Gilles Bertaux is co-founder and CEO of Livestorm, the world’s leading end-to-end video engagement platform. As a first-time entrepreneur, Gilles co-founded Livestorm in 2016 along with Robin Lambert, Tom Forlini, and Vincent Garreau. In 2020, Gilles raised $30M in series B to accelerate Livestorm’s presence in Europe and the US and scale its go-to-market strategies towards mid-market and Enterprise.
Now 5,000+ companies trust Livestorm to organize their meetings, webinars, or online events. Livestorm has been recognized by G2 as a Leader 2021 in the categories “webinar” and “web conferencing”. Gilles is an active member of the tech scene and a frequent speaker on startups, growth, and remote company culture.
Prior to Livestorm, Gilles worked as a Product Designer at Totems (an Instagram Engagement platform acquired by Stripe in 2014) and as a Growth Hacker at Mention.
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Thank you so much for giving us your time! Before we begin, could you introduce yourself to our readers and take us through what exactly your company does and what your vision is for its future?
Gilles Bertaux: Livestorm is built with ease of use in mind. We serve companies of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500s. Brands like Shopify, Honda, Spendesk, Front, Workable and Wish trust Livestorm for premium video engagement during meetings, webinars, or online events. Livestorm’s customers come from various sectors including technology, education, healthcare, government, media, real estate, and much more.
In the next few years, we want to become the first all-in-one platform that allows teams to create a complete video engagement strategy in one place, manage everything from A to Z, and allow people to customize videos with other tools used by the business. We believe that video communication will impact the way we work and live, whether it’s working from home, telemedicine, teaching in virtual classrooms, or any other online event. There are no limits to the use of video and we believe it will strongly influence our daily lives.
On the product side, we want to increase our efforts in integration and high-end features to extend our reach to businesses. Over the next year, we also want to create a Slack-like marketplace of integrations for our platform: an ecosystem where developers can easily build on Livestorm.
NO child ever says I want to be a CEO/entrepreneur when I grow up. What did you want to be and how did you get where you are today?
Gilles Bertaux: Back when I was a kid I wanted to be that guy riding behind the garbage truck. As a teenager, I read a lot, and my parents being teachers I wanted to go towards the journalism or edition sector but I quickly realized that there was a gap between my perception and the abrupt reality of the job.
With time, and it’s a bit cliché, since I grew up with computers, video games, etc. so I had this affinity with technology, so I went towards digital communication and realized I liked to get my hands dirty and build things. So I turned to code, and then to design, and then to marketing the stuff we built, etc.
Tell us something about yourself that others in your organization might be surprised to know.
Gilles Bertaux: I’ve been on a plane crash at 8 years old.
Many readers may wonder how to become an entrepreneur but what is an entrepreneur? How would you define it?
Gilles Bertaux: Being someone who is able to create a large organization fast with strong foundations without compromising on culture. Being a leader isn’t always easy but it’s important to never forget to be human, accessible, and understanding with others, and not push people too far. It’s important to work smarter and don’t burn out so that you can build incrementally and progressively.
I also think that an entrepreneur needs to be able to take a step back and keep an open mind. I’m happy that I was able to give a chance to people that did not have the “perfect resume” and grew up to become key contributors within our 150 people organization.
What is the importance of having a supportive and inclusive culture?
Gilles Bertaux: It’s really important to have an inclusive culture to help employees feel comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions in the workplace among coworkers and managers.
As a remote-first company, we have created our Company’s culture around remote working. You need to invest in tools that let you work in an asynchronous way. Make sure your communication is in one space, available at all times, and easily searchable.
How can a leader be disruptive in the post covid world?
Gilles Bertaux: Don’t know about disruptive, but for companies not used to remote, micromanagement is from a different era. Now more than ever you need to delegate trust. Trust in the people you work with and a strong objective management framework to make sure that everyone is going in the same direction.
Share with us one of the most difficult decisions you had to make for your company that benefited your employees or customers. What made this decision so difficult and what were the positive impacts?
Gilles Bertaux: I don’t recall any hard decision of that magnitude, but it was quite hard to say stop to everything in March 2020 when Covid happened. Stop on projects to concentrate on reliability, bug fixing, support. Stop on going out, seeing each other, or any offsite, etc. But nothing as hard as some companies had to go through like having to let go of people because of Covid or similar.
Leaders are usually asked about their most useful qualities but let’s change things up a bit. What is your most useless talent?
Gilles Bertaux: I can lick my elbow.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, we do have one more question. If you wrote a book about your life until today, what would the title be?
Gilles Bertaux: “Memes of my life vol. 1″
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Gilles Bertaux for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Gilles Bertaux or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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