A little bit of everything

Fermi´s Paradox

To think about things is one of the most fascinating capabilities we have… This is a great video about it!

I confirmed I’m an entrepreneur (by working for someone else)

For the first time in more than 12 years I’ve accepted a job… and the funny thing is that it just confirmed that I am an entrepreneur.

I was 23 years old when I got out of college. As I landed my first job I didn’t realize there were other options besides getting a job working for someone else. The option of being self-employed was there, but it wasn’t normal and it didn’t strike me.

Not long after starting my first job I began to understand that I wanted to do more. I wanted to decide more. I wanted to build more (which is a curious choice of words since I’m a trained civil engineer and I was working as a construction manager, in a construction company by then). That said, I quit and started my own company. And that has been the story of my life for 12+ years. Start businesses. Build things. Face new challenges. Do it again.

Last year, when Limetree crashed and burned, I was invited to join Premium Minds. I guess I should say I was offered a job, but it felt more like an invitation. Like when a friend invites you to go to her house for dinner.
“Come and join us. We do great stuff. We have fun. It will be great to have you here.”

The funny thing is this job offer didn’t have a “job” attached.

As I found out, Premium Minds doesn’t hire people for a job. Premium Minds invites people to join the gang. And that feels good.

As I “joined the gang”, I felt the need to answer the same question several times (many of those times to myself): “What about that entrepreneurial spirit?”

What I learned during these past few months was the spirit does not depend on the ownership… It depends on what you’re doing; with whom; and how much you are motivated to do it.

At Premium Minds I found a team of people that share my mindset about some fundamental values:
– be true (to yourself and to others);
– be happy and help others with their happiness;
– be honest (and don’t trade it for anything);
– be responsible for what you do, but give others a break on small mistakes you know everybody does.

What I learned was that these values are enough for me to want to build something with these guys, for as long as they want to build something too (and they do!). And if whatever comes out of this is not completely mine, it’s ours, and that’s even better when you think about it.

That’s the reason behind the big challenge we posed to ourselves in 2015: let’s build a product together. Let’s create something that will make us proud, happy and fulfilled.

This wasn’t something completely new at Premium Minds. We do have a creative day every month focused on experimenting and trying different things. We have found it to be very good for both personal development and for morale (people like to do different and funny things).

Now we have a services company deciding to actually build a product. We began with Innovation Cast to show us the way forward: what to build; how; and to whom.

We’re just beginning and we don’t know how it will end. If nothing else I’m sure it will be a great learning experience for everybody involved.

As for myself, this experience has assured me I’m an entrepreneur: I want to build things. I want to change the world. I want to have fun doing it.

I found a place to keep doing it!

(Originally posted here)

How do I feel?

Last week we made the decision to close Limetree. It was a hard decision to make and we didn’t act lighthearted. It was made after so much consideration that the decision was almost obvious when we made it.

After the announcement, I received hundreds of emails. I spent 3 days in a row answering to them until 3 am. But since the beginning we have decided to talk directly to our users, our friends and give them the best customer service ever. This was not the time to stop doing it.

Many of the emails I received asked me the same question:

How are you?

Some presented a variant to it:

I imagine how you’re feeling and how hard it has been.

Finally, a couple of days after the announcement I could actually write a reply that represented exactly how I feel. It went something like this:

The decision was sad, but I’m not sad.

Our success fell short to what we expected, but I’m not disappointed.

I didn’t match the expectation of many (including my own) and that is disappointing, but I’m very proud of what we accomplished and very happy of the path.

Now I’ll face new and different challenges that will also bring me success, joy and accomplishment.

Bottom line, I’m feeling excited about what’s to come… and that’s my strongest feeling now!

Limetree | The end

Limetree is going to close.

Almost 3 years ago we have decided to launch a platform where every parent could save and enjoy the best moments of their children’s lives.

Along the way, this project evolved. It became mobile, with an IOS app and it also became international, reaching every continent. We’re very proud of this.

Today Limetree comes to an end. Many of the challenges parents faced when we began remain unsolved, but we were unable to reach a sustainable way to do it. And we’re so very sorry.

It is with utmost sadness and with a huge sense of frustration that we decide we are not going to work on Limetree anymore. We failed to secure enough funding or a sustainable business that would allow us to proceed.

Since the beginning, our biggest concern lies with our users privacy. It has not changed. All your memories are safely stored with us, but they’re yours. And they will always be. To ensure it, we will allow everyone to download all their memories until the 30th of November.
After that period, we will completely delete all the contents and informations from our users accounts.

The same way we will refund our paying customers for the remaining of the duration of their accounts. Last but not the least we have to thank you for all the support, feedback and love. Thanks to you, this has been an unforgettable journey. With all our hearts: Thank you!

See you soon,

Hiring for startups…

A startup is not a regular business and it definitely is not the small equivalent to a big company.
Entrepreneurs get it (sometimes the hard way) but, many times, they face several problems related to hiring and retaining talent.

This happens for several reasons and it’s not easy to solve the problem. From my part, I think that a good first step is to read this article and make sure that everybody you hire for your startup also reads it.
Hope it helps…

Hack it!

Zendesk was hacked and announced it in the most straightforward possible way:

We’ve been hacked

No BS, no complicated words, no useless explanations. But more, they also said:

We have an investigation underway and do not have the answer to every question.

And that’s it. 


Just to understand how it worked, today I clicked on the button that says “Follow” on the top of my blog. 

A model option opened with a field to write the email address. So far, nothing special. Until I read the text over it: “Join 350 followers and receive the new posts on your inbox”. Cool, right?

Wrong. I don’t have 350 followers. Sorry to let you down, but I have a very limited audience… 

Still it’s good to understand how WordPress is pimping its blogs…

How do you fake urgency?

Urgency boosts productivity. You don’t do it perfectly, but you’ll do it much, much faster. But it is necessary to be in a hurry to be able to do that. And most of the times you can’t do it the same way if there’s no urgency in it. And not even the prospect of an urgency is enough to make you run as you do when you really have to.
There’s a similitude between work and the famous law for gases: gases will use all the space available; work takes all the time you have available. The same task might take you 1 week or 1 month, depending on how much time you have on your lap…
So if you want to make sure you ship… The question remains: how do you fake urgency?

Quote of the day…

I don’t have a clue on who said this, but I totally agree. Being someone who talks too much many times, I’ll try to follow this rule in the future:

“If you really think about it, you can make it brief.”

Someone got the “qwerty” wrong…

In our experience with Limetree we have come to some conclusions about internet activity, its users, how and when people interact with web-based services, etc.

Some are just confirmations of general rules that were made public in quite a while. Others are more surprising conclusions.

For instance, it was already written over and over again that people use the internet specially on weekdays and particularly during working hours. It is definitely true! On weekends usage divides by 2 or 3. It makes sense… people have more to do on weekends than using the web.

What I never imagined was the most common typing mistake: if we’re talking about the internet, it’s mistyping the “n” for the “m”.

So look out all of you looking for .con domains… that’s going to be fabulous.

Or anyone selling a laptop with a modified “qwerty” keyboard where the positions of the “N” and the “M” are swapped. That would definitely be a winner!

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