The co-founder of the crowdsourcing business CREADS, speaks to Leaders League about his future plans to grow his business and the lessons he learned throughout his entrepreneurial journey.
Leaders League. How did you decide that being an entrepreneur was the best decision for you?
Ronan Pelloux. I made the decision when I was a still a student, while doing my internship on the website development team at SSII. I enjoyed developing websites and when I developed a website I would give it to the client, but didn’t like the fact that I was unable to follow the client afterwards. From that point on, I decided that I wanted to develop websites and follow the stories of my clients. During my studies I developed a lot of websites but it was difficult to monetize them, so after my going to engineering school I went to the business school ESCP-Europe with the aim of structuring a proper business model, which helped me develop a company based on websites.
Leaders League. What is CREADS?
R.P. CREADS is an online platform that utilizes the power of crowdsourcing. CREADS was created in 2008, with the aim to be different than any of the other traditional branding agencies out there and to create better quality choices for our clients. Our network of 50,000 freelance designers from 30+ different countries, compete on our platform to deliver high-quality briefings for a better price. The concept allows for designers to participate in the creations that we ultimately offer to our clients. Since it is generally difficult to find a good freelance designer, our aim was to centralize these designers all over the world and to invite their talents onto our platform, with the chance of being selected by our clients. We publish our briefings and after 7 days the client will receive about 100 different proposals from various designers. Our concept is completely different from a traditional agency where they propose one or two briefings for a higher price. Typically an agency will produce a briefing that costs about €10,000, however, on our platform it starts at €490 for a greater variety in selection, so it is cheaper, easier and the quality is higher.
Leaders League. How did the idea of CREADS come about?
R.P. The idea came when we found a website in the US that is called worth1000.com, which is a creative contest site where they run different kinds of competitions for fun in photography, illustration and other categories. So when my associate, Julien, and I found this website, we thought it could be very interesting to create the same kind of competition, but with a monetary reward. Another website that got us inspired was the website laFraise.com, which is a platform of designers who imagine new designs for t-shirts, and this community votes for the most popular t-Shirts, which are then printed and sold on the platform. This idea works very well, so we thought instead of creating t-shirts we can create logos and designs for brands. It is based on crowdsourcing and the power of the crowd to create contents. That’s where we got the idea. So we developed the website, in the beginning we made sure that it would work so we put our first briefing online and we got 70 proposals, so we felt it was perfect and we continued with the type of designs.
Leaders League. What are some of the big projects CREADS has in store for the next five years?
R.P. We are developing a new project which is called “CREADS Partners” where the idea is to create an API based on connectivity. Our aim is not necessarily to connect people in the company but the 50,000 designers who work with CREADS.
Currently we are France’s leader in branding; we produce about 300 brand names every year and the official leader agency produces about 150 a year. In the future, we hope to become worldwide leaders in branding.
Leaders League. What has been this year’s most exciting development?
R.P. The fact that we are recruiting. The team is great so now we are structuring the company in order to integrate middle-management. We have a lot of ideas to play with, we started the company 6 years ago, and our aim is to be active members in the economy of ‘uberization.’
Leaders League. What is the greatest lesson someone has ever taught you that you use in your everyday work?
R.P. The first thing I would say is that when you start a company, people will give you advice, and sometimes you may not want to listen and just do things in your own way. But it is important to take time to reflect, because people can be right and it is important to recognize you might be wrong. The second thing I learned is that in recruitment, one of the things you have to do is recruit people who are better than you because they can give you a lot of opportunities to enable your idea to grow.