The Volabit Bitcoin Card

So yesterday I finally got my first bitcoin card. The issue is that is not really a bitcoin card and it doesn’t really add value to the disposal of bitcoins. Biggest issue is that is not even linked to the bitcoin wallet so you can’t really deduct from it. Is also not possible to top up the card 24/7 like I thought I would and finally the interface from the wallet carrier doesn’t really focus enough on the card.

My volabit card arrived this morning.
My volabit card arrived this morning.

Let see if the SatoshiTango card which I order last week goes any better.


Contributing to OpenERP translated documentation

So this is my official contribution to the project, I’ve decided to spend some time translating the strings from the OpenERP documentation. The OpenERP book holds a good amount of information about what the history, development and goals of the OpenERP project. I also appreciate the way this book have been put together, as opposed to spend time describing each screen and talking on how to use it. This book spend time looking at the tool as a business people, accentuating on the business goal. For example, titles like “How to better manage your books”, as opposed to a more boring “Accounting Module”.

The localization in Spanish have been lagging greatly mainly because the way to contribute is a bit obscure. I found out the system itself is not obscure since they use a standard Launchpad-Open Source translation tool based on PO files. The way the po are managed online is very similar to the Pootle application.

The next step is to become legit on the Launchpad application, which allow my user to get fully integrated on the OpenERP teams. I added myself to the OpenERP-Mexico group, and the OpenERP-Documentation group.

The Spanish localization is located under the 7.0 branch, where you click on translations. And are presented with a table of different languages and the progress for each language. There you can select the preferred language and then are presented with the different type of localization projects including the book, contents, contribute, faqs, index, install, legal, odoo, usability-book, etc.

My main goal is the book one which listed around 6544 with 6453 untranslated and 305 for review. You can check the project here.

One thing that was noticed earlier today was that I need to be part of the Spanish team in order to get my reviews and comments approved. You can see me already on the team either as pending or if this post is rather old, I will hopefully be approved.

Spanish locale
Graph showing the different openerp project for the spanish locale.

Process of selling

Sales cycle
The sales cycle about how to manage the leads.

Following an advice when I went to my hometown was to get more academic about sales, and read books and watch talks about the topic of selling. When I was young, my dad took me to a business seminar about selling and how to sell. So following that advices, I decided to get into it and start researching. This haven’t been the first time I have try to do this research and I found great podcast, and even if the podcast was interesting, it came to a close.

This time around I went to youtube and found the guy I once watched as a younger guy and was able to watch all their videos from their sales video seminar. One of the things that I like were the following:

  • Clear explanation of the steps
  • Methodological process of the sales
  • Requirements
  • Case studies

Watching the guy perform the scenarios really gave me an input into failed scenarios that I can relate, and how to approach them. Some of the cases depended on phone sales, face to face, written sales. The process described however the same pattern, something called AIDA. Preparing some key areas making potential closes.

  • Sales AIDA
    Curves and process of sales

    Attention – Getting your costumer attention.

  • Interest – Stimulate their interest
  • Desire – Generating a desire for the product
  • Action – lead your costumer into a purchase action

This makes also a psychological flow of high and lows on the consciousness of the client and how to develop a pitch around these flow of emotions. Understanding what triggers these emotions is key to be able to have a competitive sales pitch. Understanding the time management such pitch has to implement is key since one step depends on the next one so close by. [1] [2]

The distribution of the time and be able to move on needs to be cover by a series of moments that can guaranteed the sale. This is where open and close questions enter and cover your pitch with such also needs to happen. Practicing and tinkering such pitch will lead until the next step which is the acting and making it more natural and conversational. That way we also learn a series on techniques depending on a category of clients that exist.

Other topics include:

  1. Closing techniques
  2. Deal with objections
  3. Producing leads
  4. Features and Benefits

I will talk about them as a I go along the review of the videos.


Sales and closing

During the week that I have been here, I have been going out with friends, and spend sometime in the pool. But to be honest, beside spending time with my parents and having a conference with my alma matter. I have no idea on what to do here, so as my mom was meeting with her friends, he came up with the idea to introduce me to one that has experience on selling insurance.

Nowadays I have been pretty open about connections and listening to what people have to say, specially when it comes to experiences.

So we went to have some coffee and eventually her friend arrived and start talking to me about the sales process. How to evolve from the first meeting and how to schedule meetings until the closing period. I have been very frustrated with the way I have dealt with people when they don’t say no ever, but always apply delaying tactics until you are just exhausted to keep going on.

Key issues regarding closing and dealing with multiple entitled and also transition to negotiation techniques. Prepare to offer deals but also offer contracts to sign.

The techniques go like this:

  • Planning the meeting
  • Break the ice
  • Products
    • Offer benefits from the features
    • Regulate the voice
  • Manage inquiries and objections
    • Anticipate by handling the most common ones
    • Assertive questions

The talk also had some tips like how to return to the questions and the value, and focus the value in a business reasoning. Applying strength to true business cases and also returning to the possible questions and defining the key drivers. Otherwise document it and propose an alternatives.  So is key to be able to understand and target the value of it.

As far as advice, trying to maximize the amount of clients that I am trying to gather. Practice some cold calling and be more out there through email and phone sales.

Here is some of the notes that I could gather from the conference although some further analysis should be involved.

first meeting document
1er Entrevsita is the first document of the interview on how to get the first meeting and key points


Workshop on Enterprise solutions at local University

Today I finished a workshop about Enterprise middleware including a whole letter soup like ERP, CRM, BPM, and MRP. The event was lenghty, it took place in the middle of a series of conferences and workshops including others like videogame development etc.

The Enterpise solution workshop was part of the full course that I have built for private offerings. The course take into account the implementation and overview of an array of enterprise solutions that are under an open source license. The solutions include software like OpenERP, OpenBravo, WebERP, and other solutions like SugarCRM and ProcessMaker.

The workshop was originally planned to have the simulation of a full company interacting between departments where the participant will be part of a department of this virtual company and will execute process such as Sales Orders, Manufacturing orders and finally supply chain.


 Unfortunately several issues like lack of prepareness due to an last minute turnout made me believe just canceling the Workshop. This made me not do the homework needed for the excercises. Then a high level of tiny tasks acumulated to be a bit pressured, setting the virtual machine to make it able for the local PCs to access the data through the network. There also needed to improvise while some of the tasks like adding the users to the system needed to take place.


Eventually we decided to slowly give some tasks while the workshop really became a conference. As I went on explaining what is the concept of ERP, how to look at it and compare it with many of the real examples. The sad story of internal developed processes where programmers virtually developed a monster of an application that is both new and obsolete and is not well documented, and not compatible with what the next developer might think of it. Eventually becoming a frankenstein applications or on more coloquial terms, a kludge.

Fortunately I was able to put enough theory that even if the assistants didn’t get to play with the application as originally intended. They manage to do the following tasks:

  1. Login the system
  2. Access all the ERP modules
  3. Raise a purchase order
  4. Check the visualization graph
  5. Identify anomalities in the orders

 One of the common hickups some users experience was they werent able to finalize the purchase. This because they needed aditional requisites to go to the final stage of the sales flow. Another hickup was correctly selecting the costumer with the category of the request. This mean that as they fill out the sales order, the product belonged to the wrong category. 


However they were able to print the order into a PDF making it good enough for the nature of the excercise. One second hickup wasn’t able to find how to mark the order as Recieved. Hopefully I will get more assistance as I investigate the nature of the process.

After the excercise was done we saw the graph change dramatically not only in the ammount of orders but also on the graph and the impact on the MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning), obviously demanding more supplies to procurement which needed to approved.  The sudden increase lead to display an impressive graph based on the different category of products making it interesting to find why other products was so high than the rest.

Here it led us to view a ridiculous number that has skyrocket the ammount of money needed for such purchase. Eventually we found an order for many thousands of Ice cream which was funny and insightful since it allow us to look for the responsible of such purchase and get to recognized the power of having processes that can be easily audited.

The next day I was able to move on from OpenERP to other ERP systems like WebERP which was a much simpler ERP to understand as well as OpenBravo which was on the opposite side of the spectrum a way more complete software.

During the session we got to spend time between the diverse applications and be able to compare them. Unfortunately for us WebERP wasn’t as easy to view thanks for the college proxy or the demo was broken at the moment.

I also showed a youtube video about the story of OpenBravo as a case study to see how companies get builted and how it can be done in open source.

In the end the assistants of the conference got what they came for and more. I most say is not bad for a first version of the project and also give me a better view how to conduct these activities. I also got to recieve my activity and people seemed to have enjoyed the conference.


More pictures from the workshop and the event in general include the following:



Rough month


Ever since the end of summer I’ve been having some rough weeks. A lot of opportunities had been vanishing right when I thought I had a deal. Actually too many opportunities, from University contracts to training gigs to even employment jobs. I think I might be to blame except I can’t really see what I am doing wrong. Next moth is critical, I have potentially 2 more training gigs and a huge sale meeting that can put me on a different financial bracket. I hope this can go through smoothly, otherwise I might be looking for a very cold winter. And I live in Cancun.

Finalizing this hiatus

It’s been a month since my last blogpost and some stuff has been going on with my life at the moment. Currently I am looking for something to do and stack some bread. Meaning that I need money. After doing some sales pitches on some local colleges and working on a few classes on enterprise software and also some web development. I am currently trying to promote them and hopefully land a few gigs.

That said, I am worried about what would be the next big business strategy. Currently I have been scheming some plans on doings retriets to central america and the caribean and trying to land some gigs there and do some business abroad.

I still need to get some kickstart budget to activate that, but I am already working on it. I will be having just one flight abroad this year but I hope I can get some interest into doing some business there.

On NBA matters I am a bit disappointed with the Heat after the all star break and truth been told, they have been a bit sluggish. Not enough to matters since they still on the fight for the no 1 spot in the NBA but some of that killer instinct fuel has been running low. Then again, playoff is a different thing and teams tend to bring out the goods.

I hope things work for the better for the Heat but at the moment, the Heat seem to be not just running out of gas, but doing some major re-engineering on themselves.

e-Business for the rest of the world

So I have been speaking with my network around the world on the topic of e-commerce, e-marketing based on the conversations that we have recently with my local geek group. We talked at the beginning of why e-commerce never really took off in Mexico. The conclusions where that enviromental circumstances that have not been solved has stagnate the development of the web as most people would like to think about it at least in countries like the US.

The conclusions where that advertising never took off because e-commerce never took off, and e-commerce never really took off because of two big parts of what e-commerce came to become. logistics and billing. The lack of flexibility on billing and the high cost of logistics will make e-commerce too dificult to become.

So even after 15 years of internet we still view e-commerce as:

  1. Step 1. Check out the products get the bank account.
  2. Sept 2. Go to the bank and direct deposit.
  3. Step 3. Scan the receipt and wait for a relatively big overprice over the shipping.

So the surcharge is quite steep, well between 15 to 20 dls. In the US is around 5 USD for a package between a book or a cellphone and will take 2 days across the country. This make it impossible to scale sales and marketing well enough. Which makes it hard to do a good sell.

The second issue is billing where there is a whole book of drama and stupidity when banks still seen as the one and only way to do commerrce in Mexico. From bad deals that these banks have sign with providers that sell them shit non-standard technology makes it way too hard for money to move around. The worst part is that banks have no accountability of these failures. People with debit cards can’t make purchases on regular internet billing tools. Merchant accounts are stagnated and finally commerce in itself is way too hard.

So I start talking with friend in other countries, the first one is Colombia where my friend told me about their ecosystem and how internet savvy is the people in that country. From paypal-like systems like PagosEnLinea, LineaPagos and PSE. The big issue is that is like Cuba where there is an e-commerce embargo where payments are just valid within the country and rarely goes out of it.

The next critical point is logistic, well it seems that Colombia has many choices on this regards, there is not only more companies dedicated to shipping and handling but also much cheaper. At 5-10 dls for regular packages across the country with a 1 to 2 day timelapse.

My next stop is Brazil, where I chat with a friend and gave me some info about most of the companies doing e-business. Big retail like Carrefour, Wall-Mart, Submarine, Ponto Frio, U.S. So big retails already take care of e-business, while billing gets payed with some paypal-like services like DineihroMail, PagSeguro UOL. Logistics are also in charge of quite a few alternatives like Cometa, 1001, Correios, FedEx, TNT Express.

The average cost of a book nationally is 10 dls shipping across Brazil. So we are seen that most of these costs are really high compared between each country.

My next stop I want to be either Chile or Argentina but would be looking around for people that can inform me about the way e-commerce status is available in those countries. I’ll be reporting back.

The appreciation economy

An interesting topic came yesterday almost unconsiously as we navigate between startups, enterpreneurship and the marketing of brands over the actual products. A desbelief that users have the capacity of tell the difference between products so they rely on trust as a major factor to make decision purchases. This is rather simple to understand, yet the concept becomes a bit hard when getting into more complex issues when it comes to a solution negotiations in the IT world or the FUD that providers put on the mind of decision makers.

Learning and studying the thought process of directors added to the context of market pressure and enviromental situations make providers push their product on every button EXCEPT the product. Since rather these factors have a major impact on the decision makers than the last mile of the solution. So now you see that most of the decision maker process is a bit irrational and responsive to a dim picture. Trully you have to recognized the skillful sales people to target these resources to put a killer sales strategy.

On the free software area, we do need more skillful salespeople to be able to recognize sales strategies and marketing plots to break through these scenarios. Beating the appreciation strategy could be a bit too tough for the sales guy. Rather he needs to improve these appreciation with it’s own. That’s where building brands is expected to be surged.