Quentin Pleplé - Co-Founder of Short Story Dispensers

So many things. But first, I’ll try to have less certitudes. Tell myself more often: maybe I’m wrong.

Quentin is 26 and he loves technology. He did Big Data studies at Polytechnique in France and UC San Diego in California. Short Edition is his first and only work experience. Since he created it 4 years ago he has learnt a lot about the publishing world, startups, innovation and technology.

Where did the idea for the Short Story Dispensers come from?

We actually were not thinking about work, just taking a break at the snack vending machine. And we thought of doing a machine that would give short story instead of snacks. A week later, we hacked a prototype: the short story dispenser was born 🙂

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Most of the day, I’m interacting with people. People from my teams and also people from outside the company: clients, prospects, partners… I make it productive by drinking coffee!

How do you bring ideas to life?

We always brainstorm in the team and we have a lot of ideas. The hardest part is actually to decide what _not_ to do. It’s very tough, we need to choose. Once we know, then we make a plan to make it happen.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I’m actually really excited about Internet of Things. I find this new trend fascinating and full of possibilities.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

We have a daily standup in the morning: everyone in our team (15 people) stands in circle everyday at 9am and one by one we say what we did yesterday and what we are going to do today. It takes usually 15-20 min and it’s great for motivation and for knowing better what other people around us are doing during the day.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

It’s doing something repetitive, with no added value. When I faced to this kind of task, I try to automate it: write some code that is going to do it instead of me.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

So many things. But first, I’ll try to have less certitudes. Tell myself more often: maybe I’m wrong.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Stay open to ideas and get feedback from experts. We try at Short Edition to find experts who know more than us on their field and follow their advice.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Not rushing into fast decisions. We are 4 founders and we take time to weight each possibilities before making the decision.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Some projects we have don’t have a good outcome. We just drop them. It would be too much for us to carry the weight of previous projects that are not working.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I would love to have an app tells me what music I listen to in the past, and takes me back 2 or 3 years ago by making playlist of songs I was listening at that time.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

My yearly subscription to Dropbox. I have all my life in Dropbox: work files, trip pictures… Thanks to Dropbox, I don’t fear to lose any of my files and I can access them anywhere.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

At Short Edition, we use Slack for instant communication and Pipedrive to keep track of our sales pipe. Those tools are really helping us to work together and I cannot really imagine how other teams are doing without them. I’ll be curious to know 🙂

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Rework, from 37signals. We are, at Short Edition, pretty fond of their view of the startup life. Everything doesn’t suit us, but we agree with 90% of the books. We printed big signs in the office with some of their headlines: Half, not Half-assed ; Less Software ; Small Victories ; Interface First…

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

– Open classroom: http://blog.openclassrooms.com/
– Signal v Noise: https://signalvnoise.com/
– Paul Graham: http://www.paulgraham.com/
– Fred Wilson: http://avc.com/

Connect:

Personal Website: qpleple.com
Quentin Pleplé on Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/in/qpleple
Quentin Pleplé on Github: http://github.com/qpleple