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Tiphaine Guerout, Founder of Koovee: 'Ambition and Taking Joy in Failing Should Be Taught at School'

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Tiphaine Guerout is an entrepreneur based in France, founder of Koovee, a company that is reinventing the disposable spoon and offers an alternative to plastic tableware.

Koovee sells edible cutlery (made from wheat, tastes like a cracker), hoping to reduce single-use plastic. It was designed to withstand hot and cold water, not to break and to be used with all types of sweet or savory dishes. We found out about Koovee’s mission from a Sifted article about Europe’s top 30 tech innovators.

Tiphaine’s background is in product management, marketing strategy and SEO. A few months before founding Koovee in 2017, she co-authored and released a book called Le web marketing (in French).

From our interview with Tiphaine you’ll find out about her reading habits, what book changed her perspective on things, and what fundamental skills she believes should be taught in school.

What books had the biggest impact on you? Perhaps changed the way you see things or dramatically changed your career path (business and non-business, if possible).

I read quite recently Mermoz by Kessel. Mermoz is one the first pilot that crossed the Atlantic ocean by plane and contributed to accelerating the postal industry. He was truly an innovator.

He was really focused on achieving the cross over the Atlantic ocean, went through a lot of ups and downs but never doubted and kept fighting. Even though he got captured, almost died from dryness or from the cold in the Cordillera of the Andes, even though most of his close friends died in plane crashes. Truly inspiring to realize the level of determination he had.

Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell us about it?

The Happiness Advantage gave me some life hacks that changed my perspective on things.

With small exercise you can be less moody and see a bit more the positive things rather than the negative ones.

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We’re interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How do you make time for reading? What format do you prefer? Do you have a note-taking system or any other techniques to retain information?

Before bed and during the weekend.
When I am really tired, I rather read a comic book which is easier and some of them can be really interesting. I recently read one about the French revolution of 1870 which was mind-blowing.

I always take notes by underlining the parts I want to remember. When I finish a book I always re-read only the underlined texts – just to get the best parts. It also helps me have an active reading: I am always looking for the best sentence that summarizes the main idea of the author.

With the jobs market more and more unstable and insecure, lifelong education is key. At the same time, learning resources are becoming increasingly commoditized and know-how also becomes obsolete faster. What fundamental skills, those that will always matter, do you believe should be learned in schools?

Ambition and taking joy in failing should be taught at school. Americans are better than French people in that perspective.

Links where you can follow Tiphaine Guerout or find out more about her projects:

The books mentioned by Tiphaine Guerout in our interview:

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