May 2015, article published in El Periódico de Catalunya

Don’t do it

Don’t do it. Don’t be the first if you can be last. Don’t leave for tomorrow what can be done the day after. Don’t listen, stop reading immediately. I command you. Obey me. I don’t want anyone to be able to blame me later for giving out ideas, especially if they’re good ones. We’re here to cause trouble – even to cause businesses to fail, if possible.

So don’t do it. Don’t hire talented people, and much less so if they have talent in something that could help you grow, sell abroad, build wealth (for yourself too, of course) and above all employment. It’s just not worth it.

Don’t do it. Don’t hire a digital expert and if you do (crazy!) definitely don’t assign them any responsibility. Keep them on for the sake of it, as anyone might. Just keep doing your thing. Same as always.

Above all don’t even think about doing as our friend Pablo Isla from Inditex did with María Fanjul or Francisco González, the president of BBVA, who decided to boost the online bank by changing executives. What do they know. They’re Martians, or worse, reckless. In the end, their businesses, employees, providers, managers, shareholders, and even society will be better off. Horrible, right?

But you, you know how to sell. You’ve been doing it all your life. You do it with the same talent as ever. It’s better to hire the usual suspects, with normal pasts and conventional views of life.

Don’t you see that the founders of companies like Mango, Desigual, Barceló, or Meliá (just to name a few) are freaks for digital? It’s obvious. All of them, companies of the off-line world who are led by a member of the founding family or managed by the creator of the business, are wrong. You only have to look at their results. How unpleasant, making money, and lots of it. And they have made unforgivable mistakes in their selection processes by adapting to such capable managers as Elena Carasso, Elena Cusí, Luis Pons, or Pablo Sánchez. They’ve done it on purpose, knowing that it would help their companies. With friends like these… Where are we heading?

So don’t do it. You, specifically you, please. You can’t mess up now. You have to keep going. Hold on. Don’t give up on this way of thinking. Keep on with your digitally-myopic viewpoint, “I’ll innovate like everyone else always has.” That’s what’s cool right now. In fact, it’s better that things go badly and we can blame context, the competition, regulators, or the neighbor’s dog (Belén’s poodle always was annoying).

Just wait out the downpour and hold out for the slowdown of electronic commerce. Maybe things will be better that way. Businesses like Airbnb, Amazon, Facebook, and Google are just a passing fad. They didn’t do what you do and look how you’re doing….things are really g great for you.



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