The CMO Files: Alain Mevellec, Sellsy

What was the first product you got really excited about? "My first Mac, period. I'm still an avid Mac user 30 years later."

Name: Alain Mevellec

Organization: Sellsy

Job title: Founder & CMO

Location:La Rochelle, France

As a marketing design specialist and with 10 years in advertising, Alain Mevellec, co-founder & CMO, plays a crucial role in Sellsy's ergonomics, customer relationships, and marketing strategy. He also directly manages the partnership program and company development strategy. Mevellec began his entrepreneurial career back in 2004 when he co-founded a dating site, Cleargay, which grew to become a market leader and was acquired by Europe's largest dating group, Meetic, in 2007. A successful, serial entrepreneur, Alain is an expert founder on go-to-market strategy and business growth in the startup arena.

Where were you born and raised? Paris, France. I lived there for most of my life (until I turned 40). Now, I live in La Rochelle, a coastal city where I can indulge my passion for sailing.

What was your first job? My first real job was quite fun. I worked in the marketing department for Elle Magazine in Paris. I started by opening envelopes for entries to their big summer contest and ended by creating some internal ads for the magazine. That's what led me to my first venture in advertising.

What was the first product you got really excited about? My first Mac, period. I'm still an avid Mac user 30 years later. 

Who has been the biggest influence on your career? I will definitely come across as a serious fanboy here but whenever I feel a bit down business wise, I like to listen to Steve Job's keynote introducing the iPhone. When you watch it today, you understand the giant step and mega bet it was. I'd like to think you could change the future someday.

What has been your greatest achievement? My kids obviously, but from a business perspective, my agency did the artwork for Wong Kar Wai's "In the mood for love" - probably one of the best movies ever. 

What has been your biggest mistake? I don't see any big mistakes, but rather a trail of small ones. But that's what entrepreneurship is all about.

What is your greatest strength? My writing. That was my job when I was in advertising and I still write a lot of copy for Sellsy today.

What is your biggest weakness? Being too enthusiastic and moving too fast. I'm much more careful now than I was 20 years ago.

What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers? I'm not a coder but developers can't hide anything from me.

Which word or phrase is your mantra? Do what you love.

What makes you stressed? Bad revenues.

What do you do to relax? Sports, mainly on water (surf, kitesurfing…).

What is your favourite song? It changes every week.

Which book taught you most? Sapiens was really good, you should read it.

Do you have a team or sport that you follow? PSG in the French football league.

Which country would you like to work in? Any, I love moving.

Which company do you think has the best marketing? I can't pick just one. Apple and Nike.

What do you love most about your job? An ever-evolving product, endless R&D and customer happiness when we improve their experience.

What is your favourite book? I read two or three books a week and one favourite is often replaced by a new one. One I've read many times is the Count of Monte Cristo. It says a lot about human nature.

What keeps you awake at night? Nothing really, I sleep well :)