#13 — Why I can’t sleep

This is my newsletter #13 sent on April 20, 2016.

You can find previous newsletters here or register to my email list, I send an update every week or so.

You should join us in Paris May 13th for the first Leade.rs event and buy a ticket. It will help me throw a great event. If you can’t come buy a ticket for a friend. I want to do a quality event and every ticket helps. Here is a 100 euro discount.

I want to ship my product. Leade.rs. It’s a marketplace for speakers and events. It’s actually a few products, not just one
-a collection of the best speakers (in tech) in the world -the best place to discover new people doing amazing things (Product Hunt for people) that will feed the collection and have many contributors from around the World.
-an entire new interface for speakers to deal with incoming requests. Everything is taken care of. It’s mobile. No phone calls needed. We bring cool and visible gigs that improve your brand and revenue generating ones.
-if you’re an event organizer, the best tool to find speakers for your event. Search AI and we will give you the top people on AI right now. It will change next time you come back.

That’s the idea.

Now here is the stress.
Reid Hoffman, inventor of LinkedIn, told me (and everyone else) “if you’re not ashamed by your product at launch, you launched too late”. Problem is I don’t want to be ashamed. I did a few startups. I have friends who invested in Leade.rs and don’t want me to ship crap. Worse, they are in it as featured speakers so if it’s sheeeet (that’s how we say it in French) it’s even bad for them.

I trust my team. Jean-Jacques Borie my co-founder and CTO is on it. He told me “do you want me to ship crap fast or make it high quality but take longer”? Obviously we will take the non crap, pretty please. Non crap we can build on. It’s coming. But it’s not there. But it’s coming. But it’s not there. But I trust him.

Oh, merde. We don’t have a designer. We don’t have a logo. We don’t have brand guidelines. Hugh MacLeod is an old friend and was once again, genius with this pic (whaaat Hugh, you have 9 people now?). Fortunately we contacted my other old friend Jesse Thomas of Jess3 and he’s on it. He did a lot of cool stuff. I wanted to do a logo contest with 99designs as I like contests but no time. We need a logo yesterday. We need to start designing the stage for the Paris event.

Oh yeah that keeps me awake at night. We have 278 attendees coming to Paris on May 13 as I speak. We have a choice between a few venues. One is already too small. It was my friend Marc Jalabert of Microsoft, who always helps. Marc offered me to use it. Problem is it’s “only 250 people” and we’re already above that. Should I take a venue for 600 people because there are 4 weeks to go and it always accelerates in the end? Or should I decrease the risk and take a 350 people venue and likely refuse a lot of people because we’re sold out? I’m not known to be reasonable in my choices but I might in this case.

Then it doesn’t really matter honestly. Who cares about how many we are. It cannot be another conference. It has to be different. Everyone coming to the very first Leade.rs event will be special to us because they support us. Everyone should have a special status on the Leade.rs app. The first, early people that support you are always very special and important. We could be only 50 participants and make it special.

Then oh merde. I need a speakers dinner. I have no sponsors. It’s too short notice. Most sponsors take a long time to decide because budgets and long term planning and I get that. So we have none. Just tickets. When I was doing LeWeb we would start talking to sponsors a year in advance. We are 4 weeks away here. Oh merde.

Now here is the good news. It’s going to be great. We have very special people coming to Paris on May 13 and it’s going to be the first event. My stress is maximum. I don’t want to screw it up. I want to make it different and launch the Leade.rs platform there. It can’t be just another event. If you come it will be special. We’re going to make it unique.

And yes, it keeps me up at night. So many things about it keep me up at night. That’s what’s amazing. Just seeing my friends support me is amazing.

Keep being extraordinary.

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

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