Wise Words with Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez


The idea for Hop first came to Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez when he was running to catch a flight, heavy suitcase in hand. He realized that instead of carrying or dragging luggage it would be so much easier if his bag could move independently. With this in mind he set to work designing and building the prototype for Hop – a suitcase that can move without human input, controlled by bluetooth capability and a smartphone.

Rodrigo is an architect and received his training from the ETSAM Technical University of Madrid. His works have been shown in different artistic centres such as the Cite de l’Architecture of Paris and the Venice Biennale of Architecture. As a teacher he has collaborated with different universities and institutions in Colombia, Turkey, India, France, Poland, Italy and Spain. He is a current postgraduate student of the Royal College of Art and the Imperial College of London and this is where he developed the design for Hop. Here he shares some of the inspiration behind his ideas.

1. Where did the idea for Hop come from?

I was in an airport running with my suitcase to catch a flight.

2. Can you describe a typical working day?

Yes since a couple of weeks I’m back to university! I am doing a double postgraduate course of two years at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. Every week we work in multidisciplinary teams to create a new project based with very different briefs. This week we are working on how to make a suit bag that you can plug in and iron your clothes for you, Clospa.

3. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on Hop?

Besides Hop I am developing other projects in my free time, most of them architectural related (I am an architect). I also love acting. I have been doing improvisation theater for 10 years, it is really
fun. I had been worked with some of the world champions of this discipline and in 2009 I won the gold medal in Chile with Javier Pastor for Spain.

4. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?

I don’t consider myself to be a successful entrepreneur. I think that maybe I am good at coming up with new ideas but definitely I am not good at making money out of them. The problem is that in my pocket there are always more ideas notes than banknotes.

5. What drove you crazy when building your business?

What drove me crazy is bureoCRAZY.

6. What motivates you to keep going?

That I have fun doing what I am doing.

7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I’m just starting now, so not too much to change. Also I think failures are good.

8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?

I will like to have my own little workshop, doing the projects I like to do. I wish also to contribute a bit to make this world a little bit better.

9. If you weren’t working on Hop, what would you be doing?

Any other project that I like to work on like Devebere, Zipizip, calipo…or something new…Currently I am playing around trying to make clouds.

10. Tell Springwise a secret…

“It is wise not to seek a secret, and honest not to reveal one.” William Penn

11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela.

You can read more about Hop here, or visit the Hop website here.

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