Crossing The Chasm (extended summary of the book)

Crossing The ChasmSome months ago I installed a corrupt plugin into my old WordPress that completely destroyed it and caused the loss of all the content there. Since I didn’t have any backup of the database I thought I’d better forget about recovering my old content (in Spanish) so I started the blog you are reading now (in English). Among all the posts I had there, I was specially sad of having lost the post I did about the famous book Crossing The Chasm from Geoffrey Moore. It was an extended summary of that book. Another factor of sadness was that it had many inbound links. Maybe the main reason for that is because it was written in Spanish and since the original book is only available in English most of the references out there are only in that same language.

Well, the good news today is that thanks to the amazing website InternetArchive.com I managed to recover my original blog post :) So in the following link you will find an extended summary in Spanish of Mr Moore’s masterpiece. This is a mandatory business book for all the people who work doing marketing for innovative technology products.

As a very short introduction I will say that the book discovers to the reader a very special period of time in the technology adoption lifecycle (by the market). This is specially important because it applies to all new innovative technology products. All this products will need to face this phase that the author refers to it as “The Chasm”. Also the author points out that the chasm is where most of the new technological products die in their efforts to reach the big market. The book is divided in two parts: on the first one we will understand why does that chasm exist. On the second one we will find some guidelines that will help us maximize our chances to successfully overcome that chasm.

This book was written in 1991 but it is still very valid today. Maybe today it even more useful when we realize the amount of new products that are being created in the technological field thanks to the rise of crowdfunding campaigns and having access to low cost hardware prototyping. I hope you find it useful!

(to read the extended summary in Spanish click here)

Around the world in 131 days

RTW itinerary evolutionIt looks to me as it was yesterday when I started this great adventure that was about to lead me to meet awesome people and visit many wonders spread all over the planet. Well, now I can say “mission accomplished!

131 days after, I’m back home. It is time now to process all the information and experiences I’ve lived during the past months. Despite what will eventually come out from it, I want to state that this adventure has been worth living. I deeply believe it has changed myself somehow and it has opened my eyes in many ways that is hard to imagine that it would possible to had happened in the depressed version of Spain we are unfortunately living in, for too much time now… My intention is to write a post about some of those findings.

Actually, this trip was not as well planned as many people would have done… Improvisation has become my main rule (what a nice way to say that I’m a lazy boy! :P ). Starting with the fact that I booked my Round The World (RTW) ticket just 1 week before jumping into the first flight or other improvisations like adding many extra stops all with less than 24h notice, attending amazing events like Burning Man (with less that 2 days of preparation) or Geeks On a Beach in Philippines, etc. The image attached at the begining of this post illustrates the evolution of the itinerary during the time. As you can see, at the very beginning it was a two months trip to San Francisco but ended up visiting 23 cities in 15 countries and spending almost 5 months to complete all of it. What follows is the final itinerary: Barcelona – New York – Chicago – San Francisco – Palo Alto – Los Angeles – Las Vegas – Grand Canyon – Burning Man – Tokyo – Seoul – Shanghai – Hong Kong – Bangkok – Singapore – Boracay (Philippines) – Siem Reap (Cambodia) – Ubud/Bali (Indonesia) – Sydney – Melbourne – Dubai – London – Dublin – Madrid – Barcelona. I know I missed many important regions like LATAM, Africa or India among others, but this only means that I should do another trip shortly!

RTW Josep luggageSome random advice based on my experience are: reduce your luggages (mine was 17Kg but I guess that it could be reduced to 12 – 15Kgs). My suggestions for a summertime trip is to bring with you 4 t-shirts, 1 shirt, 1 shorts (it would be ideally if they are hybrid swimming pants), 1 trousers, 1 towel and sunglasses. In terms of underwear, I guess that being equipped for 7 days in a row would be enough. Regarding electronic devices, I would suggest to only bring with you your phone and maybe laptop/iPad. It could be a good thing to have an external battery. In my case I carried: 2 phones, laptop, ebook, iPad mini, 2 goPro’s (WTF!), a digital recorder, external battery, 5 tripods. Too much…
Going to hostels is a good option not only because you save a lot of money, but because it helps you to easily meet a lot of people and have fun.
Doing a little bit of planification will save you a lot of money in booking flights. I recommend you to use a RTW ticket because it is very cheap option and have a lot of advantages: it allows you to do as many changes on the dates as you want with no extra cost (you even can modify the dates of missed flights without cost… I did it!). There are many ways to take advantage of the frequent flyer’s miles, check this website to learn about how to hack this programs.
Focus on experiencing everything and meeting people. Leave no regret behind. Be free don’t set time constrictions to yourself. Embrace the unknown.

Maybe some of you are thinking in doing a trip like mine (I strongly encourage you to do so). In that case you may find useful to have the example of my final budget distribution so you can make an idea of how much money you could end up needing:

RTW trip budget allocation

Some notes here: In my case I avoided using hostels or airbnb. Avoiding hostels was a huge mistake. Airbnb did not fit well with my improvised trip strategy… (you need some time in advance to arrange you accommodation with airbnb). I spent a lot more money in accommodation but thanks God I had some friends on the way that hosted me (special thanks here to Di-Ann and Elies). I ended up being a pro user of booking.com, hotels.com, hoteltonight, hotelquicklyhipmunk and agoda.com among others.

The amount of money spent on flights is sensible higher because I booked many last minute flights (up to ten) that contributed a lot to increase this section. Here what I’ve been using to book the flights are skyscanner.com and kayak.com
Transportation includes everything (metro, taxi, boats, car, etc.) excluding flights. In my case, what contributed the most here is that I rented a car in California for 5 weeks and I drove like crazy! I did more than 8.000Kms, so I spent a lot in fuel.

Before ending this post, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all the people I’ve met during my way. This people has been the key element that made of this experience a huge success. Many times people ask me how I manage to meet all these interesting people… Well, there is no secret formula here. I guess it is a result of the not written rule that says “good people knows good people“. All I needed to have was a few contacts in advance and those people helped me with many introductions to some of their contacts. Also I relied a lot on the serendipity factor, it had a huge impact.

I will do my best to post shortly some conclusions of this trip, so stay tuned. As a headline I will say that “I’ve seen the future”!

Chicago Photo Gallery

Day 13-15. Chicago. July 14 – 16.

This was my first time in Chicago but unfortunately it was very short (less than 48h). Despite the little time I spent there, I liked a lot the city. Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the US in terms of population (2.7M people) following New York and Los Angeles. At the first sight Chicago looks like a little New York but less frenetic, a little bit more rural, cleaner and with a true passion to floral ornaments on the streets and gorgeous public fountains. What follows are some pictures I took there:

 

New York Photo Gallery

Some images I took in NYC:

Interviews in New York

Day 7-13. New York. July 8 – 14.

My initial idea was to do a short post about each interview I’ve done so far but instead of doing it I will integrate all them in a single post so this way will be easier for me to catch up. My goal is to report each day about that day’s activity. I think that is the most interesting thing to do when you are doing a blog about your trip, don’t you think?

What follows is the rest of interviews I’ve done in NYC besides Amol Sarva and Liva Judic:

John Borthwick

I had the chance to meet with John Borthwick, founder and CEO of betaworks. I think that John right now is one of the persons more active and with more impact in the New York entrepreneurial scene. His concept of how to create an ecosystem is very interesting, as his own project betaworks is. It is not easy to explain what are they doing there, but I will sum it up to: they invest in startups, they build projects and they buy companies.

Prior to betaworks John was Senior Vice President of Alliances and Technology Strategy for Time Warner Inc. John’s company, WP-Studio, founded in 1994, was one of the first content studios in New York’s Silicon Alley.

A little bit more about betaworks: it started out in 2007 as a Twitter-focused incubator of sorts, having both invested in Twitter and sold one of its inventions, Tweetdeck, to the company. It was also known as an investor, making early bets in winners like OMGPop, GroupMe, Venmo and Tumblr (the sale of which produced a nice “single digit millions” return on a $50,000 seed investment). Lately they bought Instapaper and Digg (the last one for just $500.000). The most amazing thing is that they have been able to make Digg cool again. Some other companies they have in their portfolio are: Chartbeat, bitly, dots, Giphy or bloglovin among others.

Iñaki Berenguer

Iñaki Berenguer is a spanish entrepreneur who in 2009 started his own company, Pixable, from his apartment in New York. Three years later Singtel acquired his company for $26,5 million. Despite I have seen Iñaki in several talks before, this was the first time I talked with him and what I noticed was that he is a really smart guy and a humble person.
During the conversation, Iñaki explains why he decided to start a company, how he detected the opportunity, how they approach the business model, when to perserve or when to abandon or what are the main changes after being acquired.

Will Peng

I know Will Peng for almost 2 years now. The first time I met him was in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress, and from the first sight I knew he was related to design based on the way he dressed. And a some minutes later I knew my intuition was not wrong since he had studied design and he had been working as product designer for Hot Potato and Drop.io, both acquired by facebook. But this was just one side of Will. The other one is as an investor. Right now he is General Partner at Red Swan Ventures, a VC firm based in New York focussed on early stage investments. Talking with Will for me is always inspiring. This time I asked him about how to design a product and the importance of the design nowadays, importance of having metrics to get investment, important factors he checks before doing an investment, the best and the worst of being an investor, and some advices for entrepreneurs.

David Lerner

On my old Google Reader I was subscribed to several feeds. One of those feeds was from Dave Lerner. Dave is the Director of Entrepreneurship at Columbia University in New York. Dave is also the founder and host of Venture Studio where he interviews the entrepreneurs, investors, writers & personalities that comprise New York City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and beyond in one-on-one interviews & discussions. Dave is 3x Entrepreneur and also Angel Investor besides Professor of Entrepreneurship. He is the creator of the Startup Genome, an open-project that wants to map out all the entrepreneurial ecosystems in the world. My talk with Dave was a little bit more focused  on the academic side of the entrepreneurship, and my first question was about if it is possible to teach entrepreneurship or it is maybe more a genetic thing. How is the entrepreneurial DNA? What every student entrepreneur needs to know? (based on a series of Dave’s post with the same topic) and finally common mistakes that early entrepreneurs do.

Frank Denbow

Thanks to Diego Saez-Gil, from WeHostels, I was introduced to Frank Denbow. His background is in Computer Science and he is a very active entrepreneur in New York. Besides his own project  StartupThreads, Frank is the NYC curator for Startup Digest and Startup Weekend, so he is one of the most well informed about what is happening on the entrepreneurial scene in the Big Apple :) My conversation with Frank was mainly about events and networking. So I asked him what was his opinion about the right balance with creating a product and going to networking events.

Christian Geissendoerfer

Last but not least I met with Christian Geissendoerfer. Christian is a german entrepreneur who now is based in Singapore. After 4 years of hard work and bootstrapping his startup: Yoose,  the hyper-local mobile ad network, now is starting to generate a sweet revenue stream. My questions for Christian were about bootstraping vs VC backed, main motivations to leave the comfort of working for a big corporation to start his own venture, when to pivot your product, skills every entrepreneurs should have or his advices about selling the product to others (clients and also to your team).

Interview with Liva Judic

Day 6. New York, 7 July.

For many entrepreneurs, the US is the place to be because as the song says “if you can do it here, you can do it anywhere” so many startups from all over the world move there to see if they can success in the most competitive market. Knowing all this I had the pleasure to talk with Liva Judic from Merry Bubbles Communications, who has broad experience helping entrepreneurs from Europe to access to the US market.
I enjoyed a lot talking with Liva. The key points I asked her were around communication for an startup: what is it? why it is important for an startup? and when a startup should start taking care of it?

As I will do with all the videos from the interviews, I will post them online once I’m back home at the end of October.

Interview with Amol Sarva

Day 4. New York, July 5.

I met Amol in the last edition of the Menorca TechTalk. I was impressed by his talk about what we is doing right now: he is currently developing a new cognitive enhancement technology called Halo Neuro (still in a kind of stealth mode) that will help the human race to be smarter! Also he is developing an application for better discussion management that will help people reaching concrete conclusions out of their discussions.

Dr. Amol Sarva has an impressive background having co-founded Peek and Virgin Mobile USA. He’s an advisor to Fon, the world’s largest wifi network. He also advises Payfone (mobile payments), Work Market (platform for labor resources), and Ouya (open source game console)

Conversation with Amol

During our conversation, among other topics, we talked about where does the inspiration comes from, how does he manage to be involved in different projects at the same time, what does an advisor do and how to compensate them, his opinions on the debate about if there is so much talent wasted doing poor mobile apps instead of doing something more meaningful or how do we teach/learn.

Once I finish my trip around the world I will edit all the videos and I will post them online.

 

4th of July in NYC

Day 3. New York, July 4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XS66LPpHos&width=600&height=420

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