In this video about the entrepreneur and his/her project, Laurent Kratz shares his views on the following topics:
- any projects that didn’t work
- the main reason for failure
- a lesson learned
Laurent Kratz has founded several companies, including lesfrontaliers.lu, Jamendo, Neofacto and Scorechain. He is also a business angel. Find him on www.neofacto.com.
Subtitles are available in english and french.
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Bookworm? Read the transcript!
Any projects that didn’t work?
Of course! Four or five, I don’t even know… I’ve filed for bankruptcy before. It feels like you’re on your way to success, but it always boils down to the route we take: our route is filled with failure, and through those failures you reach success. Saying that it’s a quest for success means you think there’s a destination. I don’t think there is a destination, really. It’s the route.
Even in a project?
I’d say one of two products gets tossed. Because it doesn’t meet needs, or it’s too complicated, or there are infeasibilities with regulations… It’s normal.
The main reason for failure?
The main reason a startup may fail is ignoring the client. “Ignoring customers”, I didn’t make it up, is from startup literature and it doesn’t only apply to startups, it’s valid for any company. Ignoring the customer. And especially when you’re very product oriented, you may naturally tend to make products thinking”, I think customers will like this.” But you didn’t even ask them.
The anecdote I have with Jamendo. I think the first time we went to see a studio where, for example, they did dubbing of American movies or series, adding sounds, background music, etc. We did it maybe…no joke… maybe 3 or 4 years into our startup! And it’s our core segment: selling music for dubbing, sync and things like that. That’s a huge mistake.
A lesson learned?
Coming up with products is my strong point but taking them to market is my effort zone and that’s always something we work on. In the startups where I’ve had the most success, it’s often been because I’ve managed to…back to where we started from…It’s about the team, never alone, it doesn’t exist. It’s adding a good salesman, someone who’s wired for sales.
Your recipe for success?
The team. Never believe you can do it alone. That’s the first thing. Then, it’s work. The last step to the recipe, which can be important too is to always challenge what you do and have some humility. They’re clichés but it is important. With the support of