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Wayra Weekend back to being called iWeekend University

Published on 11th April, 2012, by in Uncategorized

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This is a follow-up of the first post about “Epic copy-paste by Wayra of iWeekend”

After various mails, calls and a couple of meetings, I’m happy to announce that we have reached an agreement that I think is a win-win-win for everyone involved.

On request of the organizers, I have slightly modified my earlier post which was a hard critique of Wayra. In this way, the facts will remain recorded for posterity but not the awkward feeling between the actors involved. In this post about the conclusion of the whole matter, it’s time to reflect upon the lessons learned for all the three parties. Of what good is making a mistake if you don’t learn from it?

First of all, the event comes back to being called iWeekend University Madrid. A small triumph for iWeekend and a triumph of the truth.

The organizers have admitted their mistake of not informing iWeekend that they intended to do another similar event and then doing a copy paste of iWeekend University Madrid to call it Wayra Weekend. I met up with them last week to understand the reasons behind this behavior. We are now more aligned and now they feel a part of the iWeekend community and understand better than before the philosophy of iWeekend.

Earlier this week, I had a one-to-one meeting with Gary Stewart, director of Wayra Spain, in the office of Wayra. I know him since a few years now, since he was an entrepreneur in Barcelona. He admitted that things were not done properly but at the same time didn’t take any responsibility for the matter. There I disagree with him: anything that happens under the name of Wayra in Spain is his responsibility and not owning up to it is simply avoiding responsibility.

Inspite of our differences, we have agreed to cooperate and collaborate. They have committed to not creating unnecessary competition to iWeekend while they focus on their core business which is to give acceleration to projects that they consider interesting. On our part, iWeekend is open to collaborating with any initiative that helps entrepreneurs make their ideas happen.

Here are a few conclusions that I have derived from this whole episode to improve iWeekend:

  • We have to improve the communication with our organizers and ensure that they understand the philosophy of iWeekend : it is an initiative that belongs to the community and the organizers themselves, who usually are participants of some previous event, are the best representatives and ambassadors of the brand.
  • We have to create an integral package that is much more attractive to the organizers so that they don’t feel that they haven’t received enough support. To keep spreading the spirit of iWeekend, we have to create a unique value proposition that includes our brand, our know-how translated to processes, tools and our community.
  • We have not been able to send “official representatives” to all our events for lack of resources or because many events coincide at the same time. We need to create a network of mentors and facilitators that allows us to create more value for the organizers and for the entrepreneurs who participate in our events.

We need resources to create this system and maintain it. Hope that inspite of the difficult times, we will be able to raise the resources required to keep promoting the culture of entrepreneurship and keep making ideas happen.

This case has a happy ending for the moment. But I believe that such things are more common especially in the new economy of ideas, concepts and knowledge. Here’s an interesting article on the topic if you would like to delve deeper in the subject: http://alexiskold.wordpress.com/2008/09/28/patent-crisis-and-the-age-of-open-source-ideas/

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