Four or five moments, that’s all it takes. To be a hero. Everyone thinks it’s a full-time job. Wake up a hero. Brush your teeth a hero. Go to work a hero. Not true. Over a lifetime, there are only four or five moments that really matter.
— Colossus, Deadpool

I love that quote, so much that I’m starting this post with it. You, as we all do, might think “I’m not that quick to judge someone. I weigh both the good and the bad.” — but that’s not how humans work.

Big groups of people tend to judge quickly. As a group we come to conclusions in the blink of an eye without taking into consideration all the factors, no hesitation whatsoever. Consider Twelve Angry Men. Consider Steve Bartman. We do it to people, and we do it to our tools, innocent inanimate objects.


And if you think you are different, think if this has ever happened to you before: “Sorry, I meant far not fat! F***ing autocorrect”.

Once again, your phone’s software has embarrassed you by incorrectly predicting the word you meant to type. What a betrayal! Yet after accurately correcting thousands of words, that mistake is the one we focus on, the one we remember.

When that happens in your daily life to things that are under your control, you have two choices: complain or fix them. But for some reason I see more people “hating” than doing something to change what’s broken — even if it’s not actually broken, only broken according to their standards.

Personally, I don’t even look at the keyboard when I write on my phone, I trust that any mistyped letters would be magically ok when I look at the message. And it works most of the times. So in reality it’s an amazing feature. But a couple of moments, screw that up completely and we consider autocorrect to be rubbish.

Four or five moments are all it takes to perceive an overall good, great, or amazing tool as a piece of crap.


Not even ten years ago most mobile phones had only twelve keys to type with. Mobile phones, not smartphones, because we hadn’t invented that word yet. And we typed. Often. And fast. It was amazing just the fact that you could message someone. That you didn’t have to call them at home. We used to have to call somewhere, not someone.

But now you don’t have reception at your favorite restaurant and everything is b***shit.

We get spoiled really fast.

Last month I flew from San Francisco to Dublin in eleven hours. Direct flight. Unimaginable only fifty years ago. But if my flight was thirty minutes delayed that would have been unacceptable. If you could afford to sail to America from Europe back in the day, it would take you weeks. On a boat. And you’d dock on the East Coast. Add the train west to the trip and then call your LA–NYC leg painful. A single moment marks and defines the whole experience. We decide to focus on the bad ones more often than not.

Because, hey! My smartphone — a computer a hundred times more powerful than the ones that we used to send people to the moon — just made me look stupid when it couldn’t correctly predict the word that I was thinking of.


I do confess, I have that feeling often. Although I build interfaces, sometimes I find myself disappointed by technology because it’s not doing what I want it to do. But I am lucky enough to work in an industry where people invent new technologies, and I help fix those little mistakes. Working in the shadows. Improving things for the idle minded. All so you can order your venti caramel Frappuccino, with whip, while checking your tasks for today as you receive a lovely picture from your mom of her Dachshund dressed as a cowboy and a notification that your next meeting has been cancelled.

What’s the angle? Where’s the benefit in here? When something is bad, we try to improve it. As long as somebody experiences moments of crappiness in the tools they use, we will have roads for improvement and will keep pushing forward what technology can do for us.

Pessimists will see bad experiences. Optimists will see opportunities.

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V.

VCs come into action — Breakdown of Spanish investment activity of January 2018

January closes with €195.3 million investments in Spanish startups within 24 operations

  • The Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem is maturing thanks to investment rounds of more than €10 millions.
  • Barcelona and Madrid continue leading the Spanish ecosystem.


This is the first in a series of posts in which we will do an analysis of the Spanish startup investment landscape. We will look at the overall funding numbers and trends in the country month by month and compare it with data of the previous year.

What are the Spanish investment activities like on a month to month basis? What deals and volumes are we talking about? At what stages are startups prone to search investment and which regions in Spain attract the most funding?

The year 2017 brought us plenty in terms of innovation and investment activity within the area of technological startups, although Spain has been driven by political problems. The developments we have seen in 2018 so far are picking up at just the same fast pace.

January has closed with €195.3 million investments in Spanish startups within 24 operations. Of these funding rounds, highlights are the round of Cabify, Hawkers and Redpoints :

  • Cabify: The ride-hailing app that competes against Uber, has raised €143.3 million ($160) Series E funding round from a mix of previous and new investors, including Rakuten Capital, TheVentureCity, Endeavor Catalyst, GAT Investments, Liil Ventures and WTI, as well as prominent local investors from Spain and Latin America.

When analyzing the structure of financing deals, the increase in venture capital activity in Jan-18 is noticeable in comparison with Jan-17.

#Deals and volume in the Spanish startup investment landscape in January


In terms of the number of deals closed, we have seen a slight downward trend in the country. With a broad participation of Venture Capital, there have been less deals but more capital invested in each transaction. The reason for such a boost is mostly the gigantic financing round of Cabify with participation of giants’ VCs like Rakuten Capital, TheVentureCity and others.

The entry of European, American and Japanese funds investing in Spanish startups are accounting for a large percentage of the growth of the investments in Spain. At the same time, this global investment rise is making the average value of the financial rounds soar up to more than 1.5 times that of the previous year (without taking account of Cabify’s investment, that would turn this factor to more than 6 times the previous year)

The differences between January-2017 and January 2018 in terms of the increase in venture capital activity is shown below:

Startup investment deals by size of round


As we expected to see, the number of operations closed by investment size tends to a larger number in larger deals. While the number of deals of €500k or less have decreased considerably, the number of larger deals have gone up notably. This might be understood as an increasing number of companies maturing and reaching later stages of funding.

To properly ensure the aforementioned, in the following figure we show the breakdown of the investment activity by year of foundation of the company:

Startup investment activity (Jan-18) by year of foundation


Our previous statement is reinforced by this figure. The large transactions take place on established companies. In general, the more years a startup survives, the more established it is. As we observed, in average, the startups that were previously founded are those who raised more funding. That makes sense because normally an older startup has a bigger team and unless it has reached breakeven, it will need more funds to survive.

Startup investment deals by Region



Regarding the breakdown of startup investments by region, Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia bolster their position in the top of Spanish regions:

  • Cataluña (mostly in Barcelona) stands with 9 deals closed and an investment of €19 millions
  • Madrid gathers 7 deals and an investment of €148 million (€143 million in Cabify)
  • Valencia up to 3 deals and €23 million (€20 million in Hawkers)

Operations January 2018: