Emprendiendo a hostias

He tenido el privilegio de visitar los ecosistemas emprendedores de Bogotá, Mexico DF, Sao Paulo y Caracas en mi segunda semana en Telefónica. En todos estos lugares he podido encontrarme con [email protected] comprometidos, competentes y motivados. Cracks que están innovando en todo tipo de sectores y demostrando que Silicon Valley es simplemente un estado de ánimo y que el talento y la disrupción tecnológica y de mercados, se encuentran en todas partes.

Pero hay unos emprendedores en particular, unos titanes, que os quiero destacar, y son los venezolanos. Compañías como Sincola, socialgest, estadeboda, zomoz,  traetelo… Que no emprenden a golpes, no, emprenden definitivamente a tortazo limpio. Luchando día a día para hacer crecer sus proyectos, en una montaña rusa emocional y financiera, que en su caso, parece más bien la atracción de salto al vacío.

¿Qué plan de ventas o forecast puede sobrevivir a una hiperinflación anual del 2000%?, en esas condiciones, la economía (y la vida) entra en barrena y se dan situaciones totalmente absurdas. Un reflejo anecdótico de esta situación hace que la colada cueste 10 veces más que la habitación del hotel, o que el desayuno pase a costar el doble?!?! de un día para otro (yo lo achaqué en un principio, a un bug informático (deficiencia profesional)).

[email protected] héroes anónimos, con nulo apoyo institucional y con trabas en cada paso del camino, siguen y persiguen, desarrollan aplicaciones y tecnología con ambición global y te cuentan con un brillo en los ojos como buscan ayudar a mejorar el país, aunque sea un poquitico.

Me llena de orgullo, aun totalmente prestado, ser parte de una iniciativa que puede ofrecerles un pequeño oasis donde trabajar con cierta seguridad (a veces incluso dormir), un hombro en el que apoyarse y un trampolín al negocio internacional en LATAM y donde sea. Gustavo, Mariángela y Angel no pierden la sonrisa y han ayudado a varias Startups de Wayra Venezuela a ser seleccionadas en Startup Chile, o a trabajar en Mexico, Colombia o España apoyadas por la red.

Equipo Wayra Venezuela
El enorme equipo de Wayra Venezuela

Su ejemplo nos sirve como un cura de humildad, para todos los demás, que vivimos en economías estables, con ecosistemas de emprendimiento mucho más maduros, apoyos para comenzar en decenas de aceleradoras e incubadoras, con business angels, fondos, premios y subvenciones. Con inflaciones controladas, apoyo público y privado y la posibilidad de buscar negocio dentro y fuera de nuestras fronteras.

Puede que emprendamos a golpes, pero aquí los que de verdad se baten el cobre, son ellos. Mucho ánimo.

Nuevos retos, nuevas oportunidades

Imagino ya habéis leído las noticias, pero, aunque ya no sea novedad, quería compartir con todos el mensaje que envié a mi grandísimo equipo de CARTO:

Hola Carto(DB)ians:

As you heard in our town hall meeting, there are some personal news I wanted to share with you today, I’ve decided to move on to something new to join Telefonica by early next year, as the Head for Telefonica Open Future.

You might say, “what?, Miguel is joining the dark side!, the corporate world!”. ;).  Well, as you know, I am very personally committed with the enhancement of entrepreneurial ecosystems as founder of Chamberi Valley, organizer of the IN3 event and with many other pro-bono projects.

And I strongly believe that corporations have a great role to play here, to foster open innovation and help startups to grow and succeed. Telefonica gives me the unique opportunity to have a bigger impact in over 11 different ecosystems in Spain, UK, Germany and LATAM, which I feel is the right next challenge for me to focus on.

And the best thing is that I get to keep close to CARTO, as part of the Open Future family.

I’m leaving CARTO with incredible memories, lasting friendships and many, many amazing experiences, and I’ll never forget the unbelievable milestones we’ve achieved together as a team.

When I joined four years ago, in Eloy Gonzalo, with Emilio by my side, I already knew that Vizzuality/CartoDB/CARTO was onto something special. The culture we have is unique, the way Sergio energized everybody greatly complemented Jatorre’s unbeatable drive greatly. I treasure the amazing feeling of being part of a family in the way we all pulled together, to accomplish impossible deadlines and crazy milestones.

From an incredible product and technology with very little sales or operational infrastructure, we all had to roll up our sleeves and figure out how to build a global product and business. We are still figuring it out, we will probably always be, but CARTO is now stronger than ever.

I said no to a full sabbatical to take a seat in the rocket-ship when Javi and Sergio gave me the chance to join, and I don´t regret any minute. I wanted to play in the champion’s league of entrepreneurship and CARTO certainly delivered! It has been a breathtaking privilege to see the team grow so quickly, from the two shared desks in Lafayette to the Bushwick “up and coming” hip offices, to adding new family members in Tartu, Reston and London.

I’ve learned a lot from all of you, in many deep and personal ways, right now a few come to my mind;  Santana’s quick mind and easy going style, Jorge’s people skills, Raul’s tech wizardry,  Ben’s diplomacy, Jamon’s fully loaded hugs, Jaak’s sense of humor, Vanessa’s law & order, Andrew Hill’s charisma, Juanma’s closing magic, Emilio’s relentless work ethic, Ian’s communication tricks, Luis’s calm approach to crisis, Eva’s wide smiles and courage, Justyna’s deep ownership, Sally’s people first approach, Mamata’s humanity, Stuart’s powerful CPU, Dani’s jack-of-all-trade ninja moves, Jaime’s winning attitude, Joe’s understanding, Agnes’s culture care, Brad “noteless” accuracy, Javi’s friendship & trust and Ashley’s being-ashley mastership. I could go on and on, citing more than 200 cartoDBians I have had the honor and privilege to work with and for.

And of course Jatorre and Serg, my brothers, you make me and us proud and I wouldn’t be who I am today without you.

I hope that my “management by service” style, while annoying and controlling, has at least helped to convey the most important message of all. Each and everyone of you are CARTO, the culture, the future, does not rely in one single person but in the shoulders of all of you, with ownership and an urgent sense of purpose.

You have the incredible opportunity to consolidate CARTO as a brand and product with global impact, helping great individuals across the globe, tell the stories that really matter.

Over the course of the last weeks, I’ve been reflecting on these incredible last four years and what might come next for me. I’ve also discussed this with Javier and the board, the rest of execs and my incredible team, and I’ve realized how much I have enjoyed helping CARTO scale into an international startup from our humble beginnings.

Joining Telefonica Open Future will allow me to apply what I’ve learnt here with a wider reach and with the resources of a big corporation, and I had to take my chances to box again way over my weight. I’m convinced that now is the right time to delegate in my team and to hand over to the capable CARTO managers, which will guide us into an exciting future.

Lastly, I would never have been able to make this journey without my wife Elena there, helping me keep my marriage points on track (at least above zero), and always, always, ready to listen and to advise. This rollercoaster ride hasn’t always been easy but she’s been there with me to laugh, to cry and to celebrate the milestones.  She is my very own COO, right at my side, building our personal project and keeping the family together along the way.

This is not a goodbye, I am CARTO and you are family, and you will always have a very special place in my heart.  You will certainly see me around.