Friday, April 15, 2011

Our Last Session with Rodolfo Carpintier from DAD

Unfortunately this was our last session of Managing the Tech Start Up with the glorious Enrique Dans. The good thing is that we finished it in great style with Rodolfo Carpintier from DAD, an incubator that provides capital and works closely with tech entrepreneurs in the development of new ventures in the online arena.

Rodolfo explained us the difference between viable projects and those that actually need investment. He said that at DAD they find around 120 viable projects every year but only 5-10% of them actually need funding. According to him in 90% of the cases the pitch entrepreneurs have is not aggressive enough for an investor. Well, here I was thinking about my idea of opening an Online Marketing Agency and we should reach 2MM dollars in revenues by 2015 with very small investments. It wouldn't make much sense to bring investors here and we won't get even closer to the revenue projections that some of my classmates have in their business plans.

Another good point he mentioned is on how careful we should be in giving shares. Rodolfo mentioned about the cost of developing a platform that would be 250K and having a CTO responsible for it with 10% of the shares and getting 5MM in a valuation of 50MM. Is it worth? Well, I agree that this doesn't make sense but one of our colleagues, Parisa, was saying that in her case the CTO was not only a developer but was also helping to create the strategy of the business. In the end Rodolfo agreed with her view and so did I. Actually, I'm pretty much in the same situation with my business plan but my partner is an essential part of our business strategy and differentiation. I believe it's more than fair for him to get a 50% share. In the end even with the best shareholder agreement you won't go far if you don't invest time in selecting your partners and in giving them fair incentives for what they deliver.

Rodolfo talked about many other things but I would like to focus in the one regarding guess what? FOCUS... Parisa was giving an example in which her idea would have 4 different revenue streams and even though they would occur in different phases, he said the team will start focusing on them in the beginning and that it's hard enough to be successful with companies that are focused, when they aren't forget it. To a certain extent I agree with her and I think the business plan should consider alternatives, on the other hand I go with Rodolfo in the sense that there's a right time to start implementing each one of them.

Well guys, it has been a pleasure and I hope you enjoyed as much as I did. Thanks for the 116 people who have visited this blog until today (I've been running it for just a month), for the ones who posted comments and for the ones who personally gave me feedback about this blog. I'm currently with plans for my own tech startup and I hope to share more ideas about this and other ventures with you. Don't hope to listen much from me until the end of May since I'll be working on my plans while switching to holiday mode (MBAs don't sleep much :P).


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Breaking News: Minube gets into another level of customer interaction

Chicos y chicas, after our lecture with the Minube chico, I became an Minube member and seeing that my poor city São Paulo (which Spaniards insist in translating to San Pablo) had very poor content, I decided to share my favorite places.

For my surprise I was checking their page today and suddenly I was in the first page as a highlight and they even wrote something about me based on my profile. I was really amazed to see that and to realize that they created a social network where there are people behind it also generating content. I even received an email from a guy that works there thanking me for my suggestions and saying that if I need help he's there for that.... I'm really amazed by how much care they have with the people in the website ;)