Short bio: Nicolas Pujol is a veteran technologist, investor and author. He brings fifteen years of experience as a practitioner with specialties in product management, sales and partnerships. Nicolas has lived and worked on three continents and recently helped grow a $10m startup named MySQL into a $1 billion acquisition. His first book The Mind Share Market: The Power of an Alternative Currency illustrates the universal principles in “free vs. paid” business models.
Longer, more personal bio: I spent 15+ years as a practitioner building lines of business in large & small companies, in several industries, locations, cultures and languages. Born in France, I grew up in a middle class family and learned the value of money. But the important thing I remember are fun times with family and friends. I also developed an affinity for mountains, being in nature, cycling, hiking, and slow walks (even in big cities).
Expatriated myself to Tokyo for a year in 1997-1998 where a company called Inabata Sangyo invited one student from Lyon to join their staff for a year and study Japanese business and culture. I was that lucky student and am still in touch with many friends 14 years later (10-year anniversary article here done by the company). I recommend anyone to spend as much time in Japan as they can. After a brief return to France for another year, I moved to the US for an MBA in Austin TX. I planned on staying there for only the duration of the degree but enjoyed it enough to stay a little longer. Some formative years were spent at Dell in mostly technical product design roles (product management and technical alliances) for operating systems, virtualization, middleware and databases. The company was booming; how things change. Dell, you can come back. Show us. In these roles, I realized that open source was impacting many markets, and that a gap existed (which turned out to be as big as a 12-million user gap) in the database market and joined MySQL in 2004. 2 years later we moved to Seattle (where we still reside). In 2010, after Sun had bought MySQL and Oracle had bought Sun, my job there was done.
From this time, I went back to research and wrote a first book, several white papers, articles for media, and continuing with this blog, in need of a refresh. I didn’t want to be an author as a kid. There are things that grow on you and the second book is now brewing, very slowly, as I read and log notes at random times.
Generally I believe that life is what we make it: the same experience will be seen as a chore by one and fun by another. If we do what we love we’ll never work a day in our life (work as in doing something only for money). A good project typically involves several years of commitment. I believe in starting and not stopping, until it is time to move on. The later the better – but there is always a time. It also involves good people to be around, good meaning competent, willing to learn and to help one another. This may seem obvious, but these environments aren’t as easy to find as one might assume. I’ve been lucky to date.
Academics: MBA from McCombs School of Business (University of Texas at Austin), Master in Commerce (ESC diploma) from EM Lyon, Bachelor in Finance and Accounting (DUT GEA) from the University of Paris, Baccalaureat scientifique (mathematics and physics) from Lycee Paul Arene in Sisteron, France.
Influences (listed in random order): Joseph Campbell, Hiroshi Mihara, John Doggett, Kevin Rollins, Marten Mickos, Monty Widenius, Robert Shiller, Nassim Taleb, Peter Drucker, Michel Onfray, Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Philip von Hohenheim, Jacques Brel, Anthony Robbins, Paulo Coelho, Bernard Pujol.