Miguel Reynolds Brandão


Reimagining Sustainable Interior Design - Miguel Reynolds Brandão of CORKBRICK EUROPE

Mar 1, 2022
Miguel Reynolds Brandão

Reimagining Sustainable Interior Design

Miguel Reynolds Brandão is the CEO and founder of CORKBRICK, a furniture company that aims to provide people with sustainable dynamic structures or furniture solutions. One of the best things about CORKBRICKs is that it's as easy to build and take down as Legos!

Despite facing many setbacks and delays to their launch such as having to move factories, a fire in the factory, and not to mention COVID, Miguel was able to successfully launch CORKBRICK with his daughter Catarina. 

He shares with us that although they didn’t initially plan on creating this company, they are proud of how far they have come with CORKBRICK already and how far they have yet to go. Also, it enables Catarina, who is an architect by profession, to develop the architectural aspect of the company. Talk about a great father-daughter duo!

Another interesting thing about CORKBRICK is how they are able to merge the digital world with real life with a game similar to Minecraft, except that with their offering, you could potentially earn royalties for life. Basically, it’s a combination of gaming, digital and physical creativity, and economic value. Now, doesn't that sound enticing? Listen to this episode to find out more.

Miguel’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:

  • “What motivates me is to solve real problems, not just making money.” (4:46)
  • “What is common to all of us is the passion for creating a sustainable solution that can really change people's lives.” (13:19)
  • “The problem in our world is that people think that money is everything. It's people.” (27:01)
  • “We need to change our attitude. We need to change the way we build things to more clever ways, and CORKBRICK is one example of that.” (42:13)
  • “We need to leave an inheritance to the next generation that is at least as good as the one that we got.” (43:12)

In this episode, we also talked about:

  • Miguel’s entrepreneurial journey and what led to the creation of CORKBRICK (3:06)
  • Choosing the right investors (19:07)
  • CORKBRICK today (29:26)
  • Use cases of CORKBRICK (38:11)
  • The world in 10 years if CORKBRICK succeeds (42:40)

Transcript of the episode:

Maiko Schaffrath  00:00

This episode is brought to you by Content Multiplied. It's not a secret anymore that content creation is really important, but very few people talk about the importance of consistency, and I myself have really struggled with that consistency. And for that reason, I looked for a solution, and Content Multiplied was a really good one for me. Since using them, I've been able to focus on what I enjoy the most which is recording podcasts while Mhyla and her team are really taking care of everything else. Whether you have a podcast, you're holding keynote speeches, you're doing a YouTube series, you're writing a blog, a newsletter, a book, the Content Multiplied team can really take whatever you're producing and repurpose it into a series of micro content. And suddenly, you have dozens and dozens of pieces that can be shared for you, and Content Multiplied even takes care of that for you. Unlock your content superpower with Content Multiplied and go to contentmultiplied.com today. That's contentmultiplied.com. Thanks, Mhyla, and let's go into the show. You are listening to Impact Hustlers, and I am your host, Maiko Schaffrath. I have made it my mission to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs to solve some of the world's biggest social and environmental problems. And for this reason, I am speaking to some of the best entrepreneurs out there who are solving problems such as food waste, climate change, poverty, and homelessness. My goal is that Impact Hustlers will inspire you, either by starting an impact business yourself, by joining the team of one, or by taking a small step, whatever that may be, towards being part of the solution to the world's biggest problems. In today's episode, I speak to Miguel Reynolds Brandão, the founder and CEO of CORKBRICK, a company he started together with his daughter when they were looking for a sustainable and flexible material to use to furnish their guest bedroom. Imagine CORKBRICK as a Lego made from cork. It can be used to create furniture, beds, or staircases, and many, many other use cases that we'll talk about. It can be used in offices, for example, or also temporary structures, trade fairs, and it doesn't require any expert knowledge to assemble, so it's really as easy as Lego to construct furniture and structures yourself, and I'm really excited to have Miguel on the show. Thanks for joining me.

Miguel Reynolds  02:46

You're very welcome.

Maiko Schaffrath  02:48

Thank you. So, let's start a bit with your personal story. You've been an entrepreneur for pretty much all your life. Tell us a bit more about your entrepreneurial journey. How did you get into entrepreneurship and why are you doing what you're doing now with CORKBRICK?

Miguel Reynolds  03:06

Well, in reality, to be honest, I didn't even think about it. It just started. When I was a kid, I was always trying to make some money doing classes and things like that. And then, suddenly, in the beginning of the 80s, the spectrum computer, probably no one of the audience knows what it is, but it was the first personal computer that you can use at home that my father bought for my brothers. I'm the youngest. Normally, the youngest only gets things if all the others don't want it. All the others, they didn't want the computer, and I was 15 or so at the time. I had the computer. I had the manual, and I got interested in it. And then, I start learning about basics at the time and then assembly, and then I started doing software by myself just for the fun of doing it and to create some games to help my teaching lessons to students of mathematics, like I could generate games for them to learn. And then, later on, I started a software company already with a PCH. I learned a lot by myself programming then I went to the university for software engineering and computer engineering too. And from that point onwards, it was always developing different ideas, different businesses. What motivates me is to solve real problems, not just making money. I really like to see that I contribute to, it can be a small thing but something that helps someone else's lives in some way or business. So, that's how it started. And then, in Portugal at the time, we still have the army. I had to go to the army, and the only way to avoid it was to keep studying, and since I had my companies, I could be studying and simultaneously running my company, so I kept studying until I was 33. That was the limit of age. And then, when I could not have more extensions, I just worked with a minister with, everybody that you can imagine. No one accepted. I had to go to the army. But then, finally, I went to the commander of the corporation, and I convinced him that I was more useful outside with my company, with my family than inside the army. But what is good and why, as I tell this story is that in regard, in reality, if it was not for the army, probably, I wouldn't do so much in terms of, at least in formal study in universities. I was studying in United States, I was studying in Paris, I was studying in Japan, so everything that was nice, and I could manage to do it in parallel with my company, I did, and it helped me a lot, because it helped me broaden my perspective to focus in different areas of economic development. In the meantime, I was developing other companies, starting other companies, and helping others to start other companies mostly using telework, or now we call remote work, but at the time, it was telework. I even wrote a book about teleworking in 1993 or 1994, and the good thing about telework, for me, is freedom. It gives you freedom, as you were speaking before, to be working from anywhere to anyone, and you can select the customer, not just from where you live, but from anywhere in the world, which is fantastic, especially if what you sell is an intangible, like software or strategy. That was both my main products, let's say. It was software in one side and strategic management on the other side. Recently, I was trying to convince my daughter. I have four kids. They are all grown up. But at the time, Catarina, she was starting architecture, and Portugal was in crisis, and she was very insecure about the future. What she didn't know is that Portugal has been in crisis for at least 900 years, and so far, we have survived, so it's just a question of getting used. We were traveling at the time, because my presents to my kids while they are small is always a trip somewhere with me. It's very nice, especially for me and for them too, hopefully. In reality, it all started like a mentoring conversation. It was not a plan to create a company or even a product. It was just saying, "Okay, let's, let's try to invent something," and I offered her a real problem, and the real problem was a problem that we had in our house. In our house, we have three floors. On the third floor, sometimes, I had 10 kids sleeping around, and my oldest son was still living at the time in our house, and I always prefer that they bring the kids in than they go out. Sometimes, we had, I'm not exaggerating, 10 kids sleeping in the floor. I was always thinking, "How can we find a solution that when people come in, we can create comfortable rooms, and when they leave, everything goes back to normal?" The problem is that I'm not a do-it-yourself guy. I like to create things, but hammers and nails is not my thing. So, I kept that idea in my mind. When I was trying to figure out the problem, so we can invent some solution with Catarina, I bring up that problem. The assumptions that I put on the table was, well, it must be something that I can use, so maybe something like Lego. The beautiful thing about Lego is that as long as you have imagination, you can do whatever you like, because you don't need to be skillful with your hands. That was one of the assumptions of the creation process. The other was cork, because I knew from all my life that cork is a special material in many regards, but especially to create comfortable solutions, because it's light, it's a temperature and sound insulator, and it absorbs electromagnetic waves, and it doesn't allow the development of microorganisms naturally, and it's easy to mold. And so, I thought whatever the solution [is] should be something that we need to mold, so that's it. And then, I just put some ideas in the paper. Catarina, obviously, she knows how to draw well. She's very good in in drawing. It was fun, because during the trip, we were going to Morocco at the time. Every time that we stopped in a meal or so, we were exchanging some drawings. When we got back to Portugal, I said, "Well, why don't you check the internet to see if something like this exists? Because if it exists, I want to buy it." She did, and she didn't find and I said, "You see, we can invent something." "Oh, no, you're crazy. We cannot." "No, no, we can. Let's create a patent," and she said, "Oh, no, creating a patent is a lot." "No, let's do it ourselves," and that's exactly what we did. We did a provisional patent originally. We asked some advice from some friends that had already experienced but not lawyers, people with experience with patents, the patent process. Now, the patent is a global patent. But even at that stage, the idea was not to create a company. When we figured out that was a possibility of creating an invention, I thought, "Okay, let's mentor Catarina to build a patent," which will be useful always, because now, she knows that it's possible, and this step is very important, and everybody can do. The process is not that complicated like the patent lawyers try to make you think. If you spend some time, you can do it. The idea was she will be learning about the patent process, and then we can just license the patent. But the thing is that I started getting enthusiastic and other people enthusiastic about it. And then, I was talking with a friend of mine that he had a huge experience in the industry that I didn't. All my experience is in intangible software. It's another industry. You don't touch it. And I don't like the hopes of a factory, so I asked advice from him, and he said, "Well, if you if you want to do it, I'll be more than happy to join you in the company," so that's how it started. We started with this friend of mine and another one that was a lawyer to help us in the legal aspects of everything. And then, later on, we did an equity crowdfunding campaign. We moved from three people to 232. And then, from that point onwards, we did another raise. We are in our fourth raise. Now, we have 260 investors spread all over 30 countries. What is common to all of us is the passion for creating a sustainable solution that can really change people's lives, because the concept of CORKBRICK, if you think twice, and I confess to you that it was not planned. But in reality, it can become highly disruptive, because it allows anyone to be empowered to change their space anytime they want. This simple fact is very important with the additional benefit that you don't need to be dependent on outsiders, outsourcing, or whatever. We tried to join around the company, what I call creative dolphins. I call dolphins people that believe that through sustainability, you can reach much more than a typical shark attitude, the survival of the strongest. I don't believe in the survival of the strongest. I believe that through collaboration with intelligence, with a smile on your face, we can enjoy the moment, find solutions, solve problems, and obviously, if you solve problems, naturally you create real economic value with the three letters in capital, ECOnomic. That is common, because if you look at the shareholders of CORKBRICK now, you see that I have the criteria to select people that are what I call creative dolphins. I really believe that the only advantage that you have when you start your own companies is that, first, you can select the people around you, which is very important, because with the wrong people, your life can be a mess. With the right people, you can have ups and downs, but at least you always have someone to be with. It makes a huge difference. Second, you can define the rules of the game, and this is something that most entrepreneurs forget. Because if you define the rules of the game in a way that is very difficult to cheat, you will not attract cheaters. For instance, if you play chess, why I like chess and games like chess, because first, you don't need a judge, and second, it's impossible to cheat. It doesn't work. You don't see anyone in the world that is a cheater playing chess. You see them playing poker or very dubious games like that that you can have influence, you can lie. For instance, if you look at poker, it's a nice game. But if you think twice, you are empowering people that are good liars. Because if you want to be a good bluffer, you need to lie to others. There [are] two important things about the outcome of the game. If you have more money, you always win, always, because you can raise the bet, and the other part cannot see your game. So, this is one factor. The other factor is as you see in Western movies, it's very easy to cheat in a lot of ways, so marked cards and things like that. The problem is, when you define the rules of the game, and now, think about game as human interactions with some rules that you can apply anywhere, when you're creating an organization or a company, you are developing your platform, the way you define those rules will define the people that you will be attracting. The good thing is, and that's what we try to do with CORKBRICK, we try to create simple rules. Chess is a very simple game. Just eight rules, no more than this, and you can do plenty, almost infinite strategies, and that's exactly what we need. We don't need 100 pages [of] rules. We need one-page rules, but with simple and easy to achieve rules that everybody can understand, and obviously, some people can play better than the other, but it's fair, but no one feels robbed in some way. This is a privilege that when we start companies, especially and in your case, in the platform, if we are talking about sustainable entrepreneurship and companies that really can solve problems of the world, let's think about the benefits of the technology today, for instance, blockchain and other technologies, that improves your capability to define the rules of the game in one way that it attracts the people that you want to get involved in, because it's like doing an omelette [with] just one egg, one wrong egg. It's enough to destroy, and it's impossible. You cannot do the opposite.

Maiko Schaffrath  18:34

Yeah, let's dive deeper into that, into how you actually set up these roles as an entrepreneur. Especially if you're in the early stages, it's obviously very compelling to just go with the usual path, maybe have a prototype, then go to some VCs or angel investors and just take the money from anyone. How did you define those rules for CORKBRICK and when did you do that? How did you define them and what are those rules?

Miguel Reynolds  19:07

Yeah, it's an ongoing process, but the basic rules are about people, because I really think that the beauty of entrepreneurship is people and the people they have around. I can tell you a story. For instance, the second equity crowdfunding campaign that we did, we had to cancel and it was very successful. Because when I was checking packaging and closing the campaign, I found at least five sharks that I didn't want to have onboard. And since in the platform that we were using, you cannot select people, it's one or none, I had to cancel and reimburse everyone, because I didn't want to have those five people. That is obviously a very difficult decision, because I lost, basically, one year of preparing a plan and then preparing the second one. But I really think that at the end of the day, maybe three or four years from now, it will be rewarded, because having the wrong people onboard, and when I say the wrong people, it doesn't mean that it's just groups. No, it's people that don't align well with you, with your principles and your vision, and this is very important. I think that to define the criteria, originally, so when you start and if you have partners, to define the criteria that says who can join in and who cannot, it's really important. And then, all the other rules, we tried to build as the company goes. Now, we have the benefit of the technology. Although as we speak today, we still don't have a corporate governance model based on smart contracts and how we can create around blockchain, but it's in our vision to explore their functionality, because in reality, it's to put the technology, helping us in making those rules, working more effectively.

Maiko Schaffrath  21:26

Yeah, let's zoom in on that crowdfunding campaign. You actually pulled it, because you saw some of the investors were not quite right for you. I assume none of those investors would have been majority shareholders. Those are tiny shareholders, isn't it? I think it would have been very easy to say, "They're not really going to have a say for the company, so I'll just take their money and build a company. They're not going to be able to influence me much." Why didn't you do that? Why were you so strict with not having them around?

Miguel Reynolds  22:00

Because I really believe that in some moments, if you have the wrong people at work, even if they don't have much power, they can create a lot of problems. Obviously, another aspect is, obviously, if they are shareholders, they have access, because all the shareholders in our case, regardless of how much money they invest, they have access to all the information inside the company. Although we don't have crazy secrets, I prefer to keep them away, and I don't like to be confused. In this case, [they] were clearly sharks. It was not just a case of people that don't share our vision. It was more than that. And this is something that it's important for all entrepreneurs looking for investment, there is a lot of at least gray money floating around. We need to be curious and to know where this money is coming in. If you don't have a clear explanation where the money [is] coming in [from], at least in my point of view, I prefer to stay away, because a lot of people opt to not ask the question. I don't know. Okay, I can. No, I prefer to ask the question, and it's better if you ask in the beginning. At least in my point of view, I think that it saves a lot of time and your health. I saw, in my life as a strategic management consultant in other companies that I was involved, I remember, for instance, one friend or one client that became a friend of mine, that he lost almost four years of his life, just because at a certain stage, he admitted a shark as an investor, and then to put him out of the company, and the guy was not the majority older, but even so, it was really, really difficult. When you get involved with the wrong people, then it's very difficult to- if you watch movies, the movies are not fictions. The reality is even worse than what we see in The Godfather, for instance, unfortunately, and that's exactly what happens. And so, I prefer to stay away. When I see something that I don't feel comfortable or if I ask where your money is coming from and I don't like very much your response, okay, there are other people. You have to be consistent with yourself, you have to be persistent and patient. At the end of the day, you will find, hopefully.

Maiko Schaffrath  24:48

Just a really quick break from this episode to let you know a little bit more about our podcast producer and content agency, Content Multiplied. With all the moving pieces of a business, you can't be stuck managing and creating new content all the time. That's why I've started using Mhyla and her team at Content Multiplied. It's really an all-in-one content management and repurposing solution that can handle all your content needs. Visit them at contentmultiplied.com today. Contentmultiplied.com. Okay, let's get back to the episode. Well, are those principles that you have found in your experience as an entrepreneur earlier? Are there any kind of bad experiences that you made as an entrepreneur that led you to be this principled about this? Or has it evolved over the years? What's the root of this?

Miguel Reynolds  25:48

No, no, actually, I'm lucky. I always say I'm a very, very lucky person, because first, I was born in the right country, I didn't choose. The right family, I didn't choose. Right health, I didn't choose, and intelligence, I didn't choose. I could be not intelligent. It's not a problem. Even when I started my first company, my criteria was always people, always. I never mind in my life, and I lived when I was a child and later on in different countries. There are those situations that there is the pressure of the group. I never had any problem to leave from the group and ignore the pressure of the group. This is really important, because if you keep this in mind, and if I didn't study, it was obviously, my parents had passed- those criteria are in my conscience, let's say. But I think it's really important, because in reality people [are] everything. The problem in our world is that people think that money is everything. It's people. Again, with the right people, I always say  with creative dolphins, everything can happen, and it's always nice. If you are with sharks, I don't know. I've never worked with them, but I can see and the movies helped us to understand that it's not even sustainable, because there is always one day that the biggest shark comes in, and it is the top guy. It's a stupid route, let's say, but unfortunately, a lot of people take that route. And then, when they get to my age, they start thinking, "Well, my life was wasted. Now, I have nothing." Fortunately, I've already crossed the top. I'm 56, but I'm very, very, very happy with- I still don't have white hairs. Maybe it's related to that.

Maiko Schaffrath  28:08

That's amazing, and you get the chance to work with your daughter on this. Is your daughter still day-to-day working on CORKBRICK as well? Are you still both leading the company?

Miguel Reynolds  28:19

Yeah, she's an architect, and half time, because obviously, she wants to keep in touch with architecture. Actually, we want to evolve to create architecture inside CORKBRICK, to develop sustainable dynamic structures in architecture, sustainable architecture. We started already, but there still a long way. Until then, she's getting the experience in parallel. She's involved in another cabinet developing architecture, and she's still 28, so there's a lot of time to learn.

Maiko Schaffrath  29:02

Got it. Yeah. So, yeah, you definitely had your setbacks with the campaign that you had to cancel, for example, and things like that, but tell us a bit more about where you actually are right now. What's the progress you've made so far with CORKBRICK? How is it being used right now and where do you see it going in the future?

Miguel Reynolds  29:26

Well, our journey has been trenches, because we have that problem with one companion. We used to use a factory in the south of the country, but unfortunately, that factory was taken by a shark, and we had to move, so it was one setback. And then, when we moved and we were ready to start, we had COVID and then, obviously, COVID in the beginning, everything was closed, so it was a major delay. And then, when we were finally almost ready to start, we had a fire in the factory. Well, it was not very serious, it was a big fire, but the impact was basically another six weeks delay. Finally, in November 2020, we were able to supply the first CORKBRICKs to the market, because this is very simple, as you know, and everybody can see, but the question is that to produce it, all the experts in the industry told us that it was not feasible, but no one explained [to] me why. Since I didn't understand anything about industry, I just tried. If you don't explain [to] me why, I'm like a little kid. Please explain [to] me why. If you explain [to] me why and I understand, perfect, but if your explanation is not good enough for me, I will try it, and that's exactly what we did. We ended up creating a different way of producing and creating our own production line, but it took time. Now that we learned the whole process and now that we control the process, our production line currently is capable of producing only 400 pieces a day, which is not much for European market, as you can imagine, but it was what we could do. We didn't have tons of money to invest and waste if it was wrong. The idea was to do the first prototype of the production is still manual. That's why we can produce only 400 pieces a day, part of it is still manual. But now that we learned the process, we can move one step further, which is to automate and through automation, we will be able to produce 4,000 pieces a day in one shift or 12,000 in three shifts. It will be an increase of 30 times the production through automation. That's exactly the stage that we are in. We are raising again. It's our fourth raise as we speak. At this time, we are raising 1 million to finance the production line, we prefer to do all our finances. It's a strategic option, again, through equity. We could do otherwise, but I prefer to go through equity. And so, hopefully in the next month or a little bit more, we finish this raise, and then we will start investing in what we call P2, and with the P2, we will be able to produce up to 12,000 pieces a day, as I mentioned, if we are working 24 hours a day. Since we are automated, it's very easy to work 24 hours a day, because you need less people than in the current situation. That's the stage that we are in. The customers that we have now are strategic customers, companies that we call flagship customers, because they are public spaces, in most cases, because people need to know and see that CORKBRICK exists, because the concept is so simple, but nobody imagined that it exists. Nobody asks for us, and if you go to Google, the problem that we are solving is even difficult to describe. If people that are watching us have ideas of how to describe the problem, it helps.

Maiko Schaffrath  33:40

What do I even search for? If I want to have customizable furniture in my guest room, what do I type into Google? I'll probably not find you initially, right? So, yeah.

Miguel Reynolds  33:53

And the problem, it goes even deeper, because you don't think about that. The problem is that you don't even think about it, so you cannot search for something that you don't even think about, so we need to find alternative ways to get there. We are trying, but we still didn't get something that is a solution of the problem. I confess to you that most of the things around CORKBRICK, it's really special, first because I started it with my daughter as you can imagine, but nothing was planned. Now, for instance, another thing that we are creating is a digital game like Minecraft. Imagine Minecraft. Minecraft is, out of digital games, at least you explore your creativity, because other games is just stupid. People are just wasting their lives. That's our option, but that's the reality. Minecraft, now, at least you stimulate people's creativity, but even so, there is no outcome. There is no economic value. A lot of your time that you are spending playing the game, okay. You can sell things internally, but it produces financial gains. It doesn't produce economic gains. It's a different thing. What we are doing is kind of Minecraft, but we've got bricks. The player will be able to have as much fun as they'd have or even more with a game like Minecraft, but with a big difference. Wherever they create, they can bring it to life. If they do it, they can use it and not only use it, because imagine that you are playing the game and you create a solution that we don't have in our portfolio, you can share your solution with us. From that point onwards, every time that someone buys your solution, call it London solution, for instance, London bookshelf. Anybody that buys the London bookshelf, you get 3.78% of royalties for life. It will be the first game that you connect the digital world with the real world, and you leverage from the enthusiasm and the play that simulates creativity when you are playing a game with profits, because people can profit, some more, some less, but no one needs to lose, because all the games that we see around there that you make money out of it, for you to make money, it means that lots of people are losing. It's like a stock market. It's a win-lose situation. In our case, with your London bookshelf, you might win, let's say, 100,000 a year. With my Lisbon table, I can when let's say, with the profit, let's say 10,000. But it's not me or you that decides, it's the public, of the usability, the utility that they found in the product.

Maiko Schaffrath  37:02

Basically, you're building a bit of a marketplace of designs that people can use and reconstruct. That's amazing. I think there's very few companies that have actually done this really. I think I've heard of MADE.com here in the UK who has done something similar where they crowdsource designs for furniture, and then they manufacture that, but obviously, with yours, it's even more democratized, because everybody can build it. It's doesn't depend on a designer to then actually do it. That's amazing. What are some of the creative use cases? You mentioned the table and the bookshelf, but I know there's a bunch of even more creative use cases for CORKBRICK. I've seen staircases which is amazing. I mean, you don't even need to get any construction workers in, and you can just build your staircases yourself if you want to have extra staircase up somewhere. But yeah, what are other creative uses of CORKBRICK that you have seen or that you've come up with yourself?

Miguel Reynolds  38:11

Well, we propose some solutions, and we have in our websites some solutions about 30-something or whatever, but it's fun. Every time, we launch a challenge, and we ask people to create solutions. We have a pipeline of new solutions to get into the website, including houses for dogs, which depends on the dog, because the dog can bite it. But the applications, we have, obviously, residential applications and people who use [it] to adapt their lives, or better, to adapt the structure to their lives, but you have then the commercial applications, and the commercial applications nowadays, even especially after COVID, that flexible work is finally coming in, it means that companies, they need more flexibility, not only in the workforce, but in the environment that they are in. In that regard, I see that people will create many solutions that we don't anticipate, and that's the beauty of this product. We don't have to think about the solutions. Every one of the users becomes a creator, some of them at least, because there's always some people that create more than others. But now, we have applications, as I said, for houses, you said stairs. Divisions is very typical if you want to make some money with short-term rentals for instance. You can use CORKBRICK to create divisions in your house, and then when you don't need short-term rentals anymore, everything can come back to normal and you're using another application. The family is growing, so you need to divide the house. If the family is shrinking like mine, because my kids are flying away, now, I have a big house of empty rooms, so I can create additional spaces. Even in public spaces, like museums, especially for temporary expositions, because most museums, they have a fixed exposition and a temporary, and the temporary, they waste a lot of material, and it takes a lot of time to prepare, so we can save a lot in terms of real economy. There is no waste, and it gives a lot of possibilities, because in reality, like with Lego, you can have a set of, let's say, 500 pieces, and with those 500 pieces or 1,000 or wherever, you can build so many things and depending on the moment. Sometimes, you have some leftovers that you keep in a roll or something. But this flexibility, it's really, really what makes this concept, more than the product, the concept, huge. That's why we ended up creating the concept that we call sustainable dynamic structures and furniture. First, it should be sustainable. We cannot keep going on producing things that are not fully sustainable. And then, the dynamics increase the sustainability factor, because it means that with the same material, you can use it in different applications in your life. You are saving a lot of consumption of other materials. There's a double effect here. That's what we want to empower, even other companies that come with ideas similar with ours. If we have more companies in the world that are producing sustainable dynamic structures and furniture, will have a better world, because we don't need as many objects like we have nowadays and space for waste. Even if we take Mars and bring it close to earth just to use as a trash bin, there is not enough space there. And so, we need to change our attitude. We need to change the way we build things to more clever ways, and CORKBRICK is one example of that.

Maiko Schaffrath  42:23

Love it. I've got one more question for you, and that's about your vision for the next 10 years. How does the world look like in 10 years' time if you continue to succeed with CORKBRICK? How do you imagine the world to be?

Miguel Reynolds  42:40

Well, I would say that I'll be very happy if through CORKBRICK and our time in life, in Earth, our work, because it's our time in this planet, if we can contribute to change in a fun way, people's perceptions about sustainability, because the word has been misused, but it's very simple. Sustainability, just to make sure that whatever we do, we will not compromise the future of others. We need to leave an inheritance to the next generation that is at least as good as the one that we got. This is something that people forget. The short-term vision that still is common in our world, and the speculation, vision about the business, because for instance, we talk about fantastic technologies like blockchain, but most of the applications of blockchain that you see nowadays is completely contrary to the original concept, that was exactly to end speculation and most of the application is about speculation. We need to change, and if we can help producing that change, and one way to help making that change is to use the technology that everybody is using the wrong way, but we can use it in the right way. Imagine connecting gaming, digital, physical creativity, and economic value. If this works successfully, not only for CORKBRICK, but for many other organizations that can come out and obviously for all of us as citizens of the world, we will have a better world. I'm an optimist from nature, obviously. Otherwise, I wouldn't be an entrepreneur all my life. There are, obviously, a lot of moments in our life that we feel- if you can imagine, my mind when I go to the factory and I was with my youngest daughter at the moment. She was taking some pictures. At six in the morning, we get to the factory and everything [is] pitch black, all burned. That first two hours, especially because I had my daughter at my side, I didn't want to show how I was really feeling at the moment. But then, you just look from a macro perspective, from an ego view, and you see, okay, this is a bad moment. Probably we'll have better ones in the future. What is important is that I'm still healthy, my kids are healthy, and no one got burned. I think that the way we look at life and being an entrepreneur is just one aspect of our lives. If we can have a positive vision, that problem-solver attitude and real economic developing attitude, and it's just to create something that other people really benefit, not just buying and selling. Buying and selling is nothing. So, my vision for the future is hopefully that my grandkids will be having, at least, a life as good as mine, or better.

Maiko Schaffrath  46:13

Yeah, that's a big dream to work on, especially in these current times. Thank you, Miguel, for joining me. Really inspiring to hear about your journey and CORKBRICK, and thanks so much for joining us today.

Miguel Reynolds  46:27

You're very welcome. Thank you.