midemblog: What qualities do you look for in a startup?
Axel Dauchez: The way I see it, there are three clear elements that make an attractive startup. Firstly, the idea. All startups should ask themselves, and be able to answer: Is there a genuine market for the product or service? Is the business model robust with potential for profit? Is the platform user-friendly? Does it have potential for scale? Secondly, the business and its people need to excite me. The team behind a startup can make or break it. I have to believe in them, what they are trying to do, and that they can make it happen. But most of all — and thirdly — my advice to startups is to know your partner and think what you can do for them, rather than what they can do for you. Those have always been the companies that stand out for me.
> Which startup has most impressed you of late and why?
Djit has really impressed me. They are an innovative company developing multi-OS social music apps. I know them well as Deezer integrates with their most popular creation – edjing. The app allows Deezer Premium+ subscribers to mix the whole Deezer music library and is really versatile and entertaining for real music lovers. The edjing app has been popular all over the world and they have a talent for spotting what people want. And what I really like about them is that they’re about innovation and have a passion for music.
> What are the most common reasons why startups fail?
This comes back to the qualities of any good startup. A robust business model that has potential for profit is obviously key to attracting investment, but having people behind the business that know their area inside out and can communicate their passion for what they do is just as important. Deezer was built on a passion for music and that has made us what we are today.
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