3 months at REVERSE by The Family: Lessons learned, with heart 💖
Come on, let’s confess something. I’m that kind of guy writing on post-it I oblige myself to reread every morning. I have the feeling that it reminds me which path to follow. Do not forget things I don’t want to forget. Trying to anchor what I think is not yet assimilated.
For 3 months, I did so much post-it that I ended up creating a Word document: “Entrepreneurial Reminders”. It is full of small sentences: advices from seasoned entrepreneurs, essential business concepts, inspiring catchphrases… But before sharing it with you in a future article here, let me tell you the 3 (crazy) months I just spent. Story.
« Before doing the masterpiece, we do the sketches. »
It’s 3 months of learning, meetings, questions and work. 3 months while each Saturday we met with 14 other youngsters at The Family, to listen in the morning, interact at noon, execute in the afternoon and celebrate in the evening.
In practical terms, we arrived every Saturday at 10am at The Family (Paris). At first, it was Oussama who gave us the class. Quickly, it was every student of REVERSE who had 1 hour to present a subject he was keen to share: the art & the importance of empathy, learn to learn, virality, content creation & social ads, marketplaces & SEO, cryptocurrency & blockchain…
At noon, an entrepreneur from the family came to eat with us. We could ask him all our questions, in intimacy.
Imagine, the first day, it was Xavier Niel we saw arriving from the bottom of the room !!! However, everything which has been said at noon around this table will remain confidential… 😉
Oh yes, The Family? It is a European investment fund in startups, with offices in Paris, London and Berlin. It is also and above all a family of entrepreneurs, a community that is stronger together. You know for sure some of the start-ups they have supported since their early days: Heetch, Merci Handy, SoShape, Side, Agricool, Payfit… You probably know them better thanks to their Youtube channel “Startupfood”, which counts nearly 5 million views to date.
One goal: financial emancipation 🌴
From 2pm, our mission was to create “Muses”. Which means: small automated business. The goal? Create a financial annuity, a monthly income at least semi-automated. A way to acquire a different relationship to money and risk in the future, if one would like to launch a more ambitious project: a start-up for example.
Now it is ! This was us 😂
It was fun! But we all quickly realized that selling, especially online, is hard. Between defining the right pricing for each product, find the right customer targets, adjust your advertising budget, manage the after-sales service… I think it has been a great business lesson for everyone.
If you want to better understand what a Muse is, here are some famous examples:
- Squatty Potty, the art of marketing a piece of plastic imported from China. (and the same thing for holes in a butter knife)
- The Million Dollar Homepage: « 1 million pixels. $1 per pixel. Own a piece of internet history ». GENIUS.
- I Am Rich: a Mobile App sold for $999.99 (maximum price on the App Store) with only a diamond image when you open the app.
- Once upon a time, you could find 2 exactly similar yoga mats on Amazon. One much more expensive than the other. The most expensive one ensuring that its quality was much better. And then, some people like to pay more to reassure themselves… 😉
- Want to buy a star for your loved ones ? Star Registration. You can also invest in a parcel of the moon with Lunar Embassy. (I dit it…)
- Many successful Muses are PDFs sold by individuals who possess or compile a rare/useful knowledge. For example: Evernote Essentials
- A lot of Muses are also marketplaces. For example, if you have already played to WOW, Guild Wars or Dofus, you may have already bought credits or wealth on pirate websites. These are factories of gamers in China that amass virtual riches to sell them in real life to Western players.
- « A Playlist Scammer May Have Stolen $1 Million From Spotify ». Genius too.
- And there is much more Muses around than we think…
A precious environnement of skilled & ambitious youngsters 💫
I’ve met incredible people at REVERSE.
The thing that shocked me the most? The youngest were the smartest/strongest. So, quickly, we no longer were defining ourselves by our age. And that is really unusual. Precious.
There is Pierrick, introverted until he goes on stage to teach us how to speak in public. He is passionate about cooking and working on a solution to help farmers. Atypical.
There is Yago (our Rupert Murdoch), his good mood and his crazy Facebook/Instagram communities. This guy can tell you: “I manage the biggest nurse community in France. They are 170 000 exactly.” I think the dream of any boy in this world, but he is fed up with that. I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learned from this 😅 More seriously, he is an expert in content creation, virality & social ads… I really admire this guy.
There is Elsa, her courage and determination to change the established French school system. To follow (absolutely!)
There is Ali, THE business boy. He is obsessed with the “smart” and he is for sure 😉 He is about to launch a new Fintech service. To be continued.
There is Awa, unobtrusive and savage until she comes on stage to speak to us “empathy” with gentleness, accuracy and a true capacity of hidden speaker.
There is Max, the scientist, who deeply loves to learn. He also imagined and shared in open source his solution to build your own VR headset with $100. Respect.
There is Sitraka, emeritus dancer and determined girl, who is working on a solution to help students eat better and cheaper. Coming soon.
There is Thomas, adorably stubborn ^^ A legal, logistical and administrative dictionary… You have a question? He will have the answer. He is about to propose a new transport service to reach the airports. To follow likewise.
There is Abdour, his hard-working confidence 😉, his good humor and his wacky business. Essential. (He is about to release a rap clip. I love this guy!)
There is Malo, the Designer of the band. Shy but full of ideas. A need in UX /UI? Call him without hesitation.
There is Matthieu, bussiness man too. Scholar. Determined. Ambitious.
Speaking of which: REVERSE? It’s the only place where I have seen people talking about their ambition, and all the others applaud, encourage, advise. Priceless. Precious. One more time.
3 MONTHS = 3 BIG LESSONS 📖
- At The Family, it seems like entrepreneurship is seen from a new angle : I noticed that one Saturday, Oussama compared startup entrepreneurs to top athletes, and his job to that of a coach of stars. By thinking more about it, I’ve realized: some people are born with greater aptitude (physical, mental or social). Some are gifted, okay. But only hard work and quick failures in the long run pays the most. Once again, learning curve is key. If you practice entrepreneurship everyday, you will become better and better, faster.
- There is a moment during these 3 months when I realized that money could be done. By many ways. So, it’s the adventure that counts, in its difficulty as well as in its moments of euphoria. The goal is important but the way to achieve it counts more. It’s a great lesson. In life as entrepreneurial.
- I think the last thing I realized, or at least confirmed, is that more than ideas, skills, work, execution or finances… In life as in entrepreneurship, what matters is people. It’s all about people. final point.
The good news? 😋
There will be a new promotion of REVERSE very soon!
if you are under 24,
if you are ambitious or want to be,
if you think you have at least one passion/talent to share with others,
if you want to find your entrepreneurial gang to move together faster and further,
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send them your contact.
As I write these words, we gathered for 1 week in Marseille, at Elsa’s house. 1 week to end in beauty these 3 incredible months. 1 week to continue to party, work, learn, laugh… And tell ourselves that this was just the beginning.
PS: to The Family, teams, founders and entrepreneurs we met, I want to say: THANK YOU SO MUCH! You have welcomed us for 3 months. You shared with us your knowledge, tools, network… You have invited us to make great meetings, to learn every day, to have dinner… And all that for free. I thought it was important to make it clear. The Family is a real family for entrepreneurs.
Many thanks to Arthur Mazurel for his help 🙏