Discovering “Future Proof Inc.”
TL;DR After 3 intense years as CEO of Scaleway, I am now investigating new opportunities. To explore the realm of possible to the fullest extent, to discover the right “Future Proof Inc.”, I hereby invite you, my benevolent network and readers, to participate by sharing 3 ideas with me: people to meet, job opportunities you may be aware of, topics to research, entrepreneurial ideas... Indeed, I truly believe in the wisdom of (selected) crowds, and you are all collectively clued in in ways that I am not, in a market that is perfectly imperfect. Also, some of you know me more than I know myself, so I should listen! Either way, if you are interested to participate in this live crowdsourcing experiment, please read below for deeper insights, or go wild and hit submit.
Every once in a while, we reach the end of a cycle in our professional careers, as entrepreneurs or as employees.
If I look back over the past two decades or so, I have been mostly an entrepreneur, iterating between each venture by exploring new models: with and without venture capital funding, with and without co-founders, or joining as a late founder of sorts, mostly acting as CTO, COO, or CEO. All of those ventures went full cycle, i.e. they were acquired, all six of them. Five of them were tech product companies, including one in deep-tech. One was a mobile app development agency. All were B2B companies including two that attempted a B2C model at first. In every case, I left quite quickly post-acquisition to embrace a new challenge.
My last gig was nothing like the previous ones. In February 2020, I became Scaleway’s CEO, an existing but below the radar cloud company based in Paris, founded by entrepreneur-extraordinaire Xavier Niel some twenty years ago. Xavier had been an angel investor in my previous two startups and asked me to help develop Scaleway. This time, I joined as a “regular” employee within the Iliad Group, Scaleway being one of its many subsidiaries. I will not elaborate here on my journey at Scaleway, but let me tell you: what a ride! Three intensive years that started with a global pandemic and lock-down. Not to be deterred, I "hyperscaled" the company threefold to 600+ Scalers, fixed the general ambiance, values and organization, redefined the core target segment, accelerated a market-beating double-digit growth 3 years in a row in the Public Cloud, and ultimately positioned Scaleway as a credible regional alternative to the major 3 cloud hyperscalers. And lobbying, a lot of it! Today, Scaleway is stronger than ever, ready to face its next growth challenge. The news has been covered here, here and here.
And so I find myself at a crossroad, again. Which is massively exciting given the perspectives: so many problems needing solutions (and by default, I’m biased towards technology), so many solutions looking for problems (bad idea in general, except for deeptech). And yet, there lies the conundrum: where should I really invest my time, energy and passion, and with whom? This is a universal question that I dare anyone to answer for themselves. It is a recurring question in one’s career. As an entrepreneur or as an employee.
So I need your help, I welcome it with open arms. I already resorted to this technique 7 years ago which had led me to be headhunted for the position of GM Twitter France (for some reasons, I still like Twitter very much), but instead joined Snips.ai as COO (Snips was acquired by Sonos in November 2019). I have a number of meetings lined up starting Monday January 2 2023, but I'm anxious to deepen the breadth and depth of the possibilities. In a nutshell and to be clear: I’m not looking for a job. I’m just impatiently looking forward to discover the one mission to embark on, to meet my next professional challenge.
This form will allow you to pitch in, up to 3 ideas. It takes no time to fill-in, but you might want to revisit my LinkedIn page as well as wrap your head around the following unsorted list that captures some of the key concepts I'm interested in going forward:
- Technology for good, or technology advancement for mankind
- Entrepreneurship & value creation; seed, growth or hyper growth
- General management, with or without business development
- Corporate Social Responsibility: social, environmental, corporate citizenship
- Computing, cloud computing, tooling, open-source & software ecosystems
- Deeptech & moonshots
- European tech sovereignty & excellence
So, what do you think? Any ideas come to mind?
Either way, thank you for reading this far. You'll hear from me soon!