Looking Back & Being Grateful
Sometimes when I run or bike, some scents remind me of familiar places with fond memories. Nothing precise, really, but a pleasant feeling, usually from my childhood holidays. It can be the agricultural field from my grandfather and uncle’s exploitation or the sound of an owl that brings back some mornings on the Atlantic coast when I was just seven or eight years old. Those moments right before my parents got divorced, when innocence was ruling my world and that everything was perfect before my eyes.
Summer is special to me. This period was often when I transitioned from one job to another or when important decisions were made, like the setup of New Wave with Pia. It’s usually during that period that some meaningful discussions arise with Xavier as well, like in 2018 when we decided to refocus our investment strategy on French founders in tech worldwide rather than the broader agnostic strategy we had in the past. Or when in 2020, we looked at how to incubate our own consumer project and teamed up with Mathias Adam (thanks to Antoine Martin), who quickly became instrumental in so many ventures of our portfolio, bringing not only talent in product design but also high energy, velocity, and an incredible attitude.
Summer is also when I reflect on my mistakes, on the many decisions I took in a rush and that I start to regret, on the balls I dropped because I was too lazy, focused on something else, or overwhelmed, on the things that I should have pushed way more aggressively to have a better impact.
When holidays are supposedly starting, I struggle to find the right rhythm. I’m torn between being more responsive over email or text and unplugging and turning everything off, at least for a moment. What about this OOO Automatic Reply? No fucking way! The world doesn’t need to know about my whereabouts to function. Unless I am not reachable, the degree of priority of all the things I receive will fall into the suitable buckets whether I reply immediately or within three weeks.
Summer is also when I reflect on everything I am so grateful for. And there are so many of them. I had my mom and my stepfather for three whole days the other week, and it was so great to do nothing but be with them. The same happened with my brother and his girlfriend this weekend, and it had been so long since we hadn’t had some quality time together. Same with an old-time friend today, Alexandre, whom I hadn’t seen in so long. Then, there are all the founders I have been working with for a long time… Antoine, Firmin, Pierre, Jade, Alex, Phil, Eiso, Pierre-Antoine, Solomon, Ralph, and Jean-Daniel, among many others. Also, all the people with whom I love to collaborate… Emmanuel, Jerry, Bryan, Tony, those individuals from whom I learn a lot through their way of working, their attitude, their singularity… There are all the people without whom I would feel helpless, like Benjamin or Anthony. There are obviously Alexis and Pia, the pillars of respectively Kima Ventures and New Wave. Of course, I often think about that day when Xavier gave me a chance, about how much I want to make him proud of what we’re doing. Surrounding what we do with Kima and New Wave, I keep associating our actions with John, Aude, Jules, and others… There are so many people I am really grateful to have met or engaged with recently, whether it’s my cycling crew, Hugo, who pushed me to participate in my first half Ironman, Christophe, who has been coaching me since then or Cecile, Austin, Luc-Alban, Sebastien, … I am sorry I can’t write down all your names, you are so many… Every single one of your gestures made my days very special.
Summer is really this whole period during which I realize how lucky and happy I am, surrounded by so many good people with great intentions. It reminds me to keep a positive attitude, to stay hungry but not foolish.
It’s a time during which the expression “Go slow to go fast” takes on its full meaning :)