#9 — Oh Yeah Right, I’m Not Ambitious Enough.

This is my newsletter #9 sent on march 11, 2016.

You can find previous ones here or register to my email list, I send an update every week or so (been more like every two weeks these days).

Been too long since I wrote, sorry. I have been focused on raising my seed funding. Talking to friends and investors, getting the deal ready and making sure everyone is happy. It’s coming together very nicely.

What’s the problem you’re solving?

I noticed a tension in my conversations with investors. They seem to want two opposite things. They want you to concentrate on a clear, defined, often small niche problem you’re solving at first. You can own that then move to something else. It was a few limousine drivers for Uber. For me it’s helping a few speakers optimize the speaking requests they get, their revenue and their time.

It’s nice. I know the space. I have invited thousands of speakers to speak at LeWeb. I can make a really good service as I’m a speaker myself. I also solve a second problem with Leade.rs, helping events find awesome speakers. A two-sided marketplace.

How big is that market? It sounds small. Yeah maybe a billion dollars that a few hundred agents share with a few thousand of the top speakers. Big but not huge.

“It’s not a venture business” I was told. Read: it’s not big enough for us. Have fun and call us when you have something bigger. I’m not looking for any venture funding at this stage anyway.

What’s your 10 year plan?

Here is the tension. Some investors really recommend you to focus on a niche you can “own” while others suggest you think long term.

It’s difficult enough to get anything small of the ground (see related links at the bottom of this email).

I had an amazing conversation with one of the best venture capitalists in Silicon Valley on the vision (he’s quite secretive so I won’t name him) .

What can a platform for (new) leaders be in ten years?
What do leaders do?
What helps new leaders the most?

Found my ten year vision.

Leade.rs wants to be the platform to discover new leaders around the World and help them make an impact.

What do leaders need to succeed?
-Influence: speaking, writing on line, writing a book, developing a community around them, press coverage, etc.
-A network: connecting with people they need to work with or need help from to achieve their goals.
-Financing: it can be revenue and customers, but generally investors or donations for non profits. Same with politicians raising money for their campaigns.

Leade.rs will focus on helping amazing non-profit and for profit individuals to better impact the world.

That’s a good 10 year goal. Of course not everything can be replaced by software but a lot sure can.

I’m going to start focusing only on speakers. It should keep me focused for a while and then I’ll move to the next goal.

There is no short term or long term tension anymore, I can execute solving the small problem while having the big picture in mind.

Here are two posts to read to understand how tough it is to succeed in Silicon Valley today.
Fighting to turn the Light on with Bucket
Bootstrapping in Unicorn Land

I have been posting live Q&As on Facebook like a mad man. I learned a lot asking with amazing friends:
Fidji Simo, head of product, Facebook Video
Learn about marketplaces and network effects with James Currier of NFX Guild
Community strategy with David Spinks
How comedy improves public speaking with David Nihill
TED speaker Riccardo Sabatini on the future of the human genome
Jamie Siminoff CEO and founder of Ring (too much wine on that one!)

I haven’t written much recently as I have been very busy but my post “The Miracle of Morning Pages” got some traction, you might like it.

Oh and if you’re going to SXSW join our session “Cracking the Human Code” with Riccardo Sabatini on Sunday at 12h30 pm. Riccardo is always fascinating.

Talk to you soon, writing this form SFO boarding a red-eye to SXSW!
Loic

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Entrepreneur, pilot, kite-surfer and paraglider. Subscribe to my new newsletter http://loiclemeur.substack.com

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