TB Members Calling #79 | Mo Gaspart: “They say that laughing wrinkles the skin, but not laughing wrinkles the soul.”
A born hotelier with a disruptive soul. Guillermo ‘Mo’ Gaspart (Barcelona, 1978) represents the fourth generation of a hotel saga created a century ago by his great-grandfather and, at the same time, embodies a spirit of change in a traditional sector. A decade ago, he set out to revolutionise the way hotel rooms were booked, with the aim of offering greater flexibility and personalisation by introducing the concept of pay-per-use. And the result of this is the BYHOURS microstay platform, of which he is CEO and founder together with his professional ‘brother’ Christian Rodríguez.
The company currently allows hourly room bookings in more than 600 destinations and 4,000 hotels, which have seen BYHOURS as the solution to maintain a constant flow of people throughout the day in their establishments.
TB: What is the purpose of your project?
GG: We allow hotel guests to choose the check-in and check-out time of their stay, while at the same time giving hoteliers an additional way to increase their revenue. We put a lot of emphasis on the ‘win-win’ for the user and the hotelier.
TB: What is the current state of the project and where do you see it in two years’ time?
GG: I am not able to see more than three months. Anyone who says otherwise is deluding himself or herself, a speculative or theoretical idea with no other purpose than to give pleasure to the person who has come up with it.
TB: A good idea you have had.
GG: Getting married to my wife! A decision I made 18 years ago and I’m still amazed at how lucky I was
TB: What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
GG: Winning a race against more than 50 million opponents. On the day I was sired, I came first to the finish line. There was no prize or recognition for everyone else. Only one won, and that was me.
TB: The best advice you’ve ever been given.
GG: Don’t listen to advice. I think that’s the best thing you can do. The world is full of enlightened people who will confuse rather than enlighten.
TB: A professional reference that inspires you.
GG: Cesar Ritz, a Swiss who revolutionised the hotel sector at the beginning of the last century. And my father, someone with whom I shared the beginning of my professional career and who still gives me lessons in attitude.
TB: A technology that will shape the future.
GG: The one that gets us to set foot on the moon. It is absurd to think that 50 years ago we would set foot on the moon with the technology that existed then -less than what my mobile phone has- and that today we will not spend our weekends there. When it really happens, a lot of things will change.
TB: In-person or remote?
GG: In-person, no doubt about it! The new generations will pay dearly for the remote. We are indulging them and making them believe that work is like a ‘hobby’. Flexibility yes, but human beings are social by nature and isolating ourselves is contrary to productivity.
TB: A startup or company.
GG: Civitatis. I am amazed at what they have achieved with almost no noise and without raising a single euro of capital until very recently.
TB: What do you do to disconnect?
GG: Sport, lots of sport, and laughing, which they say wrinkles the skin, but it doesn’t wrinkle the soul! I think we have to relativise many of the things that happen to us. In fact, they say that 90% of the things that worry us or keep us awake at night will never happen.
TB: A book to recommend.
GG: I don’t read! It bores me to death. But of course, if you say so, it sounds like you’re uneducated. I recommend the Bible: a true story of the most relevant character in the history of mankind.
TB: A series, film or song that defines your moment in life.
GG: Series, “Fariña”. Film, “Cast Away” or “Catch Me If You Can”. And song, it depends on the moment, as music goes with the mood. At the moment I’ll go for “The Gambler”, by Kenny Rogers.
TB: One recipe, one restaurant.
GG: A good gazpacho. Lobster with eggs and chips. And “Bonanova” restaurant in Barcelona.
TB: A place in the world.
GG: Formentera, Mexico City and Camp Nou, although we’ll see if and when we can return.
TB: Where would you invest 100k?
GG: I would invest it in a great holiday. It would be the most profitable and highest return I could have at the moment.
TB: If you were not an entrepreneur…
GG: Hotelier. I am fascinated by the sector and would love to spend the last days of my life in a hotel.
TB: What is Tech Barcelona for you?
GG: A meeting point for people who share the same professional concerns and, in many cases, lifestyles. People who are not conformist and who are not risk averse.