Archive for October, 2008

Economy has been the great subject these past weeks. The financial crisis has made us start to think if the model we’ve been pursuing was the correct one or if we should change to another one from now on. Many answers have came out from diverse people, to the ones proposing a closed market to develop all again, to other ones promoting capitalism with the adequate regulation, based on what Adam Smith proposed a little bit over 2 centuries ago.

In my opinion economy should keep going with the system we’ve been using, but based on a democracy and with close regulations in the places were markets can still fail because the distribution of information is not perfect.

But regardless of the macroeconomic results we will have this coming months I’m worried for the micro economic side of the matter. Microeconomics worry about what happens to us as individuals, so this is our personal state of affairs. How much money we earn, how much do we save, how much do we spend on cars and parties, etc. In the past years I’ve learned that Micro and Macro sometimes are not related. I’ve seen countries growing at 7% annually and yet not improving the quality of life of their people, so i wonder  if the opposite is also true.

In this rough times for Macroeconomics we for sure will have to cut off spending, some of us will lose our jobs (remember in macroeconomics losing your job will increase the rate from 4% to 4.000001%, but in Microeconomics it increases from 0% to 100%).   But life should not be that hard if we think we are capable of getting creative ideas. In this century brains are the ones that rule, so we need to dust them off and use them as much as we can. Some research shows that humans use just 5% of their brain capacity, in these times i guess we need to start trying to use 6, 7 or 8% so we can get and advantage.  Brains are dominating because talented people can build companies and millions of dollars in just a couple of years with ideas and the correct resources.

Back in the 19th century minds followed capital, now it’s the other way round. So in this times of crisis things aren’t that bad. We can’t lose it all, but we have our brains. We can come out with outstanding ideas to make new companies, associations or work clubs to produce nice ideas that will make our life easier. For example, Google has done this and followed a traditional business model. On the other hand Co-Working is doing another revolution and a business model, but with a amazing mission make people who work alone collaborate in a friendly environment.  And people are still creating new things. iPhone Apps are increasing in the itunes store, from loan calculators to tax paymentd widgets. Creativity is all around we just need to let the fear go out and start to think.

So if you feel this crisis is going to be bad, forget that! Start thinking in new ideas of how to improve the quality of life without increasing the cost to the people. How to make life easier with a marginal cost or how to help people collaborate to come out with new ideas and you will do well for sure. In this crisis we need to usea our processing power to   get out of it.

Economy is not based in capital or it’s based on BRAINS. And we all have one. So there is no excuse.     

Blogged with the Flock Browser

So continuing with my previous post about fear I will like to remember a bit of my junior classes at college about the SWOT analysis you have to do for your business or organization. I do a SWOT analysis for almost everything, I think I’ve interiorized the importance of the idea and i want to share how this process can help us focus a bit more on the important things in these times when economy  suggests we do that. 


This are the things you have that make you rock. Every person in the world has at least one strength that makes them rock, every company has one and everything has one too. The first thing a business needs to do these days is ask themselves What makes us rock? What makes users come here everyday? What makes users watch every episode? What makes users post comments? or whatever your result measures are. 

Strengths are things people notice that makes them want your product instead of the one made by anybody else.  Strenghts are the resources you have inside, are the things you can work to improve. 

In this times we need to look to the strenghts and make them more powerful than ever starting with people. In the 21st century we all know brains are the most valuable asset so we need to start developing those in ways we’ve not done it before. That is our main strength, we could lose our computer, servers, HQ offices, or even our house, but we don’t lose the brains.



This are the things we suck at. It’s a very politically incorrect way of saying it, but we definitely are not doing enough to change our weaknesses into strenghts or neutral features. A weakness is a thing that will make users go away from  to other people’s product or service. In the times of recession we need to value every user we have so we need to take all of our time monitoring what weaknesses we have. The best way to do this is to accept all the feedback we can, read it and act quickly to solve any problems. If you solve users problems they will most likely love you. I know i will love a company that solves my problems easily or that adapts to serve my needs. 

You are allowed to have lot’s of weaknesses the only one you are not allowed to have is : lack of communication with your users.


So far all this has been written over and over again and all entrepreneurs know that they need to focus on their Strenghts and Weaknesses.

Opportunities and Threats 

Right now we have lot’s of threats and many people fail to see the opportunities blinded by fear. In my last post i talked about how fear may lead people to act in ways that will cause damage to themselves and to others. On this times of economic crisis what will bring an edge to us is focusing on the Opportunities, more than on the threats. Of course we need to focus on threats, our future depends on what we do to keep them away from us. But this times bring endless opportunities. Stocks go lower and lower as people sell, advisors rate some stocks on the “SELL” list, the truth is that when you are selling somebody else is buying and it may be Warren Buffet, he understands that when the market goes down he has an opportunity to buy.

Remember a bear market brings opportunities for investors and for businesses to start focusing on markets that they didn’t saw in the first place. So i suggest you do a postive check on the world outside to see who might be interested in your product or a variation of it, what companies that may add some know-how to your organization are on sale and for low prices or what skills are being needed that you had and thought will never use. 


SWOT all together

Finally if you are focusing on keeping the inside lean you will be able to react quickly to opportunities. Remember this is the theory they teach in every business school, in every first day at work or in every book about business. 

My intention here is to remember that the theory may work well this time. Stop focusing or entering in panic because markets are going down and start to focus on what  Strenghts you have that will make everyone keep coming to you, look at what people want from you that you are not offering (opportunities), on what other people are failing to achieve so you can do that (others people weaknesses are also opportunities) and finally focus on eliminating everything that makes you weak and a potential victim. 

So if you need to take a habit these days take the one of SWOTing all you see. Starting for yourself or your business to the pet shop (you can find opportunities there). It may seem like a time taking process, but in time you will do it naturally.

President Roosevelt said that phrase back in the 1930’s when the a big recession was happening. I just read this article on Mashable where Mark Hopkins quotes Steven Hodson saying that we still can get up, even if we don’t learn from our past mistakes in past recessions.

The truth is that economy isn’t perfect and capitalism isn’t perfect either. Capitalism is the best system we know and for sure the one we must use, but we need to tweak it on the go for it to achieve it’s main goal: Bring wellbeing to all the human beings living under that system. But there is one thing we haven’t tweaked since the first recession occured some centuries ago: To take control of our emotions.

At this times when i see Wallstreet indexes fell down every day, when i think the Dow Jones should be renamed Down Jones, when all the main markets in the world plunge i ask myself how many of those points that the Dow Jones went down are of true value and how many are generated by massive fear. Many financial advisors (and i must confess that i’ve read the books, but not payed attention to the authors names) have always recommended to control fear when things like this happen, but we fail to do it.

Daniel Goleman and the numerous books about emotional intelligence try to teach us how our emotions work and how we can control them. Right this is a skill we all need to develop before getting into feeling fear that will only make things seem worse than they truly are. The first thing we need to do is sit and relax, then put some music that makes us happy and start analyzing the situation thinking that every business that is in the stock market has people inside, and this persons are capable of generating revenues that is what ultimately affects share prices. For example, Yahoo Inc. is a great company, they managed to build a wide user base around the world and add some amazing services to their portfolio (Flickr to name one of those).

Yahoo stock went down quite a lot this week and i wonder how many people have sitted down and analyzed the capabailities of Yahoo before actually starting to sell and push the prices down. Yahoo in my POV is a very capable company, they can in fact build a big social network based on the wide range of users they have using individual services like Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo Mail, Flickr, etc. They can also stop focusing on Ad generated revenue and start to offer services that people can use and leave the ads to the ad expert Google. I don’t think Yahoo is worth the price that it has right now (Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation or expert advice it’s just my opinion and though i know about finances I’m nowhere near an expert).

On the other hand we have many start ups that are being affected by this plunge as they see capital flyaway from them and sales projections being lower than they expected. The main problem i see here is that many Web Startups are not focusing to the global markets. While the US could be on a recession countries like China, India and Peru are growing at rates of over 7% anually. These markets are also potential costumers and everybody knows that a diversified userbase will always be a coverage to the risk of a recession in one country. I liked the message posted by Jay Adelson saying they got money to expand their operations abroad and to more markets, that’s a good way to go for Digg. I think that their international expansion will make them bigger and i hope they get a version in Spanish and German wich may blow it up both in Latin America (Including all the Latin People in the US) and in the European Silicon Valley (Germany).

So, as you see by this few examples things aren’t lost yet. Comapnies have capabilities inside that will make them work and get out of the recession just fine. The people that let themselves be controlled by fear will leave a opportunity for those who think more calmly, buy stocks or purchase full businesses to make lot’s of profits in the future and to rebuild the american economy. Warren Buffet buys every time something like this happens and he has became one of the richest guys in the world just with stock trading (which mainly is taking advantage of others people fear).

So the recession is here and companies will be affected, yes. But we need to start getting out or creativity and look at ways to overcome it. See my post Start me up where i explain how Calley Nye is looking for funds for her startup in a new way. The world is filled with creative and capable minds so we should not worry about it. Just remember: DON’T LET COLLECTIVE FEAR CONTROL YOU.


After some months i finally decided to get an iPhone 3G switching from my old loyal Nextel Motorola i560. The main reason i changed it’s because my nextel was old and thint kept up to date with all the things i was doing on the internet. I just needed to be interconected. 

It will be easier if you looked at it in pictures

Before                                                                                   After


Nextel i560

Nextel i560














Basically the only thing this phones have in common are the i at the beggining, though one is for the iDEN technology and the other one is because it’s apple. 


I’m really excited to have had the choice to choose which carrier to use. I wonder why apple didn’t do this in all the world. Here our 2 main GSM carriers got the iPhone so you can choose the one who offers the best plan and costumer services and it was a good deal. I even got the phone for less than 199 with a plan that has features that are not far from the ones offered in the US. 

Features i like. If you are reading this and you are not a tech geek, hence you don’t have and advanced phone then let me tell you that you’re missing one heck of an experience.

Objetive Review

My objective review is that this phone is better than a blackberry since it has a faster internet and lot’s of options with the APPs. I speacially like the Digg app and twitterlator which is much more organized than twitterrific (the free one). I still have failed to pay for apps because I’m on savings mode so I’m thinking i could pwn my iphone to get qik on it. 

Ok so I’m still in the feeling part of my purchase I guess i’ll wait until next week to review it objectively.

I’ve always wanted to make my own business and in fact I’ve tried many businesses before. From selling cookies and cakes at school to doing my own business consulting firm. Then i finally opened my eyes to my passion, the Internet and how it brings people together. I’ve got to know many great persons over this last months since my “return to the net”. I’ve never should have left the internet in the first place, because business i wanted to do was here bringing solutions to people. 

I want to do a startup too and so far I have some ideas, but i will also like to contribute with other startups around the world. So this is my chance to give a tiny bit of help to a friend I’ve made around social media sites and that i hope i meet in person some day soon.  Calley Nye better known as SiliconCalley is trying to fund her startup with a great idea Start me Up. She want’s to raise 25,000 dollars to create the prototype of her site to pursue further fundings. Her start up is called DashBuzz and i can’t tell much about it only that it will solve the problem of having to administer many social media sites. This is a problem we’ve all had. The idea is simple:

  • We have a limited amount of time
  • We have plenty social media sites
  • We lose time updating all sites separately or,
  • We fail to update or be in some sites. 
Having known those facts i think this startup has a lot of future and i hope to learn more of it really soon. 
Calley wan’t the blogsphere and the twitterverse to fund the first part of this project. She is asking for a favor and she is planning on returning it. Remember Whuffie …if you build it up you can “cash” it later. For more details go here.
There is a donation button on her site and you can donate there or ask her more questions about it. Please Donate it’s a good cause and she says many people won’t fund a non-technical  first time start up fo. I say that’s wrong we can fund her startup. Finally I’m also a non-technical startup founder in the making. But the thing you need to notice is the desire burning in you when you do a new business and that fire that keeps you going every single day until you achieve your goals, just to set up new ones and keep going.
I want to help Calley and though I don’t have a paying Job right now I will look for ways of helping her because i believe that this project will actually help me and many others to manage social media in a more smart and efficient way. 
So please Help Calley and help this new Social Media Start Up Funding. If we all put a little bit a huge difference can be made. And as a side effect we challenge the old funding model with a more social one.
Making businesses is the best thing to do, for me it’s just what makes me go everyday.