David Wise

2 Years of Entrepreneurship : Lessons learned

November 01, 2015 | 3 Minute Read

Wow, it’s been 2 years.

2 years of ups and downs. 2 years I finished school. 2 years of doing amazing diverse things : Working at Prêt a Manger, meeting the Aromates team, learning code at Le Wagon, building Newsly, being a freelance, and even delivering food these last days !

As most of of you know, building Newsly was the common denominator of all these things. With one unachieved vision : transforming information we consume everyday on the web, into searchable & accessible knowledge.

Apparently we didn’t bring the right solution to the market. I believe it’s still a crucial transition for our century : leaving the information society to reach a knowledge society. With technologies as a bridge.

During this journey I learned a few important things that I’ll remember for sure. I am happy to share some with you :

1/ I learned that we, as human beings, strangely over-value ideas. Instead, execution is key. An idea has 0$ value until it works and people want your product. (Hey Lean Startup)

2/ I learned that entrepreneurship is “All In” or go home. You don’t build a startup if you are looking for some cool time or a no-boss policy. (Hey Dustin)

3/ I learned that your solution is not, actually, people’s (fucking) problem (Hey Dave). If you don’t solve people’s problems, they’ll have no time for an unuseful product. Even your friends & family.

4/ I learned that attention is the game. (Hey Gary) It’s the most valuable — and hard — thing to obtain from anyone : Users ; Customers ; Partners ; Investors. Bring value before asking for anything, to anyone.

5/ I learned that if you don’t try anything you’ll get absolutely nothing. Anything you earn is provoked on a certain level, even if its just by your thoughts. Mindset is contagious.

6/ I learned that startups stories are much more complicated than what they look like in the Press. Media like to tell nice stories because people like to listen to nice stories.

7/ I learned that it’s not the smarter guy who wins at this game, but just the one who learns fast enough to improve constantly and maintain growth. (Hey Paul)

8/ I learned that entrepreneurship is a survival game. Your only goal is to be alive the next month (Hey Airbnb) and grow. Because after a couple of years, the market has always the last word. Except if you are Elon Musk. Then, you have a decade :)

Even if things didn’t work out as expected, I learned how exciting was to build a software solution ; Feeling that (you might be) useful to people is deeply awesome.


From monday 2nd of November I’ll start working at Brief.me focusing on growth and user acquisition. I am very happy about it : it’s in the news industry and for a product I use everyday since January 2015. I am excited to learn with new goals and join a new team.

I’ll also give some lectures about startups in my old University : Pôle Léonard de Vinci. I can’t wait to be in a class where I wished I had been as a student 2 years ago.

Before leaving the entrepreneurship world I just wanted to wish good luck to all the friends & people I have made one this road. I know the ups and downs : you have my full support.

I’ll continue to write about technologies and startups here on my website and on Medium. Stay tuned.

Previous essay : Trouver une idée de startup ou un problème qui compte.