Loic de Kerdrel: "How to Create and Grow Your Business" | Talks at Google
Okay. So let's, get started, this, is a special Google Talk in particular for me I, want. To introduce you to lowing the corral know, it is a very good friend I'm gonna make the disclaimer first, actually. It's my. Marriage. Witness. So. And. We known each other for 16, years yeah roughly I'm. Not gonna give, all the details of how we met each other so don't worry. We met in Amman in Argentina, like, on. 31st. Of December, in, a party we. Have many friends in common and then we grew over time on. Our friendship, and now. I wanted. Him to share a little bit with you his, track. Record what he has done in business and of, course share some advices and sings, to you so like. I would really like to start first, thank you for making the time and I'm. Coming here and joining us and second, do you mind sharing a little bit of who. You are and what, is the company, you created okay. Hello, to, everybody. Followed, by my English that perfect so I will do my best if. Not you say in French for most of them understand, okay. English. I like, challenges. Thank. You Lee not to invite me here I was supposed to be on holiday with. My family for. Way but you, know once me back to work apparently, so so. Now I'm very happy to be here very, interesting for me to visit Google. Office. To see a light, works here and. I'm. Very very happy so roughly, I am. I. Created with a friend a company, called advil I'm in, a 1999, so, it's a quite a long, time ago. You. Are very very young. It. Was a not. My first job I had worked for two years before in a. Very in, a company, called IC I chemical. Empire. Chemical industries, or nothing in common with. Technology. But. At that moment I, don't know it. Was the beginning of internet, everybody was setting up companies so. I was really getting bored in this big company and I was thinking I, should, should. Dive into this this. New, movement, so. First. I joined, a start-up who. Was copying an, eBay. More or less in France on. On. It, was sort of rapidly to, another. Company so I, decided. To to. Create at the line so we had an idea I had an idea it was that every. Day lots, of new web sites were created. In France and most, of them couldn't make money basically. They. Were oh they were all dreaming, of making money but they were too small they, had to the. Audience was too small to make. Money basically so we thought okay if we could if we could gather all these audience. Together. It would make a big audience and we could sell the. Advertising. Space it was a very simple idea and at that time Google. Adsense was not really here. So. Somebody. Yeah, probably idea, was good here as well there it. Was maybe in the US but in France essence, was not was not yet at that time so. We first started. To. Develop a technology to first, kind of a nutshell, and that's a serving, technology. That. Could. That. Make it easy for webmaster, to to subscribe. And I. Bought. Some. Advertising, pages in. Geek magazines, with, a very simple message it was one master subscriber at the line on mcmoney, and we had a nutjob, success with this very simple advertising. Campaign hundreds. Of websites every, week were subscribing. Because they had basically no solution, to make money. And. I was here 2009 to, 2011, and. So. We were ready to we. Have the stock of of avatar. In space to sell so we, started to sell it to, advertising, agency, basically. The. Strategy was to sell. Low. Price so. We. Created. A. Micro. Billing solution, to, enable this website, some of these websites to to. Put. A paywall basically, under other pages and. Was a it. Was a very easy. Way to. To. Create. This paywall just a. Very. Very, easy way so as money in advertising disappeared, paywall was the solution you yeah yes, well but it was a micro billing so it was. Basically. You, had to dial. A premium. Phone. Phone. Call you, get a thick coat, on you enter the code on the page and you get the content so. It helped us to to go through this 2 years 2001, 2002. Where, the market was very very difficult and, in. 2003. When, the market started, again we had no more competitor, on the advertising, part they, were all there basically in France and. It. Was at that, moment it. Was a very special moment because the market started to be really a bullish and, we. Had a very very strong growth and. In. Some. Area. We didn't even we, didn't have enough space to sell so. We thought okay, we, don't have enough space so so, we're, gonna create this space so we started. Creating. Space and creating websites basically and we. Became a publishers. In. Samara the first website was a zona, they say it was a, a, comparator. Price. Comparison side you have price comparison, site for ispeed because, we had not suffered Vitali. Advisors, at that time who were fighting for market share in, France.
And. Then because we had a very strong gross and we I. Met. Someone who proposed. Me to make an IPO basically. It was really. Weird I met a guy and say oh you should make a nephew or really how how does it work I had no idea basically and, well. You always have experts everywhere so he explained me how it worked I met expel people who know how it works and, one. Year after we raised. The 15. Million euro, to. An IPO and. Basically. It was to accelerate. The movement towards publishing because at that moment Google. Was really. Ready with Adsense, and. So. The the. Lowest, 2007-2008. No it was, 2006. Six and. Our. Strategy, which was to, go to, use the longtail basically, a website. To. Get. Back in the advertising, market, Google. Was on the cake and we, had to find out quickly in a. New. A new a new business so I thought being. Being. A master of your website was the solution, so we, raised this that money and we invested, in websites, that were that, were some, of where, in, our network, we. Have a very strategic, vision, of which websites, were accelerating. More than others and so. We bursted maybe in 10. 10, websites. Sometimes. It was a minority, stake, sometimes, it was a majority, stake, we. Acquired. So. Shitty I know if you know it. Esmond. More. Or less than ten websites and. We. Continue the development. Until. 2012. And. We, saw the company actually to French. Because. Of the group and. I'm. Still I'm. Still, CEO. Of the company. So. It's now four, five years after when I sold it I thought I would stay two years and lean on, finally. I'm still here I don't know how, it comes that I'm still here they, still like you yeah. I don't, know. They. Maybe don't like you I don't. Know I'm, still here it was four, years ago I got I got married I make three babies that, time so so. I. Didn't waste my time I guess, it's not that common to. All. Right I guess it's not that common that do you find somebody with the track record and the expertise, so even if. They. They wanted to find somebody else I'm, not sure we'll have the competencies, experience, and the insights it's a very big challenge for big groups that's how don't have the, internet. Culture, to - but the investments, in smaller started, like us it's very complicated to integrate them that's a very big problem and I still don't know Mia, really. I'm. Ready to go actually but I'm really scared of what of what they would do over the company after that so I know we are I'm very attached. You. Really cared you really yes, but I think it's a very big challenge for big groups to integrate because they have processed, big process on we. Are a very agile. Company and, it's. Very it's a very big challenge but. Part of. Independence. You led to the to the to the company on if you don't. Have the the founder, who will, take the, lead after it's it's a bit complicated at me okay, not always easy so, let me ask you a. Couple. Of things into the, description you did another line. Let's. Talk about the tough moments because, it's 2000. 2001, you, know the stock market's goes down there's no funding, by. The time there was not a lot of belief into online advertising right, and. Then, your. Main source or only source of revenues goes away and. Then you come, creatively, with another solution that lets you survive. What were the toughest, moments, and what did you learn, whether. I think, the tough, moments or first, creation, when we started to we did a business plan we went to see a business Angela listen nobody.
First Very, few people even, very bright on smart people, the. Best educated people but old. Generation, probably like me now they. Say but do you really believe in this Internet, I mean we had this type of advances and it was really, amazing and. So. It was a bit tough because we had to start it without money then, after the second tough moon you said it was when the bubble exploded, and we had no more money and we had to find solutions, I know basically we we were small team or maybe. Twelve. Twelve, people and we had to get. To step two -. To. Six people maybe I guess we. Nearly, didn't, get paid, me. And my partner. Slap. In the office during more than a year so. It was really tough and. When the, when. The the market. I when I felt that the market was. Starting. Again. Because, we had to business Angela I thought ok I won't. Know I'm, ready to fight again but I don't, to fight for because we had lost the majority of the company that was so. I was not ready to fight to suffer, again for. Less, than the majority so I offered. The two business owner to buy the. Shares for, basically. The price I I bought. The. Bottom plus 5%, per, year and. And. Accepted, so I sawed my flat, which was my only I had a small flat in mamata I sold, it to but to buy it and plus. I borrowed a bit to the at the bank and you, became a homeless, to buy your own company yes. Exactly. But that's that was the time I except, in the. Office actually. And, well. That, yes. And, but. It. Was a totally. Crazy I would not I would never. Suggest. People to do that it was really crazy. And. I don't think your wife will appreciate if you have all Samson it was crazy but at, the end of the of the day it was a two. Years later we went public, so of. Course the value was not at all the same you can imagine ax of the, chef but so, it was a it was, crazy but it, worked actually and that's. How we went, public and we had fun represent of the capital with my partner which is quite rare in our industry, most, of the other. People. Who got a, big job or, they already diluted by many visas. You. Were just you have the vision to trust and you trust your business so much that you bought, again your ships uh yeah, I think it was crazy. And we, were lucky I think not, only lucky, but also, lucky and the more I work the luckier I get yeah, I. Wouldn't, do it today I would sure okay, so, I. Think, that and, I have, some inside information yes just, to complete the, tough moment as, ways, to sell the company is a very tough moment as well because you you. Sell it and you, don't know if she's stupid or nuts now I'm really happy to have sold it actually but. It's. A very tough moment because you have to you. You have the impression to that. You're selling you your, son or something that belongs, to you it's, it's. Very very emotional very hot tool it's, a very hard moment if even, if you basically. Get money okay, so you're happy to get money and services, so what now and it's. A very very tough, moment in terms of emotion so. Let's. Let's for a second assume that anyone, here anyone watching. The video are. Going to start their own company what. What we did two, or three advices, that you will give them to. Make. Sure that they maximize, the chance of being successful and. I hope it's not sell your apartment to invest in your own company, no. No really, it's very hard to give, advices because, me. Lots. Of people give. Me very bad advice is basically. No. It's true, very very. Smart people always, told me okay, no your, business Spanish okay but you should wait two years market isn't so I think the. Advice would be not to listen too much to advices. Except. This one no no I'm, to follow your your.
Faith If you if you you. Really need to have the to have the face in something, in an idea, and you have to be, really willing. To do, to to. Create. Your company if you're not really ready if you just want to to create your company because it's fashionable to create company because it's cool it's, you. Must be ready to suffer and, if you're. If. You really have a vision on faith on a big wheel you you will not feel the I mean the bad moments basically, and so. Your you, my. Advice. Is. You. Have. To to. Follow your your, idea on to if, you ride you idea must be strong, not. Not very smart but they're very strong in you in you and. My. Advice as well is you, have to take risk but so the. Sooner the better I would say because. For, example me today I have three children it would I would not take the same risk it, was not a problem for me to step in my office two years because I had nothing I had ha I had this little flat so if if, you fail it's not a big deal you know you fail you you lose if, you so, the, sooner the better I think don't. Wait that your product is perfect before you go. Me. Now I invest. In many, companies, on analyze. People. Who wants to have that something perfect before God no you go you go and you need you you. Repair on board you, repair on board, so. That's that's my advice my advice is where it would be to trust. For me very important, to, share, the experience with someone you must have a dream, of a. Vision and you, have to share it with someone because it's very pretty. Tough moment, if you are alone it's very so. Long it's a long journey so, it's, very tough to be alone me I could not have been alone so I have a very good friend is, yes, you, can name him if you want yes your co-stars very, good family he. Has a. Very. Good temper as well so, and. It's. You have to share. The adventure with someone that who, have the same value as you someone. Who will not kill you for money for example you know or someone to. Who. Say okay this is a battle this is nothing no ranch you know because in some situation people say no sorry it's not a battles in the ranch you have to to, share a vision value. With your, partner. As. Well for, difficult, moments it's nice to have a partner on as well to share if. You, have the best best. Moment if. You are alone it's quite, sad if you have a you. Know so it's better to to to be to share. And. Then after if you. If. You have a good good. Team ma'am I would. Say the hot thing is to get with, people with. You and a boat which is a lot such a small a beautiful, boat at the beginning and, you need to have a. Quality. People on how do you get them because you know that all the best they go to either go to Google or set up the company so how do, you do oh wait we are happy with that happy. There's. A big problem so how do you do so you have to share your dream too you have to be very enthusiastic, to. Make. Nice. People come and ball with you you have to share you your. You. Have to be nice to people to be so. That good, people join join you or you. I don't show me please I'm gonna ask you a little bit now on your energy and investments, and then start, thinking about questions if you want to make and then I'll give it to you guys so, while you solve the company you still. Are the CEO of the company, but. Now well, the. Bank account is a little bit better and you are expanding, your reach, now what. Is in your mind what are you doing how would you like to approach. Future. Investments. Things like that. Well. It, was a bit it's a big question when you when you sell your company you. Know what. Am I going to do next on it's a big question on you, too too young to retire. You. Have you have not updated, your, dreams because when you create your company when you when you 25.
I Don't know maybe you you dream of going surfing on a beach, if. You had enough money to want to stop working on when. You sold your company you nearly 40 I'd say I don't want to go anymore surfing, in a bitch nobody is there oh man so what. I'm. Too fat anyway so. It's. Too late so you have to update you you have not updated you dream so it's very big it's, kind of a trauma you know it's, very hot want to very, have to turn to. Readapt. Yourself, to what am I gonna do well first I started to to invest in in companies so. But. It's a bit frustrating investing because you, you. Invest on it's like even always a mere money. We. Were quite lucky I mean I have, invested, one of my first investment was sold to Google it was a company. Called much much talk it was a. Visual. Recognition. Software. On. To. Google so we had a good adventures, I had nothing. And. What. Is a bit frustrating when you when you are an entrepreneur you, want to want, to lead your own board basically and, you don't, want to put money in, you. Know it's like buying a faux rice on wait five, years or so, there is growth, you. Know it's not it's not for me it's nothing it's not enough so I think I will create something something. Else I'm not I'm not sure exactly, what but. But. I know some of your side business I have a. Few project yes. I have, a few project but for sure I will I, would start again something. Bigger. Not but nice. Guys, do you have any questions I. Hope. You understood what I said because. It. Was a bit comfy if. Not we had a we have a chip is google translate so don't worry they got everything. Now. So, the advertising. Network have changed. We, are not anymore on a longtail. We are now, we have a big. Web sites in a we. Contract, with big big web sites so we have moved from the. Small. Website. To. Big website basically so we have a more traditional. Network. Advertising. Network business. Still. I, would say. Nearly. Half of the business of the company but it's it's a tough business, because. You know you know in France you have to be quite. Big you have we have 25, million unique, users in France and I would, say it's the minimum not. To lose money so. It's the. Growth, is quite. Quite. Low we're. Still in, the. Micro billing, still. Still. A good business but, we have adapted. It as well to the because. Of PayPal now is everywhere you, don't need to call anymore yeah. We. Have the we, have adapted it to put more services, with, the pet with with the billing because just the billing and our big companies are on this market so we we we, try to put a service, layer, of service, with. The voice basically. You. Guys are now on this market as well we are everywhere.
But. It's still good business and I believe in the in. Billing, services. Through voice. And. The, publishing. Is. Still good and we, have a. We. Have one website that make, the money from. For. The others I would say we have a leader. In. Sochi, - dokkum is still making good money basically, we are selling a. We. Are selling a. Information. Information on companies, financial, information companies, we buy. We. Buy raw. Information. We. Clean. It and we sell it in retail. And, with Google Bala by the other yes. Can, I guess. Well. I'm, not sure it's very rational, I would, say there's a large. Part of instinct. That. I feel, through. The. Exchange. The. Talk with the the founders and I. Invest. Very early station so, I would say normally, the statistic. Is you invest in 10 companies and. One. Goes. Well, on most of the others died basically, that that's supposed, to be a statistic for, us it's not a statistic, we are much better than this because. I invest with my partner and we, would say we have no we have one company which is in difficulty, out of maybe. 15 company but, most most of them they are in good shape and so. I would say instant. Of. The determination. I have in. The. Founders in the founders I would say it's the first. It's. My my. First key. And. The business itself one of course. The. Business I. You. Need to be on a market that is coming. I don't invest in where, there's no market basically well it's too soon you know the timing the time to market is very important for us for example we were very lucky because, of the time to market it was not the strategy it was luck basically, but two, years before we would have died two, years after it was too late so, that time to market is very very important, and. But. Basically the the profile of the founder is very important because you have to adapt all, time if. If. You have someone who is not who, is too sure of where, he wants to go it's. Not good because you need people who are very. Fast who was who are ready. To change very fast can, adapt them business. Model very fast so, I. Don't. Invest in people who are, to, show of themself basically. Because. You, need to be humble I guess on when you need start company so, I. And. After its yeah. It's. It's. A part of a instinctive. Self first on of course I know be to market as well I am best an intern mainly, on internet, businesses, so. I know a. Lot. Of the ecosystem, few things few things and I try to invest not. On. A single. Person. Businesses. So I like to have a kiss to partner three. Partners good I like, a technical. Guy a business, guy and a design, guy for example is fantastic, that's, the better the best, the. Best typology. I would say and. There's. No I don't, have like my five rules for investment I don't have this and. I. In. Five or five years I would I. Will. Have a good view if I am a good investor or not for now it's to sooner maybe, I'm we, have one where to to come here were sold already, good good. Yes. Mattias yes and. I'm. Still optimistic in, most of them, so. But. We. Bring him back again in five years and then yes, yes yes we, outcome. Today. Tag and you. Think the same for now we'll have one chance of success, today or in. The past, well. It's, a good question for. Me I find it more ha it's much harder today than 20 years ago because 20 years ago there was a big big thing. It was until, it was new so this disruption. Was so huge you, don't have you, don't find this description today I mean so, even, someone stupid would jump to the water on would. Follow the currents and would do something I would say, it's. A bit of a joke but it's it's not totally a joke if. You were in the, right moment. Now. I. Find it very difficult why because all the smart, people doing. Out of big, university, big, a business school they all create companies. They. All read the same newspaper they all they work for Google, no. But the all. The work for Google is it's true so you have a Suman, I receive, maybe 10. Business plan every, week people who want to raise money, quality. Of people is amazing the Queen the. Business. Plan are, fantastic, and. It's. It's. Very hard to find space you, have so many brightest bright people smart people create, compare today I mean. I'm sure they will not all successful, for sure so I find, it more difficult an twenty years ago because you have much, more people and you don't have such, a big description, maybe, I was I was saying to truly, know I would say, blockchain. Is very. Interesting yeah, blockchain, for me is, probably. The big description, of to me in my opinion in my opinion but, the.
Other Description. Are like. Extension, of previous. Instructions. I would say like mobile video. And all this but big, companies are already, there you know you. Have to go and, it's. Very nice when you, go in a market not, mature, on a bit, chaotic where, big companies big organization, are not it's. Not easy for them to. Subduction. Is perfect. For this I would say. So. What do you think about the future of rock chain well. People. Have, had, the same idea with the internet, you know before. There is not educated. People told me but, Internet. Is a Berber you know so I hear, the same with this black change so I think wow that's probably good something good you know, and. That's. Why I want to I want you to dig in in this direction. I think abduction is something really really I, don't understand very well duction to tell you the truth I don't understand, everything and induction but. I feel. That this is something very. Very deceptive that will, change, a lot of things like, a new dimension, of a business. Interesting. I'm. Successful. Now whether it's founding, a company or, selling here or, it doesn't that work like that and. I have a program with the the world success, I know so that's why you, know success for me is something really weird you know I don't. Know if you have read this in the newspaper you, have a at. The edge time he just. Wrote. And he wrote a note of paper, but that was sort of million dollar in an auction yesterday or the day before and. It was it was a little, world of success. And Happiness you know and he. Said basically that. He. Had found the secret of happiness that. It was not not. Try, to find, success. Success, at all price so, successful. Meets is something, so. We had. Word. I don't really feel. I had success and, for. Me success is to achieve your goal and try to be happy that's the only. Success. You you may have in life but in my opinion so. If. You are if, you are lucky to make a business and to put. It successful, maybe develop. It so did make money is it's. Nice but. So, it's kind of a success but if you. Have. Many little successes every day so. I. Never, had this the, idea of having made, their success on. It. Said for. Me it. Was a. Navigation. To do to to create my company because I hate. Orders, I don't like Yaqui, and disappearance on so I had no choice basically so. So. So. That's why I created the company so it was not a success. It was a survival, thing, you know. So. So, in a way it was the I, survived, in a way so oh you really well just buys well no, no, my idea was that we were lucky very like I was saying we were very lucky its then stucked on in luck but we were very lucky in all the stories and I. Think I'm a very lucky person and. But. Clock is of course being. Rapid in grabbing opportunities, on for sure but so, I. Know. It's it's well, we negotiated. In the deal to to keep my office. Far. From the office. It. Was part of the dinner and. They. Respected, that I worry, that they watch this so this, is -. It's. A big challenge for companies. To, lapis, for example they want to of, course - - to have a digital culture because, they have a big problem you know nobody, you anymore, the stamps business. Which is a 20 billion euro zone over in France is decreasing, 10 percent of Europe so it's well what, do you do you, have to find solution so whether the strategy is to buy companies. Digital. Companies to prepare. The future, but. The answer how. Do you do they integrate, that they have not my, opinion in, my opinion answer. This question on the. Fact, that we're still here it's, that. Ok whatever, what's, going to happen when, we cannot live because the pressure is so different and we, fight to keep our culture basically, we. Fight to, a certain extent basically, I would say we. Fight we. Say we, think it's a good idea. To let us very very far. From you if, you want to keep the the, good people they're.
Going To leave if you put too much yaki, too much processes. The, Dhamma on. But, they succeed on this right you still yes. But it's a big challenge for them it's a big big challenge because. I read something on a better the Loreal, CEO. Today who, said that the digital. Culture, come, from the ground. But from the top you can't say I want my group to be who have a digital, culture now and you say do, it now doesn't, work like this it grows, from the ground. So. Big. Challenge I would say but. Then they're not too bad they're not too bad in in. Doing, this. Any. Last questions guys. Now. If not we're going to do something very important, we embark Loic. To. Be a mentor, for Google as well thank you Nicola for the for, the t-shirt. Next. Time he comes with a mentor of you Wow if you start up saying here in the MENA. Region III love, Google III I bought shares I love you. You.