Marketplace Mechanics is BACK! After an unintentional one-year hiatus due to being busy building my own marketplace, I’m delighted to be recording MM again and to be releasing Episode 2 today.
In this episode, I speak to Jean-Michel Chalayer, the CEO & Co-Founder of LeSalon. I’ve known JM for several years now and our marketplaces are at similar stages (between Seed and Series A), so it’s always a pleasure to sit down and discuss strategy and tactics with him.
In this episode, we discuss an exciting range of topics including:
- The early days of building a marketplace
- Doing things that don’t scale to match supply and demand however you can
- Supplier vetting, onboarding and training
- Fostering a real community within your marketplace
- Advice for anyone considering starting a new two-sided marketplace
I’d love to ask a favour: once you’ve listened to the podcast, could you send me some feedback? Specifically:
- Were my questions good and interesting?
- Did you think the episode was too long, too short, or just right?
- How was the audio quality?
I’m particularly interested in feedback on audio quality as I edited and mixed this episode myself. Episode 1 was done professionally, so let me know whether you think I should continue editing myself, or getting someone more knowledgeable to do it!
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Finally, a couple of links if you want to find our more about JM and LeSalon:
2:02 Interview Begins
3:16 LeSalon’s origin story and the problem being solved
4:50 Is LeSalon the Uber for therapists?
5:32 What did the first few months look like? How did you get started?
6:44 How did you know when you had found the right co-founder? Were there any real signs you were a good match when you met?
8:20 You’ve found your co-founder – what next? What does a typical day at early-stage LeSalon look like?
10:15 The legendary LeSalon spreadsheet
13:25 What are the criteria for therapists (suppliers) joining LeSalon? What makes a good therapist?
15:31 Do you reject a lot of therapists?
17:02 How do you approach trust? How do you help your customers get comfortable with a stranger entering their home to carry out beauty treatments?
18:11 How do foster a sense of community on your marketplace?
22:55 How is LeSalon better than the competition?
24:35 How did you arrive at the business model? Has it changed since you started? And is it a similar model to competitors, or have you done something unique?
25:55 Do you control the pricing on your platform?
29:20 Do your suppliers try to take customers off the platform? (Disintermediation)
32:37 What’s your favourite part of building a two-sided marketplace?
34:30 Biggest piece of advice you’d give to someone thinking about starting their own marketplace?