Jean-Charles Samuelian-Werve
Co-founder & CEO @ Alan
22 sept 2020Jean-Charles' Newsletters

Jean-Charles' newsletter: n°38


Chaque semaine, je partage quelques ressources que j’ai trouvées particulièrement enrichissantes. J’espère qu’elles vous aideront autant qu’elles m’ont aidé.

JCNews visual

Cette semaine (entre autres) :

  • Tik-tok et ByteDance, les secrets d’une recette qui marche
  • Chime a conclu une série F à 485M$
  • Comment construire une stratégie de marque dans une nouvelle catégorie
  • Mon interview pour BRUT

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

👉 Bessemer Ventures Investment Memo on Wix en 2007 (BVP)

  • Out of the 26m small businesses in the US, 10m have a MySpace profile, which clearly demonstrated their need for web presence.
  • Although the application is powerful and widely applicable, Wix will not sell or rent its software to consumers. The company feels very strongly that rapid user adoption and contribution will secure a leadership position for Wix in the area of rich media creation.

👉 Comprendre la croissance de TikTok et de ByteDance : la force du “machine learning”, la facilité de créer du contenu, la simplification extrême de l’onboarding et le marketing de masse (Turner Novak)

  • ByteDance’s first product Jinri Toutiao (“Today’s Headlines”) launched in August of 2012.
  • Toutiao’s initial product crawled content from around the long-tail of Chinese web-based media and reformatted it for mobile.
  • It used aggressive push notifications and frequently nudged users to share content (more later), which helped it grow to 10 million users within 90 days. New users logged in with their Sina or Weibo account, which Toutiao scraped for initial interests and friends. It then used each user's individual usage data (how they tapped, swiped, or paused, time spent per article, their comments, location, time of day, and much more) to serve each user the most relevant content. It changed the titles, cover images, and even shortened most articles.
  • Toutiao soon convinced publishers and curators to create content directly in the app in exchange for a revenue share.
  • It followed other Chinese tech giants and introduced mini programs in 2018, which allowed developers to build app-like experiences within Toutiao.
  • Zhang, ByteDance’s founder and CEO, has stated his primary strategy is to eliminate the need for search and immediately serve users exactly what they want.
  • There’s a one-screen onboarding at the very first open, with no login required as it creates shadow profiles based on device ID. Many users don’t actually have accounts
  • From a consumption perspective, an experience of entirely short content has less commitment each time a user opens the app. The hyper-personalized algorithm recommends content based on thousands of objects and tags analyzed in each individual video, along with an individual user's view history, re-watches, likes, comments, shares, and even post-view activity.
  • To start, it created the best tool to edit short-videos on mobile. (...) TikTok forces videos to be posted in order to export them, and also inserts a watermark on every exported video.
  • In business, superior distribution (reach with customers, users, etc) usually wins in the long run. A common way to beat a competitor with a distribution advantage is to build a better product that eventually surpasses their distribution
  • TikTok is optimized for mobile web, and users get sucked into more videos they receive from a friend even if they don’t have the app. Finally, ByteDance flooded the world with marketing. It reportedly spent $3M/day on user acquisition and PR throughout 2018 and 2019, beating short-video competitors in each market by simply outspending them

👉 La valorisation de Tik-tok estimée à quelques 60 milliards de dollars alors que la structure d’un deal avec Oracle se dessine. (The information)

👉 Chime a conclu une série F de 485M$, à une valorisation de 14,5Md$ (TechCrunch)

  • Début 2019, Chime était valorisée à 1,5Md$.
  • Chime a communiqué avoir un EBITDA positif à la suite d’un chiffre d’affaires qui aurait triplé. Le CEO, Chris Britt, estime qu’une introduction en bourse d’ici un an est probable.
  • Chime se présente comme un Saas plutôt qu’une fintech : “We’re more like a consumer software company than a bank (...) It’s more a transaction-based, processing-based business model that is highly predictable, highly recurring and highly profitable.

🏯Construire une entreprise

👉 Comprendre le “Movement Marketing” (en opposition à la performance), et comment construire une stratégie de marque dans une nouvelle catégorie (David Sacks) Movement Marketing. It is also known as “earned marketing” because you can’t just buy it, you have to earn it. Unlike paid campaigns, __there is no formula for ROI Earned marketing is about brand, messaging, press, influencers, content — all the things that define who you are.

  • 1. Define a larger cause. (...) Tesla begins all of its product unveilings by explaining the need to move the world to sustainable energy. Salesforce talks about moving business to the cloud.

  • 2. Articulate the problem better than anyone else. (...) Speak to the pain that users are experiencing. Grab onto news, anecdotes, or data that illustrate it. (...) As marketing guru Christopher Lochhead has pointed out, if you speak more articulately about the problem than anyone else, people will assume you have the solution. (...) I’ve got news for you: Nobody cares about your features. At least not yet. First people need to understand the problem you’re solving. Then they need to understand your solution. Only then will they be interested in your features.

  • 3. Attack the status quo. Your startup has an opponent, but it’s not your competitors; it’s some version of the status quo. You need to name this enemy. (...) Did Benioff mean all software or just the kind that has to be installed? Presumably the latter — but those are the kinds of details that can be explained once you have someone’s attention. (...) The more vividly you describe the need for change, the more obvious the need for your product will become. (...) Don’t fall into the trap of seeing copycats as the enemy. Treat them as validation that the world is moving to your point of view.

  • 4. Define a category. The category is the solution to the problem. (...) it’s not quite credible simply to posit yourself as the solution; rather, what you do is the solution, and the category is the shortest, crispest way of describing that. Elon has said that Tesla will be successful if it moves the auto industry to electric cars, even if Tesla itself does not survive. That is putting the category before yourself! (...) The modern version of the old saying that “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM” is that “nobody ever got fired for buying the category leader.”

  • 5. Build the right team. (...) The “verbal” part consists of press, influencers, branding, and content — the things that define you. Here the metrics are more elusive. In my experience, it’s almost impossible to hire someone who is an expert in both domains. Rather than wasting time looking for a unicorn hire, it may make more sense to hire experts in each area and build out two teams.

    1. Use “grassroots” customer testimony. (...) the most powerful marketing weapon you have is customer testimony. ... Make sure you get customer logos, press releases, case studies, and reference accounts. There’s nothing as convincing as grassroots support for a campaign.
  • 7. Release news in lightning strikes, not dribs and drabs. Don’t just blog about features. Only super-fans who are already using your product care about new features. To get the world’s attention, you need to up-level and combine news about products, customers, milestones, and partnerships.

  • 8. Organize events to focus attention. The equivalent for startups are launch events. They focus internal and external attention and remind everyone, from employees to prospects, about the importance of your movement and the change you are creating in the world.

  • 9. Nurture your community. A community is a place for your customers and supporters to learn from each other. If your community can be built on top of your own product, that’s ideal. At Yammer, one of our superpowers was the “Yammer Customer Network,” a place for customer admins to collaborate with us and each other.

  • 10. Pick noble fights. (...) startups should look for opportunities to draw sharp contrasts with a legacy incumbent. (...) If you’re going to pick a fight, just remember to always (1) punch up, not down (it should be against a bigger competitor), (2) stay product-focused, and (3) keep the tone positive. Because your opponent is really the status quo, not another person or company, you should avoid personal attacks or mudslinging. Stay focused on touting the advantages of your solution.

  • 11. Work with press and influencers in the right way. (...) It is often possible to draft off the headlines by using news hooks and narratives that are interesting to the press. (...) That said, don’t depend on the press to tell your story for you. You have to tell it yourself. Talk about what’s important to you. (...) Talk about customer success and the change you want to make in the world. Make sure you are serving your movement, not the insiders’ game.

  • 12. Stay grounded. All of this said, it’s important not to go too far with Movement Marketing. Keep the conversation grounded and focused on business value. (...) Don’t clown yourself. Make sure you back up your claims and avoid aggrandizing and arrogant language. (...) Finally, avoid crazy projections. It’s fine to talk about your past accomplishments in detail, as they bolster your credibility, but future plans should be up-leveled. It’s fine to say that you did $10 million in revenue last year, but don’t say that you’re shooting for $100 million next year — all you’re doing is putting a target on your back.

👉 Chamath Palihapitiya sur la croissance “growth” chez Facebook (20MinVC)

  • Forecasts are pretty worthless because everybody gets them wrong. No matter how much data you have when we were trying to project the impact of some of the things that we did, we were frankly, off by an order of magnitude, we thought success would be getting the product to a hundred million users, plus low and behold, the product now touches 3 billion users, largely using the same compounding effects and growth rates that were driven by a handful of features that we created very, very early on. ... So you have to be in the bowels of a company building.
  • The second is the value of compound interest, which is to say that a lot of things adding up by very small numbers of basis points tends to be the thing over time that makes things work at scale. There are very few panacea, silver bullet features in life and I think a lot of people spend a lot of time trying to find the one thing without realizing that -disciplined execution over large stretches of time that are really about thoughtful tactics really go a long way and that's something that I've taken away.

🏥 Santé

👉 Les applications de méditation comme Headspace doivent continuer à investir dans les preuves scientifiques de leur impact (Statnews)

  • The company has seen a 500% increase in partnership requests since mid-March. More than 1,100 companies — including Starbucks, Adobe, and GE — are now enrolled in the Headspace for Work program.
  • But as Covid-19 catapults Headspace into a new stratosphere of popularity, experts say its scientific grounding is shakier than its subscription numbers might suggest.
  • A smattering of studies indicate Headspace can help people feel more positive and less stressed, among other benefits. The company doesn’t claim the app can treat or manage any medical conditions.
  • The authors found the eight Headspace studies turned up inconsistent results.
  • As Headspace’s footprint continues to grow, experts said it’s critical for companies — and individual users — to consider what Headspace can and can’t do. There likely isn’t any harm to providing employees or students access to the app. But if that offering takes the place of other care or support systems a person might need, it could present a problem, experts said.

💚 Les publications d’Alan et sur Alan

👉 Alan classée deuxième du classement 2020 “Linkedin Top Start-ups” (Linkedin) : le classement publié ce matin récompense les start-ups françaises les plus dynamiques.

👉 Mon interview pour BRUT (BRUT) : on y parle de valorisation de l’échec, de l’absence de réunion et de managers. Une partie de la recette pour concilier bien-être et excellence.

📚 Healthy Business #1 des ventes en Ressources Humaines (Amazon) !

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