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Weightless Gadgets

It’s been a long journey, yet it’s just the beginning.

In 2013, I founded Ubik Transmedia in order to design and develop interactive media such as Soffice, Cheff or Flatland. Unfortunately, I had to abort shortly after. Me, my company and the world around were carrying too many issues to make any leap feasible.

My depiction of “The Ubik” piled on a mountain of earlier venture attempts and, for a while, I resigned to live in the verge and worked for companies fitting the role of UX design. But regardless of such specificity, we all know the basics of being an employee: conform the local culture, stay useful, get paid. — But what if the local culture forces you to avoid your inner self? What if usefulness is driven by a criteria that erodes your criteria? What if your earnings don’t help enlightenment but alienate you from it? What is left of you after you become a pleasing servant? I’m aware some people feel happy to fit. Fitting is not inherently bad, but that’s not for everybody, and surely not for some maverick like me, now that I am young and can take risks.

During this meditative gap in 2014, I knew about Pieter Levels, who was planning to boost his career in a way that resembled what Ubik Transmedia did, but in a much more concise and productive fashion. His venture motivated me to compare both enterprises and infer a third way describing how I’d like to move from now on. Early on, reading A Fine Line by the master designer Hartmut Esslinger pushed me to trust my skills, rather than seeing my insistence on the need of processes for marketing, creativity and development as a whim from a spoilt brat. And there were all these intellectual breadcrumbs in You Are Not A Gadget and Who Owns The Future by Jaron Lanier that I felt inspired; the world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved. I had been attending the RailsGirls meetups in The Netherlands and, indeed, flipping my career would be a matter of will and study. Even the security expert Chema Alonso told me it’s never late to embrace a path through technology (muchas gracias, Maligno).

I had for certain that you can miss a chance, but learning from experience still stays entirely up to you. All what had happened, rather than a collection of failures, turned out as a collection of lessons. So I’ve been setting up the basics, according to Maslow’s Pyramid: physiology, and safety. Took me some savings and almost a year to move back to Spain and build The Base, but here it is: a creative space free of mortgage, corporate politics, or anything that clashes with the idea of freewill. It does not pay for my bills itself, but neither asks for half of my income nor drains my mood in pointless meetings. Plain and simple, it allows me to understand, design, envision and test. There’s no other agenda than the one I set (and trust me that eases the mind in a way just a few companies could ever deliver).

From now on, I’m planning to go through 2016 developing ten MVPs. A year after, I will be validating them on the market, selling some or compiling a great portfolio to move on. These products will run on Ruby on Rails and will be mostly based on problems I issued myself, as Levels points in Make. Every now and then, I will report what’s next. So far, what’s next is deciding which ideas to implement and how the process is going to be. Codename: Artifacts.

I am going to freelance 😉

*Deep breath*

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