Pedro Rico is a British entrepreneur born to Spanish parents who is sharing his love for football or as Americans call it, soccer. Growing up Pedro loved playing the game. As a kid, he couldn't wait to get home from school so that he could drop his bags and run to the field. His first experience watching a game is one that he'll never forget: Real Madrid (His family's favorite) vs. Tottenham Hotspur. He was captivated by the energy of the crowd and the dramatic moments between players. Soccer has been a strong element of his culture growing up and also entrepreneurship. Though he never started any businesses as a young boy; no lemonade stands or paper routes. His father and uncles always had a primary or side business.
Pedro started coaching soccer teams about 18 years ago and through that experience he learned a lot about managing and motivating people. With an education in computer science and business he started his career in computer programming for Ericsson. Who is the world leader in building telecommunications infrastructure. This role lead to experience with designing some of the first user interfaces for mobile web devices. Later he worked with a company called British Telecomm which took his role from a programmer to a product manager. This role in particular taught him tons about the business side of products. Everything from design, revenue model, marketing, financing, pricing and customer support. Everything you can imagine that would be relevant.
"You realize that it's all winging it, you're winging it all the time."
Pedro found his way to San Francisco by starting the MBA program at San Francisco State University. There he learned a lot more about particular elements of business that he picked up at Ericsson. In one class in particular, he had to pitch many different ideas weekly that his group of classmates created. Through these practices he learned the importance of being more specific with his choice of words which spilled over in to other parts of his life.
"There's a lot of power in specificity."
Pedro is a firm believer that life is the greatest teacher when it comes to entrepreneurship. The only way to truly learn about what is the best way to execute your business plan is to actually execute. There are certain aspects that fluctuate so often. Depending on which industry and business model is being approached, often you can only learn in the trenches.
After working with some startups after graduation, Pedro had a desire to start something of his own that was built around his lifelong passion: soccer. He wanted to make something that allowed people from all walks of life who share the same passion to be able to document that. Like an IMDB for the sport, which allows you to list your history and accolades. Essentially a Linkedin for soccer players. Check out PlayerPro here.
Pedro agrees that without his knowledge of computer science, creating this venture would've been much more difficult. But what he attributes to his success even more is his understanding of business. Without his understanding of business, he wouldn't have had the understanding of how to better apply his skill of computer programming to his own venture. He also mentioned something that I can't do anything but agree with. That every profession should be practiced with some understanding of business. It's important that a physicist, a pediatrician, lawyer and professor understand how the business side of their industry works. It would only help.
Coffee with Pedro really taught me a thing or two. Like in the end, it's not about what you've earned but what you've learned. This article doesn't do the full interview enough justice, it's purpose is to entice you listen to the full conversation. Which you can do below. Enjoy.