Newsletter #4: Happy holidays and being inspired

I hope you are doing great! If you have just joined and want to read the previous newsletters I posted them here for you.

When I talk to friends about the new service I have in mind I noticed it’s always easier to describe it in reference to something they know. For example how many times have you heard “it’s Uber for X”. Everyone understands what you are talking about using a very familiar service.

The evolution of an idea

When I started working on leade.rs I wanted to really spend time on what I have already been doing for many years, finding new amazing people. Then it became obvious that I wanted to do it with other people who have the same “bug”. It’s been a few years since I started having “curators” help me for many sessions at LeWeb. There is always someone who knows bitcoin, the internet of things or the future of health better than I do. Instead of trying to invite all the top speakers myself, I gave an hour or two on stage to those experts who invited incredible people they know. In short, I have already worked in a collaborative way on discovering great people.

How about if I could scale it way beyond the ten people or so who contributed to content curation? How about if a thousand people could collaborate to discover new talent in a crowdsourced way?

I became more and more addicted to discovering new products daily on Product Huntand it became obvious that I was inspired by their success.

“Product Hunt for People.”

I have huge respect for the team behind Product Hunt and wanted to make sure I would not be on a collision course with them. I contacted the co-founders, Ryan and Erik, and asked them two questions: are you planning to go this way (focusing on people instead of products)? Do you mind if I get inspired by your platform and start building something very similar but for “people”?

This was another example of the “Open Startup”. Instead of doing it in secret I contacted them very early and asked for permission. Not only did Ryan and Erik tell me they were not going in this direction but they also offered their help as they really like the idea. I asked them many questions and studied how they launched. They even told me “we also got inspired by Pinterest and Reddit, being inspired is fine!” Great.

Focusing on people is very different so even if I start with a platform very close to Product Hunt it will evolve differently for sure.

The Product Hunt model applied to “people” might not work at all. There have been a few “Product Hunt for X” that failed already.

My number one challenge will be to find enough great curators that will contribute daily to the service and I am very aware of how difficult this will be.

Time will tell, we are building our minimum viable product as fast as we can. My co-founder Jean-Jacques is literally building it in his garage.

Since I emailed you last I also wrote a few posts you might find interesting.

10 lessons from Product Hunt’s success (see I’m inspired!)

What being a pilot taught me

What makes a good public speaker

I hope you are having a fantastic holiday season.

Loic

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