All the 2020 episodes of Life on Mars, the MarsBased podcast

Diario del capitán, fecha estelar d214.y39/AB

In June 2020, we launched our very own podcast, Life on Mars! During the second half of this extremely convulse year, we've released a few dozens of episodes about technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. Check them all out in this blog post!

Kid screaming at a microphone - Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Life on Mars is a bi-weekly podcast about technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, in which we interview and discuss these topics with experts on the field, clients of ours, like-minded companies or people we like and respect. Sometimes, it's just us talking to provide a different angle and to give our perspective of a certain topic.

Because we've got a big following both in the Spanish-speaking community and overseas, we decided to create two feeds, one in Spanish and one in English. This means that every week there's a new episode, alternating languages. If you want to listen to just one of the feeds, you'll get a new episode every fortnight.

In this blog post, we break down all the episodes to explain what they're about, hoping we can welcome you to our podcast listeners fanbase!

For the first couple of episodes of each feed, we repurposed conversations we had from other events we organised, such as Startup Grind or the Martian Tech Talks, to test the waters, hence the lower quality, but we got better from very early on!

Life on Mars, the MarsBased podcast - English edition

001 - How to do remote the right way

  • We thought it'd be cool to kick off the podcast with a session we recorded about remote work with Sergio Gago (EVP Technology @ Naviga Global - former CTO at Zinio and therefore former client of ours).
  • This session had been recorded during the start of the lockdown, when people were forced to work from home with no prior notice nor training. We wanted to help them to hit the ground running.
  • We had a long chat about remote, but in this case, since he's a CTO, we saw it from a more technical angle.
  • Also, he has mainly been working for big-ass companies lately such as Rakuten or Zinio. It's nice to see that he's extremely aligned to what Jordi shared in his episode (in the Spanish feed) despite the differences in company sizes.
  • Random trivia: Sergio was once having a Skype call from the middle of an Australian desert and a kangaroo popped up behind him.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

002 - Choosing technologies for your new company

  • We took the audio of one of our only Martian Tech Talks (we did only three or four of them, back in 2016/2017) but the conversation is still very relevant.
  • Jordi, former CTO at WuakiTV and thus former client of ours, was creating his new company - Lernin Games -, so he had to go back to coding after more than 10 years without doing it.
  • We discussed the dispersion of the JavaScript landscape, hybrid vs. native mobile development and the solidity of long-running frameworks such as Rails.
  • We also talked a lot about React and Ionic. Taking into consideration that this happened in 2016, it's nice to see the perspective.
  • Random trivia: He said that PHP is good 🤯
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

003 - How to grow your Chrome add-on into a business

  • This is another repurposed audio from a Martian Tech Talks event, previously unreleased.
  • We worked for Mailtrack for a few months in really small projects, but they're still using this platform developed by our very own David Gómez, if I'm not mistaken!
  • I interviewed Eduardo Manchón, their CEO. He previously had sold Panoramio to Google, a while back ago. Edu is great at product and growth-hacking.
  • We discussed how it is to run a company based on something so simple as a feature, which then grew into an add-on. They now employ 20 people and rake in about 8-10 million in annual revenue, if my calculations aren't too far off.
  • Random trivia: There's a story where Trump is involved in the growth of this company.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

004 - Product people, who are they and where to find them

  • First live event recorded for the English podcast, with Howard Love, a friend of ours and CEO at LoveToKnow.
  • Howard has created over 15 companies, invested in 120+ companies and now leads this media company with a development office in Barcelona.
  • LoveToKnow is a conglomerate of high-traffic content-driven sites with millions of visits per day.
  • They have a pretty strong Product team to manage all these sites, so we talked about the challenges of finding product people, how to find them and/or train them.
  • Random trivia: I didn't know how much this kind of portals are bought for. Seems like a profitable business, if done right!
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

005 - Stepping down as the CEO of your company, with David Okuniev (Co-founder @ Typeform)

  • Good chat with one of the co-founders and former CEO of Typeform about how he stepped down from being CEO and how that affected culture, caused a big internal uproar and how they completed the transition to the new CEO.
  • This event was recorded as a Startup Grind Barcelona event because we thought it was too good to have it on just one platform.
  • Random trivia: David used to be a DJ and moved to Barcelona because he liked Spanish food.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

006 - How to run one of the best tech podcasts in the universe, with Chad Pytel (CEO @ thoughtbot)

  • We interviewed the CEO of thoughtbot about how to run a tech podcast.
  • Thoughtbot is one of the companies we look up to, and did especially when we created the company in 2014.
  • Interesting stories about some of the fuckups of their company not only in the podcast but also in doing estimates.
  • Random trivia: In fact, a spin-off of thoughtbot has been our client since 2016: Cylinder Digital.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

007 - How to keep the house clean: sunsetting legacy systems and tech hygiene, with Dorion Carroll (Amazon)

  • This is especially dev-oriented so our fanbase should love it.
  • Dorion has been a CTO for well over 15 years now, leading technology at companies such as Zynga, Postini or Blogger.
  • Shutting down old apps, migrations of huge projects, changes of technologies, maintaining legacy code and saving data centers from disasters.
  • Random trivia: There's a story about having to put out literal fires in the office 🔥
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

008 - Work ethics and the fraud of the gig economy, with James Bloodworth

  • We want our podcast to be highly opinionated, like we do with our blog and communications.
  • So we interviewed the guy who wrote Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain. He also wrote The Myth of Meritocracy.
  • We discussed politics, social mobility, ethics in the work environments, big corporations and their role in politics and economy and more.
  • After a few episodes heavy on the dev side of things, this one felt like a good breeze of fresh air.
  • Random trivia: Heavy British accent featured on this one, with our good friend and customer Josh Feldberg.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

009 - Manufacturing developers on a global scale and the role of dev bootcamps in society, with Ariel Camús (CEO @ Microverse)

  • Developer bootcamps have been around for a while, but most of them are just money-making machines (blunt opinion here!) with no real intention to help society.
  • Microverse is a bit different than most. Created by developers for developers, stemming off company cultures like Basecamp's, Buffer's and * Gitlab's, they seem to be doing a good job at producing developers on a global scale, not only in the most profitable cities.
  • I'm overly highly-opinionated on this one, but I think it came out nicely.
  • Random trivia: Of all the places in the world, Ariel, their CEO, resides in Barcelona.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

010 - How to transition from senior developer to CTO, with Rob De Feo (AWS)

  • Talked to Rob de Feo, expert in mentoring CTOs at big startups, from AWS, about the career path of developers, focusing on the transition from senior dev to CTO.
  • We have been using AWS for as long as we can remember, and they've even been great partners of ours.
  • Our relationship with AWS went up a notch when they decided to sponsor our local chapter of Startup Grind Barcelona after many years being our partner at MarsBased.
  • As a former developer, I found it interesting how much has the situation changed in the last years.
  • Random trivia: Rob has got his own podcast. Check it out: Startup Engineering.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

011 - No-code: what, why, when and more, with Ben Tossell (Founder @ Makerpad)

  • Talked to the CEO of Makerpad, the world's biggest community of nocode projects about, guess what, nocode!
  • No rocket science here nor big revelations unfortunately, but if you want to know more about the different kinds of shades of nocode, how to scale them, how to combine them with real backends and how to invest in this kind of projects, then it might be interesting for you.
  • Especially interesting to see the growth of this space, and how investors are moving into this segment, too.
  • I also found particularly interesting the part in which we discuss how to scale nocode projects and when's a good time to replace nocode by real code parts progressively.
  • Random trivia: Ben used to run community at Product Hunt before deciding to set off in his entrepreneurial voyage.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

012 - One SaaS to rule them all - Controlling access, expenses and more with Brad van Leeuwen (Cledara)

  • Probably one of the most complete episodes so far, in my opinion.
  • Cledara is a SaaS that helps you to manage all the SaaS in your company. Controlling access, permissions, payments, billing and much more.
  • The interview is very clear and I love the way Brad talks about how they built their product, feat by feat, by listening to clients, and how to choose which way to go in each step of the company.
  • This one is especially relevant for SaaS and product people.
  • Random trivia: I was presented with this project a couple of years back to invest in it but I passed. Now I regret this decision every goddamn day.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

013 - Keeping the fire alive after 10 years, with Pieter Omvlee (CEO @ Sketch)

  • Pieter doesn't do a lot of interviews, but we're glad we could learn from them how they've run Sketch for ten years, like their hiring process or how they keep the company culture inside. They've hired a bunch of people without ever being on a call with them… only by chatting! 🤯
  • Also particularly interesting their approach to how to conduct business with everyone, especially with investors: since they were always a profitable company, they were not desperate for cash, so it gave them the upper hand on the negotiations.
  • They're an officeless company too, as are we, and it was a good occasion to contrast a few beliefs we've got at MarsBased with a bigger company like Sketch.
  • Random trivia: Pieter met his co-founder in person for the first time right after launching Sketch. Prior to that, they had been working for months online only.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

014 - Present and future of the music industry, with Julien Truchan (Co-founder @ Benighted)

  • We hosted the singer of one of my favourite brutal death metal bands. He's extremely extreme, but also extremely nice.
  • We learnt so much about how they operate internally: partners agreement, full-time members vs session members, what tools do they use to communicate, how they monetise, etc.
  • We also learnt a lot of stuff about the music industry regarding how they plan their finances, how salaries work, percentages of fees on different platforms and whatnot.
  • Random trivia: There's a small tutorial of how to sign death metal at the end of the episode 🤘🏼
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

015 - Self-organisation and time management in hyper-growth startups, with Jeff Dunham (CTO @ Wallbox)

  • After a few episodes moving off the tech-focus, we were back with a CTO.
  • We talked with the CTO of Wallbox (an electric cars charging stations company) about how he manages his agenda as a CTO and the way he runs meetings.
  • We learnt a lot from this conversation and I wholeheartedly recommend this one to every aspiring/current CTO because there's a lot about managing developers and scaling teams as a CTO.
  • Random trivia: First episode recorded while on the go. I was in Berlin.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

016 - Selling to enterprise, with Gordon Cardiff (ClearPeaks) & Pontus Österberg (Prototyp)

  • As much as we like to talk about technology, companies don't run on steam. We need to make money, so we devoted one episode to selling technology.
  • More specifically, we talked about selling to big corporations and enterprises as CEOs/Founders of our companies.
  • We hosted a three-way conversation with Pontus Österberg, founder of Prototyp, and Gordon Cardiff, CEO of ClearPeaks.
  • We discussed how to find the right person to talk to, paid proofs of concept, how to keep the accounts alive and more.
  • Random trivia: For the sake of transparency, we want to make clear that both companies are either current customers or have been customers of ours in the past.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

017 - The future of tech events, with Victoria Gago (European Blockchain Convention)

  • A few episodes back we had discussed the future of the music industry, so it felt only natural to discuss the future of tech events, too.
  • I contrasted my opinions and views with Victoria Gago's (Founder of the European Blockchain Convention), a very successful event held in Barcelona and in Copenhagen.
  • We decided to cancel our conference until we can go back to offline events, while Victoria transitioned to the online version of conferences.
  • Very optimistic and opinionated debate about the whole rethinking of events and what's gonna come in the near future.
  • Random trivia: I met Victoria on a plane going to Denmark for a conference and we were sitting one next to another. What are the chances?
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

018 - Facts and figures of a fundraising round, with Cristina Vila (CEO @ Cledara)

  • Cledara recently announced their Series A round of USD 4.5MM.
  • We had hosted them a few episodes ago, but Cristina couldn't attend that one because she was deeply involved in the fundraising.
  • We agreed to record an episode about the whole process of fundraising and how they approached it like a sales process.
  • Extremely interesting content to learn about how many VCs they contacted, how many qualified and so on.
  • I weighed in with my experience in sales and we could compare the two pipelines and their similarities.
  • Random trivia: If you want to learn more about Cledara, check this event we organised for people in the corporate venturing space, where we hosted her in a panel about selling to big corporations: Corporate Innovation Summit.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

Life on Mars, el podcast de MarsBased - Spanish edition

001 - Cómo trabajar en remoto, con Jordi Vendrell (COO @ MarsBased)

  • In this episode, Jordi and I discussed for well over an hour how to do remote.
  • We recorded this for a Startup Grind event when the coronavirus outbreak began.
  • Up to this day, our most successful and well-attended online event (Jordi sells). We had over 300 people online!
  • We discussed workflows, communication, management styles, tools and whatnot.
  • Random trivia: We mention a few of our team members in this episode! 😉
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

002 - Quiénes son los inversores y qué quieren, con Luís Martín Cabiedes

  • Throwback to probably my favouritest Startup Grind interview ever.
  • We hosted Luis Martin Cabiedes, a legendary investor, with over 100 investments in companies like Kantox, Blablacar, Trovit and more.
  • Really down-to-earth, humble and extremely fun guy. Even if you don't care about investment, this interview is a must. Time flies when listening to Luis.
  • We talked about wars between investors, NDAs, funny stories of entrepreneurs and differences between different kinds of investors. Oh, and sailing.
  • Random trivia: he studied philosophy and managed to get a job. Wanna know how? Listen to the episode 😬
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

003 - Cómo escoger tecnologías y organizar equipos de desarrollo en scale-ups, con Marc Oliveras (CTO @ Tiendeo)

  • I interviewed Marc Oliveras, CTO at Tiendeo. First episode recorded as Life on Mars on the Spanish feed!
  • They're 90 people in the tech team and more than 200 overall as a company.
  • We talked about how to pick technologies for new projects inside a big company and how to distribute responsibilities.
  • Also, we talked about how to hire, manage and coach devs nowadays, especially in high-growth environments such as scale-ups and corporate industries.
  • We also spent a good time talking about breaking monoliths and how to do it properly.
  • Random trivia: Marc once wiped out the production database less than 24h before a big campaign associated to Operación Triunfo. Learn in this episode how he got it back!
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

004 - De consultoría tradicional a CTO de una empresa Americana pasando por… instructor de buceo, con Oriol Caralt (CTO @ LoveToKnow)

  • Oriol was my boss at my previous company, VASS, before he quit to get away from consulting for a few years.
  • He became a nomad and lived in Colombia and in a few places in southeastern Asia, where he became scuba-diving instructor.
  • He founded a small dev boutique to help local businesses to adopt technology.
  • When he came back to Barcelona, he returned to consulting but decided it wasn't his thing, until he found the opportunity of working for LoveToKnow.
  • In this episode, we discuss the technologies they use at LTK and how they structure their teams.
  • Also, we discuss how does one keep up with technologies after such a long break as Oriol's (over seven years).
  • Random trivia: Since Oriol once hired me at our previous company, VASS, I helped him to land his current job as CTO at LoveToKnow.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

005 - ¿Qué pueden aprender las empresas del sector privado del mundo Open Source? con Xavier Nòria i Xavier Redó

  • First episode with our CTO, Xavi, as a co-host.
  • We talked to Xavier Noria, a Rails core contributor and friend of the company, about open source and why we - private companies - should adopt more practices from the OS world.
  • We discussed deadlines (or lack thereof), managing expectations, how do lead open source projects, documentation, leadership and more!
  • Random trivia: Xavier was the first contact we made as MarsBased in the Ruby scene.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

006 - Los secretos de los dos mejores podcast de tecnología en español: itnig y K Fund, con Bernat Farrero y Jaime Novoa

  • If you're interested in technology and startups, itnig and K Fund are my two favourite podcasts in Spanish (after ours, that is 😏)
  • We discussed how they started, why did they do it, their strategy and other minutiae of running a tech podcast.
  • You'd be surprised about how much is prepared vs how much is not in such quality podcasts!
  • Random trivia: Jaime dropped a few times from the call (you can tell in the video, but can you tell in the audio?).
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

007 - Lo que nadie te cuenta de la venta de una empresa, con Laura Gascón (CEO @ DPL ETT)

  • Laura (and DPL) were our clients from Late 2015 until 2019. They sold their company and it didn't go very well for them.
  • I wish everyone who's dreaming about selling their company would listen to this podcast.
  • Spoiler: no sale bien 🤣
  • Random trivia: Thanks to the app we developed for them, DPL ETT grew their business 285% in under four years!
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

008 - Inteligencia artificial conversacional y chatbots, con Susana Durán (VP Mobile & Conversational AI @ Sage)

  • Discussed the state-of-the-art of conversational chatbots and virtual assistants.
  • We touched on the ethics of chatbots, what's behind the curtains, do's and don'ts and more.
  • We also talked about the programming languages used more often to program then, the tools available in the market and how to build bots using no-code.
  • Random trivia: Susana used to work at Gnuine, the former company of our CTO, Xavi.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

009 - Peer to peer streaming y compresión de video, con Teltoo

  • We interviewed this cool startup from Galicia with the help of Jordi Miró (ex-CTO at to talk about video compression, streaming and p2p networks of streamers.
  • Probably the techiest episode so far.
  • We speak about how they serve optimised video streaming to the biggest events in the world with their technology.
  • A couple of weeks before the podcast, they got acquired by Haivision.
  • Random trivia: It's cut out, but during this episode, my airpods died.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

010 - Introducción a la computación cuántica, con Sergio Gago (EVP @ Naviga Global)

  • First podcast we recorded in person, at Sergio's house. Lovely decoration, Sergio!
  • Very cool if you have no notion whatsoever of quantum computing and you want to know the basics.
  • Turned out to be pretty techie as well!
  • Random trivia: Look for the video version on YouTube to see Sergio's daughter's room, where we recorded this episode. It's very cute.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

011 - Cambios de roadmap de producto en tiempos de crisis, con Angel Molina (Localistico)

  • First time interviewing a current client of MarsBased.
  • Angel is a formed backend developer who turned into Product Manager.
  • We had a chat about rearranging product roadmap, changing the team, how to do product while being remote and how to manage crisis to avoid sending it all to hell.
  • Random trivia: we had to cut off a part in which he talked a lot about a certain Spanish supermarket, only to realise later that they are in negotiations with them and maybe it wasn't such a good idea to push that out at that time.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

012 - Gestión de proyectos internacionales con liderazgo y empatía, con Mireia Vila

  • In this episode, I talked to one of the IT directors of [CENSORED] to talk about management in international environments.
  • The best part is when we talk about how even corporates are assuming that vulnerability/fragility are OK in bosses and this creates a new kind of leadership.
  • Mireia is in charge of extremely large projects with international stakeholders, and there are too many nuances in that size of a project for us to even consider them at MarsBased, but it was great to learn from them.
  • Random trivia: Because of their corporate guidelines, we were not allowed to mention her company in the episode. Wanna know what company is it? Check her LinkedIn 😬
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

013 - Empresas remotas y empresas sin oficina, con Jordi Giménez (Co-founder @ Mobile Jazz)

  • We like Mobile Jazz a lot and we've been a big fan of theirs over the years. Their blog is very good.
  • Jordi, one of the co-founders, explains the transition from being a remote company with an office to a 100% officeless one.
  • Cool to see how we exchange compliments, as we've drawn inspiration from them, and they've drawn from us. I wish we could work on a joint project someday!
  • Random trivia: Even though we've been sending each other clients over the years, we have never actually worked together with the same client!
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

014 - Colaboración con grandes corporaciones y el futuro del sector inmobiliario, con Anna Gener (CEO @ Savills Aguirre Newman Barcelona)

  • Talked to Anna Gener, from the real estate consultancy Savills Aguirre Newman about the role of cities vs rural environments and what are the strategies of big cities to retain people.
  • We also delve a bit into Proptech to understand that space better.
  • Good episode to understand how corporates work and what we need to do as small companies to fend off saboteurs in the big companies to get big contracts!
  • Random trivia: This is our best performing episode of both feeds ever, so far.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

015 - Dificultades del B2C en mercados extranjeros, con Dani Vicén (CEO @ zapptales)

  • Good occasion to get to know more about one of our oldest clients. Been working with them since early 2016.
  • We talk about how they're building their first company and all the learnings they had with their e-commerce.
  • Although born in Barcelona, he launched his company in Munich, Germany, and now he's expanding it internationally.
  • zapptales is one very like-minded client. They like to grow organically, raising very few funds and treading safely always.
  • Random trivia: Check the work we're doing for zapptales on our portfolio!
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

016 - Deeptech, biotech y disrupción acelerada por la pandemia, con Miguel Valls (Alta Life Sciences)

  • Miguel is one of the greatest fans of MarsBased and one of our very first contacts in the business scene.
  • Miguel actually opened us the door in San Francisco, where we've got a great following/fanbase thanks to individuals like him.
  • He is a serial founder and a VC. In this case, we talked about his biotech fund, Alta Life Sciences.
  • He talks at length about how the current pandemic is accelerating disruptive change in many sectors, mainly in biotech and deeptech.
  • We cover also fintech because of a string of events we've seen in the industry lately.
  • Miguel casts a lot of light on this Black Swan we're living.
  • Random trivia: Miguel is in the board of one of our sister companies, Nektria.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.

017 - Passion economy y cómo sobrevivir a crisis económicas, con Josep Mitjà (CEO @

  • Josep Mitjà used to be COO at WuakiTV (now RakutenTV), and that's where we met.
  • In this episode, we speak about how to run a B2C platform on these trying times.
  • Topics: how to cut budgets, communicate tough decisions, repurpose team members, shift focus to other departments with more traction, optimise money cashflows and more.
  • Random trivia: Josep is not the kind of CEO who hides in his office. When he took over management at, he worked for several days in the production floor to learn the ropes of this business.
  • Listen to it here: Audio version - Video version.
Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit

Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit

Desarrollador convertido al lado oscuro: desarrollo de negocio. Experto en crear problemas y luego solucionarlos, se encarga del crecimiento y estrategia. Récord Guinness por completar Day of the Tentacle en tres horas.

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