E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Iniciador Las Palmas – Q&A with Rodolfo Carpintier

Gran Canaria - Puerto de Mogan in the SpringLast week Thursday I took an opportunity to take part of my first Iniciador CITY-NAME event (Entrepreneur CITY-NAME) over here in Spain, after a whole bunch of other Web 2.0 start-up events that I have attended over the course of the years in multiple countries. And I can honestly say that it wasn’t a disappointment; quite the opposite! Rather entertaining and enlightening altogether! I actually had a great time, because the event itself was also hosted in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, so it was rather easy for me to make it, since it is a short drive from where I live. Now, after spending a bit of time the last few days reflecting on the many various outcomes, I thought today would be a good opportunity to share with you folks what were some of my main highlights from the event itself.

As a starting point, "Iniciador Las Palmas" had the rather exciting opportunity to have Rodolfo Carpintier (President of DAD – Digital Assets Deployment), as the main guest speaker, which proved to be rather successful and interesting since he decided to deliver his pitch using 2.0 techniques; mainly, no slideware around to be seen, and just answer questions that the audience put together before on sticky notes, Facebook messages and tweets; and start answering them all, one by one.

Absolutely fantastic if it weren’t a bit disappointing how it may not have been as 2.0 advanced as it could have. We were all in a small room, rather cosy, very well prepared, but alas with no Internet access, no wifi, not even our very own 3G connections from our mobile devices; something along the lines of a locked up room with no external exposure other than the air from the outside. Very disappointing if you claim to deliver a 2.0 kind of pitch, and then the audience cannot do anything else other than writing stuff down on paper, because we couldn’t get access to Facebook, nor Twitter, nor our blogs, whatever. Yes, I know and do realise, it’s one of my pet peeves, but I thought for a group of around 50 people attending the event, we weren’t asking for too much, when most of us were already going into the event connected! Oh well … Let’s hope the video recording will be made available shortly, so I can point you folks to it…

Anyway, back into the event; back into a rather engaging Q&A session with Rodolfo, where he got to answer some very interesting, and thought provoking, questions from entrepreneurs, and other interesting parties from the audience, on how to get things going with their own Internet businesses. Questions coming from all sorts of angles, some of them with relatively easy answers coming through, some others tough cookies to crack! But incredibly helpful and educational to see how Rodolfo nailed each and everyone of them!

Now, I am not going to give you an account of all of those different questions and answers; and the reason for that is because both my good friends Víctor Ruiz and Esther Pérez Verdú have already done a superb job over at Iniciador Las Palmas: Rodolfo Carpintier and Las Perlas Que Dejó Carpintier, respectively, amongst several others. So go ahead and read their insightful blog posts (In Spanish) to get some further accounts of what the event was like. It will be worth your time.

What I would want to do though is try to connect "Iniciador Las Palmas" with some of the main themes I have been blogging about over here in this blog in the last few years, since, as you can imagine, there may be some questions out there as to why is this guy, Luis Suarez, working for a large corporate, multinational environment, attending a local entrepreneur event. Right? Well, here is why… Three main themes that came through that afternoon that are equally relevant in whatever the business context:

  1. Collaboration Now More Important Than Ever: Yes, indeed, something we all already know, but which I think was rather nice to confirm; whether it is team or group work (i.e. Communities) collaborating across the board with an amazing, high performing team will pay off eventually in the long run; even if your idea may not be the best of ideas! It’s all about execution; it’s all about working your way towards carrying out your idea with a brilliant pool of talent that will help make advance that same idea no matter what; it’s through that collaboration that work gets done; that the idea matures, gets improved into perhaps becoming your next best product out there in the market! Sounds familiar with how businesses feel about their products and ideas nowadays, right?
  2. Find Your Tribe: If you would want to be successful with your product sales, there is a great chance that you would need to go out there, on to the Internet, and start finding, building and sustaining your tribe to make it happen sooner, rather than later! This is very much along the lines of what Seth Godin discusses in several places and which I have recently blogged about over here and here. Instead of trying to sell your product to the whole Internet, how about starting with a tribe, your tribe, of connections who are truly passionate about your work, about your product and who are very willing to improve, through direct feedback mechanisms, how to make your product(s) even better. Work your way through finding your tribe and you will be off to a great start, to say the least!
  3. Think Global, Act Local: This was another theme that came through the conversations with Rodolfo and in today’s (Internet) world I just couldn’t help ignore. The basics is that if you are putting together a business in Gran Canaria, as an example, don’t think your only customers would be people from the island. You need to reach out way beyond the geographical barriers and reach out to a global audience! Now, this is when it surely gets interesting and exciting, because thanks to the Internet, and, specially, thank to social networks, that opportunity to reaching globally, but still act locally has never been closer than today!

    It reminds me of the superb blog post that Chris Brogan put together not longer ago under "When This All Gets Cool", which I have also blogged over here, and that pretty much nails it with this specific quote: "Give your local school teachers or library a free class on how to use the tools for their projects". It’s that local / global reach dichotomy that is probably one of the most exciting opportunities for social networks to thrive not just locally, i.e. your tribe, but also globally when thinking about communities, wider networks and a whole infrastructure behind knowledge sharing and collaboration with a purpose: that one of making a difference!

Not bad for a Thursday afternoon event, was it? I know! Quite the opposite! Really enjoyable time and lots of new things learned; mainly, that most of the same challenges that entrepreneurs face are pretty much the same challenges that the corporate world faces today as well, now more than ever! So I am thinking that it may well be a good time now to join forces, collaborate and network with one another; and learn from each other on how we can help each other meet our respective targets and goals through an intense relationship of collaboration and knowledge sharing where social networks will turn themselves into infomediaries. That, folks, is the exciting future of Social Networking and Web 2.0 out there on the Internet!

I bet you just can’t wait to engage with it all, can you? So did we! After such wonderful conversations with Rodolfo we headed down to a small bar, and enjoyed a couple of beers sharing ideas back and forth about what was a truly fantastic session; specially when you are given the opportunity to catch up with Víctor, Esther, Julio Pérez-Tomé, Kilian Barrera, Carlos Hernández and a whole bunch of other smart and talented folks! Like I have always said, physical, face to face social networking over a beer or two really rocks and it’s just the beginning to plant the seed to go further and beyond in your reach of global networks!

(Thanks ever so much to the organisers of the event for putting together a rather delightful afternoon, and, yes!, I just can’t wait for the next one! If you are local … hope to see you there! If you are global, not to worry, I will be sharing with you all some of the major highlights like today’s article!)

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  1. Me han gustado tus reflexiones. Como has dicho, es el momento de colaborar y ayudarnos entre todos y aunar fuerzas para innovar y crecer. Menos quejas y más proactividad 😉

    Espero verte en el próximo Iniciador.

    un abrazo y sean felices!

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