Every week we take half an hour to talk just about any topic that crossed our minds during the last days and create a podcast for you (Listen to it in Spanish here and subscribe to our feed). We call it an Open Mic Podcast as we want to invite different people to participate, new ideas to take form and to shed light on various experiences and perspectives on business development.

This week’s Podcast #15 is opened by Masumi with our regular participants Bernat and Jordi, whom you already know. As a special guest today we welcome Ubaldo Huerta and talk about another kind of entrepreneurship, a slow growth that is not VC fueled. Listen to our podcast on Youtube or subscribe to our RSS to be always up to date.


Ubaldo Huerta, a young entrepreneur who learned to program at home thanks to his mother, left Cuba in the beginning of the 90s to San Francisco to live the early years of .com companies. In this new industry everybody was looking for developers, companies growing like mushrooms but also closing again. After a few years in this frenetic environment Ubaldo decides to leave on a sabbatical and — burned-out — wanders through Europe. He arrives in the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona and is mesmerized. Quickly he decides to stay and migrates from the US just as he had years earlier from Cuba. In Barcelona he felt right at home:

“An organized place with ticks of a third world country.”

In Barcelona Ubaldo becomes an entrepreneur out of necessity: “I was earning a lot of money, but in Spain the job market was more complicated as there was no need for software developers at that moment. It was also the time of transition to dedicated servers, when you could get a server for a few dollars and build it up yourself. You could start out, try something without a high investment for infrastructure.”

Ubald started Loquo, a kind of Craigslist, a classified site from his living room. He starts with scraping email addresses from forums, sending out emails to these accounts and commenting on all kinds of threads. He starts out working on his own, with his own resources:

“I prefer to do something with my hands, spend my time writing code even though it might take time, I don’t need to live in the times of venture capital.”


“Everybody should do what he does best. If I had to spend my time raising money, talking to investors, I would go crazy.”

And after a while eBay becomes interested and ends up buying Loquo to expand their own service of auctions. Since then Ubaldo has moved on to many more interesting projects and is now busy with Fonoma.

When I create something I need to connect with my environment.

If you are curious to know what Ubaldo is up to now, go ahead and listen to the full Podcast #15: Youtube — iTunes — RSS

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O.

On sales leadership

These are some values that I learned that define a leader:

– A leader is somebody who reaches their goals and achieves beyond their individual abilities aligned with their own values and the organization’s values. A leader without a team is not a leader. A leader works for the team, not the other way around.

– Humbleness. Leaders must get to know themselves first, acknowledge their limitations. Acknowledge they have no recipe for success (no one does). They will succeed only by being curious and trying things faster, testing, changing things again, failing again, learning as fast as possible. In sales, everybody notices when things work well, success is measured in € vs budget. A leader must embrace results with no buts and take action to reach the goals.

– A leader works harder, a leader cares about the goals more than anybody else, they took full ownership of the goals. A leader does about anything to remove bottlenecks away on his team, they assist, train, support everybody, anything it takes. They are always the best resource for their team.

– A leader will always be available for everybody in their team, for personal and professional issues. They go the extra mile. They make sure everybody knows that. They earn the team’s trust.

– A leader makes everyone aware that teamwork is not negotiable. Without a cooperative team, there’s no leader. Lone wolves kill the growing/changing organization. Growth happens only WITH the team, not at their expense.

– Leaders communicate all the time, they don’t keep things to themselves, they are honest with their team. They share good and bad. They share the why’s. They trust their team. Trust precedes process and it is the only path to grow at a scale.

– Leaders learn fast and learn mostly from their team. The team has the most valuable knowledge a leader can get, it doesn’t come from books, blog posts, degrees or mentors. The team gets the real shit from the front line. A leader listens to their teams’ impressions and ideas, they explore them all and give feedback. Leaders generate a culture of idea generation and idea sharing. Leaders stay away from guru preaching.

– It’s important to understand people’s personal and professional ultimate goals and motivations. Leaders spend time asking them on their one on ones and they think about them. They write them down. Everybody is playing the movie of their lives, a leader must find out which one is it, they make sure each team member keeps being the hero of their movie.

– Leaders always lead by example, not by title. They show real bravery. Leaders go first to battle. They call leads and close customers. They apologize to customers when the company screws up. They take the shit first. They don’t leave anyone behind. They don’t show their rank, their status, their difference, their pedigree. Startups are flat meritocratic organizations. Leaders must understand well the company goals and they put them first, they are prepared to step down, or step aside, or leave the company at any moment if needed. Company goals are what matters most. Leaders show this to everyone. Company/collective oriented leaders always thrive.

– Leaders celebrate every victory. They visibly show the pain of every defeat. They take every opportunity to show they care. They analyze why/what/how and find out always changes to be made. Then they go and make the changes. They change anything or everything, but never keep on doing what doesn’t work. They shake the whole company inside out before/when goals are not met.

– Leaders set goals that are both ambitious and achievable. They work along the team to make sure they meet the goals. They are flexible when the goals are set wrong. They are implacable when goals are not met.

Most people will never be a leader. It takes time and patience, it takes survival skills, it takes real personal strength. But after committing to all these things, things start to work. Leaders are such when and only when they brought teams to make things work, nobody becomes a leader just by trying it. True leaders make sure they don’t leave the boat until things work (as they will work, ultimately!). They don’t leave the job undone.

– Bernat Farrero CEO at Itnig