10 things I learnt as the CEO

Exquisitely decorated with animated GIFS

You are nobody these days if you have never written a post on Medium. It instantly makes you look smarter, sexier and a more interesting human being.
No, really, I just wanted to share a little reflection before the actual post on how the stunning design of Medium makes people just want to write about anything, even if is of no value for the rest of the humanity.

Well, I’m not sure if what I’m about to share with you is valuable, but it would definitely have been for me, exactly two years and four months ago from now.

Let’s begin

Back in March of 2012, I opened the doors of Workether, the first international coworking space in Valencia, Spain. As a digital creative and Hyper Island alumni, it wasn’t long since I aslo turned the coworking space into an interactive agency. All of a sudden, I was in charge of a team and dealing with two different business models in one: a challenging start for my entrepreneur life.

Fast forward to the present

We made it. In just over two years Workether has become the place to be for entrepreneurs, hosting some of the best technology events in town. We are also the reference for global brands, hosting hackathons such as the Microsoft’s Megathon or NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge.

Workether’s local impact is materialized in the collaboration and joint development of different projects with the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia’s Foundation for Innovation (Fundación InnDEA) and the Polytechnic University of Valencia.

And then it strikes me. I have to make a choice:

  • Settle down in Valencia and focus on the main revenue streams
  • Start something new, somewhere new

The choice was made before I boiled it down to two bullet points: despite the good times just arrived, it was time to depart.

Farewell, Workether

Workether’s last day was the 1st of July 2014. Local news spread the word and gave me the chance to share my gratitude to everyone that was part of it. However, I felt I had to share a little piece of knowledge to the future generations.

Therefore, I configured this list with the 10 things I learnt as the CEO:

1. It’s better to say no than delivering poor/late work

Yeah, you need the money now, but screwing up is more expensive.

2. Your brand is your most valuable asset

They can copy your business model, but not your identity.

3. Don’t give people more than they deserve in advance

Let them earn it for themselves.

4. Hire attitude

Outsource skills.

5. Get ready to fail

Learn from your mistakes and always apologise.

6. Horizontal organisations need strong leadership

Sounds like a paradox, but is not.

7. There are no bad clients, just bad processes and workflows

Go back and find out where you and your client stopped speaking the same language.

8. Ask for advice

But don’t let anyone interfere with your decisions.

9. There are no bad briefs

Making them something worthy is up to you.

10. Always speak the truth

But never reveal all your cards.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to educate anybody here. This is my personal reflection which I hope could be useful for someone in this vast universe. If not, I hope publishing this post made me look smarter, sexier and more interesting, as expected.