Zeit·geist = spirit, essence of a particular time

A collection of food-for-thought posts and articles on technology, business, leadership and management. 

WebCongress US: Why Superman wears his underwear outside his pants? - Tech trends & patterns

Actually this is a presentation about technology trends, patterns and mobility but, given the audience at WebCongress held in Miami James L. Knight center I had to look for a catchy title. Head on to slide 32 for a wonderful graph on Smartphone adoption where you can see where the world is at today compared to US and EU 5 countries. Thanks to analyst Horace Dediu of Asymco.

[slideshare id=28014475&doc=webcongressmiami2013whydoessupermanwearhisunderwearoutside-online-131107133803-phpapp02]

The deck is 51 slides long but there are another 50 in the original draft, pretty much covering everything I could find from real experts around tech. More importantly, at the end of the presentation, slides 46 onwards, you'll find what this means to people, and their reason behind the rising new generation of entrepreneurs.

As a summary, this is the new context we face:

  • New paths in Maslow’s pyramid
  • ‘truth’ is a tweet, photo or video clicked & sent away
  • New definitions of ‘success’: money may not be in
  • Access to luxury more important than owning luxury – Rise of sharing economy
  • Self-realization and self-actualization online
  • (Win)^3: You help me, I help you, we help others
  • Klout score in your resume
  • Managing man-machine symbiosis, key competencies.
  • Global network, global thinking, global objectives. A collective intelligence arising (Singularity)

Consequence of historical events:

  • Reduced sense of security since 2001 terrorists attacks
  • Destabilized economy since Global Financial crisis 2008
  • High unemployment levels – ‘Evil’ corporations
  • Increasing perceived fiscal pressure – need to self sustain or get out the system
  • Pervasive & cheap computing everywhere
  • Tech-entrepreneur heroes – Dorsey, Zuckenberg, Larry, Sergey
  • All tools you need in the web: crowdfunding yourself (kickstarter)

Loss aversion decreased dramatically for new generations, a 'nothing to lose' context fosters entrepreneurship. We'll all meet there.



III edicion del evento, que Ismael elQudsi y su gran equipo de Internet Republica organizan anualmente. Coincidi con Ismael en el ultimo webcongress. En realidad, para ser exactos, nos encontramos en twitter, no pudimos desvirtualizarnos, y luego el vio la presentación que hice en el webcongress, le parecio extraña para venir de un "Vicepresidente" anquilosado y me dijo que fuese a su evento.

Trendtopic con 103.000 tweets avalan lo que fué un grandísimo evento, muy, pero que muy bien organizado, mérito de Ismael y su equipo. Quizás para mi, lo más impactante es la relación coste/reach del evento comparado con las métricas que usamos en la multinacional.

Aquí podéis ver el replay completo del evento:


Y la presentación que hice, 45 slides, en slideshare, atención al mapa de posicionamiento en formato 3 en raya de Google, Apple, Microsoft, Nokia y RIM desde 2001 hasta ahora, slides 12-19, revelador:

Internet estuyo mayo2012 @efernandez short publish[slideshare id=12980472&w=425&h=355&sc=no]

#InternetesTuyo fue TT en twitter ese día, y arrastrado por la corriente, también @efernandez en Madrid y luego a nivel nacional.
Y la entrevista con Agora news:

FlashForward: watching your children now is a sneak peek into the future.

A strange sense of urgency drove me to write this post, aware it's going to be emotionally biased, a consequence of deep understanding of what the future will bring, similarly to what happened in the TV series FlashForward, theorizing about the impact on humans if suddenly, we all, could see and live 2 minutes (and 17 secs) of our future ahead. What would you do differently now if you were to know what's going to happen? Think about it for a second, wouldn't it be stressful?


In the wireless industry, my industry, there is so much to do, and so little time...(funny clip here). When I met Miles Flint last week in UK, I found myself talking for more than half an hour just to update him on the current status. Change is the only permanent thing in my industry, and truth to be told, in the last three months, many things changed in my markets (Spain, Portugal & Mediterranean) reshaping the scenario.

In parallel, seems to be it starts to be easier for me to meet with other executives in airplanes or in transit, at airports, than back at my home country, in Spain.  Same morning, prior to my meeting with Miles, I found myself sitting in the plane discussing (actually arguing) with Miguel Milano, EMEA president at salesforce.com, about BlackBerry and what BlackBerry is about vs Apple (he is a confessed Apple fan since the 80ies).

I met Miguel at Club Malaga Valley, a tech initiative in the south of Spain. Miguel and I are members and supporters, formerly VP at Oracle at that time, Miguel is definitively, someone with an opinion.

Same exact points were raised in both discussions, summarizing now for convenience:

1. Myths:

No matter how tough facts or figures are, both Miguel and Miles struggle to believe canalys gave RIM #1 smartphone spot last year in Spain, or GfK reporting 54% of smartphone prepay (1 out of every 2 smartphones sold in prepay) is BlackBerry. Definitively, US media influence is too strong at this side of the pond, if I want to fight it, I'll need to do it from the right side.

2. BlackBerry story:

I explained both where RIM stands strong and differentiates, following the internet paradigm, is all about production vs consumption (of content), active vs reactive, doers vs watchers, upload vs download. BlackBerry is simply better for content production: tweeting, facebooking, wordpressing (blogging: actually Forrester reports 42% of professional journalists using BlackBerry). An end to end approach: easier and better input mechanisms (keyboard) combined with close integration of apps and OS powered by the most efficient cloud messaging service.

Action point: we, RIM, are not properly marketing these facts, and we definitively should.


3. The future (as per this post title... I've seen it):

This is it, future is all about everything around us connected to the internet (Internet of Things) delivering data back and forth into the cloud, massive data (Big Data), and proliferation of new services and apps (Cloud Computing) that will deliver mobile experiences for us, humans (post PC era) in new devices, namely smartphones, tablets and the evolution of those.

As an example (same I used with Miles and Miguel): your smartphone will be able to monitor in real time your heartbeat (among other things like basic emotions and other biometrics), these data will be send over wirelessly to the cloud where an array of different cloud services will take intelligent decisions (without human intervention) based on different criteria, for instance, if your heartbeat drops suddenly from 80 to 40 beats/min, and your facebook age is above 55, weight more than 85 Kg with no Endomondo records of physical activity in last 2 years, then.... you probably have a heart attack and need assistance, therefore, and based on your GPS location, the closest medical service will be called to action.

This is one of the thousands of different services and use scenarios our smartphones will need to handle in the future, to make this a reality we need a strong post-PC wireless hardware and RTOS (Real Time Operating System), trully multitasking, interconnected to a powerful infrastructure (cloud) to handle any of those many different scenarios even simultaneously, including real time data, decisions and actions while doing everything else we already demand today from our devices (did I say multitasking?, I should have said extreme-multitasking). It's not by coincidence QNX, early version of BlackBerry 10 OS was just designed for that.

Finally I was able to capture Miles' and Miguel's attention.... although couldn't 'convert' them yet.

Miguel is today and will remain an Apple fan till we release a BB10 tempting experience in the 2nd half this year, however his 14 years old teenager is a BlackBerry evangelist, and, although Miguel struggles to understand why, this is a backdoor to change his perceptions and turn him back, which is something I am confident we will.

I guess the point is, if your own children, who will rule the world after us, have a preference for a different technology, watching them now is sort of a sneak peek into the future, isn't it?

#Laconnetwork: los emprendedores del corner atlántico. Arteixo

"Mi padre es de León y mi madre de Burgos"

Aquí teneis la presentación de hoy en #laconnetwork, descargable desde slideshare

Gracias por todo Franky y a la gente de KIM por el trabajo de embajada.

Nos vemos en la próxima. Update: sera en Junio, habra mas de 100 slides y las compartiremos y editaremos en vivo durante la charla

Laconnetwork 27 jan 2012 @efernandez short slideshare[slideshare id=11292602&w=425&h=355&sc=no]

Videos del evento aqui: "...mi padre es de León, mi madre es de Burgos": [embed] http://qik.com/video/47696258 [/embed]

http://qik.com/swfs/qikPlayer5.swf #laconnetwork 2years, Arteixo

Y por último, la foto de mi padre de allá por el 60 y tantos a la que hice referencia durante la presentación (increible la fuerza que tiene un padre en la audiencia, "...venga, a trabajar!"

Ranking of best executives 2011, Spain: el Economista

Last Tuesday, the financial newspaper el Economista published the ranking of best executives in Spain. A yearly public poll comprising main sectors of the industry. By mistake, or by chance (can't find myself any other reasonable cause), I was included in the pool of telecom's candidates.

Thanks to people voting, and more importantly, to those who didn't vote me. Both groups made the poll come to an unforeseen result, taking my candidature to the second position right between the winner, Johan Andsjo, CEO of Yoigo, and Mr. Cesar Alierta, president of Telefonica

An honor to be included in this ranking among top tier individuals like Francisco Roman (President, Vodafone Spain) or Jose Maria Castellano (CEO at ONO, the fixed carrier).

Apologies to all candidates and other excellent professionals (not included in the survey), for irreverent intrusion. (I really felt like stepping in somebody else's house).

As usual, there is a root cause to this. Masha Lloyd's entry in Facebook, last Sunday, sparked the whole thing. Masha is Yoigo's comms director, ex-colleague and British friend (the adjective is important here).

Her FB entry brought to my attention this survey, and, my name was in the candidate list, ... and, there was race, ... and, I had a PC in front of me with an empty twitter status...

Online polling is a matter of interest to me. I do believe there is a great opportunity turning 'analog' voting into an online, digital process with smartphones (I'll talk about this in the future).

Surprisingly, web polls are still rudimentary and they still miss many of the social aspects around the process, not to mention poor implementation for mobile access. For instance:

- The race to the Top:

Since the very first moment when the web poll starts, and once a critical mass of votes is reached, there is a polarization process towards the two leading candidates. Typically, the minimum critical mass is around 20% of all voters. At the end, there is a one to one fight between these two. Voters are influenced and tend to vote one or the other, diluting any possibilities for the remaining candidates (the same effect we see in politics, there is a symmetric pattern).

Votes turn to be conditioned rather than impulsive, despite the fact you couldn't see the web poll status at first sight, hidden behind the click to a button.

- Campaign elections:

On Sunday, as I was on a budget, I ran my own campaign on a PC, with a pack of donuts, a twitter account, my facebook page and linkedin.

First lesson, candidate influence is key. It is not the same to see a candidate list in el Economista web page than receiving a personal request to participate directly from one of the candidates. The P2P (Person to Person) approach increases favorability significantly (this explains the huge investments from political parties around candidate roadshows, make sense now to me).

My initial strategy on Sunday, phase 1, was pretty straight forward, spread the word and reach as many people as possible to increase participation in the poll (without conditioning the voters) as I was confident my candidature had higher awareness and better attributes than many other competitors (we made record sales of BlackBerry this year in Spain, among other things). It was all about leveraging on brand awareness.

It worked nicely. A critical mass of votes came in the next 48 hours, climbing from 10th to the 4th position, overtaking Paco Roman (paradoxically), and, from there reaching the 3rd place, tailgating Mr. Cesar Alierta in 2nd position at that moment.

Moving into phase 2, from Wednesday onwards, the polarization effect started after Mr. Alierta was relegated to the 3rd place (I really hope he doesn't take it into consideration) and all I needed to do was to close the gap with the winner who, the previous day, multiplied his votes (and I am saying 'multiplied' instead of 'added' for reasons Masha will understand for sure).

On Wednesday I withdrew my personal campaign and let the long tail effect do the rest. We ended up in s-e-c-o-n-d place finally, contrary to all expectations.

As a conclusion, short term marketing strategies do really work and they definitively play a role towards the elections result.

- Online influence:

This is a controversial statement: I do think democratic elections need to evolve and differentiate votes. They should factor in contextual parameters both for candidates and voters, and include metrics like voter influence (klout) or professional competencies (linkedin), applicable, for instance, in the case referred here in this post.

From an user experience point of view, this information should be presented visually, and dynamically in real time, comprising candidate comparisons and voters comparison as well (yes, I envision a Cascades' based interface running on PlayBook doing all of this).

In this way, 'technical' or vertical polls, as in this case, selecting best executives of a given sector, will become more genuine, much more valuable, with voters taking informed decisions, avoiding alterations of the election's course from technofreaks running ego-driven, unconventional digital marketing tactics (although truth to be told, perfectly valid).

Merry Xmas


(Written on a plane from London to Madrid with a BlackBerry 9900)