good ideas do not always lead to good business, The Lab / Ideas

Entrepreneurship means trying to succeed and risking failure. Every day, entrepreneurs stand up against the wall. According to the latest figures from INSEE, only six out of ten companies pass the five-year milestone. Behind these statistics, there can be a host of reasons, and not necessarily just bad ideas. On the contrary, some concepts that were initially very promising prove to be disappointing once confronted with the reality of the market.

Food delivery: undervalued people and logistics

On paper, the idea seems ingenious: to offer consumers the opportunity to have a meal delivered to their workplace or home in record time and, depending on the business model chosen, to offer restaurants an outsourced delivery service. . Business creation and investments in start-up food delivery have been huge in recent years. Uber Eats was set up in 2014, Foodora, which ceased operations in France, had raised 387 million euros in May 2017, its competitor Deliveroo had successfully raised 322 million euros in September 2017, bringing the total funds raised to around one billion euros.

“Be careful, in the US and UK some of these foods have already disappeared and others are struggling”, warns Léa Verdillon, associated with Serena Capital. In Europe, the Belgian Take Eat Easy went off the market in August 2016. The reason? “They did not succeed in finding a profitable model, which accelerated their decline as funding became scarcer. For we must not fool ourselves: Delivery is above all logistics. We receive dishes to be stored and delivered. We are in pure organization, you have to produce large quantities to make the number »explains Léa Verdillon.

Others failed go from idea to success, due to lack of expectation. ” Some have also forgotten that when creating an ecosystem, you have to feed all the elements for everything to work. Platforms that only think about pushing prices down without taking into account the needs of their delivery people are mistaken “adds Cyril Vart, executive vice president at Fabernovel.



Autolib did not survive competition from VTCs.
– Shutterstock

Autolib: a value in use was quickly exceeded

Easy city travel, democratize car access without suffering from the usual inconveniences (parking, insurance, maintenance, etc.) and help reduce polluting gas emissions thanks to a fleet of electric vehicles: these were the promises of Autolib. In 2010, the Bolloré group won the contract with the city of Paris for a launch in 2011. At that time, to move around Paris, there were not many alternatives to public transport other than the bicycle – not always popular depending on the weather and the user – and the taxi, whose prices may be dissuasive.

In 2011, the value in use of Autolib is therefore real. Only then is 2011 also the year of Uber’s arrival in Paris, then for its competitors. On-demand transportation prices are falling, and the user experience of VTCs quickly proves to be more advantageous : it is possible to book at any time of the day and night, no matter how tired you are, without a subscription, from your smartphone, without having to go to a terminal and above all without having to drive yourself. At the same time, other car-sharing offerings have been developed, such as Zipcar and Ubeeqo, which further strengthens competition. Autolib ended its service on July 31, 2018.



The confectionery L’Éclair de Génie diversifies its offer with catering and delicatessens.
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The monoproduct: everything goes over, everything gets tired …

Using research, expertise in a niche market, some entrepreneurs have developed so-called “mono-product” concepts. In catering, an ultra-competitive sector where it is difficult to stand out, some have opened up stores focused on only one type of cake. If the monoproduct strategy initially has some advantages (economies of scale, expert positioning, more efficient communication), the trap can quickly close in the long run for the company.

“Beware of an offer that is too narrow for the consumer, warns Bernard Boutboul, president of the firm Gira Conseil, specialist in catering. There are very few single-product concepts that survive, and those who pass this milestone are now trying to expand their offerings to better meet customer expectations and prevent them from getting bored. »

This is the way for e.g. Enjoy the flash. Founded in 2012 by Christophe Adam and Charles Lahmi, this sophisticated pastry centered on éclairs enjoyed great success in its early days. But it left the mono product to expand its offering, “without losing his DNA”, emphasizes Bernard Boutboul. Ingenious Glimpse installed seats in its stores and launched a “grocery” offer consisting of chocolate bars, macaroons or even caramelized hazelnuts as well as a “brunch” offer every Sunday. After four stores in Paris, Milan and Vancouver, corners in Japan and Moscow, a first store will open in China, in Shanghai, in December 2018.

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