Yesterday we had a FON Board meeting in London attended in person by Danny Rimer, from Index Ventures, Niklas Zennstrom, from Skype, Antonio Fuentes and myself, from FON, and over the telephone by Janus Friis and Mike Volpi. I have built 5 tech companies in my life, Viatel, Jazztel, Ya.com, Einsteinet and FON and, frankly, I have never seen a board as good as the FON board.
Danny Rimer is an amazing VC. Compared to other VCs I worked in the past –who see themselves mainly as auditors–, Danny´s attitude is one of a partner who is both demanding and giving. Danny combines the ability to deliver key contacts to FON with a creative mind for marketing. He´s help so far has been invaluable. Mike Volpi is on one side the big corporate guy, he runs over $7bn of revenue at Cisco, but, on the other side, Mike –having been on the board of Skype– has a thorough understanding of the challenges that small companies face.
Mike helps us with reality checks on any proposals we have for major corporate partners. Niklas is an outstanding, extremely hard working CEO. This year I took at 2 week vacation, which is very little for European standards, and when I asked him where he had been on vacation he said nowhere. I was amazed. He must be the only Swede who did not take a vacation this year! And not only he works hard, but we share a love for technology applications and can spend hours talking about them. We also occasionally jointly invest as we did in Technorati.
He and Janus are both great at discussing and improving specific features of the FON network. When we presented the new maps we are that will show active hotspots –not only with coverage radiuses, but also with access to the personalized portal of each fonero so you can see the pictures, videos, blogs that they beam to their neighbors– they recommended that we also show when active connections are going through them. We are now looking into implementing this feature as well together with the travel logs that we already have as FONeros go from FON access point to FON access point. Niklas knows about technology, finance, business, and is extremely well organized, (something I envy).
Lastly, Antonio Fuentes, our CFO, is a great board member as he is very good at making deals that are win win for FON and our partners. Many of our lead FONeros (country managers) go to him to close deals when they are stuck with something as it recently happened with the ONET deal. Antonio has a friendly Spanish way to close deals that everyone likes.
Well, as you can see, I am very proud of our board and grateful to it and I wanted to say so in my blog.
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