Used some of that money to buy a smaller digital health start-up called Physera, which specializes in virtual physical therapy: virtually administered physical therapy. When workers are experiencing pain and aren't getting the help they need, they miss work or are less productive.
  • Omada got its start in 2011 to bring new digital tools, such as smartphone-based coaches and wireless weight scales, to the Diabetes Prevention Program.

💚 Les publications d’Alan et sur Alan

👉 Développer l’engagement des salariés : les 5 enseignements de notre webinar (blog Alan) : retour sur les enseignements de notre webinar afin de booster l’engagement des salariés pendant la crise !

👉 Alan (de nouveau) dans le top 50 des potentielles futures licornes européennes (GP Bullhound) : dans son dernier webinar, Titans of Tech: Pandemic Proof?, la société d’investissement GB Bullhound place Alan dans son Top 50 de futures licornes européennes d’ici trois ans.

👉 Q2 2020 Letter to Shareholders (blog Alan) : transparency is paramount at Alan, and sharing about our quarterly progress to our investors and the world is a big part of it. Key takeaway: we are accelerating to become the leading personal health partner in Europe! 🚀

🧐 On vous prépare une surprise en coulisses, rendez-vous la semaine prochaine ...

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