Tune in for spicy and insightful conversations on all things SaaS, products,(technical) leadership and product. In Pulse, the podcast, madewithlove’s Vincent Battaglia talks with leaders in the tech startup and scale-up ecosystem. There are also some podcast episodes where Vincent talks with his own colleagues about everything he comes across when working as a CTO in residence for various clients. This series are called “Between Us”.

Listen to the episode here

Pulse Episode #1: Jeremy Le Van

Jeremy Le Van is currently VP of Product at Cowboy but is most well-known for being the co-founder of Sunrise, a calendar application that was acquired by Microsoft in 2015. He’s made the most of his career in the US, spending around 10 years between New York and San Francisco, but now he’s back in Europe.

Find out Jeremy’s viewpoints on:

  • What was Silicon Valley like when the iPhone got released?
  • What did the MVP of Sunrise do?
  • What are the key features your app should have?
  • Where should your startup be in 2020?
  • What is good product leadership?
  • And more

What is an MVP and what did the MVP of Sunrise do?

It all started on the way to SXSW, a conference and festival in Austin, Texas. Jeremey and his co-founder Pierre noticed that they never used default apps, except for the calendar. They realized that time management was key since it’s a fixed resource. The first version of the app was actually a newsletter, customized for each person.

MVPs should be the minimum viable version of a product — and this team shipped a very simple version. MVPs nowadays often need more complexity. Or do they? Jeremy’s team knew it was time to transition from MVP to app-only after they were already very close to their customers.

Key features

There is no silver bullet or everyone would do it. Timing is important, according to Jeremy. The best thing you can do is focus on one complicated problem that no one wants to solve. Focus on that with a small dedicated team. Build the things that excite users and with some luck, things will take off.

The city matters not

Before, you had to be in the US. Then you had to be in London or Berlin. Now, that is changing, partly due to COVID but also because networks are more global. Now it’s less important where you are located. You can find VCs across Europe that are willing to invest in startups.

Know what’s good

Experience helps you identify what works and what doesn’t. Seeing what doesn’t work in other products can help you design something better. There are many ways to be successful. One of Jeremy’s tips is to eliminate meetings so people can focus on their specialties. Good design and good engineering will get you far. Focus on the real needs and the metrics that guide them. Be a part of the product.


Jeremy rounds out the episode with a discussion about fixing hardware issues, remote work, which industries will evolve the most post-COVID, and cool upcoming features for the new Cowboy bikes.

Want to listen to more podcast episodes?

We have a bunch of podcast episodes ready for you. Take a look at our new podcast, Pulse! The podcast page has our episodes listed and you can listen your way through what we find interesting in the tech ecosystem.