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Hello, Alexandre​ Leforestier,​ please tell us about your journey from being an Associate Deputy Director at Abeille Musique Records, to becoming a CEO at Panodyssey?

I started in the music industry as a musician, and in the 90s I decided to start with online music. First it was a B2B music platform with servers in France and then I created ​Qobuz which is the first high quality online music streaming platform. Spotify has recently announced its first high quality streaming service but I did it 15 years ago !

After that, about 3 years ago I started working in the online publishing industry because it was not addressed yet : we had music and video services but not a writing platform. So this is how Panodyssey was born, to address this new generation with new uses coming from various social backgrounds. The issue I tried to solve was how to create new interactions between writers and readers and I think Panodyssey has a key role in the solution. You can read more about this in our Manifesto(​https://panodyssey.com/en/article/tech/panodyssey-manifesto-reconciling- the-digital-world-with-ethics-dr36tgu2qdbq)​.

What is the most innovative product/service/project you have worked on till now? What has set it apart from the others? 

The main innovative project I worked on and continue working on is Panodyssey. The stakes in the writing industry are high because first it started with blogs, then social media took over. Panodyssey has the sharing and the interaction part of a social media but with no ads, not like a regular social media because we think at Panodyssey, that a creation needs time which is valuable. It is a platform where a writer can create along with web services to help him/her. Panodyssey can be used to write, but also to post drawings or pictures very easily and various creators can contribute to the same piece of artwork. The author can initiate subscriptions and adjust them to what he creates.

Moreover, Panodyssey uses the blockchain to prevent any intellectual property infringement; in fact, our technology creates a unique signature that authenticates the document which is stored in the blockchain.

What do you think will be the biggest trends in Digital Marketing in the next couple of years?

I think that people have had enough of the classical advertising industry and that they are not naive anymore, they understand the tricks of the influencers and ads online. It is the end of a cycle and the advertising industry needs more authenticity. To me, the main digital trend will be this. With the crisis, writing has become more and more predominant, even if the world we live in is dominated by immediate and instant content (such as Tik Tok for instance). Also, the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ecosystem favorable to written artwork. If the SEO works well, it will create good practices leading to a great future.

Since cultural production is used as a tool to increase the digital companies’ actual revenues, protecting creators by guaranteeing them control over their creation and fair remuneration is a moral and economic obligation. (If you want to have more information about our vision : ​https://panodyssey.com/en/about-us)​.

We see that the Panodyssey wallet is live, can you tell us about the development strategy and how has the response been lately? 

The wallet tool is very innovative because it allows a creator to collect a donation made by a reader directly just like crowdfunding. On other platforms, the author had to create an account on a specific crowdfunding website to be able to collect donations, but on Panodyssey, the author has direct access to a personal wallet. Another innovation is that an author can create a subscription if he/she wants to monetize particular content. These subscriptions will give to users access to exclusive features.

Moreover, the collaborative aspect of Panodyssey is very important. Take for instance an author who writes an article and an illustrator who illustrated it, they can, prior to publishing, negociate what percentage of the donations they will get. This type of secured and safe transaction is going to be available in more than 120 countries very soon (including India too 🙂 ). Since the donation program took place last december, 50% of authors who have opened a wallet, received a donation.

You have been in the industry for so long, managing important roles for various companies. What is your secret to maintaining a balance between work and personal life?

I only have one life and my journey has always been oriented towards my passions. Being an inventor and an entrepreneur is very important to me. My secret is my instinct, like a wolf I follow my inspiration but I am also very pragmatic because as an entrepreneur, real life gets back to you quickly, it is very efficient to keep your feet on the ground !

Handling robust pressure from work during the global pandemic has affected people’s mental health. How do you keep yourself motivated at work and maintain your sanity?

To keep my mental health state at its best my remedy is the Alps ! By the way, Panodyssey was born there, after a talk with a shepherd there. Actually, in Greek mythology, Pan is the patron god of shepherds.
To stay motivated I need to work with a team. I’m capable of leading but I need a team with alchemy to be able to create a product like Panodyssey in a flourishing ecosystem. The people I work with, Marc Biöklund, Yann Rigo, Valentin Bert, Sebastien Leforestier, Julie Carayon, François Delétrain, and many others helped me achieve a ​virtuous alternative service offering an immediate solution to creators, consumers and citizens.

You are a prolific writer. Back when you started your career, did you have any role model or someone you looked up to as an inspiration?

Leonardo Da Vinci is an inspiration to me because he was an inventor in various fields. My grandparents took me to his last rest (which is Le Clos Lucé, in the center of France) and it was like a revelation to me. I’m both an inventor and an entrepreneur and just like Da Vinci, I want to have a meaningful impact on this world. From now on, creators from 122 countries in the world can open their wallet on Panodyssey after publishing an artwork. So, what are you waiting for to publish this article on Panodyssey and open your wallet ? I’m sure Indians will be glad to make a donation to support an Indian journalist like you !

Uzma Abdulla is a Editorial coordinator for The Media Bulletin. Experienced Coordinator with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing industry. Skilled in strong program and project management. Master of Arts (M.A.) in Archaeology and Pursuing Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling. She likes to be on her toes when it comes to facilitating events and collaboration of people.

Posted in Interviews By Uzma Abdulla   Date March 10, 2021

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