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Hexa’s 14 principles of company building

May 27, 2024
Thibaud Elziere
Thibaud is the founder of Hexa. An entrepreneur at heart, Thibaud has co-founded over 30 companies through Hexa, many of which have become huge successes. He knows what makes a good idea and how to kickstart it. Previous to Hexa, Thibaud exited his first company Fotolia to Adobe.

With our ambitious goal of building 30 companies by 2030, we had to take a step back and carefully consider the type of companies we want to create. These companies will span various sectors, including B2B SaaS, health, AI, cybersecurity, and climate. But what will unite them all? What kind of companies do we truly aspire to build?

As a startup studio, we possess the unique capacity to create the companies of tomorrow and set their standards. With this capability comes an immense responsibility. That’s why we’re not just launching any companies; we strive to build companies that are models for their respective industries. We need to ensure that the companies we build not only succeed but also contribute positively to the world.

Our mission is to empower entrepreneurs to build exceptional companies: companies that are fueled with ambition and driven by purpose.

So what do we mean by that exactly? We’ve distilled our approach to company building into 14 principles below. You can also download them here.

There are a million things worth valuing in entrepreneurship, and these are just some of ours. If they inspire you, great. But if yours look different, that’s great too — variety of thought can only ever be a good thing.

Fueled with ambition…

1. Innovate in the problem that you’re solving, the solution you’re building, or the way you’re addressing the market

Whether it’s in the problem founders address, the product they build or the go-to-market strategy they adopt, the key is to create something new and to challenge the status-quo one way or another.

2. Set a bold long-term vision, the first step to achieve it and build upon that foundation

Founders who’ve go the first step but not the second are dreamers. While founders who’ve got the second step but not the first are only hackers.

3. Being a team-player will propel you faster and further than ever imagined

We’ve seen it times and times again at Hexa, when founders surround themselves with the right people and when they adopt a team-player mindset and listen to feedback, that’s when they reach their highest ambitions

4. Think bigger, your local market will always be too small

The French market is big enough to stay local but too small for you to become a global champion.  That’s why we’ve always empowered our founders to aim bigger from the very beginning.

5. Never apologize for having high ambitions

As a French-founded studio, we’ve followed the American example by openly acknowledging our huge ambitions to build companies whose impact will resonate globally.

6. Prioritize taking actions and decisions over getting it exactly right

This approach encourages experimentation and learning from mistakes. By focusing on progress rather than flawless execution, founders can seize great opportunities.

7. Frugality not only cultivates creativity but also intensifies focus and ambition

When founders operate under constraints, it often sparks creativity, forcing them to find innovative solutions to overcome limited resources, as every decision must be strategic and impactful.

…Driven by purpose

8. Keep your eyes on the stars but your feet on the ground

For founders to succeed, they need to be highly optimistic, bordering on irrationality, but they must also remain realistic to avoid derailing their company.

9. Focus on long-term value creation and not short-term value extraction

To succeed, founders need to be driven by a deep sense of mission rather than a mere desire for financial gain. They are missionaries not mercenaries.

10. Maintain humility, embrace doubt, but hold firm to your conviction

It’s important for founders to stay humble and listen to other people yet, holding firm to their conviction ensures they stay determined in pursuing their vision.

11. It's passion that fuels resilience, not the pursuit of wealth

When things get hard, and they will, founders succeed by remembering their passion and vision. Focusing solely on money and profit won't sustain them through tough times

12. Embrace kindness; it encourages others to contribute to your success

Kindness leads to kindness. Founders who are genuinely kind to others often find that their kindness is reciprocated, leading to a strong network that can help them achieve great things.

13. Diversity of thought is what makes outstanding teams

Whether it’s different backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, social classes, having lots of different people around the table leads to better and more innovative decision-making

14. Behind your company’s success are your employees

Success is intrinsically tied not only to the founders but also to the founding team. Therefore, sharing your company's value creation across all team members is essential.

Download the pdf version of Hexa's 14 Company Building Principles to digest, contemplate, and share at your own free will 🔼