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Happy New Year 2015

2015 is just around the corner and every year, during the Winter holiday, I make a short review of the passing year.  2014 was in fact a great year, with a big focus on Appticles – this was made possible right after we got the investment from Launchub.

Imagine that, no more outsourcing!

We went all in with Appticles and this really paid off: we’re now generating revenue and we have awesome opportunities laid out for 2015.  But don’t think this was an easy journey. It never is and in fact, more often then never, it only gets tougher when growth is involved.

2014 was unique from a personal perspective as well, in the sense that I became aware of my intense need to self-discovery. Jim Carrey had a speech earlier this year where he said: “The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is!“. This stuck with me and made me think about all the people that I met in the last few years, that had an impact on me, either from a personal or professional point of view.

It’s a privilege to be on the receiver’s side, to get to meet inspiring people, learn from them and hopefully, one day, being able to give that back to others. Personally, I look at 2015 with excitement because I know that it represents the beginning of a new journey, sprinkled with uncertainties and things that are there but waiting to be unraveled. This is the stuff that gets me all hyped up!

A Big New Year Hug to all of you out there and a very special wish: may 2015 be the year of discovering the impact that YOU have on others! 

The Mobile Web is Not Dying … It is Shifting

Almost a month ago I wrote this article on and I’d like to invite to go over it and let me know your thoughts. Here’s just an extract from it.

Over 1 Billion Mobile Devices Shipped in 2013

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 1,004.2 millionsmartphones worldwide in 2013, up 38.4% from the 725.3 million units in 2012.

In addition to that, tablets will rise to break the 300 million unit mark in 2014 (combining tablet shipments of 263 million and shipments of “other ultramobiles” of 40 million units).

These two numbers are critical for understanding the driving force behind the third important trend: according to ComScore, mobile users will surpass desktop users in 2014.

There isn’t really too much to comment around these numbers, on their own, but, in connection with the impact they have on the Web, there’s a lot of speculation:

  • Chris Dixon, the entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, says: “Mobile is the future. What wins mobile, wins the Internet. Right now, apps are winning and the web is losing.” However he also worries that: “Apps are heavily controlled by the dominant app stores owners, Apple and Google and they reject entire classes of apps without stated reasons or allowing for recourse (e.g. Apple has rejected all apps related to Bitcoin).

  • Marc Andreessen, who at 22 invented Mosaic, the first graphical web browser, and later cofounded Netscape, said in a Wired interview back in 2012:

“The application model of the future is the web application model … Mobile apps on platforms like iOS and Android are a temporary step along the way toward the full mobile web. Now, that temporary step may last for a very long time … But if you grant me the very big assumption that at some point we will have ubiquitous, high-speed wireless connectivity, then in time everything will end up back in the web model. Because the technology wants it to work that way.”

  • Keith Rabois, who backed Yelp among many others, said, “nobody is going to be using the web soon” in a tweet
  • Paul Stamatiou, a designer at Twitter and a startup veteran, tweeted last November: “How many yrs until native mobile apps as we know them don’t exist? 10? No more installing. Mobile browsers/OS will be different beasts then.

It’s pretty clear that together with smartphones & tablets, apps are driving people’s interactions. Applying this to the Web translates into the need to escape the page view zone and think beyond responsive web design for all those 1 Billion web sites out there. There’s a new layer to be added to the mobile web, and that’s not only responsiveness, but “appness”.

If we admit that on mobile everything is about apps and considering the HTML5 adoption trend, then we could expect the Web to evolve into a new & exciting environment, where everything is an app instead of a site, where user’s interactions are more important than just views and, ultimately, where apps are interlinked into a Web … of apps.

I’m one of the 30 under 30, 2014 edition by Forbes Romania

An entrepreneurial journey that started in 2005, with a huge break-through in 2010 when we were the first Romanian team selected at the 1st Startupbootcamp in EU, followed by our first investment round from LAUNCHub at the beginning of 2014.




Read all about it in “30 under 30” edition of Forbes Romania:

Winning without losing

I always evaluate a book based on what stuck with me after reading it.  At first, I didn’t think “Winning without losingwould be the type of book that could have an impact on my life. Boy, was I wrong!

I met Martin Bjergegaard during the Startupbootcamp-Copenhagen program back in 2010. He is a Rainmaking associate and acted as one of our mentors at Startupbootcamp.  He gave a speech about achieving balance in life, practicing Yoga and what it truly means to be happy, which got me thinking that maybe this guy was too soft :). The only thing that stuck with me was: “At Rainmaking, we don’t deal with assholes!”, which was kind of a side note of something that he said, not actually related to the subject of his talk.

It got me thinking because (and I’m sorry to say this), dealing with assholes is what we were trained to do. By “dealing” I mean keeping our guard up and trying to make things work even though our gut feeling tells us it is not worth it. This was a remnant from a time when we were either too inexperienced or too nice to say NO, when there weren’t that many good people around or we were having difficulties spotting them.

Martin’s statement changed the way I deal with people ever since: I have started to develop an asshole filter, which I refined over time and morphed it into one of my most trusted senses. This helped us sanitize our business and was one of the best things that ever happened to us :)

That being said, Martin’s side note preceded the impact that his book would have on me.

I got my hands on the book while I was in Dublin, at the Startupbootcamp Alumni Day, back in May.  I read it all in one big gulp, absorbing the contents of each and every page and feeling sad that it it’s only about 300 pages long.

Winning without losing

 Winning without losing by Martin Bjergegaard and Jordan Milne comprises a set of 66 strategies for succeeding in business while living a happy and balanced life. Even thought it sounds utopian, after reading it I couldn’t stop recommending it to friends around me.

It’s the type of book that simply touches you at the most deeper level: I can definitely guarantee that at least one of those 66 strategies would relate to your case.  Just start with the first one :)

Trip to Barcelona

Spain, Barcelona, 2013. Said to be a wonderful city, never been there and honestly didn’t know what to expect other than practicing the Spanish I used to know from watching too much soap operas back in high school. In any case, never thought of Barcelona as the world’s capital of mobile, the place where, for a week, everything gravitated around devices, gadgets, operating systems, apps, opportunities and people of all nationalities united under one single but conclusive word: mobile.

And just like when you visit Paris, you have to see the Eiffel Tower, when you go to Berlin you have to see the Wall of Berlin or when you visit Copenhagen your mind immediately thinks of The Little Mermaid, Sagrada Familia has to be the place to visit when in Barcelona. For me that was kind of a treat since the place I’ve rented out from Airbnb had a view from the window directly into this magnificent cathedral. Imagine waking up each morning and seeing this:

Sagrada Fimilia from my window

So, all of the sudden Sagrada Familia and Mobile World Congress was a mix that stuck with me the entire week while I was in Barcelona and while I could go on and on about the two, I would just like to say a bit more about the rest of the things that I did there including pitching at Mobile Premier Awards in front of a jury from Mozilla and Intel.  This was an interesting experience and I have to say that being the first one to pitch out of 20 finalists gave me the opportunity to be more relaxed afterwards and enjoy the rest of the show.

The next day, I’ve pitched at Barca Starta, an event organized by Mobile Marketing Magazine and that was held in a really nice venue and on the third day it was time for me to be in the audience and see 7 startups pitching on stage at Telefonica Tower after going through the Wayra program. All in all the Wayra BCN Demo Day was a good show, although I personally was expecting more from some of the startups that got accelerated for 6 months.

The last day in Barcelona was all about visiting stuff: Sagrada Familia, Camp Nou and La Boqueria. But because I had so little time for visiting, I’ve just promised myself that I’m going to be back in the summer time cause something tells me I have a lot more things to see then :).


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