Chief executive and shareholder of Europe Press and one of the first business angels in Spain. A private investor in technology start-ups who was present during the baby steps of several defining projects of Spain’s dot com era. More recently, he’s been involved in nascent companies such as www.bankimia.com, among countless other things.
Luis Martín Cabiedes is one busy man. But he still manages to make time for his hobbies. Here he takes time out of his hectic schedule to give us a guided tour of his travels and favourite pastimes…
You seem to have an extremely busy schedule, do you find time to travel and disconnect from everyday life?
The truth is that my work as an investor is very intense at times, but has the advantage of giving me great flexibility to organise my time. So this is how I manage to escape for a few weeks each year.
We hear you’re into golf, so where have you hit your best shot?
Hmm, golf… I’ve let it go a bit. Once I shot a hole on a course in Marbella. Without doubt my best shot. But it was pure luck!
Sailing is another of your passions, do you think you would be able to spend a few weeks lost at sea?
I could… But what I really enjoy are days out sailing with my wife. I rarely go on long trips. I do spend weeks sailing, but sleeping in a warm and dry hotel before doing it during the day.
It’s always good to get a recommendation; do you know of a particular holiday spot you’ve been taken with?
“My holidays are always connected to my hobbies, and I listen to recommendations. But the truth is that I’m pretty easy when it comes to destinations. All I need is the sea, wind and sun – and I don’t have to go far for that!”
When you go on holiday, do you use new technologies, like an iPhone or iPad, to keep everything under control?
When I go on holiday I usually try to give my gadgets some time off too. I use them correctly. The boat already has enough electronic devices so I don’t need to bring more.
You must have to travel a lot in your line of work, what is the one item you can’t leave home without?
I go around with a backpack containing two bags of things I always need to have with me: a phone, a Mac-Air, an iPod, a book and loads of cables and connectors. With this, a visa and a social security number, I often go on unexpected trips without even having to pass by my house. You can always buy anything else on the way.
Have you ever missed a flight that was taking you to sign a major deal?
Yes, but I confess it was on purpose. It was a very good excuse. Usually, if I’m signing something or doing something important I travel there the day before.
Do you consider yourself to be an intuitive person who can predict when projects will succeed?
Not at all. After 15 years of looking at projects, I still don’t trust my intuition when someone shows me a new one. It has failed me so many times! My intuition first told me that Privalia would never work. With Trovit I didn’t even have intuition because I didn’t understand what they did.
“God hasn’t given me intuition so I have to make sure with analysis.”
Do you agree that in the world of business, just as in life itself, you should never say ‘never’?
Absolutely. Especially in my world of technology startup investment, where there are so many uncertainties and so many changes.
“It’s like how all good sailors should be aware of the change in the wind and be willing to change their course.”
Is there any business plan which you would never bet on?
Only those that that seem unethical to me. I mean ethical in the broader sense of the word, I’m not referring to obviously immoral things here, but those things that just aren’t my thing.
It’s a great time for online business at the moment, would you invest in anything tourism-related on the internet?
No doubt, but it would have to be a different business model. With traditional models, selling tickets and hotel reservations, there is now so much competition that it is very difficult for an entrepreneur to gain a foothold.
Do you share any hobbies with Cabiedes? What item do you have to have in your luggage when you go away?