Augustin Prot is the co-founder of Weglot, a product which allows you to make your website multilingual!
We talk about:
- How Weglot came to exist
- Transitioning from finance into a startup
- Finding their first customers
- His perspective on the no-code space
- The shift to remote work
- Where he’d live if he could live anywhere
- And much more!
I hope you enjoy this conversation with Augustin Prot.
Episode #43 - Augustin Prot of Weglot
Tom Osman: First of all, welcome to the Makerpad podcast. And thank you very much for coming on. It's funny. Cause we don't actually speak to that many people from Europe. So I think when people hear of Makerpad, often it's associated with the us for some reason. So you guys are in Paris and I noticed that she quite the no code ecosystem popping up in Paris seeing like a lot of people creating content, a lot of meetups, et cetera.
[00:00:30]have you found it, Over the last year. No, it's obviously been a bit different than prior to 2020.
[00:00:42] Augustin Prot: Yeah. it's, I don't know. maybe it's also because of this stringier but yeah, we're seeing more and more no-code low-code ecosystem. It's either, driven by entrepreneurs shapes, on end businesses, but also through technologies. we're seeing more and more technology is sometimes Shopify web flow.
[00:01:01]you can do things online without being a developer. You'll sell it. yeah, I think it's yeah. yeah,
[00:01:11] Tom Osman: what's that? How did we come about? And before we get inside, you just want to do a quick background to yourself. Exactly. who you are. I know you're one of two founders of, we got to see if, can you just give magicians yourself and also maybe a bit of background into the story of, we thought that'd be ACE.
[00:01:32]Augustin Prot: yeah, it's pleasure. it's, yeah, I just said it would go to either two people, Joni, so myself, Augustana I'm the CEO and co-founder, but, actually the original idea came from my. Co-founder which is Ramy, who is more the technical part. And, just before going too into the story, I did, finance for three years, so nothing to do with, web, I didn't know anything about HTML CSS.
[00:01:59] So I was like the real newbie when I get started with the research and, actually, when I met him, he, and he pitched me what she was working on. We did at this time. And I really liked the vision he had. And I think he had a no code, low code vision before I even heard about no code. maybe you let him some words, he's an engineer and he worked, in.
[00:02:23]doing, inviting company then doing a, web step for, app nexus. You might know, it's like a online meeting and, and then he created a first startup, which was, when you. a Craigslist, but, with, Jill, Joe location, approach.
[00:02:41] Tom Osman: So
[00:02:42] Augustin Prot: if you have a Google map and you can see around yourself, we're sending what, and you're trying to do, to sit and buy stuff around you.
[00:02:50]it didn't work. they didn't. it worked because they had a lot of, users, but they were able to monetize. he stopped and when he stopped, he asked himself what was the most painful thing he had to do when doing the development and. Obviously payment, you had Stripe, sending emails, you had the SendGrid, research.
[00:03:13] You had to go down, doing hosting. And every time they, there was a challenge. They were a simple, there was a super solution as a developer, so he thought. when I did sensations, it was a nightmare, not from a translation perspective, but from a technical perspective, it was really painful.
[00:03:31] It takes time ages, and he thought there should be a, an easy product to an easy solution to do that. That how the idea came. He did a really first, MVP, one, one user. And I met him at this time. I remember the coffee we had together. And when he described the idea, we, he told me like, it's you have different bricks.
[00:03:52] And when you want to do a web application or a mobile application, you should just, get them together. And new jobs should be that should be doing that. And what, when he went, what he wanted to do is building the translation, retaining wall brick. So that was the idea. And it's still the idea actually.
[00:04:11] Tom Osman: Yeah, absolutely. I'd try to dive inside. Bit more, how did you two actually meet or get introduced? Because it sounds like you've come from two different two different
[00:04:20] Augustin Prot: backgrounds. yeah. that's right. long story, short story. when I was working in finance, I got to know a guy who happened to be then a director at a, at an accelerator program.
[00:04:33] Its name is a family in France. so they. they have it's a typical accelerator and they also, take a percentage of the capital when they're helping you to, to accelerate into grow. And during his first startups, he was in this accelerator. And when I was trying to join a company very early Midco potential funders and people with ideas, I asked him, if anyone that's.
[00:05:00] Just, I didn't know. I'm ready and I'm happy to meet them. on the other end, when Micah founder Remi stepped his first startups, he told them that I'm open to meet anyone at any time. So it happens like that. we had a coffee, we got to wrong. and then we. And then we started to work together, but it's very informally.
[00:05:21]we didn't have any company name. we have the predict Nam. We didn't have any legal company. we were getting payments on my co-founder bank around. So really bootstrapped for four, six months. And once we had clients and we had traction and we were sure that we were getting our own, we created the company.
[00:05:41] Tom Osman: How did that go that first six months? Cause you've been around for five years or so if I'm right in thinking, so that's six, six months because a lot of no code makers do bootstrap, their first products. And how did you find that point where you either needed to raise funds or you had enough clients to figure out that this is actually the reorder together and it was viable.
[00:06:08] Augustin Prot: Okay. so you, the question is more about how did we get to live without having money or raising funds. So it's, in France we have a great thing, which is, when you leave a job, You can be paid for two years, at 70% of what you earned before. so it's a social composition.
[00:06:27] Yeah. And so that's what, my co-founders had in this time. He already, used one year and on my side, I had some savings. I didn't have this, social, wages, but I have some savings and both of us were, we had a very strong hotline, deadline. It was, we need to make money and to pay ourselves a decent wages.
[00:06:51] Like each one we met in September, 2015, and it was like a year after. We gave us a year. And so during a year, yeah, we really, were focused on getting users then getting clients then growing the user base is giving the clients and we actually managed to pay ourselves a year after
[00:07:13] Tom Osman: that's pretty good guy.
[00:07:16] Augustin Prot: think it's cool.
[00:07:18] Tom Osman: How did you, I guess when you set like a deadline like that, it's sink or swim rather than just coast along, perhaps, where did your first clients come from?
[00:07:30] Augustin Prot: The very first client, at the very big, the way we retrained to find users was to try to find early adopters. So on Facebook groups, yeah, we're trying to target startups because we thought that's how we could get people.
[00:07:44]there were the more likely people to try and maybe buy the product. so the first clients came from, yeah, from people. we called him from people. We got on Facebook groups, but so was really 10 clients maximum. And we have a very small, at this time we have a very small pool, so it was like, I don't know, 20 bucks a month.
[00:08:24] Do you have a WordPress plane? we didn't know about WordPress and we, there were so many, there were so many people don't we so many people asking about that at some point that, okay, we're going to have to do a what pre-screen. So we did about a sprain and, the great thing about WordPress and there are many great things, but, there is a community around there is a, There is a directory online directory.
[00:08:48] So that's where you can, it's a marketplace where you can list your product actually, and people get to find you by searching with keywords. So that's how that's when that's where we see, we saw our first traction there. So
[00:09:01] Tom Osman: our first,
[00:09:03] Augustin Prot: yeah, our first clients were well from what press then we expanded outside of WordPress, but it's still a very important part of our users and classmates.
[00:09:13] Tom Osman: Nice. Let's just touch on the product for a second. Cause I'm just, haven't actually dived into exactly like what the product is and how it works. Would you be able to explain that in the context of what the first version was when you're setting it to uses in coffee shops and then we can talk about what it is now.
[00:09:35] Augustin Prot: Yeah. th there are two important parts in the product. there is the product, the platform where you manage your transactions and there is the way you integrate the predict into the website. It was very important to, for us to provide value at, at this both, for both of them.
[00:10:14] So we had to find ways to, to, simplify the integration process. And one of the way of the ways to do that was to have a dedicated integration for specific technologies. That's why we developed a WordPress plugin and that's also why we, then we had a, Shopify app, for example. and now, we have a new version that's, not, tied to, to, technology it's, you just add set domains in your DNS.
[00:10:42] That's where you have your domain names.
[00:10:45] Tom Osman: Got it. And why is it important to translate your website into different languages? Like both important and beneficial to talk about?
[00:10:58]Augustin Prot: I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna have sell the benefits of having a translated website, but, there are different reasons why you do that, but, there, obvious reasons, like you have a country you're in a country where they are.
[00:11:10] Do many languages, Canada, you are a French and English. We didn't, you have French English, Italian, German. you don't have English in Switzerland, but most of them know how to, speaking this. and so that's one, one, one potential reason others are, you want. Obviously to expand, to make sure that we get the most of the traffic coming to your website and the real estate person.
[00:11:31] That's not speaking your language. the other reason is, yeah, you want to improve the conversion rates is through that. or you just want to try and test new countries for European. we don't have a market at the same side of the U S so if you want to be big in Europe unit to, to localize your experience and your online website, into different languages.
[00:11:56] Tom Osman: Do you see like a significant increase in conversions when you're actually serving up a website in the person's native language that they're looking
[00:12:03] Augustin Prot: for? It's not easy to track. it's not easy to track. we have case studies on our website, which is increased conversion, hopefully, and, yeah, we've seen increase in sales.
[00:12:16]we have people doing 10 times 10 X, sales, thanks to us. yeah, the next sales, not globally, but on the English parts right now.
[00:12:27] Tom Osman: That's really interesting because when I first came across the platform, it would, because it's so unique. I was like, okay, this is really interesting. It's something that you don't really think of because you almost, until you get to a site.
[00:12:45] Size of business that normally operates in different countries. Do even those like markets come into insert like front of mind, if that makes sense. So while you're operating in, you're like little domain with say a niche audience on Twitter, you don't really think outside of it. You don't even assume that people want to read your website in a different language.
[00:13:04] So just seeing the product and not be able to serve it up is it's just something which I think. Should be on every website, like in the future. whenever that day comes, I think that will obviously be the default option. What's the difference between doing the translations with your tool, as opposed to just translating it on the browser?
[00:13:31] Augustin Prot: Yeah. So it's a good question. when you're trying to say that, into the brother, it's actually, you don't have the, you can't have the control of what's displayed and in Kevin, some mixed with the design at the channel, we're not providing a tool for visitors. We're providing a tool for, teams and, and, web owners, behind the website.
[00:13:51] So it's, It's. Yeah, it's not the same thing at all. And the main difference also it's, the translations, if you were preventing your first layer of transmission, that's automatic by, by default, but then, teams behind that can edit, manage lesions. They can also make true professional auditors to agencies.
[00:14:12] They control what's displayed on the website. And the other thing, the other key important thing is it's you get some Dixon into translated versions.
[00:14:40] Augustin Prot: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. When you, did you just add to Jeff bet? It's it's, it's channeling the language, but it's not actually changing the URL for example, which is key for SEO, where as, when you're doing that through the GNS, you're actually changing the URL. So you make sure that such an, but, see your website index it, and you can get some traffic from there.
[00:15:05] Tom Osman: Got it. Nice. Let's change track a minute to, or the no-code space in general, because this way you've found yourself in, I don't know if you considered yourself to be a no-code product because the word, like no code in the. The space is like new in general and obviously been around for five years and things like WordPress already existed.
[00:15:30] But now it seems to be consolidating into a thing. What are your thoughts on this whole space? The way that you see it from a software perspective?
[00:15:46]Augustin Prot: we didn't know we were no good. I told him when we'd started to be very harnessed. would you really like the trend that's going on right now? and I think, yeah, I think. The goal for earth is to be able to provide a pretty that's easy to use, where you can have the value very quick, very quickly.
[00:16:04] So you have a very seamless, setup and you can start in minutes. And I think that's something that no code solutions are also looking for. And that's one of the things they have in common. the other thing is you. You're able to do things at have, on an impact without having to beg, developing teams.
[00:16:26] So I think it's more about. Shifting some steps that were previously handled by developer teams that are now, handled by other, like marketing teams, content teams, or other teams. and so that developer teams can focus on core business and you can actually give the tool to the teams that are using it on a daily basis.
[00:16:49]yeah. And. I think no-code is enabling it's. It's helping people to do stuff online and in an easy way.
[00:16:59] Tom Osman: I completely agree. And what are some of the things that have most surprised you about a move from finance into tech and building a software product?
[00:17:11]Augustin Prot: never tried to do perfect things.
[00:17:13]it doesn't work. you never do things. You've just trained to do that. So it's really about launching super fast. Other time, and then you iterate. And I really like this. I, and I learned that from my co-founder really, he had this to avoid many mistakes. He probably did it in his first experience and it's really about otherwise, do stuff and don't try to do perfect things.
[00:17:40]Tom Osman: How many times is it something where you're constantly iterating on the product? So I guess you. It works differently in finance where there's I don't know, maybe it's the same in finance, but obviously you're not building a software product to continue, can continue to improve it. I guess that the principles are slightly different.
[00:17:59] Working in finance towards tech. Was that not like an urge, if you were say interested in the tech side of things coming from a finance background to do like a finance related application, would that not make sense?
[00:18:13] Augustin Prot: Yeah, you could have made sense. You could have made sense. the thing in finance I was doing, Merger and acquisitions so it was more, when a company you want to buy it, the company I was helping them to, do that.
[00:18:24]we're a team doing, helping them. I wasn't alone at this year and I was a junior at the time. So it was more, very, client focused, a big client focused, relationship where you're providing a service to them. And it's really important to be reactive and to take care of the client, which is good.
[00:18:40]clams in the end, it's the most important thing in the company. but it's very different from now where we have Now we have 50,000 users, you can't be, in a one-on-one relationship, you have to think more, in a, in a volume way. So you need to make sure you're launching things that are helping most of them that are, increasing, improving the experience for the most.
[00:19:05] You can do dedicated, customized, feature, for example. Got
[00:19:10] Tom Osman: it. Yeah. That makes sense. The no-code space is, does lend itself to that in terms of being able to just build on the fly. And we talked about having software that's actually. Easy to build from the tool set level, rather than having to like hand code everything.
[00:19:28] So being able to figure out like what's wrong with the product and then it's rates and it really quickly, I know obviously you're coming at it from a different angle, actually building the platforms themselves. But as makers, it allows you to. They build software easily using tools like you, you'd never be able to translate your website into 20 languages without doing like an awful lot of code.
[00:19:54] Prior to, tools like yourself. So is there any tools that you use internally that you would consider a no-code tool that you find interest?
[00:20:08] Augustin Prot: Yeah. We're using different tools internally. we're trying to, when there is a tool, that's doing a great job Richmond to use it for the true credits. If it's not core. Business for us. we're trying to use it to print for that. So for example, tracking our financial metrics, we're using ChartMogul.
[00:20:25]so for example, it's, I don't know if you can call it a NOCCA tool, but. they're coming more and more into this. No good part, but we're using Stripe for the payment. You actually need to implement it in a developer to do it, but once it's implemented, you can do a lot without being a developer.
[00:20:44]we're using like notion also.
[00:20:49] Tom Osman: Fans of notion. We use it here as well are just waiting for the API to come out. So when you're listening to this podcast, it may have been released. It may not have been released, but yeah, we're hanging our hat on not wanting to think of the moment.
[00:21:04]Augustin Prot: yeah, in the end, I think we're trained to use to, to free our bandwidth, to be able to focus on the problem we're trying to solve that's.
[00:21:13] I think that's one of the things that no code, self-treat is help users to do.
[00:21:19] Tom Osman: And what is the problem you're trying to solve?
[00:21:24] Augustin Prot: I'm making the excitement in the world. we're trying to help people to really translate in display translated version of the websites and provide a personalized, experience to their end users and Beatles.
[00:21:40] Tom Osman: Got it. And then think I asked this when we were talking about the history and how we got came about, but was how did. The idea comes to be raw because you said, there was an original idea which didn't go on, then it moved on to this new idea. Was there something, w was it like a light bulb moment?
[00:22:01] Was it a question from say, like a client who said, can you translate my website into another language? And then the level went off. Was that one of those.
[00:22:11] Augustin Prot: So D the idea came from, my co-founder, Remi and it's really, it's his own experience. when he stopped his first startup, he asked himself what was the most painful step I had to do as a web developer.
[00:22:26] So when he listed that, if it like. There should be a product you had to translate your website. I don't understand why it took me away. Took me so many times and so much time does. Yeah, it's really about that.
[00:22:41] Tom Osman: Got it. And with you guys getting involved in the no-code space in general, it seems like you are like diving in headfirst.
[00:22:51] You're all for it because we've obviously spoken with you about partnering for like events and you I've seen you guys sponsoring a whole load of stuff, sponsored the Makerpad challenge as well, which is awesome. What do you think is missing? Cause I think you. Would likely be, what do you think about that?
[00:23:08] What you're likely to be taking stock of different tools, seeing what challenges are out there. You're saying people creating tutorials and videos and all this stuff. What's one area which you think could probably do with a bit more attention to
[00:23:23] Augustin Prot: at the makeup that liver remained
[00:23:26] Tom Osman: just in the, the space missing in this space.
[00:23:32]Augustin Prot: I don't know. It's I don't know if it's me, if there isn't anything, I'm just, I'm excited to see how it's going to mature and how it's going to grow. I think it's a very, the name look good is very young. The community around that it's triggering right now. And you'll part of the funding, of the funding.
[00:23:50]Communities we see around and, yeah, I'm not sure. I'm not an expert. Don't, I'm just one of the players. I think, yeah, I think I'm very interested in seeing how it's going to grow. I think it's going to grow up. I think there are a lot of no-code tools and no-code software that are.
[00:24:08] Not code no code today, but they are. and, and we see communities now. we, so communities around technology before and now we see communities around usage, which is interesting. So I think it's now more user focused and it's less, focused on technology you're using.
[00:24:29] Tom Osman: Yeah. I completely agree.
[00:24:30] Especially as you lean towards the. Automation side is we try and bucket things up by things like usage is accurate. You said, things like job role. So when we are thinking about like applications of these tools and this skillset that you learn, when you become proficient with, let's say no kids was in general, but more specifically things like automation platforms there is.
[00:24:55] A large amount of processes that fit into different job functions within bigger businesses. Let's take, for example, the finance world that you came from, and there's endless inefficiencies just through like manual processes themselves that involve humans and computers, which are obviously a time suck for one night.
[00:25:16] Now there's better options. There's. more, a higher likelihood of human error, et cetera. How do you, would you see the. Automation platforms let's take, for example, Zapier and sacraments and tray as three. Good examples, both on the beginner, through to the enterprise level, fitting within like a finance institution, be it small or large.
[00:25:46]Augustin Prot: It's a tough question. I think it's, maybe it will come from the bottom. it's, we S we can see that. many successful companies right now, did. Start with the button. So it's really about how you're going to help a junior employee employees to, to find a range of the carrier because they're using your product and because they're bringing and your predict into the company.
[00:26:10]I think that, you bring value to the firm. So to defense firm, because you suggesting the products that you found yourself, and then you can, maybe share it to one of your colleagues and he's going to dedicate, and it's going to stretch to exist, maybe in a free trial for first. and then it's going to bring, and it's going to go up.
[00:26:31] And so it's really about this, button level usage. That's how I can see it. So you avoid the long processes, you avoid the security check. and it, that's the way to make it like, I think,
[00:26:47] Tom Osman: do you have any thoughts on. Automation in general. It's one of those words where people talk about having your work automated and then instantly there's the fear of, Oh my God.
[00:27:00] Millions of people were going to be out of work. Do you have a general thoughts about that? I know there's two ways of thinking. There's the way of thinking, which says everybody's going to lose their jobs, robots going to take over the world, or as a way of thinking that technology has been invented throughout the history of time and humans still find work, they just do more creative things or new jobs that come about which side of the fence are you?
[00:27:27]Augustin Prot: obvious, I think the last one, obviously, and, and for me it's more and I need people to build and create its automated, processes and tools first. And we're going to need people to actually turn the button on off, or just set the rules. w I think we will always need people to play in to actually use the product.
[00:27:52] Tom Osman: Yeah, I think there's like a lot of emphasis on the platforms themselves because they are essentially building platforms. So they have to be so robust that. Non-technical people to use them. And I think like designing products for non-technical people is a lot harder than designing software products for technical people.
[00:28:14] Just because you have to boil down where is quite a complex process and really put it into the hands of somebody who has no idea what was going on behind the scenes. So building your tool, sorry.
[00:28:29]Augustin Prot: no worries. But I was thinking that you can see that some dangerous. So for example, now we have a factory.
[00:28:35] And so before that was a human doing the job and now it's automated hardwares, but we needed to then, create. Create, to create and build software to control the hardware machines. And now we automated protests and now you're always adding problems and you're always creating new problems with new solutions.
[00:28:57] So you wouldn't be new people to solve these problems. And you would also, people to actually create a for me, it's really? Yeah. it's not about it. Does automation, replace humans. I think the obvious answer is no, it's more about what would human do in 10 years or in a hundred years from now?
[00:29:16] Will it be only focused on software or, we still have, we'll still need to grow and to do farming with farming jobs and stuff like this. So now it's.
[00:29:26] Tom Osman: Yeah, just thinking, will everyone end up three times the size and sat on a couch or will actually people find work which involves moving?
[00:29:34] That's going to be the interesting part. I'm sure there's going to be a big divide as it continues to happen that way. Let's talk about, startups in general. So a lot of people will be listening to this podcast and building. Building something with the aim in turning it into either a revenue source, be it the primary revenue source to be the Quip, whether are you doing or like a passion project, which is the most likely that they can do alongside the current income, or they're just like curious in both like building software, like launching businesses, building apps, you've now been at it for five years.
[00:30:15] From obviously bootstrapping Tony revenue to being funded, et cetera. What are some of the most important lessons you've learned apart from obviously keep on iterating your product and see find something, but what it been like the hardest part about building a startup like we do in the last five years.
[00:30:38] Augustin Prot: There they were how to spot them in different steps. But, I'd say that, in certainty and incentive entity, sorry from English, and sometimes you have doubts. so for us, it was really. I think two things. It was w we liked the idea of creating something. We liked the idea of providing a product that is actually giving value and solving a problem for you this, but on the other hand, we also wanted to be able to, live from this, from this idea, from this, predict.
[00:31:10]and you have doubts. did I. First is it a good idea? I had a comfortable situation and now I'm like a 100% that risk, no more revenues. Just, yeah, it was totally uncomfortable. So it's, but it's, it gives you some energy and it drives you to, To actually keep moving forward every time.
[00:31:32]that's the one thing that's said, that's why it's hard, but once you, accept that it's a new focus on moving forward. it's it's it's great. the other thing is I think, especially for me coming from a big firm, with thousands of employees, it was, if you're not doing it, nobody is going to do this for you.
[00:31:52] Don't try to find people doing things for you. You're never going to find people who are selling your product for you or market for the, for you or anything you need, need to do anything by yourself, especially at the very beginning. yeah, I think it's, and maybe the hardest part is how you can actually, where to start, where I need to put my energy, to avoid, to waste, weeks or months at the very beginning where you can quickly be, it can quickly become a, you can quickly become tired of not getting results and being, demotivated.
[00:32:28] So true about every time you find something that works, keep digging in, and keep pushing it. And if it's not working just chat,
[00:32:39] Tom Osman: has it been like tough on you? Like physically, mentally the last
[00:32:44] Augustin Prot: years?
[00:32:48] Not really. Yeah.
[00:32:49] Tom Osman: I think is typing can get more immune to it,
[00:32:54]Augustin Prot: about the tough times, but, w I think that, once you. Past the financial, maybe, aspects. So you're able to, get enough money to get a correct, day-to-day life. then it's way easier.
[00:33:12] Going can focus on, you're not, you're less, distracted by other things in your head. and I think that's one thing. And the other thing at the very beginning, it's also hirings because you don't have any. you're not very attractive, your two guys, in a smaller face and you're just prune.
[00:33:30]it's really a bet for first and prejudice to genuine. but it's also, it's super interesting and, an unsupervised happy to have, trusted have flow, which is our first on play and need developers with us. So it's great. we're not a big team on we're 20 plus, but, but it's still, it's great.
[00:33:46] And, And yeah, so hirings can be tough too at the very beginning because you need to get candidates. at the very beginning, you don't know what you start with. and you're getting, turns of shitty applications, but you need to delete, you need to dedicate time to process them and to, yeah, it's under the side.
[00:34:03] You're learning. I think the great part and maybe not the most difficult part. It's, you're always learning. when you're, yeah. When you're starting a company, you're always learning. that's a great, that's a good thing.
[00:34:16] Tom Osman: And you mentioned that you forget about the tough times, but I was assuming throughout the years, there has been some very tough times what'd you do to stay sane and stay fit and healthy throughout that period.
[00:34:33] Augustin Prot: I think it's a Bence was your private, private, life. I have the chance to have a wonderful family and friends. So it's also about, catching, professionals time from private time. So I think it's important to, at the very beginning, we. Did he get to do a lot of our time?
[00:34:50]I remember on Sundays, answering, users on the chats and the live chat and sensing they, this, it's funny. and, we don't have any lectures anymore, but we have a great support team that's answering you and And, in seconds, not in second, it's very cookie and, yeah, it's, progress just, personal it's really important to keep a healthy balance.
[00:35:12]that's what's I would say for me, I don't know everyone has this balance. It's about balance. Actually you can have 100%, I think at some point it can drive you crazy. What's your
[00:35:26] Tom Osman: go-to as call it activity for lack of a better word. It could be, a hobby of anything that when work gets overwhelming, there's just like one default thing.
[00:35:39] They can snap you back into either a really good mood when you can just reset your brain. If you got anything like that, which you default to, when things get a bit. Tough either on the day or the end of a week or something.
[00:35:51] Augustin Prot: And the best activity for that is Kate's shopping.
[00:35:55]It's like a , it's only wind and water and it's yeah, it's resetting you actually.
[00:36:07] Tom Osman: Nice. I can say I've never cut surfed, but I understand the feeling of one. Like you mentioned, like being alone. I think that's actually really important. Like for me, it's like long distance running is just like spending like all of that time, just out, as the see, like in the middle of.
[00:36:30] No, it's call it nowhere. Like a better word in the middle of like open space, like in nature and the sea and the words or the hell, just having that space. It just feels like your mind kind of resets in the area. how long have you been cutting setting for.
[00:36:49] Augustin Prot: I started, I don't know, six or seven years ago, but, I'm not a pro at all, but I love it.
[00:36:57]I'd love to have more time to do, to do it more, but, yeah, it's great. Each time, educate surfing. It's yeah, it's a reset and you're ending up with a smile. It's always, and you would eat.
[00:37:08] Tom Osman: Yeah. so for me, it's running so trail running, couple of altruism my time. and, I'm not like a pro runner.
[00:37:18] I haven't got like long athletic legs or anything like that, but like trudging along for like miles and miles. And through the middle of nowhere is my thing. I've got also a brother who is built like a runner he's. It's just like a flying machine. So it's interesting to see that comparison.
[00:37:36] Yeah. can you do it in Paris or you have to do travel to the customer.
[00:37:41] Augustin Prot: Yeah. You need to travel to the coast. You need to go North. the closest, coast is North coast and so yeah, you nitro to the coast or you can go. So in Morocco there was a great spot. I did. I did that a couple of times.
[00:37:55] And there are, are grid splits of certain state, in Brazil never went, but, I think it's great. That's on
[00:38:01] Tom Osman: the bucket list. Is it Brazil?
[00:38:03] Augustin Prot: Yeah, I have Brasilia. I love to do that at some point. Maybe when my kids would be, would be, bigger, we can get together.
[00:38:11] Tom Osman: How many, how many kids
[00:38:12] Augustin Prot: have you got?
[00:38:13] Two, two boys
[00:38:15] Tom Osman: too. Nice. I have three myself, so yeah, fellow
[00:38:21] twins three. So
[00:38:24] Augustin Prot: twins that's that's more than startups in terms of percentages went
[00:38:30] Tom Osman: for, I had one when the two got three, Yeah, things got busy real quick.
[00:38:35] Augustin Prot: Yeah. Gifted.
[00:38:38] Tom Osman: Yeah. That must be hard. Especially women was the point where you managed to yeah. They figured out that balance because you mentioned about shutting off.
[00:38:51] I find it really difficult, especially now, like working. We've always worked remotely and Makerpad, but just. Just saying this is the end of my Workday. And like now is family time. How'd you? How'd you navigate that?
[00:39:05] Augustin Prot: Yeah, it's super hot. it's during the first lockdown, their nurses were nursery was not open, so we had our.
[00:39:14]we were only three at the time. I knew I had only one, one kid at this time. and so it was very hard for him to understand that there were, there was a working moment for dad and a non-working moment. So that is here, but you can't get with me why? I don't understand. And, yeah, I think that was the hardest parts, but now.
[00:39:38] I mean for now for us, we're, taking our key to, to, external nursery. So it's easier because, morning is, is, personal time with them. Then we work from home and then we go back and get them from the nursery. And it's again, personal time with them. Not that
[00:39:57] Tom Osman: hard. Yeah. Has it been easier recently with the lockdown on dwell too much on like current news and events as we've all probably had enough of it this year, but what's the current situation in Paris at the moment, Are you in the office right
[00:40:15] Augustin Prot: now? Yeah, I was, getting the mailbox just to check if we have any, any, any emails, but now far. So we officially shut down the, the, we closed the door of the office at the beginning of the second, lockdown. So for the whole team, it's a remote work. And, and for all people when remote, especially, but they're doing remote.
[00:40:40]yeah, it's all the restaurants and walls are closed. there is only essential, businesses are open, so yeah, it's really a strange time where we hope to get the vaccine very quick. So we could, get back to a normal life. Have
[00:40:55] Tom Osman: you seen an impact to moving fully remote?
[00:41:00] Augustin Prot: For the team on the business?
[00:41:06] I think it's, I'm not, we did not have remote, remote now with DNA. so I can see a positive bikes, we can focus on things more easily, but there are some that get you in bags, less sharing, and you can feel a bit lonely sometimes. So I think when things are getting back to normal, we will have a mixed, a mix, a balance between remote and physical presence.
[00:41:34] Tom Osman: Do you think that will affect things like hiring? I know that by. Advertising for remote opportunities. You obviously widen yourself up to a bigger talent pool and not just like for the immediate vicinity of the office or like travel distance to the office. Do you plan on hiring for both or would you still prefer hiring locally?
[00:41:56] I guess being from having non remote in your DNA, it's always going to be like, In-person first and then like remote if we have to.
[00:42:06] Augustin Prot: Yeah. Good guess. Yeah, actually we have two people on from our team. My co-founder is based in Bordeaux. he's, there is doing two days a week at the office and the rest of the day and the rest of the week, or from home.
[00:42:22]we have also one team member who is in Montpelier, South of France. So he's coming one week every month. I as do guests would do not have a remote in our, Cujo DNA. So we prefer hiring locally. And then we can extend it to remote if it's okay. But I think for now we're not ready to do a fully remote.
[00:42:45] Would you see yourself going back to a, an office?
[00:42:49] Tom Osman: No, I don't think so. So when the twins were born, I quit my job. And started up an agency just to be able to give, just to be at home. So it wasn't, I didn't really have a plan. I just said, I'll do things online for people I know to do that. I just have an agency that does those things and then it would just give me the flexibility to be wherever I needed to be.
[00:43:18] And that was lucky, the twins that she came three months premature. So I ended up doing a lot of my work from the hospital or my laptop. So it could be like, sup. So in intensive care or in like the hotel eating like some hospital food. So that was actually really lucky because that was like a long period of time.
[00:43:38] And then when made the Makerpad opportunity came up, that was also remote by default. So Makerpad and never had like an office and we'll never have an office. one thing I do think maybe interesting for people like myself is just having somewhere to go. Now, and again, if you needed to be around other people working, not necessarily from your same company and not necessarily a, we work in like a city center, but something in the middle, which is either localized to the community, which includes like shops and amenities and like restaurants, cafes sort of thing.
[00:44:18]maybe some more like dynamic co-working spaces, which aren't strictly for work or leisure. So somewhere. Somewhere in the middle of, I'd be interested in spending maybe a couple of days, like every couple of weeks or things she needs to separate home and work for a bit, then move out. But yeah, it is tricky and there is obviously pros and cons to each.
[00:44:44] Augustin Prot: Yeah. it's not an easy question, but, I agree when you don't, I ha offering remote the possibility for hirings and you're, you're extending your market for people, if they can speak like this. But, it's harder to find people locally than globally, basically.
[00:45:01] Tom Osman: Yeah, that's just press on that a little bit more as we start to wrap up, how do you see that affecting like workforces in general and like distribution of labor, maybe away from city centers, more globally, both on, say. A like city level, like city center level. I don't know like how it's concentrated in Paris move.
[00:45:27] The nearest big city to me is Manchester. And there's huge amounts of investment in a really small area in the middle of the city with like high-rises and big office blocks. And now they are empty. All the cafes close, all the restaurants that are getting in business or the offices are closed. and then how would it affect where like people can live.
[00:45:49] Augustin Prot: Yeah, I agree. I don't know if it's a trend or not, but I have the feeling we're seeing more and more people going out from Paris because it's very expensive. today they think it's pointless to, to pay such an expensive, apartment, for example. because I could do the job from anywhere so I could shoot, I could choose to go to the countryside and I'm doing it from there.
[00:46:11] We're saying I have the feeling we're seeing more and more people doing that, but they're not, I don't know if it's a long-term Trent or just a kind of a peak, after this, coronavirus season.
[00:46:23] Tom Osman: Yeah, there might be some like bounce back in terms of incentives to come back and work in the office.
[00:46:28] I'm sure there'll be some form of stimulus arriving from various different,
[00:46:33] Augustin Prot: but on the other hand, you're seeing more and more, tech companies, doing an announcement of anyone can work from anywhere, full remote until 2021, 2022. And so on. it's a trend. and I think that firms are pushing it to some, maybe it will last more than we think.
[00:46:54] Tom Osman: We'll see, maybe we'll talk again in 2022 and see how that shaped up.
[00:47:01] Augustin Prot: How would it be? I would be on the coast doing case of India every day.
[00:47:05] Tom Osman: Huh? That's actually a good question. Where would you live? If, say, if you didn't have an office, if you were hypothetically a fully remote company and you had to pick one place to live, what would it be?
[00:47:19]Augustin Prot: in front of the seat, I don't know where, but, in front of this team, this UNC I'm seeing where you can cook in front of the seat, and then you can have a dinner there with the seminary, a fire pit, just in front of this.
[00:47:31] Tom Osman: Yeah. Nice. We're in the process of buying a house at the moment.
[00:47:34] And the fire pit is almost at the top of my list of things to buy as soon as you nice. Are you guys hiring at the moment? Is that right?
[00:47:54] Tom Osman: product expert. That might be something which somebody listening to this might be interesting.
[00:48:19] So it's like a. Interesting unexpected byproducts of no-code tools ends up creating more developers on the backend, but the product expert, what does that involve in case there's anybody listening who wants to maybe get a job in this is called it.
[00:48:38]Augustin Prot: it's one. We would train you to know the predicts and how it works and how you can use it and add it to a website.
[00:48:44] And then you, you help users to solve their problem. It can be small problems, I want to change my button and go to button and it can be, a harder problems. it's not working on the waste side wide. So I treat you about knowing the product, being able to understand a user's problems, being able to do feedbacks on what would they need.
[00:49:05] So it's also fitting the roadmap and, yeah, it's really about it's at the center of everything. Would you
[00:49:12] Tom Osman: love it? there you go. If this hit a census and that is you, then be sure to apply on the Wheelock. Website. Yeah.
[00:49:23] Augustin Prot: Yeah. We do have a carrier or applied or job.
[00:49:27] Tom Osman: Yep, sure. Link it in the show notes.
[00:49:29] Anyway. Thanks very much for taking time to speak to me. Really enjoy the
[00:49:34] Augustin Prot: concession.
[00:49:36] Tom Osman: No worries. And see you all again soon.
[00:49:40] Augustin Prot: Yeah, it's pretty good. Thanks.
[00:49:42] Tom Osman: Thanks so much for listening. You can find us online at makerpad.com. we're on Twitter at make that
[00:49:49] Augustin Prot: we'd love to hear if you enjoyed this episode and
[00:49:51] Tom Osman: what we should do next.