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Raphael Maisonnier, CEO at FasterClass

Learning Inspiration 🌈 #14

This week we receive Raphael Maisonnier. Raphael is an entrepreneur with a profile that he describes as one from a traditional preparatory business school. While still a student at ESCP Business School studying for his Masters in Entrepreneurship, he created his first startup called OuiSpoon with his classmates Amory et Thibaud. Raphael talks about OuiSpoon as the solution to help everyone be happy and fulfilled at work by allowing employees to create and join events and physical activities with their colleagues. OuiSpoon proves the strength and value of peer-to-peer experience sharing. The team, therefore, created Lik to make the feedback from recognized professionals accessible to everyone in a video capsule format. The concept has been evolving for a few weeks towards FasterClass, which features videos of recognized founders to allow everyone to access valuable insights and apply them in their niches. Raphael is also a great sportsman. He is a trail runner and field hockey expert.

Raphael Maisonnier
Raphael Maisonnier, CEO at FasterClass

Who is your biggest source of inspiration?

Bruno Maisonnier: He inspires me not because he is family but because he is fantastic. He is fifty years old and a graduate of the Polytechnic Institute of Paris.  

While going on to be the youngest board member of the bank he worked for, he leaped into the unknown and created Aldebaran Robotics in 2005. Bruno founded Aldebaran with five other passionate individuals. It was a crazy dream in which he invested all his money. The goal was to make robots accessible to all to become daily companions: β€œThe Power of Robotics to Benefit Humanity.”

Aldebaran Robotics wad sold in 2015 for several hundred million euros. After that, Bruno had a non-compete clause that lasted for three years. So, he waited until 2018 and then created AnotherBrain to make the next generation of Artificial Intelligence. In his opinion, Google and Facebook are making the first version of Artificial Intelligence (image recognition with a high volume of data). Bruno plans to create the second generation of AI that requires low volumes of data.

He inspires me immensely because he works a great deal. He thinks and behaves differently than others, and he is deeply human. I’m incredibly lucky to have dinner with him sporadically (he’s my father’s cousin). When I hear he’s available, I put everything on hold to join him.

How do you keep learning on a daily basis?

Through meetings: I believe in peer-to-peer learning. I reach out to as many people as possible to have random coffees with entrepreneurs, investors, and people I admire. Being at Station F, I make the most of the opportunity my meeting as many people as possible full of ideas!

With my board: My board is comprised of advisers for my company. They are constantly teaching me new things to help me learn.

The FasterClass shoots: I’m lucky to have access to many successful entrepreneurs through my company. I take these opportunities to ask them questions and learn from their experiences.

Koudetat: It’s a French website with many videos on entrepreneurship.

– Linkedin: I sometimes find very interesting resources that people give away for free (for an email address ;-)). There is everything on Linkedin. It’s all about finding the most relevant information!

– Youtube

What are your favorite books πŸ“š?

On the professional side:

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink: It’s a small book but a big revelation for me. This is a guy from HBR who has studied what motivates people. Here is a summary of the book.

My takeaways:

β‡’ What motivates people daily is not money unless it is something that does not require thought and execution.

β‡’ Money can be counterproductive. You have to get it out of the equation. Because indeed, someone who is underpaid is not going to put in their best work.

β‡’ What motivates people is autonomy, mastery, and purpose. This is what personally helped me build my startup.

On the personal side:

– Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts: a super easy read. It changed a lot of things in my life, especially my relationship with my girlfriend. We’ve been together for seven years now πŸ™‚

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is very suspenseful.

What is your favorite podcast 🎧?

I don’t really have any favorite podcasts. I have so many sources of learning that I can’t afford to follow one in particular.

I often listen to specific episodes recommended to me, but podcasts that come to mind: Lucky Day, Le Gratin πŸ‡«πŸ‡· , and OphΓ©lie Duvillard’s Game Changer πŸ‡«πŸ‡· .

– My favorite episode of all time is from the French podcast Le Panier with πŸ‡«πŸ‡· Chefclub : la recette pour 80M de followers organiques et 1 milliard de vues par mois en 4 ans with Thomas Lang. He explains the power of content creation. At the beginning of his company, they just created content with no business model behind it. They never paid to advertise but got paid by Google, Insta, and Facebook to advertise content. And now they can do anything with branding: sell T-shirts, knives, etc.

If you were to stay alone on an island and would only be allowed to bring one item, what would it be? 

A card game because I have loved playing cards since I was little. If my survival doesn’t take all my time, I think I’ll spend my time playing.

Is there anything else you would like to share? πŸ™‚

A quote my senior philosophy teacher told me: “It is not the path which is the difficulty; rather, it is the difficulty which is the path.” (originally from Soren Kierkegaard)

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Marie from Clind

Marie has been in the EdTech sector for the past 4 years. She is COO at Clind. Clind is an EdTech startup building a personal learning assistant to help individuals grow and learn better on a daily basis.

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