Talent and entrepreneurship in the digital age: new leadership?
Talent and entrepreneurship in the age of
The Rafael del Pino Foundation organised, on 18 January 2018 at 7 p.m., the dialogue entitled "Talent and entrepreneurship in the digital age: New leadership?" which featured:
- Javier Oliván, Vice President of Expansion at Facebook, Inc. and Rafael del Pino Foundation Fellow. - Bernardo Hernández, General Partner of e.ventures
Javier Olivan is Vice President of Expansion at Facebook. Javier is a first-class technological innovator: graduate in Automatic Engineering & Industrial Electronics from the University of Navarra, National End of Career Award, start of his professional life at Siemens, author of a patent for an algorithmic system for digital image processing, professional journey in Japan (NTT DATA), Siemens again, MBA from Stanford in 2005 with the Rafael del Pino Excellence Scholarship, enlisted in the beginnings of Facebook and, since July 2011, its VP of Growth.
Bernardo Hernández González is a Spanish entrepreneur, angel investor and technology executive. He was director of Flickr at Yahoo! and, previously, product manager at Google and CEO of Zagat. He has participated, alone or with other partners, in several technology companies in Spain, including, among others, Tuenti, Idealista.com, FloresFrescas.com, StepOne or 11870.com. He is currently General Partner of e.ventures.
The Association of Excellence Fellows of the Rafael del Pino Foundation awarded the 2017 Young Leadership Award at the same event. The winner of this 6th edition of the award was Javier Oliván, Vice President of Facebook Expansion and Rafael del Pino Foundation scholar.
This award is given each year to entrepreneurs and leaders under the age of 40 who have contributed, through their initiative and effort, to the improvement and advancement of society through the development of solid and innovative business projects. In its previous editions, the Prize was awarded to Jesús Encinar, founder of idealista.com, Íñigo Pirfano, Founder and Musical and Artistic Director of the Orquesta Académica de Madrid, Tomás Diago Esteva, Founder and President of Softonic, Javier García, Founder and President of RiveTechnology and Iñaki Berenguer, Co-Founder & CEO of CoverWallet.
To most people the name Javier Oliván means little, if anything, to them. This engineer from Huesca, specifically from Jaca, is, however, the Spaniard who has reached the highest level in Silicon Valley. He is none other than Facebook's Vice President of Expansion, one of the company's most influential executives and one of Mark Zuckerberg's right-hand men, whom he met when Mark was just a 22-year-old kid who had created a social network that was only available to students at certain universities. Oliván played a key role in transforming Facebook into the global company it is today. And his career has just been recognised with the 2017 Young Leadership Award from the Rafael del Pino Foundation's Association of Excellence Fellows. Javier Oliván came to Stanford University in 2005 to study an MBA with the Rafael del Pino Foundation Excellence Scholarship. Previously, he studied Automatic Engineering and Industrial Electronics at the University of Navarra, graduating with the National End of Degree Award. He also patented an algorithmic system for digital image processing while working for Siemens after completing his degree. It was precisely during Javier's two years at Stanford that he came into contact with Mark. As soon as he finished his studies there, he joined Facebook and as he already had work experience in half the world and spoke five languages, his first assignment was to work on the collaborative translation of the social network and to lead part of its international expansion processes. Javier acknowledged, during the award ceremony held at the Rafael del Pino Foundation on 18 January 2018, that the Foundation's Excellence Scholarship changed the course of his life, allowing him to go to a university like Stanford and take risks. This allowed him to start working on a social network inspired by Facebook and end up, two years later, joining Mark Zuckerberg's company. But, compared to those who succeed in life and think that they owe it all to their work capacity and personal effort, Javier admits that luck is fundamental. Preparation, hard work, allow you to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves, but it is luck that determines when, how and where those opportunities present themselves, if they do. Another glimpse of Javier's leadership ability appeared when he commented that one of the big differences between Spain and the United States is that there, managers hire smart people to tell them what to do and there is an incentive system that does not penalise failure. On the contrary, the culture there rewards entrepreneurial activities, even those that take place within the company, known as intrapreneurship. This allows managers to innovate and regenerate the company. As Javier understands the role of the leader, it is necessary to take risks. As he explained during his speech at the award ceremony, by not taking a risk you may be taking an even greater risk, because it is stupid to think that new disruptive innovations will not happen on the internet. In this sense, so far we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. To reinforce this idea, Javier explained that Mark Zuckerberg is a person who lives risk and is willing to reinvent the company. This is the spirit behind operations such as the purchase of Instagram, one of Facebook's best investments, or WhatsApp, despite the price paid, because Mark and his team were able to see that it was going to be the main messaging system in many countries, where it is easy to share with others and where it is easy to control the audience when sending a message. When Javier is asked about the qualities of the leaders who build these Silicon Valley companies, the first thing he says is something he sees in Mark. Zuckerberg believes that nothing is impossible to learn and that belief is fundamental for technology companies, which are immersed in constant change. Another key skill is knowing how to surround yourself with very good people. It is about having a high level of talent, motivation and culture and having a product with a broad market and that solves a social problem. When it comes to entrepreneurship, for Javier it is very important to have a technical background and to understand how things work. The problem in Spain is that the system penalises failure, while in the United States it is highly valued to take calculated risks and, even if you fail, you get investors for new projects.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for the comments, opinions or statements made by the people who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their sole responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio González, are the result of the debates held at the meeting held for this purpose at the Foundation and are the responsibility of the authors.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for any comments, opinions or statements made by third parties. In this respect, the FRP is not obliged to monitor the views expressed by such third parties who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their own responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio J. González, are the result of the discussions that took place during the conference organised for this purpose at the Foundation and are the sole responsibility of its authors.