Entrepreneur of the month: Jaime Sánchez-Laulhé, founder of Geoblink
Jaime Sánchez-Laulhé created Geoblink two years ago. This Madrid-based company, whose main mission is to tell us where to open our store, has now been selected by Bloomberg as one of the 50 most promising start-ups in the world.
Jaime Sánchez-Laulhé is the founder of Geoblink.who spotted a gap in the market and decided to take the plunge. Geoblink combines scientific analysis and Big Data to determine the viability of points of sale. Sánchez-Laulhé previously worked at McKinsey & Co in Madrid and Société Générale CIB in Paris, New York and Hong Kong.
He is a graduate in IT Engineering from the Madrid Polytechnic University, Telecommunications Engineering from ENSIMAG in France, and has an MBA from Chicago Booth at the University of Chicago. He has succeeded in positioning his company on Bloomberg's list of the 50 most promising startups, which in its latest edition in 2009 featured household names such as Spotify and Evernote. He shares all his secrets and his vision in this interview.
“An entrepreneur is…”. How would you finish that phrase?
A person with a clear vision of how to resolve a real problem, capable of taking risks and persevering to make that vision become a reality.
Could you tell us three features you think today's successful startups like Geoblink tend to have in common?
Having an innovative vision about how to solve a problem, working hard, and being able to attract a team with talent.
When you succeed, a lot of people tend to focus more on the luck you've had than on the talent that lies behind the project. What were your lucky breaks, and what are the talents of your startup?
I really believe in the saying “the more you practice the luckier you are”, and that you create your own luck, normally through hard work and effort. After working in several industries in different countries like France, the United States and Hong Kong, I returned to Spain to work in the consulting firm McKinsey, where I was lucky enough to detect a real and as yet unresolved need, and I decided to create Geoblink.
If you could share your secret of success, what would it be?
Not to take your eye off the ball. As entrepreneurs we're always on the lookout for new problems to resolve. However dispersion is one of the major reasons for failure. We need to focus on being the best at resolving the problem we started out with.
Can you sum up in one phrase the most important lesson or milestone in your adventure as an entrepreneur?
The best lesson is realizing that being an entrepreneur is an obstacle race, but whatever happens, we can always get up and carry on no matter what. This lesson helps me when I'm facing new challenges.
Who in particular has inspired you and why?
One of the people who has most inspired me is probably Steve Jobs. Among other things, I'm fascinated by his insatiable desire to think big and change the world (“Small visions don’t move mountains, big dreams do”).
How do you see today's consumer?
Thanks to technology and its constant advance, consumers now demand a highly personalized service. Nowadays they're not only looking for products and services, but also experiences and different ways of life. They also have much more to choose from than before. Thanks to the Internet, they can pursue their interest and find the best providers of products and services wherever they are. Companies must adapt to this new paradigm if they want to remain competitive.
What is the main demand from the market?
If we focus on the market served by Geoblink, B2B, we can see companies are undergoing a moment of growth, and nobody wants to get left behind: they want to be faster and are looking for more certainty, so they demand access to apps that contribute high added value in data without having to depend on third parties, so they can use them for decision-making.
What do APIs represent for a company today?
APIs allow companies to provide data services to third parties who can use them and maximize their value in order to offer better service for the end customer, and thus ensure the company stays competitive in the market.
A tip you were never given and would like to pass on to a young entrepreneur?
Believe in yourself. It's incredible what you can achieve if you believe in yourself. Nothing's impossible.
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