#17 : Meeting with collective.work

written by
Clara Cros

During this meeting we met Jean de Rauglaudre, co-founder and CEO of collective.work, a company that was launched almost 2 years ago via the start-up studio eFounders. Jean co-founded Collective with two partners, Vianney and Paul.

Vianney has a role around product, legal and finance and Paul has the role of CTO. For his part, Jean manages all the ops, marketing and sales. Jean's background is very complete, since after studying at a business school with a master's degree in engineering, he spent 3 years in strategy consulting at McKinsey. He also tested freelancing after a stint at the 42 school, before becoming an entrepreneur with Collective!

The genesis of Collective...

Jean has always been fascinated and intrigued by the freelance status, especially since he himself went through freelancing. Coming from the world of business services, he also had a good knowledge of the subject and quickly realized that more and more freelancers wanted to work on great missions. His wish was to allow these freelancers to work on more complete projects. This is how the idea of team missions, and therefore of Collective, was born.

This team approach was also a way to differentiate from players like Comet and Malt already present on the market at the time. The idea was therefore to create a SaaS allowing any freelancer to join or form a collective and to organize themselves around a common quote.

According to Collective's values, the collective is something horizontal, without a leader. However, when a collective takes on a mission, one member takes on the role of project leader to simplify governance. Regarding the subjects of the missions, the vast majority of the ideas come directly from the collectives and it is the latter that import the business into the product. However, a marketplace has been added to the SaaS to allow customers to submit project ideas for the collectives.

Collective is therefore today two products:

  • A SaaS
  • A marketplace

Collective is also 397 collectives on the marketplace, including 40 specialized in NoCode!

Showcase page of a collective

The arrival of NoCode at Collective

Collective's use of NoCode began right at the beginning, when they joined the startup studio eFounders. In fact, they were the first company in the startup studio to use NoCode technologies to launch. The eFounders product team was initially reluctant to use NoCode tools, especially because they thought SaaS was synonymous with customization. They didn't see the strength of NoCode at that level.

Their MVP was eventually built in NoCode using Stacker and other tools like Airtable, Make or Typeform. A first functional POC was built in barely 3 months and a beautiful product vision was thus made possible in the eyes of the investment funds. The concrete product was not there but the product vision was real and the funds understood that. The speed argument, and therefore the NoCode, was convincing.

Stacker - Back-office

The shareholders still wanted a technical team to be created, with a CTO, but without forgetting the NoCode. The core web app is therefore developed in javascript, by a team of 7 developers, and the NoCode is mainly used for the Ops part and the Collective marketing. Moreover, the whole site is in Webflow, Tally questionnaires are sent to customers and a lot of automations are done internally.

A pulse check allowing the collectives and the customers to validate every 15 days that the project is going well has been developed via Tally. The sending of the latter has been automated and is linked to the CRM.


NoCode yes, but in which teams?

At present, the Collective team is composed of 22 people:

  • 7 people in the tech & dev team
  • 2 people in the marketing & growth team
  • 3 in the business team
  • 2 in the finance team
  • 2 in the design team
  • 2 in the product team
  • 1 in the HR team

And in each of these teams, except in the Sales team, there is a NoCode referent!

A person from the marketing team realized 90% of the Make scenarios and it is this person who taught the tool to a person from the Ops team. On the product side, the whole team has a strong knowledge of NoCode tools and on the developer side, there is a referent who manages the Webflow part. When a project is launched in NoCode, it is all the teams that are affected!

So today there is no NoCode team but each team is composed of people using NoCode tools. However, Jean tells us that it is not impossible that a dedicated team will emerge - with a rather LowCode vision.

Make automation - Join a collective

Make automation - Join a collective

NoCode and recruitment

Today, there is no pedagogical reference to be aware of the level of the profiles on the market. It is therefore difficult to recruit the right profiles, with the expected level. The difficulty is not to find profiles but rather to find the RIGHT profiles. A certification on NoCode tools would therefore be very relevant!

As far as training is concerned, until now everything has been done rather informally. It is the people with the knowledge who naturally disseminate their knowledge within the different teams. The idea of internal coaching is an emerging idea in Jean's mind. It would also help to identify what everyone's needs are.

Currently 100% of the documentation is on Notion.

The future of NoCode

According to Jean, until two years ago NoCode was something quite exotic and today it is a reality that concerns all companies. He says he is fascinated by what automation tools allow. However, there are still some barriers that need to be overcome in the minds of some people.

Thanks to NoCode and the time savings it allows, Jean believes that we will enter a world where the business will be more of a differentiator than the product. According to him, in the near future, VCs will value the business and the ability to generate sustainable cash flow. The value of the business will therefore take precedence over the final product.

The last word

Jean shares that in the future he would like to see the entire process of exploring and testing new features evaluated more under the NoCode lens before being sent to production. ✅