Hernando Salazar is a co-founder of  Fábrica Maravillas, which is a brew pub located in the center of Madrid, Spain. Certainly, it has been so successful that they have been currently under the pressure to increase the capacity of production even after a couple of times of capacity increment. Masaaki Hasegawa, from Master in Visual Media, class of 2013, had a chance to explore the key factors that have made them successful. 


MH: First of all, let me know more about you. You are IE alumni?

HS: I am an IE alumni of International MBA, class of 2005. I am originally from Colombia, and used to work for the marketing department in Diageo, which is one of the biggest spirits and wine producers in the world, before taking master. Then I came to Spain in 2004 to take MBA in IE. After graduation, I worked for BBVA in Switzerland as a relationship manager in the private banking sector for almost 3 years. After that, I decided to do business on my own and came back to Spain to find an opportunity to achieve it. From then, I have been in several entrepreneurial projects. Since then, I have been working as an entrepreneur last 3 years.


MH: And how did you come up with this great idea of having a craft brewery in the center of Madrid?

HS: It was like an accident. At the time I got involved this business, I was doing my other entrepreneurship project, called Housie, which helps International young people, including IE students, find accommodation and information in Madrid. One of master brewers that I knew then had the original idea and business plan but they did not have any specific financial plan and know-how to embody it, and I started working with them to help them develop the financial plan and provided advice from the viewpoint of business, gradually started giving some ideas about vision, and ended up being part of this project.


MH: Why did you decide to take a responsibility to manage the company instead of just consulting or investing money into the business?

HS: First of all, this project, craft brewery, was novelty in Madrid, and people in the project had passion with it. Initially, I just provided some advices but the time when they actually needed to raise money to launch business, it was not easy for them to find an investor to raise the amount of capital that they needed. I sort of rose my hand to be an investor as well because I already had tasted the beer they brewed and felt this would be successful. Then, we became a partner and I started being in the project in depth because I love their passion for this business.


MH: What was the first step to make your business realized?

HS: The first step was somewhat related to mentality. It was like facing the fact that “From now on, there is no way back”. It is easy to invest money into the existing business that is already structured that you simply need to observe management and numbers. But, as for the business that is just started, it is like just crossing your fingers that consumer would like your product and service. In fact, it was required to spend almost 2 years to get the business started due to procedure and preparation such as doing paper works, building machines to brew beer, and getting the license. So the first step was making our mind to take the whole risk that you would spend your time and capital asset for this project.


MH: Why you chose Madrid, Spain to launch your business?

HS: I particularly like Madrid, Spain and this neighbor Malasaña. People often argue that Spain is now in the crisis and is not currently a proper location to do business. But, I have grown up in the country with crisis all the time, and so for me this is not crisis. Beside, if you start your business in the difficult condition like that of in Spain now, the condition surrounding your business just can be better in the future. In fact our business has never been in red, so the current situation is normal for us and we think we could have cultivated survival skills. Whatever happens next in the economy, it can be positive factor for us.


MH: Did you have any specific difficulties when you launched your business? 

HS: At the time when launched this business, no one had experienced this business model before in Madrid. For example, even for brewing machine and tanks, we needed to customize its size to be placed in this location, center of Madrid, meeting the local requirements and regulation, and it was hard to find someone who would be able to deliver it. Also, we had complicated issues in terms of the operating license because beside it is not easy to gain the license, the concept of our business was novel at that moment here that is difficult to be explained well to the authority. 


MH: You mentioned that the concept of this business was novel in Madrid, Spain, when you get it started. How did you market it? 

HS: We did not market that is a part of the strategy we have. We spent 2 years to develop and improve our business model that we went over it, including concept and numbers, many times. We presented our business model to many different kinds of people and they often input their experience and ideas. So at the time when we launched the business, our business model was already well thought and sophisticated that is part of initial success. And location, having brewpub in the center of Madrid, itself is already marketing. The whole concept of business that people can see brewer and tanks is our best marketing structure. Mass media are always around the center that is easy to have them come to here, and also our customer themselves promote our place, putting picture on Facebook and all those kinds of SNS, to share their experience here with their friends. 


MH: After 8 month of success, what is your current challenge? 

HS: The current challenge is the next step what we are going to do next. For example, our initial plan was not just serving craft beer inside the bar but also producing beer for abroad. However, the consumption of beer here easily exceeded our initial expectation that we are unable to sell beer to other places. We have already increased the capacity and we are planning an additional capacity increment this year, but then it would reach the maximum manufacturing capacity at this location. Thus our next challenge is how we can put Fábrica Maravillas to the next stage of growth. Needless to say, we would be bigger. The question is how. So we have been currently discussing about what options we can take like, franchising, licensing, join venture, and how that strategy would influence on our brand value. We are supposed to set on next step after this summer. Compared to the potential size of the craft beer industry in Spain, our current distribution capacity is quite small. To make it bigger, we need to contemplate the measure to enlarge it. 


MH: Do you have some future vision?

HS: We would like to make people know beer as they know about wine. People living here know a lot about wine that is part of culture, but people seldom select and order specific kind of beer and just say “caña” instead. By educating consumer to have more knowledge on beer, we believe that it would be able to generate additional demand of craft beer and we see the potential to expand our business further. Here Fábrica Maravillas provides people with an opportunity to discover craft beer, which is completely different from mass manufactured one, that is designed for customer to learn beer every time they come here. It is a great challenge to change consumer behavior in the market through providing a distinct customer experience. 


MH: What you have learned in International MBA helps you manage your business now?

HS: Yes exactly. Especially at the beginning stage of the business, it helped me a lot. For example, when we were developing the business plan, I definitely translated what I learned in IE into our business model development and improved from an idea to the sophisticated business model, including financial model. Initially, whereas the idea and business plan was unique, it lacked a well-developed financial strategy and plan, and what I have learned in IE is absorbed into this business. It was the first as well as direct input from MBA. 


MH: Give us a message for future entrepreneurs.

HS:  First of all, do not think you cannot do good business as long as you do not have a completely new idea.  Even if you do not have any idea, just keep looking for it. It does not have to be sophisticated one but can be basic one. It is understandable because media are eager to take up some interesting novel idea to get an attention. But you can even do business with basic concept like selling bread. Once you get an idea, tell it to everybody. Don’t worry about copying. If somebody can copy it quickly, chances are someone has already done it. A lot of first stage entrepreneurs protect their idea and are less likely to share their idea with people for the fear of being stolen by someone. But no one would actually quit his or her job to copy your idea. People love to help you, and so share your idea with others. 


Ken Segall  (http://kensegall.com)

 “Insanely Simple”

 Closely working with Steve Jobs for both NexT and Apple, for over 12 years, Ken Segall is credited for the person who put the “i” in iMac and led the awarded legendary campaign “Think Different”, and is the author of  “Insanely Simple”, that is about how simplicity influenced on Apple to innovate and develop. Masaaki Hasegawa, student of Master in Visual Media, had a chance to explore the secrets behind the concept of “Insanely Simple”.


MH:  Thank you for giving us to have this interview with you. First of all, let us know more about you. How did you come to work in advertising industry?

KS: It’s a long story! Before I went to college, I took an aptitude test that suggested I had an aptitude for advertising. I chose advertising as my major, but moved to a different major in my very first year. It wasn’t until seven years after I graduated college, after trying my best to make it as a musician, that a friend suggested that I should look into advertising. So I took a job in the production department at Chiat/Day in Los Angeles. Only then did I discover that there was such a thing as a creative department, and that I might be a good copywriter. I took two night courses to put together a portfolio of ads and moved to New York to get my first job as a writer. It’s ironic that after all those years, I ended up in the very profession that my college aptitude test suggested.


MH: You are known as the person who created the “Think different” campaign for the Apple.. It is very impressive because this TV advertisement did not try to appeal through products or to persuade consumers to buy, but stimulated people to make action, and change their behavior. It seems that you applied the concept of “Think different” to this campaign itself too. How did you get this idea?

KS: The “Think different” campaign was born of the efforts of a small, talented group of people. Steve Jobs had just returned to Apple as the “interim CEO” and the company was in dire financial condition. There would be no new computers for at least six months, so the first order of business was to put together a brand campaign that would tell the world that the spirit of Apple was alive and well. To us, the spirit of Apple was based in creativity. Never “one of the crowd,” Apple was for people who didn’t think like everybody else. That led to the idea of a campaign that celebrated people who changed the world because they had the passion and the drive to “think different” — to push the human race forward. We (the agency and Steve Jobs) believed that you can tell a lot about a person by the people they admire, and that was the principle of this campaign. By showing the world who Apple admires, we would say a lot about the company itself.


MH: Did people who were working for Apple that time, except for Steve Jobs, easily accept the idea of “Think Different”?

KS: Absolutely. The campaign was as much for the people who worked inside Apple as it was for the company’s customers. When Steve Jobs returned, he told us that he was thrilled to find that so many of Apple’s talented people had stuck around during the years when Apple seemed to be floundering. They still believed in what the company stood for and they had remained in their jobs in the hope that one day it would regain its momentum. When the “Think different” campaign launched, Steve sent out a companywide email explaining the campaign. He asked everyone — no matter what their position — to “think different” about their jobs and find new ways to do things better. There was an unmistakable feeling inside Apple that it was on the road to recovery, and thinking different was a big part of that.


MH: This ad was made when Apple was facing a severe situation. Did this campaign and ads also change the people in Apple who were working with you?

KS: We only worked with a small group of people inside Apple — Steve Jobs and the people he trusted to be involved in the marketing. Everyone in this group believed in Steve’s vision and was eager to be part of the effort to turn things around. I don’t think that the campaign necessarily “changed” them, but it helped all of us focus on the mission. It became a theme for us all.


MH: People thought differently from others when they were children, but they came to think similar to others through education. A lot of companies may think differently but become similar to other companies as they get bigger. 

KS: Very true. It is my belief that “processes” are to blame. Every company is a startup at some point, and at that time they behave very differently. They create processes in order to “institutionalize” success. They want to be able to repeat their successes in the future, and ensure that they can continue to succeed while employees come and go. The problem is, as companies get bigger, processes tend to take over. Some people are actually paid just to make sure that the processes run smoothly. That’s a big problem when creativity is a part of your business, because the process should never become more important than the idea flowing through it. Apple didn’t have that problem. Steve Jobs refused to act like a big company. He didn’t think that great ideas were born at big companies, so he snuffed out big-company behaviors whenever he encountered them. In the areas of innovation and marketing, he purposefully kept things very small.


MH: You mentioned that it is difficult for large companies to change the corporate culture inside because the existence of complex systems, and thus the CEO is the only person who can change it. In that respect, how Steve Jobs is different from other CEOs?

KS: Steve was very, very different from most CEOs. He refused to relegate responsibility when it came to the things he was passionate about — and marketing was one of those things. I’ve dealt with quite a few CEOs during my advertising career, but none of them even came close to the level of involvement that Steve demanded. He wasn’t dictatorial about it. That is, he didn’t bark commands and have all of us run off to do his bidding. He simply wanted to be a part of the marketing team, and be involved in the process. There were quite a few healthy debates. Sometimes Steve would get his way and sometimes he wouldn’t. He had respect for the opinions of talented people (though he did often engage in energetic debate). What made Steve really different was that he found time for things that other CEOs did not. He was passionate about so many details, and doing things “the right way.” I have no idea how he found the time, because when I was working with him he was CEO of both Apple and Pixar — either one of which would have consumed an ordinary man. Plus, he insisted on taking time out for his family. He had that kind of inexhaustible energy and commitment.


MH: Please let me know about your recent book, “Think Simple.” How did you come to believe that thinking simpler is important?

KS: It wasn’t something that hit me out of the blue. It was something I noticed over a long period of time working with Steve Jobs on NeXT and Apple. And it was something that was reinforced by my time working with more complicated companies, like Intel and Dell. I came to understand that Steve Jobs had this love of simplicity that affected his thinking on so many different levels. He would see everything through this “lens of simplicity,” and then apply his common sense to it. He struck down the things that were more complicated, whether they were part of a product’s design or part of the company’s organization. His way of looking at things was refreshing and pure, and he refused to compromise for anyone. It was when complexities started to interfere with Apple’s ability to move forward that he became the “rough” Steve Jobs that we’ve all heard about. It wasn’t that he was a mean person — he had an extreme passion for what he was building.


MH: I totally agree with your the idea of Think Simple. However, a lot of people tend to think in a complicated way. What do you think what makes them not think simple?

KS: That’s the big question, isn’t it. In my opinion, human nature works for and against simplicity. As human beings, we have an instinctive preference for simpler things. However, as human beings working in a business environment, we also love to compete and prove that we’re talented and smart. So I don’t hold individuals responsible for making things more complicated as much as I blame organizations for creating structures that involve too many people. By creating a complicated process, they invite more people into the process — which results in a classic case of “too many cooks in the kitchen.” In such circumstances, it’s difficult to keep things simple.


MH: Think Simple may require you to face the substance of things and to accept everything.

KS: For many people, this is scary because it is sometimes necessary to see what they do not want to see and face. A. I think that’s where leadership comes in. Not to denigrate other people’s talents, but business can’t be a free-for-all. Steve Jobs was a leader who had a vision. He led with strength and forced people to see the “truth.” Though it was difficult to work with him at times, it was also refreshing because he was asking you to put all of your effort into creating something great — and not worry about the things that distract other companies. Steve didn’t hide anything. He made you see the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it might make you feel.


MH: Think Simple may be a courageous decision for many people. For example, Think Brutal is not easy for many people for fear of being hated by others. To be this way, it would be necessary that all the members in the team share the idea that they work to achieve a certain goal?

KS: You are correct when you point out that people don’t naturally like to be “brutal” to one another. Most of us want to get stuff done, but also be kind and respectful to our colleagues. So when I talk about being brutal, I mean it in special sense. I only mean that honesty is a vital part of moving forward. Steve Jobs was obviously very good at getting people to focus on a single goal, and it’s important for any organization to have that kind of unity. Opinions will always differ, but agreement can be reached on the greater vision and the guiding values. At as a foundation for all the work, people should all understand the importance and value of simplicity. It will help them become more productive and happier in their work.


MH: Steve Jobs said “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” And Mark Zuckerberg said “The biggest risk is not taking any risks.” Your idea “Think War” is close to taking risk in order to achieve goals?

KS: My “Think War” idea is actually more about not taking risk. It’s about knowing that the forces of complexity are always lurking in the shadows, and that you should take as few chances as possible — calling upon your most powerful weapons to ensure that your ideas emerge from the end of the process unscathed. But yes, at a higher level, I do agree that great things are never accomplished without putting yourself (or your company) at some degree of risk. Again, this is one of the things that made Steve Jobs special. He was willing to “bet the company” on new products that came with no guarantee of success. He followed his instincts.


MH: It is often the case that the people in large corporations lack a sense of purpose as one company and they focus on what is before them, such as promotion, pride, income and dignity. Think Simple sounds like sweeping all those things aside and finding what the most important is. 

KS: I think that’s true. If a company is good at practicing simplicity, everyone in the organization understands why they are doing what they are doing. They understand the mission and their role in that mission. But every company has a different culture and a different mission, so I try not to make blanket recommendations. I do believe that the love of simplicity can be a powerful part of any culture, and if it isn’t there already, it is well worth cultivating. Pursuing simplicity doesn’t mean putting aside other concerns — it means seeing everything through this lens of simplicity. If something seems too complicated, or lacking in common sense, it shouldn’t be ignored. Someone has to call it to others’ attention, or to try to fix it themselves.


MH: I think that the idea of “Think Simple” is not to think less, but think more about the core and essence of the things. For who have not read your book, would you please give me some hints to think simple?

KS: You are correct. Thinking simple is definitely not about thinking less. In fact, it’s usually much harder to distill one’s thoughts and efforts into something that registers quickly and clearly. This is what Steve Jobs was referring to when he talked about hard part of the process — “peeling away the layers of the onion” to get to the purest form of the idea. This takes a lot of thought and a lot of discipline. If I were to give out any hints, I’d start with what might be the most important one: rely on your common sense. Most of us can tell when ideas are being cluttered, or a creative idea is being whittled down into something mediocre. It’s our ability to keep ideas on track, and defend against the dark forces of complexity, that allows us to achieve simpler, more focused results. Equally important is our ability to minimize. This means not trying to do too many things at once, or to offer too many choices, or to accept an organization with unnecessary complexities. Understanding the importance of minimizing allows one to create a better organization, better products and services, and better communications.


MH: Thank you for taking your time to share your great ideas and experiences. We will share this interview with students from all over the world. 

KS: It is my pleasure! I’m happy to talk about these things with anyone, anytime. I can always be reached through the Contact form on my blog. Thank you, and keep flying the flag of simplicity!



Laura Illia discusses about Corporate Reputation at El País

Written on July 15, 2013 by Begoña González-Cuesta in News

Laura Illia, Academic Director of the Master in Corporate Communication, has recently talked to El País, about companies and corporate reputation. She is currently developing a research project about the topic; her interest is focused on CSR and Social Media.

The results of the research will be helpful for professionals in the field, especially to use them as guidelines to establish a better communication and a dialogue with their stakeholders, changing the culture of the companies.

Laura Illia’s opinions have been published in the blog Via@IEBusiness: http://blogs.elpais.com/via-ie-business/2013/07/la-rsc-y-las-redes-sociales.html.


Real Life at IE

Written on July 14, 2013 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News

303832_4719196545086_1815621403_nMasaaki Hasegawa is a student at the Master in Visual Media and one of the those who actively work for student activities. Here, in the interview, he shares his experience and what he has learned at IE, looking back last 10 months. This is the real life at IE from the viewpoint of a student that is not mentioned in school brochure or website.


How was your educational experience at IE?

MH: It was quite interesting and valuable. As for Master in Visual Media, it is designed to cover both business side and creative side, so I could have learned a lot how to build a bridge between creativity and business. The greatest point of this aspect is that you can easily reach to professors from MBA that they do have over decade professional experience in business field, many of them are MBA holders, as well, as well as to creative genius from the creative industry like a professor who has worked with Madrid Fashion Week. In addition, it was great experience that there were many classes covering the new business fields, which is a combination of creativity and business, such as “Business Design”, “User Center Design”, and “Emotion Design”. In normal MBA, these fields are not covered since those fields are too young and one of its objectives is to maximize the value for several hundreds of people, and thus it takes time to adopt these kinds of area to MBA. This is one of the biggest advantages of Visual Media that you can access to the latest technological and business trends in the economy. 


Let us know your experience in IE that would help your professional career

MH: Being in IE has given so many opportunities to build relationships with various kinds of professionals. For example, I could have interviews with Rei Inamoto and Ken Segal. Rei Inamoto is chief creative officer at AKQA and one of the most creative people 50 in the world and Ken Segal has led the legendary promotion of Apple, “Think Different Campaign”. These people gave me opportunities not just because I worked hard but because IE has strong brand value. Also, I have organized several conferences in IE. For example, the head of asset management of Bank of New York Mellon and the director of Change.org Spain, which is a petition platform having 35 million users in the world. They had conferences in IE because IE possesses potent brand value and high quality students. In fact, after the conference in IE with Naotaka Fujii, head researcher of Riken Brain Science Institute, he got an offer for a project for Indian government. This shows that how networking inside IE has a great potential for your future career. Needless to say, I could have built this kind of amazing professional relationship with various kinds of people through activity in IE. 


How about your private life in Madrid? 

MH: Life outside school is also amazing. First of all, so many people can recognize IE so it was easy to explain myself to people living here. In addition to that, people in Madrid are open-minded people that you can make friends all the time you go out. In fact some of my best friends outside school are 15 years older than me but they pretty much accept me and we talk like old friend. Also, through living in Madrid, I came to realize that there are thousands of way of life that there is no common sense in terms of life style in Madrid and many people put emphasis on culture and enjoyment of life that enriches their life and personality. This is one of the most precious points that you can learn while living in Madrid. Personally, I have been training martial arts more than a decade and am doing that in Madrid too, belonging to the gym, Muay Thai Madrid, and I could have met many people have seen local life style on the course of training with them. Especially, when I recently joined a kickboxing competition, they gave me a great support that I could feel at one with them. 


How about student activities inside IE

MH: Beside club activity myself, there are many interesting activities, parties, and networking opportunities organized by students. One good example is IE Social Club, which organizes a weekly networking party for IE students over the boarder of masters that is held in local fancy restaurants and clubs. The president of this club, Selva Dilek Oztaskin is from Turkey but has lived in Madrid more or less 10 years and she knows all the important restaurants, bars, and clubs, and owners. Through this activity, you can build a relationship with people from different master and have an opportunity to know local life. Especially, during the semester, students are normally tied up with their own work and are less likely to have a chance to communicate with people in different major. Thus, this kind of networking opportunity would help you find interesting people in different area from yourself. Also, IE Net Impact clubs organizes various kinds of interesting events in which students are able to get along with those from different masters and great speakers.


What did you learn most in IE?

MH: What I have learned in IE most is that the importance of taking initiative that is not something that you can gain from just taking classes. As I mentioned above, I have had interview with more than 10 great people around the world and organized 3 conferences. Actually, when I came to Spain, I had no connection with anyone that I mentioned above and I started from scratch. However, by taking a step to a little bit outside from your comfort zone, collaborating with different kinds of people, and challenging something even if it seems ridiculous, I could have generated value to students in IE and professionals in business world. Through these experiences, I could meet a number of interesting people and build an attractive human network that is definitely an intangible important asset in my life. Furthermore, these activities have definitely added value on my career that I have gotten more than 5 internship offers from 3 different countries pretty much quickly.


What is your professional and personal plan for the future after the graduation?

MH: Personally, I am interested in the concept of new rich that is releasing yourself from the ordinary pattern of life like working from 9-17 and having your own life: time. Their life is free from the limitation of location and time and they are doing things that they are interested in most of their time. It sounds something like dream but, in fact, I have some friends who have built this type of life-style and who are also economically successful. Like what I have learned in IE, by taking initiative and having courage to take a first step, I believe that there are not so many things that are seriously impossible to realize. And in most of the cases, we tend to fall the trap of thinking that you have something to lose and you cannot do it because others do not do it. My motivation is to overcome this common sense and build up my own life-style in order to generate value from my own way of life. I do not think it is the stage that I can reach in a moment, but I strongly believe that it is worth trying. I would like to refer one quote of Steve Jobs to finish.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”


Congratulations MCC 2012-13 intake!!!

Written on July 11, 2013 by Laura Illia in News

Last monday 8th of July 2013 students presented their final projects for the Master in Corporate Communicatio (MCC).  Clients this year were: Western Palace, McDonalds, Hoffman Group (Vitalia), and Air Europa (Globalia). Congratulations to all our student for their works!!

I would like to thank the coaches who followed students during these final works: Cristina Vicedo and Juan Briz.  Also, my appreciation goes to the members of the jury of this year for their valuable comment and their professionality: Pedro Cifuentes, Vincent Doyle and Tony Bing.

This year Maria de la Torre and Raquel Capellas (Weber Shandwick  – WS)  examined the different projects presented by  students from the program. They decided to give the IE-WS award to the team Globalia (Air Europa) : Christopher Meyer (Germany),  Aysel Omarova (Azerbaiyan), Julia Licheva; (Bulgaria), Estrella Jaramillo (Spain), Chiara Olimpieri (Italy) and Luisa Pittier (Venezuela). Congratulations!

Pictures final project MCC Academic year 2013



Making a system that works for you

Written on July 4, 2013 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News




David Hughes is personal trainer and founder of Personal Trainer Madrid (www.personaltrainermadrid.com) and Muay Thai Madrid (www.muaythaimadrid.com). He moved to Madrid almost 10 years ago when he was still in his early 20’s. He has built a system that work for him that allows him to use his time in whatever way he wants. He can work when and how he pleases. He trains and has some classes of Thai boxing but it is because he just loves it. Masaaki Hasegawa, a student of Master in Visual Media Communication had a chance to explore the secrets of how he could get such dreamy work/life style.


MH: First of all, how can you describe yourself?

DH: Now, I describe myself part-trainer but mostly leader that is what I can describe myself as now. My role is to lead, to have the ideas, make the systems to be exactly where they need to be, keep the standards high and new ideas to drive business forward, and to implement those things. 


MH; You come to Madrid around 10 years ago?

DH: Yes, 10 years in August. I had 550 euros when I came here and rent was 500 euros so I did not have money for deposit. I needed to look for a job and I sent my CV everywhere and some of them contacted me and I got a job at a small English school. At that time, I introduced myself as a “trainer”, not a “teacher”. Even when I had no training clients; I would introduce myself as if I was already what I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. And I gradually got training clients and then referrals, and dropped the level of English teaching to 80%. It took 3-4 years until I was 100% training and 0% teaching English. You’ve got to be patient and you’ve got to work on your name and reputation. Never chase money and work to help the client achieve what they want.


MH: How did you get your gym?

DH: And then, I was looking for a space to have a gym and one guy was willing to sell his gym. He wanted 60,000 euros to take over the gym, and I only saved up 6,000 euros. And I went to speak with him and ask him why he wanted to sell it. At the same time he tried to sell his idea, I kept listening and asking “why do you want to get rid of it?”. It turned out that he hated the gym that he was stuck in the gym from 8am-11pm and it was not really making a consistent living and he even said “You are doing me a favor if you take over the gym from me”. I had a couple more meetings and eventually I got it for free. 


MH: What was the difficulty then?

DH: After my individual classes became fully booked, I hired one trainer, but my mistake then was I put the same load that I had on him. From 6am-11pm was normal for me at that time because I was motivated to run the business but for employee it is different. As a result, he left the job and I was forced to do again what he did then. And then I hired 2 another trainers and changed the way. One is for morning shift and the other is for night shift and switch every week. They work only for 4-5 hours a day that in turn I strongly demand them that the training is 100% perfect, no excuses, and full of energy. For them, they finish their job at 12pm if they have a morning shift. They got a great job and they love it. As a result, it decreased the working hours, increased the revenue, and skyrocketed their performance, because I could be more demanding about the quality of work. 


MH: What was the point to improve their performance?

DH: I said them “Don’t spread yourself 2 thin” that means don’t do too many things because the quality goes down. Concentrate 100% on the traiings and I will help the clients in the all the other things like nutrition etc. And also I said them ” do not work at home and I want you to be relaxed and enjoy your work and life”.  


MH: Let us know about your business philosophy more.

DH: Product, service, and performance come first, never chase money. I even turn away clients that I think it is not good for the environment that I provide. 99% gyms do not do that. I do not want to take money from a person who is not ready because they have low motivation and can miss the sessions. I want everyone in the gym doing amazing and super happy. What happens from that is that they tell the gym to their friends. If we got the happiest place for clients and happiest place for work, you can get happy client and staff and that way your business can only go up. The customers are people who make the gym so we do not take customers who would not be a good fit with the happy gym environment. So, build the product, build the service, and build the performance first. Philosophy is what finds you. 


MH: You have put emphasis on taking yourself out of the system. Tell us more about it. 

DH: If you cannot replace yourself, you do not own a business, you own a job. The first class service that we give the client would not be possible if it was a one-man show with just me. Everyone has to have a specific role and that is where the system comes in to place. People without guidance and systems are open to mistakes. But if you lay out the systems in place and if you have a clear tracking in your system, nothing can go wrong. For example, David Hughes training system, all the training sessions run from my original design of the training system which brings the best results, the trainers design every single one of their trainings built around the system. They have flexibility and they can do whatever they want in the training but it is built around the specific way of training to get the maximum result. Here is an interesting example of one of the systems. There is a specific 4 step process when we get a mail from customer asking  how much is the cost. First step is giving them an idea about the price. Second is making them fill out the questionnaire to see how to help them more. Where do you want to go, why this is important to you, where would you like to be in 6 month, what previous experience you have, and most important question is “Our gym is happy and positive place, I only accept positive and happy people. Please write an explanation about why should I let you into my gym. And third step is setting a meeting with them and I have a specific system what questions we need to ask them that allow us to reach the root of their problem and the exact result they are looking for, then if I think they are a good fit for us we let them in our gym and help them hit that goal 100%. You need to have a system to convert a lead into a client.


MH: Do you think everyone can adopt the concept of having a system to his or her business?

DH: Again, it depends on what do you want your business to do for you. I consider my one the best business model for me and my business. Everyone is happy and it is a fantastic way of living for me. For example, Frank Kern, one of the most famous Internet marketers, switched his job because he hated his clients. He was making millions but he hated his clients. He stopped and invented a new online business helping people and only accepting clients that were good for him also. It is not nice way to live that you need to run away when you see your clients on streets. All my clients are also my friends and when I meet them in the street we are always happy to see each other. That for me, is great!. It is true that not all business can adopt the same system that I am using as it depends upon their product and service, but everyone is able to set up specific systems to help their business run more efficiently and work for them as they want it to.
















IE School of Communication in the Online Media Awards

Written on June 19, 2013 by Pedro Cifuentes in News

Last week in London, inside the beautiful Emirates football stadium, the Online Media Awards held their annual ceremony, which purpose is to recognise the best sites in online news and journalism. The event, which is sponsored by IE School of Communication, attracted entries from some of the world’s leading websites, including Al Jazeera, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Times, CNN, New York Times, Sky, Channel 4 / ITN, ITV, Sunday Times, BBC and Reuters, to name a few.

Our Master in Digital Journalism’s director, Pedro Cifuentes, presented four awards (Best Specialist Site for Journalism, Best Local/Regional News Site, Best Video Journalism, Best Video Site) and had the chance to explain its perspective to leading professionals in the field, some of which already teach in our programme throughout the year. The best speeches during the night emphasized the amazing level of creativity and professionalism shown by digital journalists working in big and small projects, which also deserved prizes, such as the Chairman Award, in spite of the hazards brought by the world financial crisis and the transition to new journalistic and information business models. Never has information been more crucial, nor proper journalism more relevant.

The complete list of awards, nominees and commendations can be found here. We recommend a good look at the projects mentioned and involved!

Before leaving, here´s a smiling picture with BBC News On Demand website producer, winner of the Best Video Journalism prize.



Emotional Design

Written on June 13, 2013 by Vanessa Dezem Baida in News

Marco van Hout is co-founder and creative director of SusaGroup and a board member of the International Design for Emotion Society; he is a professor in IE’s Master in Visual Media. He has worked in the field, called Emotional Design, more than a decade and has contributed to it to become bigger. Emotional Design is a strategic thinking with a particular focus on emotion as the key tool to create better, and it is one of markets that has been growing rapidly. Emotions and experiences have become the key words in 21st century to provide consumer with better products and services. Nowadays, emotions are considered catalysts to connect consumer with products and services and have a strong influence on consumers to determine the quality of their product/service’s experience. Masaaki Hasegawa, student of IE’s Master in Visual Media has interviewed Marcos van Hout and in the lines bellow the specialist gives us an opportunity to better understand this field.


MH: How can you define design for emotion?

MV: The definition of design for emotion is that you take the emotional impact of a product or service as main focus to design the product or service. Instead of looking at the design characteristics from the beginning, you first look at the emotional impact you want to achieve, then, you create a deep understanding of whom you are designing for, in order to understand the potential impact. From there, you start designing by focusing on the personal context, goals, standards and attitudes of your users. Most emotions with products are evoked by a subconscious evaluation in which we continuously check if something will benefit or harm our personal concerns. This also explains why emotions are personal (I may have a completely different emotion with a product than you, because we can differ in personal concerns). The steps to design for emotion are simple: 1) measure the emotional impact, 2) understand why these emotions are felt by understanding your user’s personal concerns, 3) create an emotional fingerprint for your product (strategy), and 4) make sure your solution will facilitate the user’s personal concerns so that positive emotions will result. It may sound straightforward, and it is, but the core of design for emotion is that you have an emotion as a starting point. For example, in our current assignment at IE University for the screen of the Museo de Prado, we started with investigating people at the Plaza de las Letras where the screen is situated, in order to know how they behave, what concerns they have, and in which context they have their rituals. You have to know who you are dealing with for design for emotion. It is a very human-centered and empathetic way of designing.


MH: How did you get interested in this field?

MV: 11 years ago, I was in Madrid for an internship and they gave me an assignment in a hospital here. In the end, it was cancelled. However, I was already here and arranged everything. Therefore I had to think about another topic, and one of my colleagues told me about ‘Kansei engineering’, a Japanese engineering technique that focuses on linking product characteristics to affective impact. I thought it sounded very interesting and wondered how this would relate to products and especially interactive products. Plus, I was even more interested in researching how designers could benefit from learning more about the emotional impact of their products. So I wrote my Master thesis on the emotional impact of interactive products and how designers could elicit predefined emotions. It was about whether designers could design different products if they look into emotions at the start point. When I started getting involved in this field, design for emotion was not very wellknown. The Design & Emotion Society was founded as a first initiative and step in this field, which was in 1999. Since then, a lot has changed and emotion and experience are household concepts now in design programs at universities, but also more and more in industry.


MH: Who and what kind of companies can apply design for emotion to their business usage?

MV: Basically every company that would like to have an impact on their user from an empathic point of view. If you want to design something that is meaningful, or to have products that people value, you should focus on emotional design, because emotion driven design focuses on the appropriateness of a product. Emotion drives our behavior, helps us perceive the world, as we know it, steers our memory and helps us engage. Emotion is a key element of experience in the world we are living in. It can give companies a competitive advantage, as emotional impact is about influencing (purchase) behavior, satisfaction, engagement, attachment and especially the experience of meaning. Name one company that doesn’t want to be considered as meaningful by their clients.


MH: When you started business in this field, what was the difficulty? Even if the economy situation was better than now, did people pay attention to invest in this field?

MV: In that period, Joseph Pine wrote his book, “The Experience Economy”, which is about the paradigm shift from a commodity driven economy to an experience driven economy, and companies started to differentiate themselves from others with unique experience they would provide. So in that context, emotions became more valuable. However, at the time, emotional design was seen as something extra that companies didn’t want to invest their core budget in, so sometimes we were part of the design process instead of what would be the best actually: the complete process from the earliest stage on.Thus, it is harder to convince companies with the current economic situation for the reasons I mentioned.


MH: Do you think companies think it is too obvious to invest their money?

MV: That is a good point. Emotion and Experience are something that we all have. Thus, clients and companies tend to think they know what they are doing with their products and services, and say, ” I know exactly what the experience is”, relating it to their own experience with it. Take for example a Roller Coaster experience. It is easy to undergo it by sitting down in your seat, put on the seatbelt and there you go. However, when you design the experience of it, you need to look into a lot of different aspects like how the seating is designed, how people touch it, how fast it goes, how the weather is, how much gravity people would experience, and so on. Roller coaster designer know that they need to look into these factors to understand what the experience is. People tend to think that they know the experience of roller coaster because they have experienced it, but just describing the experience when you are in the roller caster is not enough.


MH: So, a small difference could make the whole experience different.

MV: Yes, and emotional design points out the difference brought about by a small difference. Every design decision has a straight impact on emotion. Positively, you can influence it and negatively you are actually influencing it.


MH: Can we apply this to services and retail stores too?

MV: Most definitely! Actually, your experience starts before you go out to make your purchase. You think about the store you would go to and you think about I want to buy a pair of pants, for example. So you have a lot of expectations that would influence on your experience in a store from the beginning. Obviously, when you get inside the store, all visual stimuli, scent and sound that the store has have an overall direct influence on your experience, and so your (emotional) evaluation of the store immediately begins. People start to evaluate whether they like the smell inside, the music the store plays and the color valuation inside the store that come from personal background. That is why retailers need to understand whom they are dealing with. Emotion driven design takes on a holistic approach through all of the fields of design.


MH: What kind of trend we should follow

MV: The big trend that we are seeing in parallel with the trend of emotion driven design is the focus on a more human centered development. Within emotional design, this is about designing for well being, positive design, and design for happiness. Spaces are for example being designed with emotion-driven design techniques in order to influence mood, perception of safety and to alter behavior.

You can think of simple design interventions, such as changing the color of a hospital room wall to green, that proved to have a major effect on the time people had to spend in a hospital to recover. Another example are mobile apps that have been designed to stimulate positive behavior in people’s daily lives, for example by showing them how much energy they have used in their home, or how much they moved in a day.

Another trend is the increase in screens and interfaces that we are seeing in daily life. Not only are we confronted with them in our homes, but also in the street, in buildings, public transport, etc. Screens and interfaces are everywhere. Currently we are doing research on the impact of those interfaces and screens and to see when they are supporting people’s rituals/ needs and when they are harming them. It is all about appropriateness. We are looking at when do screens have a certain impact on people and when do they add value to people’s activities and needs: it is all about appropriateness. I see a trend towards designing screens around us from a more holistic perspective: it is not about what interface you design for specific screen (devices), but more about how do you connect all of those together so that they are, again, appropriate and valuable. In such a holistic approach, emotion is a binding factor which can guide you in designing a consistent user experience throughout all screen-experiences.


MH: Would you give some message to people who would like to get into this field? What they need to learn, what do you expect them to learn before getting stared working in this field.

MV: There is no specific master or school in this field, and I think this is not a bad thing because emotion is a part of a bigger whole. Emotion is a red line that goes through all layers of the experience. I think it is interesting to start reading related work in psychology, and you could read a lot of papers from past Design & Emotion conferences (since 1999). And then a plan could be to do an internship or start to experiment yourself. You need to go out to see how people feel, behave and interact with each other with your own eyes. So it is a lot about just an open vision. Once you have a vision, a clear empathy for the user and people in general, you can apply it to your own field. You can just dictate a designer or someone who creates things but you should be empathic. Just dictating does not work. Emotion driven design is perhaps the ultimate democracy between designers and users.




Written on June 10, 2013 by Begoña González-Cuesta in News

Have you seen the latest Master in Visual Media video? Listen to what students and professors have to say. You can learn about our program, professors and vision in less than four minutes!

For further information, please visit mvdm.ie.edu


Laura Illia wins the 2013 Business Schools’ Research Project Competition

Written on June 10, 2013 by Begoña González-Cuesta in News


IMG_3250Laura Illia, Assistant Professor and Academic Director of the Master in Corporate Communication at IE,  won the 2013 Business Schools’ Research project Funding competition launched by UniCredit & Universities Foundation  with the research project  entitled: “Building a new reputation indicator for UniCredit. Listening methods to close the gap between perception and reality”.

The competition is aimed to fund one research project from top worldwide business schools. This year the topic was on Corporate Reputation and was finalized to help UniCredit Stakeholder and Service Intelligence Department in handling the wide survey databases on group reputation.  Business schools involved in the competition in 2013 were: London Business School, INSEAD, IE Business School (IE University), Kellog School of Management (Northwestern University), Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and Said Business School (University of Oxford).

As Dr. Laura Illia specifies, “it is relevant to work on a new reputation indicator for UniCredit right now for two main reasons. First, as any other bank UniCredit is part of an industry –i.e. the financial industry- that is living a reputation crisis. It is thus interesting to study this phenomenon right now. Second, with the boost of social media and the rise of globalization it is necessary to find new ways to assess a corporate reputation.  Companies have lost the agency on their reputation and cannot merely align behaviours toward predefined reputation dimensions. Companies need to build their reputation around their relational network (online and offline) by engaging and dialoguing constantly with their stakeholders”.

The project will be lead by Dr. Laura Illia at IE Business School and IE School of Communication in collaboration with other researchers and specialist such as statisticians, experts in the financial industry and experts in communication and key performance indicators.

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