Welcome!

October 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. Since 2015 I have moved platforms. Now you can find my new posts in Medium (click here to read my latest blog post) 

You can also ready why I prefer now Medium over other platforms. 

In this site, you will find my older blog posts.

Thanks for visiting by!

Guerson

How to read your newspaper when you have small children

May 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

I love the digital world. Not necessary the technical details, but the impact it has in consumer behaviors. Not for any other reason, I surely was one of the first consumers to have the iPhone and iPad in Europe.  (Here you can see my TV Interview holding the first iPad in Spain- in Spanish, 00.55 min).

I also love to read. Even though I like reading all those recent tech news from my favorite blogs and selected sources, I enjoy at most to read to in-depth, well researched articles. My favorite is the weekly german newspaper “Die Zeit”. News, once a week with great in-depth analysis. 5 EUR per week are more than worth it.

Die Zeit App

Die Zeit App

I once wrote about the Dead of Print Media and things I would never do again, hence, I unconsciously downloaded the “Die Zeit” app for iPad and subscribe to it. What a pleasure. But despite all the excitement, after some few weeks, I cancelled my digital subscription and purchase the paper edition of it. Who would have believed that I was returning to the analog world?

3 Reasons why I switched back to paper:
1. To read the newspaper. Yes! no more Email checking in between, no facebooking, no annoying notifications nor interruptions of any kind.
2. To read the newspaper. My 2 and 4 year old kids now know I am JUST READING THE NEWSPAPER! No, I AM NOT playing the new Batman Lego Game. I AM NOT watching Toy Story 3. No, you can not “WORK” with my iPad.

My son “working” with my iPad.

My son “working” with my iPad.

3. To read the newspaper. I can finally read under full sunlight outside and enjoy my balcony.

Thanks to the usual paper size of newspaper, it is a pleasure to open it and close your self out from the world. There is surely not an App for that! O boy was I a happy man. My kids got it, and were happy. My wife got it, and was happy.

After just the fourth week of receiving my paper, things changed. My kids creatively discovered that paper newspaper can be a tool for new interactive and physical games. They surely could see how happy I was with this analog tool, hence they imitated my behavior and stop playing with their iPad. Then it happened. That day of that week when I came home that afternoon anxious about reading my new newspaper, to my surprise, I discover every single page of the newspaper spread out through the entire apartment! 3/4 of the newspaper was either destroyed, wet (!?) or was simply unreadable. I managed to rescue one section of it. As soon I try to open it to activate my please-dont-disturbe-cause-I-am-reading mode, both of my kids took the paper out of my hands and start playing with it.

There goes my paper

There goes my paper

This happened again and I surely did not have the patience to handle a paper newspaper as if it was an expensive digital gadget. I was also not in control, cause the newspaper arrived when I was not at home. Suddenly it came back to me why I unconsciously hated paper, why it was so inconvenient, so outdated. I knew I did not belong to his world and I stopped fooling my self. It was just a happy four week affair. Nothing else. I decided to cancel my paper newspaper subscription. My wife hated she was not able to see me while I was peacefully reading my newspaper anyway!

Life pleasure was restored...or that i thought.

Life pleasure was restored…or that i thought.

Some months went by, and I came back to reading daily online blogs and start again getting frustrated because of the lack of peaceful-and-uninterrupted-in-depth-content-reading sessions. Same happen with my book reading habit. My magical iPad Mini was not that magical anymore – when not been in used by my kids – and it was clearly not offering the best solution for my precious new hobby: reading!

But then it happened! The enlightenment happened when I discovered the Kindle after years of ignoring it. Why was I going to buy and carry yet another device? (and ofcourse one without the fruit logo on it!). I purchased the Kindle Paper White for about 100€ and got myself ANOTHER gadget. But my life changed! For good. I am now in my third testing week and not only I have read more books and Die Zeit articles as never before, but everybody in my house is happy!

Now, when my curious kids try to reach my new reading gadget, the answer comes almost by itself “Hey, this is not an iPad! See? See! you can only see words and all is in black an white, go away!”. My kids did not heard that last phrase. They were already gone as soon as they saw all these boring words in this weird little screen. I was saved! I can even leave my Kindle on the table next to my bed and it will always be, intacted, waiting there for me until I arrive. Now my kids know I am JUST READING. My wife can now see me and know I COULD ONLY be reading. Life had a meaning again.

My new dedicated gadget is not only the best format to perform the activity “to read” but is as convenient as my iPad. I can carry thousand of books and articles. I can browse and buy new books and newspaper from it. I can even do things that I can’t with my iPad like uninterrupted reading and I can now read at sunlight in my terrace as good as reading at night while everybody is sleeping. The reading e-ink screen is just better TO READ! Guaranteed! Its almost like reading from a real book! Because of the cross platform strategy from Amazon (well done!) I get my content sync to all of my other devices, hence I don’t need to carry another gadget with me. In case I have some minutes to read while waiting for my next dentist appointment, I can always continue reading exactly were I was left on on my iPhone. I am finally a happy man.

Picture from Amazon.de

Image from Amazon.de

I used not to get the Kindle. Why not an iPad an be able to do almost everything imaginable? Now I know. Focus. Having the power of a gadget capable of doing everything result on doing nothing 100% right. When my Kindle is in my hands, I just want and can read. When I have mi iPad in my hands, well… I may be writing a blog or checking mail or chatting with someone. All good and I love I can do all that stuff in such an incredible and beautiful device. But when I just want to read, I just want to read.

So if you read until here, because you wanted to know how to read a newspaper (or a book) when having small children, now you know. Get a Kindle!

But, did I ditch analog media for good? Not at all! During all this time, I also discovered that the best medium to read a Magazine was still in paper. Neither the iPad nor the Kindle can provide me with the same experience. For this field, the only reason to change my habit will be to have a great interactive digital Magazine to play with. So far I been disappointed by all Magazines I have tested. But there is hope! I am currently testing the new and interactive iPad App from Axel Springer “EPOS”. It is still to soon to tell, but Magazines may be about to change… again.

How to waste an opportunity 10.000 feet above sea level

April 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

Inflight Entertainment System

Last Dezember I was sitting in a new Boeing 747-8l on my way from Frankfurt to Mexico City for the christmas holidays. After more than 12 years traveling back and forth between Mexico an Germany, finally Lufthansa has upgraded the aircraft for this route. One main difference to previous planes is that every seat ist equipped with its individual inflight entertainment system. The Entertainment program is very broad now, which is good news. To my surprise, this “new” 747 8l Jumbo, which was delivered to Lufthansa in 2012, uses still a very old technology to deliver its content.

It a world where almost everyone is traveling with an iPad or its equivalent, it feels like flying back in time. I just refuse myself to get “entertained” by this old technology, and below I explain why.

First, the quality of the touch screen is the worst experience ever. Except for my back. The passenger sitting behind me need to press his screen so hard, that I can feel every touch command in my back spine. Nice finger massage neighbor! Second, the sharpness of the display is worst than any touch device I ever used, ever! Contrast and brightness, all terrible.

Finally, and most frustrating of them all: the software. Do I still need to see a mouse arrow every time I make a click like using my first 1992 Pc? I am sure this software was designed for desktop stations, then adapted for a touch environment. The entire system is damn slow and unresponsive. Of course sand clock was there, appearing every time by every command. What a waste of precious inflight time.

Despite been stuck 12 hours with this crippled entertainment system, almost everyone in the plan is using it! Of course is an individual display much better that having one screen for the entire airplane section as before. But in the area of tablets and smartphones, I refuse to watch any new film on this outdated screen (did I just forget to mention about the horrendous quality of sound it has?).

Imagine an iPad-like device. This plane has already wifi-hotspot ready (which I find amazing and have tested for the first time). The possibilities are endless. How to afford such a device? simple: Lufthansa could either rent it (traditional revenue model) or better, offer it for free and add advertising to it. You can also charge extra for wifi use.

Fortunately, I have my iPad Mini with me. And because I do like to get properly entertained, I am using my device only despite the lack of good content the inflight entertainment system has to offer. I just can´t stop but to think about the lack of vision of airlines in this particular subject. You have the attention of up to 467 customers locked in for 12 hours in a extremely reduced sitting space and all you have to offer is a current and broad content program been delivered through an outdated, crippled and frustrating medium. What a wasted opportunity.

Working for free. Why I’ve never been richer!

August 13, 2011 § 4 Comments

Inspired with a blog post of a friend about why to enjoy working for free I realized that even though I’ve  been “working” months for free: No salary, no compensations, no vacation payments (this one is easy if you consider I haven’t had vacations :), nothing! Nothing, cero, nada. Actually, I’ve been paying a lot for what I am doing right now.

Wondering why I consider myself richer?

1. Getting back to earth

My recent MBA year was without doubt the best year of my life. But fact is, we were treated as the next elite, the managers of tomorrow’s world, etc. Cut the crap, we were nothing. At least nothing yet. Most of the people I met had in fact the potential to become something big and I am sure they will. But been surrounded by amazing people make you think you deserve the world by default. I was wrong. You have to understand what you are and where you come from without all this glamour around, to really understand where you can actually get. Becoming a great manager is not owning the world nor means owning your destiny. Getting back to earth and starting from cero has been an eye opener.

2. Learning the basics

People I met during my MBA where really close to be marketing experts, financial gurus and consultant masters. We were all almost experts with net present value calculations, balance sheet readings and defining blue ocean strategies. But what about the basics? In the last weeks at my company I had to build up a stand, hang out flyers and gather potential customers emails at the SlowFood Fair. I´ve been a waiter for our TastyEvent and as a box packer for our TastyBox. I am now a learning graphic and web designer, creative artist, salesperson, film producer, photographer, accountant, just to mention some of them. Definitively none of the skills or areas learned at a top MBA program.

I am learning to do things from scratch now, which in my view is the only way to really understand your business and be able to lead and manage your future employees to do the job. The famous “I’ve been there” you get from your father applies also for the job you are supposed to lead. And this is the main flaw I saw in big corporations: Many managers trying to join the dots from A to B to C, without knowing, understanding nor wanting to know and understand what A, B or C really was. Everyone was somehow a manager and everybody just wanted to play politics.

3. Valuing relationships

Joining a paid job includes introduction, sometimes weeks or months of training and forced networking. So, even if you would like to, your will never be alone. Doing your own stuff in the other hand, is only you and your co-founders against the world and is up to you to decide which relationships to develop. This is not simply networking, but selling your idea, inspiring others to believe in you and in your project and making them help you…for free if possible, cause there is of course no money in the beginning.

Every relationship you gain is a milestone closer to success. It could be a business angel that believes in you after 5 minutes talking with you, a blogger that wants to write for you and is proactively promoting your idea and vision,  a photographer inspired taking pictures of your products without any downtime payment, or a food expert helping you to get the best food producers available. So, you really learn the value of a relationship, a business friend, a happy customer and the importance of every stockholder in the process.

4. Keeping focus

So, if launching a business is already almost a mission impossible, building up a family with a kid and baby on its way, can be quite challenging. Sometimes it’s so hard you even undermine you are in a foreign country with a foreign language and culture and a really shitty weather. You can only think what you have to do next. Because when resources are limited (or inexistence), when uncertainty (bankruptcy) is around the corner and when your business development and success depends directly from your everyday decisions and actions, you start to understand the importance of focusing. And this skill is the one I needed the most! I am still miles away from really focusing and getting things done as I wish, but I am getting everyday better.

So, if this 4 main lessons don’t make you richer, I don’t know what else can. Yes, money-wise I havent seen a dime yet, but working for free…I mean…paying to work is the best thing I have ever done. Whatever the outcome is, success or failure, I am already a richer man as I was before.

There is this mexican saying (maybe in other parts of the world also available) that “working is such a shitty thing to do, that you have to get paid for it”. So, working for free means that whatever you are doing is not that shitty.

Knowing “vs” walking the path

June 29, 2011 § 3 Comments

“There is a big difference between knowing the path and walking the path” Morpheus, The Matrix.

This is how the book of Tony Hsieh named “Delivering Happiness” starts. I don’t know if it is just a coincidence, but there has not been a better moment to start reading this books as doing it now.

I am trained engineer with 6 years of experience in a multinational prestigious engineer company. I am also an MBA graduate and have lived in 4 countries speak 3 languages. Lets say, I can say I know stuff. Maybe not much, but enough. During the past year, I started to read and learn a lot about entrepreneurship during the MBA. I worked hard developing a business plan and relationships around a fascinating business idea. We participated in the incubator program of the business school, and won 2nd place. So I can say I’ve learned stuff. Better, I know stuff.

But knowing and walking the path is not the same thing! I have just starting to walk and I can see now the difference!  I don’t know if the beginning is the hardest part, with all the big (biggest so far in my life) pressures, uncertainties and obstacles going all around at the same time. Maybe it is just the beginning of the real beginning. I don’t know, but there are days where it really feels like life around you is telling you not to go through. Deep inside of me something tells me I have to continue. And it does not necessary mean to risk even more but actually you start gaining confidence that you can make it. So, actually, risk is reducing ;) At the end of the day you realize there is only one thing to do: Keep walking. Walking, falling, standing up, learning and then start again walking. Finally, becoming good doing this again and again!

They told me “Delivering happiness” was an amazing book. A must read. And it is. It is an easy read and if you are starting to walk through the path as I am, then you will understand immediately the why. As crazy as all this looks like, as hard as it seems, this books opens your eyes by telling you are not the only one going through all this sh*t or that you aren’t the only stupid betting against  all odds.

I am convinced now that all this somehow pays off. I am starting to notice how my thinking process is changing. I am becoming from a strategist to a doer. I am miles far away to feel comfortable with myself about my executing skills, but at least I am starting and I am feeling good about it.

Knowing and just talking about stuff is nice and doesn’t hurt. Walking the path is full of pain, hard work, risk and more pain, but like sport, it first hurts, then you like it and then you become strong. So, keep walking.

It’s time to jump! f*ck it!

April 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

As this MBA experience goes to an end, I just got inspired after reading a great post of one of my clasemates regarding our great entrepreneurship class Managing Tech Startups with Enrique Dans. See below my respond to his post:

Doing and MBA is fun, interesting, great networking experience,  bla bla bla…but after a year of “vacations” is time to cut the crap and start making things happen, getting things done, start creating stuff!

Of course you can do all these for a big company as a normal employee…but you will always be that, an employee…

The great thing of the MBA is that you already moved away from your comfort zone. You became poor with a student-like life and probably you have lots of debt. But it can’t hardly get worse! Now is the time to start the venture of your life!

Everyday that goes by, our risk increases. With almost 2 kids and some debt I (of course with support of my family) decided to take the risk. F*ck it! Now is the time. Tomorrow will be to late. Should I wait and go back to my comfort zone, I know I would never ever dare to start…

It’s just about willing to try. As simple as that. As Seneca puts it: “It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare notventure that they are difficult.” 

Like getting married, getting kids and all important decisions in life, I like to compared them to jumping from a plane in a parachute (something I still have to do :). The more you think about it, the less you are willing to actually do it. Reason will say “are you stupid?”. So, less talks, less thoughts and just jump. F*ck it!

Social Media: Running businesses as used to be

April 9, 2011 § 1 Comment

20110409-115636.jpg

It was not long ago that businesses and people had good relationships. Before the industrial times and before productions went massive, our great-grandparents used to buy their food, clothes and most of the things they needed from small and independent stores in their neighborhoods. It was a small and non-connected world back then where people and business owners had relationships. Relationship made business happen.

Then the economy of industrial goods came, products became massive, cheaper and our parents had more money to buy more stuff. Conglomerates raised and the small shops started to closed or been acquire by bigger ones. We changed relationships for cheap and convenience. We now just need to go to a big store to buy around 99% of all of our needs, from groceries to furnitures. Few stores, many cheap purchases.

Interesting though, we are living once a gain new changing times. Or are we? Fact is that technology and the whole economy around the internet has changed things. Revolution? Or back to the basics? It seems that life indeed moves in circles and we are now returning to a point that used to be normal. Many companies wonders about this “creating relationship” with customers as it if was something new. Social Media, as we are experiencing it now, is just helping the world to become again a smaller place. A place where relationships are once again the most important value, as they always were.

We don’t necessary need to leave the “cheap” or “convenience” we had. Technology enables to mix both. But people and companies have to change behaviors and be able to smoothly go back to the roots.

Additionally and even more fascinate is how technology enables us now to connect with the small players still around. Despite de industrialization of goods, there are still many amazing people working hard to sustain small and independent businesses. They make great handcraft, food and other goods. They were used to be limited to sell to just in a defined local area. Many of them grew by sacrificing their artisan philosophy and relationships, others just perished. But some few survived doing the same products under the same philosophy. Because the idea of creating authentic products wasn’t a promising business, it didn’t encourage others to follow, specially after seeing how consumers kept on shifting to massive goods.

Change is happening though and small and independent artisan, producers and business can now connect to a broader audience thanks to technology and interact with all of them thanks to what we now fancy call “social media”. Consequently, the trend for the number of these type of business to grow is imminent. Other passionate producers will see there is again business opportunities to create and to establish relationships with consumers just as my grandparents where used to. Hence more and more will start new businesses.

Besides caring for organic, ecological and sustainable food, foodieSquare is pursuing this trend: creating relationships between food lovers and passionate food producers, hence support current and new artisan food producers to growth their businesses and connect them with food lovers all over Europe. The time is just right. The change is here and we are going finally back to the roots where relationships are once again the most important asset for companies!

There is no half-pregnancy! Is there half-entrepreneur?

April 4, 2011 § 2 Comments

Half pregnant? Half Entrepreneur?

Half pregnant? Half Entrepreneur?

Like with pregnancy you are either pregnant or not pregnant! There is not such thing as half pregnancy. So, is there half Entrepreneur?

Well, there is the so-called part-time entrepreneur, which is a mix between being and not being an entrepreneur. It means still having a job, reducing the risk but on the flip side, having a small business (profitable or not) to take care of. A hobby?

Well, of course it is not all black and white and it depends on many factors: the type of business, the risk willing to take, age and other family constraints, etc. Last friday, Alberto Torron (Twitter:@atorron), Telefonica employee and co-founder of todotaladros.com came to talk to us in class as part of the #ietechstartup session with @edans

Alberto sells around 4 tools per day with an average sale of 250€. This makes it enough to have a good a profitable business after one year of operations while also having a normal job at Telefonica. But I would be worried if I was Alberto. He just proved to a group of high trained MBA entrepreneurs that there is a promising market for tools in Spain. It just take the courage of two full time entrepreneurs to develop a business plan in some weeks, think big, get some funding and start executing to become the herramientas.com of Spain, or better, http://www.tools.com for Europe! This does not mean that Alberto will be out of business, I guess he has some key elements like customers satisfaction, that makes him successful despite been a small player. But Alberto has the risk of not been the tool site of choice by the general consumer, who is already saturated with so many brands and tech startups.

Again, it depends on the situation. But not going full entrepreneurship has its price and the risk is as high as going for it. It takes the same effort to raise 100k as 1 million. So why think small? Yes, I am latin and I think to understand how latins think towards risk due the economic environment we have been surrounded, but if we never think big, we will never get big. After all, failing big means learning also big.

I personally think to be on the right age and time to think big, this is why I have decided to co-found foodieSquare, an online European marketplace for food lovers. Yes, we could have started under a part-time entrepreneurship approach, but because this may be my last time to start thinking big, (age, family constraints and perhaps all those reasons why Alberto has gone part-time) I therefore have decided to aim for big and become full time entrepreneur despite by MBA loan and family (second kid on the way)!

Every day of our life that goes by, risk increases. However you see it. So, if risk is only getting bigger, then you have to start NOW! As I said: My wife is for the second time pregnant. Not half pregnant. So, for me, after some years of being just an employee, the time has come to fulfill my dream and become an entrepreneur, not half entrepreneur.

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