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Life on Mars - A podcast from MarsBased
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Life on Mars - A podcast from MarsBased

Author: MarsBased

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Welcome to Life on Mars! A podcast about technology, entrepreneurship and innovation from MarsBased. You will listen to stories of the best founders, investors, experts and celebrities from all around the galaxy every two weeks.
63 Episodes
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Kicking off the new year in great fashion with a solo episode of Àlex (CEO) doing a recap of our historic 2022 and some of the landmarks we've accomplished as a company and a look into 2023, with some hints regarding what we will research as a company and new technologies we will be tinkering with.This episode is short and easy to digest, which comes in handy after two weeks of big and heavy meals. You're welcome.🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
This week, we didn't have a guest speaker either, so we decided to record a solo episode.Àlex has addressed the team in an internal basecamp post to let us know that the company is very stable and that we're signing very long contracts with clients. That in mind, he gave us three things the company is doing to ensure more stability during this downturn of the market, where literally almost every company out there is firing employees left and right.Listen directly from Àlex what is MarsBased doing to ensure stability, because it could be applicable also to other agencies and contractors/freelancers.Also, someone tell him to stop recording episodes a few minutes before midnight.🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
One day you're a developer, like all the rest, and then you're not one of them anymore. That's what happens when you go up the management ladder in technical teams.You still want to code and be cool, but you have to be focused on business, fundraising, managing people, putting processes into place and talking to partners and the leadership team or even the board. Definitely, not what a developer has to do.In this episode, we discuss at length with Pau Minoves (ex-CTO at Typeform) and Xavier Noria (Rails Core Member) about the solitude of the managers, especially in remote environments.There's some intrinsic solitude in what was mentioned in the first two paragraphs, but throw in full-remote working environments and BOOM, the perfect equation for developing solitude and other mental issues, if not dealt with carefully.We talk about the pandemic, challenges of managing people remotely, impostor syndrome, communication styles, leadership in rough times, the importance of offsites and company retreats, and much more.Also, this is the last episode Àlex recorded with his iconic brick wall background!🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
We had our friend Mark from AWS calling in from Websummit last year, we also had Jorge Jaramillo recording his podcast episode in a camper van, and now it's the time for someone to record from his car!Jonas Rinde, serial entrepreneur in the Nordic region of Europe, and current CEO of Nomono, shares with us a masterclass of calculating risks and taking decisions at critical times, mixing his experience in extreme sports and high-level management in big corporations.🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
Breaking news: Factorial raised 123.5MM in a series C funding round led by Atomico and Tiger Global, and Kantox has sold to BNP Paribas for 120MM.Both companies are built with Ruby on Rails, which might sound as irrelevant, but it's also great news for the technology and for its ecosystem.In this episode, Àlex rambles on for 20 minutes about how these companies are showing the potential of B2B in Barcelona and how they should spearhead the third wave of startups in the city. Àlex also talks at length about the previous two waves and how they differed from one another.Yeah, we also didn't have a speaker for this week. You guessed right!🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
This episode will see us discussing text input and how to build keyboards for smartphones with Olivier Plante, CEO at Fleksy.Olivier has had a fruitful career in entrepreneurship but our paths didn't cross until some of the first Startup Grind events we organised in Barcelona, where he came and pitched his latest invention, ThingThing, a most flexible smartphone keyboard. A Swiss army knife of sorts, if you will, that integrated with other apps to manage files and other stuff within the conversation, without ever leaving the context of the app.In this conversation, Àlex and Olivier nerd out about how to get your custom keyboards into your smartphone, how they hacked iOS before the keyboard APIs were public, how Fleksy found a niche market in pharma, and how they're helping big players in the industry to detect early signs of neurological decline with their platform.🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
Remote worker solitude is something that strikes within 12-18 months of working remotely. We all suffer from it yet very few speak about it publicly.As an officeless company, we have to be very aware of this, and coach people into spotting it and dealing with it correctly. That's why we have decided to normalise it, speaking about it publicly, on our blog, on our podcast, and so forth.In this occasion, we speak with two friends of the company: Nikki Parsons and Sara Ronzero.We discuss home office setup, the importance of documentation, the definition of productivity, personal schedules and mental bandwidth optimisation, how to deal with this with your partner/housemates/family and much more.Also, Sara is a strong contender for fanciest drink category on the upcoming Life on Mars awards.🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
056 - Q&A with Àlex

056 - Q&A with Àlex

2022-08-2934:20

In this episode, our CEO Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit, devotes some time to answer questions from our friends from in- and outside of business, clients and other people we admire.Àlex rambles on for half an hour giving answer to the following questions:Who's the most brilliant individual you've ever worked with?What are your business weaknesses and what do you want to improve on?When are you going to launch the Startup Grind Mars chapter?What are the pros and cons of founding companies with friends?How do you establish a company culture in a remote environment and how to keep the team aligned?What drove you to start the company?What are the main excuses people have to procrastinate on launching their startup?Many thanks to Marc Collado, Josh Feldberg, Clemens from Barcinno, German from Exedra, Francisco Javier and Joan for the questions!🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
Back in the day, pre-pandemics and whatnot, we used to organise an annual conference called Startup Grind Tech. Oh, boy, long gone are those days.We hosted Carlota Pi, former CMO of HolaLuz, in her new role as chairwoman, to discuss their TV marketing campaign and marketing at scale.Carlota breaks down and shares all the learnings from that campaign, their revenues, their spend, how they sweated bullets when nothing happened for the first days and more.Funny story, Àlex messed up with the time scheduled for that session and cut it short, so here's a condensed version of the HolaLuz story!🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
We talk to Marc Assens, CTO and co-founder of Happy Scribe, an AI product from Barcelona offering real-time translations and transcripts, completely bootstrapped as a business.With Marc, we discuss both the business part of his company but also there's a lot of tech talk, regarding their choice of programming languages, how Ruby plays with machine learning engines, how they developed their own NLP algorithm, their architecture, and more. On the business side, we discuss hiring, prototyping and bootstrapping this kind of company.We love this kind of businesses and we want to showcase more of them on our show, so if you're one of them, get in touch with us!Insert funny joke here.🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
Appear.in was a video conference platform we started using in the early days of MarsBased, back when Google Meet Chats Hangouts, or whatever it was called back then, sucked big time, and the only alternatives were corporate platforms like WebEx and so on.We exchanged a few emails with them, from starting company to starting company, and since then we've been in touch a few times over the years.Eventually, Appear.in rebranded to Whereby and went from a fully bootstrapped company to raising funds and rewriting the entire product along with the rebranding.We talk to one of their co-founders, Ingrid Ødegaard, who was their CTO until she moved to VP Product at IndyRIOT, about the technology needed to build this product, how did their rebranding work, their techstack, how they rewrote their app from Angular to a full-fledged React one and many other angles to building a SaaS product.🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
In this episode, we talk to Pau Minoves, CTO at Typeform, one of the longest-standing and hottest startups in Barcelona, which recently raised $135 million in Series C funding. We talk about deployments, about company culture for hiring as well as for retaining developers. Pau tells us how they spur innovation into the company, how they evaluate proposals coming bottom-up from developers and all team members, and how they go all the way to production. How they deploy as seamlessly as possible with a frictionless development environment. Typeform is a company that has undergone several changes. A few years back the two co-founders relegated themselves from their leadership positions to reallocate into product. We had the pleasure to host David Okuniev, co-founder and ex-CEO, to talk on this matter on one of our very first podcast episodes. Typeform is not the kind of company you see or hear about every day. They are pretty seclusive in what they share with the press, etc. and it’s very rare that they speak at events. Thus we are super happy that we could have Pau on our podcast, and we hope you enjoy it!🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
In this week's episode, we discuss career paths for developers in the tech industry with Miguel Andrés (ex-Google, Badi, now CTO @ Simplr).If you're a developer and want to know what choices are out there, how can you choose between management, product or a purely technical progression path, this episode is for you.If you're someone looking to coach developers, this episode is for you.If you're a developer wanting to learn the differences of potential career paths between startups and corporates, this episode is for you.If you want to learn about Google's 20% rule, how to find mentors for your career, what's the role of a CTO, how to hire C-levels from bigger companies and more, this episode is for you.If you've got great taste for podcasts, this episode is for you.🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
Third episode talking about M&A and how to sell your business with our friend Mike Counihan, from Transcend Partners.On part 1 and part 2, Àlex and Mike discussed the first stages of the contact with prospective buyers, when to use M&A boutiques, what's the protocol, what to say, what not to do, how to calculate your price, how and when to prepare, how to keep it from leaking to the team and more.In this occasion, they discuss the three examples of M&A we've seen at MarsBased recently with three of our clients that have exited in the last six months: Spin to Tier, ValuationMetrics to Citadel Securities, and a third client we can't disclose that sold the technology, but not the team (because we are the team that built the project).If you want to learn how to calculate your valuation, differences between outbound and inbound M&A, how to establish relationships and cool off acquisition talks with potential buyers and more, then this is your episode.Also, unless you email us telling us to stop hosting Mike, we will keep recording episodes with him. You're warned!🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
We've been collaborating with developer bootcamps throughout the years to ensure that we contribute to the next generations of developers, which is one of our favourite ways of paying it forward.LeWagon has consistently been adamant at teaching not only one programming language but many. In fact, they know the value of learning multiple programming languages because they're developers themselves.We talk about their business model, incentives, how to tell a good bootcamp from a bad one, learning Ruby, how to teach and train new developers, bootstrapping a business, how they fundraised during the pandemic, and much more.If you love Ruby on Rails, this one is for you. If you don't love Ruby on Rails, we can still be friends.🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
We sneaked into 4YFN (4 Years From Now), the startups conference of Mobile World Congress, to host a Startup Grind event - an event within a bigger event.Factorial acquired Codegram, a Rails consultancy we respect a lot, in December 2019, so this is one of the topics we cover in this interview, and how organic vs. inorganic growth are working out for them, how they make their company culture permeate the lower ranks of the company and how they create new leaders and managers internationally in the context of hyper growth.It's a shorter episode because we were only given 30 minutes at the conference. We're too much to handle, we guess.And no. Àlex and Jordi didn't coordinate to have the same boots on the same day. You'll have to check the video to see this.🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
BOOM! the audio intros and outros are gone! We keep improving and iterating this podcast thanks to your feedback, making it a little bit better every day.In this occasion, we talk to the man, the myth, the legend, mr. Francisco Cruz, who spearheaded the community growth of Startup Grind globally, since their very first days to well over 300 chapters worldwide. Nowadays, he works at Notion, but that's not very relevant because we miss him at Startup Grind.At MarsBased, we have been organising the Startup Grind chapter of Barcelona since we founded the company, in early 2014, and continue to do so eight years after, without ever having skipped a single month. Month in, month out, we are hosting events with the most relevant entrepreneurs and investors around.Back to topic: with Francisco, Àlex discusses community building, cohorts of new applicants, bootstrapping an initiative like this, values-driven organisations, hosting events and conferences, cultural differences and they walk down nostalgia lane, hand in hand, reminiscing about days gone by.If you're curating a community and are building tools to nurture it, either with code or no code, this episode is for you!🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/¡🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
We have been curating the weekly newsletter of Startup Digest Barcelona since 2016 at MarsBased. Startup Digest contains a curated list of the best events in every city and we send it every Monday.We hosted Jessica Ford, their Director, to speak about the early years of Startup Digest, how they bootstrapped the project, how they built a bespoke platform and how they eventually migrated to Revue most recently. Also, and most importantly, we also cover the Techstars acquisition of the project.We talk a lot about newsletters, which is something we had never covered in our almost 100 episodes of both feeds of Life on Mars, and they're still VERY relevant in 2022. In fact, they keep evolving with the edition of dynamic elements, the new approach of certain innovative email clients like Superhuman, Spark and others.We also talk about the role of newsletters and established brands in startup ecosystems to build community like Startup Digest, Startup Grind, FuckUp Nights, TEDx and other brands available for entrepreneurs out there and how sometimes these brands will work better than your own ideas. Because, let's face it, your ideas are not that great, Jim. Let's face it. It's time to talk about that.We also noticed that every paragraph in this description starts with "we". What a great way to talk about community, focusing always on the "we".🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
OK - this one is a BANGER. It's got everything we like: async work, remote, hard opinions on corporates and VC-backed businesses, disruptive management styles, calendar & meetings management, how to grow company culture in fully-distributed teams and lots, lots of product.Amir has been spearheading Doist, the remote company behind Todoist and Twist, two tools that every remote company - mostly on the async side - should implement, for many years. He's become a fundamental thought leader on Twitter and on podcasts and events to talk about what we cover in this episode. At MarsBased, we truly look up to this company and we're so thankful for all the learnings they've shared on their blog throughout the years.Learn from Amir and Àlex, in a conversation where the models of Doist and MarsBased are confronted and compared in areas like how to manage junior personnel, how do our employees report to C-levels, how we do our one-on-ones with the team and much more.🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
We discussed no-code one year ago with Ben Tossell, from Makerpad, a few weeks before he sold his company to Zapier, in what would become the first Zapier acquisition ever.One year later, we decided to bring an expert in the subject, Nile Frater (Director @ NoCode.Tech) to bring us an update on the state-of-the-art of the no-code/low-code/less-code/wtf-code industry.We discuss at length the myths and legends of no-code and the conversation turns into a career plan for non-technical people, to repurpose themselves into pseudo-technical profiles who can build software, thanks to the progress of no-code tools.Also, we discuss how big corporations can build teams of no-code people to replace the need for engineers for everything. Sometimes, some automations and a landing page will do, and you can do that by combining Typeform, SquareSpace, Stripe and Zapier, for instance.We discuss this, and much more, with Nile, who comes all the way from Scotland and now resides in Barcelona, but we'll discuss weather on another episode!🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/🎬 You can watch the video of this episode on the Life on Mars podcast website: https://podcast.marsbased.com/
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