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Wise Words with Paul-Frédéric Viès

Telecoms & Mobile

Entering the crowded VoIP market, Voxtrot aims to set itself apart through ease of use. We spoke to the company's ambitious founder Paul-Frédéric Viès.

Paul-Frédéric Viès left his job as a consultant in 2009 to focus on launching his first startup, Voxtrot. The company secured a group of investors and recruited programmers with the necessary experience to realize their vision. After 18 months of development, the first version of the service was released in February 2011. Voxtrot is a free mobile app that seamlessly integrates into the phone’s standard calling function and automatically makes calls free when Voxtrot users talk to one another. Voxtrot “works as if your mobile carrier is giving you free worldwide mobile calls.” No logins, usernames or complicated passwords are required, and users need not create any separate contact list. Instead, they simply dial their phone as they always do.
Thanks Paul-Frédéric!
You can read more about Voxtrot in our article here, or visit the Voxtrot website here.
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Routine is a mass murderer; yeah sure you know what you can expect at the end of the day, the month, the year, but life is a great journey, and most people spend more than 50% of their lives involved in a more or less lucrative business. You might as well make sure that you don’t die of boredom trying to make a living. Creating your own business is great adventure. In the end, it’s the journey that matters, don’t turn-off the flame in you…
Thanks Paul-Frédéric!
You can read more about Voxtrot in our article here, or visit the Voxtrot website here.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Buy gold….NOW
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Routine is a mass murderer; yeah sure you know what you can expect at the end of the day, the month, the year, but life is a great journey, and most people spend more than 50% of their lives involved in a more or less lucrative business. You might as well make sure that you don’t die of boredom trying to make a living. Creating your own business is great adventure. In the end, it’s the journey that matters, don’t turn-off the flame in you…
Thanks Paul-Frédéric!
You can read more about Voxtrot in our article here, or visit the Voxtrot website here.
10. If you weren’t working on Voxtrot, what would you be doing?
God knows…renting pedal boats in Mallorca, making wine in Burgundy, wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Buy gold….NOW
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Routine is a mass murderer; yeah sure you know what you can expect at the end of the day, the month, the year, but life is a great journey, and most people spend more than 50% of their lives involved in a more or less lucrative business. You might as well make sure that you don’t die of boredom trying to make a living. Creating your own business is great adventure. In the end, it’s the journey that matters, don’t turn-off the flame in you…
Thanks Paul-Frédéric!
You can read more about Voxtrot in our article here, or visit the Voxtrot website here.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
100 million users. A lot of blood, sweat and tears…
10. If you weren’t working on Voxtrot, what would you be doing?
God knows…renting pedal boats in Mallorca, making wine in Burgundy, wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Buy gold….NOW
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Routine is a mass murderer; yeah sure you know what you can expect at the end of the day, the month, the year, but life is a great journey, and most people spend more than 50% of their lives involved in a more or less lucrative business. You might as well make sure that you don’t die of boredom trying to make a living. Creating your own business is great adventure. In the end, it’s the journey that matters, don’t turn-off the flame in you…
Thanks Paul-Frédéric!
You can read more about Voxtrot in our article here, or visit the Voxtrot website here.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Whenever you undertake something in life you do it with imperfect information, you make assumptions about potential customers, competition, the market, but also about what’s a good idea and what’s not in your eyes. Time tells you that you were always wrong, or at least never totally right. But isn’t it always the case? I look back and try not to regret any decisions I took. Standing and falling, that’s the purpose of life, I don’t have an ambition to fight the laws of nature.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
100 million users. A lot of blood, sweat and tears…
10. If you weren’t working on Voxtrot, what would you be doing?
God knows…renting pedal boats in Mallorca, making wine in Burgundy, wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Buy gold….NOW
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Routine is a mass murderer; yeah sure you know what you can expect at the end of the day, the month, the year, but life is a great journey, and most people spend more than 50% of their lives involved in a more or less lucrative business. You might as well make sure that you don’t die of boredom trying to make a living. Creating your own business is great adventure. In the end, it’s the journey that matters, don’t turn-off the flame in you…
Thanks Paul-Frédéric!
You can read more about Voxtrot in our article here, or visit the Voxtrot website here.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
The thrill of not knowing what tomorrow is made of. One thing is sure, the “ups” are much more fun when you’ve actually experienced real lows.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Whenever you undertake something in life you do it with imperfect information, you make assumptions about potential customers, competition, the market, but also about what’s a good idea and what’s not in your eyes. Time tells you that you were always wrong, or at least never totally right. But isn’t it always the case? I look back and try not to regret any decisions I took. Standing and falling, that’s the purpose of life, I don’t have an ambition to fight the laws of nature.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
100 million users. A lot of blood, sweat and tears…
10. If you weren’t working on Voxtrot, what would you be doing?
God knows…renting pedal boats in Mallorca, making wine in Burgundy, wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Buy gold….NOW
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Routine is a mass murderer; yeah sure you know what you can expect at the end of the day, the month, the year, but life is a great journey, and most people spend more than 50% of their lives involved in a more or less lucrative business. You might as well make sure that you don’t die of boredom trying to make a living. Creating your own business is great adventure. In the end, it’s the journey that matters, don’t turn-off the flame in you…
Thanks Paul-Frédéric!
You can read more about Voxtrot in our article here, or visit the Voxtrot website here.
6. What drove you crazy when building your business?
People who don’t respect their engagements is probably one of the worse things for any start-up business. There is little room for error with limited budgets and constant time pressure. You need to cope with all these things in an optimal way to create a successful business. That’s why you must rely blindly on all the people you work with. When that’s not the case, you have a serious problem.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
The thrill of not knowing what tomorrow is made of. One thing is sure, the “ups” are much more fun when you’ve actually experienced real lows.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Whenever you undertake something in life you do it with imperfect information, you make assumptions about potential customers, competition, the market, but also about what’s a good idea and what’s not in your eyes. Time tells you that you were always wrong, or at least never totally right. But isn’t it always the case? I look back and try not to regret any decisions I took. Standing and falling, that’s the purpose of life, I don’t have an ambition to fight the laws of nature.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
100 million users. A lot of blood, sweat and tears…
10. If you weren’t working on Voxtrot, what would you be doing?
God knows…renting pedal boats in Mallorca, making wine in Burgundy, wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Buy gold….NOW
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Routine is a mass murderer; yeah sure you know what you can expect at the end of the day, the month, the year, but life is a great journey, and most people spend more than 50% of their lives involved in a more or less lucrative business. You might as well make sure that you don’t die of boredom trying to make a living. Creating your own business is great adventure. In the end, it’s the journey that matters, don’t turn-off the flame in you…
Thanks Paul-Frédéric!
You can read more about Voxtrot in our article here, or visit the Voxtrot website here.
5. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
Honestly I don’t have the pretension to claim I know what defines a successful entrepreneur. But I like to think that it’s not up to me to define whether I am successful, in the end it is the people around you who make and define who you are. Success is looking back and saying did I really do my utmost to turn this into a successful project, can people rely on me, do people respect me for my optimism and will? In my eyes these are the things that matter. If no one can stand you but you grow a multimillion business, can you claim that you are really successful? Unfortunately, there is no secret ingredient. Hard work and iron will are a good starting point.
6. What drove you crazy when building your business?
People who don’t respect their engagements is probably one of the worse things for any start-up business. There is little room for error with limited budgets and constant time pressure. You need to cope with all these things in an optimal way to create a successful business. That’s why you must rely blindly on all the people you work with. When that’s not the case, you have a serious problem.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
The thrill of not knowing what tomorrow is made of. One thing is sure, the “ups” are much more fun when you’ve actually experienced real lows.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Whenever you undertake something in life you do it with imperfect information, you make assumptions about potential customers, competition, the market, but also about what’s a good idea and what’s not in your eyes. Time tells you that you were always wrong, or at least never totally right. But isn’t it always the case? I look back and try not to regret any decisions I took. Standing and falling, that’s the purpose of life, I don’t have an ambition to fight the laws of nature.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
100 million users. A lot of blood, sweat and tears…
10. If you weren’t working on Voxtrot, what would you be doing?
God knows…renting pedal boats in Mallorca, making wine in Burgundy, wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Buy gold….NOW
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Routine is a mass murderer; yeah sure you know what you can expect at the end of the day, the month, the year, but life is a great journey, and most people spend more than 50% of their lives involved in a more or less lucrative business. You might as well make sure that you don’t die of boredom trying to make a living. Creating your own business is great adventure. In the end, it’s the journey that matters, don’t turn-off the flame in you…
Thanks Paul-Frédéric!
You can read more about Voxtrot in our article here, or visit the Voxtrot website here.
4. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on Voxtrot?
During the week I love to hit a restaurant with the crew. Winter is snowboarding season of course, during the summer I like to go to Val d’Aosta and raft down the Mont Blanc rapids or go for a walk in the mountains. Spending time in the wild is a great way to meditate and evacuate tensions.
5. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
Honestly I don’t have the pretension to claim I know what defines a successful entrepreneur. But I like to think that it’s not up to me to define whether I am successful, in the end it is the people around you who make and define who you are. Success is looking back and saying did I really do my utmost to turn this into a successful project, can people rely on me, do people respect me for my optimism and will? In my eyes these are the things that matter. If no one can stand you but you grow a multimillion business, can you claim that you are really successful? Unfortunately, there is no secret ingredient. Hard work and iron will are a good starting point.
6. What drove you crazy when building your business?
People who don’t respect their engagements is probably one of the worse things for any start-up business. There is little room for error with limited budgets and constant time pressure. You need to cope with all these things in an optimal way to create a successful business. That’s why you must rely blindly on all the people you work with. When that’s not the case, you have a serious problem.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
The thrill of not knowing what tomorrow is made of. One thing is sure, the “ups” are much more fun when you’ve actually experienced real lows.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Whenever you undertake something in life you do it with imperfect information, you make assumptions about potential customers, competition, the market, but also about what’s a good idea and what’s not in your eyes. Time tells you that you were always wrong, or at least never totally right. But isn’t it always the case? I look back and try not to regret any decisions I took. Standing and falling, that’s the purpose of life, I don’t have an ambition to fight the laws of nature.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
100 million users. A lot of blood, sweat and tears…
10. If you weren’t working on Voxtrot, what would you be doing?
God knows…renting pedal boats in Mallorca, making wine in Burgundy, wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Buy gold….NOW
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Routine is a mass murderer; yeah sure you know what you can expect at the end of the day, the month, the year, but life is a great journey, and most people spend more than 50% of their lives involved in a more or less lucrative business. You might as well make sure that you don’t die of boredom trying to make a living. Creating your own business is great adventure. In the end, it’s the journey that matters, don’t turn-off the flame in you…
Thanks Paul-Frédéric!
You can read more about Voxtrot in our article here, or visit the Voxtrot website here.
3. Can you describe a typical working day?
There is no such thing as a typical working day really. Depending on priorities at a given moment, I’ll be coordinating improvements of the website, launching a mobile ad campaign, planning development of the next feature, working on fixing bugs, recruitment, administration, etc. Because nothing ever works out exactly as planned, the key is to improvise to solve daily issues while sticking to big lines of your long term strategy.


4. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on Voxtrot?
During the week I love to hit a restaurant with the crew. Winter is snowboarding season of course, during the summer I like to go to Val d’Aosta and raft down the Mont Blanc rapids or go for a walk in the mountains. Spending time in the wild is a great way to meditate and evacuate tensions.
5. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
Honestly I don’t have the pretension to claim I know what defines a successful entrepreneur. But I like to think that it’s not up to me to define whether I am successful, in the end it is the people around you who make and define who you are. Success is looking back and saying did I really do my utmost to turn this into a successful project, can people rely on me, do people respect me for my optimism and will? In my eyes these are the things that matter. If no one can stand you but you grow a multimillion business, can you claim that you are really successful? Unfortunately, there is no secret ingredient. Hard work and iron will are a good starting point.
6. What drove you crazy when building your business?
People who don’t respect their engagements is probably one of the worse things for any start-up business. There is little room for error with limited budgets and constant time pressure. You need to cope with all these things in an optimal way to create a successful business. That’s why you must rely blindly on all the people you work with. When that’s not the case, you have a serious problem.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
The thrill of not knowing what tomorrow is made of. One thing is sure, the “ups” are much more fun when you’ve actually experienced real lows.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Whenever you undertake something in life you do it with imperfect information, you make assumptions about potential customers, competition, the market, but also about what’s a good idea and what’s not in your eyes. Time tells you that you were always wrong, or at least never totally right. But isn’t it always the case? I look back and try not to regret any decisions I took. Standing and falling, that’s the purpose of life, I don’t have an ambition to fight the laws of nature.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
100 million users. A lot of blood, sweat and tears…
10. If you weren’t working on Voxtrot, what would you be doing?
God knows…renting pedal boats in Mallorca, making wine in Burgundy, wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Buy gold….NOW
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Routine is a mass murderer; yeah sure you know what you can expect at the end of the day, the month, the year, but life is a great journey, and most people spend more than 50% of their lives involved in a more or less lucrative business. You might as well make sure that you don’t die of boredom trying to make a living. Creating your own business is great adventure. In the end, it’s the journey that matters, don’t turn-off the flame in you…
Thanks Paul-Frédéric!
You can read more about Voxtrot in our article here, or visit the Voxtrot website here.
2. Voxtrot has some pretty stiff competition, what sets it apart?
Indeed, competition is fierce and some players are strongly anchored in the market. However I believe that simplicity of use, high voice quality over all carrying networks and low battery consumption will give us the edge over competition. Right now our top priorities are to integrate a high quality sound engine to render even higher voice quality and make sure we release the iOS client ASAP.
3. Can you describe a typical working day?
There is no such thing as a typical working day really. Depending on priorities at a given moment, I’ll be coordinating improvements of the website, launching a mobile ad campaign, planning development of the next feature, working on fixing bugs, recruitment, administration, etc. Because nothing ever works out exactly as planned, the key is to improvise to solve daily issues while sticking to big lines of your long term strategy.


4. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on Voxtrot?
During the week I love to hit a restaurant with the crew. Winter is snowboarding season of course, during the summer I like to go to Val d’Aosta and raft down the Mont Blanc rapids or go for a walk in the mountains. Spending time in the wild is a great way to meditate and evacuate tensions.
5. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
Honestly I don’t have the pretension to claim I know what defines a successful entrepreneur. But I like to think that it’s not up to me to define whether I am successful, in the end it is the people around you who make and define who you are. Success is looking back and saying did I really do my utmost to turn this into a successful project, can people rely on me, do people respect me for my optimism and will? In my eyes these are the things that matter. If no one can stand you but you grow a multimillion business, can you claim that you are really successful? Unfortunately, there is no secret ingredient. Hard work and iron will are a good starting point.
6. What drove you crazy when building your business?
People who don’t respect their engagements is probably one of the worse things for any start-up business. There is little room for error with limited budgets and constant time pressure. You need to cope with all these things in an optimal way to create a successful business. That’s why you must rely blindly on all the people you work with. When that’s not the case, you have a serious problem.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
The thrill of not knowing what tomorrow is made of. One thing is sure, the “ups” are much more fun when you’ve actually experienced real lows.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Whenever you undertake something in life you do it with imperfect information, you make assumptions about potential customers, competition, the market, but also about what’s a good idea and what’s not in your eyes. Time tells you that you were always wrong, or at least never totally right. But isn’t it always the case? I look back and try not to regret any decisions I took. Standing and falling, that’s the purpose of life, I don’t have an ambition to fight the laws of nature.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
100 million users. A lot of blood, sweat and tears…
10. If you weren’t working on Voxtrot, what would you be doing?
God knows…renting pedal boats in Mallorca, making wine in Burgundy, wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Buy gold….NOW
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Routine is a mass murderer; yeah sure you know what you can expect at the end of the day, the month, the year, but life is a great journey, and most people spend more than 50% of their lives involved in a more or less lucrative business. You might as well make sure that you don’t die of boredom trying to make a living. Creating your own business is great adventure. In the end, it’s the journey that matters, don’t turn-off the flame in you…
Thanks Paul-Frédéric!
You can read more about Voxtrot in our article here, or visit the Voxtrot website here.
1. Where did the idea for Voxtrot come from?
Some friends in Geneva had been working on a VoIP client prototype for Symbian devices. The client was grass roots and servers could only handle a couple of hundreds of users. Voice quality was pretty good though, I would even say above average. I was sitting on a terrace in Amsterdam and talking to this couple from Argentina, we drew the conclusion that we did not use existing VoIP clients. Why? They just didn’t work well, or they required login and felt like a phone in your phone. Not pleasant and easy to use. When I came home I directly called my friend and asked him how long it would take us to cover more platforms and develop a simple, seamlessly integrated VoIP client and a scalable backend that could support millions of users. And away we were…
2. Voxtrot has some pretty stiff competition, what sets it apart?
Indeed, competition is fierce and some players are strongly anchored in the market. However I believe that simplicity of use, high voice quality over all carrying networks and low battery consumption will give us the edge over competition. Right now our top priorities are to integrate a high quality sound engine to render even higher voice quality and make sure we release the iOS client ASAP.
3. Can you describe a typical working day?
There is no such thing as a typical working day really. Depending on priorities at a given moment, I’ll be coordinating improvements of the website, launching a mobile ad campaign, planning development of the next feature, working on fixing bugs, recruitment, administration, etc. Because nothing ever works out exactly as planned, the key is to improvise to solve daily issues while sticking to big lines of your long term strategy.


4. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on Voxtrot?
During the week I love to hit a restaurant with the crew. Winter is snowboarding season of course, during the summer I like to go to Val d’Aosta and raft down the Mont Blanc rapids or go for a walk in the mountains. Spending time in the wild is a great way to meditate and evacuate tensions.
5. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
Honestly I don’t have the pretension to claim I know what defines a successful entrepreneur. But I like to think that it’s not up to me to define whether I am successful, in the end it is the people around you who make and define who you are. Success is looking back and saying did I really do my utmost to turn this into a successful project, can people rely on me, do people respect me for my optimism and will? In my eyes these are the things that matter. If no one can stand you but you grow a multimillion business, can you claim that you are really successful? Unfortunately, there is no secret ingredient. Hard work and iron will are a good starting point.
6. What drove you crazy when building your business?
People who don’t respect their engagements is probably one of the worse things for any start-up business. There is little room for error with limited budgets and constant time pressure. You need to cope with all these things in an optimal way to create a successful business. That’s why you must rely blindly on all the people you work with. When that’s not the case, you have a serious problem.
7. What motivates you to keep going?
The thrill of not knowing what tomorrow is made of. One thing is sure, the “ups” are much more fun when you’ve actually experienced real lows.
8. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Whenever you undertake something in life you do it with imperfect information, you make assumptions about potential customers, competition, the market, but also about what’s a good idea and what’s not in your eyes. Time tells you that you were always wrong, or at least never totally right. But isn’t it always the case? I look back and try not to regret any decisions I took. Standing and falling, that’s the purpose of life, I don’t have an ambition to fight the laws of nature.
9. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
100 million users. A lot of blood, sweat and tears…
10. If you weren’t working on Voxtrot, what would you be doing?
God knows…renting pedal boats in Mallorca, making wine in Burgundy, wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
11. Tell Springwise a secret…
Buy gold….NOW
12. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Routine is a mass murderer; yeah sure you know what you can expect at the end of the day, the month, the year, but life is a great journey, and most people spend more than 50% of their lives involved in a more or less lucrative business. You might as well make sure that you don’t die of boredom trying to make a living. Creating your own business is great adventure. In the end, it’s the journey that matters, don’t turn-off the flame in you…
Thanks Paul-Frédéric!
You can read more about Voxtrot in our article here, or visit the Voxtrot website here.