Hervé MARYCo-Founder & CEO
Hervé worked in several startups and major corporations in the telecoms world. He created MARYLINK to fill the lack of digital tools to efficiently federate a complete ecosystem.
Mehdi ELMOUKHLISSCo-Founder & CTO
Mehdi is an innovation platform specialist. He holds a Ph.D. from Paris-Saclay University, where he investigated coopetition within platforms. He leads technology and research at MARYLINK.
The right tools were missing
It began with frustrations that several of us shared, as innovators. The inability to find a unified solution to address simple but diverse collaborative needs.
Back in 2014, we were active in collaborative communities and innovation groups. The ecosystems we were participating in were, in most cases, still struggling to use the right tools to manage their collaborative needs as a community.
Communities having a hard time
We basically had the situation of communities being stuck with a single, un-adapted piece of software, with some other ecosystems collecting and piling on so many diverse and heterogeneous digital tools that the users finally got lost. Eventually most of the group members ended up using emails to coordinate themselves.
What users wanted
What users were asking for was a simple, unified interface, something that could manage instant social messages and at the same time, safely manage and protect knowledge and intellectual properties for the long term. Something simple, intuitive and attractive. Something rich in features, but easy to use. Something flexible and evolutionary.
An all in one requirement
If we had to summarize it, it would have been a “LINKEDIN” like private social site with stack overflow options, but fully protected with distributed governance. And the whole as easy to use and maintain as a WordPress site ????.
This was a lot to achieve, it required top-notch experts, and we had a limited budget to start with.
Aiming high, spending low
We took the alternative course. We started very frugally with an ambitious, overall, global goal in mind. We wanted to make our way through open collaboration. A completely different path. We wanted to make a change in change management. After all, we were aiming to build collaborative open innovation solutions; and allow our customers to disrupt the way they were innovating themselves, with better collaboration and more open innovation.
Open source, blockchains and AI were no brainers
we had to prove from early on that community-driven open source and open innovation approach were the new way forward vs. early financed proprietary software models.
Innovation was in our blood
The way forward at least, in the innovation management software segment…. who would trust a provider that is selling a business concept that they are not using themselves?
We pushed our first version
We first made a beta solution purely based on existing open source modules, to get the product up and running in the minimum time. A few months later, our first customers made pilots, including several major customers in research and innovation.
Years to build