Should we always lie to become rich?

Should we always lie to become rich?

Most people believe that it is almost impossible to become a millionaire being honest, and I do share this opinion, in most cases.

Today I was reading Martin Varsavsky's blog and I've found a post wrote by Videoblitz questioning several legal matters of the WiFi sharing promoted by FON. It was quite funny to read the reply left by Martin: "And of course they would contact Fon if they had a problem with Fon! Why should they go after each Austrian? You have an unusual view of the world. With your views Skype would have never developed".

As far as I know, the contracts signed with our phone companies do not prohibit us the use of VOIP, while on the other hand, the contracts signed with our ISPs clearly indicate that we are not allowed to share our Internet connections.

It is a fact that most of the foneros are breaking their contracts to enjoy WiFi access out of their homes, and they should know that their ISPs can take legal actions against them, not against FON, because all of them are forced to declare that their ISP authorize them to use their WiFi connection as a FON Access Point to join FON .

His FONEROS are lying to join "the movement" and make him richer, while Martin is lying to them and treating them like stupid for the same reason. Is it fair?; Should we always lie to become rich? ON SALE!!!! ON SALE!!!!, the ISP founded by Martin Varsavsky in 1999 with €30m, and sold to T-Online in 2000 for €550m is on sale.

If you have any pocket money available this week you can make an offer to Deutsche Telekom on March 1, date in which the sale will be made public.

A few investment banks are already offering the company to Ono, Orange and to several venture capital firms, but it seems that the asking price is too high to close the deal. currently has around 400,000 customers in Spain, and owns an optical fiber network of 7,500km in the Iberian Peninsula.


Gays Made in Spain

Gays Made in Spain

As most of you know, I'm Dutch, but I currently live among Seattle (USA), London (UK), and Geneva (Switzerland). However, I do business and invest in Spain, the country where I grew up, and for this reason, I read the Spanish press every day, and I do also read, from time to time, Spanish blogs and websites.

Today I have visited the blog of Jesus Encinar, the founder of Idealista, a successful real estate portal in Spain. Jesus, a graduate of Harvard Business School is gay, and he is proud of being different. A few months ago he made it public in the weekly magazine of El Mundo, one of the most influencial Spanish newspapers, and today he is giving a speech at the well-known Instituto de Empresa, one of the world leading business schools, headquartered in Madrid.

Reading his post, I've found out that Spain, one of the most liberal countries of the world these days, it's at the same time one of the most conservatives ones. The gay community has grown, and there are some gay neighborhoods in the main cities, like Chueca in Madrid, quite similar to Castro in San Francisco.

Although the mentality of Spanish people has changed a lot in the last few years, and today most of the Spaniards say in public that they are not homophobe, I can assert that most of them are.

Instituto de Empresa's dean, Mr. Santiago Iniguez, and the Director of the Centre for Diversity in Global Management at this academic institution, Ms. Celia de Anca, have welcomed the launching of IEOut, the group of gays and lesbians of their business school, and have recorded a video to introduce the meeting that Encinar will lead today at IE. However, both of them have presented excuses for not attending this event.

Obviously, this is part of the false morality of Spain, where people say in public something that they do not really feel. Today is not politically correct to recognize that you are against gays and lesbians, and as an institution Instituto de Empresa should proclaim values such as diversity and tolerance, but its members are not prepared to be a 100% tolerant, since I guess that they, as most Spaniards, are still quite homophobe (*).


(*) Homophobia is the fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals. It can also mean hatred, hostility, or disapproval of homosexual people, sexual behavior, or cultures, and is generally used to insinuate bigotry.

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

The author of this video is Prof. Michael Wesch who is a graduate from Kansas State University, and a member of its faculty since 2004 . Wesch has received numerous grants and fellowships for his research, including a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, Explorer's Club Grant, and a Fulbright-Hays International Dissertation Research Fellowship.

He is currently launching the Digital Ethnography working group at Kansas State University to examine the impacts of digital technology on human interaction. The first outcome of this work was a short video called "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us." The video was released on YouTube on January 31st 2007 and quickly became the most popular video in the blogosphere.

MERAKI, the new kid in town

MERAKI, the new kid in town

I've started writing back in my blog on a daily basis, and since I've some free time, I've also started reading other blogs as well.

Today I've left a couple of posts at Martin Varsavsky's blog questioning FON and WHISHER's business models, and today I've heard about MERAKI, the new kid in town.

Well, it is not the new kid in town, since it isn't exactly new, but it comes to compite with the Spanish start-ups in the WiFi world. MERAKI promises us something similar to FON and WHISHER, and that is just to have a WiFi connection when we are out of home, if we share our own connection.

It seems that the idea started at MIT, as a doctoral reseach project of one of its Ph.D. candidates to provide wireless access to graduated students.

Meraki is based in Mountain View, California, and is backed in part by Google.


ENDESA's chairman earned more that €3.1m in 2006

ENDESA's chairman earned more that €3.1m in 2006

ENDESA's Chairman, Manuel Pizarro earned over €3.1 million in salary and extra compensation from the company last year, almost 50% more than in 2005; Chief Executive Rafael Miranda earned €2.89 million last year, with a similar increase to Pizarro's.

Besides this compensation, Pizarro and Miranda last year received company contributions to their pension funds of €441,722 and €4.93 million, respectively. In 2005, these contributions amounted to €236,655 and €2.12 million.
Do they worth their salaries? In a few months they have avoided the sale of ENDESA to GAS NATURAL for €24bn, and they have received an offer to purchase it for €41bn. It is obvious that their salaries have increased considerably, but the value of ENDESA has also increased in several million euros at the same time.
Personally, I wouldn't mind to increase the salaries of all the top executives of those companies where I have invested, if they increase my net worth as they have done.

E.ON will pay €41bn for ENDESA

E.ON will pay €41bn for ENDESA

E.ON, the German utility has finally bid €38.75(*) per share for ENDESA, the largest Spanish electricity group.
The bid values ENDESA at €41bn, almost the double of the €22bn offered a few months ago by Gas Natural, whose hostile approach to Endesa, backed by the Socialist Government, initiated the battle and the discussion between the Catalan nationalists, and the rest of the Spaniards.
Before E.ON's bid was disclosed, ENDESA chairman, Manuel Pizarro announced at a press conference that the price of his company was the one paid on the market. ENDESA's shares closed on Friday in Madrid Stock Exchange at €39.04 (up 1.64% from previous session).
In that press conference, Mr Pizarro also criticized Gas Natural, the Catalan utility, which on Thursday night formally withdraw from the contest, 24 hours before it was scheduled to present its final bid in a sealed envelope. He said: "They just walked out, slamming the door behind them.”
I don't know if the E.ON's offer is fair, but as I mentioned in my previous post, Mr. Pizarro, and most of ENDESA's shareholders have won the battle to Mr. Zapatero and the Spanish Socialist Goverment. Guiño
(*) In the event that ENDESA pays any dividend before closing, the overall offer value of €38.75 euros per share shall be reduced accordingly.



ENDESA, (NYSE: ELE), (IBEX-35:ELE) the largest utility company in Spain, headed by its Chairman, Mr. Manuel Pizarro Moreno has finally won the battle to the Spanish Socialist Goverment headed by Mr. Jose L. Rodriguez Zapatero, the worst president that Spain has had in the last two centuries.

A few months back, GAS NATURAL made a hostil takeover bid to control ENDESA backed by the Spanish Industry Minister, Mr. Jose Montilla, an illiterate who dropped high school, "to pay back" an old debt to LA CAIXA (the Gas Natural reference bank -La Caixa- condomned 6 milion € to Partido Socialista de Cataluña before the bid). Endesa's CEO refused to discuss the offer, and started his own battle to defend his company against both, GAS NATURAL and the Spanish Government.

Today February 2, 2006, GAS NATURAL has finally given up, and has announced that it will not bid for ENDESA anymore.

Mr. Pizarro has won, as well as all the shareholders of his company who have seen how the value of their shares has increased in the Madrid Stock Exchange from EUR 19.00 to EUR 39.00 in just a few months.

Now, we will be waiting to the disclosure of the offer that EON, the Germany utility, has presented today in a sealed envelop. Will the Germans buy ENDESA or will it maintain its freedom?

Its shareholders have the last word! Guiño

FON faces competition

FON faces competition

I've just read a new post written by Martin Varsavsky, which shows his optimism about the rapid growth of FON in the US market. Obviously, if you consider a success to find people interested in getting a WiFi router for free (including freight and taxes), he has been quite successful lately, since in a few hours he increased "his US customer base" with 6,000 new members who asked for his gift.

But now a new "movement" has been launched. It is called WHISHER, and it's being promoted by Mike Puchol with the funding of Swisscom and Benchmark Capital. It is quite similar to FON, but the best of WHISHER is that you can be a member, even if you do not have WiFi to share.

Bad times for Varsavsky, who is facing competition even before making any EUR/USD from FON. WHISHER, and TORRASKI are the new players in the WiFi market, and the three of them will have to share the cake. Guiño

iPhone (English version)

iPhone (English version)

I assume that most of you have already heard about the new iPhone, and all its great functionalities.

I haven’t seen it yet, and I haven’t had the opportunity to test it, but I have learnt about it visiting Apple’s official website, and watching a very interesting video at YouTube, where you can learn every single thing you can do with it.

Do you really think that this is a usefull device? Guiño



Bueno... imagino que a finales del mes de enero de 2007 la mayoría de vosotros habreis oido hablar del iPhone, y sus magníficas funciones.

Aún no lo he visto físicamente, aunque he tenido ocasión de conocerlo en la web de Apple y en este enlace de YouTube , donde se detalla todo lo que se puede hacer con él.

¿Os parece algo útil o no? Guiño

Varsavsky ya es español!

Conozco a Martín Varsavsky hace tiempo... Sabía que venía de USA, que había nacido en Argentina, pero lo que desconocía es que ya es español.

Y la verdad es que tras leer habitualmente su blog, considero que se ha ganado el pasaporte a pulso, porque actúa y piensa como un auténtico español, y quien lo dude, sólo tiene que revisar su trayectoria empresarial y el crecimiento caótico e improvisado de su actual empresa, FON.

Martín es creativo, negociador, pero inconstante e inestable... Por eso crea empresa, las hace crecer y las vende mucho antes de que éstas estén consolidadas. Para él ésto es un juego, algo que le divierte y al mismo tiempo le da de comer.

Es un especulador nato, un amante del pelotazo empresarial, un improvisador y un soñador. Y quien no me crea que lea lo que hoy, 16 de febrero, publica en su blog.

Él comenta y realmente cree que el hecho de tener 15.615 foneros registrados, implica tener 15.615 clientes trabajando con sus routers para él...

Y yo me pregunto: "¿lo cree o lo hace creer?, ¿es un iluso o nos considera ilusos?

No lo se, pero creo que todo ésto, unido a su falta de humildad, repitiendo constantemente expresiones del tipo: "he fundado 6 empresas" "mi fundación", "mi casa de París", etc..., hacen que el foráneo apellido Varsavsky quede castellanizado y sea fácilmente equiparable al castizo Gómez, García o Pérez de toda la vida...

Foneros vs. Fonexcépticos

Reconozco, como FONEXCÉPTICO confeso, que me ha sorprendido comprobar que Martín Varsavsky también lo es, o al menos lo ha sido hasta hace muy poco.

Bueno, Martín en realidad es sólo fonexcéptico, ya que como fundador de FON jamás podría confesar públicamente su excepticismo en el movimiento, recientemente reconvertido en empresa, que lidera.

Es posible que alguien se sorprenda por mi condundente afirmación, pero... ¿cómo se entiende si no que carezca de los recursos humanos y materiales para facilitar los routers a sus seguidores/clientes?

Varsavsky no es un novato en el mundo de la empresa y la comunicación, ya que ha gastado millones de euros en campañas publicitarias desde Jazztel y, conociendo perfectamnte el impacto de los medios sobre el consumidor y su impulso de compra. Por otra parte, dispone de recursos económicos a nivel personal más que suficientes para contratar personal y comprar routers para el lanzamiento de FON, sin precisar la ayuda de Google & Skype...

¿Por qué no lo ha hecho? Sencillamente porque es FONEXCÉPTICO, al igual que yo y otros cuantos más, que aunque apoyamos su proyecto, no invertiríamos nuestro patrimonio en FON.

Bueno él además es FONERO y FONEXCÉPTICO, lo cual es prácticamente lo mismo, ya que al menos hoy invertir 25 euros más IVA y gastos de envío en su router para compartir tu ancho de banda no implica ganar un céntimo, si eres un Bill, ni disfrutar de Internet gratis, si eres un Linus, siendo tan sólo el precio que has de pagar para convertirte en FonPrimo, FonTolai, o FonPanoli.


Martín ya tiene router

Bueno... en realidad no se si ya lo tiene o aún no, pero parece que le han prestado el dinero para comprarlo.

Martín Varsavsky, el chico expatriado, el emigrante argentino, el soñador que al igual que los pioneros de internet empezó su negocio con mucha ilusión y parte de sus pequeños ahorritos, parece que ha conseguido que los "grandes" crean en él y le apoyen en su proyecto.

Según comenta en su blog, noticia de la que se hace eco la prensa internacional, le prestan unos milloncejos para salir de su garaje de Alcobendas e instalarse en Castellana.

Son 18 millones de euros, lo cual para alguien ajeno al mundo internet puede parece una fortuna, pero para nosotros , los "venture capitalists" no es practicamente nada.

No obstante, es el comienzo, y aunque en España se dice que "los gitanos no quieren a sus hijos con buenos principios", también se dice que "quien mal empieza, mal acaba".

Martín ha empezado bien, y yo fonoexcéptico confeso, sigo apoyando desde aquí su iniciativa.


El último negocio de Martín

El último negocio de Martín

Hace unos días tuve ocasión de encontrar casualmente el blog de Martín Varsavsky, y conocer su último proyecto.

Para quien no conozca a Martín, les invito a visitar su web (, donde podreis leer su impresionante biografía... licenciado en una prestigiosa universidad norteamericana, políglota, y emprendedor nato creador de importantes empresas, tales como Viatel, Jazztel o, conocidas por todos nosotros.

Martín es el auténtico "self-made man", que de la nada ha acumulado una más que considerable fortuna en el mundo empresarial...

Ahora nos sorprende con FON (, un nuevo proyecto, aún no muy definido que pretende conectarnos a internet en cualquier punto del planeta por remoto que éste sea.

¿Conseguirá Martín su objetivo?

Leyendo su blog, encuentro un comentario de Wolfgson en el cual le cuestiona si el proyecto FON es parte de su labor filantrópica o empresarial, y la verdad es que tras meditarlo unos minutos, comparto su dudas, ya que el proyecto es utópico, si se basa exclusivamente en el voluntariado, tal y como pretende Martín.

Me temo que ha olvidado que él ya no es el dueño y señor de Jazztel y de, empresas que le hubiesen permitido tener una masa crítica de clientes en España para desarrollar con éxito su proyecto en la península ibérica, y comenzar posteriormente su expansión internacional, firmando acuerdos estratégicos con otros ISPs.

No obstante, habrá que seguirle la pista, ya que el proyecto parece interesante... Yo personalmente os aconsejo "fonear" vuestros ADSLs para conseguir un mundo WiFi o FON, como le gustaría denominarlo a Varsavsky.


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