Lengow, l’une des 3 pépites nantaises !
Self-educated, Mickael Froger started his career in the Internet sector by joining M6 group in 1999, taking part in the development of the first web portals in France. After spending several years in large groups such as Lagardère – with Europe 2 and RFM and then LeGuide.com – and 2xMoinsCher/3 Suisses, Mickael has co-founded Lengow in July 2009 with Jérémie Peiro.
Lengow edits a SaaS solution that helps e-merchants index, optimize and manage all of their online product catalogues.
Lengow helps them sell their products on price comparison websites, marketplaces as well as affiliate networks, retargeting, social networks and sponsored links. Today, the company employs more than 70 people and covers 18 countries.
To me, Mickael and his Co-founder Jérémie Peiro are the perfect illustration of what the French Touch can be and even a form of Excellence in the French Tech !!! Since both of them are very dynamic young entrepreneurs who set up a company in which the technology has always been one of their unique selling point !
Mickael is used to saying that the R&D is part of Lengow’s DNA!
When we are listening Mickael carrefully, he is telling us all their ambition and that : Sky is the limit ! But he is also telling us that they are going step by step, and… We can feel a lot of Respect and Humility in his words vis a vis his previous employers, his mentors and his team…
And if the key of success, would not be as simple as that…
Frenchy : Your favorite word ?
Frenchy : What would you change if you had a magic wand ?
My English !
Frenchy : What is your favorite quote ?
It is not really a quote but something I often mention :
If someone has done something, nothing prevents you to do the same !
Frenchy : What could seduce you immediately ?
A person who is passionate about what he or she realizes !
Frenchy : What is, according to you, the secret of happiness ?
Balancing professional and personal life successfully.
Frenchy : If you were a dessert ?
Frenchy : What in your day to day life remains so French ?
I listen every morning Jean-Jacques Bourdin on RMC.
Frenchy : What do you enjoy the most in the French way of life ?
Wine, food…I love our culture, our countryside, our food (again) and despite one can say everywhere :
France is a fantastic country to live in and create / develop a startup !
Frenchy : One thing where American people are particularly good at and you would like to develop yourself ?
Their sense of pitch ! I am fascinated by their ability to pitch their projects at any age, any time. We have a lot to learn from them on how to make a successful storytelling from right at the beginning of a project and also how to convince in few seconds that a project is the best one.
Frenchy : In the US, failing is seen as the first step to be successful later, how to bring such a state of mind in France ?
Our culture in France does not value failure and tends even to denigrate and judge most of the time. This unfortunately applies to many things in many areas and not just in business. To change this, because failure is often the first milestone to success, I think we should not stigmatize our failures but rather try to learn from them ! It is important that failure is not perceived as a taboo but that we rather share the reasons of our failures, because there are always reasons !
Frenchy : What is it to be a French guy in the US ? Could you tell us a specific anecdote that happened to you ?
I had the chance to go to the US and visit some startups in 2011 during a trip to the Silicon Valley. We met a 9 months old startup. They welcomed us very nicely and presented their project and objectives. After 15 minutes of an incredible pitch full of communicative passion and energy, I was just astonished when the guy handed over to…his CEO ! Since that guy was actually not the CEO but a developer who was talking with so much passion and desire about this startup that I thought he was the founder.
At that moment, I realized how strong the implication is for each employee in a U.S. startup and how much this is valuable ; How essential it is that each person we recruit understands and embraces the vision. I have to say that I learned a lot that day.
Frenchy : A French / European GAFA could be possible if…?
A French Google would be possible if we could think international from the very first second of our projects. We are usually too focused on our own region or our own country and fail thinking global immediately ! At Lengow, when we launched, we were initially in that mood of thinking that if we would become leaders in France one day, that would make our dream come true ! I can tell now how I have realised we were wrong ! We will build a Google, Amazon or Facebook when we will have such a global ambition as a mentality. As I said, when we launched Lengow, we were hoping to become the French Leader, one day…
Now we aim that all the e-merchants, in the world, use Lengow to manage their campaigns !
Frenchy : Who are the 3 entrepreneurs who most inspire you ?
I will not be very original but still :
1 – Steve Jobs since he managed to change the world several times, with a unique vision of his product…the product and always the product !
2 – Corine Lejbowicz from LeGuide.com, although she did not found LeGuide.com herself, she has developed the group as a European leader and materialized an IPO. As an employee I had the chance to follow some of the changes she iniciated.
I have to confess that it is still today a source of inspiration to me.
Corine Lejbowicz has been on the board of Lengow.
3 – Finally, I have a huge respect for entrepreneurs like Xavier Niel and Marc Simoncini who started from scratch and managed to build up some fantastic companies ! Now they do not miss an occasion to share their knowledge and mentor the startups we are…
But, beyond this inspiration, they also teach us humility !
Frenchy : The 3 most promising French start-ups, top of your head ?
1 – Lengow, of course !
Because, every day, we tend to develop the best technology we can, allowing the e-merchants to make their business grow worldwide !
2 – Leetchi, because this social payment solution has a wonderful growth and is led by a very talented entrepreneur who I greatly respect, Celine Lazorthes.
3 – BlaBlaCar, because this startup has also a huge growth and has become a world leader day after day.
Frenchy : According to you, what is the French touch?
To me, the French Touch is in our ability to develop the Technology. France’s DNA is highly technology orientated, our engineers are recognized worldwide, many French developers join the most prestigious companies and startups. The technology developed by some startups allowed them to become global leaders in their industry, Criteo is one of them !
Merci Mickael !
More about Mickael :
– Interview BFM
– Interview FrenchWeb
.About Lengow :
The solution for better profitability of your online campaigns ! Distribute your product catalogues on all comparison shopping sites, marketplaces, affiliate networks, social networks and sponsored links !
Lengow is on Twitter and Facebook.
Frédéric a accompagné les entrepreneurs Tech français, dans leur implantation au UK, pour le compte du gouvernement britannique pendant 15 ans. Il incarne aujourd’hui une expérience unique de Storytelling / Production de Contenu vidéo. Véritable levier d’influence et d’acquisition, en appui RH à la « Marque Employeur », il magnifie la parole du Dirigeant et traite le monde de l’Entreprise comme le ferait un Réalisateur de cinéma, en se centrant sur l’humain.