Martin Varsavsky on Web 2.0 Expo

Tim O’Reilly interviews Martin Varsavsky during the Web 2.0 Expo Europe last month. Martin is a serial entrepreneur that successfully created Jazztel and to compete with Telefonica in fixed telephony and Internet access in Spain in the late 90s. He later IPO’ed Jazztel and sold to Deutche Telekom with huge profits.

Martin is a very smart entrepreneur, and you can notice from the interview his clarity of thought.

  • “Markets are bipolar, and they over-emphasize good times and bad times. […] Entrepreneurs need to distinguish Price and Value […] (and) steer in the middle of the tremendous swings of the market, which are unreal in both ends. […] There are times when markets want to give entrepreneurs almost absurd amounts of capital, and others where the denial is absurd.”
  • His post on Sequoia’s panic is here.
  • Anecdote: The same bank that rejected Martin’s application for a $40,000 job, gave him a $12 million loan to start a company.

I am not a believer in Martin’s latest venture, Fon, that aims at creating a global community of Foneros that share their Wifi bandwidth. Although initially a good idea, with broadband prices falling , including 3G unlimited data plans, few people will be compelled to share Wifi, with the security risks involved, even if Martin claims in his blog that “it costs 85% less [to Operators] to send traffic through WiFi than through 3G.”

Whether Fon succeeds or not, Mr. Varsavsky is no doubt a savvy entrepreneur, and I feel proud we have him in Spain.

One thought on “Martin Varsavsky on Web 2.0 Expo

  1. Tomas

    Interesting speech.
    I knew Martin by the press, but didn’t know much about him. He seems a pretty smart guy.

    From a client perspective, I don’t know much about the other companies he started, but my experience in was awful.

    They provided me ADSL for some time, but just when I had my first problem, they couldn’t fix it and the personal service was horrible. Even though I didn’t want to switch to other company…

    Solution: I had to switch to Telefonica.
    That was in 2005. May be he wasn’t there by that time.

    Anyway, my opinion about him has changed, I do appreciate his contribution to the education. Check his biography, it is impressive.

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