Cesc Vilanova

Chief Product Officer @ FlightCentre Travel Group

Hello 👋🏻

My name is Cesc Vilanova and I'm based in sunny Barcelona.

I help companies think and operate like start-ups.

My career starts in ​Pyro Studios​, the leading video-game studio in Spain at that time, as UX/game designer. Working on a 10 million € XBOX360/PS3 title, I learn about how crucial prototyping is to align the team around a clear product vision. I also experience first hand the cultural and technical challenges of growing a team from 5 to 60 people in less than 3 years.

Three years later, ​Zinkia​ Entertainment offers me the opportunity to manage a small team of game designers. In a development team of 20 people, I work on apps, games and Augmented Reality prototypes that I pitch to international game publishers (Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony...).

After being promoted as Creative Director of the Interactive Media team, I learn about the value that branding and business development can bring to a global 360 brand like ​Pocoyo​.

I miss having a more direct impact on the company’s bottom line so I leave Zinkia to found my start-up: Wemories, a private social network that makes money by selling a proprietary physical product. My 3 years in Wemories are a painful but incredibly empowering professional experience. We fight for profitability but end up closing the company. I learn about the importance of being customer-centric from day one and testing your assumptions asap.

After working at a social games studio based in San Francisco for a year, I join a tech innovation lab focused on the travel industry. I’m hired as a Product Manager but operate as an Intrapreneur. I lead the team from its initial customer research phase until the full acquisition by ​FlightCentre Travel Group, one of the biggest travel companies in the world​.

My experience in Wemories (my failed start-up) helps me quickly validate the problem we are trying to solve by putting together a no-code prototype​. The prototype helps us raise a seed round of 600k€. After a successful launch in the US market, we are fully acquired by FlightCentre 2 years later.

After Covid-19 hits, FlightCentre’s digital transformation process is radically accelerated. I’m appointed as Chief Product Officer for the whole corporate division. Sitting on the senior executive team, my role today mostly consists of helping a big co like FlightCentre operate like a startup.

After working in companies ranging from 1 to thousands of employees and in multiple sectors (e-commerce, entertainment, travel, gaming...) I think there are a few critical principles that are critical to create successful new digital products and services.

If you feel your company has the potential to grow via new digital products and services but you don't know where to start, let's have a chat 🙂

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