After graduating from a French Business School, Cyrille started his career as a consultant in Management & Operations. He launched an e-commerce platform to distribute French entrepreneurs’ brands, which turned out to be a complete failure. Back on tracks, he joined the French 3D “pépite” Prodways to launch the 1st 3D printed insoles solution in France. We are fortunate to have Cyrille as our speaker to the upcoming 3DHEALSevent in Paris.
Jenny: What inspired you to work in 3D printing industry?
Cyrille: At that time in 2015 I was a consultant, and I had three expectations to meet in my next challenge: deep dive into an unknown technology, work with smarter people than me, and work on international issues at some point. I am not an engineer and didn’t know much about 3D Printing, I made my choice because of the quality of the people I met for sure, ScientiFeet being a true entrepreneurial project, and also for some other more superficial considerations [laugh] such as how the industry would evolve according to the GARTNER Hype Curve for instance, or amazing 3D printed products that made me realize how great this technology could be (printed flowers, specific shapes such as a ball within a ball, within another ball… ) that are only feasible with 3D printing.
Jenny: What is the biggest motivation for your work?
Cyrille: Entrepreneurship. We build a company day after day. Better understand our market, work and make the product evolve constantly involving our beta testers, and understand little by little the business development/growth levers are motivations that I have in mind all day long and make me excited when I go to work every day.
Jenny: What is the biggest challenge in your work?
Cyrille: The podiatry/podology market in France is not that mature in terms of technology, it is quite traditional. The majority of podiatrists makes the custom-made orthotics by themselves, really like craftsmen with traditional methods. We provide a solution that helps them save time by not making the insoles themselves, and improve their customer loyalty with a better treatment. 3D Printing is not a cheap technology, which means that compared with traditional methods, ours can be perceived as an expensive one even if products are absolutely not comparable! Our biggest challenge is ‘’to crack this market’’ and build a profitable company on a market which is not mature regarding the technology we use.
Jenny: How do you plan to conquer this challenge?
Cyrille: Iteration and listen to the voice of the customer are crucial. Regarding our approach to the market, we iterate a lot to better understand podiatry and better address our prospects. Internally, we make the product evolve as regularly as possible (hardware, software especially, finishing of the product) and share formally with our customers on a weekly basis.
Jenny: What is your vision on the potential impact of your current work to the future of medicine?
Cyrille: The product we deliver to our customers/practitioners are custom made orthotics; the truth is that regarding this treatment all practitioners have an empirical approach. In that domain of the podiatry, there is no study or a very little number of studies, proving the positive impact of wearing orthotics. I don’t know all the reasons but I guess that one is related to the traditional way of making the insoles, pair after pair. There is a lack of industrialization in the way of production. At ScientiFeet we want to find better responses to the patients’ relieves, by letting our customers design 100% their treatment via the software, but also by cumulating and exploiting data relative to pathologies. At some point, we should be able to help the practitioners not in doing the diagnosis, their true added value, but in conceiving the right treatment according to their diagnosis.
We have already made progress in that direction, by realizing a scientific study and evaluating the impact of our custom made insoles on a 50-people-sample working in a supply chain environment; we have been measuring the musculoskeletal disorders through 3 axes: the feeling of heavy legs, leg pain, and comfort. Results are very encouraging and our study will be submitted for publication in the coming weeks in French & English.
Jenny: What is the biggest change/improvement since last year this time?
Cyrille: At that time one year ago, ScientiFeet was called PodoMetric, there were 3 people and we were still beta testing our product with 20 podiatrists. There was no go-to-market strategy, no product roadmap and basically no team to think about all this. A few weeks ago, we have sold our 10,000th pair of insoles, recruited our 10th employee and we started to make our own opinion about the Spanish market with a test to be done by December 2017. If I had to select one thing, I would choose our organization: team is our main asset since last year we better know what are our core values and what we need to find deeply in each candidate
Jenny: What are you passionate about?
Cyrille: Building value for some people and make a business of it. If you think you are an entrepreneur, you find interest whatever the industry is, what counts is the value you create and the traction you get. I wouldn’t have thought that one day I would work in the podiatry or in the healthcare industry. The value you aim to generate to your customers, and finally to the patients, is much more important in healthcare than in others businesses, it has to do with ethics, with social responsibility, and I think this is really exciting. Sometimes scaring too.
Jenny: What is the biggest risk you took in your career?
Cyrille: Not sure this is a risk, but probably a failure. Compared with others entrepreneurs, I was ‘’not born as an entrepreneur’’. I decided to put myself at risk a few years after I started to work as a consultant, by launching a company with my best friend and a good friend of his. The project was an e-commerce platform to distribute French entrepreneurs’ brands with a remarkable marketing positioning/storytelling; the three of us had complementary skills and the willingness to invest ourselves in the French entrepreneurship ecosystem. Keeping this as a side project, I wasn’t sure how much I could work on both projects, in both consulting and in this adventure. Two years later, we sold the few assets we had to our main competitor; we had not succeeded in creating a long-lasting company, but w had learned a lot about DOs & DONTs in entrepreneurship…and this made me want to jump back in with ScientiFeet!
Jenny: What do you enjoy in your spare time?
Cyrille: Family is key, I mostly spend my spare time with my kids and my wife, but I also love practicing sports (running and swimming mainly). Family helps to keep the focus on what really matters, I love to see my two kids grow up, things are so different from when I was their age; sports help to relax my mind and take fresh air.
Jenny: What else do you want to share with us? Jokes? Good stories? =)
Cyrille: Feel free to contact me whenever you’re around in Paris, I love sharing professional topics/issues with people I have topics in common (Operations, 3D Printing, Recruitment…), I think that sharing is the new training!