In this video I speak about the success of many American companies, especially about Google’s. My argument is that these companies base their strategies on simplicity and in finding out how to replicate the same business model in many different places with different cultures, in finding out what mankind has in common. European and Asian businesses many times are tied to historical prejudices that prevent them to succeed in a global scale.
This video was filmed during my presentation at EVCA‘s 25th anniversary in Madrid.
In 1977 when I was 17 years old, there was a song that was very popular in Argentina called “Volver a los 17”-which kind of means “Return to being 17 years old” but sounds much better in Spanish. It was sung by Mercedes Sosa. Last month, thanks to an interview I did with the journalist Andres Lopez, from Clarin called “My first Job” I travelled back to when I was 17. This innocent journey back in time took hold of me with a great force. The result is the first autobiographical post on this blog. What follows is the story of my life from September 1976 to September 1977. This article was already published in my Spanish blog and was one of the most commented ever. It was also published by Noticias, the Newsweek or Time of Argentina. The translation was done by my cousin Carla Diamond. Somehow I was unable to translate my own story and she helped me out. Here it goes and as a warning I would like to say that I will continue to edit this story online and will not include editing marks as it improves. The challenge here is that I don´t believe in translation but rather than rewriting the story into another culture, in this case the English culture.
First let me give you the setting. I am now 47 years old and when I got the call from the Argentine journalist enquiring about my first job I was sailing with my wife and the youngest of my four children, baby Leo, to the Isla del Aire in Menorca. While on our way back my PA called and told me that I had an appointment to speak with a journalist in Buenos Aires. When I got on the call the writer asked me to talk about my first job. And then my journey back in time begins. He asks me to “Return to being 17 years old” and I find myself traveling back with an intensity that makes our conversation almost tense. At that moment, thanks to the mix of the most modern of technologies (the cell phone) with the most ancient (memory), I returned to when I was 17 and found myself overtaken by the deepest emotions, by a profound sadness. These sensations were so strong I found it incredibly difficult to stay focused on the subject of the interview- my first job as an apprentice carpenter in a shipyard in San Martin on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. When the interview was over I felt obliged to share the story of the most important year of my life in this blog. In writing about my first job, I realize that I can’t do this without telling the tragic story of the Argentine military dictatorship and its actions, of the years where friends and loved ones were kidnapped and murdered. The age of youth, where the first deep relationships built on love were created for me, was forced to live next to the first pain of mourning, of grieving without funerals; this is the story of los “desaparecidos”, the disappeared. They died… without funerals.
Thanks to Víctor and Albert, who work at Fon Labs, I was able to unlock my iPhone. The outcome has been great. Never mind the fact that I can use the iPhone now with any operator in the world. That is little compared to the fact that now I can download all sort of apps, games, that I can finally turn the iPhone into a product of my choice. I wonder if Apple knew all along that hackers would liberate the rigid structure of the iPhone into a wonderful, pocket Mac.
I was first on the cover at Forbes in November 1999, shortly after Jazztel went public. They interviewed me again a few weeks ago –while I was on vacation in my farm in Menorca— and the article, focusing on my activities as an entrepreneur and a high-risk, early-stage tech investor, is already online.
The Internet is going wild with formats that blend old media with new media. As I write this post I am watching the CNN/Youtube Democratic Debate in which people on the internet ask questions over Youtube. This is just brilliant for all involved and especially a coup for Youtube.
There´s another format that is making it big on the Internet and is Blogtalkradio. Blogtalkradio is a new way of expression that blends radio, VOIP, telephony, and blogging. This new venture is the creation of Alan Levy, my friend and former partner and it has already gathered significant momentum with many top bloggers and non bloggers holding their live sessions at the site. And probably what is most important about Blogtalkradio is that it has also become the long tail of talk radio (you too can be a Howard Stern…).
Loic´s wife Geraldine was kind enough to film the rest of the super interesting session.
Now that I abandoned Microsoft for Ubuntu and Mac I am about to drop my Blackberry as well. Blackberry for Mac sync is very bad and there´s nothing for Linux. Plus on Microsoft it only syncronizes with Outlook which is the source of most problems with Microsoft. Even in Parallels where I still have Microsoft I don´t have Microsoft Office nor do I use Outlook. And now that there´s Gmail for mobile devices the benefit of Blackberry has decreased. Yes on one hand the interface is quick and easy to use but on the other with Blackberry you only have the e mails of the last 3 days while with Gmail you have the whole year and it´s searcheable. Moreover the Blackberry I have comes with only 25MB from Vodafone and it invariably fills up and this forces me to go to the web site to erase the messages something I hate to do. And Vodafone has made a horrible web site for Blackberry that ONLY works with Internet Explorer. Nobody I know still uses Internet Explorer. Firefox rules. So long Blackberry after so many years? Well I dumped Microsoft so Blackberry may indeed be next.
And I don´t really want to know what people are doing. I use Twitter to share my thoughts. And I would only want to hear about some people´s thoughts. What follows is an example of what I twitter.
In this video I show how I use Ubuntu and some cool new social sites like Dopplr.
Around a month ago my Windows XP Lenovo had a major crash and left me without some of my data for 5 days and I was so angry that I swore never to use Microsoft Operating Systems again. In this video I described my experience using Ubuntu. It was a great one.