Developing an innovative technology is the not-entirely-sane undertaking of any startup. The line is thin between visionaries and snake oil salesmen.
With three new startups launching globally every second, there is a huge amount of pressure on them to be doing something unique. For today’s episode of LokadTV, we are joined by Olivier Ezratty, the author of the “Guide des Startups”, to discuss the myths that startups often create in order to help them attract the best talent and resources to be able to make technological breakthroughs. Olivier has over 30 years of experience in the technology industry, including over 15 of those spent at Microsoft.
Together with our Founder Joannès Vermorel, we discuss some of the various myths that surround the world of startups and explore the ways in which certain startups get funded. Considering that nine out of ten new startups fail, this leads to a huge amount of pressure on them, with some companies resorting to making bogus claims in order to source investment funding. In addition, we discuss just who is funding all these startups and why?
We focus on the particular example of Theranos, a startup that raised more than $700 million from venture capitalists and private investors despite not actually having the breakthrough technology in the blood-testing market that it claimed.
We then try to understand where the line lies between confidence in a technology that is not yet finalized and shear fraudulent activity. We learn how startups can be assessed and discuss what are the best ways a startup can act in order to increase their chances of success in a highly competitive marketplace, filled with empty buzzwords and stretched-out truths.
00:25 Olivier, perhaps we should kick things off with a little bit of an introduction from yourself. How did you first get interested in startups?
01:31 Can you explain what are these myths we are seeing in startups?
03:37 Do you agree with the fact that startups are claiming more than they can possibly do?
04:36 Are there any other incentives?
08:22 Let’s talk about funding. Who is funding these startups?
09:11 Are there any examples, in the real world, of companies that pushed the envelope a little bit too much?
12:30 Is there any way of improving the clarity?
16:36 Why is it in the interest of startups to improve the understanding in the marketplace?
20:52 Let’s talk about the supply chain industry. What sort of myths are you seeing in the marketplace that other companies are putting out there?
23:57 How would you assess a company such as Lokad?
27:13 What advice would you give to someone who is starting out with a startup?