Lujo, Luxury, y pequeños detalles

Un gran post del señor Terrés sobre Lujo, y me saca lo que llevaba pensando hace un par de semanas, cada vez que me reúno alrededor de una mesa.

El lujo es lo que me pasó anoche -entre copas, pararme a pensar que tengo suerte de trabajar con la gente que trabajo y en una ciudad que no conocía pero que me sorprende cada día. Lujo son los pequeños detalles que hacen tu vida drásticamente diferente -y más feliz.

Nunca os habéis parado un segundo y habéis pensado cómo pequeñas (o un poco mas grandes) cosas como vivir en otra casa, tener otros compañeros de trabajo, o la más grande: vivir en otro país, han cambiado tanto tu vida?

No sé vosotros, pero de vez en cuando yo me paro a pensar bastante -sólo de vez en cuando, pa’ que engañarnos. Es como cuando vivía en Aarhus, y de una casa nos mudamos a otra que estaba mas cerquita del centro y ya daba pereza el no coger la bici, cuando antes que vivíamos a 7km del centro ya daba más pereza el cogerla. Pues pequeños detalles como la distancia hacían que mi vida pareciese totalmente diferente -y aquí empecé a pensar. No hay que elegir las cosas al tuntún. Que sí, que en Aarhus un estudiante no puede permitirse lujos, pero la diferencia de 150€ al mes de una casa a la otra fueron la mejor inversión de ese año.

Porque sí, porque tu vida no son sólo las grandes cosas que la rodean, los grandes pilares, pero también los pequeños cachitos de los que a veces no somos conscientes o en los que no ponemos demasiada atención, son los que influencian tu vida en una parte mayormente proporcional a la que creemos.

Desde aquí abogo por hacer decisiones pensando, y que a veces el mudarse y pagar más pero estar más cerca (o lejos, o más espacio, o lo que sea que tu prefieras) te va a beneficiar de una forma que no creías directamente proporcional pero que al final va a crear un impacto más grande de lo que te imaginas.

Como este ejemplo muchos pequeñitos, ya sea el no ser perezoso y coger el teléfono más a menudo y quedar más con los amigos que hace que no ves, o trabajar para una ONG, o pasear por tu ciudad abriendo más los ojos, descubrir cosas que hacer entre semana recomendadas por la musa coolhunter Raquel Gratis Total y siempre-siempre viajar más.


Shop Vintage or not?

What is up with the vintage fever? I think that some people are going crazy over it. I see it from two perspectives:

It is nice to recycle, be more sustainable, think about our planet -be “green”.


However, some people “go vintage” just because the “looks” of it. Ok the style is nice and always, when there is a crisis, when our world is falling apart, we tend to recur to the idiom “good old days” -vintage is better.

Today I was riding my “new” bike -bought from a guy, which bought it from another guy- and I had infront of me a “vintage new” bike. Well, the seat looked uncomfortable,  I bet it had cost a small fortune, and then comes the sustainable part of the “vintage fever”. This girl did not recycle an old bike because of nostalgia, she bought it brand new because of its looks.

Is it not the main point of buying vintage to recycle, to help our planet, to reduce consumerism? Well, if you buy a “new vintage” you are destroying the whole point.

I am happy as hell with my “new” road bike, with my soft silicone seat, my 8 gears and my disc brakes, and my 11kg bike -try to ride Aarhus’ “little hills” with less than 8 gears and more weight… How much did I pay? 150€. And then, try to ride with an uncomfortable leather seat -hard as hell, 3 gears, no disc brakes, and 18kg of bike -700€ minimum.

So, what is the point of going backwards? Vintage is nice but do not be stupid. If it has the looks, the price and the comfort -go for it, if not…well, you might answer the questions yourselves.


The unreal situation in the Spanish job market

I am a spaniard myself and sometimes I find myself looking for job offers in the Spanish job market, curiosity maybe -or maybe some deep hidden wishes to go back to the warm and sunny weather.

What I have noticed is that enterprises are even crazier than before. They ask for a master’s degree, a Phd., a minimum of 3 languages, and 5 years of experience or more, all that for 18,000 € a year. WTF? (sorry for my language).

What are they looking for? Do they want to attract the best of the best or just liars? If you have all these qualifications I am sure that you are not aiming to work for a medium enterprise –and even less for that salary. What does this say about these enterprises? A LOT. That they are just vultures.


I mean, if you are an enterprise in a country that is going through a humongous crisis, where the unemployment is almost 30%, where young professionals can not find a decent job or even a job and you, as a powerful enterprise -or not so powerful, you are asking for insane qualifications for little money and worse working environment, you are just ruthless. And when an enterprise has these kind of “values”, well, as sure as hell I do not want to work for them. And that is a problem, certainly, because in Spain young professional talent is treated like trash. Believe me, I know about that, my friends know about that.

So, what do many Spanish companies do? They do not know anything about organisational behaviour, communication management, strategic management, et cetera. They do not nurture their employees, they only support them while they are useful, they do not know about knowledge management and mentoring. That is a big problem. That is why we are behind. And it makes me sad, so sad, because we have so much potential and is all going to waste.

These communication management problems all come from the same place. Spanish enterprises values are just wrong, are so last century. So, if an enterprise’s values are wrong, even if you get new talent -eager to change and create new opportunities– you will corrupt this talent, or that or this new talent will fly away as soon as he/she gets a better offer. And then, we are back again to the start.

So my conclusion is that if you are looking for great talent, you should take a look at yourself. Which values do you have? Which values are you trying to communicate? Which values are you looking for in an employee? And then, with the answers, try to change something. You can not change the world if you can not change yourself -or your company.



Branding – J. Crew

While watching this interview I noticed that these two women are two standout examples of branding and the new social media era. It is amazing.

On the one hand, Ms. Doré. It is incredible how much bloggers have done or influenced the fashion and marketing worlds. Will it last? Good question. My opinion? Only the fittest will survive. We will get back to this in another post.

On the other hand, Ms. Lyons –I know she is not a blogger but she is almost as exposed as they are. She is the face of a masstige brand –and c’mon, when did a desginer of a masstige brand have a face? Uh? (A big hello to all Zara’s designers!!! -wink).

So, I guess the trick is to find your own “voice” –what does make your blog/brand unique. I guess it is a question of character. So guys/girls/ladies/gents, it is not only about writing and writing about stuff that many write about, but to write it from your own perspective. Sounds easy -ehem… But it is not.

Off I go! You can find me trying to find my “voice” -other two winks.

Planned Obsolescence

Obsolescencia Programada (Comprar, Tirar, Comprar) from Benjamín Mejías on Vimeo.

This documentary is one of the most interesting programs I have seen in a while.

I know, it’s in Spanish, but it’s worth a try -some of you may understand it. I’ll try to make a little summary anyway.

Wikipedia says about it that: “the planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design is a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time. Thus, the consumer is under pressure to purchase again”.

Companies can use the least expensive components that satisfy product lifetime projections. In other words, some companies do worse products with worse quality components exclusively so we have the need to buy more as soon as the product breaks down. This fact is shown in this documentary, like a light bulb that it has been working for almost a century, within others.

Our only hope it’s to buy more responsibly and sustainable, and see if this barely legal practices come to an end.


Os dejo con el documental de la obsolescencia programada. Muchos de vosotros habréis oído hablar de él, incluso algunos lo habréis visto. Vale la pena sentarse y ver los escasos 30 min que dura.

Nuestra única esperanza es el comprar mas conscientemente e intentar ser sostenibles. A ver si así combatimos esta práctica que roza casi la ilegalidad.

An original CV

Nowadays finding a job can be difficult –even more if you live in Spain! However, hard time have always sharpened people’s skills.

It is known that if you want to stand out between hundreds of other CV’s your CV has to have something that calls the attention of the HR guys. How do you do that? -you might ask. We’ll get to that next week* but first let me show you an example.

Spaniard José María Díaz accomplished it. He wrote an incredibly original CV. It was the first Spotify list that was not made for listening but for reading.

source – click on the image to download the Spotify CV list

He used the name of the songs to create his CV and sent the list to approximately 20 PR/advertising agencies (by the way, he’s a copy writer). Nobody answered. But he didn’t give up. He knew that he had a great idea. He created a Facebook group and used ads to reach his target audience. His segmentation was so precise that he only  targeted approximately 400 people that worked in the best agencies of Spain. The cost of it? 3,30€. The next day his CV was trending topic (TT) in Spain and Spotify’s director in person got in touch with him. He was offered 11 interviews in the best agencies of Spain and 4 serious job proposals.

This is an example of “thinking out of the box”. You shouldn’t always toe the line and use a channel how it is supposed to.


Hoy en día encontrar trabajo puede ser difícil, mas aún si vives en España. De todas formas, hay un dicho en español que dice que en tiempos de hambre el ingenio se agudiza (seguro que te hicieron leer en el colegio a El Buscón de Quevedo, verdad?).

Sabemos que si quieres que tu CV llame la atención de recursos humanos tiene que tener algo de especial. ¿Cómo conseguirlo? Llegaremos a eso la semana que viene*. De momento, dejadme introduciros un ejemplo. Aunque dudo que los españoles que me estén leyendo no lo hayan leído ya en alguna parte.

Curiosos? Unas palabras: Una lista de Spotify que se lee, no se escucha. Os suena? Haced click en el link para leer la historia completa en español.

Es realmente un claro ejemplo de que no siempre hay que seguir las reglas a pies juntillas y que muchas veces tener ideas fuera de lo tradicional tiene su recompensa. Si no, no habríamos evolucionado tanto ¿verdad?

Best Practice

He aprendido que nada se puede hacer al tuntún, que no sólo las ganas sirven para llegar al éxito y cuanto menos en la sociedad en la que hoy en día vivimos. Internet hace las cosas mas fáciles, llegamos a una mayor cantidad de público y a todos los rincones del mundo (si nos lo proponemos). Pero Internet es un arma de doble filo. Ante todo si hay que hacer las cosas, se hacen bien, si no no se hacen.

Cuando una persona o personas deciden lanzarse a Internet tienen que tener en cuenta varias cosas. Primero debemos diferenciar si es una firma “novel” o ya está establecida y tiene su público.

En el primer caso, antes que nada, debemos pensar en qué es lo que representa nuestra futura firma. Qué queremos transmitir. Esto se llama posicionamiento de la firma y nos lo explica perfectamente Aaker con sus teorías sobre brand image y brand equity. ¿Cómo se logra? Es un proceso complicado y un poco costoso. Ahora no voy a entrar en detalles de cómo lograrlo, simplemente quiero dejar claro que sin tener este punto claro, no se debe empezar a hacer nada, ni una mera foto para un lookbook o ni un boceto de logo.

*Re-edito: Después del fenómeno #Loewe #acampadaLoewe de ayer, puntualizar que una marca nunca NUNCA debe olvidarse de lo que representa. Los resultados pueden ser desastrosos…

Los pasos básicos que hay que seguir para embarcarse en la red social son:

  1. Imagen. Hay que tener claro qué imagen quieres dar y a qué público quieres llegar.
  2. Buen diseño. El diseño de la página web es fundamental. No es sólo un medio de comunicación sino una herramienta con la que transmitirás la imagen de tu marca.
  3. Elige el tipo de red social en la que quieres participar. Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  4. Y comprometete en usarla para interactuar con tu público. Con respecto a este punto, sé que hay muchas firmas (y personas famosas) que tienen las redes sociales sólo para ellos exponer información, de ello hablaremos con mas profundidad mas adelante.
  5. Buen contenido. Tienes que estar dispuesto a trabajar y a gastarte dinero en una persona que sepa transmitir lo que tu marca significa.
  6. Y calidad, calidad en lo que dices y en lo que vendes.
  7. Inmediatez.
  8. Y calidad. Ya sé que lo he repetido, pero hay que tenerlo muy en cuenta. Como jefe, tienes que estar verdaderamente dispuesto a usar la red social y usarla bien. No vale ahorrarse dos duros y hacer chapuzas. No vale no “mojarse” del todo. No vale hacerlo durante un tiempo y luego acomodarse. Esto es como el matrimonio, es para toda la vida y hay que cuidarlo día a día. Si no, no funcionará. He dicho.

Estos los los básicos muy básicos que hay que saber antes de pegarse el chapuzón en Internet. Pronto, mas y mejor.

Dislike: How Facebook Can Hurt Your Credit

Lately I have been reading Learn Vest’s tips about money and other things. It is written for newbies in economics so you will find it very interesting and very easy to follow.

Their last article is more focused to US’ readers. However, it is good to know. Maybe you decide to get rid of these people that you really do not speak with and you have as friends in FB just because you have met them once -or maybe not even once.

Here you have the article:

Dislike: How Facebook Can Hurt Your Credit | Life & Money | The Latest | LearnVest – Where life gets richer

Forget “you are what you eat.” When it comes to your trustworthiness as as borrower, you are who you know … online.

Social networks are now being used by some lenders to evaluate whether you’re likely to pay them back.

The New York Observer reports that, while this methodology is still a few years away from common use by major banks, smaller institutions such as microlender Lenddo already use an algorithm based on input from a person’s various social networks to determine her creditworthiness. And more are likely to adopt the practice in the future.

Here’s the kicker: The information used by the algorithm isn’t just what you’ve made public—the banks are requiring your login information. Everything you can see, they can see. And they could even potentially send messages to your contacts.

From the perspective of the banks, “birds of a feather flock together.” They want to reach more customers likely to use their products through you. For a consumer who wants a loan, banks having more information isn’t necessarily better—especially when it’s open to interpretation.

What an Algorithm Can See

When you register with a bank that uses a system like this, you would be required to verify your login info for your social networks, like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Information from the accounts would then be fed into the algorithm, and, using what it could glean from your social media profile and networks, the bank would pass judgment on your borrowing merit. The algorithms, still in development, are closely guarded secrets at present, but they’re essentially a way of crunching even more complex factors to assess how big of a credit risk you might be. As Lenddo’s CEO recently put it, “There’s no reason there shouldn’t be thousands of engineers working to assess creditworthiness.”

So, What’s the Problem?

The fear isn’t so much that the information gleaned from your networks will affect your actual score, but that gaining access to extraneous information that’s currently illegal for a lender to request (like race, marital status and receipt of public assistance) will contribute to systematic discrimination known as “redlining,” where certain segments of the population could be refused loans or charged higher rates based on racial, sexual or other prejudice.

Even seemingly innocuous social info can be damaging to customers. In one case, a Canadian woman’s disability payments for depression were revoked after her employer’s insurance company saw pictures of a beach vacation she’d posted on Facebook. While insurance fraud is common, in this instance, the 29-year-old woman’s doctor had advised her to exercise and socialize with friends. Then, without any notice, the checks stopped coming.

Why Your Networks Matter to Financial Institutions

1. To Leverage Your Connections

This means that banks will both judge you on your friends and use you to make new ones of their own. Their logic? If your friends are upstanding citizens who pay off their loans, you will be, too. And, reciprocally, if you’re responsible, they’re ripe for targeted marketing. Banks can’t message your friends directly, but they can gather names and contact information from the profiles of people in your social circle. 

2. To Make Sure You Pay

As anyone who has read “Confessions of a Shopaholic” knows, avoidance is a key tactic when dodging bill collectors. But when the people you owe are authorized to contact your Facebook connections about unsettled accounts, it’s a different story. Although this wouldn’t be any institution’s first course of action, it’s within Lenddo’s rights to post on your own public Facebook wall that you’re behind on payments. And you have to agree to that when you sign up—it’s part of the terms and conditions.

What Can We Do?

Keep an eye on the developments. At the moment, the algorithms are still about three to five years away from public adoption, so there’s no need to panic. But keep in mind that no matter how adept your manipulation of Facebook privacy settings, they’re ineffective to someone who can login as you. If the social network algorithm enters mainstream use, the only real way to eliminate judgment is to refuse to sign those papers to grant lenders access to your networks.

As Dan Tynan of PC World puts it: “Will you be legally required to give your bank access to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn profiles when you need credit? Probably not. But they won’t be legally required to approve your loan, either.”

Social Media 2.0?

Cada día se abren mas blogs, mas páginas en Facebook y mas cuentas en Twitter –no dejemos tampoco de lado otros medios como Tumblr. Este año 2011 no sólo ha ganado adeptos a los medios sociales sino que ha sido el definitivo para que mas marcas vean el filón de oro y lancen sus tiendas virtuales -y sus colaboraciones con bloggers. Las firmas han perdido totalmente el miedo a la comunicación online. ¿Pero es apta para todos los públicos?

Brands jump desesperately into an “all in”, twitter, facebook, blog, online store, tumblr… but should they just start a blog without thinking? Some* say that they should. I beg to differ.

You need a commited person behind it. Brands think that blogging will be “almost free” and generate cheap publicity. But no. It may be cheap in comparison with TV ads, but in the long run you need to invest money: a person in charge of the blog, another in charge of the strategy and communication, web developers and the staff in charge of the online store. No, it’s not “just free” but, is it “cheap”?

Other matter is if your brand is up to “jump into the pool”. I’ve worked with some brands online and I must tell you that not all CEOs are ready for that. They have an old fashioned business mind and that’s a little hard to change. And then comes the relationship brand/bloggers. But is it always beneficial? Will it last? I am really starting to think different about it.

I leave it here and I’ll let you think about it -while I also meditate about all. I’ll come back with more opinions.

* Other marketing and communication experts.