Have a break

Dear entrepreneur,

I hope you’re doing good. Are you planning to have a break?

At The Family, it’s a tradition: in August, we’re off. It’s summertime in Europe, our inboxes are quieter, business slows down, the Mediterranean coasts live their high season. We use August as a month to pause and reflect.

And August 2020 is special. The pandemic triggered social tensions everywhere. For the past five months, entrepreneurs have been facing the crisis, hustling, pivoting, rebooting and (re)discovering the virtues of solidarity. It was intense, and it still is. 

With such a shock, our society's values, “the common good” and infrastructures are playing a huge role. Individuals feel less powerful as they’re using all their energy to fix their own situations. Healthcare, justice and education are at the forefront like never before.

Crises intensify stereotypes and awaken our deepest fears. I came across this article saying that firearm sales jumped to over 120,000 per day in the US. Even if the numbers in Europe’s macroeconomic situation are terrible, it seems to me that the social tension here is less dramatic. First, because the fragmentation of power in Europe prevents one stupid leader from exacerbating the mess; and second, because massive public spending is smothering the impact of the crisis - €9B being dedicated to startups alone. One could argue that “zombie” companies will rise, true, but mass civil unrest brings other kinds of troubles - zombies with guns can be much more harmful.

“Pain is growth,” Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of Reddit, said during a live conversation we had two weeks ago, encouraging founders to stand up for their values. I fully agree. But there is pain that stimulates and pain that kills. So I’d also quote Nietzsche: “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

In the middle of this storm, it might feel a bit shallow to talk about all the questions that are still pending for startup founders. But really it takes courage to humbly focus on how you can add value at your own level.

Should I plan an event with 100+ guests in November? Can we communicate about how we improved our business during the crisis? Should we keep working fully remotely? How will I integrate new employees? Is it the right time to fundraise? (...) 

These are the questions our founders ask everyday at The Family, and each case requires a different approach. In the middle of all this uncertainty, the most important thing is to maintain clarity - that’s why having a break can help you, because the best can be yet to come.

Make August a resourceful period for you - we’ll all need courage in September! 

💖SAVE THE DATE for the “Work From Anywhere Summit”!
On Sept. 30, 6-8pm, 100% online, we’ll gather with entrepreneurs and amazing guests to answer all your questions about working remotely due to COVID. It’s not just tips about “Remote Work”, it’s gonna be testimonials from the experiences of the last four months in terms of team organization, new habits, legal issues, recruitment in a post-COVID time... Book your spot here.

📘 La Bourse aux Livres - Did you know that in France, 142M books are thrown in the trash each year!?! Bravo to this team for selling 20k secondhand books within just a few months!

🌈 Merci Handy & The Keepers - They’ve teamed up to make living through the COVID-19 crisis a little brighter, designing a hand sanitizer distributor that combines the colorful universe of Merci Handy & the convenient storage of The Keepers. Keep your eyes open, it’s hard to miss their Rainbow Stations ;)

💵 Mansa - The platform providing loans for freelancers just announced their new Chief Capital Officer: Fabien, an ex-partner from Smart Lenders AM is joining the team to help them grow. And watch this interview with his wise 20-year-old CEO, Ali, to get a deeper understanding of the potential of this startup.

💥 Vybe - The team just closed a €2.2M pre-seed fundraising round and are on track for a September launch of their banking solution made just for Gen Z!

🎨 Simplifier - They launched their open beta that lets SaaS developers design, build and implement new integrations for their customers! Using it, you can connect with any third party product API ;)

💖Vestpod - In her constant effort to democratize savings for women, Emilie Bellet wrote a practical money handbook, “You’re Not Broke, You’re Pre-Rich”, and it became a bestselling book ;) And you can now read it on Amazon Kindle for just £0.99!

👶🏽 Le Smartsitting - Their after-school babysitting service expanded to 6 cities in France, including Lyon and Nantes - tell your friends with kids 3 and up, they’ll be eternally grateful <3

☀️ Jubiwee - This team is bringing a solution for corporates trying to navigate the odds of remote work: employees share their mood, constantly and truly. And the team has a new (free!) offer to get ready for the return from summer vacation, as well as a white paper on understanding your employees’ expectations (in 🇫🇷)

🎤 Sparkmate & Studio Majorelle - Sparkmate’s got tons of stories from their garage-to-MVP lab. Studio Majorelle specializes in podcasts with top CEOs and CTOs 💖Check out the first episode here (in FR for now ;)

🤓 Chargebee - This solution helps you replace in-house billing systems and spreadsheets 🙏 It gives teams the ability to set up subscription plans and trials, run pricing experiments, analyze subscriptions, accept multiple payment methods, and more! 

💼 Iconoclass - The school for business developers has a new training program to send your sales game to the stars ✨

❤️ Yac - This wonderful startup is giving people a way to cut down on Zoom fatigue - their audio messaging allows you to say the essential and send it, no need for typing or scheduling a meeting.

Whether you’re sunbathing, driving or cooking, get some fresh inspiration from entrepreneurs telling their truth. Head to our YouTube channel Startupfood and discover our Good Vibes interviews:

🍒With Riccardo, cofounder of King.com
He has put out some of the biggest mobile gaming hits ever. Like Candy Crush ;) Our discussion during quarantine went everywhere, all the way to why this serial Italian entrepreneur and investor always checks out the bathroom to see how a company is run ⛲️

😽With Alexis, cofounder of Reddit
He’s been on the frontlines of the internet for a long time. Our conversation covered the responsibility of social networks, racism and his recent decision to step down from the Reddit board, asking to be replaced by a person of color.

🛴With Fredrik, cofounder of VOI
He’s a European leader in electronic scooters. We talked about what it’s like to be tackling such a competitive and capital intensive market, where there’s no time to lose and tons of room for growth.

🔥The good things about moving online - The quarantine prevented us from running all our events for entrepreneurs the way we used to... We’ve had to completely rethink how we work at The Family and how we can support our community. We’ve discovered many good and yet unknown points actually! I explained everything in The Family, Moving On…line!

💋All you need to know to really create a memorable customer experience! Our CX Summit with AWS and Freshworks was great - hundreds of people coming together online to get actionable knowledge on creating an amazing customer experience. You can check out the videos on Startupfood, or get shorter versions in these two articles: The Customer Experience Mentality for Startups and Customer Experience wisdom from The Family’s online CX Summit.

😱About France’s leaders… Ever wondered: “Man, it really seems like they take zero risks?” My cofounder Nicolas explained why that is in his piece “France, As Revealed by its Elite”. Check it out, and make sure to subscribe to his newsletter European Straits!

🌹 Oh, and one last thing - The great investors over at Accel are putting together the 2020 Euroscape, the 100 hottest startups in Europe and Israel. To give you an idea, UiPath made the 2017 list before going on to become Europe’s first cloud decacorn 🦄Think your startup’s got what it takes? Apply!

See you on the other side,

Take care!

The Family Team