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Buaala, TV à la carte for new social users

BBVA Innovation Center

10/30/2013 03:52

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The Buaala TV project was designed in early 2011 with an idea created by the AEI Knowdle association.

The initial concept behind intelligent, interactive and social television 3iTV (Internet), has remained unchanged. We're still only seeing the tip of the iceberg of this technology, which represents a quantum leap compared to other technological challenges we've experienced before: users are now demanding this interactiveness. There's no need to motivate them or evangelize them like in other technology revolutions: Internet, cellphones; cellphones and Internet.


Today's users -particularly young users- are already interactive and social, even though TV is not. Users already "tweet" and "facebook" while they watch television and chat while they play on the video console. We're in the era of multitasking, multiprocessing. People are social, they share, they even disseminate…


Buaala, as knowdler, Felipe García explains in this interview, is aiming to take the lead. Over a period of two years working with a scientific component that has a very strong base, creating a new knowledge economy model that is real, tangible, and mathematically well structured, it dawned on us that while we were creating these new pieces in an enormous and complex – as well as thrilling – puzzle, we found pieces cropping up that hadn't been in our minds, new questions were continually coming up, and when we tried to resolve them, they opened up a new world full of infinite possibilities, and that's how we hit on "ccIE": the first collective intelligence engine.


We entrepreneurs know that however many maps we have, the path will lead us in different directions – some of which are driven by the market, and others by scientific discoveries. Investors know this, and that's why they need entrepreneurs to have values like flexibility and adaptability, particularly to the market.

What solution does Buaala give right now? What problem does it solve?

As we say in our elevator pitch, the problem – "dumb"TV – is still the same old idiot box, while cellphones, with their second screen, have become "smart, interactive and social TV remote controls" Buaala/WeCloud provides a suite of solutions that offers anyone the chance to create new content, new concepts, new totally customized, social, smart and highly interactive apps.

How do you see Buaala in two years?

First, I see it in the USA. There's an incredible market there. There are investors. There's a market. And a lot of offer. Over 1,500 channels in every city: they need Buaala now!


Second, I see it as a mixture of iTunes and YouTube. You'll soon be able to see for yourself.


And third, different experiences. We'll have Buaala4Sports, Buaala4Kids... in the Olympics, in the World Cup, we'll have applications like you've never seen before, where everything will be interactive, in real time, and we'll be participating with different roles in events, races, visualizations... we're going to be taking part ourselves... let's get involved! Buaala will be one of the solutions, and WeCloud4Media one of the platforms.

How do you realize you're an entrepreneur? Is an entrepreneur born or made?

In my case, I was made. Ha ha ha... In my family there's been no one like me before! At university I was already looking around, and my degree course just wasn't enough to satisfy me... I needed more. I used to say that my degree was "a necessary precondition, but it wasn't enough". After had an important and necessary experience as an employee, being a manager wasn't enough either. And as they say, being an entrepreneur is like being a "vampire". If you taste "blood" once and you like it, you'll want to be a "vampire for all eternity". I left Retevisión to try and start up on my own, and together with a great team we were really successful. And since then I haven't stopped being an entrepreneur. I'm not a businessman, because when the project's already growing and has a life of its own, I lose my motivation, and I'm always thinking up new ideas.

What do you think is the current state of entrepreneurship in Spain? What are our main strengths and weaknesses?

Abysmal. We tried really hard and yet failed in the good times. So now it's going to be almost impossible. I'd give medals to everyone at BBVA Open Talent; incredible, so young, so enthusiastic, so brilliant, so brave! They go off to Buenos Aires without thinking twice, and defend their projects at the age of 24, 26, like it wasn't a big deal. You've got to take your hat off to them...


But they have no resources, none of us do. In Spain there's talent, but there's neither capital nor faith. Capital has never been risk capital. The two falsehoods. Capital? Practically no money. Risk? None... Everybody wants guaranteed talent. We've really taken on board what Unamuno meant when he said "Let the others invent". It's a pity.

Would you recommend taking part in a start-up competition like BBVA Open Talent?

Definitely. It's a great experience. You should really push it, reinforce its value. You've got a rough diamond that you don't dare polish, and you're missing out on a lot. I don't know if you're worried about "cutting" the diamonds in the wrong way... but if you don't do it, you'll be missing out on some real gems. In this competition there's talent you don't want to take your eye off, young people among the finalists and among the ones that weren't selected.


There's no doubt that some of your "rough diamonds" will prove to be glass... but many others will bring great rewards. I urge you to really nurture this great seedling you've planted.


We're already doing it... there's a great sense of community among all the finalists... we're already doing things together, and as you can see, distance is not a problem.