Co-founder of Priceminister and DataDome business angel, Justin Ziegler answers our questions about DataDome’s future.
Justin, in your opinion, what will be the key to DataDome’s success?
It’s not the question I’m currently asking myself.
I think DataDome will be a success. So, for me, the question to ask is “What will make DataDome either a huge success or an ordinary success?”
What will make the company a huge success is execution speed. There’s a very good team. Now, they have to go very fast while still doing things well and working intelligently.
So far, they have demonstrated that they know how to do it. It will be necessary to manage and control the very fast growth.
At the time being, I’m feeling serene about their capacity to do it.
Very soon, they will have to tell themselves “OK, in France we’re going to make it, we have built what’s needed for this market. Now, the topic is how to go international, and how to reproduce on the global market what’s been implemented in France”.
Which are the most important qualities of a good business angel?
Availability and the ability to listen.
There’s plenty of money on the market. The right questions are “Does this money also come with time spent?”, and “What else is there but money?”
You can look for two things in addition to money: Notoriety, reputation, status. It’s always nice to be able to say “I have Mr so-and-so on my board, as an investor or advisor”.
Then there’s the time the business angel will invest in the company. Did he invest 10-15 000 euros and has he done the same with tens of companies? Or does he take a higher stake in a smaller number of companies which he selects carefully, and where he’ll get more involved?
You need to know if he has time to be more involved. If someone occupies a position with responsibilities in a company, and invests in plenty of companies in parallel, will there be any time left for you?
But to answer your question more precisely, a good business angel is a combination of three things: money; notoriety in order to impress a little, reassure and solidify your case; and finally availability, the ability to listen, an understanding of the market as well.
I’ve been solicited for other projects, but personally I’m not always sure I have an affinity with this market, with this product …
In which ways can you help DataDome further accelerate its growth?
It always comes back to time. Also to meetings, introductions … Bringing even more leads with potential customers or partners. Maybe, in order to go fast, it will be necessary to implement a reseller network.
In order to have a better presence and visibility on the market, I also help them with marketing operations. There’s already a certain number of things going on …
Where do you see DataDome in three years from now?
I think DataDome will be an American company deployed on all continents: Europe, US and Asia. OK, that’s three continents. :)
There will be partnerships with technology players who have complementary solutions.
Another possible answer: Why, in three years we have already sold for 300 million. :)
One last piece of advice to conclude?
Always keep a cool head, despite different stages following each other rapidly. Don’t get carried away.
Recruiting technical staff, for instance, is very difficult. Under pressure from the business and the desire to move fast, sometimes one lowers the threshold. And clearly, the smaller your team is, the more important it is to recruit only stars. It’s absolutely crucial to surround yourself with great people.
I was recently discussing another startup, and I was told “This guy has surrounded himself with mediocrities, all the people around him are very disordered, always a bit makeshift. Nobody on this team is super organized.” It hurts the company’s reputation, and everyone is losing their time.