Defend Net Neutrality

This video says it all. We have to fight to defend net neutrality.

Tell the FCC to reclassify broadband internet as a title II common carrier telecommunications service:

Lesson Learned on Product Development

I’m Sam, co-founder of a start-up based in San Francisco. I’m VP product in charge of developing our new kick-ass B2C app.

It’s no surprise that we use the ‘Build-Measure-Learn’ iterative process, better known as ‘Lean Methodology’.

The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products,measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop.

This way of thinking seems obvious. However, sadly, it’s not what we did in the past two years. Our clients (the guys with the checkbook) came in the way, twisting our product with their requirements and made us shifting priorities.

It was easy money and exciting stuff to develop, but at the end of the day, it brought no value to the company and made the app less appealing to the end user.

This time, we’ll do it right. The end user is our one and only focus. Period.

Start with very few testers

What if your own team doesn’t use your product? It means that your product sucks. This is why I think the first version (usually called a Proof Of Concept — or POC) shouldn’t go out of your office. Leverage your whole team. Everybody should have fun using it. Don’t take “I’m not the right target” for a valid answer. Be realistic: no fun = bad product.

Iterate super fast
POCs are prototypes. Don’t bother using the top-notch technologies. You will have 100 testers at most. Any crappy database will do the job. Choose a framework that you are confortable with. And just … code!

Track, speak, watch

Keep in mind that prototypes are only living to gather feedback. If you can see the WOW effect on your user face, that’s a big win, but generally, people use apps in their intimity. You want to make sure to have access to some key analytics to really understand their usages.

Speak with your users, but don’t take what they say for granted. There can be a huge difference in between their real usages and what they tell you.

I love to watch users using my product. It’s even better if they don’t know that I am watching them. To me, it is one of the best feedback you can gather.

Keep the momentum, improve and push releases quick

Usually, users are super excited by testing new stuff. Don’t break this momentum. Fix things quick and release often (every days for minor fixes, every 2 weeks for major versions). Be transparent on your daily roadmap.

Build your community in parallel

Testing your app with few users doesn’t prevent you to build your community of beta testers in parallel. Once you feel confortable with the product, you’ll be ready to broaden your circle. Mailbox, back in 2011, is a good example, with thousand of beta testers stacked up in a huge waiting list. It was super exciting to see the number of guys in front on you decreasing every day until you were able to, at last, test this awesome app and be one of the “privileged person”.

Test everything

I hear too often that the User Interface (UI) of a prototype can be crappy because that’s not the point. That’s wrong! Testing the UI is part of the job. Same with the content. A prototype is not here just to test the core mechanic. The User Experience (UX) is a whole, from the layout to the design, the colors and the content. All these things should converge to one point: a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Very few features, but perfectly executed. Think Apple. iPhone 1 with iOS1 didn’t even have copy/paste capabilities. But everything was so perfectly polished. Nobody complained. Now think Microsoft. At the time, Pocket PCs were out there with hundred of features poorly executed. Who won?

You have to make every single detail perfect. And you have to limit the number of details. — Jack Dorsey

First time experience

Last but not least, spend time on the First Time Experience (FTE). Throwing a on-boarding with 5 slides explaining what your app is all about is not the right solution. People don’t read. Instead, you should look at what famous games are doing. Don’t force the user to open an account before having tested your app, don’t ask them to invite their friends before knowing if they like your product. Common sense?

Originally posted on

Kwarter au 20h de TF1

Allez, un peu d'auto promotion, ça fait toujours plaisir d'être diffusé sur une chaine de TV nationale, au 20 heures de surcroît. Merci TF1 pour l'interview.

Feb 12th, 2014. French President visits San Francisco

I won't waste your time and my time enumerating all the bad things the current french government did so far. Instead, I will propose you to play a game. Actually, my first ever made game. I just discovered Unity. This tool is awesome.
I leveraged this rainy Saturday in San Francisco to prepare the venue of the french President François Hollande next week. I hope he will enjoy this game as much as I do. It is also a good training tool for my friend Carlos Diaz who will meet with him.
So let's go, what's your score?

Être copié est la plus grande des flatteries.

Aujourd’hui, nous avons découvert des concurrents français : Même positionnement stratégique, même vision, même coeur de métier, mêmes clients, même message, même …. mais attendez, c’est exactement le même site internet !!!!

Le site web de Kwarter (mai 2013) :

Le site de Gamific (novembre 2013) :

Incroyable n’est-ce pas ? Les copieurs n’ont même pas pris la peine de remplacer notre logo sur la page de l’équipe… 

Ici à Kwarter nous prenons ça de manière plutôt sympathique (nous leur avons envoyé quelques messages amicaux et humoristiques) mais honnêtement, comment penser pouvoir réussir à créer une société innovante et respectée sans faire preuve d’un minimum d’imagination ?

A bon entendeur, salut !

[UPDATE : Le site n'est plus accessible à l'heure où je vous parle]

Etre entrepreneur en 2013...

Etre Entrepreneurs en 2013 n'est pas facile. Cette présentation aime à le rappeler, sur un ton léger et divertissant. Le "wantrepreneur" y trouvera quelques petits conseils qui le motiveront à vivre la grande aventure.

Cette présentation a été inspiré par un post de Mark Susters dans lequel je me suis beaucoup retrouvé. Je vous recommande la lecture du blog de cet entrepreneur devenu investisseur.

2013, the year of #socialtv

In 2013, the television is not dead. Higher definition, bigger screens, slicker design, hundreds of channels, we watch TV more than 3 hours a day in average.
But for some time now, the first screen gets some competition: notebooks, tablets, smartphones, all these cool devices have invaded the living room.
Let's have a closer look of what is called Social TV.

Majority of our daily media interactions are screen based

Our time online is spread between 4 primary media devices

TV is still the screen the majority of us are using the most during our leisure time. The big surprise is the way we watch TV in 2013.

77% use another device while they watch TV

Obviously viewers' attention is decreasing from the big screen.
What do the viewers do on their other devices while they watch TV?

This is where Social TV comes. Social TV refers to technologies surrounding television that promote communication and social interaction related to program content. It's hard to tell how many of these 77% described above are interacting with what they're watching but it's on this dimension that brands and broadcasters start to actively work on. 2013 will be a huge year for Social TV.

Social TV ecosystem

I've identified 4 main groups of actors in the Social TV space.

The first group is composed of companies like Twitter whose services have been diverted from their initial usage but, because they are simple and easy, reliable and mainstream, work pretty well to share emotions when watching TV.

Then we have dedicated startups like Viggle, GetGlue or Zeebox that want to impose their supremacy to users by developing their own brand, proposing a richer second screen experience on top of the TV layer (discussions, interactions, etc.)

Afterwards, there are the brands, torn between selling their soul to these startups or creating their own second screen solutions.

Finally, there are the broadcasters, trying to protect their business by managing the entire viewer experience from A to Z, and attempting to stop the bleeding of advertising revenue that switches slowly towards the online side. (Online advertising is projected to overtake TV advertising by 2016.)

What can Social TV bring to users, brands and broadcasters

Depending on which side you are, you are not expecting the same from Social TV. If you are a viewer, you may want a richer experience like additional informations pushed to you in real-time when you watch a drama, a predictive game or trivia to play with friends along the actions of a football game, an opportunity to buy the products you see, or a way to express your opinion during a political debate.

If you are a brand, it's a fantastic opportunity to interact directly with your customers and get more informations on their behavior. It's a new way to advertise without being interruptive. It's a perfect solution to measure instantly the results of an operation and get accurate KPIs.

If you are a broadcaster, you can get a slice of the online advertisement pie and improve your service to users by proposing experiences that you are the only one able to propose (remember, you are the guy that controls the stream on the first screen...).


We've been studying the social TV business and opportunities for more than 2 years now with my buddy Carlos Diaz & the Kwarter team and we think it makes sense to develop a comprehensive Social TV platform that simplifies the development of second screen experiences. At the end of the day, everybody, from the brands and their agencies to the broadcasters and the end users will be satisfied. We've raised $4M in venture capital last month to achieve this goal.

Update: Last NFL football game, halftime show, commercials and power outage combined to make it the most social event on television to date. The Super Bowl tallied up 30.6M social media comments (Twitter, public Facebook data and GetGlue checkins), 2.5 times last year’s social activity of 12.2 million.

What's Next For Sports Fans?

I believe that fans deserve more than just the game itself. I talk with fans on a daily basis and they tell me they want to broadcast LIVE their comments and report what's happening during the game. In this context, mobile becomes key! Fans now need a way to communicate their passion instantly and they cannot use their laptop to do so.

This is about connecting sports and fans together. Today a lot of Professional Teams are thinking about how they can improve the relationship with their fans, not only locally but globally. For example, let’s look at the San Francisco Giants and FC Barcelona in Europe. Together, these two teams have well over 10 million fans and most of them never get to the stadium! Thanks to technology these teams can now engage directly with the fans and create a personal relationship with each of them.

Check-in based apps allow teams to create an intimate link with their fans.

Imagine that you check into a game and based on your location and your personal context you get something that is truly interactive with the people around you.

This is where Kwarter comes!

Originally posted on Kwarter blog (