The economic environment is unstable, some speak of an imminent episode of global recession. This is different from the previous crisis in 2008 because the financial system seems not to be directly responsible, but rather the monetary system. Now no one wants to leave it to the bankers alone to manage their portfolios. So let’s get to the post-2008 reality: the entrepreneurship boom.
Indeed, the return on investment or ROI is enormous, we are not talking about the 6% of the stock markets but multipliers of 10, 100 or even 1000 for an early stage investment. Why deprive yourself of it? You might as well take a little risk in this case…
Startups were the investment haven for investors who had the luxury of risking some of their capital. High risk, high return. As a result, business angels quickly became multi-millionaires. Today, they multiply their investments, rush to the most remarkable projects, which are not always the most profitable at the beginning… But once past the threshold of priming, the ascent can make you dizzy. Some keep the course, others lose the pedals. You have to be well surrounded!
It is this other reality that is emerging: that of the over-valuations. In some cases, even a real fraud in valuation. Investors are afaraid of potential scandals. Entrepreneurs defend themselves, valuation is only a reflection of a potential future gain. Indeed, it is difficult to estimate a startup when it is at the very beginning of its activity. The investments, precisely, help the founders to give an image of the attractiveness of the “startup” asset. Then takes place the game of speculation where the investor attracts other investors to secure his exit. So comes the question (resolved with LFA): how to secure both his investment, while guaranteeing that the finances of the new company are well managed?
On the other hand, many startups quickly find themselves bogged down in the difficulties of large companies. Entrepreneurs who have lost their footing are being replaced. The handover crisis is coming. He was the last investor to be plucked. Not! In addition to the investor, shareholders whose founders also take it for their rank. Much of the early team got, with the sweat of their foreheads, well-deserved stock options.
So yes, we can say in the American way, as well as all the entrepreneurs of today, “failure is a university”. It’s top failure, except that the investor loses his money, but that’s not the heart of the problem. The investor, but not always, goes through a fund to diversify his risky assets. We’re not going to put all our eggs in one basket, to limit the breakage.
So it’s the entrepreneurs who have the most to lose. The founders often get away with the glory of “winning” failure. They go around the lectures to tell their stories. Employees and other stock option holders bite their fingers. Poor ignorant people who have given all their confidence, their dreams, to this project all… Missed! And who will ever understand the value, in a CV, of this endless list of small projects, of this brand that no one has ever heard of? Danger.
They are the ones who will follow us in this ambitious project. This project is the LFA network. LFA is a network of entrepreneurs who are supportive and motivated by a willingness to undertake projects of the future that make sense and to work together for the good and the common interest. Stay with us.
It is the quest for meaning that motivates our project. How to find your place in today’s world. We follow the path set by the education system, and when we are done, we discover another one: that of large companies, the public sector or consulting firms. And sometimes none. When there is one, then you don’t find yourself there at all. What motivates us? Our imagination? Our desire to wake up every day with the will to work for something meaningful? Many disappointments, we resign ourselves to his daily tasks …
The American anthropologist David Graeber speaks of the “bullshitization” of the economy. Thousands of executives around the world share their experiences of bullshit jobs: the findings are alarming. Severe depression disorders (burn out, brown out and others) are the result of this lack of purpose. We no longer understand anything about this system, we try to justify our usefulness by an accumulation of barbaric words on job titles.
David Graeber is trying to understand why our economic system has come to reward those who contribute the least. This model would come straight from our feudal heritage: large companies, whose power exceeds that of the states, are organized in the manner of the territories of former landowners. These dukes, counts, marquises and others protected their territory by dumping the sums from taxes on the panoply of underlings that enarounded them.
Today, it is exactly the same phenomenon, having replaced landowners with shareholders (Marx’s capitalists), and underlings with a host of managers, chiefs, and many others. If the titles no longer make sense today, it is because they hide their sad reality: there is nothing behind it.
Today, the trend seems to be reversing. For a simple reason: instead of depressing in his corner, there is a solution: The exit door. A small letter of resignation whose template is in 3 clicks on the internet, a request for a reduction to one month’s notice. And now we’re free! Free of what? To become an entrepreneur of course!
Resignation is the first step towards entrepreneurship. After that, we are free, with all the constraints that this entails. Men are political animals. The biggest mistake would be to want to do it alone. Even on your own, you have to be well surrounded to move forward. So you might as well do it from the start. Welcome to LFA!
LFA is first and foremost the largest family of responsible entrepreneurs integrated into the problems of our world. Everyone deserves a place in our society, in the world around us. A place of utility, meaning and intellectual honesty. Have the honour of saying, “We are working together to build our world.”
How sad to believe that everything is already done. On the contrary, we believe that everything has to be done (or reworked). Just the realization of the difficulty of each other to find meaning in their existence, that companies can no longer recruit because no one really wants to lose his life: it must make us react. The reaction takes place, every day, slowly but surely, we are moving towards a new model of society, a new model of working or rather “living together”. This model has taken on a name: entrepreneurship.
Traditional businesses are lost. They create internal incubators, accelerators, “intrapreneurship” systems or other graduate programs to attract talent. And above all to prevent them from leaving! Nothing helps. They run away, sometimes they just run. They want to undertake because they understand better than their “leaders” what they want deep down. What we want.
This desire is simple: it is the urge to regain control of its future, to belong to a tight-knit community and to work for a project that makes sense.
That is the heart of our project. This political project is not simply an ideological revolution of capitalism taken over by unconscious cannibal shareholders. It is a moral and structural revolution of the company. It’s already taking place.
Everyone today aspires to be part of a project. Traditional enterprises aim to multiply the wealth of shareholders through the industrial and large-scale exploitation of employees, by making a profit on their work, paid for the past (heresy came straight from slavery).
Today, however, anyone wishing to start a business is faced with the same reality: it is necessary to exploit an employee to make a profit. Exploiting several to multiply this profit.
What to do then?
Instead of criticizing the capitalist model as a whole, it is a use of this model that is now being called into question. This model, we propose to adjust it.
First, to serve the interests of the greatest number of people, including those who are interested: those who create the value of the company. This is the first ingredient of the solution: mutualisation (cooperative in language enterprise). It is a proven model, it solves the issue of the unfairly paid employee by making them own his business.
What about the shareholder? What does he do with his money if he can no longer invest it in this business? It is not a question of stigmatizing a particular economic actor. So you still have to take advantage of the shareholder advantage, rich in investment. For this, we have the second ingredient: the fund. Too capitalist, but oh how effective if used wisely for the sake of its founders.
Backed by the energy of entrepreneurs, who have no other asset but their time, their attention, their strength and their intelligence. Then appears the third and final ingredient: youth. Only able to deploy the energy and strength needed to start an innovative project.
So that’s how the seed mutual fund was created. It allows to obtain the largest multipliers of the priming phase, with a control of risk through mutualization and public call for investments through its structure of the fund. This is all that was missing from the youth to allow them to recover their capital debt!
Will the future see the end of working time or retirement? For some, that’s for sure! They will have understood the strength of the pooling of interests and will know how to use it wisely for the common good.