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Meet The Makers | Michael Jais, Launchmetrics CEO

Nicole Alter

Tell us a little bit about where you come from…

I was born in Cannes, in Southern France. I graduated from Sciences Po with a Master’s degree in Economics and Finance. I’ve returned to my alma mater as I happen to teach a class on “Digital Strategies for Innovative Brands” at Sciences Po right now.

My first job was at Accenture, a consulting strategy firm. I went on to become the CFO of Thomson Multimedia, a company in consumer and professional audio systems and video equipment. After founding two tech companies (Leonard’s logic and IO Media) with Fabien Barzic, currently the Chief Scientific Officer at Launchmetrics, we created Augure in 2002.

What is the first thing you read in the morning?

I read my email. Since the merger, I not only get email from our European teams, but our US one as well. It’s wonderful to wake up and read about everything that happened the day before in the US. Then, I read L’Equipe, a daily sports newspaper.

How did you end up starting your own company?

At the last company I worked for, I felt that my career could not evolve more and I was not truly able to make any major executive decisions before I became more senior. I had higher aspirations and wanted to provide a software that would meet the needs of communication teams. So, I started my own company.

How is your role changing over time?

Geographically, I try to split my time between all of our global offices: I’ve recently been spending a lot of time in both Paris and New York.

Before the merger, I was very involved both internally and externally. As you can imagine, it’s extremely difficult for one person to manage all aspects of a thriving company. Now we have a COO who is focused on the internal structure of our combined company, I’m able to spend more time on clients and partnerships.

What’s the most interesting challenge you’ve faced during the merger?

It was difficult to create a business plan with the Fashion GPS team (without being sure that the merger would happen), while negotiating issues on which we had different interests. We had to make Augure and Fashion GPS come together (through planning, organization, strategy) and ensure that the merger was in the best interest of both companies. This required a lot of learning and understanding from both sides.

Now that Augure and Fashion GPS have officially merged, is there anything coming up that you’re particularly excited about?

Launchmetrics offers so many new possibilities for us and a new way to address marketing and communications needs. One aspect that really excites me is our ability to link “real life” with online influence: it really makes sense today to think globally and bridge the gap between online and offline environments.

The release of the new version of GPS Radar is in June and our product integration will happen in September. That’s when the merger will be really tangible and our vision will truly become a reality.

Describe Launchmetrics in three words:

Excitement. Change. Success.

What are your favorite apps?

  • Vodkaster (for movie reviews)
  • Foot mercato
  • Trivago
  • And of course…GPS Radar!

What advice do you have for people looking to do what you do?

My only advice is to surround yourself with various personalities and ways of thinking. Working with so many different people has really allowed us to push ourselves and to be more innovative. Sometimes you need to think outside of the box.

Is there anything you want to share that most people don’t know about you?

Although I’ll probably never retire from Launchmetrics, I’d really like to contribute more to the education system. I would love to pass on what I’ve learned and mentor young entrepreneurs.

Do you have a motto or saying that particularly inspires you?

“Le pire n’est jamais sûr » (“the worse is never sure”), Général de Gaulle, meaning that it is useless to panic, there is always a solution.

Also, the Dalai Lama once said, “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

How do you stay active despite your busy schedule?

I really like walking, so I try to walk everywhere. We also have a football league at Augure, and I always play when we have games.

What’s your favorite city in the world?

  • For business: New York
  • For culture: Paris
  • For fun: Cannes

Mac or PC?

Mac.

Hamburgers or Pizza?

Neither. I would prefer some Linguine al Pesto.

meet-the-makers_michael

Nicole Alter

A small person with a big appetite, Nicole is a total geek for innovation in the tech and fashion space. Nicole's other interests include social media trends, growth hacking, China, and hip-hop zumba classes.

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