Interview: Another e-Commerce Worldview with Thibaud of the DODEQA Project

This week we reached out to Thibaud who is travelling the world to meet exciting movers in the e-commerce sphere. He was so kind to answer the questions we raised and will be guest posting a summary of each country he is visiting on ecomPunk from now on. We are always excited to hear from him and look forward to great stories!

But now enjoy the interview that lines out the background of Thibauds trip and tells us how the idea of his DODEQA project was born:

What inspired you to go on a 12 month e-commerce journey around the world?

Last year, from Frebruary to August, I have been working on a consulting project with Shopify – a fast-growing Canadian eCommerce platform – as part or the MBA program I was completing at Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. This project made me realize that eCommerce was the career path I wanted to embrace while raising my awareness on the fact that I may need some more knowledge and skills about the industry to launch my own company.

Quite at the same time, I stumbled upon The Art of Non-Conformity a really cool book in which Chris Guillebeau introduces the concept of the One-Year, Self-Directed, Alternative Graduate School Experience, that offers a customizable plan to fit the needs of any aspiring student.

I knew what I wanted to do, what separated me from achieving this objective and a solution to fix that: The DODEQA Project was born! Between November 2011 and October 2012, I am traveling around the world to meet eCommerce professionals, interview them and learn from their experience. As a complement, I am reading a lot about eCommerce through books and blogs and last week I even launched a very small project to start implementing some of the things I learn: Friends, Family & Fools.

Where do you stay in the cities you want to visit? Are you still looking for places to stay?

As I stay roughly one month in each city, I usually rent a flat because it is cheaper and more convenient than a hotel room when it comes to working.

However, in Tokyo – where I am while writing these words – it appeared to be the opposite and I ended up staying at a hotel in the district of Asakusa.

So far, I have tried to take care of lodging one to two weeks prior to arriving in a new city to avoid stress and logistics issue: so, I don’t know yet what my future homes look like!

What has been the most impressing experience so far?

Well, the experience of traveling full-time on its own is completely amazing: it is intense and you never know what is going to pop up and blow your mind.

But here are my Top 3 most impressive moments in the tour so far:

1. The Great Wall in China – see pictures here – is one of the most beautiful places I have never been: it is huge but quiet and loaded with history.

2. The DMZ in South Korea: going on the front line between the two Koreas is an intense moment that makes you feel the tension and get a better understanding of this “sleeping” conflict.

3. Practicing Katana with a sword master in Japan: thanks to a friends, I have had the opportunity to attend a Katana training session and I happened to practice too. That was extraordinary and unforgettable!

Let’s see what will happen next!

Do you have already any idea what to do once you arrive back in France?

There are three broad topics I passionate about: travel, eCommerce/Entrepreneurship and Self-Improvement. I am working on different projects that will let me deal with these three topics as part of my activity.

The original goal of The DODEQA Project was to prepare myself to start my own business in the eCommerce industry so, chances are I will launch a store sooner or later!

Also, this one-year, unordinary experience is providing me with the opportunity to develop some ideas and I am working on publishing projects to share them.

Last but not least, I will keep on blogging on DODEQA!

Thank you very much Alexander for giving me the opportunity to do this interview with you. Exciting Commerce & eComPunk really rock!

We thank you!

Make sure to follow the DODEQA Project on Facebook and Twitter for more updates from Thibaud.

About Alexander
Serial Entrepreneur & Founder in eCommerce - VP @NewStoreInc - Podcasting @theecomweek - Startup mentor @Venture_Villa

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