Ferran Adriá's Bullipedia and content-based business models

Yesterday I was lucky enough to see Ferrán Adriá live. As nobody is a prophet in his own land, Adriá is reviled by the Cainite half of Spain.

The fact is that there is consensus to consider him the best chef in the world and one of the ten most innovative people on the planet. If we start looking for which Spaniard can be considered the best in the world in something we would have to go to sports, and we would probably find more silver medals than anything else at the moment; I am thinking of Rafa Nadal, Fernando Alonso or Xavi Hernandez.

Adriá, who has already achieved everything as a chef, presented yesterday a utopian, ambitious and global project, because, in his own words this is how the world works today. The Cala Montjoi headquarters will be expanded to accommodate the El Bulli Foundation which will will devote 95% to innovating and 5% to feeding peopleand disseminate the knowledge generated on the Internet through Bullipedia.

The mission of its foundation is to make innovation efficient, something that shocks some people, given that wastes ingredients and means to cookbut they do not realize that luxury is a growing market as inequality grows in the world, that Adriá's target audience is increasingly larger and richer. But it has also helped us to position the Spanish brand very well, something that perhaps only our national soccer team has achieved.
If we are to criticize him, we also reproach good old Ferran for having raised a lot of money from Telefónica, among others, with great ease, that's how anyone can start. And of course Adriá is an entrepreneur, and of course he has not lost an ounce of ambition, because if when he created El Bulli he set out to be the best chef in the world, now he proposes an equal or greater challenge, to be the Spanish Jimy Wales, to create the world reference in cuisine and innovation, take that!
Raising public money or money from large companies can be easier than getting it from an investor looking for profitability, because if you start from a personal brand like Adriá's or from a public institution you have a situation of strength that almost guarantees success. Three years ago I lived a similar situation in EOI as an intra-entrepreneur, I was almost embarrassed by the ease with which money was obtained, another thing was later all the ties that this money, that does not seek profitability generates. It is not at all clear to me that this is an easier option than using investors' money, as it requires justifications at several levels: administrative, institutional and political, which can ruin the viability of the project. That is why I wish our cook a lot of luck and a left hand, he is going to need it.
I do not want to overlook a hypothesis that Adriá postulates for his project and that is that quality Internet is not going to be freethat he does not believe in free everything. Just read my previous post on innovation in business models to realize that I don't believe either, but content has lost its economic value although it is more valuable than ever, this paradox is revealed in the situation of traditional media or record companies. Today, content is a means to position a project, to make it a reference. In innovation there is no silver medal, nobody knows who is the second most innovative chef in the world, but we all know that Ferrán Adriá is the first; and that leadership is achieved through the contents that are released, that are given for free.
Most venture capital funds are getting out of the content sector precisely because they do not generate money per se, although they generate more value than ever, although that value is not usually captured in money. And how do we solve this? with creativity in the business model. When we generate and release content we catalyze a rain of information, if we are referents, our information is multiplied by ten, a hundred, a thousand or a million when we release it; it is a viral phenomenon that is transmitted one by one, point by point because it is bidirectional contrary to what happened with the mass media that ruled the 20th century and revealed its power in the radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, when H.G. Wells managed to get Americans who believed they were being invaded by extraterrestrials to take to the streets.
That rain of information with many more drops than we initially launched has to be captured and converted into money for the business to be sustainable, for this we must have one or more buckets capable of capturing that rain of information that has become communication from person to person. From leadership we can sell experiences such as visiting El Bulli, certifications or merchandising; we can charge for advertising brands or validating products, but dear Ferrán, I believe that we cannot charge for access to content because we live in the era of collaboration and transparency.


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