Name: Vinyet Miró Pujadas
Title: CEO and Co-founder
I graduated in journalism in 2020 from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland. Throughout my studying years, I worked in a local Radio and TV Station and I participated in a volunteer program in Brasov, Romania. Then, Vicobook was born as my thesis degree at university and since then I have been working on the project. I have taken part in several Startup Accelerator Programmes -two from Scotland and one from the European Commission- and now Vicobook is a functional company.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Vinyet's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
The most challenging aspect I found as a leader has been to be able to build a strong and committed team. Many people have good intentions at first but sometimes it can be hard to keep that motivation up. That is why it is crucial to surround yourself with reliable and responsible people who share the values and the goals of the company.
Vicobook is a new cultural social network that allows the co-creation of written content in a fast and efficient manner. Therefore, given the fact that our product is something completely new and revolutionary, during the development of the platform we encountered several technical and legal issues: we had to design all tools from the ground up and we also had to adapt this new concept of co-creation to all legal terms within the editing and digital world.
However, working side by side with our app developers and legal team we managed to overcome all problems that crossed our path.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Initially, Vicobook was merely a university project but when it was accepted at the RGU Startup Accelerator Programme I was required to build a team. I remember I went to the Computer Science School and began recruiting students that would join me in this journey. Nowadays Vicobook has 5 founders and we are working with a solid Software Team, a Marketing Team, and a Legal Team.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Being an entrepreneur allows me to organise my working schedule, however, I believe that maintaining daily and fluent communication with the whole team is fundamental to being able to organise and coordinate work. That is why we always begin our day with a morning meeting where we plan all tasks we are going to do throughout the day and where we set short-term goals. Then I just jump right into answering emails and attending meetings.
Nonetheless, I want to mention how important sport is for me daily. I try to work every day -usually in the afternoon-, because it allows me to reconnect with myself, to open my mind and to keep a goal-oriented mindset.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
I would say the most important thing I have taken out of this experience is to be patient given that nothing happens as planned. Everything takes time and if you are creating something valuable from scratch you have to go through the whole process, it cannot be accelerated. Another thing I understood is that you have to look at things from a wider perspective. Although you might think that no progress is being made, every step is taking you closer to your goal and to be able to have that in mind will help you to be consistent and positive.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
"Super Sapiens" by the Spanish author Pedro Vivar. Although it is not a book focused on leadership per se, it has helped me a lot to improve my skills as a CEO. Super Sapiens summarises some stoic concepts on how to be disciplined, and responsible and how to keep high energy levels during our daily routine. Also, this book talks about other philosophies such as Taoism and Buddhism amongst others and how to learn from those to reach our best version. Pedro Vivar helped me to see the world differently and to be able to put into practice some stoic theories, not only as a leader but as a person.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
A good advice I would like to give to any other entrepreneur is to not be afraid to fail. If you are failing means that you are stepping out of your comfort zone which requires a certain level of braveness, and that should be recognised and celebrated. Sometimes it seems that society only sees good in success, but just the fact that you are trying something new is a great thing. Even receiving a NO as an answer can be an enriching experience that can help you grow as a person. Try to be empathetic and learn from everyone, we all have different journeys and backgrounds that are worth listening to.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
The journey from a student to a CEO, seen with perspective, is motivating for me when recalling all the moments I have been through.
I remember the day I presented my project to the first Startup contest; I was feeling very excited, motivated and hyped by the idea of turning my thesis degree into a real thing. However, it was only a vision, a dream I had. But then I received this email, the no-turning point, we were admitted to be part of the RGU Startup Accelerator Programme, Vicobook was born. Little did I know that this project would become the protagonist of my story for the following years.
Fuelling my determination, I embarked on a journey through several Startup Programmes. I saw myself going to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Brussels, Barcelona, and many other places where people were willing to listen to what I had to offer. It was scary but after each of these experiences, I came back stronger. The path was challenging, filled with highs and lows, but with every obstacle, I found resilience. Vicobook transformed from a concept into a functional company.