How to benefit from major industry events... when you cannot attend them?

Where were you last week?
Where you one of the lucky ones, attending LeWeb'10 in Paris?

Oh. No. You couldn't.

I can get that. But did you benefit from it?
You should have. Here's an example of "how".

As other key industry events, LeWeb'10 attracts hundreds - if not thousands - of people that, as a startuper, you must meet. I'm talking journalists, bloggers, VCs, angels and influencers.

But because your company's a startup, you have to allocate your (scarce) resources in the best possible way, on a daily basis, and to make a long story short, you had to (reluctantly) decide not to attend. Ok. Not THAT big deal. That would have been a major error if you hadn't take this opportunity to meet all those influencers and present your company.

That's precisely what I've organized for one of my beloved customer: Kwaga, the SmarterEmail semantic toolkit. We've organized a private tour of the Opera Garnier, home of the famous Phantom of the Opera. Key bloggers, influencers and journalists just looooooved it, and so did Kwaga ;-)

This opportunistic operation allowed Kwaga to meet key people and to establish relationship with them, while sharing a unique experience. This is exactly the kind of operation I encourage my fellow startupers to organize, think about, share and benefit from.

When you don't have the resources, think leaner ;-)

Do you have any other ideas of the kind to share? Please do so in the comments!

See the full picture gallery:


101 How-to: 3 Clichés about Homo Journalicus

Let's eradicate!

This is the first part of how-to get a nice article when being interviewed by the most worshiped dude of your galaxy: the journalist. Next one will cover the actual how-to prepare and conduct the interview.

Maybe I should point out that, as a communication person , I've been dealing with journalists for the best of the past 20 years (do I have to be THAT transparent???). Some are very nice fellas, and some are not. As in any other areas of our lives. My point here is to give a clear picture of the people we're (desperately) trying to reach to get the press coverage that will skyrocket the product/company/person we want to promote.

Note: feel free to search/replace "journalist" with "blogger"

Cliché #1 - Journalists are Divas
  • Wrong: they got bosses to whom they must sale the idea of an interview before actually carrying it. It takes them time and energy. I feel deeply sorry for you if you try to grab them when they just got their asses kicked by their boss... Or worse, by an infuriated someone they interviewed recently...
    Although I'm not saying that some aren't true Divas :-D

Cliché #2 - Journalists keep on trying to set you up
  • Wrong: they got that story that their boss is expecting (remember? they sold it hard, explaining why they should interview you...) and they're only trying to find enough matter out of the conversation to write a story - as interesting as possible :-s

Cliché #3 - Journalists are clueless dumb-asses
  • Wrong: you are the expert. That's basically the reason why they are seated in front of you, btw... So if by extraordinaire, the person in front of you doesn't seem to understand the idea that you're explaining, maybe you should ask yourself "why"... and try to re-formulate it in other words, with examples. Doesn't it sound wise?

Any other clichés that you can think of? Feel free to share!


This is not Rock & Roll, this is #irby

Some of you may know it, as I claim it and shout it quite regularly: I'm a rock&roll addict.

Cant' help it.

Not that I haven't try other musical style - currently discovering metal -, but my heart belong to R&R...

However, when I happen to stumble upon good music, I share it.

So here is I Really Blog You aka. #irby on Twitter

I Really Blog You by I Really Blog You

(you can download it and watch the video here)

It's fun, incredibly catchy and it's... 2.0!

The story behind the song is one of those very nice reunion that happen by chance with almost forgotten friends. Michael (@michaelbechler ) currently CEO of Webagoo (web site online services & apps for SMB) and Franz (author and singer) used to be best pals at school... 20 years ago.

After they caught up, they realized that Franz had fantastic songs and Michael decided to produce them.
I really blog you is a 100% web song, that'll catch you - Watch out!

If - as I did - you fall in love with it: download it, share it, promote it to your friends... Make it spread!



101-How-To: Presenting live - 6 steps to survive

Let's face it.
The cruel, naked truth is: when presenting live, we ain't all equal.

This second post of the series "101-How-To" summarizes a training session I've created and animate with innovating companies (email me if you're interested;-))

Being a decent speaker is all the more important when your project is really innovative and disruptive: the more innovative the harder it is to make a project understood.

The idea here isn't to compete (yet) with presentation Gurus such as Steve J., Guy K. or Dave McC. No. The idea is to give you some strong foundations to build a meaningful, understandable and concise presentation of your project.

Step1: Prepare Jedi-like
I know this sounds funny... but you know what: some people still don't ;-)
  • People you're going to talk to, know you should
    Google them! LinkedIn them! etc.
  • The comprehensive story, telling you cannot
    Define up to 3 key messages. Max.
  • Universal ability to get understood, as birth gift you received not
    Test the accuracy of your messages with friends & co-worker: if they don't get it go back to bullet 2 (secret: avoid jargon)
  • Your jungle landscape, perfectly you will know
    It's human: whenever you present a new project, the person you're talking to will try to understand/position you in comparison to what she/he knows. To make sure you're well understood, study your competition to be able to answer "yeah, we can sound like CompanyA, but unlike them we're providing so many cool features to this precise scope of population, that it'll blow your mind away"... See what I mean?

    (and that'll be it for the Yoda Touch)
Step2: Organize your information
Let's make it easier for your kind listeners to memorize what you're saying.
  • Don't save the best for the end
    Shout out loud what's really soooo cool about your company right at the start and then explain it twice or three times during your talk
  • Get your self a tagline
    ... but a concise one ;-) Not a mission. A tagline! Start and conclude with it.
  • Get yourself some illustrations
    While presenting new concepts, illustrations and anecdotes do help your audience understand what you're saying :-)
  • The Declare-Illustrate-Conclude Mantra
    Be realistic and focus. Truth is: you'll never be able to explain all subtleties of your project in 10 minutes. Pick out the 3 key elements of your project and mention them several time under the declare-illustrate-conclude mantra.
Step3: Get neat & appealing slides
it takes time, but it's definitely worth it!

  • Make slides that promotes listening vs. reading
    ... well only if you want your audience to listen when you speak ;-)
  • Make yourself a favor and buy "PresentationZen"
  • The 10-20-30 rule
    This is a hint from Guy Kawasaki: 10 slides, 20 minutes, Font size=30 pt

Step4: Identify and master your own Clandestinos
Get yourself a video to spot and identify things you could/should change
  • A (controversted) study says that the words you're pronouncing only count for 7% of the meaning understood, the rest being carried out by your tone of voice and your nonverbal behavior. Beyond the controversy, the idea here is for you to keep in mind that your body and facial expression say a lot, as well. (see: Nonverbal Communication)
  • The "fillers" hunt: er, hum, like, you know, well, let's say...
    when repeatedly used, the fillers can parasitize your talk. Spot them and tame them :-)
Did you know that a (very) large chunk of the people whose presentation skills impress you actually know their stories by heart? This may not suit everybody, but at least:
  • Write down your text and say it out loud
  • in front of a mirror
  • again
  • and again
  • and (got it?)
Step6: Survival Kit
Now you're on stage, this is D-DAY.
  • Listen thoroughly to the questions... don't interrupt ;-)
    a) it's not respectful
    b) you may not actually know what it is that this person want to ask you
  • Rephrase
    a) to make sure you've got the question right
    b) to bring the discussion to a topic you want to cover
    c) to help other people in the room to follow the discussion
  • Stay focus on your key messages
  • Read carefully the body language of your audience
    Make sure they "stay" with you. In case they don't, change the tone of your voice, ask them questions, ... manage to get them back on board.
  • Oh and: don't forget to say the name of your company (or project) :-)
Bottom line is: presenting live requires hard work and preparation. And is FUN!

Hope you enjoyed the ride! Don't hesitate to share your tips, to say you agree or disagree with all the above. I'd love to read your feedback on this!

See ya soon!


101-How-To: Write and Distribute a Press release

Sometimes I forget the basics.

Since I started working with startups, I've discovered and exchanged a lot on various topics, among which social media, PR, websites, lead management, SEO, traffic optimization etc.


And that's obviously one of the best part of my job.

However a bunch of recent work sessions made me realize that some of what I consider “basic stuff” and took for granted, actually were not.

That's why I've decided to start this “101-how-to” series of posts.

Here we go: #1 - How to write a press release?

  1. Title: work hard on that one, and keep it concise. This is the 1 second chance you have to grab people's attention. It should be short and should content all key names / topics at once.
    Example: Kwaga selects StoriesOut to handle its worldwide online and offline PR.
  2. Subtitle: Once you've grabbed the attention, expands the title with subtitle. Give more info based on the title.
    Example: The startup fighting email-overload wants to expand its international reach as its market traction is skyrocketing.
  3. Date/place: Do I really need to explain? ;-)
  4. Press release body: Develop your points in small paragraphs. 1 idea each. Use bullet points to structure the message. Keep in mind that most people "skim-read" press release. Make it simple to them to get your point.
  5. Quotes: If you add any, make sure they appear distinctively from the rest of the text. Use italics and indentation. Content of quotes must give an extra angle to the announcement. Prefer figures and real facts to emotions.
  6. Boilerplate: this is your company's standard presentation. It is the last paragraph of your press release and presents your company in 6 to 10 sentences. Again, work it out carefully and make sure to keep it up to date.
How to distribute a press release.
  1. Distribution wires: there are huge differences on these types of services, mainly based on geography and on the industry your company is.
    Basically in the US no one would email a journalist directly to distribute a press release but would rather use services from Marketwire or PrNewsWire.
    In France is it not that obvious. Even though these international wires do propose their services here, I find their reach to the IT press pretty poor. Now, there's another one: Hugin Group but never tested it. BTW, I would appreciate any feedback from actual experiences of it ;-).
    However, keep in mind that these services cost money and that prices vary with the word count of the announcement + the press target + regional target.
    The services often cover both distribution to information sites and to journalists. But you'd rather check their lists before committing :-)
  2. Free websites to post your announcement to: there are many of them in each country. A simple Google search would give you an idea. In France I found a nice post listing the main ones, it is here.
  3. Emailing a journalist list: few tips here
  • If you do it manually, use BCC ;-)
  • There are quite a bunch of platforms that you'd like to use for your emailings, ranging from free to not-that-expensive. My favorites are: iContact and MailChimp. Great thing with these platforms are the tracking and analytics they provide you with. It really helps enhancing your reach. Strongly recommended.
  • Put the text of the press release directly into the email. DO NOT attach it!
  • Complementary resources: Screenshots, pictures, videos etc. should be mentioned and linked to. Do not embed them in the press release itself, a) there are too many email clients out there for you to make sure these resources would display properly on each of them b) firewalls may well just spam your message c) it would make your email too cumbersome to open.
  • Post your press release online on your blog or website so that you'll be able to direct people to it via other media such as twitter, Facebook/LinkedIn status etc.
I think I covered most of the key points, if you think of any other please tell me, and above all, tell me if this post is of any use to you!

Any other topics you'd like to read about in my forthcoming post ? Tell me.

Let's save time: share your experiences!


StoriesOut - Week #7 to 10 - The trick is to keep breathing

Amazingly dense weeks

Well to be quite honest, coming back from 1 uninterrupted sunny week in Spain to find my self under the rain with a loss of 10°C has been pretty challenging for my fighting spirit... But the good news is that rather quickly business and activity took over. So here's what happen during these 4 past weeks.
  • Another product launch with Kwaga: Kwaga Context for Google Apps users, brings thread history and social information of email senders, directly in your inbox! Huge step forward in email productivity. If you're on Googel Apps, you MUST try it a) because it is amazingly usefull b) beacuse it's free ;-) - download it here : http://kwaga.com/KwagaContext.html
  • Bunch of very useful working meetings with great people: Sébastien Renault, President at ClubNet, Renaud Finaz de Villaine, Marketing Director at Micropole univers, Stefane Fermigier, Founder and Chairman at Nuxeo, Véronique Borel, Marketing Manager at Red Hat,
  • Biz dev was dense and tricky too: not always easy to find the magic balance to fit into budgets...
  • I did 2 videos for Nuxeo: Damien Metzler, Software architect at Leroy Merlin and Jean-Marc Orliaguet from Chalmers university in Sweden. That was quite funny and gave me the opportunity to use the Flip camera that Geeknius-the-Great offered me for my birthday ;-)
  • And finally I had the chance to attend Microsoft BizSpark European Summit and listen to a Guy Kawasaki presentation. Huge! Discovered as well Restopolitan and Captain Dash, two amazing French startups.
  • 20 check-ins on Foursquare ;-)
  • 868 views on my youtube channel
Montjoie Saint Denis!


StoriesOut - Week #5 & 6

Fabulous weather for two awesome weeks

  • Hard work on StoriesOut new Website - It's gonna be awesome! I mean it! Can't wait to launch :-)
  • Trying to find interested people to sponsor a Startup Village on a tradeshow in October
  • Wasted an enormous amount of time trying to have my bike fixed (I hate garages)
  • Relentlessly trying to reach journalists :-s
  • Wrote a great case study on one of Nuxeo's customers
  • Wonders of mobile workers: attended 2 conf call from awesome places
  • 637 views of my 17 videos posted on youtube (youtube.com/user/annedeforsan)
  • 21 check-ins on Foursquare


StoriesOut - Week #4

More startups!

Week#4 has been incredibly intense:
  • My goddamn bike refused to work
  • I presented the 16 videos I did of startupers from Incubateur Telecom ParisTech at the entire crew of the incubator (they are available here: http://www.youtube.com/user/AnnedeForsan)
  • Then one full day of prepping with @dealmeeting to pitch @seedcamp
  • The entire Thursday, I was at Seedcamp, presenting and discussing Dealmeeting with other startups and mentors - Kind of exhausting & exciting
  • The wrap-up party, sponsored by Elaia Partners was a relief : fun talks, drinks and again
  • On Friday, Reshma Sohoni, Seedcamp CEO came to the incubator and kindly accepted me to shot a short video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXFjlHGqyuI)
  • Only 5 checkins- on foursquare and 1 mayorship lost- duh!
See ya next week for more exciting adventures!


StoriesOut - Week #3

4-day weeks make it hectic

Week #3 begun odd: Monday was bank holiday or I should say Egg & Chocolate holiday.

Then my bike refused to work and forced me to subway all short-week long. For the record, when on saturday I decided that I should try to fix it, it was perfectly working... How odd?

Anyway, week#3 has been:
  • a lot about thinking,
  • 1 interview for Nuxeo
  • 1 negociation pending
  • only 6 4sq check-ins
  • many awesome people met
  • creation of my youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/AnnedeForsan)
  • sushi-work session on my forthcoming web site
  • intensively tweeting :-)
Let's keep it rolling !

see ya!


StoriesOut - Week #2

Another intense week at StoriesOut:

One regret: I couldn't make it for the Allmyapps beer party on Friday night!


StoriesOut - Week#1

In case you'd ask yourself how it looks like when you create your company.

The following items are a digest of what happened this week :
  • 1 product launched (Kwaga BirdsEye and some very impressive clippings on TechCrunch, Silicon Alley Insider, Jean-Marie Gall's blog, ...)
  • 5 meetings with prospective customers
  • 2 meetings with actual customers
  • 1st sales proposal created and sent (panic!)
  • 2 impressive business meet-ups attended (Cafe du eCommerce and TechCrunch Paris)
  • 3 missed lunchs (Hadn't been told creating your own company was a VERY efficient diet)
  • zillions of great people met IRL: @pegobry @mounir2012 @moumsinette @mikebutcher @roxannevarza (TechCrunch France is re-launched! Yay!) @laurentk @bjonathan @cgiorgi @pictarine @hypios @allmyapps @qameha ...
  • and all the usual suspects: Hughes and Pascale from the incubator, @kwagaproduct @PhilippeLaval @MichelRacat @dealmeeting @TeamKadeal @leezamstrories @wwipolo @coletteballou ...
  • +100 tweets
  • 6 check-ins on foursquare

And last but not least: I received my NexusOne!

Now, question is: how to keep this level of intensity?

'Cos truth is: I just LOOOOOVED it !

How was your week#1?


Last Day at Nuxeo - Here comes StoriesOut!

Hi all,

Today is my last day at Nuxeo. I'm leaving this great company to create my own: "StoriesOut".

StoriesOut proposes communication services to innovating IT companies, both startups and more established ones:
  • PR and press management
  • Communication Strategies for Communities (customers, internal communication, online social communities)
  • Communication Coaching
I'm delighted to announce StoriesOut's two first customers: Nuxeo and Kwaga !

From Monday 22nd, you'll be able to reach me at:
I'm looking forward to hearing from you!


Ground Control to Major Tom, Commencing countdown, Engines On

6 days to go for a brand new adventure to start (hence the attached pic).

I'll be leaving the comfort of the employee position on March 19th to start StoriesOut, my own company the following Monday.

StoriesOut will be about Social Media, Marketing, PR and Communication services & coaching, primarily to exciting innovating IT startups and incubators. The baseline is "Let's write your story".

Huge excitement and stress.

The past few years have been tremendous. I've learned a lot, discovered even more and met stunning people.

I can't say there's been only one trigger for this shift, probably more the addition of experiences and thoughts. I've been fascinated by the energy of the entrepreneurs I've met. By technology and its ability to disrupt and change any "established" market. By the speed of high tech market and the actual real time assessments, decision-making and measurement.

I felt it was time for me to tell those stories and to create my own.

I can't wait to say more about StoriesOut!

Stay tuned.


Aggregate or die!

I woke up this morning feeling an irresistible need for an information aggregator.

On a daily basis what I use the most are: Google Reader, Twitter, Google alerts. In an attempt to organize, understand and sort, I use Google Analytics and Delicious.

And I feel like I'm loosing and missing a lot of information, time and at the end of the day, I don't have the "big picture".

So, I woke up moaning about how hard it is to cope with so many info and how frustrating it is to miss so much.

Quite patiently - it wasn't 7:00am yet - my personal geeknius (geek+genius) advocate for a thorough market survey: "you may like to try this and that, probably that you'll find something to meet this need".

I did as told. Didn't find my solution yet, but felt it was worth sharing my first findings:

- uberVU (I love the name) - social info on key words displayed in a (very) nice dashboard - realtime
Here's a quick demo:

There's a nice "Trial for free for 30 days". Cost is pretty fair as well:

- Wikio - blog & news syndication
seems pretty thorough in the aggregated sources and allows you to popularize them through votes. And it's free. Basically, it provides you with "what's hot".

- Newscred: Then a tweet from @nicolasgamard led my to NewsCred
Basically I found it a Reverse Google Reader: instead of following a given media, you type in a topic and newscred displays related news in a "your own newspaper"-way.
See mine: http://adeforsan.newscred.com/#

OK now, let's test them on a given topic. I looked for a synthetic view on Kwaga.
  • Only uberVu provides multi-languages results
  • None drag info from Feedback-type of forum
  • I got aggregated info by media type, but I'm still missing the cross-media syndication I'm looking for. Not mentioning the associated dashboard.
What trick do you use to get all the info you rely on for your job/life at a glance ?

Thanks for sharing.


Mantras for entrepreneurs

My post from yesterday raised some great comments and discussions, among which the lonelyness of the entrepreneur generates many exchanges.

Here is my proposed "zen cure": Mantras for entrepreneurs.

A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of "creating transformation" (from wikipedia).

Here are some of mine:
  • Reed: be reed-like went you create a brand new service or product, based on your own personal conviction and belief. Anchored on your rock-solid-yet-flexible self foundations.
  • Exchange: be evangelist-like and faithfully present, explain and convince anyone you come across. And yet listen.
  • Sieve: listen sieve-like and sort all given advises and keep the best nuggets
  • Echo: strengthen your foundations in integrating new valuable ideas to your own personal convictions
Which are yours? Contribute!


Is pairing impairing?

You need shareholders, for sure.
Do you really need co-founders?

Saturday was Third shooting session of The Big Project aka TBP. Out of the four originally planned, only three startups showed up. Not that I'm complaining, three stratups were far enough for my SaturdayStartup delight.

The reason one of the startups didn't show up is because the three co-founders couldn't agree on the message they wanted to present.

It made me think of entrepreneur and leadership. And what stroke me was that quite often, once entrepreneurs have their "Great Idea", they start with selecting a co-founder (sometimes several) and then eventually they build a team around them.

Probably because at the early stages of the company, entrepreneurs a rarely able to propose any salary. So they propose bits of their Great Idea, and end up with co-founders instead of shareholders.

We all agree that startups require the combination of complementing skills. And quite often it goes like "the tech genius & the sales wizard" are proud to present you...

But then, the startup has to pitch in front of VCs, customers, potential partners etc. and the need (and the demand) for THE startup representative rises and could strike hard.

Who's going to be the Startup Spokesperson?
The Tech Genius (most of the time the core idea's genitor) or the Sales Wizard (whose best friends are often the first customers/partners)?
And then eventually - hopefully - who's going to grab the laurels of success?
(I have to admit, I never saw an argument about who's endorsing failures...)

Shareholders are proud of your success and encourage it. It grants them with great ROI.
Co-founders work hard and want their share of spotlight.

I believe and have seen it several time: the success of a company, its growth and expansion, is a single-person story. The story of the founder, the leader able to build a strong team around his/her ideas, with people excelling in areas where he/she doesn't.

On the other hand, I have witnessed extremely frequently the failure of great ideas and companies, due to resentment and fights for power between founders. It's sad. And could be avoided.

Sorry guys, but there aren't that many successful "tandem-like" companies.

That's why I think pairing can actually impair your company.

What do you think?


The Big Project - Let's meet innovators and start with video games

Here's a big project of mine: over a month and a half period, I'll be interviewing and shooting videos of startupers from Paris. I call this project "The Big Project" aka TBP.

While moving forward in my geeky-2.0-life, I met those guys through my personal connections (no comment ;-)) and a couple of discussions were enough for me get fully enthusiastic about their projects and to propose them the "Big project". It somehow pleased them:-)

Now, we're just in the early stage of TBP and written impressions and videos won't be ready before a while, but I want to share my first impressions after the first round of videos.

Shooting are scheduled on Saturdays, (as I do TBP on top of my job :-)) and therefore have been baptized the SaturdayStartups.

Prepping & shooting have been... EXHAUSTINGLY FUN! First impressions so far:
  • First obvious common factor is enthusiasm - Well, of course it is. Those guys (very dramatically sorry but no gals met, so far...) just want to change the world. I mean what the fuss of creating a company if you only want to duplicate something existing, duh?

  • Second: innovation - The four first startups we videoed on SaturdayStartup#1 , have come up with never-seen-before ideas, products and services. Either B-to-B niche solutions or B-to-C services that will - I swear - really stun you.

  • Third: diversity - Yesterday I met startups working in very different fields: B-to-B, B-to-Xpert, B-to-C in the field of finance (ThinkStraight), telco (stealth mode...), IT (Hereda Technologies), process automation (Kedeal). Their profiles are also stunningly different: from fresh-graduate to over 30-year experienced guys, each of them dropping (very) comfortable employee positions, to make their project come true. Wow.

  • Richness directly linked to the diversity of those founders' profiles. Some of the entrepreneurs we met yesterday have been head of development in some of the most famous international companies, consulting / legal practices... Makes you feel humble(r) and is extremely energizing :-)
I knew the risk existed. But here I am: contaminated.

Keep posted to see how illness develops.

I want my iPad

Unlike most the comments I've red since THE keynote, I want my iPad!

But I remain puzzled by the quantity of moaning and bitching comments that overflowed the internet, while "mass media" such as TVs and radios were so embarrassingly enthusiastic.

Being the mother of an adorable, though noisy teenager tribe, the online world reaction really sounded to my ears as the reaction of a spoiled child.

My favorite comment remaining: it's just a big iPhone that doesn't allow you to phone.


Anyway, I can't wait to get one! Maybe just one thing to fix before I buy it though: how to print ?



One size doesn't fit all

I've been recently discussing a lot with friends of mine launching their own startups. I love those guys: they are full of an impressive positive energy, each of them working hard to change our way of working, living, inventing new ways...

Sooner or later I'll have to present them in this blog.

For now, I want to talk about one of the (many) common issues they are facing: recruiting talented people. They find it a nightmare... at best.

Key pain points:

- Lack of the startup culture that blossoms in the Valley - particularly in Europe.
- Existing job boards misfitting their needs: overload of out-focused resumes for any open position posted and lack of internal time and resources to sort and deal with them
- The inner time of startups ticks far too fast for most applicants: the job was to be done yesterday, so how could startup afford to wait for an extra period of 1 to 3 months (common length for periods of notice) for the person to come on board
- Looking for highly skilled and experienced people while the standard startup package can't compete with the apparent security of working in a big company.

Keeping the discussion further with my enterpreneur-friends, they all confess that higher the position they want to fulfill, the bigger the nightmare.

And then eventually, they identify the right person. Most of the time she/he holds a similar job in a huge company. They must recruit this person: she/he is the "Messiah" who will solve all current issues and enable the startup to cross any chasm and eventually succeed to change the world.

The seduction game starts.

It takes them weeks, if not months - but they keep on - The Messiah MUST join. And eventually he/she joins.

Here starts the real trouble:
When you've spent many years in big companies, you're accustomed to processes, to precise job description, to structured annual planning, to deal with budget, resources and support teams. Not to mention car allowance etc. Basically everything that a startup cannot / shouldn't have.

From Day #1 the Messiah gets on board, disillusion strikes hard:
- you're now on the fastest track of your industry: little time to assess, evaluate, discuss every single decisions
- you're on your own to produce and deliver
- you must re-invent your job along with the evolution of the product and its market fit
- you get little to no support
- your budget is a joke

When everything turns that sour, there's only one solution: stop the experience and go on each one his side.

Well then the TRUE nightmare begins: it costs huge time, money and energy to get rid of a Messiah-type of co-worker. Exactly what a startup cannot afford to waste.

Listen to Hjalmar Windbladh CEO of Rebtel, while presenting his experience as serial entrepreneur at Seedcamp in 2009. It's hilarious

Seedcamp Week '09. Day 1. Navigating the Start-up Rollercoaster with Hjalmar Windblah from Seedcamp on Vimeo.

Truth is: One size doesn't fit all :-)