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Community Code: Gerardo Lisboa’s Voyage Through Open Source and Entrepreneurship

Embracing Challenge and Balance: Gerardo Lisboa’s Open Source Journey

We delve into the profound insights shared by Gerardo Lisboa, the long-standing CEO of INFO-CARE, in a recent video interview. A seasoned leader and tech entrepreneur, Lisboa has been steering the helm at INFO-CARE for over 22 years, exhibiting remarkable resilience and stubborn determination that he sees as essential traits for entrepreneurial success.

Gerardo’s unique journey from a digital pioneer with a prominent online footprint to a trusted CEO has been richly illuminated in this conversation. He candidly opens up about his favorite books that influenced his life, the impact of open-source movement on his career, and how he continues to drive innovation in information management.

One intriguing revelation is his inclination towards self-transcendence and self-knowledge. This is aptly reflected in his favorite books: ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ and Robert E. Quinn’s ‘Deep Change and Lift’. Lisboa’s self-effacing humor, profound insights into the nuances of open-source and information management, and an unwavering entrepreneurial spirit make this an enlightening read for anyone navigating the ever-evolving tech industry. Dive in as we explore more about Gerardo Lisboa’s entrepreneurial journey and how he continues to shape the future of INFO-CARE and the industry at large.

Embracing Challenge and Balance: Gerardo Lisboa's Open Source Journey
Gerardo Lisboa: Of Timeless Wisdom, Software Evolution, and the Power of Resilience

Gerardo Lisboa jokes about the impossibility of maintaining secrets in the modern age, stating, “I have no secrets, I am on the internet for so long.” His openness about his experiences and insights lend a remarkable authenticity to his persona, painting a vivid picture of a man whose work and life intertwine seamlessly in the public sphere.

Lisboa cites the books “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and Professor Robert E. Quinn’s works “Deep Change” and “Lift” as major influences on his thinking. To him, these works offer more than mere inspiration; they are timeless reminders of the potential within us to transcend our perceived limitations. He articulates, “You can transcend your own self and do more than anyone else can believe is possible.” This ability to continually push boundaries while staying inwardly centered but outwardly directed is a testament to his success in the volatile world of software development.

You can transcend your own self and do more than anyone else can believe is possible

Reflecting on his 22-year tenure as CEO of INFO-CARE, Lisboa acknowledges that despite seeming constancy in some aspects, things are slowly but surely evolving. While he identifies a persisting lack of knowledge in managing information within organizations, he also notes the growing awareness and use of open source solutions. His pragmatic yet optimistic outlook is captured in his final thoughts: “Open source has always been present everywhere. But only now it’s more explicit. And so, there’s plenty of business opportunities still open for me.”

Open source has always been present everywhere. But only now it’s more explicit. And so, there’s plenty of business opportunities still open for me

Gerardo Lisboa’s Unconventional Journey: From Tech Newbie to Innovation Maverick

Journeying back to 1986, we find a younger Gerardo Lisboa, immersed in writing a statistics program to aid his older brother’s thesis. A simple task, perhaps, but one that sparked a prolific career in technology. Lisboa’s journey meanders through the seemingly disconnected worlds of hardware, web applications, business applications, middleware, business process modeling, and now, innovation and information logistics. This impressive list of roles isn’t just a testament to Lisboa’s adaptive spirit, but an illustration of his mantra: to persist is to understand, to understand is to adapt.

Against the backdrop of these professional achievements, Gerardo Lisboa insists that one must remain human. To him, networking, connecting with people outside one’s immediate professional sphere is paramount. In fact, he views people outside his industry as potential clients. His advice? Find a way to converse, to know and to understand the worlds outside your own. He maintains, “You don’t have to be stuck here,” a poignant reminder of the vast sea of opportunities that lie beyond the known, that, to truly thrive, one needs both stubborn persistence and a broad network.

Gerardo’s insights on entrepreneurship are as engaging as they are enlightening. He equates it with risk-taking and a willingness to adapt, asserting that it’s not meant for everyone. And yet, he encourages those at the early stages of their careers to travel, to work in different settings, to explore and take risks. On the topic of risk-taking, he delivers a memorable quote, “Even if you think you’re an entrepreneur, just try to be one. If you fail, try to fail small, so you know if you’re cut for this or not.” In his view, being an entrepreneur is not simply about owning a business, but about being the decision-maker, even if it sometimes means dragging everyone else along with you.

Even if you think you’re an entrepreneur, just try to be one. If you fail, try to fail small, so you know if you’re cut for this or not

In our exploration into the mind of Gerardo Lisboa, a key theme surfaces – a leader is more than a skill set. A beacon of technical proficiency might command respect within its realm, but the business arena is much more expansive. Leadership isn’t a single lane race; it’s a multidimensional traverse through a multitude of competencies. Gerardo underscores the importance of constant learning and growth. “The more you feed your team – whether it’s motivation, knowledge, or resources – the stronger your collective drive becomes,” he advises.

But it’s not just about feeding the team. Who makes up the team matters too. Echoing the wisdom of luminaries like Steve Jobs, Gerardo encourages leaders to seek out brilliance – brighter minds, diverse perspectives, and individuals who challenge, not just echo. “Your ego is not called for,” he quips, “If you’re more interested in adulation, try showbiz. There’s no business in egos.” Gerardo’s sage insight reminds us that leadership isn’t about self-validation but about creating a cohesive unit that can weather storms and conquer heights together.

Balancing calculated risks with compassionate conservatism defines Gerardo’s entrepreneurial philosophy. He warns against recklessly endangering the livelihoods of team members for a shot at glory. Yet he also acknowledges that sometimes, risks can be catalysts for growth and innovation. Beyond the fiscal calculus, Gerardo implores entrepreneurs to evaluate their customers’ worth beyond financial gain. After all, time is the most precious currency. Are your customers challenging you, helping you learn and grow? Are they worth your time? These are the questions Gerardo advises us to ask ourselves. At the end of the day, it’s about striking a balance between personal and professional life – a dance that requires thought, negotiation, and occasional sacrifices.

Journey into the Open Source Universe: Gerardo Lisboa’s Chorus of Global Collaboration

In the world of entrepreneurship, finding balance between work and personal life is a conundrum that is as old as time. Our guest, Gerardo Lisboa, asserts that the key to this enigma lies in the individual’s own idiosyncratic capacity. There are those who can handle relentless dedication to work while sustaining a content personal life, while others struggle to maintain this equilibrium. “Really, the thing is, do something that’s challenging, that changes the world, that changes yourself,” Lisboa ponders, suggesting that the dynamics of work-life balance are far from black and white, and they vary enormously from person to person.

What doesn’t change, according to Lisboa, is the vital role networking and fostering professional relationships have played in his success. His story is woven with threads of the global open-source community, where the work he does seamlessly mixes with the networking opportunities. As the chairperson of the ESOP, Portugal’s open-source business alliance, he highlights the importance of investing in early startups and SMEs in order to leverage open-source benefits against competition. “By working with open source and contributing, you’re actually mixing the networking stuff with the work that you do,” Lisboa explains, bringing into focus his unique perspective.

A notable sentiment shared by Lisboa was the responsibility that accompanies the freedom of being part of the open-source community. “It’s not only freedoms that the open source gives you, it’s also those responsibilities,” he shares, drawing an analogy to becoming a member of a family. Being a part of the global team means one is not confined to local resources but has access to help from all corners of the world. Yet, it also implies an obligation to contribute and support the community. The narrative of his entrepreneurial journey, he mused, could be captured by the title “With a Little Bit of Help from My Friends.” It underlines his belief in the power of community and collaboration in not only advancing one’s professional pursuits but also in shaping one’s personal life.

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