There’s tons of events in the Barcelona startup ecosystem, you can find all the itnig events here.

Everyone that works in startups desire a strong, growing and inclusive community. It’s something everyone benefit from, founders, VC’s, developers, marketers, the list goes on.

How you perceive a community often depend on if you’re a local or not. In Barcelona the startup community is a good mix of both Spanish people and expats from all over the world, which is a great thing.

I’ve been a member of the startup community in the city for well over a year now, and I’ve been impressed by how inclusive and fast-growing it is. To help me analyze why and how the ecosystem has been growing, I spoke to a local expert.

Want to go fast or far?

Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit is the CEO and founder of MarsBased, director of Startup Grind Barcelona, and the man behind the Slack group StartupBCN. As a local, he’s seen the community grow fast for the last years, and have recognized a clear difference between certain companies:

Some companies fail to understand that an ecosystem is a perfect sum of the actors that contribute. Go alone if you want to go fast, go accompanied if you want to go far, as the African proverb says.

Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit at Startupgrind’s two year anniversary in Barcelona this year.

Even though tech startups is dependent and built by developers, it’s important that all events isn’t exclusively for this group. Bacardit says entry-level events are key in building and growing a community:

Events provided by new startups or even public administration, where you get free non-technical content, not using acronyms or tech-jargon so people can start soaking the startup vibe and culture without feeling lost.

Too many “rockstars”

As Brad Feld wrote in the well-known book “Startup communities”, inclusion doesn’t just mean to invite as many of the people you think will fit into the community, it actually means everyone, according to Feld:

“Welcome everyone to the startup community. Everyone should have the perspective that having more people engaged is good for the startup community.”

Wise, experienced startup founders are essential in all communities that want to grow, but it’s important to not forget the youngest group of the ecosystem.

Young people who’s hungry for experience with their whole life ahead of them, and with“nothing to lose”, can be an incredible resource to a growing (or a stagnant) community. They’re often not limited by the same things as older, more experienced members of the ecosystem can be. Limited time, money, pride, are things young people more rarely have, and make them more free to be active and engaged.

Bacardit explains that even though the Barcelona ecosystem is getting better every year, there’s still too many older “rockstars”.

There is an established “startup mafia” which is everywhere, pulling the strings of the community. If you’re not friends with them, you won’t make it. The biggest pitfall is the conquer-all attitude of some companies that try to gain foothold within the community without caring about other companies.

The founder believes giving before getting, is the key to growth.

An inclusive startup community is where being a competitor does not matter. At this level, companies should partner more often than not, even if they’re competitors.

He continues:

If even Microsoft and Google or Apple partner from time to time, why shouldn’t startups?

Build something that lasts

In Barcelona we’re very lucky to have an extremely strong city brand, but not all cities have the world’s best football team, and millions of people coming to visit every year. If you don’t have a strong identity, it’s easy to start drawing lines to other places that have fostered world-famous entrepreneurs.

You often hear that cities brand themselves as the Silicon Valley of this or that, but if you want your startup community to develop in a healthy way and be a reference to other communities, I think it’s important to stay true to who you are.

For instance to call Barcelona the Silicon Valley of southern Europe would look good as a title in news articles, and create a bit of buzz, but to base your brand on your own talent and success is something that will last much longer, even though it takes more time and effort.

So if you’re part of a startup or a tech company you now know some of the things you should, and shouldn’t do. And Bacardit has one last encouragement to you:

I believe most companies should host an event or two a year just to learn what it can bring them, and how difficult it is. It’s a nice way to pay the community back.

……

This post was written by Sindre Hopland, media manager at itnig.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

T.

The reasons why Disney will dominate the media industry

The perception that Disney is only a producer of children’s content is long gone. The company has managed to multiply by 10 its market capitalization in 10 years and I believe it will do it again in the next 10 years based on 3 factors: content, the entry in new businesses and spillover effects on current businesses.

CONTENT

Disney has been making movies for almost a hundred years. They have been movies for all the family but targeted to kids, which are the ultimate decision-makers when going to the movies. This is an example of the classical content they were producing up until the last 10 years.

Found in Pinterest https://www.pinterest.es/pin/129548926755761740/

Despite having a powerful content library, Disney has amassed the most impressive collection of content in the world via acquisitions:

  • 21st Century Fox: 71B
  • Lucasfilm (2012): 4B
  • Marvel (2009): 4B
  • Pixar (2006): 7B
  • Hulu (2009): ??. They acquired 30% and an additional 30% with the acquisition of Fox

With the recent acquisition of Fox, there are only big four other movie studios left in the market: SonyWarner BrosUniversal, and Paramount.

Just to give perspective. This is the list of the top 3 grossing movies for the last 3 years. Spoiler, they are all from Disney:

  • 2017: Star Wars The Last Jedi (rubbish if you ask me), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (not great) and Beauty and the Beast.
  • 2018: Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Incredibles 2.
  • 2019: Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel and Aladdin (Still not counting with Toy Story 4, Spiderman, The Lion King, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The rise of Skywalker)

Having content as an asset in the movie industry is relevant because of the fact that over 90% of every year’s Top Box Office Hits are not original. Notice that the 9 hits mentioned above are not original content, including Captain Marvel which is a character well known despite debuting in theaters. Moviegoers are risk-averse and showing characters the public is familiar with is synonymous of success in a market where the production of a movie can cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Another essential part of the content are the actors. They give credibility to a movie and top talent can’t wait to appear on a superhero movie. Just look at the roster of Avengers Endgame with cameos from the likes of Robert Redford, Rene Russo, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Natalie Portman, William Hurt, Samuel L Jackson or Ken Jeong, the Asian character on The Hangover. All of this without accounting for the main characters. Where else can you see this?

Source: https://www.editorchoice.com/avengers-endgame-cast/

NEW BUSINESS

One of the acquisitions mentioned is Hulu, a streaming platform in the US which also allows watching live content. I believe this is the future. Cable TV operators are doomed. The number of subscriber to Cable TV in the US has declined over the past years.

Source https://www.statista.com/statistics/536356/cable-shopping-networks-revenue-usa/

It’s clear the consumers are opting in to streaming on-demand platforms such as Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. That’s why Disney is launching Disney +.

This is a global trend. People across the world may not own a TV, but they have smartphones and internet connection. Netflix has launched a 3$ monthly cell-only subscription in India. Check this relentless growth of subscribers by Netflix.

Take a look at the last Shareholders report by Netflix, a public company that is burning billions every year -3,5B$ in 2019- and is expected to invest 15B$ in 2019 alone in new content. In my humble opinion, Netflix has by far the best streaming platform and the content is remarkably good, just look at the masterpiece Stranger Things season 3.

Source: https://s22.q4cdn.com/959853165/files/doc_financials/quarterly_reports/2019/q2/Q2-19-Shareholder-Letter-FINAL.pdf

Netflix will be the main competitor of Disney, who will claw back its content from other platforms over the next years, reducing the earnings of licensing rights, but attracting customers to their platform. I believe there will be a time where platforms won’t share much content, but eventually, this will rise opportunities for multiplatform viewing apps and some years from now, platforms will reshare content once they settled a loyal customer base. Users will be subscribed to multiple platforms and they would still like to watch what’s best in every one of them. It’s not a winner take it all market.

My final bet is that there’s another big piece of content that is currently slipping away from streaming platforms, live sports. This is the last resort of traditional TV and cable TV operators who have been able to tell customers when and where to watch TV. This is no more, TV is dead.

SPILLOVER EFFECTS

Let’s get some perspective here. Disney is a corporation that currently (2019) has annual revenues of around 70B$ and a net income of around 13B$ (15–20%). Where do they make money from? This is a comparison YoY between the fiscal years ended on September 30th. of 2018 vs 2017. All areas grow except for merchandising. Figures in B$.

Source: company reports

MEDIA

The main source of income is Media Network, which comes from ESPN, Disney Channel, ABC… Here’s the evolution of this revenue stream fro the last decade.

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/193211/revenue-of-walt-disneys-media-network-business-since-2008/

With the acquisition of Fox, this chart is going to experience a huge vertical shift.

PARKS AND RESORTS

Parks and resorts are the second biggest revenue stream of the Mickey Mouse company.

Walt Disney World Resort (Flick: Atiq Nazri)

This is a chart with the number (in millions) of yearly by visitors by each park. Around 150 million people go to a venue managed by Disney somewhere on the planet. This can only be achieved by a great hospitality experience and the best content:

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/194247/worldwide-attendance-at-theme-and-amusement-parks-since-2010/

STUDIO

This is the revenue that comes from the distribution of movies and music.

The chart below displays the Box Office market share evolution. Disney has managed to multiply by 2,5 in ten years, and now with the inclusion of Fox, the market share could get just shy of 50%, which is ridiculous. This is a major spillover effect from the massive content acquisition.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/14/disney-on-pace-to-earn-9-billion-at-the-global-box-office-in-2019.html

DIRECT TO CONSUMER

This is where the new platform Disney + will come into play. Disney + is a SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand) as far as we know. Other alternatives are AVOD (Advertising Video on Demand) where the users access for free but get adds (Youtube) and TVOD (Transactional Video on Demand) which is what Google is doing among others.

One of the first screenshots Disney shared for Disney +

So far they have had Hulu in this category, but with the introduction of Disney +, this will become of the main revenue streams for Disney. Eventually, the main one if you ask me. My guess is that in one year, Disney + can produce revenues of about 20B$ and grow from there. This is what Netflix is doing right now.

The advantage of Disney + is that they already have the content and they would only need to produce specific content for the platform such as The Mandalorian or the Marvel spinoff series with Black Widow and more. That would imply big operating profits since most content has already been amortized. The downside, however, will be the loss of the licensing revenue they get from streaming onto other platforms included in the Studio section. I’m betting this will be a money-printing machine.

CONCLUSION

Disney is a company that has endured through decades and over the last years has taken on a path of content acquisition and generation that pays off very well. This is why I am “hodling” on its stock.

Disney’s stock price evolution over the years