Speaker Insight Series - Rémy Astié

Rémy Astié, CEO at Vauban

Delighted that Rémy Astié, CEO of Vauban.io has kindly offered his thoughts on our speaker insight series. We’ve borrowed the format from Tim Ferriss’s book ‘Tribe of Mentors’. You can read about the book here and buy it directly here.

Throughout the book, Tim poses 11 questions to his interviewees with the request to respond to 3 to 5 questions.. or more, if the spirit moves them. See Ciaran's answers below:

What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

Influenced me:

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius – This book can change your mindset and the way you look at the world. Do not let appearances fool you, it is incredibly modern and suited for 21st-century life.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight – It is the history of Nike’s founder Phil Knight. I read it during my last semester of Uni when I was still hesitating on if I wanted to be – basically - an Investment Banker or an Entrepreneur. Reading Shoe Dog left me with an addiction to the adventurous life of an Entrepreneur, and I decided once for all that it is what I wanted to do.


The Count of Monte-Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – It’s simply the best adventure novel I’ve ever read.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari – This book is a thrilling resume of the History of Humanity written from a Biological and scientific point of view, yet you can read and enjoy it with no knowledge in history, biology or science. That’s what makes it exceptional.

What purchase has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?

I bought new headphones (Sony WH-1000X M3). Ok, they were over $100, but I absolutely love them. I’m a huge music buff so I use them to rediscover my favourite albums and listen to great podcasts on my commute.

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

A bit of a boring answer, but: I invested £7,000 and 80h a week in my company, Vauban.io and I could not be happier that I did. I have been and still am enjoying every bit of the journey

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?

I was one not so long ago so I’ll wait a few more years before answering this one.

What are some bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

I think entrepreneurs, especially in Europe, are always told – often by people that never created a company - to wait for decades of experience before they start a company.

They’re also told that they should spend a year carefully preparing market studies, business plans of all sorts and generally take their time before getting started.

I believe the opposite; you should get started when YOU feel ready, and when you do so you must be fast and aggressive.

These 5 year financial projections before the company even has an MVP are mostly irrelevant academic exercises and they drain your energy.

When you want to start a company and have a great idea, you’re filled with an unbelievable energy. That energy doesn’t last forever if nothing happens. You need to use it to build a product and sell it – nothing else. Feedback and happy clients will maintain that energy for you.

Even incorporating can wait in some occurrences (and I’m in the business of incorporation! 😊).

You can learn more at Vauban.io

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