The #PayItForward Experiment: Paris 🌟

Can you help?

Adrien Guilmineau
5 min readFeb 28, 2019

We’ve been growing our team at Sidekick quite quickly in the past 6 months.

Since early employees tend not to be specialists but simply very passionate individuals with a strong do-er mindset, ready to learn anything they need to become the best: we hired smart and caring individuals who have found themselves in roles they have never done before.

Being far from a specialist myself, I’ve learned by asking “stupid” questions to lots of people around me and getting feedback from people outside of my network.

Silicon Valley is really good at this

A couple of months ago, I shipped about 100 emails to people all over Silicon Valley asking them to meet me and tell me more about how they did X, Y & Z. 25% of them responded favorably and gave me a combined 23h of their time with nothing in return.

This is the #PayItForward mindset.

Sooooooooo what about Paris?

I believe that you can tell a lot about the potential and stage of development of an ecosystem by the amount of Pay It Forward. Paris’ ecosystem has grown phenomenally in the past 5 years: let’s see how our mindset has evolved.

I’m running a little experiment:

I have 5 new people on my team who want to learn from other people in the Paris ecosystem. They come from Goldman Sachs, Facebook, Google, Boston Consulting Group, StarOfService… and all have specific challenges.

Below are types of people they want to meet and learn from.

  • If you have this skillset: there is a calendar link so that you can book a 30-min call with them.
  • If you know someone who does: share this post with them, it would really help.
  • If you can help for something else: we’ll need your expertise at one point. So add your email here and tell us how you can help :-)

I think the Paris ecosystem is ripe for a massive Pay it forward movement that can hopefully start with this first post.

We’ll probably need your input and expertise at one point :-)

Thank you!!


Product People & Software Engineers

How many Product People in the Paris ecosystem are willing to spend 30min helping our new Product Manager, who recently arrived from Facebook’s Learning & Development team in San Francisco, become the best PM in the world?

Any software engineers that are passionate about personal development? Catalina wants to understand how to build better tools for you, so if you think you can help, grab coffee with her!

Book a slot on her calendar here →

Engineering Leaders & 1st Sales in a startup

How many Directors of Engineering who are currently managing a team in Paris would spend 30min-1hour grabbing coffee with Flore, who arrived from BCG last week to start building our sales machine

She wants to understand Engineering Managers, Directors of Engineering and VP’s of Engineering role and challenges.

She is also starting to build a sales machine from scratch so if you know people who have been there. Please get in touch, she wants to know it all!

Book a slot on her calendar here →

Thank you Florian Jourda, Judith Tripard, Annabelle Bignon & Julie Harrissart already for your time!

People who have scaled customer success, account management or operations at a 50 people + startup

How many account managers & customer success managers would spend 30min over the phone to help Victor, my co-founder understand how to build a playbook for CS & AM?

He also wants to learn from the masters of operational scale.

Book a slot in his calendar here →

Thank you Alexandre Rovetto for giving some of your time already!

Node.JS, React & Redux Developers

Our Junior Developer Sonny is doing his alternance at Sidekick and wants to learn from experienced developer in Node.JS, React & Redux. How many in Paris can mentor him for 30-minutes with nothing in return? Simply because they dare — share — care? cc Alice Zagury

Book a slot in his calendar here →

Thank you Hugo How-Choong for giving some time already!

Managers who feel alone + salespeople from non-sales background + B2B marketers

Remi recently arrived from Google to generate leads for our pipe and he has a lot of questions. How many managers who feel alone against the complexity of managing their team would spend 30min over the phone so that Remi can better understand how to target you?

Who works in sales but doesn’t have a sales background and can give Remi the ins and outs of being great at generating leads? People who market B2B products are also more than welcome!

Book a slot in his calendar here →

Thank you Nicolas Van Rymenant & Victor Dosne already for your time!

DevOps, Data Engineers, Lead dev back, architects

Jeremy wants to know how scale our engineering team: picking the right technologies to scale our micro-services architecture, structuring a team around agile and well organized sprints.

Book a slot in his calendar here →

We will need more and more experts so leave your email here: if you haven’t found someone who needs you yet.

Thank you for your help!

PS: Need us to #PayItForward? Ping me:!



Adrien Guilmineau

Co-founder @ariacaptions @sidekick_hq @tinbox_app • Hangout @_thefamily • Kinda-studied @warwickuni