Greetings from Paris. It’s 1AM here. I should have had a wonderful day. We have a really small number of (like, a few) tickets left for our Paris event this week on Friday. We have 450 participants coming from all around the World to hear our awesome speakers. I streamed myconference venue tour live on Facebook this morning andreally liked it. I had a wonderful dinner with a lot of cheese and chocolate souffle (you have to follow me on SnapChat for the story of my Paris trip). I’m super excited and it’s going to be great.
Yet, I’m sad.
There is this really amazing entrepreneur I met a few years ago. He really impressed me. He’s French so we had a french lunch in San Francisco. He was telling me about this startup he’s building. A peer to peer lending service. Instead of borrowing money from your bank if you want to buy a car (or any other cash need) you simply borrow directly from individuals. Very simple. I like him a lot. So simple that I asked if I could invest. And I did invest. A very significant amount. Really early.
It’s called Lending Club.
A few years after it became one of the unicorns with like a billion public valuation. The entrepreneur becomes a hero and a symbol of the French success in America. His name is Renaud Laplanche and he became a good friend of mine.
I never sold any Lending Club stock. In fact I even bought some more after it went public. I was impressed by the model and the entrepreneur. The stock went public at 15 and went briefly above 20 then started the free fall to hell. Here is what it looked like today.
Today, like anyone, I discovered the stock plummeted about 35% in one day because of an issue involving my friend who resigned as CEO. He was the founder. Instead of thinking about how much money I lost, I think about him. I’m really sad. I don’t have any details. I have no idea how much of it was his fault. But here is this amazing entrepreneur who took his company public and made it worth billions. He became an icon of the French Tech. Resigned. In one day he goes from hero to the press trashing him.
I’m still here. I’m not selling any stock. It might be a mistake but I learned that you don’t sell in the crisis or buy in the euphoria. I will just hold and see what happens but Ifeel really sad for him. Entrepreneurship is so tough. You think someone succeeded and everything disappears in one press release.
Time will tell.
See you all in Paris or on Facebook live, we will be streaming the whole event on my page.
Don’t forget to be extraordinary. You might fail but it doesn’t matter that much. You will regret not trying.